It seems a certainty that Chevy guys would rather eat dirt than drive a Ford, but not all Chevy guys agree about their choice of powerplant. The original small-block has a lot going for it, including power potential, minimal weight and even affordability. By comparison, the big-block takes a few giant steps up the performance ladder, but does so saddled with both additional black screen after dell update and cost.

There is no denying the power potential of a nasty Rat motor, but it is considerably larger, heavier and more expensive to build than a comparable mouse. In the past, big-block guys had to be serious about their need for power in order to overlook the mass and cost issues associated with building the Rat.

The old adage that "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go" certainly applies here. Or does it? What if we told you there was a magical land where big-blocks and small-blocks were available for the exact same price?

What if we further sweetened the deal with a serious weight reduction for the big-block with the addition of some aluminum cylinder heads? In one fell swoop we have all but eliminated the cost and weight penalties associated with building a fat-block Chevy.

Read on! Where is the magical land where big-blocks roam free, ripe for the picking? The answer is your nearest wrecking yard. It seems that the wrecking yards label every method of motivation as simply "complete engine" and let it go at that. This means the complete big-block can be had for the same price as a small-block, V-6 or God forbid four-cylinder, econo-box motor.

Lest you think that the boneyards are devoid of big-block Chevys, we snagged not one but two different big-blocks from our local Pick-a-Part and found three moreso obviously they are still available hint-stop looking for that LS6 Chevelle and check out the engine bays of full-size trucks. This price can be reduced on special sale days where everything in the lot including a complete BBC engine is 50 percent off. With big-blocks available for such a minimal cash outlay, we decided a low-buck build was in order that simultaneously maximized power and minimized scania 143 for sale greece. Naturally we had to set official goals for each.

In the power department, we decided that any decent big-block even one starting out life in the wrecking yard should produce a minimum of hp. To this power output we decided to add a small shot of nitrous and reach for no less than hp. To put this into proper perspective, check out the pricing on some of the big-block or even small-block crate motors online. You'd be hard pressed to find a BBC short-block for that price, let alone a long-block equipped with aluminum heads, a performance cam and high-rise intake with nitrous no less.

Think of this build up as your own personal stimulus package. Our Gen-IV pulled from a one-ton work truck was equipped with the desirable four-bolt block, but the reciprocating assembly was a combination of a cast crank, forged rods and cast pistons.

Naturally, the lack of forged components worried us, especially the pistons, but we had full confidence in the stock crank at our intended power level. Given the lack of forged internals, every precaution had to be taken with regard to the tune, lest we blow our low bucker to smithereens. The factory pistons presented another problem in the form of piston-to-valve clearance. The low-compression, dish-top pistons featured valve reliefs designed for the 2.

Knowing we needed a healthy cam to reach our goal of hp with the low-compressionwe mocked-up a pair of cams using the Pro Comp heads and factory pistons prior to assembling the motor.Gain extra benefits by becoming a Supporting Member Click here find out how!

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454 Chevy Big Block Build - Ask Anything

Just a follow up to Greg; I pressed the axle out of one of the rough running lifters and all the wear appeared to be on the bottom half of the axle. The roller wheels looked fine; the cam lobes and needles looked good as best as I could tell but the bottom half of the axle was very rough and pitted. This was running Comp's recommended springs I'm out of town now and don't have the number It's like the axle itself was not made of hard enough material. I'm with you on checking valve lash often.

I saw several clearances open up more than the others, and this was a dead give away that something was up. That's when the manifold needs to come off. So far no problems with the Crowers. Execution time: 0. All times are GMT Pacific. Current time is PM Top.

Attach Photos to Posts. Contact Us. My Cookies. Frequently Asked Questions. Forum Rules. Username Post: build, how streetable will it be? Another reason is I found a real nice Buick special thats been in a shed for 25 years and is almost mint body wise!

The owner is hesitant though now that I told him what kind of engine I plan to put in it, if he does sell it to me. He thinks I will destroy it in short order I guess! So heres the engine, bored. World Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins cc runner, cc chamber iron heads, 2.

I will be running with a stall torque in either a powerglide or Its either going in that 66 Buick special, or maybe a 69 grand prix, or possibly a Monte Carlo if I can find a decent one.

Josh R. The only thing I would question is your use of a solid roller cam. After a while you get tired of maintenance on the rollers and if you don't do maintenance it will eat itself up.See all 1 photos. I wanted to step up to a hydraulic roller cam, and I heard a roller cam from a Mark VI block can be used as long as my block has provisions for the thrust plate and a Mark VI timing chain is used.

