Subscribe to the Free

October 2010 Chevy High Performance Engine Guide - Swing Away

CHP's Guide To Big-Inch Crate Engines

Sean Haggai Aug 31, 2010
View Full Gallery

We've all been there before. Spend the money, get the parts, and then wish you had done it completely different. Without a doubt, luxury items come at a premium these days, which means most of us are watching over our hard earned dollars. And while we tend to be good, the dilemma arises when we need to commit to a particular upgrade again; in this case, needing a new engine to keep us cruising.

Shelling out the dough is only part of the situation here. While some may be able to get away with a simple head swap for added power, we're talking about a complete transplant to minimize downtime and get you back on the road. Therefore, doing it right the first time around by shelling out a little more dough up front could be in your best interest.

Big-inch mills tend to garner all of the attention among enthusiasts who want that instant bottom-end twist. Then again, that's the sole purpose of any stroked-out mill, isn't it? Additionally, the added cubic inches create instant throttle response and offer a broader torque curve across the entire powerband with relative ease.

This month, we showcase everything from high-revving conventional to LS 427s and mountain-like 555ci big-block thumpers. All of which are ready to go and require very little, if any, extras to fire up the engine. And rather than simply listing the size and what you can expect to shell out, we've gone a step further and listed the complete specs on each engine, including the camshaft, internal components, cylinder heads, and part numbers. If you're on the fence about what combination to set in between the framerails of your hot rod, then this is the place for you.

Quick Notes
What We Did
Compiled a detailed list of ready-to-fire, large-displacement powerplants

Bottom Line
There's an engine here to fit anyone's budget

Cost (Approx)
$5,000 & UP

Five hundred horsepower is easy to come by through Carolina Machine Engines. CME offers high quality, including a cast-steel 4.25-inch stroker crankshaft in their blueprinted short-blocks. They add hypereutectic pistons, moly rings, and premium bearings. Cylinder heads are matched, pockets blended and ported with a multi-angle SERDI valve job. CME also add stainless valves, performance pushrods, valve springs, and steel roller rockers. Their special grind 0.500-inch lift cam has 280/230 degrees intake/exhaust of duration. CME includes the oil pump, pan, pickup, timing cover, harmonic balancer, valve covers, dual-plane intake manifold, dipstick, and spark plugs. All complete engines are dyno-tested and come with a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty.

chp_01_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Cme 2/12

Where To Get It

Coast High Performance
Coast High Performance's Pro Street Venom series of crate motors includes their 496 and 540 versions. Their 9.25:1 compression 496 uses a Dart Big-M Sportsman block and comes with a 4.250-inch stroke forged crank, 6.385-inch rods, and SRS forged flat-top pistons. Coast High also adds a Comp solid roller (0.612/0.605-inch lift on 114 lobe center) with Cloyes timing set. Scorpion 1.7 roller rockers are also included with the AFR 315 CNC heads. An Edelbrock Victor Jr. manifold topped with a Holley 950 HP carburetor deliver fuel and air. Coast High Performance's Venom line of crate motors are drop-in ready and include a chrome alternator, pulley, brackets, Edelbrock water pump, and a 2-year/Unlimited-mile warranty.

chp_02_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Coast_high_performance 3/12

Where To Get It
Coast High Performance

Edelbrock's 555 RPM XT is a powerful, big-cubic-inch crate engine package that features a Dart Big-M 9.800-inch deck block, Scat forged 4.250-inch crank, and forged pistons for 10:1 compression. Edelbrock adds their all new CNC ported RPM Xtreme cylinder heads that feature 118cc combustion chambers and high-quality valvesprings for valve lift of up to 0.700-inch. The Rollin' Thunder hydraulic roller cam comes in at 0.632/0.648-inch intake/exhaust lift with 248/256 duration at 0.050-inch. It all sits at 112 degrees of lobe separation. The key advantages of the RPM Xtreme cylinder heads are the increased airflow for big power and the exhaust ports in the stock location, allowing the use of readily available off-the-shelf headers. Packages are available in either carbureted (Thunder Series AVS with MSD Pro Billet) or fuel injected (Pro-Flo 2 with a Mallory distributor) applications. Edelbrock adds a 2-year/Unlimited-mileage warranty.

chp_03_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Edelbrock 4/12

Where To Get It

Herbert Performance Parts Centers
Now you can enjoy the dual benefits of big power and light weight in a small package with Herbert's 434 small-block. Starting with a Dart Little M Sportsman block; the rugged block is filled with Clevite H-series bearings and your choice of a 4340 forged crank and H-beam rods (Eagle or Scat). Pistons are JE units and come with Plasma-Moly rings. Dart's Pro aluminum 215cc heads come fully assembled with fully adjustable Scorpion roller rockers. Inside rests their line of hydraulic or solid roller camshaft. Topping it off are a Performance Products Hurricane manifold, SFI rated balancer, and a Protech flexplate. All engines are dyno tested before delivery.

chp_04_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Herbert_performance_parts_center 5/12

Where To Get It
Doug Herbert

Katech has created one of the most complete, custom 427ci engine packages for any project vehicle. They start with GM's bulletproof LSX block as a foundation, featuring a 4.220-inch bore and 3.819-inch stroke. The crankshaft of choice is a Callies Magnum, paired with H-beam rods and a set of forged pistons. On top sits custom ported LS3 cylinder heads with a GMPP intake manifold and a Holley 850-cfm carburetor. Katech also includes the water pump, damper, oil pan, LS6 coils, and even the MSD 6LS controller. Providing a custom look, every 427 comes with special Katech valve covers, coil relocators, and a belt tensioner. You'll also be happy to know that all engines are delivered dyno tuned with a custom spark calibration and comes with an easy five-wire hookup, which provides for a simple install.

