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Old 06-02-2013, 04:54 PM
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327 SBC, Chevrolet's Best Small Block?

New member here posting for the first time.

I've been a hot rodder ever since I started reading Hot Rod Magazine in 1961. Although it took a few years I finally figured out that from a financial and performance standpoint it is hard to beat the early Chevy small and big block offerings. You could swap more parts around and get more bang for the buck with Chevrolet. I went to work as a Chevy parts man in the fall of 1967. Except for a stint with Uncle Sam shortly afterwards, I have to say those were the best of times, it was great L88 stuff and buying the then readily available parts for the '57 Bel Air 2 dr hdtp that was then my daily ride. (I wish I had that one back)

Don't get me wrong, I still have a fondness for rump-rump Olds V8s, as well as flathead and 312 Y-block Fords. And early hemispherical head Chryslers but Chevrolet has dominated my thoughts for more than 45 years.

Question. Without getting to deep into the study of plane trigonometry, can anyone validate a quote I seem to remember reading somewhere years ago about the 327 Chevy engine. Somewhere I read that of all the earlier small blocks the 327 had the best bore-to-stroke ratio. The 327s I had were all great runners so I am inclined to agree with that statement.

I have a 3970010 blocked 350 that's been sitting in the garage for close to 20 years now. I'm getting itchy to start a project and have been thinking about picking a late 327 large journal forged crank and building it as an old school 327.

Thanx in advance

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Old 06-02-2013, 05:30 PM
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99.9% certified pure grade A bull ****.

The best sbc from the factory was the LT4, second best was the lt1 or Vortec 5.7l.

The newer LS series engines will run circles around any of them though.

Btw the sbc isn't really the best at anything, the only reason it is used so much is due to cost and mass production. If you want the "best" then forget about running a sbc, or any chevy for that matter. They can be pretty good but there's a big difference between pretty good and best.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:46 PM
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Thanks for your view. Perhaps I should have been a bit more clear in my initial post. I was speaking of Chevrolet's earlier small block offerings, before EFI and center bolt valve covers.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:54 PM
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I think he may be referring to the hemispherical engines made by Dodge in the early Nascar racing days. They became outlawed due to the total domination witnessed on the track.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:54 PM
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On a street car your best bet is max displacement, so a 350 or 400 is easily better, but heads have a lot to do with it, as does cam intake exhaust, etc.

The bore stroke ratio is only important if the displacement is the same.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap72 View Post
...The bore stroke ratio is only important if the displacement is the same.
What do you mean by this?
Displacement is in Cubic Inches Bore Vs. Stroke? What about compression Ratio?
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:05 PM
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What about it?
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:13 PM
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Well if the OP will forgive me for hog'ing his thread temporarily..
I remember hearing way back, 327's revved higher due to the shorter stroke and rod length. Makes sense as the whole rotating mass is much lighter, but I don't remember anything being said for the compressions ratios...
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:38 PM
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The revs aren't limited by the stroke so it really doesn't make sense. They're limited by the valve train.

Also you can have a heavy or light rotating assembly in any stroke combination.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:52 PM
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No, no need to forgive, this is the stuff I'm talking about. I hadn't thought of reciprocating mass as a factor. Would it be a factor in the 4 inch bore block? The 302, 327 and 350 all shared the same bore diameter and rod length so the only differences would be crankshaft crank pin location and slightly different piston pin bore location. With their short stroke he 302s were high reving engines (with their solid lifter cams) but short on torque, The 350s if equipped with the same cam would have had some more torque but less rpm. The 327 should have been in the middle.

The earlier statement is probably true. If all things were equal except displacement The 350 cu in would get the nudge as the preferred engine because of the old saying: There is no replacement for displacement.

BTW If mempry serves me correctly Chevrolet got out of racing in late '64, just as the MK IV big blocks made their debut, and just when the Dodge/Plymouth 426 hemis started down their road to dozens of victories. That and the appearance of the Superbird really said Chrysler was king of NASCAR in the late '60s and early '70s. Those were great times and the old adage, "What wins on Sunday sells on Monday" was very true. The trouble is today you can't buy what wins on Sunday at the local Chvey, Ford or Dodge dealer.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmard View Post
...I have a 3970010 blocked 350 that's been sitting in the garage for close to 20 years now. I'm getting itchy to start a project and have been thinking about picking a late 327 large journal forged crank and building it as an old school 327.

Thanx in advance
Back to the OP's topic... I would measure the block's bore with a digital micrometer. I too received a 3970010 block, but I measured the bore @ 4.100"... Is it possible to machine the block and use cylinder sleeve inserts like as if it were an aluminum block?
I wrote this before bowmard's last post...
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:14 PM
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I am the second owner and am lucky to know the history of this motor since it was new. It's a standard bore, '70 vintage with 90K miles. I've not checked bore size but I figure it will need a rebore, and that will last as long as I'm alive.

BTW. Twenty nine years ago I sold standard bore '62 327 bare block to a drag racing friend who was building in the process of building an econo-rail dragster. That car is still running today with the same '62 327 two bolt main block. After the initial re-bore the block has since been sleeved all around at least once, and maybe twice.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:17 PM
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all the engines have cranks/blocks/heads etc that are mostly inter changeable.Piston speed due to stroke may be an issue at extreme RPMs. how could one engine be better than the other unless there were superior parts that only fit one application.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:03 PM
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I think we're talking stock short blocks. Throw in aftermarket cranks rods blocks etc and it changes things. I mean is a sbc 2.2 still a traditional "sbc"? Not in my book.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:52 PM
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Still love 327's

Hope I'm not to unteck for this post, but I've just painted my 327 for my truck that is to replace the tired 327 that's been in it for a couple of decades. First off my first really great motor was a 283 in a shoe box, when I was 17 and that lost a rod(stock motor but healthy), my next prize winner was the first LT1 short block in western Canada(lucky me), it was 1969 and only the 327's had the 11:1 pistons in anything small block. I put straight plug fuelie heads on the engine(350 LT1)and dropped it into another shoebox and hammered most anything that pulled up beside me. The reason I mention all this is I have had Luck with sbc and thought the LT1 was the best,,Now if your talking killing machine bigger is always better, but for all time sbc the best is the 327 hands down.

One customer of mine back in the day(Dodge boy)had this ballast in his truck(at least he called it that)long story short for 50 bucks my first 327. Did a true run of the mill rebuild,,you know local unknown shop 30 over stock as many used parts as possable. Put the 202 heads from the LT and dropped it into a Nova the car was everyday reliable and went like a cat with it's tail on fire. Wow I discovered the 327 potential. That motor latter ended up in my truck and had no difficulty pulling it around, great power, good milage and reliable,,I mean let it sit for 2 years,,turn the key and first crank we're making steam. For a stock sbc with only a 350hp.hyd.factory cam you can not beat it. GM used them in almost all their land yachts at one time or another

Never forgot that outcome so the replacement 327 is a little bit more of the same but better:20 over TRW 10:1s,small journal crank and rods(Crower sportsman rods),ccd 194 heads(yes this time 194s),modest cam,stainless values,blanced and blue printed w/larger 2 bolt studs on the mains. Why so much effort for a dated 327,,,because it really is the best dam sbc made for modest power and economy with low tec and old school charm. To take a 327 to the hight of performance find a copy of Grump Jenkin's first newstand rag on how to build 327's. His methods are now the knowledge that every performance engine is based on one way or another,even Dodges.
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