I read the online story on your test of the oval-port big-block heads. I'm wondering if I should build that engine or go with a or-larger short-block? I noticed the cam part number you listed was for a Ford. Any suggestions would be great. I love the mag and look forward to it every month. Jeff Smith: The story on our ci big-block oval-port head test in the Mar. We were surprised by the power we made with these heads, and the Brodix castings made the most peak power at hp at 5, rpm and a solid lb-ft of torque at 4, rpm.

The Edelbrock heads were down slightly at hp at 5, through 6, and torque at lb-ft at 3, rpm. As we pointed out in the story, the Edelbrock heads were within 2. As for the incorrect cam card information, that was a weird deal where the wrong cam card ended up in our cam box and we just copied the information without double-checking.

When you consider that even with the softest aftermarket heads we made hp and lb-ft of torque with a cast-crank, compression Rat motor with a very mild hydraulic roller cam, that's pretty stout. To get to your question, Michael, the hydraulic roller cams for the Mark VI blocks will interchange with the earlier blocks, but you will need to prevent the cam from moving.

Flat-tappet cams employ tapered lobes to prevent the cam from moving in the block. By design, roller cams cannot use this feature, which means you need to use some kind of limiter to prevent the cam from moving forward in the block as engine rpm increases.

The least expensive approach would be to add a cam thrust plate as you suggested-along with the Mark VI-style single roller timing set. This allows plenty of room for the timing set under the cover. The plate will require minor drilling and tapping and is best done with the engine disassembled, although if you are careful, it could be accomplished if you take measures to keep all the drill and tap shavings out of the engine.

As we mentioned in the original oval-port head test, if you want to run a similar Comp hydraulic roller cam in yourthe Edelbrock heads are shipped with valvesprings intended to be used with a flat-tappet camshaft. In our test, we wanted to make sure the valve-springs were all the same for each cylinder head, so we swapped them for a set of Comp hydraulic roller valve-springs. The Comp springs offer pounds of load with the valve on the seat and pounds at 0.

Frankly, since the Edelbrock heads continue to increase flow through 0. This will pump the lift closer to 0. Anytime you increase the rocker ratio, you accelerate the valves more aggressively, which tends to make the springs work harder. The reality about valve float is that the first place the spring loses control of the valve is on the closing side as the valve approaches the seat.

The intake valve is the heaviest of the two valves, so any loss of control will happen to the intake first. When the intake bounces off the seat during closing, it effectively increases cam duration, which isn't really what you want. Every time the valve bounces, it also allows cylinder pressure to escape back into the intake port instead of being captured to make cylinder pressure.

If allowed to continue, this valve bounce will kill power and also tend to reduce the effectiveness of the springs. One way to help the springs is to use a lighter retainer.

When we did that story inwe used the Comp titanium retainers, as they were the only real alternative to steel. However, Comp has since come up with a series of tool-steel retainers that are not only nearly as light as the titanium pieces, but much less expensive. The stock steel retainers weigh 35 grams, while the titanium retainers only weigh 18 grams.See all 26 photos.

In case you haven't noticed, it's election season, and not surprisingly, the subject of the economy is being hotly debated. While the politicians squabble over capital gains tax rates, the Social Security trust fund, and raising the retirement age, the rest of us are just trying to eke out a modest existence and still have a little automotive fun on the weekends.

In that spirit, we present the Blue Collar Chevy Of the trio of big-block engines featured in this issue, our lowly Chevy posts the least impressive power numbers.

However, it was built on a shoestring budget. We reused as many parts as possible, and you'll notice we included everything in the parts list—paint, oil, even the brake cleaner we used to hose down parts prior to assembly. While our horsepower figures aren't impressive, the Chevy engine starts easily, doesn't leak, doesn't overheat, sounds good, and was dirt cheap to build.

And, man, does it make torque. You could stick this engine into the Chevy of your choice and smoke all the tread off your tires in a hurry.

454 street build

And sometimes that's all an engine has to do. By the numbers: Bore: 4. Yup, we were nervous on dyno day. But instead of needing a mop and bucket, we were able to just stand back and watch as JMS' Jeff Johnson fired the engine and ran it through a standard cam break-in schedule. We were pleased to find no leaks, chuffing smoke, or deathly rattles. Instead, the engine settled into a smooth idle with the correct oil pressure.

KMJ Assault 345cc Big Block Chevy VS. Dart 345cc Comparison Test Part 1

We weren't sure what to expect for power; this is a small cam, but we chose it because our guy at Summit says it's the company's best seller for big-block Chevys.

