From the outside, however, World Products' Motown block looks just like any other small-block Chevy, and everything from headers to water pumps bolts up to the block like it was one of the General's own. Inside, however, the strengthening bulk of additional iron is seen in the 1-inch-thicker front and rear bulkheads and the cylinders' more pronounced bulge when viewed from the valley.
"All that extra metal makes the engine stronger and more capable of supporting large displacement and high horsepower," says World's Bill Mitchell. "We added material where it would do the most good."
Another plus to the Motown block is that cylinder head bolts go in blind-they don't hit water. Four-bolt mains are standard, and come standard with nodular iron main caps. A race block also is available and it comes with billet steel caps with splayed bolts.
Of course, we went with the race block and its splayed main cap bolts. To arrive at 454 ci, World Products sets a 4.000-inch crank on the main journals and complements it with 6.000-inch rods connected to forged aluminum pistons operating within 4.250-inch bores. Remember, this is a small-block!
We used our connections at FAST to get a camshaft from Comp Cams (Comp owns FAST). Insisting on a throaty-sounding, high-revving solid lifter cam with great idle quality for drivability's sake, they ground us a special bumpstick.
If there's an X factor in the short block, it's the new camshaft; everything else is pretty much off-the-shelf Motown 454 stuff from World. We'll see how the new cam performs once we get the engine finished off with the new FAST injection system.
Remember, you'll have to come back next month to check out the results.
Affordable AluminumWorld's All-Alloy Motown "Lite" Block Doesn't Weigh Much-In Your Car Or Your Wallet
In the first installment of our World Products/FAST fuel injected 454 small-block story, we pointed out that we used World's Motown small-block engine block.
Cast with additional material in strategic areas to improve overall strength, lubrication and cooling, the iron Motown race block weighs about 195 pounds. Not bad, but World now offers an aluminum version of the block which is lighter by nearly one-half!
That's right. Tipping the scales at around 100 pounds-main caps, billet screw-in freeze plugs and all-the aluminum Motown "Lite" block promises to lighten the load of your Chevy while giving it an exotic underhood appearance.
The block is made of 357-T6 aluminum (the strongest alloy available), but its most striking features are the external ribs and valley reinforcing ribs. The external ribs aid in cooling, while the valley ribs connect the cylinder banks and are drilled to cross-feed the lifter galleys with oil.
And while functional, the ribs-particularly the external cooling ribs-give the block an undeniably exotic look, especially with its telltale bare aluminum finish.