434ci Small-Block Engine Build - The Bigger Mouse

Packing a Punch With a 434ci Small-Block Stroker

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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.

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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?

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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 chevyhi@sorc.com or post it up on our Facebook page at facebook.com/chevyhiperformance and let us know!

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