What motor? [Archive] - Chevy Nova Forum

: What motor?


Vega
11th-September-2009, 12:07 AM
In your guys opinion what is the best motor to go with for our 69 nova. I know my wife and shes going to want to get something that is reliable yet fast. i was looking at the 383's but they seem to be a more high performance engine and i would think reliability wouldnt be the greatest. Also she doesnt want and LS engine in our car she wants the engine bay to have an old look to it as well.

bowtie0069
11th-September-2009, 12:22 AM
i was looking at the 383's but they seem to be a more high performance engine and i would think reliability wouldnt be the greatest

The cubic inch displacement has nothing to do with reliability, and a performance build would have better parts that actually make it MORE reliable if driven like a stocker. YOU have to decide what will be best for YOUR needs.
400 h.p. small blocks can live forever, just as a 300 h.p. small block could fail in a much shorter time depending on build quality and abuse.
A 383 can make plenty of power and be quite reliable because you don't have to push it as hard as a smaller, lower power engine.
Set a budget you can live with, and decide what you want the car to do.

Paul Wright
11th-September-2009, 12:31 AM
A 383 can be plenty reliable. You get what you build. You probably want to buy a GM crate engine that's been well engineered and built to last. They make a nice 383 that's a bolt in and go.

71SS454
11th-September-2009, 08:50 AM
Reliable and making good power? That's easy, stay away from the small blocks. IMO, the best you could get for it is a GM crate engine, 620hp, pump gas 572. If the budget and wife allow it.

taz3
11th-September-2009, 10:05 AM
Reliable and making good power? That's easy, stay away from the small blocks. IMO, the best you could get for it is a GM crate engine, 620hp, pump gas 572. If the budget and wife allow it.

X2, I have a couple buddies running crate BB's and they're all reliable, plus you get the WOW factor when you lift the hood!:yes:

I run a .060 over 396 in my 69, I starts all the time.

veno
11th-September-2009, 10:17 AM
:waving: :popcorn:

the mechanic
11th-September-2009, 10:36 AM
Im going to say 383 if your going with a small block-the TRQ difference between a 383 and 350 is unbeleivable....as said you get what you pay for...

novaboy009
11th-September-2009, 10:43 AM
GM Goodwrench 350 crate engine. Just got mine in last weekend. Daily drove the car all week with no issues. Makes good power and excellent off idle torque. Will fry the tires up with ease. With sales tax and transportation included, I bought mine from a local dealer for $1,560 out the door.

The motor is 260 hp and 300 ft/lbs. Not exactly a barn stormer, but probably fine for your wife if she's used to driving economy cars. 3 yr/100k mile warranty. It's ALL NEW components.

If not, the 290 hp 350 motor and the ZZ4 are all capable performers. One of our members with a heavy 4th gen is running consistent mid 12's with a ZZ4. That would definately be considered a fast street car, still with a warranty.

Kev

bowtie0069
11th-September-2009, 01:30 PM
Reliable and making good power? That's easy, stay away from the small blocks

You know I've seen some stupid statements on here before but............I think we have a winner.

novaboy009
11th-September-2009, 01:37 PM
You know I've seen some stupid statements on here before but............I think we have a winner.

I was going to comment on that as well. But figured I'd let the others get in a fist fight over the sbc/bbc argument.

Kev

69LT1Nova
11th-September-2009, 01:55 PM
GM crate engine. Period. Comes with a warranty, and all new components. No worries, no hassle - and you can get it in whatever HP flavor you want. :yes:

VooDooII
11th-September-2009, 04:37 PM
You know I've seen some stupid statements on here before but............I think we have a winner.

:yes::yes::yes::rolleyes::rolleyes: I guess I better throw my small block away:devil:

71SS454
11th-September-2009, 05:33 PM
Why is that a stupid statement? Making max power at a lower rpm is the key to reliability with a high performance street engine. A small block will never match the torque at low rpms that a big block will make, simply due to the difference in cubic inches. You go build yourself a 7000rpm small block that runs 10's, I'll build a 468 Pontiac engine that never turns past 5800rpm and still run 10's. Which engine do you think has a longer life span? It isn't the high rpm small block, that's for sure. Which engine do you think is more driveable? Again, it is not the small block. So you may want to think about any statement you may make before you make it about anothers being wrong.

You can apply the same to any BBC. Building a 496 that could be driven comfortablity across country with out any trick peices, and still out run the small blocks (like a 350, 383, 406) is kinda like hitting the side of a barn with a baseball, it's that easy.

bowtie0069
11th-September-2009, 07:41 PM
You go build yourself a 7000rpm small block that runs 10's

Who said anything about a 7000 rpm small block that runs 10's? You made a blanket statement that said you can't have a reliable small block that makes good power--That is stupid!

