Small Block VS Big Block - A Game of Rat And Mouse

Big-Block Vs. Small-Block: The $6,500 Build-Off

Bob Mehlhoff May 9, 2007 0 Comment(s)
0707ch_01_z Small_block_vs_big_block 1/28

The build-off always starts off as a friendly staffer competition, but as the builds get closer to being complete, it boggles me how my cell phone will start ringing completely off the hook. What's he planning? How far is he into the build? Have you heard any dyno numbers yet? And believe me, the questions go on and on. It's not to say that this is a terrible thing; it's actually nice to have two guys who are being gung ho and making an attempt for bragging rights-at least until the next friendly shootout.

This month, we wanted to see how a small-block would fare against a big-block with a strict $6,500 budget. Right off the bat, everyone involved was saying that the big-block would trounce all over its little brother. However, it's all relative and really depends on the type of performance you're expecting and the chassis you plan to mate it to. Personally, I'm more of a big-block kind of guy so that should tell you who I was cheering for. Still, I have to admit that the small-block did a great job of letting all of us know it wouldn't go down without a fight.

If you want my personal opinion, both builds were created by thinking outside the box and presented incredible packages that can easily be replicated. That's right, we didn't stumble across a lucky bottom-end score through the classifieds, nor did we just happen to have a set of ported heads lying around to make budget. What you see is what you get, and should you want to follow suit, we've listed every single part number along with its cost.

You've seen what we did-and are about to see the final dyno numbers, so let me leave you with the following question: Given the same opportunity, what would you have done different? What combination would you have built? E-mail your thoughts and build specs to me at chevyhi@primedia.com. -Henry D

John's Engine
JMS Racing Engines 505ci Big-Block
Let's face facts, friends: $6,500 isn't a lot of dough with which to build a big-block, not to mention something with some decent performance numbers. Actually, I was looking for better than decent. A big-block has big advantages, but I'd have been nuts to dismiss my Mouse motor opponent. And so the crux of the issue quickly arose: Where would our money be best spent?

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