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how do you tell what size a motor is just by looking at it?i was looking at hemi's mopar and of course the best""bowtie"" and i was just wondering if there is a trick or easy way to identify engine sizes?
also i think every other engine looks weird compared to chevy especially the air cleaner on hemi and a few others..what do you think
 

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It's getting tougher to tell just by looking. It used to be that we'd look at the harmonic balancer and say " oh it's a 400sb or a 327" but, now with all the "stroker" motors out there it's harder.

Still you can guess close though, knowing that "road draft tubes" and an "oil filler neck" was only used on early smallblocks you'd guess 283 or 327.

You know those extra 2 holes in your smallblock valvecover gasket? They are there cause the first sb engines (265) have offset bolt holes.

Chances are an Alum. headed BB in a mid 60's Vette is a 427. Chances are, most factory BB's from the mid 70's up are 454's etc.etc......

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There really isn't any way to tell a chevy motors size just by looking at it. You can tell a smallblock chevy from a bigblock by the size and shape of the valve covers (4 bolts on a smallblock and 7 bolts on a big block)but other than that there's no cosmetic difference between a 283 or a 400 smallblock. Same for bigblocks, no cosmetic difference between a 396 and a 454!
 

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400 SB can be identified by "bulges" in the cylinder wall and 3 freeze plugs per side (or 2 with a machined area for a 3rd).

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