Is a 348 or 409 a BIG BLOCK or SMALL BLOCK? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 02-13-2005, 06:36 PM
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Is a 348 or 409 a BIG BLOCK or SMALL BLOCK?

I ran across a 348 in a truck that I can get for nothing. It looks as though it's been rebuilt with little mileage because it's all painted and looks like NEW. The guy wants to junk the truck and I was originally interested in the valve covers because I collect them. After further thought, I'd like to use it for my HotRod but I'm concerned if I can bolt another tranny to it or not. Anyone know if any other tranny's will bolt to it? Is a 348 a small block or big block. Does anyone make a blower setup for this type of motor? Or would a 350 intake fit it? What is a ballpark figure on the value of a decent 348?

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Old 02-13-2005, 06:51 PM
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348-409 was Chevies big block before the 396 came out in 65. It has the same tranny bolt pattern as a SB or BB Chevy. Very little else will fit. The intake will not.

You will have a tough time finding a blower manifold for it.
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Old 02-13-2005, 06:52 PM
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??

the 348 was a big block????
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Old 02-13-2005, 07:00 PM
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Big Block or Small Block is not always about displacement (cubic inches)....It's more about the bulk of the block itself, or how much room it takes up on the outside.

Besides, Chevy's biggest small block until 62 was 283 cu in.
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Old 02-13-2005, 07:06 PM
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W block?
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Old 02-13-2005, 07:17 PM
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Yup! Thats what they called the engine with the funny valve covers W block. Also porcupine, Truck motor and boat anchor.
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Old 02-13-2005, 07:43 PM
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wow

you can really learn a lot when you arent being an *******... lmao... j/k
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:07 PM
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Wedged compression chambers.

They are worth a small fortune to those restoring those years.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Troy
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:32 PM
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yep, 348 was a big block...actually at the time they didnt refer to em as big/small block. The porcipine name is the traditional big blocks with canted valves.
shares fuel pump & oil pump with others...can use BB rocker arms, not much else interchanges
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:54 PM
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348 Value

I also have my eye on a 348 with tri-power that is sitting in pretty good condition with an automatic transmission. What are the 348's worth?
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Old 02-13-2005, 09:08 PM
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........the 348 ( W block ) is a great piece of chevrolet history. First introduced in the 58 model and lasted untill 1961. Then the legendary 409 was born from this design and lasted till jan1 / 65 when the 396 came to be. The 348 had chevs first tripower setup. It came with either the single 4 bbl or the 3 duece rochesters. They bolt up to all the chev V8 trans / bell housings. The unique valve cover design ( some had raised bowties ) and overall width of the engine make it a eye catcher. The W block got it's name from the wedge shaped combustion chambers which are in the block and not in the head like all other chev V8's. The piston had a /\ top design. They were a good torgueing motor and had a nice deeper sound to them. They didn't like over revving and thus on the track guys did blow them up. Nothing much interchanges with the other V8's, dist, water pump, manifolds, etc etc are all unique to the 348/409. I have a full custom 58 Impala rag and a mild custom 58 Impala sport coupe both with the 348 tripowers. I love these motors and they always draw attention at a car show. To verify that the motor in that truck is a 348 , look for the dipstick on the left side ( drivers ), 409's were on the right side. Cars had 348's 58-61 , trucks had them up to 65 if I remember right.
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Old 02-13-2005, 11:00 PM
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Thats a well detailed, good looking engine compartment. You don't see many of those anymore.

In 59 I had a new two door HT impala 348 with tri power. Special edition built by Racer Brown (Calif). When I blew that one I put a 409-409 in and liked it even better. I later put two afb's on a home made very high rise manifold and a Isky cam, bored to the max, which was a lot. The pistons looked like gallon buckets. It was my first factory 4 speed, had 410 gears. For a couple of years it was the hottest thing around. I sure would like to have it now.

Troy
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Old 02-14-2005, 06:47 AM
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That's a neat looking motor Nailhead. I was just searching on Ebay for the availability of parts for the 348 and saw a *****IN' 6x2 carb and intake setup for one (YEAH 6 - 2 BARRELS). It was a bit spendy for me but looks awesome. Are the motor mounts on a 348 interchangeable with other motors? I would like to pull this 348 apart to see what the combustion chambers/pistons look like but the guy said it ran great so I probably better not.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:33 AM
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Nailhead, thanks for posting the pix. Never too old to learn something or steal an ideal. Having all the engine guages on the firewall is a neat deal and will do that some day!!

Trees
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:38 AM
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...thanks guys. Yes the motor mounts are the same 3 bolt type as other V8's. Yeah I think dr409 has some neat performance accessories for this style of V8. This one pictured I built is 060 over , originally a 315 hp out of a 59 el camino. I basically chromed everything that unbolted from the motor including oil pan, done the inner fender wells too, etc. My other tripower is a stock 58 with 280hp and does 17mpg highway with the a/c on driving in cruise. Was my idea to put the guages in the firewall as the spot was perfect and it gave 5 points in the car show. Took me 3 years to build that car, finished in 87.
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