Why argue with numbers like that? Obviously, Summit's customers like torquey big-blocks, as this cam allowed our combination to make lb-ft of tire-melting torque at a nearly off-idle 3, rpm. Horsepower peaked at a languid 4, rpm, and the figure was better than we expected. It's hard to beat this combination for the price see the accompanying chart for the breakdown. Note that we didn't include the cost of headers they vary depending on your car and tools because many of them can be rented or borrowed.

Stay tuned for more of the Blue Collar We have plans for more compression, more cam, and a tune-up to the iron heads. We'll see how far we can stretch our dollars in search of max power for minimal cost. Sears Craftsman Tools; Sears. John McGann writer. The Blue Collar Chevy Share on Facebook Share on Twitter.Sticking to a reasonable budget when you're planning out your big-block Chevy can be an exercise in frustration.

It's numbers like this that send guys running back to the small-block camp, but there's an alternative: Save a ton of green by starting with a good core motor. The better the core, the more stock parts you can recondition--and most of the stock BBC equipment will suffice nicely for a naturally aspirated street mill.

The concept with this build is to disassemble, clean, and recondition as many stock parts as possible and use affordable, proven aftermarket parts when the stock ones truly compromise our goal of high performance.

Our strategy here is exactly what most of you set out to do: build a reliable combination decent enough to turn respectable times at the track--without requiring a vacuum canister, a car trailer, or a second mortgage.

The Right Core To keep things on the cheap, we found a that didn't need to be bored; in fact, it still held the original standard-bore cast pistons with discernable cross-hatching on the cylinder walls. Fitted with closed-chamber, oval-port heads, If you're having trouble locating a musclecar-era BBC, you can build the near-equivalent of this motor using a smog-era Gen IV short-block and a set of closed-chamber, oval-port heads. Any of the large oval-port castings from '65 to '70 will have small, cc chambers to achieve approximately compression with smog-era pistons, and these heads are still quite plentiful and cheap.

Autopsy With the engine apart, we found the crank had been cut 0. Scarred main bearings and excessive wear on a few rod bearings told the story of a rebuild gone wrong.

As expected, the big end of each rod was out-of-round and needed to be resized; one was replaced because it showed evidence of overheating. Years of churning out high-performance big-blocks has created a huge stock of cores, so every-thing is available in-house if you'd rather not put forth the effort to search for the parts yourself.

The Rebirth While the block baked in the hot tank, Howard Allen polished the stock steel crank journals to create a pristine surface finish, checking them with a mic to ensure proper bearing clearances. Hendrix resized the toughened rods until the Sunnen bore gauge couldn't discern any out- of-round on their big ends. Since we essentially reused the entire stock rotating assembly except for bearings and rings we didn't balance it, hoping that GM's factory spec would work within the confines of a 5,rpm redline.

With the short-block renewed, we tore into the cylinder heads. We caught a lucky break, salvaging the stock iron valve guides after a quick knurling operation. Since we saved some cash on this step, we went ahead and had Pete Hillemeyer machine the guides for Teflon PC-type seals that improve oil control. Hillemeyer went to work on the ever-accurate Serdi machine, cutting the three-angle profile into the seats. Sal Alcaraz fixtured the finished castings and cleaned up the deck surfaces with a 0.

We didn't cc the chambers to check how this changed compression, but the change in compression should be minimal. Finally, the stock 2. Hendrix ground each valve's seating surface until it had perfect concentricity with its stem, and your author wrapped up the headwork by hand-lapping the valves to the seats.

We'd had our fill of stock parts, so it was time to order the performance equip-ment that would separate our motor from the stock LS5 tune. A modern cam profile, intake, carb, ignition, and oiling system are all you need to extract tire-frying power from any BBC, especially the cube variant. Crane's Mark Campbell spec'd a mild dual valvespring, installed with 0. Keep in mind that cutting the valve seats changes the installed height of the valve- springs, so please check this spec when you're assembling the heads.

Just be sure to use factory-style valve covers with welded drippers to keep the pivot balls well oiled. Trans-Dapt offers awesome-looking factory-style, non-dripper BBC valve covers if you opt to run roller rockers. Induction came courtesy of a World Products Merlin dual-plane intake and a Holley vacuum-secondary carb the OE carb spec'd for GM crate engines.

Oil is pumped to all the right places via a complete, tried-and-true Milodon oiling system. Driving out the 's freeze plugs revealed a good bit of rust scale in the cylinders--not uncommon in an engine that's been sitting for years. We did our best to scrape the scale from the water jackets before the block and heads hit the cleaning tank. With decades of racing and engine-building experience under his belt, Howard Allen knows his way around a crankshaft.

