Go Back   Corvette Forum > Off Topic > Off Topic
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Albums Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read FAQ
Search
Off Topic
Off Topic | Non-Corvette Sponsored by
Bondurant School of HPD

Welcome to Corvetteforum.com!
Welcome to Corvetteforum.com.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, join Corvetteforum.com today!


Corvette Store
 
 
C6 Parts & Accessories
C5 Parts & Accessories
Wheels & Tires
Sponsored Ads
 
 
Vendor Directory
  
Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-04-2013, 05:55 AM   #1
s'noJob
CF Senior Moments
Support Corvetteforum!

 
s'noJob's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2007
Location: Wake Forest NC
Default What's the difference between a Small Block & Big Block V8?

I know the straight vs AFU answer ratio is going to be high on this one.

Yeah, I get it:

small block BIG BLOCK

But I've heard these terms for years and never really understood the distinction.

.
__________________
2004 A4 Arctic White Coupe

Blackwing Intake -- Corsa Sport Exhaust with X-pipe -- Nitto NT555 Tires -- C6 Z51 Sway Bars -- Bilstein Shocks -- Hi, Lo, & Fog HIDs -- 3.15 Performance Axle -- NGK TR55 Plugs -- Russell Stainless Steel Brake Lines -- Custom Dyno Tune by Mayhem Motorsports


~ If I'm feeling a bit light-headed, does that mean I don't need a H.A.N.S?
.
s'noJob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:00 AM   #2
MillertimeZ06
CF Senior Member
 
MillertimeZ06's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2007
Location: Matthews Nc
Default

I've never really understood the difference between something small or big either
MillertimeZ06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
CHASLS2
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '13
 
CHASLS2's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2006
Location: Portrichey FL
Default

One weighs more than other also.
CHASLS2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:17 AM   #4
siege101
CF Senior Member
 
siege101's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2006
Location: Orange County, N.Y.
Send a message via AIM to siege101
Default

As far as I know, its just that. One is bigger than the other.
siege101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:22 AM   #5
Easy Rhino
CF Senior Member
 
Easy Rhino's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2008
Location: No Longer Hawaii Virginia
Default

There is no exact definition to answer the question you seek, only generalizations, but excess meaningless passion.

Some engines fit well into a so-called small block/big block categorization, e.g. small block chevy (265, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, etc.) and the big block chevy (396, 427, 454), and some don't, e.g. Pontiac some Mopar V-8s. Add to that some large displacement engines are boat anchors while some large displacement engines are smaller blocks.
Easy Rhino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:27 AM   #6
Jughead
Senior Member since 1492
St. Jude Donor '09
Support Corvetteforum!

 
Jughead's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2000
Location: 1.Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get me... 2.That which does not kill me will probably hurt like hell. 3. Islam is the enemy.
Send a message via AIM to Jughead
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Rhino View Post
There is no exact definition to answer the question you seek, only generalizations, but excess meaningless passion.

Some engines fit well into a so-called small block/big block categorization, e.g. small block chevy (265, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, etc.) and the big block chevy (396, 427, 454), and some don't, e.g. Pontiac some Mopar V-8s. Add to that some large displacement engines are boat anchors while some large displacement engines are smaller blocks.

that is my understanding as well. SB also referred to as a Mouse and BB called a Rat. I have a RAT.

Jughead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:29 AM   #7
Easy Rhino
CF Senior Member
 
Easy Rhino's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2008
Location: No Longer Hawaii Virginia
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jughead View Post
that is my understanding as well. SB also referred to as a Mouse and BB called a Rat. I have a RAT.

But the BB is also called the porcupine engine, and the Hemi called the elephant.
Easy Rhino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:30 AM   #8
Jughead
Senior Member since 1492
St. Jude Donor '09
Support Corvetteforum!

 
Jughead's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2000
Location: 1.Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get me... 2.That which does not kill me will probably hurt like hell. 3. Islam is the enemy.
Send a message via AIM to Jughead
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Rhino View Post
But the BB is also called the porcupine engine, and the Hemi called the elephant.


I never heard that about the Hemi, but I'm hardly a Chrysler groupie.
Jughead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
Easy Rhino
CF Senior Member
 
Easy Rhino's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2008
Location: No Longer Hawaii Virginia
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jughead View Post
I never heard that about the Hemi, but I'm hardly a Chrysler groupie.
Have you heard the jole about the duck and the nailhead Buick?
Easy Rhino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:54 AM   #10
Jughead
Senior Member since 1492
St. Jude Donor '09
Support Corvetteforum!

 
Jughead's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2000
Location: 1.Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get me... 2.That which does not kill me will probably hurt like hell. 3. Islam is the enemy.
Send a message via AIM to Jughead
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Rhino View Post
Have you heard the jole about the duck and the nailhead Buick?

must be before my time.

Jughead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 06:58 AM   #11
SouthernSon
CF Senior Member
 
SouthernSon's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2000
Location: Deal's Gap 2004 NCM Motorsports Track Crew Chief Support
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Rhino View Post
Have you heard the jole about the duck and the nailhead Buick?
Those little nail heads back in the 60's could fly! Even had two 4 barrels on some of them. The old rivieras were great.

