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Big or small block?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by bigk, Jul 5, 2001.

  1. bigk

    bigk 1/2 ton status

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    Before long I'll need to freshen up under the hood. I hate bogging down in the mud and my rig ain't a daily driver. I can probably get my hands on a used 454 for as cheap as I can get a small block crate motor, should I? How long will the 700/208 last?

    Karl
    Temporarily Unemployed Underwear Model
    87 3/4 ton
     
  2. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    We've had this discussion before- it all depends on what your priorities are.

    Big blocks offer more low end grunt, and due to the fact that they don't work as hard as a SB, you can expect them to last you longer overall. On the downside, they weigh more, they use more gas, and replacement parts are quite a bit more expensive. You may also have to upgrade your rad.

    Small blocks offer, in my opinion, the best compromise. If it's properly built, you can get a ton of HP and torque out of a SB. They're a little bit better on gas, and they also run cooler.

    Another thing to consider is that a GM crate comes with a warranty and your buddy's used 454 doesn't. So even if you save yourself some cash up front, you may have to spend it later on higher-priced parts. Check out the difference between the cost of a set of 350 heads compared to a set for a 454!!!!

    You shouldn't have any problems with your tranny/TC as long as you keep your 700r4 cool and clean. I'm not sure if there's any complications mating a 454 with a 700. From what I've heard, a BB just bolts right in.

    Whatever you do, make sure you buy new motor mounts if you swap a new engine in.............



    <font color=red>PHOTO ALBUM-</font color=red> <A target="_blank" HREF=http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=1289798>http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=1289798</A>.......<font color=blue>TRUCK & HIKING PICS</font color=blue>
     
  3. FARTMAN

    FARTMAN 1/2 ton status

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    WHAT IS A smallblock ? ENNUFF SAID,THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FER DISPLACEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now where is my beans THE FART MAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. morphed86k10

    morphed86k10 1/2 ton status

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    I believe CanmoreK5 is right when he says the BBC will bolt right in. You might have an in if you can get the accessory brackets with the BB, as those are a pain because the small block stuff won't work. A stock big block might be okay with the 700R4, but I'd be weary of a 700R4 with a warmed over big block, cool and clean or not. The T-case shouldn't have a problem, they put those behind big blocks from the factory.
     
  5. WOODYJ

    WOODYJ 1/2 ton status

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    I would recommend a 383 crate motor. you won't get as much in it but you will getalmost as much out of it , unless you are talking a 502 0r something insane like that. Not saying a 502 is insanity--just saying that the 383's produce allot of torque for what they are made out of. When you look what the 383 is it is amazing that they run very good at all. They are a 350 block with the 400 rods and machined crank so it will fit into the 350 block. If you really look at the situation, the short rods and long throw of the crank makes the rod angle give the sides of the cylinder walls most of the power put out. I will still wonder how the 383 makes so much torque, and I am running two of them. I built up a 406, which was a 400 block with 327 rods and little short pistons in it. I thought that thaat was the most torque I had ever built into a small block. Just didn't like the little short pistons for a hopefully long lived motor. I am going to stick a LS1 in a K5 soon, and they have short pistons in them too, but they put allot of torque out, and especially when you can program in the torque you want. Well something to think about.

    k5woody I Don't Understand The Jeep Thing Either!!!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by k5woody on 07/06/01 02:03 AM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I would put a rebuilt, torquey big block in it if it's not a daily driver. No replacement for displacement, even as much as I dearly love small blocks.

    Not all 383s are 400 rods (5.565). 383s can be built with 5.565, 5.7, (350) or 6" rods. If I built one I would use 5.7s at least. There is a lot of contraversy concerning rod angle as it relates to horsepower, detonation, etc., but I wouldn't build a 5.565 rod 383. In fact, I wouldn't even build a 5.565 400.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  7. white_knight

    white_knight 1/2 ton status

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    I'd say you have to decide what kind of wheeling you'd like to do in the long run.
    I like the big block much much better. Big difference in torque which to me is what I was looking for. I also love the big horsepower. If you do go BB you will definately need a four core rad &gt; Also with the higher torque there will be other parts that will need to be changed- Forget the 700R.
    Get ready to spend more bucks to put the BB in but in the long run you'll have something better.

    I also agree that a nicely built sm will also work well.
    Depends on how big you want your truck ( tires etc.)
    I you ever go 44's forget the small block. It just won't have enough to turn those meats

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.whiteknight.scriptmania.com/>http://www.whiteknight.scriptma
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  8. talldogg

    talldogg 1/2 ton status

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    BigK,
    Since you asked about a used big block, not building an engine or ordering a crate engine, I would say as long as it's complete (looking for brackets and such is a PITA) go for the BBC. It will require a radiator upgrade (last time I checked AutoZone had the big block rad for $190, lifetime warantee, the disiel one is even bigger but $350) but a new radiator is always a good thing to have. It will suck more gas than a SBC but these rigs aren't hondas either, so milage is pretty much out the window from the start.
    About the 700/208, depends on a lot of factors. What shape is the tranny in now, how many miles? How hard do you drive. Get yourself an auxilary tranny cooler and you should be fine for a while. The 700r4 question has been beat to death and you'll get every opinion imaginable, so it's pretty much up to you.

    It's not what you buy, it's what you build!
     
  9. riz

    riz 3/4 ton status

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    <font color=purple> Go with a stoker kit and get just as much or more out of it ............ so much more accessability to small block stuff ...... just a thought .

    L8r,
    . Riz . <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.geocities.com/rizmonkey>http://www.geocities.com/rizmonkey</A>
     

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