Small Block

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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More pressing than the choice between Ford and Chevrolet is the selection of a small block or big block engine. Now that you've settled on a Chevy--good choice--which type of engine do you choose? Is there really a difference between big block and small block if both come from the same manufacturer?

Such reasoning is similar to asking if major-league and minor-league baseball aren't really the same since they're both, well, baseball. Small block engines will typically generate anywhere from 300 to 500 horsepower, and may even climb up to 750. When you consider turbos or nitrous, it's not uncommon for a small block to hit that elusive 1000-horsepower mark.

What Do I Do with a 1000-Horsepower Small Block Engine?

Good question. Unless your last name is Andretti, Unser, or Earnhardt, there's not much use for such a high-falutin small block crate engine. Besides, putting 1000 ponies into any small block is likely to test that engine's integrity and may require a complete overhaul. If you need that much power, you're better off splurging on a big block instead.

A big block engine can handle 750 to 1000 horsepower with no problem. You just have to be prepared to part with nearly 10,000 dollars to land one. For residential and civilian purposes, it's advisable to stick with a small block engine if you want the best value, and leave the high-speed game to the pros.


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