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Hot Rods In your opinion what is the best all around cubic inch combination for a hot rod?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. 327-sbc

    119 vote(s)
  2. 283-sbc

    29 vote(s)
  3. 265-sbc

    1 vote(s)
  4. 427-sbc

    9 vote(s)
  5. 302 Ford

    16 vote(s)
  6. 390 Cadillac

    10 vote(s)
  7. 390 FE- Ford

    5 vote(s)
  8. 354 Chrysler

    6 vote(s)
  9. 392 Chrysler

    21 vote(s)
  10. Flatheads rule

    59 vote(s)
  11. 389 Pontiac for Abone

    12 vote(s)
  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,945


    I have a weird fetish for small block Chevrolets. I really like 265's, 283's and 327's. I have never owned one of the stroker motors that are so popular these days. I would like to build something that has the better designed hyd. roller cams for reliability (with all the flat tappet failures).

    I have built an imaginary 327 on paper, several times. I have been fantasizing about starting with the Dart SHP block and building the 327 that Chevrolet should have built.

    Where I get hung up is the free hp you leave on the table by not using the available cubic inches for the same money. It's so easy now to build this off the shelf.

    So my question is this to the guys that have actually owned the stroker motors. Now that you have driven both, what would you build for all around hot rodding?
  2. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,410


    327sbc the biggest sbc you listed. not much for odd motors. nice to look at but not easy for parts or as cheap. i have a 355 full roller and really like it. a stock small block will give most vehicles a little pep. of course mines in a 2400 lb car. im cheap but do like roller cams. i would keep it stock aka smaller cam if i had to do it again.
  3. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,886



    -Brent- and Roothawg like this.
  4. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,945


    OK Jeff, just for you I added Pontiac power.

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,786


    big block 427. But if you have to have a small block, and it's a light car, I guess a 327 would do. But a big block 427 would be a hell of a lot more fun.
    AHotRod, blowby, Lil32 and 9 others like this.
  6. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,762


    @squirrel. Take it from the man! He knows!
    Roothawg likes this.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,354


    Can of worms.jpg

    There is no "perfect CI for a hot rod" it all depends on your personal needs.

    Some guys are happy zipping around town with a little 44 and something CI Crosley banger in a super light 'T modified, Others like Jim want big as in 427 cubes to get down the quarter at a seriously rapid pace. As long as it does what you want to do how you want to do it life is good.
  8. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,814

    from Brooks Ky

    Maybe I'm wrong but I always thought that the basic idea behind building a hot rod was to build the fastest and hopefully reliable car you could reasonably afford. Within that, brand loyalty may affect what size engine is available. There is no replacement for displacement......if someone is really building a hot rod. That's WHY they are called HOT rods instead of luke warm rods.....:p
    swade41, wicarnut, williebill and 5 others like this.
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,786


    Quite true.

    But the added twist of building a traditional hot rod, can change your plans considerably. Most of the engines in his list are really good from a traditional perspective, but might not be the best for performance. Which is just fine.
  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,945


    Keep in mind, I'm not talking pro street or a strip only car. Just a street driven, traditional hot rod.
    ekimneirbo, wicarnut and 31hotrodguy like this.
  11. I’m a Small Block Chevrolet guy, and I love 327’s, but the small journal stuff is getting hard to find around here for a fair price. That being said, I’d build a 350. Like the Mopar racer told me in the stands one night after we both went out in second round, “you Chevy guys can buy your parts at Schnucks’s”! Schnucks’s is a local St. Louis grocery store chain.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  12. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,650


    I tend to use small block Chev. However, I'm using a 1000cc Suzuki 3 cylinder in my '34 Austin because nothing else really fits. Maybe I could go with a HAMB friendly Crosley?

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    chriseakin, Ned Ludd and Roothawg like this.
  13. For SBC, a 383 (4 inch bore +.030, and 3.75 stroke) gives great torque and power. Total area under the curve is great. Add some cam, you still have the cubes to enjoy low end, but can really open up on top end.
    The old saying, no replacement for displacement. Bigger is better.

    Sent from dumb operator on a smart phone
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  14. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,139

    from red oak

    Nail heads have lots more torque.
    j-jock, fegsta, Ned Ludd and 2 others like this.
  15. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,535

    from oregon

    I wanted it all, small block Chevy format, big cubic inch, light block and head weight.
    Didn’t need to be a world beater just reasonable hp and torque for my lightweight roadster, I got all of that, one thing I failed to grasp at first though is they don't have all that in the under $5,000 column, whats a guy to do? can't turn back now, darn, I guess I miscalculated, just don't tell my wife.
    I forgot you wanted cubic inch numbers.
    It's a 427.

