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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Discussion Starter #1
As red-blooded Americans, we all enjoy a good V-8, but how do you prefer yours? Tractable, revvable, fuel efficent and flexible like most small blocks, or rather as monumental, torque laden, low RPM haulers as many big blocks are?

For me, I'm mainly more of a fan of the big block. I love how you can accelerate easily without really ever seeing the tachometer move, big torque allows for that, which isn't something that's as easily attainable with a small-block. Now, but it differs in different applications. A big block would be my natural choice in a pickup truck, SUV for full sized van when possible. Because, let's face it, you're never gonna get good mileage with a truck, no matter what engine is in it, so why not go for the biggest thing you can get and allow for the most plentiful pulling/hauling power?

In a full sized RWD luxury vehicle, I'd always go for the big block. Nothing says luxury like being able to effortlessly and silently powering your 5000lb car to and beyond the speed limit without your passengers noticing. But for a smaller, sportier luxury vehicle, a small block always works better if for nothing more than simple weight distribution, same with sports cars.

Now, with many more DOHC and OHC engines being available, it allows for big block horsepower numbers in a small block application. For example, the FWD 4.6L Northstar makes more horsepower than the Vortec 7.4L did (300 v 290), but even with 32 valves and all that additional airflow, it can't match the torque (410 lb/ft v. 300 lb/ft), now if you look at a bigger DOHC V-8, Nissan's "Endurance" 5.6L V8, it makes 315hp and 379 lb/ft, which is extremely close to the best big blocks Ford and GM ever made, but even still though, it doesn't offer that "massive low end torque" feel that the 454 and 460 do.

So I guess to sum it up, I've driven a lot of V-8 powered cars. I haven't always been impressed with the small blocks I've experienced, but I've never met a big block I didn't like to drive.

How about you?
 

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Big block power all the way. You can make them rev up just as good as a small block if you want to spend some money, but they will be better performers.
 

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'79 Phaeton (crushed), '94 Brougham, 78 Mark V DJ
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183 Posts
Small blocks all the way. They're cheap as snot to build, and lighter. Big blocks are antiquated and somewhat unnecessary today except in high demand applications. If you've got a big block, you're probably driving a car from the 70's or a truck. Plus when referring to big blocks in the traditional sense, EFI > Carbs every time.

PS: What passenger car can you buy that weighs 5000 pounds?
 

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Past: 95 Fleetwood, 91 Brougham. Now: 92 Lexus SC300
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5,418 Posts
I prefer the GM LS series motors(LS1, LS3, LS7, LQ4, etc). They put them in everything, Corvettes, pickup trucks, vans, Camaros, big sedans like the Pontiac G8, CTS-V, Tahoes, Escalades, etc.

They really are the best V8's ever built IMO. Lots of different versions to suit many different applications, but the parts all interchange, so you can put a truck manifold on your LS1, a LS1 crank in your truck block, etc, etc, etc.

They've been out long enough to have several catalogs of speed parts you can buy for them. Also they are about the easiest fuel injected motors to tune.

Also the physical size of the LS series motors are pretty small(especially when compared to a BBC or Hemi), so you can easily put them into smaller cars like an RX-7, fox Mustang, 240sx, etc. The aluminum block versions are extremely light(the iron block ones aren't too bad either), they almost always weigh less than a DOCH V6 or V8.


As for old tech motors, you can't beat the old SBC 350. Either in carbed or TBI form, they last forever and have enough torque to move the big old heavy cars and trucks they're in. Of course you can build one anywhere from mild to wild, speed parts are endless for the SBC.
 

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Big Block. I love the tire roasting big block torque. I had a 1970 Chevelle SS 4speed with a built 454 (started life as a 350hp 396). My friend had '70 Vega with a 454 in it. It didn't stop or turn well, but it sure would run 1/4 mile under 11 smoking the tires most of way down the track. I still wish I had that Chevelle SS with the 572 modern FI, brakes and suspension. It is more expensive to built a big block that can rev like a small block, but I think you get your money's worth.

Bob
 

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'08 DTS Lux III Blk Cherry, '89 Brougham d'Elegance Dip Blue
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PS: What passenger car can you buy that weighs 5000 pounds?
The large sedans from the 60's and 70's. Things like the Cadillac Fleetwoods, Lincoln Towncars, and Chrysler Imperials.
 

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2018 Mazda 6 (Venus) 1964 Impala (Betty) 1991 Miata (Dolly)
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Well, based on what I own, you could say I like small blocks. I don't have enough experience with big blocks to have a strong opinion one way or another, but I love the engines in all three of my cars; none of which ever feel underpowered. They all make great torque, which is ideal for the kind of driving most people do (unlike other 32-valve twin cam V8s like the original Inifiniti Q45, which didn't wake up until north of 3,500 RPM), and in the case of the Northstar, there's an excellent top end as well. Surprisingly, I can pass on a two-lane highway in Betty with no downshift (the Powerglide is only a two speed; 60-65 MPH is pushing it in Low) and be doing 80+ easily at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle.

I know the 409 makes any early Sixties Impala considerably more valuable, but I own Betty to drive, and from my perspective, the 327 small-block is the perfect engine for that car. Smooth, powerful, much less temperamental than the 409 and as reliable as the sun. It's been more than nine years and 55,000 miles since the rebuild, and I have not had any significant problem with that engine.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Bigger is better. :rolleyes:
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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Big block if possible. A built 454 K5 Blazer is my cup o tea.
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville STS 73k Miles, '90 Chevy 1500 Reg Cab
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As long as it has at least 25% more horsepower than CI I'm ok....and when you go that route bigger means better. Hard to beat diving dad's 69 Chevelle SS(factory original, not a clone) with the 396 and the rumble you get when you roll into the throttle :drool:
 

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1991 Sedan Deville
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Big block all the way!

As for old tech motors, you can't beat the old SBC 350. Either in carbed or TBI form, they last forever and have enough torque to move the big old heavy cars and trucks they're in. Of course you can build one anywhere from mild to wild, speed parts are endless for the SBC.
They do more that just move them.
 

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1989 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance|2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
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I don't think I've done enough driving to really compare the two fairly..... I'm on the fence here.....
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Discussion Starter #15
I always thought Cadillac should have offered the 350 as standard in the Broughams and the 454 as optional. I mean they're as long as a 3500 Silverado, why not offer it's engine in it? :D

Even with the simple throttle body setup, it would have made far more torque (385 lb/ft v. 330) than the LT-1, and almost as much horsepower (230 v. 260). Think how cool that would be.... :drool:
 

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1991 Sedan Deville
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I always thought Cadillac should have offered the 350 as standard in the Broughams and the 454 as optional. I mean they're as long as a 3500 Silverado, why not offer it's engine in it? :D

Even with the simple throttle body setup, it would have made far more torque (385 lb/ft v. 330) than the LT-1, and almost as much horsepower (230 v. 260). Think how cool that would be.... :drool:
The 454 only makes 385? I thought it was more in the ballpark of 400+
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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1998 Seville STS / 2013 Chevrolet Impala
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I'm kind of at a crossroads. My 4.9L pretends to be a big block, it needs no RPM to move the car, fairly torque-y considering how light the car is, but it's actually small in size.

Now I love engines like the Cadillac 500CI, and the 454, but my dream engines are super-high revvers like the 302ci from the '69 Z/28, the Audi 4.2L, and the 4.5L from the Ferrari 458. I don't anything sounds better then an 11.8:1 compression V8 at 8000rpm :drool:
 
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