Building a 496 that could be driven comfortablity across country with out any trick peices, and still out run the small blocks (like a 350, 383, 406) is kinda like hitting the side of a barn with a baseball, it's that easy.


Now there's your next stupid blanket statement. Maybe you should hang around at the track and make a fortune selling engines? Every week I see guys with big blocks (whether they be Chevy, Ford, Mopar.....) that couldn't come close to a 10 second pass no matter how many trick parts they throw at it. But then we have a guy with a 434" small block in a big tire Vega that just barely squeaks in the 10's.
Anytime you want to take a hundred mile drive behind my small block, then go to the track and make a few passes--without stopping for fuel or to cool down, let me know. And bring your wallet, I'll be more than happy to send you home broke.

69LT1Nova
11th-September-2009, 07:46 PM
:popcorn: :popcorn:

This is getting good! How about we talk about HP/dollar for SB vs BB? :stir: :devil:

taz3
12th-September-2009, 12:19 AM
:popcorn: :popcorn:

This is getting good! How about we talk about HP/dollar for SB vs BB? :stir: :devil:

It's so different up here, our SB parts are pricey too. For me it's easier to build a mild BB then a SB. I was just on the hunt for a 1999 Denali engine I found a used one for $1500 not to bad, except it had 300,000 miles on it!:eek: 454 BB in a crew cab P/U $1100 with 90,000 miles. depends what you have access to as well.

tpinovaII
12th-September-2009, 12:40 AM
OK. I'll be the one to ask the obvious questions. What are you going to do with the car? Will it be street driven? Will it be raced at the dragstrip? Do you need it to corner well? Do you plan to drive it long distances? Will it be a daily driver? No one can give you an objective answer with this info.

...and not everyone will be able to give an objective answer with it.:devil:

Vega
13th-September-2009, 04:28 AM
it will be our weekend cruiser and probably will never see the track. Cornering is definatley something we are looking at as we both dont like the floating motion of the car right now. We do plan to drive from ND to MN to visit family occasionally, but gas mileage still isnt a concern. My wife wants something that is going to produce good power and put you back in the seat. We have a 350 in it right now and she is not impressed with it at all.

$Piker
13th-September-2009, 04:55 AM
small block alum heads and intake, with hotchkis front end, 2004r, 700r4, or m22 trans. 373 posi rear.

perfect cruiser with plenty of seat feel.


hell, i'll sell you my car!!!!

71SS454
13th-September-2009, 06:11 PM
Yes, a small block can make decent power. I never said it couldn't, but plain and simple, for a street car, go with the biggest engine you can afford to. The extra cubes will make alot more torque, which is what you'll be looking for with what you want to do. That'll give you that kick in the pants feeling. Plus, big engines make power at lower rpm levels, making them more durable.

Now, as for handling, a small block helps because it keeps weight off the nose, but an aluminum headed big block weighs close to an iron headed small block. My iron headed big block handles really good witht he right suspension peices, and has torque a 350 or 383 will never make.

My 10 second example, it was just an example. I wasn't suggesting that this is what everyone is looking for. But look at a car campaigned by Jim Hand. It's a 4200lb. station wagon that runs bottom 11's with an iron headed 474 Pontiac engine,hydraulic flat tappet cam, with a q-jet, a low stall convertor, and a 3.31 rear gear, thru a full exhaust system. You could drive that thing across country or cruise it all day long. It would ba a dead solid reliable engine in a street car, and in a light weight car like a Nova (Ventura) would run 10's all day. That's what a big cube engine does for you. Plus, with less rear end gearing and lower convertor, iy wouldn't be all that horrible on gas. On the way to Goodguys, my 427 with 3.73 gears got better fuel milage than my friends 350 with 4.30's. It's all in the combination, but the bigger engine usually wins the street car debate.

bowtie0069
13th-September-2009, 06:23 PM
It would ba a dead solid reliable engine in a street car, and in a light weight car like a Nova (Ventura) would run 10's all day.

So, that's all it would take to run 10's....just drop it in any old Nova or Ventura? Like I said before, you should hang around the track more--you could make a fortune putting all these cars in the 10's! Simple, nothing to it!

On the way to Goodguys, my 427 with 3.73 gears got better fuel milage than my friends 350 with 4.30's. It's all in the combination, but the bigger engine usually wins the street car debate

I've seen plenty of small blocks get terrible gas mileage, but I've never seen ANY big block get decent mileage. My 14.5-1 small block with a 283@.050 roller got 10.5-11 mpg on the Power Tour turning 3500+ rpm most of the time. It wasn't much, but I've seen far worse.

