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L89 427 Big Block Engine Build - Build It Right The First Time

How To Blueprint An Engine, Part 1.

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Typically, the engine build-ups we do here at Super Chevy are more about the recipe and less about the procedure on how to actually build the engine. We do this because the assumption is most of you readers are seasoned builders who know how to assemble an engine (or the person putting together your motor will). We figured it was time to go into more detail on how to build the actual engine before we put it up on the dyno to see how our combination works.

Our idea is to take a very iconic motor, the L89 427 big-block, but build it with new, modern parts. No junkyard or swap meet stuff for this build-everything will be new but still retain the visual essence once you pop the hood. We know that a 427 is pretty small in today's sea of 500-inch-plus monsters, but since we are using a Dart Big M block, the motor can and most likely will be expanded to 632ci with some machine work and a new rotating assembly.

Like we mentioned, the foundation for this build is Dart's Big M block that features some cool stuff. The block is casted out of Class-32 high-nickel iron, which is stronger than the iron used in the stock blocks. It has 4-bolt ductile iron main caps with the option of billet steel for the 1,000-plus horsepower guys. The coolest feature of the block, in our eyes, is the redesigned oiling system. Instead of oiling the cam first like the stock blocks, Dart reconfigured all the oil passages and sends it to the crank first then up to the top end. This keeps the most critical part of the engine-the mains and rods, with oil.

To cap the iron block, we picked up a set of Dart's 275cc Oval Port Pro 1 aluminum heads that have many years of R&D integrated in. The heads are cast from virgin 355-T61 aerospace alloy and have a small, high-velocity port design, raised exhaust ports, improved spark plug location to produce great flow for low- and mid-range power, while still being able to breath on the big end. Plus, the Pro 1s can be used with off the shelf pistons, valvetrain components and intake manifolds.

Inside, will be a rotating assembly consisting of a crank and rod set from Eagle and JE pistons. We want this thing to sound like a street killer so we decided to test out the Big Mutha' Thumpr cam from Comp Cams for an extremely aggressive idle. There will be a lot more parts used to get this thing running, but we'll cover that next month when show how to outfit a long-block, properly break it in, and then dyno tune it. So make sure to come back next month to see how much oomph our L89 V2.0 engine produces.

To get the skinny on what goes into blueprinting, we took all our parts to Speed-O-Motive in West Covina, California. Speed-O-Motive is a full-service machine and speed shop so it has the ability to do anything we need to this engine.

The crew took us through the entire process of getting all these components correctly installed and now we are going to pass that knowledge on to you.

Hopefully you'll be able to use these checks and procedures on your next engine build or at least know what you are paying for when you have a shop blueprint your stuff.

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