Hell Bent: The Devil's 350 Chevy Small-Block
600 Horsepower at 6,000 rpm--and Do it For 60,000 Miles with Off-the-Shelf Parts
The magic number of 600 ponies is key in this buildup. For some reason, at that power level stock parts become scrap metal. As a general rule, any motor that makes more than 600 hp isnt streetable due to expense more power than that will blow up the best GM 12-bolt and scatter a Muncie M22 in a blink under daily driving. The idea of running Dana 60 rearends and Lenco transmissions on the street is a bit much to expect, so the goal was to get that power level at 6,000 rpm with parts that require minimal machining and are available to the masses.
We approached several manufacturers with our game plan. It didnt take long before some sinister motives took over and this little mouse motor began to grow. We looked at all the components each manufacturer said would do the trick and began to assemble this beast on paper. In a revival of sorts, we learned that small-block components have gotten cheaper and better. Competition has driven the market to fiercely great quality and low prices for premium parts. A set of rods that sold for $800 ten years ago is now about $360.
Now dont let power ratings and numbers scare you. The components well show you are fairly garden-variety race parts; theyre in the upper crust of consumer-grade hot rod goodies. Keeping the recipe simple and the ingredients available means that this is nothing to be afraid of. The hope is that just a little of this devil will make it into everyones ride. In this buildup series, well show you how to do the complete buildup and test a few mild performance parts. All told, the plan is to throw in two cams, try out two top-end induction assemblies, and test four carburetors that are both naturally aspirated and blown to the limit.