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Gen I small-block Chevy engine. This drawing is of the version of the cid Chevrolet. Drawings by David Kimble. Production of the original small-block began in the fall of , for the model year, with a displacement of cid, growing incrementally over time until reaching cid in Several intermediate displacements appeared over the years, such as the cid that was available with mechanical fuel injection, the cid as well as the numerous cid versions.

Over the years, every American General Motors division, except Saturn, used it and its descendants in their vehicles. In all, over 90,, small-blocks have been built in carbureted and fuel injected forms since Chevrolet Block Identification number locations. Photo from www. Big Block Chevrolet. We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

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Pontiac was forced to abandon its signature Tri-Power induction system in when General Motors banned multiple carburetion on all vehicles except the Corvette. To be sure the new 4-barrel engines performed at least as well as the previous hp Tri-Power engine, airflow was improved by reducing piston-to-valve angle from 20 to 14 degrees, and increasing valve diameters from 1. Streamlined exhaust manifolds were used to improve flow, and the block bore diameter was increased.

General Motors banned the use of multiple carburetion in In an attempt to maintain performance, Pontiac developed a new intake manifold and specified the new Rochester Quadrajet carburetor for its performance applications. Capable of flowing cfm, it was an efficient design that was used well into the mid s. In addition to those changes, Pontiac completely redesigned the intake manifold using the s Super Duty 4-barrel manifold as a template.

The dual-plane design featured long, smoothly contoured runners to produce maximum torque at low speed. Though there was large push to cast the manifold in aluminum to save weight, cast iron was ultimately used to quell reliability concerns and maximize cold-weather operating characteristics.

The was also slightly affected for As the full-size offerings grew in size, they required even more horsepower to maintain performance. It borrowed technology from a new highperformance engine that Pontiac was developing for , which contained some very unique pieces aimed at reaching its intended 6,rpm limit.

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The port work improved exhaust air-flow by about 10 percent over a comparable D-port, and the outlet shape was intended to make fitting tubular headers easier for racers. The valvetrain was comprised of specific heavy-duty components, and the new number hydraulic-lifter cam was teamed with 1. The combination was rated at hp for the Firebird and for the GTO.

New cylinder heads with larger intake ports, cast-aluminum intake manifold, and 1.

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Available in the GTO and Firebird, the hp engine with nearly Such examples are highly coveted by collectors today. Two new performance engines were introduced for the Firebird and GTO, and both carried over into with minimal changes. The camshaft teamed with 1. The mill was rated at hp for the Firebird and hp for the GTO. To regulate emissions, General Motors imposed a compression-ratio cap of 8.

Pontiac knew that increasing displacement meant similar horsepower could be attained at a lower RPM.


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  • To combat certain forms of tailpipe emissions and to keep insurance premiums in check, General Motors imposed a corporate compression ratio limit of 8. Rated at hp, it used many Ram Air IV—type components and included revised round-port cylinder heads and an camshaft. An exhaust gas recirculation EGR valve is a vacuum-operated emissions control device located on the intake manifold of every Pontiac V-8 from forward.

    Its purpose is to allow metered amounts of exhaust gas to reenter the cylinders during certain operating conditions, limiting the formation of a specific pollutant. Even when forced to comply with emissions regulations, Pontiac shocked the industry when it released the Super Duty in Featuring such components as a specially reinforced block, forged pistons and connecting rods, and new high-flow cylinder heads, the round-port engine was capable of running at 6, rpm.

    Availability was limited to the Firebird Formula and Trans Am in and Fewer than 1, were built during its two-year run. Adhering to the imposed compression ratio limit, the H. The camshaft was chosen to maximize low-end torque, and specific hydraulic lifters were used to effectively limit engine speed to no more than about 5, rpm, quelling warranty claims from overextended operation.

