BBC CHEVY 540-555 ENGINE, STAGE 7.0 DART BLOCK, CRATE MOTOR 724 hp BASE ENGINE
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BBC CHEVY 540/555 COMPLETE ENGINE HYDRAULIC ROLLER CAM 724 HP
RUNS ON PUMP GAS.
This engine is fully assembled from intake to oil pan.
The engine shown above is an actual representation of the engine you will receive with the exception of the polished intake. This engine includes a satin finish intake.
Our engines can also be built for use in marine applications. Pictured below is one of our bbc engines in a customer's boat.
We also offer our engines with a lower cost basic front accessory kit, with electric water pump option and with no turn-key options at all (base engine). See all our engine listings. We also offer our bbc engines setup with a blower as pictured below.
RUNS ON PUMP GAS. WISECO FORGED PISTONS AND SCAT COMPETITION SERIES RODS, DART BLOCK, BRAVO ALUMINUM HEADS
4.500-4.560" BORE X 4.250" STROKE
- NEW GENERATION DART BLOCK WITH SPLAYED MAIN CAPS.
- BRAVO 335cc ALUMINUM ALLOY HEADS.
- COMP HYD. ROLLER CAM AND HOWARDS TIE BAR STREET STRIP ROLLER LIFTERS.
- SA GEAR BILLET TIMING SET WITH TORRINGTON BEARING AND ROLON CHAIN 9 KEYWAY. TOP OF THE LINE.
- COMP ULTRA PRO-MAGNUM ROCKERS
- SCAT CRANKSHAFT, CLEVITE BEARINGS. BALANCED ON OUR CWT BALANCER TO BELOW 2 GRAMS.
- SCAT COMPETITION RODS WITH ARP 8740 CAP SCREWS.
- WISECO PREMIUM FORGED PISTONS. 800+HP RATED.
- MELLING M-SELECT SERIES OIL PUMP WITH M-SELECT DRIVE ROD.
- CHAMP CUSTOM OIL PAN WITH OIL CONTROL SYSTEM.
- PRO-RACE BRAND SFI DAMPER.
- TWO YEAR WARRANTY.
Pump gas friendly.
Our 540/555 Hydraulic Roller cam engine will produce 724 horse power at approx. 5900 rpm. The build sheet is at the lower part of this listing. This engine is an excellent choice for use in classic street rods, sport trucks, 4x4 trucks, and can be used as a daily driver. High mileage use is not a problem with this engine. This is engine may also be setup for use in larger work trucks, or motor homes. We can also set any of our engines up for marine use.
This engine will produce nearly triple the horse power of the original bbc 396, 427 and 454's and much greater torque. Pump gas friendly. For those wanting to put this engine in a classic car or sport truck, select cam choice # 1 or # 2 with the Hurricane intake. This engine will deliver very impressive power in the lower rpm range, and have a very high degree of drivability and long life.
See our other listings for the fully dressed out turn-key version.
Two year warranty, see details below.
This engine is designed to have a high level of drivability, or street manners. Cams #3 and #4 are our favorites for offering exceptional low end and mid range performance plus max drivability without needing to deepen final gearing or the need for a high stall speed torque converter.
If you choose to go with the Hurricane single plane intake and the first choice cam, it will bring the hp numbers up to approx. 724. We do not recommend the single plane intake combined with cam choice 1 on any car that is over approx 3,500 lbs and/or cars with a steep (tall) final gear.
Please read the cam info provided below on the four cam choices before purchasing this engine. It is very important that you choose the correct cam and intake for your car and its intended purpose.
Here are a few good reasons why we think the 540/555 engine is a better choice than the stock GM bbc engine.
1. The 540/555 will accelerate any heavy car much better than any of the underpowered original GM bbc engines.
2. The exhaust note from this big block engine is much deeper than that of the typical stock GM big block engines.
3. Installing this engine in heavy cars or trucks without killing acceleration, or having to deepen the final gear, and needing a huge stall converter is a real plus. This engine will accelerate a 7500 lb vehicle much better than any stock bbc engine.
4. Low maintenance and high drivability even in very heavy cars and trucks, while generating up to 724 hp at close to the same cost as building a 496 stock engine.
