No matter what side of the great domestic manufacturer debate you find yourself on, there's no denying the simple beauty of the Chevrolet small block engine. Whether it be the early 256 cubic-inch forefather or the ubiquitous 350-cubic-inch that we all know and love, the 90-degree General Motors V8 has established itself as an integral part of the fabric of America. GM is set to build its 100 millionth small block this year, and Translogic decided to mark the occasion by spending some time with the vehicle that helped make the engine famous to begin with – the Chevrolet Corvette.

The episode also takes some time to chat with Jamie Meyer, the product integration manager with GM performance parts, to learn a thing or two about what has made the GM small block such a success over the years. Hit the jump to check out the episode for yourself and click over next week for a look at the face-melting Corvette ZR1. What a difference half a century makes.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      Jeremy Pennini
      • 3 Years Ago
      Translogic is a great show and I enjoy watching it. However, the GM Small block deserves more time than 3 min 30sec.
      Ducman69
      • 3 Years Ago
      There are SO many things that GM has screwed up over the years, but damn straight the one thing they have consistently done well is the Chevy smallblock. I have two 5.7 liters right now in my 01 Corvette and 95 Impala SS accordingly, and its definitely my favorite thing about the cars.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ya know, if this is going to just be one big commercial for Chevy (who obviously sponsors this video series), then they might as well have gone really in-depth with it. Heck, I wouldn't have minded some technical specs, maybe a run down of different technologies that they have incorporated through the years. Even break it down from generation to generation. Basically do a whole documentary on the small block. I'd watch that.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        There's plenty of documentaries about the Chevy small block out there already.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      J
      • 3 Years Ago
      Long live the small block, a consistent bright spot in the GM arsenal despite what naysayers claim about the company.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @J
        [blocked]
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          Wow, you REALLY hate the EcoBoost 3.5 don't you? I mean you didn't even say it in this comment, but I knew you were talking about it because it's the same old and tired comment you have posted in previous articles. Go ahead, respond back. It'll just be like every response you've posted in the past. Wait, you said you owned Chevy Silverado. Hmm, you're either the Silvy or GMFanBoi troll under a different name.
        TruthHertz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @J
        Rate me down if you must, but most of the fuel efficiency gains that have been seen in the small block are as a result of cutting corners. Reducing the size of piston skits to lessen friction inside the cylinder walls. Piston rings with reduced friction causing oil consumption and gummed up exhaust valves for the same reasoning. While I CAN'T say that these are in anyways bad engines, unfortunately the EPA is causing the design philosophy that made them legendary fall by the way side for the sake of fuel economy. My grand mothers 25,000 mile Tahoe with it's Vortec 5300 sounds like a diesel when she starts it because of piston slap from the said short skirts. Three dealers told here this was normal for here make model year. Also note that Ford is able to get about the same fuel economy with their 5.0L as Chevy's 5.3L without the aid of ANY cylinder deactivation tech. I can't wait to see what the new Chevy engines have in store, and then the response from the other two makers. Nobody has all their cards on the table yet. Exciting times..
          Edward
          • 3 Years Ago
          @TruthHertz
          It's not the EPA. It's the market, which demands more mileage from more expensive fuels. Yes, I can remember $.29 gas when this engine was younger, but that's fifty+ years ago. Time marches on, and it looks like the tricks and tweaks on this compact dinosaur are used up. It's about breathing, and four valves are better than two.
          diablo000
          • 3 Years Ago
          @TruthHertz
          It's really not piston slap you're hearing I'm willing to bet. Current LS based engines have god awful valvetrain noise (more pronounced on engines with DoD/AFM) that sometimes is thought to be "piston slap". Once the oil gets warmed up, the valvetrain will quiet down quite a bit. That said, the L76 (used in the G8 GT as well as a few trucks in the Chevy/Cadillac/GMC lineup) has a common issue with it's original lifters on cylinders that are used for DoD/AFM. They will collapse due to an inferior design. Supposedly this was fixed and updated lifters were issue by a TSB, but only time will tell if those new lifters will last.
      Billy Seroyer
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice little American review, dumbed down like always for its 'merican audience's. "230 hp that a lot of power even today", "0-60 in 8 sec, I bet you have cars that wouldn't do that." If you talking about a truck, or a Prius then yes, but even the ECOboost F150 did a 0-60 in 6 sec.
        Bandit5317
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Billy Seroyer
        In 1960, that was about the same power output as a Ferrari. But no, surprisingly it can't compete performance-wise with cars made a half a century later.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      stever
      • 3 Years Ago
      Brad gets pretty close to swinging the hood with that bat!
      JamesJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      My Cadillac had this engine and it was great. It never felt under-powered. I wish I still have that car (I wish I could find out who stole it).
      Gregory W
      • 3 Years Ago
      G-roc: I put a 350 ci in my Chevy Monza and I loved it, the power was unreal. I could spin the tires a full block, if I could keep it under control. Rust killed my car and I got rad of it. Would love too find another one to rebuild. The small block is one of the best engine GM made, you can do anything to it.
      tipdrip215
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its been an amazing half decade plus for the small block, here's to the next half decade plus if they can get that far without the EPA ruining everything. Our great country was pretty much built on the back of this engine. Everybody has or knows somebody that has a story about a set of tires roasted or a load hauled with a small block.
      edselfanboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I believe the 1stV-8 was 265 ci not 256 ci.
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