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Technical What are all the Small Block Chevy Cubic Inch Combonations? And Which is your Favorite?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Smoothy, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. dusterdave173
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 226


    With really great heads a 377 is just hard to beat--the bigger bore of the 400 block helps unshroud the valves--so you really have a screamer! If you are willing to use the RPM potential this combo is one of the very best. I still have a ton of fun with plain ole 350 combo in my dragster--just dig how cheap you can do a stout one. Crazy cheap HP with good heads
    My uncle had a pulp wood truck and chevy blew so off to the junk yard and grab an engine--came home with a mid 60's Corvette 327--dropped it in and I could spin the giant dual truck tires in that thing--no kidding--drive shaft lasted at least two days IIRC
    els likes this.
  2. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,204


    I like that idea.
    els likes this.
  3. LOL I tell everyone my 355 is a 265 and haven't bothered trying to make it look like one. :D :D
    els likes this.
  4. i forwarded this thread to Dave Lewis and here was his reply;

    I have built about every combination anyone can think of. I even put a 400 crank into a 305 block (created 328 cubic inches) to wake it up. The short 5.56 connecting rods killed that stock parts combination even when HO small chambered "601" heads were used.
    The idea of big bore and short stroke works well with lots of rear-end gear but the best combinations are usually thee ones with lots of carburetor and a SOLID LIFTER CAM. The easiest to build and most reliable all around best combination I ever ran was a 350. The engine was pretty much an LT-1 from a wrecking yard. It had all stock stuff inside. A steel crank, 2.02 / 1.60 heads and a cam that was a solid-lifter GM grind but had 1 cam lobe worn-off. It looked like nothing but grease and mud with dented stamp-steel valve covers and gravel grit covering the lifter valley. I bought it because of the head casting marks and big, thick harmonic balancer mounted on what looked like a ribbed crankshaft (no cast parting line) behind a manual trans flywheel. There was no Intake Manifold, no Carburetor or Distributor. but it was the best 200 bucks I ever spent.
    I went through the engine and besides the number 6 exhaust lobe being missing a stretched timing chain and one bent exhaust valve, from being tossed around the junk yard, this engine had some great possibilities. After minor machine work, new cam bearings and brass freeze plugs, the block was all set to be re-assembled. I used new stainless swirl-polished valves, new springs, roller rockers and a stud-girdle kit (with new TALL valve covers) on the heads, A Crower SOLID-LIFTER cam set-up (.450 / 280*) and a new GM Aluminum Intake that I already had, to mount an 800 CFM Holley. I used a new ACCELL Dual-Point Distributor (this was a while ago) and tossed it into a 69 Camaro with an M-21 four-speed, 12-bolt 4.10 (10 & 41) Ring & Pinion Posi-traction rear axle. I could run it to 7,000 RPM almost every day and nothing broke. On a trip, even with all that gear, I got 14 MPG.
    WHAT A RIOT! This former 302 Z-28 car beat several other similar Camaros and because of weight, most big block Chevelles. All I can say about the smaller engines is that even a 307 with more carburetor, higher compression and a solid-lifter cam is a good engine. Any small block can come to life and be great with the right parts. I was sorry to see that an entire page of my book dealing with 305 Cylinder heads having 1.84 Intake and 1.5 Exhaust valves was accidentally left out of the final print. My favorite 305 heads are the "601's" with the 58-to-60 CC combustion chambers. There were even Aluminum versions of 305 heads available from the 1979 model year. These heads work well on any small engine. I would like to hear from someone who used them on a 283!

    Enjoy the view.
    els likes this.
  5. I had a 262 cu. in. (3.67" bore - 3.10" stroke) with a Sig Erson "RV" cam (don't know the lift or duration now) and Edelbrock SP2P with a 450 Holley and no headers or cyl. head mods and got 33 mpg back in '78 in a Chevy Monza (4 speed). It would out run my brothers 350 2bbl. automatic Camaro every time. Loved that car.
    Wouldn't mind it in a '32 roadster.
    els likes this.
  6. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike

    I have a couple of 283s right now. (ideal engines as @tb33anda3rd points out, solid lifters and a mild cam and just have them for something you'll need to 'move around'...)
    I had VW engines (runners) I used to plug into customers' cars while I was rebuilding theirs...(when I was starting out) Some of them tried to cancel the jobs and just keep the good running engines! Live and learn.
    The 283 idea comes from having lots of hot rod projects that are waiting on completion of otherwise dedicated engines: Chrys Hemi, Desoto hemi, 455 Olds in older clothing!
    My F100 has a SBC in there and the 354 Chrysler is STILL on the engine stand!
    So go the hemi plans of mice and men...
    els likes this.
  7. verno30
    Joined: Aug 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,090


    I love high RPM motors.