As far as BB vs. SB, the torque difference is considerably different but I guess the physical size difference is the defining word. But, a small block overhead cam engine is probably larger than a BB pushrod.
SouthernSon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:15 AM   #12
TerryL
CF Senior Member
 
TerryL's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2012
Location: San Jose CA
Default

The current Vette motors are all SB's right? The base 364ci (and) the 427? Larger cubic inch but from a SB not the old BB. Boring and/or changing the stroke can add cubic inches to a motor but starting with a BB usually gives you more to...work with. 265s grew into 283s and then 327s and even a 383 'stroker' but never into 396 or 427s. They started as BBs.
TerryL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:41 AM   #13
jim2527
CF Senior Member
 
jim2527's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2003
Location: Tampa Florida
Send a message via MSN to jim2527
Default

Small blocks have a bore spacing of 4.4"
Big Blocks have a bore spacing of 4.84"

Bore spacing is the distance between the centerline of the pistons.

Wider bore spacing allows for larger pistons. Larger pistons require bigger blocks.

Small block and big block engines have essentially the same bore and stroke at 400 cid.
jim2527 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:47 AM   #14
jim2527
CF Senior Member
 
jim2527's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2003
Location: Tampa Florida
Send a message via MSN to jim2527
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryL View Post
The current Vette motors are all SB's right? The base 364ci (and) the 427? Larger cubic inch but from a SB not the old BB. Boring and/or changing the stroke can add cubic inches to a motor but starting with a BB usually gives you more to...work with. 265s grew into 283s and then 327s and even a 383 'stroker' but never into 396 or 427s. They started as BBs.
Kind of sort of..

The 'new' LS engines have the same bore and bore center line as the old SBC. The old SBC's were available as 400's.

At 400 cid the LSX has a similar bore and stroke the old BBC. At 427 cid its similar as well. 427 is about the max displacement for a LSX engine due the bore size. BBC can go up to 572 cid or so due its much larger bore size.
jim2527 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 08:03 AM   #15
Capt Van
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '12
 
Capt Van's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2004
Location: ViperFish Fl
Default

This is a small block, 283/245



This is a small block 427 (ZR1)



This is a big block 427/400



This is a great big block 10 cylinder 2014 Viper

Capt Van is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #16
pappy.72
CF Senior Member
 
pappy.72's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 2007
Location: Elgin IL
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Van View Post
This is a small block 378 (ZR1) (The Z06 has the 427)

Click the image to open in full size.
fixt
pappy.72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 08:38 AM   #17
JetMechZ16
CF Senior Member
 
JetMechZ16's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2013
Location: South East TN
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jughead View Post
that is my understanding as well. SB also referred to as a Mouse and BB called a Rat. I have a RAT.

The Mouse and Rat distinctions are for Chevrolet engines only.

I've asked this question before also. I phrased it a bit differently though as I asked what the defining characteristic is between the two. I have never gotten an answer to the defining characteristic. I know it is NOT displacement or physical dimmensions. Yes I understand that they are physically larger on the big block, but at what point does the engine change from being considered a big block or small block. We have 383 big blocks and some smaller displacement engines are also big blocks. We also have 454 small blocks and 454 big blocks.

Could it be the bore to stroke ratio? Longer stroke than bore size equating to a big block maybe? Or can you have a small block with a longer stroke than bore?

Or could it be deck height?
JetMechZ16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 08:44 AM   #18
JetMechZ16
CF Senior Member
 
JetMechZ16's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2013
Location: South East TN
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim2527 View Post
Small blocks have a bore spacing of 4.4"
Big Blocks have a bore spacing of 4.84"

Bore spacing is the distance between the centerline of the pistons.

Wider bore spacing allows for larger pistons. Larger pistons require bigger blocks.

Small block and big block engines have essentially the same bore and stroke at 400 cid.
This would be true for one engine manufacturer, but not all.
Different engine manufactuerers have different bore spacings. i believe deck height also plays a role.
JetMechZ16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 08:44 AM   #19
lakota
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Jun 2007
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Rhino View Post
There is no exact definition to answer the question you seek, only generalizations, but excess meaningless passion.

Some engines fit well into a so-called small block/big block categorization, e.g. small block chevy (265, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, etc.) and the big block chevy (396, 427, 454), and some don't, e.g. Pontiac some Mopar V-8s. Add to that some large displacement engines are boat anchors while some large displacement engines are smaller blocks.
Add original Chevy BB 348 which became 409, both had scalloped valve covers.

https://www.google.com/search?q=348/...KpsASnvYH4DQ&v

Last edited by lakota; 12-04-2013 at 08:46 AM.
lakota is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 09:07 AM   #20
nate99
CF Senior Member
 
nate99's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2008
Location: People from Nantucket are freaky
Default

Interesting question, but there is no science to the terms. It's mostly just what car guys have colloquially adopted as a distinction over the years. If you have read magazines like Hot Rod or Car Craft for a couple of decades, you probably have it sorted out.

GM/Chevy decided to use the "small block" descriptor that had been used for decades for the 265-400 c.i. family of 4.4" bore spaced V8's on the new LS engines that retained the 4.4" bore spacing, but essentially nothing else from the earlier engines.

Chevy exclusively used the same two blocks for so long, it made sense, but other manufacturers had engines come and go (or be modified more extensively) on a more regular basis that the comparison doesn't make much sense. A big block Ford is generally understood to be the 460 block, but the Ford FE was in between that and the Cleveland and Windsor V8's, so it doesn't make as much sense. Mopars had the LA engines that were their smallest V8's, but they had the B engines that went up to 440 ci and the Hemi engines that went to 426 from the factory.

Some call the shorter deck 350 and 403 Olds motors "small blocks", but they are otherwise architecturally the same (bore spacing, etc.).
nate99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 09:07 AM
 
Go Back   Corvette Forum > Off Topic > Off Topic
Reload this Page What's the difference between a Small Block & Big Block V8?
 
 
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Click for Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:14 AM.


Emails & Password Backup

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2