    AHotRod, Lil32, ekimneirbo and 6 others like this.
  16. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,386

    lumpy 63

    I tend to mostly build big small blocks, 377, 383 not my favorite.. and 406s with a couple of 427s in the mix. I think I like the 377s the best, they are a blast without a ton of cash outlay.
  17. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 5,577


    IMO, Disclaimer ! My opinions are worth the price paid. The Bang for the Buck, I don't think you can beat a SBC. I've had 2 BBC and the HP/Torque Is impressive to say the least, but they are heavy and now not as available/inexpensive as a SBC. In recent years I've purchased a speed shop crate Hi Performance 355 and a GM crate mild 350 SBC been very happy with both. I've asked this before, are we racing or cruising ? "Speed cost money, How fast do you want to go" I agree with your roller cam idea as there seems to be a rash of cam/lifter failures, I have not had a problem/failure , I use a high zinc oil. I am a Chevy engine guy, in my time I have had engines 265/283/327/348 early BBC/350/355/377/383/406/BBC 427 to 440 and one 454. All were good and served their purpose. BBC Big Cubic inches, low compression, mild cam always produces Big Torque, IMO a mild BBC will outperform a SBC, unless it's pretty healthy. AND again IMO a BBC chevy looks good/Kool factor. Good Luck with your choice, Have Fun !
  18. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,117

    from VA

    I'm a Chevy guy , I have ran SBC & BBC street & full race ,SBC 650 pulse Hp , BBC up to 2,000 Hp ( In one of my 32s experimenting with a Jap 3.0 off topic HAMB motor)
    A high revving 302 that dependable coast $$.
    In a stroker a 377 None aftermarket block , 7,500 RPMs good & reliable . Big bore short stroke .Not a fan of 383 .
    400-411 ( stock GM block )good torque & HP .under 6,500 RPMs.
    I run a 427 sbc after market set up ,18 deg heads , 11:1 , Dart block . (Around 680) little hard on parts / maintenance for street use .
    In a SBC wants you get over 430 ish cubic inches Its best to go with a Tall deck block.Easier on parts. Run in to head gasket issues around 440 cubic inches .
    In the HAMB Not Friendly floor matt,
    LS , over 383 cubic inch motor , 550 hp up for dependable a Tall deck Ls block needed or LS7 .Ls is superior for reliability , easy on parts strong Big Hp. Just Ugly thoe , With work & thought it can be cleaned up to look more traditional.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  19. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,230

    from ohio

    I smell what you're cooking:D NAILHEADS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  20. grumpy65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2017
    Posts: 929


    396 a t bucket of course. ;)
  21. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,092


    Start with a 400 block, and stroke it. Cam & intake selected to make torque from idle to 5000 rpm. Dress it like a 327. You'll grin every time you nudge the gas and that car thrusts you back.
    ratrodrodder, bowie, Roothawg and 3 others like this.
  22. street driven hot rod? with a proper set of gears 3:70's or lower, give me a short stroke, high revving, small block. I put a 327 with a 283 crank in my car with a set of 4:56 gears, pure neck snapping hot rodding. quick is more fun than fast.
    lumpy 63, Dick Stevens, bowie and 2 others like this.
  23. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,266


    I am not a brand specific guy. I will use what fits. What I can find and make work.
    I did small block chevies for years both at the track and on the street, but lately I have been playing with small block fords . Taking me back to my Chevy days I have found that a Ford built the 327 size works really good.
    My latest combo is a .040 over 289 block with a 3.25 Scat crank and rods. It seems to like to rev freely and make good torque. We will find out next weekend when we go to S.C. to the SEGA race and run it in the super stock class in my 65 Comet wagon.
    For a heavier car or truck I think the 500 Caddy is just about perfect. It is not as heavy as a big block Chevy and makes a ton of power and torque with very minor mods.
    AHotRod, 3speedoverdrive and Roothawg like this.
  24. Bang for your buck can’t really beat a SBC in about any size or configuration.

    parts availability and price and ease of build , machine work etc.

    But all the engines in your list kick ass
  25. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,306


    tb33anda3rd and Roothawg like this.
  26. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,581


    In a lite rod, 301” or 331”...
    Roothawg likes this.
  27. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,945


    That’s kinda where I am heading I think, but I do love the short stroke motors.
    chevy57dude, lumpy 63 and bowie like this.
  28. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,677


    Big block Chevy with a 2 series rear end ratio and a Turbo 400... Torque, torque and more torque..
    squirrel likes this.
  29. rustydusty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 1,825


    I'm sure that everyone has their own opinions about what engine combination works best for them. That said, the 283ci in my T has more power than I am willing to use, which makes it really fun when I step on the "go-pedal"!
    I can't imagine a blown big block in a car this size, but lots of guys do it...

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