440 Cubic Inches of Chevy 409

The 409 has seen a bit of a revival of late with Edelbrock’s introduction of new aluminum heads and World Products following up shortly after that with an aluminum Merlin 409. Our 409 build is meant to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We kept an original cast iron block and mated that with Edelbrock’s much more capable heads that will be disguised to look like stock, then stroked it for a total of 440 cubic inches. There are a few more surprises in store, but you will have to follow along with the videos of the build to find out what they are. We will, however, give you a hint at the final product so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth your time: 505 horsepower at a manageable 5,600 rpm and 507 ft/lbs or torque.

Best of all, there’s nothing exotic in this build. Original 409 heads may be impossible to find, but the rarest component of this build is the 348 cast iron block, which is still easy to locate and fairly affordable. Everything else is right off the shelf, and we’re showing you all of it so you can reproduce this beast from water pump to flywheel if you like.

In the first part (above) we start by detailing our plans and the short block buildup.

Part Two

Finishing up the engine build including cylinder heads, valvetrain, and the sweet dual-quad induction system.

Part Three

Finally, it’s time to have some fun. The engine is finished and we get the opportunity to hear a wide-open-throttle run on the engine dyno.

Please don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments. Thanks

View the downloadable dyno sheet.409 Dyno Sheet

And if you enjoyed that, check out this turbo Buick engine build video:

Turbo Buick Lead

8 Responses

  1. Herman
    Are those the same heads in the video and the top photo?
  2. Yes, they are the aluminum Edelbrock heads. They've just been painted to give the engine a more original look. By the way, that's also a new Edelbrock aluminum water pump under a coat of orange paint too.
  3. Yes, you are right about the piston in the number seven hole being backward. That was caught after the short block was assembled but not before I'd shot that bit of video. Unfortuantely, by the time I edited the first section I'd forgotten about it. You have a good eye. I'm re-editing to cut that clip out. Thanks.
  4. Herman
    I love the two Edelbrock's on top. But would Holley's fit on that intake too?
  5. Fred
    I think you should be careful with your statement that the 348 block can be bored to 409 specs. That is not the case in most instances. The only casting that it can possibly be done in is the 872 casting and then you had better sonic test it to see if there is room. The 348 and 409 blocks are not the same. A general rule is not to be under .100 at the closest point to the water jackets.
  6. To Herman, No, this intake will only work with Edelbrock, or other Carter style carbs. Holleys will not fit, even if turned sideways.
  7. I'm considering a 409 for a 63 SS barn find. How much is the 409 crate engine with the Edelbrock alummimum heads? Please email me price as I do not see a price list link on website. Thanks.
  8. I have plans to build an aluminum block 409 cu. engine. I intend to use a billet crankshaft, hydraulic roller cam and lifters, Edelbrock heads, roller rockers, Edelbrock dual quad intake with EFI throttle bodies. I have located all the aforementioned parts, but, I can't find an electric water pump on any website. Does Moroso or anyone make this item?

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