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Chevy Small Block - The Beginning: Danger Mouse, Part 1

The Beginning - Part 1

Mike Petralia Sep 1, 2002
Sucp_0209_01_z Chevy_small_block Motor 2/18

Have you ever wished you had your very own engine dyno? Or how about just a mule motor to test and abuse every day? One in which you had no money at stake and really didn't care if you blew it up? Well, we're going to give you one. Danger Mouse is what it shall be known as, and SUPER CHEVY is the first magazine ever to offer its readers an engine for testing the products and ideas they want to see tested.

The premise is simple: We're building a stout 355-cid dyno motor and taking suggestions from anyone for what to test every month. Since we first mentioned Danger Mouse last September, we've been cataloging the dyno requests that have come in, and so far we've only seen a few that'll really set the world on fire. But, that's okay. If all you guys want to see is stuff like which stock cylinder heads make the most power, then we'll track down each and every set of those heads and test them for you on Danger Mouse.

We're serious when we say that we'll consider testing ANY idea you throw at us, as long as it makes sense. So keep sending your suggestions in. There are two ways to get to us: either write it and mail it to the address listed at the end of this story, or if you can compute, email your suggestions to Please keep your suggestions short and to the point, but feel free to expand on any examples of your idea that you may have already seen or where you came up with the idea in the first place. To give you an example of what we'd like to see: think of which cam-intake-and-cylinder-head combo has made the most power you've ever thought possible.

Sucp_0209_04_z Chevy_small_block Cast_iron_block 3/18

To build Danger Mouse strong, we chose a Motown cast-iron four-bolt block. It came to us finish-machined with the main bolts torqued in place.

Maybe it was on your friend's car, or maybe you saw it at the track. Heck, maybe you saw it in another magazine and couldn't believe the test results! We want to test those kinds of things. We want to prove or disprove someone's claims of horsepower domination. In fact, we eventually plan to test practically everything the aftermarket makes for small-blocks, so keep your suggestions coming so we can see which ones really stand out and which ones belly flop.

The Strongest Mouse In The Land
To make this series live past its second or third installment, we had to build Danger Mouse so it could take whatever we throw at it. To that end, we've secured a World Products Motown block with four-bolt main caps from the guys at Bill Mitchell Hardcore Racing Products (BMP), the largest retailer for World Products in the country. Before shipping it out to us on the West Coast, BMP bored and honed the block 0.030-over so it will closely approximate what you guys already have.

For the rotating assembly, we needed a stout package that could face down anything from nitrous to turbos and return from the fight still standing. The folks at Lunati provided a complete rotating assembly including a balanced 3.48-inch stroke, 4340-forged crank, 5.7-inch Pro Billet rods, 2816-forged alloy flat-top pistons (with four-valve relief pockets), Lunati/Taylor Plasma-Moly rings, and Lunati/King race bearings.

Sucp_0209_05_z Chevy_small_block Main_cap 4/18

One extra cool feature of the Motown block is that the notches are machined into the sides of each main cap to make removing them easy.

To finish off the bottom end and make sure Danger Mouse lives up to the tasks at hand, we turned to Milodon for a complete oiling package including a high-volume oil pump with heavy-duty drive and pick up and a newly designed oil pan. Milodon was also our source for the head studs, oil pan and pump studs, and the intake manifold bolts.

For Part 1: The Beginning: we're going to detail the short-block pieces (less cam, which we'll detail next month) and their assembly procedures to show you how a stout motor gets done. Next month, we'll finish the buildup and put Danger Mouse on Westech's Superflow dyno for its baseline testing with a stock manifold and Q-jet carb. Then, it'll be anything goes from there.

Send your test suggestions to:
Super Chevy Magazine
Attn: Danger Mouse
720 Hundley Way
Placentia, CA 92870
Or Email:


World Products
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Powerhouse Products
Memphis, TN 38118
Simi Valley, CA 93065



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