Small Block vs Big Block Engines: What’s The Difference?
There is an ongoing debate on the Internet about “small block” and “big block” engines that puzzle some car lovers. But, what is really the difference between a small and big block engines? You will be shocked at the truth about these engines, keep on reading!
Known also as “mouse” and “rat”, and “Turbo-Fire” and “Turbo-Jet” motors, the small and big block engines, respectively, are usually associated with Chevrolet engine series. This started out in the mid-1950s with the Chevy (Chevrolet) small-block ranged from the first 265 cubic inch (ci) in 1955. This article will tackle the difference between the small block engine vs the big block engine introduced by Chevrolet.
What is a “small block engine”?
Chevrolet is considered as the premier OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) concerning the differentiation of engine series, the company is believed to be the most successful on this field. The small block engine (commonly V8, that is, an 8-Valve model) that the company introduced in 1955 was continued until it was mass produced along with the 400ci in the 1970s.
The small block engine of Chevrolet had different variations in displacements (cubic inch- ci) which include the 262, 265, 267, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, and the 400 ci (6.55-liter) Chevy V8. These various displacements, however, were built with one standard to limit the diversity in parts, cost, tooling, and with the same dimensions.
But the most commonly built model was the 350-ci (5.7-liter) variant which accounted for more than 50% of the total production until 2003.
Here are some facts about the small block engine by Chevy
Before 1965, the small block V8 was the ideal engine for most Chevrolet cars. The Chevy 350-ci (5.7-liter) small block then became GM’s (General Motors) standard engine when manufacturing seized in 2003. However, as of this date, the small block engine is now being built in South America (primarily Mexico) as a crate engine for restoration and hot rod fanatics.
If you want to replace your small block engine and add more power to your car, you can order the Genuine GM (10067353) 350ci / 5.7L Gen 0 Engine, a product of GM Performance Parts, simply online (like Amazon.com). This crate engine is an authentic GM OEM rated at 195 Hp with 4-bolt main.
What is a “big block engine”?
On the other hand, the big block engine of Chevrolet was first introduced in 1958 (the “U” series) and was basically designed for light trucks and large passenger cars.
Through the years, Chevrolet had introduced various displacements for its big block engines, such as the following: 348, 366, 396, 402, 409, 427, 454, 502, and 572 cubic-inch. The common displacement for passenger cars in the big block engine category of Chevrolet is the 348 to 454 ci variants which are still in use today.
The Chevy “W” Series of the big block engine was manufactured between 1958 and 1965. This engine was made from cast iron and has variations in displacements, such as the 348ci (5.7-liter), 409ci (6.702-liter), and the 427ci (6.9973-liter).
Ford joined the “big block” bandwagon
In 1968, Ford started to offer the big block engine of their own starting with the 385 series. This series of engines was initially in 370-ci, 429-ci, and 460-ci varieties. Until the late 1990s, the 460-ci variant was utilized in trucks and other enormous applications.
Here are some unsolicited advice
For a big block crate engine, a terrific deal is the HPRE 454510 - Chevy Muscle Car 454 Crate Engine 510 Hp from HPREengines. This is a high-performance racing engine and is great for Chevy cars. Also available on Amazon.
Here is the good news, both crate engines (small and big blocks) we mentioned above have free shipping from Amazon Prime. Check specifications on this website and if any of those crate engines fit your requirements, order directly from Amazon (through this website) for a great deal!
So, how the small and big block engines differ?
According to experts, as Ford, Chrysler, and other car manufacturers were also using the small block and big block engine series of their own years after Chevrolet introduced them to the world, there are no “big blocks” built today.
Automotive experts surmised that some manufacturers today do build vehicle engines larger than 400 cubic-inch in capacity but they are solely based on small block design and architecture or are a just clean piece of modern engines.
Please send us your comments if you have any question about this article and we are just glad to response.
Then, all you have to do is to pick among the crate engines offered by Amazon.com (the better choice are the ones we mentioned above).