5. Longevity and reliability. You don't have to turn the engine to a critical rpm range to produce its max hp output. There's nothing unsafe about running an engine that's well built like this up to 5,800 rpm. The hydraulic roller cam is very reliable and will not require a bronze distributor gear, as it has a normal cast gear. Our aluminum heads use very high quality hardware. All of our valves are from PBM, and are considered to be very high quality valves.
6. Should you ever decide to sell your car, or truck with this engine, the resale value would be much greater.
We do a full test run on every engine we build on a test mule. The engine is run for two intervals of 15 minutes each, and every possible issue is addressed. When you install the engine, you must verify that the timing is set at the correct value, and the fuel to air ratio must be verified. We also include an engine stand like the one pictured, wheels included, and an engine lift plate.
De-tuned engines with different cam and intake combos will move the torque into the low rpm range, and is very desirable if you're sporting around on the street, rather than all-out racing. The de-tuned version of this engine will also allow you to set the car up closer to stock and increase drivability to a very high degree. Throttle response is also noticeably better. We can help you with a cam and intake selection that best suits your needs.
The build sheet is as follows:
BBC NEW GENERATION DART BLOCK BORE 9.800" STD DECK HEIGHT
We now use the New Generation Dart blocks in our BBC 572 engine builds. The New Generation Dart block is light years ahead in overall construction as compared to any of the other blocks on the market. Dimensional specs are spot on, and this has been an issue with other blocks we have used in the past. Many of the top engine builders, ourselves included, have found the new Dart block to be superior to the earlier generation Big M series Dart block in many ways.
Dart Machinery has completely redesigned the Big M series Block. They have incorporated numerous improvements and new features to virtually every area of the block.
The block is bored to size with our new Centroid touch probe machine. Few machine shops have a machine of this accuracy.
We also deck the blocks to an RA finish of approx. 15 or better. The decking procedure is also done by our Centroid CNC machine.
We often find many brand new blocks to have a sloping deck of up to 4 thous. When we're finished decking the block, it is within approx. .001 accuracy from end to end. Many machine shops fail to catch this as the machinery they use does not allow for such accuracy.
We then plate hone the block with our new Sunnen SV10 diamond hone machine. This is also a very advanced machine that hones the block with a finish unlike conventional machines.
The final step is to clean the block in our high pressure block washer.
Pictured below is the rotating assembly that comes in this engine.
(file photo, actual parts may vary, see details below)
The photos above and below are file photos. Actual appearance may vary. This picture is to give you an idea of parts used in the rotating assembly portion of this engine. All parts are brand new, first line, unblemished, and balanced in house.
READ THIS LISTING COMPLETELY BEFORE YOU BUY ELSEWHERE!
Connecting Rod Specs.
Piston & Ring Specs.
Bearing, Damper, and Flexplate Specs.
Listed below is a complete breakdown of all the parts that are included in this engine.
WISECO FULLY FORGED PISTONS, RATED AT 800+ HP. WISECO PISTONS ARE 100% MANUFACTURED IN THE USA. THEY ARE ONE OF THE HIGHEST RATED PISTON BUILDERS IN THE COUNTRY.
The Wiseco forged pistons are rated very high in the street/strip performance industry. They
are made using the 2618 aircraft alloy and have fully machined crowns. We prefer the 2618 alloy over the lower cost 4032 alloy. This alloy may fragment from the effects of detonation and if this happens, it can be very destructive to the engine.
Those types of pistons are fine for stock or mild engine builds, but should never be used in carbureted engines built to high horse power levels.
The forged 2618 alloy piston is much more resistant to the effects of detonation and heat.
Our Wiseco Forged pistons are custom designed with an increase in compression height. This has many advantages. Here are a few facts about compression height and deck height.
Our custom made pistons have a compression height that is .010 taller on bbc pistons, and .015 taller on sbc pistons, as compared to most all of the catalog pistons on the market. We find this to be a very valuable feature.