Have you ever owned a 10 second car?

BlueDeuce
13th-September-2009, 06:58 PM
Too bad those guys aren't close enough to take him up on the track offer :yes:. I'd take off work to see that one.

71SS454
14th-September-2009, 08:44 AM
Have you ever owned a 10 second car?

You know, I wasn't going to get int othis, but to answer your question, Yes, I have owned a 10 second car, a 10 second street car at that. And I do go to the track, alot, and race, alot, and help friends set up their cars. if you guys have all these engine/car builders out there that can't run 10's with a big block, maybe you need to spend sopme time on the east coast learning some things. Running 10's is not hard to do. Now you tell me you have a 350 that runs low 9's or high 8's and can drive it across country, ok, now I'm impressed, but a 10 second car around here is just an average bracket car. And no, just dropping that engine into any old Ventura won't guarantee you 10's, but if your chassis is working correctly, it most certainly would run the numbers. My Firebird ran a best of 10.86 @ 121 with a 412 cube engine, Edelbrock heads, and a 255/264 @ .050 solid flat tappet cam, with an off the shelf TCI convertor in a TH 400 with a 4.56 rear end in an all steel, full interior car. No power adders. And I used to drive it up to 150 miles one way for shows/ cruises. I wouldn't of been affraid to drive it anywhere. Sorry, I never weighed the car, but I guess it weighed around 3400 with me in it. My friends 69 Firebird runs 10.70/10.80 all day long with a 406, iron heads, flat tappet cam in an all steel car, and his Ventura will run deep into the 11's with a 406 (these are all Pontiac engines, but the points the same) and a hydraulic flat tappet cam, 3.90 rear, in an all steel, full interior car, with a cal-trac rear set up on a 29x9 slick, putting the car in drive and flooring it. I don't get what you think is so hard about it?

And none of this changes my original point to answer this original post. For the best mix of power and reliability, go with the biggest engine you can afford to. You don't need a huge cam, big stall convertor, or steep rear end gears, but you will have torque out the wazuu, a car that's easy to drive, easy on parts, and really pushes you back into your seat when ever you stand on it. Ive built quite a few small blocks, but my current engine is the first big block Chevy I've really messed with, and it would absolutely stomp my old small block, and it does it with less gearing and a lower shift point. Why do you think 383's are popular with the small block guys? Because you can't beat a bigger engine for torque, plain and simple.

And yes, I'd love to make my money building engines and setting up cars for people, but I have obligations, so quitting my job to chase a dream is not something that could be a reality right now. Maybe in the future.

71SS454
14th-September-2009, 12:00 PM
Here's another idea for you, depending again on your budget. Get and LS1 engine and stroke it to 408, or an LSX block and stroke it to a 427. Then to make it a simple swap, use and Edelbrock intake for a carb, and look up Pace Performance. Pace sells a front cover that allows you to use a traditional distributor, so it wouldn't be any more complicated to install than a small block. You just have to get the right accessory drive, oil pan, headers, and engine mounts. Now you have a light weight engine, with more cubes, that will make really good power, and be reliable as well.

69LT1Nova
14th-September-2009, 12:31 PM
it will be our weekend cruiser and probably will never see the track. Cornering is definatley something we are looking at as we both dont like the floating motion of the car right now. We do plan to drive from ND to MN to visit family occasionally, but gas mileage still isnt a concern. My wife wants something that is going to produce good power and put you back in the seat. We have a 350 in it right now and she is not impressed with it at all.

This is an easy one. GM performance crate. Your current 350 is more than likely only putting out 200ish HP (if that). A GM performance crate will bump you into the 300 HP range right off the bat, and you can definately go up from there.

Don't like the floating motion? A nice Hotchkis front sway bar will help out a bunch, as well as their springs. A big block will add a bunch of extra weight to the front end - exactly where you don't want extra pounds for good handling.

Don't pay attention to the SB vs BB sword fight going on... :bored: some people just don't know how to let go... :rolleyes:

bowtie0069
14th-September-2009, 03:11 PM
I don't get what you think is so hard about it?

I don't find it hard to build a 10 second car; what I said is there are plenty of cars with BIG engines that can't come close to a 10 second pass. And yet, there are plenty of 10 second small block cars running around on the streets.
Here's the dyno sheet from my current small block, it seems to have sufficient torque to move a typical Nova, and it never saw 7000 on the dyno:
http://images32.fotki.com/v1065/photos/4/42437/132535/410dynoreal-vi.jpg

novaboy009
14th-September-2009, 03:15 PM
500 ft/lbs at 3,300 rpm........

That could be used in a tractor pull competition!

Kev