Big Block vs. Small Block

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by Shocwave04, Dec 1, 2004.


  1. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    Spoken like a person who's never had a big block Stang ( or any other big block car :rolleyes: ) I've had both. Both have their merits. Biggest drawback to a big block Stang, isn't the driveability ( my 67 FB 427 Stang could take 40 mph curves at 80 :D ) the drawback is working on it when it breaks parts. I had Hooker headers on mine at one time. The reason I cut them off when I ran across a set of 428CJ manifolds was it took 3 hours just to bolt or unbolt the headers. Changing plugs and adjusting the valve lash was also great fun :notnice: Now I have a small block in a Ranger ( 331 stroker), this thing is as fast as my old 427 Stang and a hell of a lot easier to work on. Easy as pie to get the power out of it when starting off with a roller block. Puts out around 400-450 hp, but also cost me $3500 to do it. ( actaully over $4000 if I include the cost of the six pack induction) Back in the early 80's it cost me $2000 to rebuild the 427.
  2. 67GTA-FB429

    67GTA-FB429 Member

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    I knew that you were hiding out there somewhere and would eventually weigh in on this. :hail2:

    You bring up some good points: cost. old-school vs new-school technologies. and overall engine mods required to produce X amount of power and torque. also the part I hate; easy working conditions, that is a place where small-blocks are king.
  3. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    I generally try to stay away from the "elenwhore threads" ( I guess that shows how I feel about them :rolleyes: ) But I've been too busy till last night soooooooo I strayed into this one. Haven't read the whole thing, but that one quote stood out, and I had to answer that guy's ignorance on the subject. I'd love to have my old Stang back, but not the part about working on it. Guess I''l just stick with the Ranger and the 68 Merc ( it's really easy to work on the 390 in it :D ) And start saving money for a new 2005 Stang, saw one in person the other day and I'm in love. Maybe I'll run across a wrecked or blown up motor V6 car and swap the 331 sixpack into it :D
  4. pabear89

    pabear89 Active Member

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    I like the minor mods to My C motor,
    It brings it near or better to the Stock Big Blocks.
    With less weight and easier to work on. :nice:
    Tired of Busting knuckles. :(

    PB
  5. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    Glad you brought up the Cleveland, now there's a happy compromise in a classic Stang. Even a mild Cleveland can put out big block power. :nice: And that's with 2 bbl heads.
  6. Max Power

    Max Power New Member

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    That's ESPECIALLY with two barrel heads! ;)
  7. Hack

    Hack Active Member

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    I've never had a big block Mustang either, but I trust Mr. Shelby and actual racing results (see previous posts) on the handling issue. Anyway, I'm sure big blocks handle fine for the street, or even racing. Small blocks just have a greater potential for superior handling in a Mustang. Edit: I don't count big ovals as "handling", a big block boat with the right aero add ons will be very fast there.

    Just like a small block can run the quarter quickly, but a big block has the potential to be faster.
  8. 67GTA-FB429

    67GTA-FB429 Member

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    So a Cobra Jet is a Cleveland. I was always a little confused on that one. What makes it a Cobra Jet?

    And Hearne is right a 351C is an awesome compromise...that is what I really wanted in mine.
  9. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    Yea, there was a 351CJ. But it had open chambered 4 bbl heads instead of the better ( IMO) closed chambered ones. There were other differences too I think, but that was the biggest one.
  10. Hack

    Hack Active Member

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    The CJ and SCJ were 429s. For some reason it seems to me that the 428 may have been called CJ, but I'm not sure on that one.

    The high-performance version of the Cleveland was called "Boss". I think it might have also been called CJ in 1971, Ford must have liked the name. :D

    Edit: some differences in the high performance versions:
    1. 4 bolt mains.
    2. C connecting rods were magnafluxed and given higher stength nuts and bolts. Rods were also spot faced to reduce the stress concentration on the rods at the bolt heads.
    3. Different pistons
    4. Pushrod guided adjustable rocker arms - hardened push rods and guide plates.
    5. The heads were different as well.
    6. Cranks were the same, but the high performance cranks were inspected prior to use.
  11. 67GTA-FB429

    67GTA-FB429 Member

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    You are right about the 429s...stock, CJ, SCJ, and BOSS.

    But I am pretty sure there was 351s, W, M, 2bbl C, 4bbl C, BOSS and a Cobra Jet version. Check PBs sig...he is saying that he has a 351CJ. Did the Cobra Jet 351 become the BOSS 351 in 71?
  12. usedtobe 67p51d

    usedtobe 67p51d New Member

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    let's tear up golfcourses and build race tracks!
    If you had a choice of two girlfriends,one 130 #'s the other 210'#s and they both made you happy wich one would you keep? it's the same with the motors most stroked sbf will run 60-70k without a hitch some are lasting longer while a fe is lasting 100k in all honesty I'll stick with the lighter one it's easier on the {bed}springs!
  13. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    Depends on which was better in bed :D Or even out of bed. :nice: the bed's not the only place to do it :rlaugh: Fat girls need lovin too. :nice: And there's many that are better at it than the skinny ones. :hail2:
  14. usedtobe 67p51d

    usedtobe 67p51d New Member

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    let's tear up golfcourses and build race tracks!
    I was trying to keep it PG by saying that they both made you happy ;] he he but weight in a fastcar is bad.
  15. 67GTA-FB429

    67GTA-FB429 Member

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    :lol:

    Funny how this thread has gone from exhaust to engine size to something else entirely. :rlaugh:

    I think if you look at the results of the poll that I started, early returns show that most people here have only driven small block Mustangs...but it seems that most everyone has an opinion about how big block Mustangs will drive and handle. That tells me that too many people read and assume that the magazine is always right. There have also been lots of racing references in this thread...and while I want to drag my car just to see what it will do, for the most part I am setting it up for around town driving...gettin groceries. And I know that it handles just the same big or small...Its fun to ride and drive.