Since our pistons sit at a taller than normal compression height, we only have to remove approx. .005-.010 off the deck surface of the block. Our goal is set the piston at zero deck (flush with the deck surface). This maintains the deck's thickness, making it much stronger than a block that has been cut down .025. The engine will also run a bit cooler with a thicker deck. It's well known that the deck dissipates much of the built up heat an engine generates. This also allows for future deck re-surfacing without compromising the integrity of the block. On our bbc engines, we actually leave the piston about .003 to .005 in the hole to allow for possible piston rock. Our sbc engines will have the pistons setting right at zero with the deck.
You may have noticed that our Wiseco custom made forged pistons are referred to as Racing Pistons on the package. This does not mean that the pistons are for racing only. This is a generic term, referring to their ability to be used in high performance applications as well as for street rod use. These pistons are perfectly designed for use on the street, as well as for medium to upper level drag racing.
We have built approximately 5000 engines using the Wiseco pistons. The engines have been for street rod and strip use. We have seen no problems, nor have there been any complaints. They are an excellent product in every respect.
These pistons are also suitable for use with nitrous or blower setups.
The picture below is a file photo of our Wiseco pistons.
MAHLE HIGH PERFORMANCE MOLY RINGS
The picture below is a generic file photo of a Scat crankshaft.
Some of the benefits of the Scat crankshaft:
The material used in this crankshaft is manufactured from an exclusive Space Age material that was designed for high strength and fatigue resistance. The Scat cranks are the best value you will ever find. The Scat crankshafts are the best way to build a strong bottom end for, street rods, dirt and circle track racing, and drag strip racing.
Pictured below is our ABS crank polishing machine in action. We polish the crank on every engine we build. This extends bearing life, keeps oil cooler, and with the reduced friction, a slight increase in horsepower is gained. Many machine shops fail to do this. The finish on most cranks are at the bare minimum of acceptance, and we know this can affect bearing life. We have measured the RA finish with our profilometer, and found it to be as high as 25 RA finish on many of the cranks. We bring that number down to below considerably.
We now use the Clevite bearings in our engines.
Our choice of rods are the SCAT COMPETITION SERIES rods with ARP-8740 cap screws.
The Scat Pro-Comp extreme duty I-beam rods should not be mistaken for ProComp rods. These rods are made exclusively by Scat, and have nothing to do with the ProComp company. The critical sizing and installation of the ARP cap screws is performed on a Sunnen machine in the USA by Scat Industries. These rods are excellent for those wanting the extra security offered by a rod with 7/16 ARP cap screws.
Take notice of the design of these rods. They are far superior to conventional style I-beam rods. We are now using this rod in all of our Stage 4 and up SBC engines. We also use this rod in our big block 540/496/555 engines, making approx. 700+hp.
If you do a search on the Scat Pro-Comp rods, you will find a vast amount of info on many car forums. All of the info is 100% positive. These rods are run in engines that not only produce high horsepower levels, but also run at continuous RPM. Notice the general appearance in the pictures. These rods do look impressive. The style is reminiscent of a steel billet rod.
The fact that these rods are incredibly strong and well made, coupled with the fact they are light weight and offer better clearance than any H-Beam rod on the market, made it an easy decision to use them in all of our high horsepower street/strip engines.
Genuine ARP 8740 cap screws.
We have noticed some engine builders using low cost generic rods and crankshafts in their engines. These non-branded, (no-name) products are often poor quality in many ways. You will notice many of the low end engine builders fail to mention the actual brand of the rods or cranks used in their engines. Upon further investigation you will find such parts not to be a branded name product. They may label these parts with a name, but one that is totally unrecognizable in the industry. Our experience in years past with such rods and cranks has been disappointing to say the least. Besides the obvious issues such as incorrect sizing and machining that is difficult to correct, the questionable alloy these items may be produced from and the potentially incorrect heat treating methods used, could prove to be disastrous. Little can be done to verify this and nothing can be done to correct it. Failures of such critical parts will usually result in catastrophic damage to the engine. As you may have noticed, this is why we specify the brand name, and series of every part used in our engines.
Many of the inferior "no-name" rods on the market will also have "no-name" rod bolts in them. We have seen these bolts before, and they are very low quality. They don't have ARP's rolled thread design, and they don't torque down with the same characteristics as a genuine ARP bolt. It's not just a matter of having a different brand bolt in the rods; these bolts are low quality in many ways. They have been known to fail in engines to a much greater degree than a high quality rod bolt, and this failure usually causes catastrophic damage in the engine. Beware of rods that don't mention the rod bolt brand. As far as we're concerned, ARP bolts are the only brand we would ever use or accept in a set of rods.
