Jack McInnis: "The perception that aluminum blocks lose power through decreased ring seal, as compared to iron blocks, is largely based on early aluminum blocks, which lacked the integrity we can achieve today. Aluminum blocks might have sacrificed power many years ago, but that's not the case anymore. A properly engineered modern aluminum block will make the same power as an iron block. We were recently involved in a direct comparison test with a big-block dragster engine making in excess of 1,100 hp. The engine was assembled and dyno tested with an iron Dart block, then disassembled and rebuilt using an aluminum Dart block. At the end of the day, the power figures were nominally identical for the iron and aluminum blocks."
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Readers intending to use this book as a guide to parts selection and compatibility are well served. The parts descriptions, casting numbers, cam specs, and cylinder head specs are all there to help a reader plan his Y-block engine build. A complete assembly sequence is also laid out for readers to follow with how-to descriptions and illustrations of all the minor details that ensure a successful build. The exploded drawings are of particular interest for the novice builder as they show the layout of the entire engine. Engine and cylinder head identification numbers are specified to help readers identify parts at the salvage yard. Eickman’s approach is thorough and straightforward, allowing even the first time engine builder to feel comfortable. Original service bulletins are also included, but due to the near thirty year period since the book’s publication, there is no source guide to steer readers to present day specialty suppliers. Y-block specialists are still out there and you can find performance parts to some degree. The book is no help in this regard, but it more than makes up for it with its depth of information and a comprehensive build guide. It may not be pretty, but the stuff between the covers is solid reliable information you can depend on if you’re a Y-block builder.
Although the small-block Chevy engine was designed to be an efficient passenger car engine, the design’s simplicity and durability has been providing Chevy fans with some of the fiercest engines ever. SBCs have powered just about every kind of race car from Indy and Le Mans, to drag strips and dirt tracks all over America.