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Cubic Inch Addiction

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by OldColt, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. OldColt
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 504


    This topic may have been discussed on the HAMB before.

    I've had this pet peeve for probably 50 years, and need to vent a bit. :mad:

    It's almost like Martin Luther King once said "Judge a car not by it's whole, but solely on it's engine displacement".

    Don't get me wrong. I love those rumbling 400+ cubic inch big blocks as much as the next guy.

    Many folks (especially before the current buzz bomb tuner crowd) had no interest in mine or any other car with less than say 350-400 cubes. Maybe the muscle car era influenced this. Doesn't matter how nice the car is, doesn't matter how efficently the engine is built up, or anything else. Their own, or buddy's car with a bigger engine is always assumed superior, even if it is a junk yard reject smoke bomb. :confused:

    Heck, even a nice Model T or A with a little four banger is sweet to me, and deserves appreciation. :)

    Thanks, I vented now.

    --- Steve ---
  2. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    from Kent, Ohio

    I love a small engine wound tight

    The 327s where giving the BB boys fits when they came out
  3. SBCWelder
    Joined: Jun 24, 2013
    Posts: 51


    I would have to agree. I love the sound of a big inch V8, but can certainly appreciate anything that's well built.
    It all comes down to Power/ Weight ratio if you're looking for speed. There's nothing wrong with a banger or a small block in the right application.
    Personally, I like to see oddball stuff under the hood. A guy can only look at so many of the same engine.
  4. Yeah, the 327's are sweet but give me an aluminum headed solid lifter 427 any day. :) You know the saying, "there's no replacement for displacement." :D

  5. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,031

    seb fontana
    from ct

    ""Cubic Dollars""
  6. TERPU
    Joined: Jan 2, 2004
    Posts: 2,273


    It's just Ignorance on their part. It's easy to brag about displacement. But the Whole drivetrain has to be mated for the purpose. 500 Cubes and 2:73 gears through an Auto makes for a very nice Highway cruiser. While 327 Cubes, four speed, and 4:11 or 4:55 gears makes for a really fun stop light car that'll shut down alot of big inch cars. It's all in how much you know about the process. I used to love to beat F-Heads with my Banger from stoplight to stoplight. I couldn't beat them on the big end but I always got them out of the hole.

    Stingray your Avatar is delicious

    All the best,

  7. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,841

    from Missouri

    Big block or no block
  8. OldColt
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 504


    Yeah, i think you kind of hit the nail on the head there SBCWelder. The folks that frequented the strip realized it was all about power to weight ratio and chassis efficiency.
    This seems to more a street only crowd thing.
    We all know that say, a little 63 Chevy II with a gorgeous paint job, and roller cammed and tunnel rammed 327 is far slower and less desirable than some jerks 4 door station wagon with a 400 cubic inch whatever stock 2bbl motor with rust spots and blad tires.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  9. Lazlobassett
    Joined: Apr 12, 2010
    Posts: 478


    I love it all, have a banger in my '31 Roadster with way too much into it and a '71 RS/z-28 with a pump gas 600 inch big block. That makes 950- hp with no gas. I'm scarit of it....
  10. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,728


    Maybe it's my age and the people I hang around with. A car well done, is a car well done no matter what engine.
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,581

    Rusty O'Toole

    Newbs may think that way. Nobody who has been around and has any understanding of cars and engines.
  12. SBCWelder
    Joined: Jun 24, 2013
    Posts: 51


    Hey, all the people I know that have driven old station wagons swear that they do the best burnouts. That must mean they're fast, right?
  13. OldColt
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 504


    Lol SBCWelder. Only once did I change the mindset of a cubic inch worshipper. He took me up on a grudge race challenge at the strip. It was his first time, and his big bad 390 followed my pathetic little 302's tail lights all the way down the track.
  14. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    That was popular thinking, when I was in high school. But when I got all growed up, I learned that efficiency is what it's all about. I love seeing and hearing a banger or a straight 6 smoke a big block.
    Joined: Oct 2, 2011
    Posts: 135


    Ran BlownBlu55's half a 55' last year at day of the drags. He's got one of those high winding 283's with a heavy flywheel, five speed and a whole lotta gear in the rear. I barely won the race, but I have never heard anything so "ANGRY" sounding as that little motor buzzing to the moon next to me all the way down the track. I just knew any second he was gonna go by me and say bye bye.
  16. thebugbox
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 255


    I enjoy anything well built... but... 490 ft lbs of torque at 2000 rpms with regular unleaded out of my Big Block is something you have to feel to appreciate regardless if you can beat me off the line. :)
  17. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 892


    Jest sayin', that this bothers you maybe says as much about you as it does about them.
  18. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,190

    from Michigan

    Just keep telling yourself, "It's not how big it is, it's how you use it."
  19. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,839


