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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to know what makes the sbc better than any thing else? I think it has something to do with the lube system, but? Would like to get some opinions and stories going.

Can't rule out the crysler slant 6 though. They were running one at work with NO OIL in a hi-lo. I went to change th oil and ?!?! Now that i think of it the used that motor on dura lubes toucher test, Mabee they can run w/o oil?
 

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Without question, the 265 V-8 of 1955 was one of Detroits milestone engines.Though designed for efficiency and easy repairs and a low unit cost, it was really one of those "blue sky" projects that comes along only once or twice in an engineers career.You just knew that the engines needed 5 main bearings-with a certain bore/stroke relationship to produce the finest engine designs for the 265-283-327-348-409-427-454cid.Plenty of inexpensive hop-up parts were available-simple installation-which equaled fast cars.
 

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Interchangability without question and Zora Arkus Duntov pushing Chevy management to produce hot rod parts the customer could buy at the parts counter. Those two things, in my opinion, are what made the small block ubiquitous. Before the original small block, almost everyone used flat head Fords and Henry didn't see any reason to change. With a Ford, everything was homemade or after market but you could get Chevy engineered speed parts right from the dealer and know they worked.
Don't get me wrong, every manufacturer has their "bulletproof" engines but Chevy has 10 engines that pretty much interchange 80-90% of their parts and I think that puts them over the top.
 

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Couple of things I'll add..

1. Distributor in rear. This also moves the oil pump to the back so that you have a rear sump oil pan. This makes the sbc easier to put in many vehicles.

2. Standardization. Chevy stuck with the same pattern and just refined it for years. If you have a sbc just about any part will fit on another sbc. They'll also bolt into most cars whether they have a 6 or a big block.

3. Due to #2 parts can be made to fit many engines, and therefore can be made cheaper. Ever look at the price of parts for fords?? Ford kept changing their designs which then required engine specific parts. I mean how many different 350 size motors do you need?(351M, 351W, 351C, 352, 360 etc)
 

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The goal from the very beginning was to design a V8 which was lightweight and simple in design. I'd say that the original design team succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The stability of the design, with very little change through the years, is testimony to their genious. I always joke with people that I could almost walk into a drug store and get parts for my Chevy because of the number of small blocks manufactured over the last 47 years.

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MalibuJerry350
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Original owner '70 Chevelle.
568,000+ miles on car.
Hey, if it's got wheels, DRIVE IT!
My Chevelle: http://hometown.aol.com/erie614/myhomepage/index.html
 

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i think the parts swapping has something to do with it. if you look in a summit mag, in the cam section, you will see about 2 listings: small chevy, and big chevy. wiwth other engines, you always see ford 351w 351r 351ajax..... and so on this costs to other guy money when he has to make 11 different types of cams to fit in one companies engine, so in turn the other guys parts will be pricy. plus they weigh a good 200 lbs less than many other engines. they are cheap to build and manifacture.
 

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To add to what jpete, chevymad and others have touched on...I think that the availability of performance parts in the beginning gave it life and GM's ability to produce so many in all cars and trucks with very minor changes (for the most part) that have many interchangeable parts and same physical size have kept it a favorite of many. For example, you can take a brand new crate engine and add high performance parts from just about anybody and bolt it into a 58 Chevy with essentially no engineering or parts fabrication required. Its relatively light weight to horsepower ratio possibilities have also made it a favorite engine for transplanting as well.

I agree with the rear sump making swaps generially easier but sometimes I do wish that distributor was up front


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Dale
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67 SS & 67 Elky
Dale's Place
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Integrity: If you have it, it doesn't matter - If you don't have it, it doesn't matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know what you guys are saying, and its true. But what i want to know is what makes them so indestructable. My dad said when he was into rodding, 50-60, that in the 50s the ford has better but since then the chevy motors are the best. Not just for rodding but for running 200,000 miles. Why?
 

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Availability of parts, whether buying new parts from the dealer, scrounging the salvage yards, or buying aftermarket parts. This means that it is the most economical engine to work on and modify, as well as the most mechanicaly simple.
I rebuilt a 340 out of a Cuda just before I rebuilt the 350 in my Chevelle. The rebuilds were identical, new pistons, head rework, etc. The 340 cost almost three times more to rebuild than the 350
 

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Well to go into what you said about the oiling system in your original post, you are correct. The Chevy has about an optimal system right from the start. I'd have to look it up to be sure but I think itpumps to the rods and mains first then almost simulaniously oils the cam, lifters and rockers. On a Ford and some others(I believe) oil the cam and valvetrain then the rods and mains. If I'm not mistaken(and I may be) the Ford "Side-Oiler" got the name because the main oil galley runs down one side of the block making a hump the runs abve the pan rail front to back. This means all the oil is on that side of the motor for those several crucial seconds on start-up. It's things like that that makes the SBC better, as in, more durable than others.
 

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Engineering

Racing

standardization
 

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Also realize that the SBC has always had superior head design (from the factory). Only recently in the aftermarket have heads been available to rival Chevy's (SB or BB)efficiency. Ford, Chrysler, even the B.O.P. engines were handicapped by their factory head designs. How many "hot" heads were available stock for Chevys as opposed to the others. Efficiency can lead to power or gas mileage. SBC are also without question the gas mileage kings of V8 engines. All of this has been rendered somewhat less important due to the aftermarket head offerings, but for a lot of years it made a big difference.

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Steve

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