PRO RACE BRAND SFI HARMONIC DAMPER, 7.0 DIAMETER INCLUDED.
Pro-Race brand dampers are used on all of our engines.
We have noticed others using a low grade knockoff brand damper/balancer, and we have encountered them in the past. They are substandard in appearance, and are often out of spec. The timing marks were also poorly marked on some of the balancers we have come across. Another problem with low grade dampers is the elastomer bonding can lose its adherence to the inner and outer structure. This problem is referred to as a slipped damper. We have only encountered this once in 10 years with the Pro-Race brand dampers.
BILLET ALUMINUM TIMING POINTER. VERY FEW SELLERS FINISH OFF THEIR ENGINES AS WE DO.
We did not offer this billet timing pointer in the past. However, we noticed that there was a birds-eye view of the timing pointer from the driver side of the engine, so we decided to use these on all of our engines.
HEAVY DUTY SFI RATED FLEXPLATE MADE IN THE USA INCLUDED.
This SFI flexplate is made in the USA and will resist cracking and warpage to a very high degree. One good telltale in identifying a low quality flexplate is the lack of welding on each side where the plate mates to the ring gear. They usually have a pale grey color to them, as they are not coated, and will rust quickly. Ours are welded on both sides, and are much thicker than an OE plate, and are zinc dichromate coated.
We do offer this engine with a manual flywheel. In most cases we do have both sizes, 153 and 168 tooth, available.
Our CWT 5500 Balancer.
We do our own balancing with our new state of the art CWT 5500 Series balancers. The CWT 5500 is the ultimate for precision balancing. We now have three of these in our machine shop. We consider this machine to be highly advanced compared to the Hines balancer we once used. We balance every rotating assembly we sell within 2 grams or less at no extra charge. A balance sheet is included with your engine.
Three new CWT balance machines under one roof is a rare sight.
Our crew wrapping up for the day. Pardon the mess.
Bravo aluminum cylinder heads. 335cc runner size.
Assembled by us with premium PBM competition grade valves, Melling springs, Comp retainers, Comp Viton valve seals, Comp spring ID locators, Comp 10 degree locks.
Notice the multi angle valve seat cut. These heads are designed to very high standards.
Below are the actual flow numbers for the Bravo heads. These numbers are true and accurate. The testing methods we use are considered to be on the conservative side. Some choose to show flow charts for their heads that have been done in a way that shows numbers that are misleading in our opinion. We use the Bravo heads on most all of our bbc engines builds all the way up to the 572 engine. The horse power numbers they produce are exceptional as compared to any of the low to mid range priced heads on the market.
Fel Pro 1017 premium race grade series head gaskets, ARP head bolts, and rocker studs.
ARP HEAD BOLTS AND WASHERS AND ROCKER STUDS.
ARP HEAD BOLTS AND WASHERS.
COMP ULTRA PRO-MAGNUM ROCKERS.
The new Ultra Pro Magnum™ Roller Rocker Arms not only live up to the lofty standards of the original Pro Magnums™, but they also take stud mount rocker performance, stability and value to a whole new level. The modern arched, web-like design delivers increased strength and rigidity while still reducing the moment of inertia and optimizing the dynamic balance.
Premium Morel Hydraulic Roller Lifters.
We use Howards brand premium pushrods in all of our engines. They are lightweight in design, yet very strong. Made in the USA from 4130 chromoly steel. Regular hardened pushrods will most likely flex in the engine when running above normal RPM ranges, and risk bending under high RPM. These do not have the welded ball on the end. We only use the swedged one pc. design, which is a well proven design far superior to the style many others use in engines. 4130 chromoly steel is also much stronger, and will resist flexing. When a pushrod flexes in the engine, you lose lift. Don't be misled by the term "hardened," as this is nothing more than a stock style low cost push rod. They will flex in the engine or possibly bend permanently.
Our choice of lifters are the Howards brand tie bar lifters. These lifters have many unique features.
Pictured below is our Speedmaster single plane intake.
