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Small Block Chevy Dress Up - Dress Up Your Small-Block

Do You Have A Fugly Engine? If So, We Have A Few Tips That Will Help You . . .

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Admit it. As much as car crafting is about making horsepower and smokin' the tires, you can't deny that the visual side is important. A clean, well-executed engine compartment with a little bit of visual sizzle is always in vogue. This got us thinking about how you could dress a small-block Chevy in several configurations and still be in style. We started by perusing the Summit catalog, and the next thing we knew, there were several monster boxes of parts lying on the shop floor, begging to be bolted on. We recruited a small-block found cowering under a workbench and gave it a makeover worthy of any Hollywood plastic surgeon. For you early small-block fanatics, our volunteer is a small-journal '65 327 that has had a tough life with a 4.040 bore and a 0.020-under steel crank that was in desperate need of visual assistance.

We chose three completely different styles for our split personality Mouse. The first is what we're calling Small-Block Basic, where we exercised restraint, approaching this from a budget standpoint while still giving our motor a little chrome style. It's amazing what a shot of paint and a couple of chrome goodies can do for an otherwise boring engine. Next, we upgraded the heads and tossed in a tunnel-ram to give the motor a competition look. Finally, we took a shot at a Pro Touring-like approach with a big single carb, a set of aluminum heads, and then pummeled the checkbook with custom Summit serpentine-accessory-drive bling. It was fun to watch our small-block's transformation from nerdy leaker to gutsy muscle motor, even if it is all just for show.

Small-Block Basic
This is the classic entry-level car crafter approach to an underhood statement. We retained the stock 327's Power Pak iron cylinder heads, opting for a previously owned Performer intake manifold we found at the swap meet for $35. Rather than blasting it, we just doused it with carb cleaner and painted it light silver to give the manifold a different look. The glitter comes via a simple Summit chrome dress-up kit that includes valve covers, a timing chain cover, a 14-inch chrome air cleaner, a chrome pointer, one breather, and some gaskets. We spent a few more bucks on a shiny 100-amp alternator and added some aluminum pulleys and a slick Summit alternator mount. Adding a small Holley 600-cfm carb and a used set of swap meet shorty headers completed our simple small-block makeover.

DESCRIPTION PN SOURCE PRICE
Edelbrock Performer intake used (2101) Swap meet $35.00
Holley 600-cfm carburetor 0-80453 Summit Racing 329.95
Summit chrome dress-up kit 7001SMT Summit Racing 76.70
Summit chrome water neck G3800 Summit Racing 9.95
Summit thermostat, 180-degree 360180 Summit Racing 7.95
Summit spark plug wire kit 881000 Summit Racing 72.95
Summit aluminum long water pump 311016 Summit Racing 115.95
Summit aluminum water pump pulley G3963 Summit Racing 35.95
Summit aluminum crank pulley G3965 Summit Racing 48.95
Summit LWP alternator mount kit SME-2000 Summit Racing 49.95
Summit chrome alternator, 100-amp G1667AP Summit Racing 131.95
Summit PCV valve cover grommet G3411 Summit Racing .50
Summit valve cover grommet G3410 Summit Racing 1.50
Summit harmonic balancer tool G61025 Summit Racing 104.95
Shorty headers, 15/8-inch used Swap meet 50.00
Dupli-Color Chevy Orange DP1620 Summit Racing 6.95
Dupli-Color MetalCast Silver MC100 Summit Racing 7.95
Spectre water pump pulley shims 4480 Summit Racing 6.95

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