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Build A Small-Block Chevy

The Step-By-Step Scoop

Photography by John Kiewicz

Sure, you can build any engine to produce big power, but when you opt for smaller cubes, you have to work so much harder to do the job. Bolting on a blower, a turbo, or nitrous will make your small small-block really hustle, but if you want to pound out power without power adders, big cubes are the way to go.

Recently we wanted to undertake a hefty project: Build a bulletproof, big-cube small-block Chevy that would spit out 600 hp while sipping pump gasoline. No, we're not talking that 100-octane pump stuff, we're talking the 92-octane juice that you can buy at your local Mi-T-Mart gas station. Moreover, the engine had to be tough enough to be driven on the streets without breaking, backfiring, or belching coolant at every stoplight. True, such an engine isn't intended for cross-country long hauls, but it should be able to be regularly punished each weekend.

Building this mill obviously involves using top-quality parts that will likely bruise your wallet, but even so, we’ll use parts that an average schmoe can get from a mail-order outfit or from a local speed shop. We skipped using 18-degree cylinder heads, rods made from unobtainium, and handfabbed induction parts borrowed from a Winston Cup car. Rather, we opted for traditional wares, such as 23-degree aluminum heads, steel rods, and a lumpy roller cam. Did the parts team up to deliver the tons o’ torque? Well, ummm, maybe. OK, here’s the deal: We’re lame. We thrashed to get this story done and, at the last minute, ran out of time to finish the dyno test. Still, we’re confident that the 600-hp-on-pump-gas claim is realistic, and as a guarantee, if the engine barely squeaks out 500 hp, we’ll eat the story. That’s right, we might have to enjoy a lunch consisting of five pages’ worth of engine edit. But for now follow along as we show how E.T. Automotive bolted together our mighty Mouse.

SOURCES
BG Fuel Systems
Rte. 1, P.O. Box 1900
Dahlonega
GA  30533
706-864-8544
Hedman Hedders
16410 Manning Way
Cerritos
CA  90701
310-921-0404
www.hedman.com
Bo Laws Products
Orlando
FL
Lunati Cams & Equipment
Memphis
TN
Brodix Cylinder Heads
Mena
Ar
479-394-1075
www.brodix.com
MSD
El Paso
TX  79936
915-857-5200
www.msdignition.com
E.T. Automotive
Oxnard
CA
March Performance
5820 Hix Rd.
Westland
MI  48185
734-729-9070
www.marchperformance.com
Eicke/Grant Induction Applications
Dahlonega
GA
Performance Coatings
FP Performance
Ashland
MS
Weiand Automotive
PO Box 65301
2316 San Fernando Rd.
Los Angeles
CA  90065
323-225-4138
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