    :banana: :banana: :banana:
  16. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    You're setting yours up like my 67-427 Stang was, it sounds like. I too liked to occasionally hit the strip, but found it was more fun to drive daily around town and on the highway. I suffered with the stock suspension for years but finally got around to rebuilding the frontend, this included the stiffest springs I could find at the time ( the mid 80's) the springs I chose were Moog's and were for a 68 428CJ convertible ( the heaviest big block Stang) I also swapped from 4 wheel drums to 4 discs at the same time. The Versailles rear ( actually came from under a Monarch) had 2.50's with trac-loc, which I left alone. :D 140 mph was only 4000 rpms with the Toploader 4 speed :D As I said before it handled as well as any small block car. It also helps to get plenty of practice behind the wheel of any vehicle to be able handle a big block car like it were a small block. I've found that to be the case with any vehicle. It's always been my philosophy that it's not just the vehicle you have to worry about when racing someone else, but the driver is your biggest worry. Any vehicle is only as good as it's driver. :nice: I've whooped many a better car (heavy trucks too) in my life in street encounters just because of my skill and the knowledge of how far I could push whatever it was I was driving to it's limits.
  17. BB67FB

    BB67FB New Member

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    I own a big block mustang that has a 289 in it now, and though I think the performance right now is good, I cant wait to put a big block back in it, for multiple reasons; it came with a big block, the suspension is still set up for a big block, and a FE engine fills up the engine bay nicely, and more power will be easier to obtain with a FE.
    I debated on a stroked small block, but in the end i decided a big block was the only way to go!
  18. usedtobe 67p51d

    usedtobe 67p51d New Member

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    let's tear up golfcourses and build race tracks!
    38 y/o who still plays with karts,yes I know how to drive.
    I've owned a 66 gt 390 fairlane that drove well
    I own a 67 fastback with a 331 and it does what I wish for yes a big block is sweet but a big inch sbf is fine I don't need a bbf in front of my car...hell I wish that I could bring my motor back 6" my motor only makes 326#'s of torque@ the wheels.I wouldn't mind more but I can't hook up what I've got something about having a roadrace set

    My dad has a 428 cj that was in his f250...yes it did not come stock in his truck. anyways I asked him about the motor today...his plans are to stick it in his '57 fairlane. We got talking about this debate his comment was that he owened the motor but for a mustang he'ld use a 351w strocker unless it was a show car. and for drag it would be a 460 based motor
  19. Sicarius428

    Sicarius428 Active Member

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    Nobody is doubting that the small block has more potential to take the heavy weight off the front end. All people are saying is that with aluminum heads and ditching the 80 lbs FE intake as an example for an aluminum one makes it not nearly as bad as one might imagine. For some people, the sacrifice for a some handling for the power of the big block could be justified... and some not. Nobody can deny the power potential of the BB but some people are pushing their SB in BB power range. It just depends on how much money you have and where your prioreties are.
    Kevin
  20. 72mach1

    72mach1 Founding Member

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    small blocks are fun, small, light, "cheaper" parts. Big blocks are larger, lots of power potential, heavier. You can make any engine have alot of power, wild cams, super chargers, turbos, nos. If it came down to wanting a good power to weight ratio, we'd all throw dual turbo 4cyl's in our cars. if it came down to money, we'd all run chev 350's. I'd rather have a busted ass 428cj running on 7 cylinders than a hot 351w anyday, Go to a cruise in, pop the hood, and see which gets more attention, AND from what kind of people bet all the common people flock to the 351 crate engine with all sorts of crap on it, but I bet all the people who truly love mustangs give the busted up 428cj more respect. Either way I am glad I have my busted ass cleveland 4v it has the best of all worlds, thats why massaratti used them in the late 70's, as well as the pantera, they have small block weight, big block power, they rev fast and high, dont give me crap about the oiling problems, any cars going to need trick oiling systems running 6-8000 rpm constantly. I've seen pictures of 351 clevelands that Cosworth experimented on, some made over 850 hp, even one that made 1000 hp with a dual turbo set up. hell the N/A one made 600hp. I guess my argument is, with so many police around, traffic choking the nation, suburbs eating open land, there's quickly dissapearing areas to show off your 300lb 351 stroked to 427 with a blower and all sorts of mods. I'd rather have an engine that gets respect for being 30-35 years old, and still putting tons of power to the ground, all with out tons of "newer" tecnology. the way to doing that is old school big blocks!

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