    301/ DZ 302's are awesome. One of the coolest ideas was Smokey Yunick's 205 CI Indy motor. Click HERE for details
    els and Montana1 like this.
  8. For years I've been collecting enough parts to build another 301. Got a 67 Impala 283 short block, has a steel crank with a set of Oliver small journal steel rods, a set of forged 11-1, 4 inch pop ups and I'll have to make due with a pair of 186 heads [69 350 and 302] ....still need an intake and distributor.
    I'll put it in a light car and if my Pontiac motor doesn't work out, it'll go in my 34 coupe with Muncie M-21 and winters quick change....some days I hope the Pontiac doesn't work out...heh heh.
    els likes this.
  9. I think most people that bash the 305 have never owned one. They are great motors for a street car.

    I need to see if I can sneak up on one for my next project.
    els and gimpyshotrods like this.
  10. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    NHRA, Stock Eliminator guys are running mid 11 second E.T.'s with the 305. These are cast crank, low compression, small valve head, 305's! I tend to agree about the bad press the 305 has gotten, but GM sure made an awful lot of them, and put them in a wide range of cars and trucks. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    els and gimpyshotrods like this.
  11. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,394


    The 3.10 crank in a 262 and the 3.5 bore in the 267 were a one of a kind deal.
    els likes this.
  12. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 8,141


    From memories, had, 283 +060=292, 327+030=331, 350+030=355, 400blk+030,350crankw/spacers=377, 350blk+030,3 3/4 stroke=383, 400blk +030, 3 3/4 stroke=406, +040=408. Many other combo's I had in 4 cyl Chev midget and some BBC stuff, which makes huge power on the cheap.
    All were good, IMO, SBC is the best engine ever built and by far the most economical to hop up. There are many great engines and they all can be made to run, its just how much can you spend $$$. And now a big believer in GM Chev crate engines, can' t go wrong for the $$$ involved
    els likes this.
  13. When I was in my 20s a guy I know has a 68 camaro conv. Really nice car. He was building a 427 for it, but in the meantime had a 305 in it, with RV type cam headers, intake, and a 650 DP. I got to admit, that car ran pretty damn strong, and could fry the m-50 tires he had on the back. Good little engine!
    els likes this.
  14. GRX
    Joined: Mar 28, 2014
    Posts: 68

    from MD

    Mostly a Pontiac guy myself. That said, have machined & built more SBC for customers than I care to think of. The 283 are good high RPM motors. Probably my favorite is the good ol' 355 with solid lift.
    els likes this.
  15. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,854

    Speed Gems

    els likes this.
  16. els and Speed Gems like this.
  17. Smoothy
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 338


    I'm currently building a very similar 350 to the one that you described. Forged Steel Chevy crank, with 2.02/1.60 ported double hump heads, however I'm using a comp cams 305h camshaft, Keith black flat top pistons, and a Weiand tunnel ram with 450 Holley carbs. All of this will be backed by a Muncie M20 and 5.57 gears. So first gear will pretty much be non-existent.
    els and tb33anda3rd like this.
  18. I haven't had a whole lot of SBCs but my favorite was just a plain and simple LT1 build in a 72 Vette/4speed. 350 bored .30 over with a hot cam. It did what I wanted it to do, pull hard from the start and cruise way over 100 if I wanted it to. Nearly killed myself in it a few times. Yeah, they are belly button engines but they are damn good ones.
    els and Smoothy like this.
  19. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,854

    Speed Gems

    This isn't ALL the posable cubic inch combos, but here are 25 different combonations you can build just by offset grinding the stock crank and boring a stock block.
    els likes this.
  20. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    I don't build engines. Did one in high school, during auto shop. Doesn't really count. But I have a friend who does. He built my last engine and he's building me one now. He tells me what he's doing and I understand what he's doing and why. What I like and admire, is he'll ask me what I'm trying to end up with and he'll make it happen. I swear he could build an engine blind folded. I have a ton of admiration for you guys with the gift.

