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Old 02-02-2007, 12:31 PM
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Which SB is narrower Ford or Chevy?

Hi
I've been trying to find out the answer to this question for a while without success. I am looking for an engine for a custom application (similar to early Ford roadster) and I have a width restriction.

Almost all the engine dimension web sites give width without exhaust manifolds, which doesn't really help me. I have even made various calls to the places that sell custom headers, block huggers, etc. and they couldn't tell me overall widths, only how far they come out from the heads.

The one exception is the page on this site which does give dims. with headers but states the Ford is 2 inches narrower than the chevy, all the other sites say the chevy is narrower (without headers).
Can anyone verify these dimensions or if you have the measurements of your own engines give me your own dimensions?

Thank you for any info. I am new to hot rodding and this is my 1st post so let me know if this post doesn't make any sense!
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:40 PM
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SBF is 1.5"-2.0" narrower than a SBC. That includes factory manifolds as far as I recall, but the manifolds are about the same width on both.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:29 PM
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The Ford is definately narrower........another thing to think about is distributer location. I have a friend who put a SB Chev in a 26 Ford....had to sink it way into the firewall...thus, distributer is hard to get at....If he had used the Ford, it wouldnt be half the hassle.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:10 PM
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The small block Ford is narrower than the Chevrolet by a couple of inches but longer by 4-5 inches or more. The water pump housing is the culprit here but there are shortened Ford pumps available and other pump options can be done. Problem is they can't be serviced on the road if something craters or leaks.
Distributor location can be an advantage but dollar for dollar power has been the telling number for most rodders. That is why Chevy powered rods predominate in numbers and dollar value when sold.

I have no preference for powerplants and am happy to see the Studebaker V8s, Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles, Buick nailheads, Hemis of all Chrysler persuasions, Jimmy big 6s, Ford big 6s, flathead Ford V8s, any old flathead 6, and even the 4bangers from T-A-B Fords to Crosleys to MG to Datsun to Toyota to 2.3 Ford and others being used more frequently.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:56 PM
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Ford, but on some the oil filter location can present problems. Still would prefer a Chevy though .

Vince
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:41 PM
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Gotta look at pan configuration as well..How are you going to make that clear and fit..there are ways around the issue tho..

Sam
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:40 AM
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Thank you for the replies. I don't have any length problems. So the total width of a Ford sb is 24 inches. Can it be made narrower with aftermarket headers?

I'm thinking I might eventually have to go with an inline engine. What are the common inlines that hotrodders use?

I saw a Jaguar XK twin overhead cam with 3 dual side draught webers and everything polished and painted. It's one of the best looking engines I have ever seen. But to make it reliable and look good costs big money. Anyone here using one of these?
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:13 AM
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I guess the next question would be...are you talking about the age-old installation of a modern American V8 in and XK series Jaguar Roadster/Convertible Coupe/Coupe??
A friend installed a 350 Chevrolet V8 in a 1954 XK140 Roadster with a Turbo 350 Automatic transmission. He retained the original Jaguar rearend and refurbished the drum brake system and wire wheels. The car turned out nice and fast too! The brakes were inadequate though. He sold it to a kid who worked in a local import repair shop. The boy installed a 454 V8 and changed the front and rear brakes to modern later Jag disc units and used the later wires and tires as well, just about a bolt-on to the early spindles and rearend he told us. He crashed the car several weeks after the build was finished, survived because of the seatbelts my friend had installed but the car totally destroyed. A shame.
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Old 02-03-2007, 08:06 AM
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Here's a good site for your engine dimension questions. I have it bookmarked just for this kind of info.

Interestingly, Ford and Chevy are about the same length with Ford using the serpentine short water pump, but best of all, it's over 100 pounds lighter.

http://carnut.com/specs/fengdim.html

Dave
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Old 02-03-2007, 08:21 AM
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No this project has nothing to do with Jaguar, I just liked the look of the engine.

Irelands child
I'm familiar with that web site. It doesn't give dimensions with manifold.
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:51 AM
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You are not going to gain or lose much width with headers vs stock exhaust manifolds, but you can vary the position of the dump location. When you examine "block hugger" exhaust manifolds, the dump is curled closer to the block vice going straight down and this can be the difference when it comes to clearing the frame, steering box etc. You have to look at the fore and aft locations of the dumps as well because of cross members, X members etc. Chevy after markets and original productions have a much wider range to select from to solve clearance problems and that is why the "cookie cutter" SBC is king in the older hot rods.

Trees
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child

-Here's a good site for your engine dimension questions.-

Interestingly, Ford and Chevy are about the same length with Ford using the serpentine short water pump, but best of all, it's over 100 pounds lighter.

Dave
  • The FORD is lighter than the SBC.

  • It is also narrower.

  • Distributor position is important (forward postion being more advantageous obviously) but I have read where there is an installation problem with the FORD forward sump pan.

  • There are several FEAD and WP designs to shorten the SBF for easier installation.

  • There is a readily available adaptor to turn the SMF oil filter to better fit a particular chassis.

*******

In all discussions of Ford V8 engines, it is extremely important to understand that Ford, unlike its competitors at the time, did not have just small block and big block engines. Ford engines generally came in three size ranges, sized to best suit the application.

Last edited by Croz; 04-22-2012 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Profanity. Please see: general board guidelines.
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:34 AM
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www.fordsix.com

Put a 200, 250, or 300. I would like to put a 250 in my Mustang at some point. After I break my 200 though, it is a beast. =D Not too hard to get good numbers out of the 6ers if you do it right. =D Go to fordsix.com. I'm Wilhelmus over there. It'll be a great time. =D
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Old 02-05-2007, 10:56 AM
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The Ford in-line six is a good choice, Chevy 250 in-line would be good too. Consider a Jeep 4.0L as well. Lots of aftermarket support, and if rebuilding pretty easy to bring it up from 258 to 280 inches (that's what I have). The ideal in-line six would be a 2006 GM OHC though. EFI and variable valve timing. Only problem would be cost. The Ford 300 is rather tall with EFI -- the intke wraps over the valve cover. Cool looking though. The Jeep EFI six looks more traditional when you adapt a standard air filter to the throttle body like I did. You can run a carb on it as well. Clifford still makes triple Weber setups for the AMC/Jeep, Chevy, and Ford in-lines.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:16 PM
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I thought the Ford 300 would be a good choice but I hear it is heavy on gas.
Don't know anything about the others but it would be nice to have something traditional looking.
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