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.
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.
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|
|Crankshaft Material||Forged 4340 steel|
|Rod Journal Diameter||2.200|
|Crankshaft Snout Style||Standard|
|*All measurements in inches|
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|
|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|
|Type Roller||Mechanical Roller|
|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|
Elite Race Solid Lifters
These COMP Cams Elite Race solid-roller lifters are trick and come with a myriad of features. Some of these are the exclusive body design that don’t include an oil band, which maximizes rigidity and reduces lifter bushing wear. The body is manufactured from CNC-machined SAE 8620 steel alloy, with steel alloy wheels that have been micro-polished and micro-sized and needles that are made from 52100 bearing steel and micro-sorted with a controlled contour profile. While the construction and body design make them incredibly strong, they are also lightweight, with each lifter weighing less than 100 grams. They also have oversized (0.400-inch) axles that are dual-pinned, have captured link bars and an exclusive modular pushrod design that allows the pushrod insert to be swapped out for centered, left, or right offsets. These lifters also have a patent-pending oil control through the pushrod insert; engine builders can modify the lifters to meter extra oil to the top as desired.