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Rebuilding A Virgin 427 Engine - Rat Attack

A look at rebuilding a virgin 427.

With crate motors getting cheaper and cheaper, the idea of rebuilding an engine yourself is getting harder to justify—that is, unless you just have to have those critical numbers cast on the block dating the powerplant as an original. Case in point is this 427 we will be focusing on that was built by Brent Lykins of B2 Motorsports. Brent has been building engines for about 10 years, and went into business for himself at the end of 2007. He's also a BSME (Mechanical Engineer), but building engines is his passion. Brent build all brands, but we won't hold that against him because he owned a fully redone '73 Corvette, with a 355, an M20, and a 3.55 rear, about which he said, "It was a fun car."

Anyway, Brent has a customer named Mark Kassab, who is an avid muscle car guy and has made a living out of restoring and selling them. The engine Brent is rebuilding is an L35 390-horse 427 from a '68 Corvette convertible. Mark wants to retain the originality of the car by rebuilding the Rat, but told Brent to make it more powerful and a bit better to drive. Brent retained most of the visible parts like the block and heads, but modernized it, mainly in the way of a roller cam from Crane supported by an Edelbrock intake. After it was all said and done, the motor put out 468 hp—a far cry from only 390!

18. After buttoning up the rest of the motor and installing the factory intake, Brent strapped the engine to the dyno. “We did initially dyno the engine with the factory intake manifold and Q-Jet. It made 422 hp at 6,000 rpm. Not bad, but not enough so we are going to try a different carb and manifold set up.” Torque was 453 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm.

Holley Performance Products
1801 Russellville Rd.
Bowling Green
KY  42101
2700 California St
CA  90503
B2 Motorsports LLC
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