    2 x SBC in both my GM cars and a BBF (390FE) in my old '66 GTA Fairlane. Nothing like a BB for torque etc. Going faster costs $$$.
  20. mart3406
    Joined: May 31, 2009
    Posts: 3,055

    from Canada

    I don't know..I'm kind of fond of
    sixes the 'hot rodded 'four
    and a quarter' Cat that I had in my
    old '87 Freightliner - six cylinders
    inline, 964 cubic inches, with a
    turned up fuel pump, upsized turbo
    and injectors, dual six-inch straight
    pipes and 540 hp at the wheels at
    2100 rpm and 1900 ft./lbs. of torque
    at 1400 rpm! :D

  21. SBCWelder
    Joined: Jun 24, 2013
    Posts: 51


    The biggest big block I've ever driven was a 998 cubic inch Mack V8, but it's not exactly apples to apples. It sure did sound cool though.
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,581

    Rusty O'Toole

    A friend of mine was trying to buy a nice 56 Chev hardtop with a built big block, advertised as a 600HP engine with 4 speed transmission. They could not get together on price, the seller kept saying how much he had spent on the motor. So my friend asked, how much without the motor?

    The seller allowed as how he had a stock 350 and automatic OD trans he had taken out of a junker, and offered to swap them into the car, and sell it at a price they could agree on.

    2 weeks later my friend called him up to ask if he had finished the engine swap. The seller said he had changed his mind, he was no longer interested in selling. With the stock engine the car was so much nicer to drive, and got such good mileage, he was using it as his daily driver.
  23. iarodder
    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 214


    I would have to say that I sold my 468 big block truck in favor of a I6 car with a 235 stovebolt....I miss the sound of the B.B. but I love the difference in mileage. That being said if I had an unlimited budget it would be a 632 c.i. with an 8-71 for this guy nothing screams nasty like lots of cubes.....been there done that, I just prefer to go places now instead. But I have to admit nothing gets your attention like a solid rollered big block with high compression through flowmaster mufflers.
  24. bambbrose
    Joined: Dec 29, 2008
    Posts: 226

    from So. Utah

    I agree with many comments here.

    I much prefer a well balanced car.

    The engine must match the drivetrain, which must match the tires/suspension, which must have enough meat to lay down the power.

    Too many motors are oversized with too much down low and nothing up top, and don't have the tires/suspension to lay down all the torque.
  25. Lytles Garage
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 621

    Lytles Garage

    Yea, but did you ever drive a 2000 LB car with a 598 cu in shafiroff 14-1 BBC in it ?? Chris
  26. I'm a gear head, so I like all engines, no matter if it's under the hood or bolted to my lawnmower. I like mechanical things, and I don't get all hung up about what country they were built in. I've had them in all different sizes, and each one had it's own endearing qualities. To argue about "small vs. big" is a topic that will never be settled. Build what you like and have fun with it. Don't get pissed off over it, because at the end of the day, we're ALL gearheads and we're doing what we like.

    For the best of both worlds, I really love the 427 Chevy. Revs like a small block, has torque like a big block, and they sound awesome when you turn 'em loose.

    Any more, I always build as big an engine as I can afford, if the engine compartment space allows it. Smokey Yunick always used to say, " A good big one will always beat a good little one"
  27. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,250

    Ned Ludd

    I like engines of all sizes. There is a lot of fun to be had with 100bhp or less if one is just out to enjoy oneself and isn't up against someone else. It's about light weight, communication, responsiveness, that kind of thing.

    It is said that there is no replacement for cubic inches but in a sense supercharging is close to that, though not so much replacement as an alternative source. Cubic inches mean nothing if not cubic inches of air being pumped per unit of time, by whatever means. The buzz-box guys make much of the electronic aspect, which I personally dislike, but it's more a case of turbocharging plus lightweight, rev-friendly reciprocating assemblies and valve trains resulting in a lot of air being pumped very quickly.

    Having said that, there is a peculiar charm to a big, lazy engine, be it a classic American big-block V8 or an "Edwardian monstrosity": effortlessness, durability, straight-forward understandability. The thing about those enormous Edwardian engines is that they were often incredibly light; they were little more than shrouds enclosing great gulps of air. It's a perfectly valid approach, if you ask me: say, 1200 cu. in. in the sort of tune one would expect from a light aircraft engine, making perhaps 150bhp and 500lb.ft and weighing little more than a particularly robust two-litre four.

    Then of course there is stuff like Landini tractors:
    40-48bhp from a 745 cu. in. hot-bulb semi-diesel single ...
  28. I got 500 cubes in one car, and exactly half that in the other. No bias here (as long as it wears a bowtie!)
  29. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,247


    I'm rethinking my engine choices as I get older (37), I barely have time to work on my car, let alone go racing. So I need a good driver with respectable power. I've got most of a 434 sbc sitting on the shelf, not much point if I'm gonna run up and down the highway. A 5.7 rod 406 or one of the pile of steel crank 350's will be just fine. Good heads is where the money needs to be spent, I see a lot of builds with a 7000rpm short block with a 5000 rpm set of heads
  30. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020


    It's relative to when you grew up. When I grew up in an age of 3/8ths by 3/8ths flatheads, 300 inches was a big engine. A 4X4 Cad at 400 inches was a mountain motor. Things change and everybody thinks their youth was the only one.

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