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Old 10-26-2007, 09:38 AM
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does the small block chevy have a "proper" name?

First off when it comes right down to it I'm a Ford guy. I always hear the term "big block" and "small block" being thrown in Ford circles and it just makes me shake my head.

Especially when someones asks what the difference is and i point out that there isn't a small and big block Ford, there's a 90*, a 335, a 385, an FE, etc. and they tell me that I am wrong or misinformed, they say that Ford's are small and big blocks.

The misinformation has spread so much that it has become fact and it just boggles my mind.

Anyway, back to the original question. Since the real name of the Ford "small block" (289, 302, etc) is the "Ford 90* V8" and the real name for the "big block" Ford (370, 429, 460) is the "385 series" it got me to wondering; does GM have actual names for it's engine familes as well?

I know currently the GM small block is known by "generations" and the big block is known by "marks", but when they first came out what did GM proper call them?

Justin

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Old 10-26-2007, 10:28 AM
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Ford has about a bazillion different V8 designs so all the names. Chevy just has the traditional small block since 1955 and the traditional big block since 1965-66. The definitions are getting a bit blurred recently with GM calling the new generation of V8's small blocks.

Vince
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:33 AM
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So was it just the chevy v8 when it first came out? then what did they call the big block to differentiate it from the small block or the W series? That's what i'm trying to figure out is what GM called them at corporate.

Justin
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:21 PM
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On occasions you will hear the small block referred to as the "Mouse" and the big block as the "Rat"
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:59 PM
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i know rat and mouse, I'm wondering what someone at corporate GM would have called the 350 chevy in 1969. would he have called it the small block 350 or the (insert block name here) 350.

Like at Ford corporate when the 429 first came out it would have been the "385 series 429".

Justin
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:10 PM
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LT's and Vortechs....or are they not smallblocks?
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:17 PM
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What does it really matter ..... it's like Shakespear said ... " a Bowtie by any other name would still spank a blue oval ..... "
JK


I didn't mean to stir the pot .......
hey ...did you say pot ??

I don't know what GM proper called em. I call em easy to fix when they break .

Last edited by 79C10; 10-26-2007 at 03:19 PM. Reason: my spelling was reallllly screwed up.....
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:13 PM
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Quote..........."Generation I - The Onslaught
In 1955, Chevrolet introduced the Small Block V8. So called because of its compact design, this first V8 featured 265 CID of displacement and produced 180 hp"

So, I guess it was called a Small Block...........I just call them ......"The Best"

In 58, the "W" motor (348)came out...........and in 65, the Mark IV (396)...........
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:19 PM
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Mouse and Rat are nicknames assigned by the hotrodding community. As far as I know Chevy did not name the small block. They did call their engines "TurboFire" however.

Vince
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:15 PM
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In my 79 chev truck manual

I Believe-----
The small block is refered to as a small block----305, 350, 400

The 454 is refered to as a 'Mark' I am not sure where the 'IV' came from.

Unless---265/283 as I
348/409 as II
327 as III
396 as IV------and the "MARK" just stayed with the big boy.

Just a guess here

Bryan
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:32 PM
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big blocks are easy.

Mark I is the 348/409
Mark II is the "mystery Motor"
Mark III was a series that was prototyped but never released
Mark IV was the 369/454 from 65 until 1991
Gen 5 is the 454/502 from 1991 to 1995
Gen 6 is the 1996 up 454
Gen 7 is the 8.1

Justin
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:15 AM
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far as I know it was just small block followed by the cubes.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoxviii
i know rat and mouse, I'm wondering what someone at corporate GM would have called the 350 chevy in 1969. would he have called it the small block 350 or the (insert block name here) 350.

Like at Ford corporate when the 429 first came out it would have been the "385 series 429".

Justin
How old are you guys? Young punks, all of you. The Chevy "small block" was called a Chevy and NOTHING ELSE until about 1977 when they started putting them in other GM cars. There was no reason what so ever to call them anything but a CHEVY because that is what they WERE a CHEVY engine found ONLY in Chevys. NO ONE would have dreamed of finding a Chevy engine in an Olds or Buick prior to that year, it was ludicrious to even think of such a thing. You were buying a friggin Pontiac it better damn well have a Pontiac motor in it. As I said it was such a ludicrious idea that it never crossed anyones mind. Then came 1977........I think that was the exact year. Anyway, my dad was a Buick salemen (since 1957) and he came home one day with horrible news, he had new Buick Regals coming in with CHEVY motors in them! Now, I don't know if Buick motor division had let them know ahead of time and this was the day he came home worried, or if they had just sprung the "good news" on the Buick dealerships by dropping off their new Buicks with a Chevy under the hood. But all I know is he was sick to his stomach. People bought Buicks because they were BUICKS, not Chevys with Buick emblems on them. I remember him saying "Wait until the public hears about this". And sure enough, it was in the news, I mean NEWS a little while later. It was a big deal, a "fraud" in many peoples eyes (me included).

That is when GM started using the name "Corporate" meaning that it was a "GM" motor and should or could be put in ANY GM car, get used to it.

The Buick motor was gone just like that. The Pontiac motor was gone, just like that. The Olds small block and big block hung around a little while and you could find them in other brands like the big block olds in TransAms and the small block in the Cad Seville. But the days of five truely different GM brands were over, GM was now all Chevy's with different emblems on four of them.

I don't remember most of the details because frankly, I couldn't care less about any car made after the sixties. I still don't, I LOVE cars, don't get me wrong. But I have no passion about what motor is in what kinda thing, they are all just "Corporate" cars, hell there is almost do difference between all the cars made all over the world at this point. There are a few, a very few that stand out (or sink down) but most are "just cars" that get you from point A to point B and I just can't get "excited" about much of any of them.

Now, when the "Big block" Chevy came out in 65 as mentioned earlier, they had to differentiate it from the other Chevy motors, so it was called "Big block" the "W" motor had no particular "nick name" that I know of other than "W" or simply 348 or 409. The small block was called a "small block" or mouse as long as I can remember being a car nut since the mid sixties.

By the way, there are a number examples of GM putting other brand motors in a car or truck over the years. The difference was they were "sold" by the dealers a little at a time and not "dumped" on the public as my dad said. For instance, did you know that Chevy big trucks in the Fifties had a Buick 322 Nailhead in them? Buick Skylarks in the early 70's with an inline six had a Chevy 250. But these isolated events didn't seem to excite anyone.

Brian
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:01 AM
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Yeah, in 1977 I was 8 years from being born

Allright, that works for me. I was just trying to figure out if GM coined the term "small block" to name their motors or if someone just started calling them small blocks and it stuck around.

I got in a bit of a discussion with a friend since I'll only call a GM product a small or big block. If it's a Ford or Mopar I'll call them by their series names. It confuses people at first, but then once they realize how much more descriptive using the series name is and how much discussion it saves they tend to get over it.

My favorite is the Ford 351M. It has the same bore spacing as the 90* V8's (302, 351W), heads closer to the 385 (460), has the 385 series bellhousing pattern, shares more parts with the 90* than the 385, but is physically larger than the 90*. So is it a "big block" or a "small block"? Neither, it's a 335 series Ford V8.

It just saves so much time in the end to call it what it is (other than a boat anchor, of course )

Justin
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:20 AM
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small block

dont recall any names. THe 6 was blue flame I think.
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