496ci Short Block Build - Big Heat

Building a 496ci Short-Block for the Tarmac

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The potential for making a ton of twist is merely a game of cubic inches and compression. In other words, the more cubic inches you’ve got to pack air and fuel into, the more power you’re going to make.

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Lucky for us, our favorite big-block hasn’t changed much since its inception; it’s what helps keep most of us well within our budgets when building a potent mill for the track. Combine that with what the aftermarket has to offer and you have the perfect recipe for making a whole lot of grunt with big bore, big stroke combinations. Since big-blocks already have the advantage of a larger footprint, piecing one together for the strip is a no-brainer and a guaranteed torque monster.

As with any serious build, setting the appropriate groundwork lies within the unseen players. Feed a freshly machined block the right rotating assembly from the get-go and the potential for power is nearly limitless. It really comes down to the prep and installation of bulletproof components for a mill, and it has to have enough guts to last and pull any old-school or late-model favorite to the big end. The biggest challenge is selecting the right components to perform round after round.

For this build, we went to Dr. J’s Performance in Anaheim, California, where owner, Bryce Mulvey took us inside the belly of our 496ci short-block build. Inside, our key players included a complete forged Scat rotating assembly with a 4.250-inch stroker crankshaft and 6.3850-inch rods. To back it all up, we installed a set of big domed forged JE pistons. At the heart of our freshly machined two-bolt main big-block is a high-lift COMP Cams solid-roller setup with matching lifters and an adjustable billet timing set. Follow along for the complete details and the next time you see our short-block, we’re planning to follow it up with a complete Brodix STS Race Rite BB-2 top end.

Forged Crank

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Scat forged standard weight crankshafts are designed for street or race engines with substantially increased horsepower. Scat crankshafts are precision-ground, heat-treated, shot-peened, inspected, and micro-polished at Scat for superior tolerance control. Scat crankshafts are also nitride-hardened for superior wear resistance, have straight-shot and chamfered oil holes, and feature lightening holes in all rod throws. These crankshafts also have a large radius on all journals for improved strength and wear resistance.

Scat Crank Specs

Rear Main Seal Style Two-piece
Stroke 4.250
Crankshaft Material Forged 4340 steel
Engine Balance External
Rod Journal Diameter 2.200
Crankshaft Snout Style Standard
*All measurements in inches

Forged Rods

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Scat’s forged 4340 H-beam connecting rods are strong and perfect for power adder and high-compression combinations. These rods incorporate a special doweled cap for specific cap-to-rod alignment, profiled with extra clearance for stroker applications, and come balanced and weight matched as a set.

Scat Rod Specifications

Connecting Rod Length Center to Center 6.385 inch
WristPin Style Floating
Connecting Rod Bolt Diameter 7/16 inch
Rod Journal Diameter 2.200 inch
Big End Bore Diameter 2.3250 inch
Pin End Bore Diameter 0.990 inch
Big End Width 0.992 inch

Cam specs

Type Roller Mechanical Roller
Valve Lift 0.714/0.710
Duration at 0.050 270/280
Lobe Separation (degrees) 110
Basic rpm Range 4,800-7,200
Intake Duration at 0.050-inch Lift 270
Exhaust Duration at 0.050-inch Lift 280
Advertised Exhaust Duration 315
Intake Valve Lash 0.024
Exhaust Valve Lash 0.026




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