Our stock steel crank only needed a polish to dress the journals. Aftermarket valves were beyond the scope of this project. Robert Hendrix marked the hammered sealing surfaces of our stock valves with machinist blue prior to grinding.

454 street build

He ground the valves until a continuous band of metal was machined off the surface, guaranteeing concentricity to the valve stem and good sealing on the seat. Using a high-dollar Serdi machine, Pete Hillemeyer masterfully cut the iron seats on our stock oval-port castings.The problem with making more power is that cost and performance often go hand in hand. The greater the power gains, the bigger the budget.

454 Big-Block Budget Engine Build - Making Cents

Project Boneyard Boost was one of those rare occasions where we got to apply a massive infusion of power to a motor that cost next to nothing. The proper application of boost to any motor is never inexpensive, and our Vortech YSI supercharger was not what could be considered low-buck, but it was epic in its effectiveness. The budget portion of the equation came from a 7.

In our quest to locate a suitablea typical rip to the wrecking yard revealed at least three of the four available big-block combinations. We immediately checked the latest 8. Though larger than the previous 7. In the end, we selected a Gen VI and pulled it from its home in the engine bay of a 1-ton work truck. The L29 was originally rated at hp and lb-ft of torque thanks to a combination of fuel injection, large oval-port heads to replace the peanut ports used in the previous Gen V motors and a slightly higher static compression ratio.

The heads used on the L29 combined the large oval intake ports with small cc combustion chambers to produce a slightly higher than the Gen V 9. The compression was plenty low for use with the blower, but the extra power it provided would eventually be multiplied by the boost. After selecting a motor, we set about making the necessary changes for our test.

We removed the factory EFI injection, and replaced it with simple carburetion. To allow the motor to rev cleanly to 6, rpm under boost, the cam upgrade was teamed with a new set of beehive valve springs. Before adding boost, the boneyard big block was run in normally aspirated trim and produced hp at 5, rpm and lb-ft of torque at 3, rpm.

After the normally aspirated testing, we replaced the Holley with a dedicated blow-through Holley carburetor from Carb Solutions Unlimited CSU and installed the Vortech supercharger kit. In addition to the powerful YSI supercharger, the kit included a cog-drive system to eliminate belt slippage under boost. Vortech supplied a pulley combination that included an tooth crank pulley and tooth blower pulley which provided a drive ratio of 2.

This combined with the internal step gearing and maximum engine speed of 6, rpm to produce a peak impeller speed of 51, rpm, well below the listed maximum of 65, rpm. After configuring a discharge tube and adding some race fuel, we slowly supplied boost to the boneyard big block. The ignition timing was dropped to 21 degrees and after adding a few jets to the carburetor, we were rewarded with some serious power. Configured with our pulley combination, the YSI spit out a peak boost pressure of The great thing about using a blow-though carburetor combination is the intercooling effect you get from the introduction of fuel.

Temperature measurements taken before and after the carburetor revealed that the fuel cooling dropped the intake charge temperature from degrees before the carb down to degrees after. Despite the impressive cooling powers of the carburetor, we were still concerned about the elevated charge temps going into the carburetor. In an effort to further drop the inlet air temps, we installed a makeshift air-to-water intercooler.

Truth be told, Vortech offered a number of Maxflow Aftercooler systems but we selected an intercooler core we had on hand for testing. The single core from CXRacing featured 3. Using 3. We also took the liberty of installing a Race-Port blow-off valve from Turbo Smart.Why a motorhome? Well, they can be had stupidly cheap, not counting the extra work it takes to remove the engine and then dispose of the lifeless RV.

Of course, the guys wanted to see what the old iron block had in her, so they ran a baseline test. They left all the original parts in place like the two-barrel carburetor and dilapidated ignition system. Only a set of dyno headers and an electric water pump were different. Surprisingly, the laid down an impressive horsepower and pound-feet of torque.

But like any stock engine, there was tons of power left to be squeezed out. Hot Rod decided to bolt up some typical speed parts. The old cast-iron cylinder heads and low-rise intake manifold were dumped in favor of some aluminum PowerOval heads from Trick-Flow with upgraded valvetrain and a Summit single-plane intake manifold. The old camshaft came out, too, with a meatier hydraulic bump stick with 0.

Topping the engine is a borrowed four-barrel Holley XP carburetor. The results: horsepower and pound-feet of torque on octane pump gas! That represents a percent increase in horsepower. Best of all, this engine will make that power all day long without the threat of grenading under the stress of a turbo or supercharger.

454 street build

Now, that poses the question: what would you shoehorn this big-block Chevy into? Read more video news. Cars News Chevrolet Video Car tuning. Mark McNabb. Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from to Read More.

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