Edelbrock Expands Into In-House Small- And Big-Block Engine Blocks

Edelbrock has been a household name in the automotive performance community for over half of a century, and through their commitment to quality and passion for performance, you know that if something bears the Edelbrock name, it will be a quality piece that does exactly what it claims to do, while being made in the USA. To that end, the team at Edelbrock saw a gap in the automotive aftermarket and decided to step up with new engine block castings for small- and big-block Chevrolet.

“We build quite a few engines and wanted to have a U.S.-made block that aligns with our Made in the USA products,” says Edelbrock’s Eric Blakely. “We’ve been looking into our own blocks for a while. Plus, we have been asked by consumers for years at shows to make blocks.”

While these bare engine blocks are just being released to the public, they have been the foundation of Edelbrock’s small-block crate engine program—as well as their newly-released 540 cubic-inch big-block crate engine—for some time.

“We have done a few years of testing and research to make sure these are the highest quality blocks, and can maximize the power our cylinder heads and intake manifolds can deliver,” says Blakely. “We’ve been using these blocks for our small-block engine for about a year. Our just-released 540 cubic-inch big-block application, is the first big-block application using our new blocks.”

Edelbrock’s engine blocks are all cast and machined in the U.S. to Edelbrock’s tight manufacturing and machining tolerances.

The Nitty Gritty

When you are building a new engine, traditionally, your option has been to reuse your factory block, or a different factory block if the reason for your new engine is the result of damage. Alternatively, one could shell out the coin for an aftermarket block. Edelbrock’s new line of engine blocks offer the perfect in-between option.

The new blocks come in four different configurations; the two small blocks offered are a 350 Chevy with a one-piece rear main seal and a 400 Chevy with a two-piece rear main, and the two big-block offerings are identical with the exception of a one- or two-piece rear main seal. All of the blocks are cast in the United States of high-quality iron, and are machined to Edelbrock’s exacting specifications.

The 350 block comes with a one-piece rear main seal, while the 400 block uses a two-piece. On the big-block offering, you can select a one-piece or two-piece rear main (as seen here).

Small-Block Options

The 350 and 400 blocks have a lot of similarities, with a few differences. The 350 block comes with a 4.000-inch bore and is clearanced for a 3.750-inch stroke. With the maximum recommended bore size of 4.060-inch you can get a reliable 388 cubic-inches out of the block. It features a standard 2.6406-inch 350 SBC main bore size, but with upgraded nodular iron main caps, with four splayed bolts as standard equipment.

The 400 Chevy block comes with a 4.125-inch bore, with siamesed cylinders. It is also clearanced for a 3.750-inch stroke crank, and with the maximum 4.185 bore diameter, you can get 440 cubes out of the block. It uses the standard 2.8408-inch SBC 400 main bearing size, with the same nodular iron splayed four-bolt caps as the 350 block.

Both of the 9.025-inch deck-height blocks feature a revised priority-main oiling system to increase the longevity of the engine. The head bolts use the standard SBC pattern and threading, and thread into water jackets. They utilize a standard location and sized cam bore, and use GM 8- or 10-bolt timing covers. The lifter bores are machined to standard small-block-Chevy specs, and have provisions for hydraulic roller lifters.

Both the small- and big-blocks are machined to factory specifications and have provisions for hydraulic roller lifters.

Big-Block Features

Edelbrock’s big-block Chevrolet engine block has two part numbers, but they are the same with the exception of the rear main seal. P/N: 450000 has a two-piece seal, and P/N: 450001 has a one-piece rear main. Both feature a 9.800-inch deck height with siamese 4.500-inch bores, which can be safely punched-out to 4.600-inches. The bores are clearanced for a 4.500-inch stroke and with the larger bore can safely make a 598 cubic-inch shortblock. A standard 2.120-inch cam bore in the standard position complements the factory big-block Chevy head bolt pattern with blind-tapped bolt holes.

The Edelbrock BBC block is the foundation for their new 540 cubic-inch crate engine which is rated at 650-plus horsepower.

The lifter bores are standard BBC, with the ability to accept Gen V and VI link-bar hydraulic roller lifters. On the underside of the block, there is a standard BBC 2.9375-inch main bearing bore, with four-bolt splayed nodular iron main caps, and a revised priority-main oiling system with integral oil cooler holes is standard. The block accepts standard Gen IV, V, and VI timing sets, and uses a Gen IV 10-bolt cover.

All of Edelbrock’s blocks are cast and machined in the USA, and have been proven in Edelbrock’s line of crate engines, making them a solid option for your next ground-up Chevrolet engine build. With a reasonable price tag and construction which has been designed to take the guesswork out of the build process, these all-new blocks deserve a second look.

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About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent over a decade in automotive publishing as Senior Editor of Race Pages magazine. In his free time, he is a firearms instructor and volunteer in the police armory.
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