chp_05_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Katech 6/12

Where To Get It
Katech, Inc

Mast Motorsports
Touching upon the LSX-style engines, Mast has created their Black Label X-Block 454 SS. It's a true 7.4L big-block that revs to 7,250 rpm and will run on pump gas. Beginning with a fully machined iron LSX block, Mast adds a Callies 4.125-inch crankshaft and H-beam rods with custom Mahle slugs. The complete assembly also comes with Mast's 12-degree CNC LS7 cylinder heads with double nitrided 0.700-inch max lift springs and hollow stainless intake/exhaust valves. Mast also includes their custom Mast LS7 hydraulic cam with GMPP Cadillac roller lifters. The ECM comes calibrated and retains the MAP/IAT harness with sensors, Bosch fuel injectors, plug wires, GM starter, and your choice of F- and Y-body or truck water pump. For induction, Mast offers a FAST LS7 intake, and a GM 90mm throttle body. A balancer and an oil pan are included to complete the package.

chp_06_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Mast_motorsports 7/12

Where To Get It
Mast Motorsports

Procomp Motorsport
Procomp's big-block 496 crate engine includes a hand-picked sonic- and Magnaflux-tested four-bolt main block that has been bored to 4.130 inches. Procomp utilizes a forged 4340 4.250-inch stroke crankshaft, billet 4340 H-beam rods, and your choice of 10.5:1-compression RaceTec or Probe pistons. Procomp also adds their line of CNC ported 360cc aluminum cylinder heads that flow 360cc's. A custom steel-billet hydraulic roller camshaft is included and paired with a matching set of roller lifters. Ignition is conducted through an HEI distributor with 10mm wires. Engines come complete with breathers, water neck, water pump, and oil filter adapter. Options include polished accessories.

chp_07_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Procomp 8/12

Where To Get It
Procomp Motorsport

Scoggin-Dickey Performance Centers
Beginning with the LSX Bowtie block, an all-forged and super-tough rotating assembly was added along with a pair of deep breathing LSX six-bolt cylinder heads. The combination is topped off with a high-rise intake manifold and comes ready for a four-barrel induction system. Based on the racing derived LS7 cylinder heads, these new LSX six-bolt heads provide tremendous low-end torque and great upper-rpm power. Inside sits a hydraulic roller camshaft with 0.635/0.635-inch of lift with 236/246 degrees of duration at 0.050 inches. Delivered in deluxe form, the LSX 454 arrives at your door with everything from the carb, down to the water pump. Additional features include an impressive dressed-to-impress orange powdercoated block and custom valve covers with the "LSX454" logo embossed.

chp_08_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Scoggin_dickey 9/12

Where To Get It
Scoggin-Dickey Performance Center

Race technology for the street is here with Speed-O-Motive's 625hp 440ci small-block. The base of the foundation is a CNC machined Dart block with splayed four-bolt main caps. Making up the bottom end is a forged 4340 crank, 6.00-inch Eagle Specialties H-beam rods, and forged 10:1-compression pistons with Napier rings. Heavy breathing duties come in the form of fully ported aluminum 230cc cylinder heads. These feature CNC bowl blending and come with 2.08/1.60-inch intake/exhaust valves with 1.6 roller rockers. Also included are ARP head bolts, Fel-Pro gaskets, and Manley pushrods. All engines come balanced, blueprinted, and dyno tuned with a 2-year warranty. Speed-O-Motive also provides free shipping and should you need a bit more grunt, then there's also an optional 675hp race gas version.

chp_09_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Speed_o_motive 10/12

Where To Get It

Shafiroff begins with a Merlin III street block with four-bolt main caps and drops in a complete forged rotating assembly that includes a 4.250-inch stroke crank and 6.385-inch I-beam rods with Clevite H series bearings. Shafiroff installs a Comp valvetrain with a custom grind hydraulic-roller, high-performance hydraulic lifters with vertical bars, and 1.7:1 Ultra Pro Magnum rockers. Heads are SSRE spec Patriot 320cc aluminum cylinder heads with 2.30/1.88-inch intake/exhaust valves and 1.530-inch valvesprings that are locked in with 10 degree steel retainers. The oiling system is taken care of with Melling race pump and Milodon street/strip pan. Rounding out the package, Shafiroff incorporates an Edelbrock dual-plane manifold and an 8-inch balancer. An aluminum block and a fuel injected version are also available.

chp_10_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Shafiroff 11/12

Where To Get It

Smeding Performance
Offering up their smallest Rat motor, Smeding's 540ci monster comes with a fully CNC machined four-bolt main block that sports 4.500-inch bores on a standard 9.8-inch deck. Internals include a complete forged rotating assembly with a micropolished crankshaft, H-beam rods, and lightweight forged pistons with an 8cc dome to create a pump gas friendly 10:1 compression. At the heart of the mill, Smedding includes a custom-ground cam with 0.544/0.573-inch lift and 238/248 degrees of duration at 0.050. AFR 305cc lungs provide plenty of volume which are paired to 1.7:1 roller rockers. You also get your choice of Quick Fuel Technology or Demon 850-cfm carburetor, along with either an electronic HEI or MSD ignition. Plus, it all comes with a 3-year/Unlimited-mileage warranty.

chp_11_o October_2010_chevy_high_performance_engine_guide Smeding_performance 12/12

Where To Get It
Smeding Performance



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print