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8-71 Weiand Install - Going Big

We add an 8-71 Weiand blower to our 383

By Richard Holdener, Photography by The Author

It might be the current economic situation, or possibly because it's an election year or maybe we have all just taken a good look at our waistline, but America seems to minimizing their propensity for super sizing. Small is the new big, with a call to arms to shrink everything from the government right down to the size of a New Yorker's favorite carbonated beverage.

One might question the logic behind imposing limits on a Big Gulp, but who among us wouldn't like to drop a few pounds? In many cases, less really is more, but this particular build up isn't one of those instances. In fact, it's all about more, as in more cubes, more cam and more compression--but we didn't stop there. In keeping with the theme, we even added a large blower. Usually reserved for big-block applications, our big-inch, small-block was topped with nothing less than a dual-quad inducted, 8-71 supercharger from Weiand. Loud and proud, nothing screams "look at me" like an 8-71 sticking out of the hood. The question now was did the massive blower have the bite to back the bark? Was it really worth the effort to "Go Big?"

While it is possible to build small-blocks exceeding 450 inches, doing so requires a great many custom components. Our adventure was more of an off-the-shelf variety, including the eventual displacement of our stroker assembly. Not content with a mere 350 inches, we stepped up to the most common of all small-block stroker dimensions, 383 ci. This was achieved in the usual fashion, by combining a 4.03-inch bore with a 3.75-inch stroke. Knowing boost was also on the list, we opted for a 4340 forged steel stroker crank from Scat matched with a set of its 6.0-inch I-beam rods.

Completing the stroker rotating assembly was a set of forged flat-top pistons from JE and matching rings. Some may question the use of (relatively) high-compression flat-top pistons on a blower motor, but elevated static compression improves off-boost power and fuel economy, to say nothing of maximizing overall power. The trade of is it makes octane rating and tuning more critical. Not wanting to use a production block, we instead chose a new four-bolt race block from Procomp Electronics. Available with either a 4.030- or 4.125-inch bore, we chose the smaller of the two. The beefy block was on hand to withstand the prodigious power offered by the blown stroker.

The camshaft all but determines the personality or more accurately the power curve of the motor. Small cams maximize low-speed power (torque) production, while more aggressive profiles shift power production higher in the rev range. Looking for big power numbers from our 383, we chose our cam accordingly. Choosing a cam from the Crane catalog, we selected one of its powerful solid roller profiles. The Crane cam offered a 0.670/0.625 lift split, a 260/268 duration split and 108-degree lobe separation angle.

We know blower cam guys out there might be wondering where the big intake-to-exhaust split or where the wide LSA are, but believe us, this cam worked well both normally aspirated and supercharged. We've even tested this profile against a so-called blower grind and found the NA cam worked better in both applications. The high-lift, roller cam was ideally suited to the impressive flow rates offered by our cylinder heads. Crane also supplied the roller lifters and 1.5 ratio Gold roller rockers. With our cubes, cam and compression taken care of, it was time to address the induction system. Obviously the stroker would eventually be topped by the massive 8-71 supercharger from Weiand, but we also wanted to break in the motor and make a few pulls in normally aspirated guise to establish a baseline. Looking to optimize the induction system, we combined a set of Super 23 230 heads from Trick Flow Specialties with a single-plane intake from Dart.

By Richard Holdener
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