I have looked around at a lot of different 461 stroker kits, and the majority of them are right around $2,000. Does anyone know of a quality kit you can get for a better price? I do realize that 99% of the time you get what you pay for. Thanks for your help.
OK, #1. This is a must for the learning curve here. Get a copy of Jim Hand's book "How To Build Max Performance Pontiac V-8's" from Amazon.com. You always want to build a Pontiac for torque over HP. You could begin with a 455 CI engine, build it with cast pistons, stock/reconditioned rods (SPS rod bolts), a torquey cam, 9.0 compression, basic head work. Keeping it at 5200 RPM and you won't need forged rods, forged pistons, or even the aluminum heads. Lower RPM's want higher velocity in the intake runners so to go bigger on the flow numbers pushed the engine RPM up higher in order to use them -now we need all the forged dollars. Same with a big cam, moves your power band higher and you have to spin more Rev's. Not needed with a Pontiac. You can also go the 400 CI block route and get an after market stroker crank to give you the 461 using either factory rod journals or chevy rod journals for aftermarket rods (back to 'mo money). Use the stroker crank will mean balancing everything ('mo money). Don't discount the 400 CI. Did an inexpensive build on my 400, all stock type pieces, a good torque cam, some old Offenhouser 360 intake I had lying around, a Q-Jet with adapter, and put a little money in the heads for stainless steel valves, good springs, 3 angle vavle job, and did my own port matching on the intake side with some mild polishing to blend -no big deal. Have a good dual exhaust with 3" pipes -used factory cast iron manifolds I port matched and polished. Fast with a lot of pull. No problems smoking tires. It would spin tight to 5,700 RPM and fall flat because of the cam I selected. Got about 16 MPG when my foot was out of it and I ran it sensibly on the highway.
Building an engine will yield you 100 different takes on how to do it. The factory GTO engine was rated at 360 HP with 10.75 compression. You don't want 10.75, you want between 8.5 -9.0 for the street, and it will still run hard. My engine is a 1972 using the 7K3 heads and its compression was in this range. No spark knock problems and I ran regular. The aluminum heads allow for 1 point more compression because they run cooler, but you use up a lot of doe. And remember, go too big on your build, and now you have to dole out some cash to beef up the rest of your drive line & suspension that you will be tearing up, just because the motor says it can.
Get Hand's book first! Many good listed engine build in the back of the book that tell you parts, HP, and estimated 1/4 times. Then decide. Research a little and get informed. Spend your money wisely and get the most HP for your buck. Lot of guys here to help. Good luck, and stash part of that budget money for a few sets of tires that you will be burning through. Yeah, I know, I ain't going to be smokin' my tires off. Yeah right, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. A toy in a kids hands just has to be played with. HaHaHa.