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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. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,680


    For starters you want the starter on the passenger side.. lol
  2. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 447


    Pffftt....I'll put the same high revvin' valvetrain parts in a 383, 406, 414/421 SBC and you'll need binoculars to see my tailights from behind the wheel of that weeny 302.

    Short stroke means nothing anymore, now that crank and rod materials and valvetrain parts have evolved you can build off-the-shelf 7500+ rpm 383 and 400-ish SBC's with zero problems.....they run around local circle tracks every weekend all summer long, and plenty of them on the street and at the drags.

    The short stroke superiority has long since been proven false. Short stroke means nothing when you give up 200+ hp to your opponent.
  3. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,036

    Speed Gems

    That's why they used to call them reliability runs. To see who had the fastest most reliable Hot Rod.:D
  4. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,036

    Speed Gems

    They have an adaptor to fix that on the older Olds engines.
    triumph 1, Elcohaulic and Roothawg like this.
  5. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 423


    In response to the OP original question: 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?
    I have a Dart SBF bored and stroked to 427 in my 40 sedan. I built the car to be a daily driver including long trips back and forth to AK. I have been very happy with the performance and drive-ability. For a long distance driver I would do it again but I'm building a 53 Merc for my 40 coupe and I would have no problem using the flathead for a daily driver as that is what I had back in the fifties and I drove the hell out of it. However, I have a lot more peace of mind cruising the Utah interstates at 85 MPH with the 427. It really depends upon what your personal definition of "all around hot rodding is?
    chevyfordman, ekimneirbo and Roothawg like this.
  6. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,285


    I have two favorite SBCs. Both based on the 400 block and both are easier to build today with the parts that are available.
    #1. If you like the revs, the 377 is hard to beat. It's the 302's big brother. 400 block destroked to 377 with a 350 crank. Scat has a crank that eliminates the need for main bearing spacers, or Dart has a 400 bore block with 350 mains. When I was a bit younger it became my go to when I gave up on 301s.
    #2. My current favorite, the 5.7" rod 406. The 6" rod will perform a bit better, but the wrist pin gets into the oil rings and I don't like ring spacers on a street engine. Respectable revs and a bunch of torque.

    With the current cost of machine work and original 400 blocks getting harder to find, the Dart SHP is a great value and it's a bunch cheaper to put a roller cam into than having to use a retro fit roller in an original block.
    And I will add that I have them internally balanced so I can run any size dampener and flywheel.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  7. Fitnessguy
    Joined: Sep 28, 2015
    Posts: 1,472


    Drove a 500hp 383 in my 68 Camaro for years. Full roller, all top name internals, Dart aluminum heads, Quick Fuel 750 DP. Motor was built by Prestige Motorsports outta Carolina. Once I got the carb tuned for our location all I ever did is change oil and that’s it. Big torque so pulled super hard, big cam so sounded wicked. Obviously she was thirsty but I never thought I was driving a Honda Civic! Living in Canada our cars sit for six months, gotta have a roller motor. My 409 was rebuilt with all top name internals and it’s a full roller motor as well. Only way in my OP unless you live somewhere you get to drive your car year round.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,073

    Deuce Daddy Don

  9. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,223

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Q= depends{ no ,not cuz I'm old;LOL} But what car an what time frame you'd like to most be like=from new/now,or how far back, as you like best.? Those two thing shape your pick.
    I talked before on other post about those now,looking back to find info ,then forming ideas based on what the read or saw in the mag.s or just hear from some other;who may of done same thing<<Some times that leads to a misread of how it was .
    If you pick 1954 or 55 as your time to copy. By todays info,you may think a 265 SBC would be good,from all the mag. hipe about it. Lot of push adds from Chevy. But real life at the time 265 was brand new, hipe was the name of game,just like it is with other new stuff.
    My Dad got a brand new Chevy V8 265=it was pile of crap,leaked,smoked,poor power,he took it back to dealer so many times, Dealer finally put a new 283 V8 in,just as the 1956 cars were coming out. Now that was a good engine.

    Point being ,if you going to used a SBC 265v8,know 1954/55 are no likely time to copy,move your copy time up to maybe 1956+{no real hot rodder,the type that built rods in there back yard or if lucky a garage in 1955,would of wanted 265,the word was out on those} tell 283 SBC was not much in real life,but big in adds of mag's.

    So now the real for most of us in the 1950s up to 60 was ,we were low $,so best V8 engine was what we could find for free or very cheap. Yes there was a plan,but limited by $,kind same as most of us now also !!
    wicarnut, tb33anda3rd and Roothawg like this.
  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,950


    I missed a lot of engine options, but I was mainly thinking along my personal preferences. The Nailheads, Olds 324, 371 etc.
    triumph 1, dana barlow and Elcohaulic like this.
  11. rpu28
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 140

    from Austin

    The '39 coupe I drove in college had a 327.

    The Model A I'm building now has a '46 flathead because that's what makes the vehicle look right; that's what makes it a hot rod.

    If I wanted a bunch of horsepower in a street car, I'd buy a new Mustang.
    Deuces and dana barlow like this.
  12. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,663


    A warmed over 312 Y-block would be my first choice, if it were on the list.
    dana barlow and Roothawg like this.
  13. I was going to mention that he left out the 427" BBC. Just for you (and me I like 'em too).
    If your hot rod is a later model (mid '50s to mid '60s) I really like a 396" BBC. But I am an odd duck.