    There was a construction company across the street from where I built my first T Bucket. The owner was a drag racer and he told me something that I'm sure rings true. "If you took the parts to build two engines exactly the same and got two builders, one engine would be faster than the other. Some guys just have the touch."
    els likes this.
  21. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,429



    My favorite would be the 283. That motor was our first one we built in March of 1960. Ported and polished heads, Hedman Headers, Joe Hunt Magneto, 6 Strombergs on an Edlebrock manifold, a balanced crank, finned aluminum valve covers, and an Isky Cam/Lifter Kit. When we bought the motor, the Isky Cam and Kit came with the motor. (Long block) We took it apart and put the other stuff on before we reassembled it for the drags.

    That motor had plenty of runs at full speed for the B/Gas class. Once we got the 6 Strombergs to run correctly, it was powerful and could run all day / night. We took it on an extended run around our cruising grounds…it performed well. No overheating or problems, except for the gas mileage. Those 6 Strombergs made such a sucking sound and did a number on our measly small Moon Tank inside the cab.
    upload_2017-9-20_3-46-4.png similar in looks to B.Balogh's motor from Oct 1960.
    Then, months later in June, 1960, the total rebuild of that original 283 to a larger 292 cu inch dimension with new Jahns aluminum pistons, a new Howard Cam and kit, and a Reath Automotive spec’d 671 blower for the SBC. An Isky Gilmer Belt Drive and another Edlebrock Manifold filled out the new build.

    Now, the 6 Strombergs were still on top of the 671 and this motor sounded so powerful, that it scared our little neighbor on our first start up in our backyard. She went running back into our house calling for our mom’s security…awww.
    It was a powerful 292 SBC build and moved our 40 Willys into the finals of the C/Gas class in 1960…until…

    The next motors we had were the 327 in the 65 El Camino and the 2nd 40 Ford Sedan Delivery. They all ran like a top, but that was it. They were pure stock motors and were set up to “ just run”…The 1965 El Camino had 125k miles when we sold it 7 years later. It got 15 mpg, used little oil, had no breakdowns and it only needed a water pump change during those miles, nothing else. It was a hard running motor.


    So, for us, it was the versatility of the 283 SBC, the size, abundance of different mounts, adapters, and speed parts that made it worthwhile. But, also, our friends had the same stock 283 (and not so stock 301) motors in their Chevy sedans (55-57). That made them easier to work on when needed or when hop up parts were selected and added.
    Excerpts from another early thread: 6 Strombergs on the 283/292


    1. rebuilding the carbs was time consuming (6 of them)
    2. getting the proper lengths of linkage rods to fit all 6 flapper arms was hard.
    3. Getting all 6 carbs to do the same thing at the same time was difficult.
    4. As far as covers for the carbs, we tried simple chrome lids, angled/cut open covers, and finally settled on just leaving the carbs alone to suck in the air.
    5. Finally connecting the throttle to the Moon Foot Pedal inside.
    6. So adjusting all of the above to make it work was difficult, but not impossible.

    1. The look of 6 Strombergs alone is impressive.
    2. The sound they make was very cool.
    3. And the look of them on top of the 671 was so different, but functional.
    4. Even 6 Strombergs on just a manifold for the SBC is also impressive.

    els, Ron Funkhouser and landseaandair like this.
  22. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,394


    348 a 400 block 327 crank and 6.25 rods.
    els likes this.
  23. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,474

    from phoenix

    Love the power of a 383, 377, 350, etc. but will always have a sweet spot for the 302. Was the first motor I ever had and stumbled on 3 more since. Great if you like RPM. Got a fresh one with a 4 speed ready to put into a '66 Chevy II post car that will somewhat replicate my high school ride.
    els likes this.

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