But we promise, this is different. Before, getting over 400 inches into a small block meant weeks of tedious grinding and prefitting along with expensive custom components. The process was so time consuming and expensive it made building a Chevy bigger than the classic 383 inches more trouble than it was worth. But now, with intelligent component selection from the right manufacturers, you can build a 427 with all off-the-shelf components. And we’re going to show you how.
Not only is this engine package easy to build, but by using all readily available components it makes building this attention-grabbing stroker basically the same cost as a well appointed 350. The key is Dart’s outstanding SHP Chevy block and a set of innovative connecting rods from Callies. A new SHP block is barely more expensive than a stock block pulled out of a junkyard and machined back to spec–plus it’s capable of handling much more horsepower and can handle 3.750 inches of stroke and 4.125 inch cylinder bores without breaking a sweat. Normally, using a crank with more than 3.75 inches of stroke in a Chevy small block with a standard cam tunnel location will send the sides of the rods crashing into the cam lobes–and we all know that’s not good. But the Ultra XD I-beam rods have the fasteners on the big end of the rod offset so that the side closest to the cam lobe is moved down, creating 0.050 of an inch of extra clearance. We also ordered up a reduced base circle cam from Comp Cams to be extra safe, but the Callies rod is enough to fit an impressive four inches of stroke without having to grind the rod caps.
Our goal is to build an engine capable of 550 horsepower or more than will be happy on pump gas and can be driven every day. This is not a tempermental, high-compression race motor that’s poorly suited for street use–this is a street motor that’s should make great power, generate loads of torque and have a rumble that will turn heads. Plus, it should be strong enough to handle a strong dose of nitrous or whatever else we choose to throw at it in the future.
The first video in the series (above) features the work required to balance the rotating assembly as well as clearance both the K1 Technologies crankshaft and the Dart SHP block. Thankfully, the clearancing work required is minimal and after this the engine should practically fall into place.
This time around we’re actually putting stuff together. In particular, rods, pistons and the crankshaft. Plus, we take a look at a new system from a company called KRAMM-Lox that makes installing piston pin locks a snap–literally.
We worked very closely with Comp Cams to choose the perfect cam for this build. Just like everyone, we want to make great power but don’t want to give up any driveability. We also install the timing set, ATI damper and Edelbrock aluminum water pump.
If you want to try this build yourself, here’s the printable parts list. (Please note that this list will evolve as the build continues.) Check back for more installments soon, and make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.