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Old 07-15-2010, 06:58 PM
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small or big block

I've been wondering this for a while: why is a chevy 400 a small block but a 396 is a big block? I know, it's probably a stupid question. i was just wondering.

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Old 07-15-2010, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog7373
I've been wondering this for a while: why is a chevy 400 a small block but a 396 is a big block? I know, it's probably a stupid question. i was just wondering.
The engine families are separated by the external dimensions of the block itself and not displacement. If you saw a 396bbc next to a 400sbc it would make a lot more sense.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:09 PM
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ok, that makes sense.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:05 PM
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I'm going to throw a curve here. What is a real Pontiac with a bore spacing of 4.62", from the origional 287 through the 455, compared to SBC bore space of 4.40" and BBC at 4.84". Is it a small block or big block?
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by WDCreech
I'm going to throw a curve here. What is a real Pontiac with a bore spacing of 4.62", from the origional 287 through the 455, compared to SBC bore space of 4.40" and BBC at 4.84". Is it a small block or big block?
I wouldn't compare them. Pontiac is just Pontiac to me. Same with Buick, Olds and Cadillac.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:30 PM
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I would call the Pontiac design an anomaly. Never used one myself, but remember a silver '58 Star Chief 389 from my youth that REALLY hauled the mail. I also remember seeing an OEM mechanical fuel injection system on a '58 389. Black tubes on top of the motor is about all I remember of it and I never saw another one like it.

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