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bigjoedo 03-22-2002 08:53 AM

Big Block vs Small Block Chevy
I have a 3900# Chevy Monte Carlo (1976). It has a 300HP 350CID engine. I want the car to be a quick street Rod, (NOT Pro-Street). Is the small block adequate for this application ? Would I be better off putting a 454CID in the car. Either way, I plan to run 4:11 gears in the rear, and use a single carb.( no Blower or NO2) Thanks for your help.

wellcontrol 03-22-2002 11:12 AM

A 350 can easily work,but a 454 may give you
just that much more in lines of bottom end
grunt.If on a budget,stick with the 350.

BadBowTie 03-22-2002 12:32 PM

One thing to consider is the added weight of the big block, and all the mods needed to get it in.
I have a 370hp 350ci in my 4900lbs car with an auto and it's pretty quick. but with the gears you said you'd be running it should be very quick off the line.
I'd just build up the 350. with good heads, headers and a good intake mached with the right cam and carb, 350 can put out tons of power, you could even stroke it to 383ci to get more torque.
I'm a chemisty man and some times little thing's just bug me Nitrous Oxide is N2O

reddwarf 03-22-2002 09:12 PM

Smallblock sure is a lot are easier to handle too

liquid_larry 03-23-2002 06:18 AM

On the street bigger is better,there is no substitute for cubic inches. A 76 Monti is not a small car and it needs tourque to get it moving. Whether you do it with a big or small block is up to you. If you want it quick the small block will work from stop light to stop light,but with 410 gears it will get old real fast on the highway running 3500rpm at 70mph. Ask yourself why everyone is building 383 and 406 small blocks,its for cubes,the grunt that makes things move. If you had a small car and no room for a big block it would be a different story your car came stock with 454s so going that route is a bolt in. Opinions are like belly buttons and small block chevys,everyone has one,dare to be alittle different and go with a big block :p :D

hogerdoger 03-24-2002 11:16 AM

I would build a big block for the car and consider a 355 or 373 rear gear for the street. with this combo you will have better et's than with the 411 gears and the big block (due to the torqe output of the big block) and lower revs that you can live with on the street. You'll need to consider your front springs and probably step up to a set of stiffer/big block springs, but at least you won't be left craving the power of a big block when your done.

stovebolt 04-01-2002 03:10 PM

Just remember one thing, a big block weighs in at about 719 lbs, when you figure the torgue per lb, small block over big, a stroker small block has a better torgue ratio then the big block and weighs about 175 lbs less on an average. It's up to you, but if it were me, I'd stroke the small block and get nearly the same torgue and HP as a mild big block for one hell of a lot less money...stovebolt

[ April 01, 2002: Message edited by: stovebolt ]</p>

wrenchturner 04-01-2002 03:53 PM

If your counting bucks stick with the small block my opion is small blocks are more dependable and very hp making power plants with not a hole lot of pocket expense compared to big blocks decent heads are key to small blocks but if you want to be a little different and got the dollars go big block gear heads always

liquid_larry 04-01-2002 03:58 PM

Stovebolt,You need to show me how to get 450+ cubes from a small block for less money than building a big block. :)

wrenchturner 04-01-2002 04:28 PM

you need big dollars for 450 cubes my opion 383 will get you 450 ft ibs of torque about $200 for crank not forged and balance it for about $125 pistons around $200 just make sure you notch your block and who ever balance it to grind down the rod bolts that need to clear the cam lobes

PC Hotrod 04-03-2002 07:36 AM

It is easier to get big cheap horsepower out of the BB chevy engines. To help you determine gear ratios and quarter mile times as well as any other performance variations email me more specs on the car (weight, compression ratio, transmission, converter, tires). I will have PC HOTROD calculate the performance in any configuration you specify and email you the reports to you.

Send the specs to the following:

Check this site out so you know what you will be getting in return.

1meancuda 04-03-2002 12:08 PM

I saw an article awhile back in one of the magazines about building a 350 SBC versus a 454 BBC. Their opinion was that for the money spent, the 454 BBC didn't really make that much more power than the 350 SBC.
Personally, I would build the 350. I'm not so concerned about the weight, but I am concerned about the cost. I hate to see people spending millions of dollars and not get the power they could have with a fraction of the price they spent.
I may be wrong about this as I don't really follow Nascar, but don't they run 350 engines punched out to 355? They seem to go plenty fast and don't run big blocks. Granted, they need the lightness of the 350 where as you have a bigger car.

PC Hotrod 04-04-2002 03:57 AM

It is a know fact that more cubes equal more horsepower. Besides, physics drive everything related to making horsepower and torque.

Take the Chevy 502-crate engine. For $5500.00 to $6500.00 you get 502 or more reliable horsepower and a guarantee from GM.

To achieve that kind of horsepower from a small block you'll need to bore and stroke the combination and then in turn you must use the absolute best parts to make it work.

This has now caused you to spend the same amount of money or more to end up with a less reliable engine due to the greater level of modification.

I have been associated with 2 stroked motor build-ups. One was a 350 bored/stroked to 383 and makes about 536 horsepower. (Pulls a 3000lb 1967 Camaro down the quarter in 10.97 seconds)

The other was a 350 bored/stroked to 403 and dynos at 546 horsepower. This engine is approaching $10000.00 and is fairly reliable but very radical (Balanced/blueprinted and everything in between).

This combo is in a 1995 Z28 that is street driven as a sleeper. The car looks stock and has been insanely pushed to 194 mph.

If it helps you to understand cubes versus horsepower visit this site and then email me at the following address:

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

1meancuda 04-04-2002 05:05 AM

I'm not saying that I don't disagree with you. How does the saying go? "There's no replacement for displacement."
All I'm saying is that it's possible to build a 350 to make as much power as a 454. If the builder is concerned about weight, the built 350 is the way to go. True, getting the 350 up to 454 power is probably more expensive, but my point is that it can still be done.
Besides, quarter mile time is not all about horsepower. There are a lot of other factors to consider if building a car simply for quarter mile times.

[ April 10, 2002: Message edited by: 1meancuda ]</p>

critter 04-15-2002 10:12 PM

although more displacement = more power, RPM also = more power, SBC = more RPM. personaly I've always equated 454s with boat anchors. I've seen 427s do alot better in the BBC dept. however, in affordable/streetable power, the SBC is my choice of powerplants from Chevy. just keep in mind that torque gits ya goin/ HP keeps ya goin

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