If you own a mid ’60s Chevy Impala or Caprice, this tech is for you. The engine has to work a little harder on these heavier vehicles. You can compensate with a big-block engine, which will give you more torque and less stress. They will also make the car move a little better; instead of feeling like a sluggish land ship, your heavy Chevy will power along almost like a speedboat.
While doing a 350 build, we were talking with Jerry of Ace Machine in Riverside, California, about the different engines and Jerry invited us to come back when he was going to put together a big-block. On the scheduled day, we talked about how people get intimidated by a big-block, but the reality is that it works the same as a small-block with only minor differences in parts.
For instance, Jerry showed us that with a big-block you have to grind down the edges for clearance where the connecting rods could hit the wall. Other than that modification, this engine went together very similarly to a small-block. We were very surprised as he put together this long-block in just a few hours.
We talked about doing a 502 build tech, but opted to show you how to build a 454 before jumping into the bigger projects, as there’s more 454 cores to work with versus the newer-style engines. Now follow along as the Jerry of Ace Machine shows us how to put together a 454 long-block.