We now offer the BLACK POWDER COATED FINISH Single Plane Intake as a $49.00 upgrade.
We also offer the Edelbrock satin RPM Air Gap intake as an alternate choice at no extra charge.
304 STAINLESS ALLEN HEAD INTAKE BOLTS ARE USED ON ALL OUR ENGINES.
We are offering three cam choices listed below in this engine. Read the specs carefully.
Cam Choice # 1 By Comp Cams.
Part number: 01-461-8
112 lobe sep.
Cam choice # 1 offers fair drivability and mid range power. These factors are highly dependent on car weight, gearing and stall speed. Valve train stability and longevity is fair with this cam but not recommended for excessively high mileage use. Power comes on with this cam at approx. 2500 rpm. This cam is recommended for use in light to medium weight vehicles (2500-3800 lbs) with decent gearing. Max power will be achieved at approx. 5900 rpm. You may use the single plane intake with this cam to achieve max top end horse power numbers.
We recommend a stall converter in the 3,000-3,500 rpm range. Final gearing when used in a car or sport truck could actually be in the 3.55 range or numerically taller. Overdrive use will most likely not work with this setup. This cam combined with a single plane intake is not suitable for cars running air conditioning or power brakes or to operated in overdrive. Many factors come into play as to what cam and intake you should go with. Continue reading the info in the cam choice section below before selecting a cam and intake.
Official Dyno Results on Cam Choice 1 in our 555 engine with a single plane intake and our new 335cc rectangular port heads.
This is an excellent cam and head combination. Our new 335cc bbc heads have proven to be exceptional.
Official Dyno Results on Cam Choice # 1 in our 555 engine with a dual plane intake and flat top pistons. This engine had the low compression, (9.56:1) flat top pistons, and our former line of cyl. heads. Our new heads would have possibly exceeded these numbers especially with normal compression ratio. This setup would have been better suited with the Cam choice # 2 from what we're seeing. Low compression setups are for very heavy vehicles, and smaller cams are more in line with such setups. The smaller cam would have made better off idle power.
Cam Choice # 2 By Comp Cams.
Part number: 01-456-8
112 lobe sep.
Cam choice # 2 offers a slight increase in bottom end torque compared to cam choice # 1. This cam selection is the best choice for cars that have medium to tall gearing. This cam will allow the engine to operate well in the 2200-2500 rpm range. Very good acceleration with improved street manners. The peak horse power falls about 15-25 under cam choice # 1.
This cam would also be excellent for medium to slightly heavy vehicles up to approx. 4,500 lbs. Max power is achieved at approx. 5700 or less. This cam has been very popular for those more concerned about drivability and outright longevity of the valve train and engine engine.
The valve train wear with this cam would be very low. Off idle power is improved as compared to cam choice # 1. We see no drawbacks to going with this cam. The power in the mid rpm range is very good. Vacuum may be enough for operating power brakes.
Official Dyno report with this cam choice, Bravo heads, a single plane intake, and an MSD distributor.
Cam Choice # 3 By Comp Cams.
Part number: 01-451-8
112 lobe sep.
Cam choice # 3 offers a huge amount of bottom end and mid range torque. This cam selection is the best choice for cars that have very tall gearing or operating in overdrive. This cam will allow the engine to operate well in the 1800-2000 rpm range. Very good acceleration with excellent street manners. The peak horse power falls an additional amount of about 15-20 under cam choice # 2.
This cam would also be excellent for heavy vehicles, quad cab 4x4 pickups up to 5,500 lbs. Max power is achieved at approx. 5500 or less. This cam has been very popular for those more concerned about drivability and outright longevity of the valve train and engine engine.
The valve train wear with this cam would be virtually non-existent. Off idle power would be excellent. We see no drawbacks to going with this cam. The power in the low rpm range is amazing. Vacuum should be enough for operating power brakes. Long range cruising and operating air conditioning is not an issue with this cam. This cam will still have a mild lopey idle but smooths out rather quickly at about 1,800 rpm.
We have several different options in valve covers. Here are our most popular choices:
These are just a few of our popular valve covers you may choose from. We do have several more choices to select from in our other listings at no additional cost.
