Car crafters all like to talk about engines. And in our world where there's no replacement for displacement, dropping the "stroker" term into your engine conversation is bound to garner attention. Adding stroke is one of the easiest ways to build displacement, mainly because most production blocks are limited in overbore capacity to 0.030 to perhaps 0.060 inch. But most V-8 production blocks can easily accommodate a minimum of 0.250 inch and often almost 0.500 inch in additional stroke. This does wonders for the displacement curve. Drop a 3.40-inch arm in a 0.030-inch overbored 302 Ford that had a stock 3.00-inch stroke and suddenly you have 347 ci, and you're living large. Even with a conservative 1.2 hp/ci multiplier, you're looking at a 54hp gain just by bumping the stroke. If that's not enough, then chew on this: The dead simplest way to make more torque and bump that acceleration curve is by-you guessed it-increasing displacement.
The only way to increase cubic inches is with a bigger bore, a longer stroke, or both.
The performance world is full of stroker-crank combinations for almost any engine you can dream up. Better yet, aftermarket iron and aluminum blocks are debuting at an astonishing rate along with matching rotating assemblies. But with all these choices comes confusion over what's the best route. Unfortunately, many well-meaning stroker fans buy first and then do their research. The smart movers step more carefully on their way to assembling the ultimate street motor. There are several pitfalls that need to be addressed, especially if you choose to go the route of buying individual parts in search of the righteous deal.
In the next few pages, we'll look at some of the most important areas of stroker science, such as the weighty issues of balancing, the bob weight bed of snakes, and that interconnected issue of rod length-to-stroke relationships. So follow along as we show you what's involved with slapping a big arm in your favorite V-8.