Small Block vs Big Block - Whats the difference?

     When it comes down to hotrods and street-rods, the first thing that comes to mind is the engine: that big thing sticking out the hood, probably with a pipes rowed along the sides that make a lot of noise!

     But if you’re a bit more versed in the industry, then you probably have heard the terms “big block chevy” and “small block ford” being thrown around quite a lot. Well, we at Billet Kings, wanted to go ahead and help you hotrod newbies out by explaining the two.

     Before making this industry any more complicated with the additions of LS Swaps, Hemi Motors, and other mods and restorations-back in the olden days of American automotive muscle-manufacturers like Chevrolet and Ford had a simple engine block, which was the standard. Since the 1950’s, Chevrolet introduced an engine model with larger valves. Not that it was physically larger-but mainly that the valves along the top of the engine would compress and expand higher, which in turn generated more pulling power for larger vehicles.

     Today, that standard model of block, obviously after being kept up with modern regular upgrades, is what became today’s “small block” engine, whereas the larger model, with higher-moving valve pumps, is what became known today as “big block” engines. This can be shown in the difference of engines, one usually having higher-reaching valves along the sides than the other.

    This all being said-it mainly is determined to be a “small” or “big” block, by the engineering manufacturer. Don’t confuse the cubic inches and virtual size of the engine blocks. Some “mouse motors” small block engines are actually BIGGER than big block motors.

     So now that you know a thing-or-two about your big and small block engines, modifying and restoring those classic jobs sitting in your garage will be a breeze. Keep your eyes out for more posts about informative blogs from us, follow Billet Kings on Facebook, Instagram, etc. And feel free to check out some front-end drive accessories and modification kits available for your serpentine drive systems! www.billetkings.com , your one-stop shop for all things front-end drive system!


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