We’re still enamored with conventional small-blocks, and this month we put together the ultimate thumper for any street machine. That means we didn’t go overboard with a radical camshaft or shoot for the sky with monster compression; instead, we went big with the cubic inches, installed a hydraulic roller cam, and topped it off with a 4150-style carburetor. To get this build going, we went to our favorite machine shop, A.R.E. Performance & Machine in Simi Valley, California, where we assembled our 434ci small-block combo.
We started by ordering a Dart SHP block outfitted with a stout rotating assembly, including a 4-inch stroker crankshaft, 6-inch rods, and forged pistons. For induction duties, we relied on a pair of healthy lungs from Dart’s line of Pro1-series CNC-ported 227 cylinder heads and matched it up with Dart’s single-plane manifold.
The 227 heads are impressive to say the least, flowing 309 cfm on the intake and 226 cfm on the exhaust at 0.700-inch lift; granted, we used a rather small hydraulic roller and only took advantage of the flow in the mid 0.550-inch range, but this would allow us to grow into this combination in the months to come. You didn’t really think we would stop, here did you?
For this build, we wanted to focus on a truly streetable combination that would make for a good cruiser, both on the open highway and for the occasional romps, be it on the tarmac or on an autocross course. Why the 434? That’s easy, we wanted big-block–like torque that could move everything from a portly land yacht to a svelte lightweight that could take advantage of the horsepower-to-weight ratio.
Given the post Westech Performance Group dyno numbers shown on page 24, we think you’ll agree, this combination produced a great, usable powerband and could supply a lot of fun in any given chassis. Where do we go from here? Honestly, there’s a nitrous system we’ve been eyeing recently, and a number of dyno tests we’ve been itching to do. Is there something in particular you would like to see? If so, email us at email@example.com or post it up on our Facebook page at facebook.com/chevyhiperformance and let us know!