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Old 11-19-2013, 08:27 AM
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Big Block vs. Small Block Chevy?

I am somewhat of a novice engine builder. I have 2 big block Chevys in the works at the moment. I have built a few of these monsters before. My question is a very general one. For somewhat mild street/strip builds why chose the big block over the small block? I mean it seems when modifiing these engines it is cheaper to get power out of the small block. I guess i am saying to get like say 650 hp out of a small block yes it does take more work and mods and parts than the big block usually, but it is still cheaper to go with the small block. Not to mention the weight advantage of a small block. One advantage I have saw with a big block is they will take more abuse as far as overheating than a small block. I would just like to hear some other thoughts on this. Thanks

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Old 11-19-2013, 08:36 AM
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to 650 hp in a sb is costly as heck. i think that hp number can be reached cheaper in a bbc. 500 hp is cheaper in the bbc. watin for the bashin ! hahaha...
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:18 AM
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Age old argument... We have marathon sessions at the shop. Big block vs Small block..

It really comes down to what you like..

I, for the most part, only build big blocks for myself. Old skool. Ain't no sustitute for cubic inches.. But I build both big block and small block for customers..

It's the combination of parts that makes the difference..
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:29 PM
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My thoughts on a BB being less apt to overheat, I see it being the BB making more torque at lower rpm, using less hi po parts/mods than a SB to get to the same level. JMO
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:43 PM
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440 sbc making 1.5 hp per cube
vs
555 making 1.5 hp per cube for two k
more cost,
you decide
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:56 PM
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I agree Vinnie, my post was meant to compare an off the shelf BB with a SB having to be built to make similar power, operating parameters, i.e. cooling, are more of an issue in the built SB than the relatively stock BB. Hmmm, does that make sense? Now if I was standing on my head, looking out the back window......
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:11 AM
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"No Replacement for Displacement!"

However, recently, I'm beginning to question that old saying myself.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:51 AM
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HP in it's self is a rating for street use way,way,way,overrated.Yeah I know we all where brought up that way.But torque is the major player on the street.Deductive logic says the bigger the c.i.,the lower the torque curve is and is more in a usable rpm range for street vehicles.So the BBC for that is a winner.

For my retirement ride drag race Malibu,I'm going with a BBC mainly because of a need to hit 1.5 60' times and not really tapping the potential of the BBC(easy passes) and there again torque being the major factor.


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Old 11-24-2013, 03:13 PM
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if I didn't already own all the parts to bolt together a bbc short block, I'd pass by the sbc and bbc and head straight to a LSX and turbo.. at least twice the mpg and even more power than most of the latter..
but nothing rumbles like a big block and it's neck snapping ft lb
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:33 PM
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if you can fit it big block it.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:11 PM
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I agree with #1 Gary about the street and torque!! and light to light action is on the bottom end where torque counts!!!!

I grew up with Class racing (wght to cu. in.) I ran big block ,small block, and inline 6s in the same cars and could go from A Gas to C Gas to J Gas with just an engine swap. (to be truthful I had no favorite but each time down the quarter you needed to go faster to take top eliminator! Each engine was built to fit a need in each class but now with bracket racing it doesn't matter how fast you are your brackets are set up for the elapsed time you run if you run too fast you lose. it doesn't matter what wght. car or how well the engine is built or the cu. in. you will fall into a bracket somewhere LOL if its out classed in a bracket put a throttle stop on it and drop to another bracket. The arguing seems redundant in this age with brackets! But years ago when I heard the question it was an argument between the big block guys with heavy cars that needed the huge torque to get the cars up and moving at the bottom end of the track and the high rev small block guys with light cars that wanted quick revving high rpm and top end speed.

Pick where you want your power and RPM with the wght you need to move and then decide if it can be done best with a small block or big block

The engines weight differences weren't that great to overcome by removing or adding wght. to or from a car to fit a class years ago (like a cement spare tire)

My favorite small block I ran was an 11,000 RPM de stroked 302 Chevy in a Vega, my favorite big block I ran was a 7,000 RPM 427 Hilborn injected Chevy in a big Plymouth Fury! ( I also ran a Mopar 440 in a 64 Chevelle LOL) The 302 would not be realistic in the big heavy Plymouth, but the big 427 would have worked in both cars but the Vega would have had a slower E.T with the big block.

Jester


The weights of some Chevy engines
Chevy Corvair flat 6........... 300
Chevy Sprint 993cc L4....... 147
Chevy 1.8-2.0 L4.............. 302
Chevy Chevette 1.6 S.O.H.C.. 300
Chevy Vega L4 .................285
Chevy II 153 L4 ................350
Chevy L6 194-250 .............440
Chevy L6 216/235..............630
Chevy L6 216/235............. 615
Chevy V6-90 229, 4.3........ 425
Chevy V6-60 2.8, 3.1......... 350
Chevy small block V8.......... 575
Chevy LT-5 DOHC 5.7......... 600
Chevy L98 5.7 V8............... 600
Chevy V8 348/409.............. 620
Chevy big block V8 ............ 685
Chevy 454........................ 675
Chevy 427 ZL-1................. 550 ( Copied from the Corvette Forum)

Last edited by painted jester; 11-30-2013 at 09:22 PM.
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