    Jim ( @squirrel ) if I could build anything that I wanted to build today I would really like a 396 powered '64 Chevelle. I wouldn't even care how many doors it had. LOL
    Elcohaulic, wicarnut, Blues4U and 2 others like this.
  14. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,814

    from Brooks Ky

    The thing want to be sure that some soccer mom in an SUV or a kid in a nitrous Honda isn't going to embarass you. Hands down, a smallblock Chevy is the cheapest to build and a 383 can produce a streetable 450 Hp.
    That said, the cost to build almost any smallblock will be about the same once you get a block to build. Thats where most people "cheap out". The lure of a cheap block or even a complete engine is hard to pass up. If you start with a 350 block, you will probably have $1200 in it by the time you do all the machining and you are limited to 383 cu in although you can get a little more.
    For $1700 you can buy a Dart SHP block that you can take to 427 cu in (or 434). So for an additional $500 you get a precision machined block made from higher nickel material, splayed 4 bolt mains, clearanced for stroker, and priority main oiling.
    From that point on, the cost of parts to build it are essentially the same no matter what displacement engine you are building. You don't have to worry about the valves in the head being too large for the 283 bore or the crank and rods on the stroker not clearing the block. My best advice is to start with a block that can produce more power because of larger displacement and then purchase the correct parts to achieve the state of tune that makes you happy.
    When you compare a 283 thats all cammed out to produce 350 hp and a 427 that produces 350 hp without breathing hard......its worth the extra $500. ;)
    Spoggie, 47chevycoupe and Roothawg like this.
  15. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,950


    So, to the guys that have the larger CID motors, is it easier on parts due to not having to hammer it as hard to make the same power?

    In my head it makes sense.
  16. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 8,349

    jimmy six

    Your list shows the 427 as a “sbc” and thats my choice. Dart SHP or Little M block. SCAT 4” stroke, aluminum heads with 2.06 intakes a 215-220 runner. A real stump puller for our OD transmissions today.
    Now if if you meant a 427 bbc, trash all that and I’d use a 283 or 327 stock 4 barrel sbc because it’s all anyone really needs.
    ekimneirbo and Roothawg like this.
  17. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,950


    My stuff doesn’t usually have room for a bbc. That’s why I lean towards the 427 sbc.
    Blues4U and ekimneirbo like this.
  18. the 427" SBC is cubic dollars. :eek::D That is one reason I would shy away from one. I guess if you are dreaming the sky is the limit though. LOL

    I think when one is thinking hot rod a blivit is the name of the game and making a big inch small block fits the definition well.
    dana barlow likes this.
  19. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,950


    Honestly, it’s the same money as my Caddy build.
  20. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,387

    from Oregon

    Had to vote for the 327 SBC since a 350 SBC wasn't on the list.
    Roothawg likes this.
  21. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,285


    In your opening you were looking for a "all round hot rodding" engine. That can mean a lot of things to different guys. And then there is the "look" you might be after. The 406 using the 5.7" rod is not a slouch, it's not a maxed out combo, and can make decent power with iron heads. The 427 SBC is one potent package, a lot closer to being maxed out, and really needs aluminium heads. So if you want a real hot rod engine, can't find any fault with the 427 SBC. I am not sure how it fairs in the "all around" part of the equation.
    Roothawg likes this.
  22. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,950


    Yeah, it’s kinda like the “how deep is a hole” question. I have always been stuck in the small journal world.

    My buddies are all swapping to LS stuff. I can’t make that leap. Too old too change. Don’t really want to. So, I can make the leap from a small journal to a stroker with a lot of research.

    I figure even a tame 427 could be streetable on pump gas and still have a traditional look.
    Gammz likes this.
  23. Best engine for a Hot Rod is the one YOU want. Build what you like and be happy. There are better engines that what I like but I wouldn't use them because that would be wrong. I want to make ME happy, not some troll on the interweb. America! Have it your way!
    jimmy six, Jrs50 and Blues4U like this.
  24. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,950


    Yeah, I forgot the Y block also....dang.
    jimmy six and mctim64 like this.
  25. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,680


    4" strokes seem to be my favorite.. I really like this 454 I have now.. Its nothing great. Its a 1978 truck motor with very low mileage. 781 heads low compression. It just has a tremendous amount of torque that fits perfectly with the Turbo 400 and the 2.87 rear end.. I did advance the initial to 22 and took the vacuum advance out of the picture.. Total is 38 all in by 2800-3000...
    Roothawg likes this.
  26. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,448


    Read my signature.:D
  27. I am not a racer and I don't have to blow the doors off anyone to be happy with my old beater, so a small block serves my purpose. HRP
  28. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 760


    My pick wasn't on the list. She's real fun, my 401.
    triumph 1, j-jock, wicarnut and 8 others like this.
  29. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,680


    Those 401s are so nice looking!
    Roothawg and olscrounger like this.
  30. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282


    Street driven hot rod any small block ford or chevy ford 302 chevy 327. I’ve ran 260 289 302 fords and 265 283 305 327 chevys all do the job well ina car under 3000 lbs bigger car more engine imo
    Roothawg likes this.

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