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Engine Building - V-8 Power Trends And Best-Selling Engine Combos

We Ask The Top Builders To Spill Their Guts And Reveal and best-selling engine combos

Photography by Shifty Photo Sales

Hemi Mopar 426/472
We quizzed the guys at Bouchillon Performance Engineering, Muscle Motors, The Moparts Connection, and the even a few people at Mopar Performance and kept getting the same answer: Big-blocks, like the 500 Wedge, the 426, and especially the 472 Hemi crate engine, are the current top-sellers. The Hemi thing is really no surprise when you consider that for about $13K, you get a completely new 426 Hemi block with a 4.250 bore, a 3.750 forged-steel crankshaft, and the Hemi heads and induction system with those huge chrome valve covers. We suspect the look of the engine is what it is all about.

The standard 465hp 426 from Mopar has a cast-iron block with cross-bolted main caps, iron cylinder heads with 2.25/1.94 stainless valves, a forged crank, 9.0:1-compression pistons, and everything but the carb. You can also step right up to the Mopar 472 Hemi crate engine that makes 525 hp and 540 lb-ft of torque and has a longer 4.150 stroke. Also cool is the Mopar 528 that makes 610 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque with a 4.50-inch bore and 4.150 stroke. It has aluminum heads and 10.25:1 compression. OK, why not. There also is a 540 version that makes anywhere from 650-900 hp with aluminum heads, a 4.500 stroke and 4.250 bore, and a gnarly roller cam. Plan to spend some money.

PARTS LIST
DESCRIPTION PN SOURCE PRICE
426 Hemi 5249667AC Moparts Conn. $13,140.00
472 Hemi 5249666AC Moparts Conn. 14,205.00
528 Hemi 5007630AD Moparts Conn. 15,203.00
Hemi Block 5007668AB Moparts Conn. 2,499.00

Wedge Mopar 500 Ci
Right behind the Hemi for engine-combo sales is the 500-inch Wedge. As this is being written, there are several block companies that are ramping up production of the 440 RB block, so they might be available by the time you read this. In the meantime, the factory castings are being used as cores. To get 500 inches, Mike Ware at Muscle Motors bores the stock 440 block to a whopping 4.380 inches and uses a forged-steel 4.150 crank and 6.760-inch H-beam rods with ARP 2000 rod bolts for the rotating assembly.

Muscle Motors uses a KB dished piston with a 1.865 compression height. With 10.70-inch deck height, you're right around 10.5:1 compression. Ware says that most guys find it cost-prohibitive to rebuild iron heads anymore because the Bulldog and Edelbrock heads are available. His combo uses the 300cc ported aluminum Bulldog heads with 2.19/1.81 valves and a 95cc combustion chamber. With the recommended 850-cfm Quick Fuel carb and a single-plane manifold, the combination makes 600-650 hp on pump gas. Since the big rollers for Mopar are expensive, Ware uses a Comp Cams Extreme Energy hydraulic flat-tappet cam with 0.519/0.524 lift with a 1.5:1 rocker ratio and 250/256 duration at 0.050.

Most of these engines are destined for B-Body Chargers and Road Runners.

PARTS LIST
DESCRIPTION PN SOURCE PRICE
Forged pistons KB840 KB $433.33
6.760-inch forged rods MM6760 Muscle Motors 315.95
Single-plane intake BD420 Bulldog Call
300cc aluminum head BD410 Bulldog 1,325.00
4.150-inch steel crank MM4150 Muscle Motors 335.00
B-Body oil pan 30930 Milodon 270.39
Hydraulic flat-tappet camshaft XE294H Comp Cams 255.95
171/48-inch headers B/E 440-178C1 TTI 335.00
Quick Fuel 850-cfm carb N/A Quick Fuel 270.39
Shaft rocker system MM440 Muscle Motors 255.95
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