Thanks for the replies; lots to mull over.
BTW, let's all play nice here... all us American car guys need to all stick together; we'll be overrun by turbo'd JDM stuff before long...
Yeah, the Hemi, Max Wedge, side-oiler and Boss Fords probably all have really good blocks - but they're into that price range where a guy can buy aftermarket stuff that's probably at least as good.
The reason the whole question comes up, is that the engine in my current toy is a BBM that's basically like what I described.
The combo is 440 Source crank/rods/pistons (KB forged?) and heads (think Edelbrock Performer), with a solid roller (262 @ .050) and tunnel ram.
Probably not going to blow itself up with raw power as it sits. On the other hand, having the heads ported, and stepping up the cam, could put this into the area where the stock blocks' weakness shows up eventually. Probably not immediately, but very possibly someday...
I guess the best way to have phrased the question would have been: "for a 650+ HP N/A street build, which OEM block would you use?" Because that's a performance mark that's getting pretty acheivable for the average guy with 'bolt on' type heads and stuff.
Funny thing that the 350 Olds was mentioned. I remember reading an article about a guy using one of those in a P/S Firebird (snuck in because of the 403 engine), which he was spraying because it was a 'small block'. But, I don't think that a 350 Olds as a low-budget N/A engine is going to keep up with a BBC or BBF. Well, not in me or my buddys' wallet ranges.
As far as rods go, there are plenty of inexpensive aftermarket ones. I'd sell the good 440 6-pack or Hemi rods and buy something that's probably an improvement in strength (and certainly in weight) for similar money. I'd guess the Chev rods would probably be a similar case.
But it sounds like in the realm of "budget performance" (kind of an oxymoron, huh?), that the choice would be a 460 Ford or 454/502 Chev.
So, the 4.9" bore spacing was mentioned; what advantage does that give when using a stock block? I'd expect that the 10.3" deck would be a bigger advantage if a guy wanted to put a 4.5" crank in.
Luckily, it's not like I have to run out today and start doing anything. I'm just really looking forward to the next hot rod. I think I will always worry about laying the spurs to the current one.
seduce the attractive... charm the rest