    In response to more stringent exhaust emission standards, exhaust gas recirculation EGR was introduced for It consisted of a valve mounted on the intake manifold that allowed metered amounts of inert exhaust gas to re-enter the combustion chamber. The SD was a max-performance effort designed to operate at 6, rpm. Additional material was added to the SD block to increase overall rigidity, and it contained a provision for dry sump oiling at the rear.

    A nodular iron crankshaft with deep-rolled fillets was employed. It was retained by four-bolt main bearing caps. Specific forged-aluminum pistons were complemented by beautiful forged-steel connecting rods. To improve the performance of its , Pontiac installed a turbocharger for the model year. It added more than 50 hp to the naturally aspirated 4-barrel mill, taking the total to around hp.

    A number of special components were used to accommodate the added cylinder pressure that occurs under boost conditions.

    Availability was limited to the Firebird Formula and Trans Am. The intake port was so wide near the entrance that its sidewall actually broke into the adjacent pushrod guide passage, and a thin-wall steel sleeve was pressed in to seal it. Specific valvesprings and high-quality 2. A new cfm Quadrajet and a specific cast-iron intake manifold with enlarged runners were used with the SD A spec hydraulic camshaft was used throughout development and testing, lending to its hp rating, but when it finally reached production in May , a spec cam was used to ward off emissions concerns, and the engine was subsequently rerated at hp.

    Availability was limited to the Firebird model line. Only SD-powered Firebirds were produced in , and all were the hp variety. An additional 1, Super Duty Firebirds were produced in New federal emission standards shook the industry during the model year.

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    Pontiac utilized a single exhaust catalyst and a compression ratio of just 7. High-ratio rear axle gearing was used to keep engine speed relatively low, which lessened emissions and improved fuel economy. Performance suffered and the was emasculated to just hp. Pontiac knew that high-revving engines had become a distant memory, so in an attempt to shed overall vehicle weight, material was removed from low stress areas of the block.

    The blocks are reliable for normal duty applications, but should not be used in any high-performance effort. Another significant change occurred in mid Pontiac eliminated the common harmonic balancer on most and ci engines backed by an automatic transmission. A crankshaft hub was used in its place and it served as an accessory drive and contained a top dead center TDC timing mark.

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    The was discontinued after and a high-performance took its place in With heavy emphasis placed on maximizing fuel economy, Pontiac developed a small-cube V-8 in a lightweight package to complement the downsized models it would introduce in the near future. The svelte block was filled with a crankshaft that had only one large counterweight at each end and cast connecting rods.

    Several thousand were set aside for the Trans Am. A turbocharger was added to the to give the Trans Am an injection of performance. With turbo boost limited to less than 10 pounds, the was rated at around hp in both and General Motors ceased Pontiac V-8 production in March It was the final chapter in a saga that started in and concluded after 14,, engines were produced. Pontiac always maintained a performance image and a great number of hobbyists competed regularly with their Pontiacs in various stock and modified classes.

    These guys drove some of the quickest Pontiacs to ever make a pass down the drag strip in their day. Arnie Beswick drove a number of different Pontiacs during the s and s. He almost always has one of his Pontiacs with him. Mickey Thompson was so serious about Pontiac performance during the early s that he took it upon himself to develop and produce a specific cylinder head with a hemispherically shaped combustion chamber, which was sold by his Long Beach, California—based Mickey Thompson Equipment Company.

    A complete line of accessories was also available, which included pistons, valve covers, and intake manifolds. This particular engine is owned by hobbyist Jack Gifford. Thompson claimed an increase of more than hp was possible when compared to modified Pontiac heads. Kauffman Racing Equipment produces a wide variety of heavy-duty components for those wishing to compete at the top levels.

    This inch engine features an aluminum block, canted-valve cylinder heads, and dual carburetors. It generates more than 1, hp and has run the quarter-mile in as quick as 7. Butler Performance has gained a reputation as a premier Pontiac engine builder providing hobbyists with potent combinations ranging from dedicated street engines to max-performance boosted V-8s.

    The 2,hp beast has propelled his 2,pound LeMans to a quarter-mile best of 6. Photo Courtesy Don Keefe.