We also offer this engine in a higher compression version with a solid roller cam option. See our other listings for the full line of our engines.
Timing components: SA Gear 8999T billet double roller timing set.
Polished Aluminum Timing Cover.
We use the top of the line SA Gear timing set with a torrington bearing and rolon chain. The difference in quality is dramatic compared to the common low-cost timing set. The upper sprocket is made from billet steel and the lower is induction hardened with nine keyways. These sets are hand matched for selective sizing.
The cost on this high end timing set is approx $97.50, more than double the cost of the low level budget timing set used by many other engine builders. Should you ever want to confirm that this is what is actually in your engine, you can remove the timing cover, and you will see that this timing set is very different in appearance to the run of the mill low cost sets often used by others.
This timing set is offered in three different chain tension setups, allowing us to set it up perfectly every time. One more benefit is that timing accuracy is very precise and will remain that way. This timing set will likely last for the life of the engine. This is what you will find in most solid roller engines, as they have very high spring rates, and create an enormous load on the chain and gears, compared to non solid roller setups. It may seem like a bit of overkill to use such a high end timing set, but the versatility and extreme quality outweigh the cost, in our opinion.
Champ premium oil pan.
The oil pans we use on all of our engines are made in the USA by Champ. The Champ oil pan has a full windage tray, crank scraper, and trap door. Threaded dipstick is included. Extreme duty pickup designed not to fail. The oil pan is made from a thicker than normal gauge material, and has embossed ribs in the body.
The 7.5 qt Champ oil pan has kickouts that swell outward approx. 3 inches on each side. If you think you will encounter clearance issues with the kickouts, we recommend opting for the stock appearing 6 qt. oil pan. The 6 qt. pan will still be a Champ pan and will have the windage tray and crank scraper. We strongly recommend reducing the amount of oil used in these oil pans by approx. 1/4th to 1/2 a quart. Doing this may greatly reduce the chance of oil leaks, and reduce oil temps. The larger counter weights used on stroker crankshafts are why we recommend reducing the oil capacity in these engines.
To be clear on what we're saying, we would like to see you add right at 7.0 to 7.5 quarts of oil grand total in your engine and oil filter when using the higher capacity oil pan that has the flat ribbed bottom with kickouts on the side. When using the stock appearing oil pan, we would like to see you add right at 5.5 to 5.75 quarts grand total in your engine and oil filter.
Our engines include a dipstick. It's very important that you re-calibrate the oil level marking on the dipstick. This is due to the fact that the dipstick, oil pan, and block are all made from various manufacturers and we often see great variances. Couple this with the fact that you may be running a reduced amount of oil, and the "full" mark on the dipstick will most likely not indicate correctly. Once you have put a predetermined amount of oil in your engine, and run it for a few minutes, let it sit for awhile on level ground, check the oil, and mark your dipstick with a flat file to re-establish the full mark.
The quality of these pans far exceed any of the lower priced oil pans used on many engines.
We do not use the knock off oil pan gaskets on the market. Felpro premium oil pan gaskets are used on all of our engines.
Pictured below is a file photo. The actual Felpro gasket used will be the correct model for this application.
Studded Mini Nut Set.
We use our premium studded mini nut set on all of our oil pans and valve covers. The nuts have a serrated face and built in washers. This is the ultimate set for securing the oil pan and valve covers to the engine and is far superior to the typical bolts used by most other engine builders. Our standard engine color is black. Custom paint work on engine blocks and oil pans is available as an optional upgrade. The pictures above and below are file photos to display the studded mini nuts. Other items seen in these pictures may not represent your actual engine.
Melling M-Select Oil Pump, and M-Select Drive rod with ARP stud.
The M-Select series oil pump by Melling has several important upgrades compared to the regular Melling M-55 Series. The gears are billet steel, and the body is stronger, coated with corrosion-resistant nitrite. This oil pump also includes the M-Select drive rod. Both components are far superior to the regular Melling oil pump and drive rods used by most other engine builders.
We include an engine lift plate and heavy duty engine stand with casters with every engine we build.
We offer this engine with selected upgrades and options. Listed below are some of the most requested ones. Many not only improve performance, but further enhance the reliability
The Super Flow is the best dyno in the industry.
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