anyone building a big block powered T-bucket?

Discussion in 'engines and drive train' started by grumpyvette, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Ive always been rather amazed that there seems to be far more SBC powered t-buckets than almost all the other engine choices COMBINED
    yes you occasionally see a few 426 HEMIs, LS and the new hemis
    but they seem to be far rarer,
    and a couple big block chevys , occasionally
    when I was younger, hell one guy I had classes with in engineering school had a t-bucket with a CHRYSLER SLANT 6 with a push button automatic trans
    I remember far more guys building the T-buckets (KITS WERE CHEAP AND MOST OF THE GUYS COULD BUY ECONOLINE VAN FRONT STRAIT AXLES AND FORD 9" or BUICK REAR DIFFERENTIALS with a much more varied list of ,
    power plant and drive train choices
    the Buick 455,
    caddy 500,
    Pontiac 389-455
    Chrysler 383-440 wedge
    Chrysler 354-392 hemis
    and ford 429-460 engines
    were hardly rare choices
    keep in mind most guys had fairly easy access to larger car power plants and drive train components back in the 1960s-1980s but I still find the lack of variation rather odd?
    Id also add that most of the guys would not even consider use of anything but a 4 speed manual transmission when I was younger, but I have to admit that by the mid 80s or so most of the guys I knew had swapped to built up automatics with a high stall converter and there were far more guys who had upgraded to DISC BRAKES, while when I was in high school back in the mid 1960s the large aluminum drum brakes from the fords and buicks were seemingly the hot ticket, especially if you had the large aluminum drum brakes of the buicks

    are you working to a set of blue-print style plans, assembling a kit from some supplier, with matching components, or just winging the construction of the tee bucket?
    NOW don,t get me wrong, theres not a thing wrong with "WINGING IT" provided you have extensive experience building those cars,
    but if not your FAR BETTER OFF following a well designed set of plans, or selecting a prepackaged kit, as purchasing components and assembling them from different sources can pose some problems with parts that won,t fit together easily
    a few t-bucket frame and related linked info,46194.html,24789.html



    When the Mark IV was installed in production vehicles for the first time in 1965, it carried the Turbo-Jet name on the air cleaner, displaced 396 cubic inches, and was rated at a maximum of 425 horsepower in the Corvettes.

    Here’s a quick look at milestones in the big-block’s expanding and contracting history of displacement:

    396 cid – introduced in 1965, with 4.094-in. x 3.760-in. bore and stroke (first production Mark IV engine).

    427 cid – introduced in 1966, with 4.250-in. x 3.760-in. bore and stroke (aluminum versions used in COPO supercars).

    366 cid – introduced in 1968, with 3.935-in. x 3.760-in. bore and stroke (tall-deck; used in truck applications).

    402 cid – introduced in 1970, with 4.125-in. x 3.760-in. bore and stroke (advertised as 396 cid).

    454 cid – introduced in 1970, with 4.250-in. x 4.000-in. bore and stroke.

    502 cid – introduced in 1988, with 4.466-in. x 4.000-in. bore and stroke (Gen V block, originally developed for non-automotive applications; adapted later by Chevrolet Performance).

    572 cid – introduced in 2003, with 4.560-in. x 4.375-in. bore and stroke (developed by Chevrolet Performance; no production vehicle applications).


    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2018
  2. Swampdog

    Swampdog New Member

    There aren't many T Buckets around here, but a few have small block Fords. I get nailed for not having a Ford engine in a Ford a lot.

    My Idea of a hot rod is an engine swap to get things started. There is a Cadillac (early 70's) convertible not far from my house. Hasn't run for a few years but these TV shows have people expecting unrealistic prices for old cars today.

    Sure would like to get a hold of that engine . I'm thinking it is 470 or 500. That would SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START in a T Bucket.
  3. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    There are just a Few hardcore racer type of guys left Grumpy.
    My thoughts tonight.

    Thinking most are content with SBC power & its dirt cheap to build.
    BBC is pretty much unknown to today's younger generation.
    Really its just LS-1 - LSx.
    We see that every day on Digital Corvette, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, & C7.

    The Baby Boomer Gen has aged Grumpy. Only You are still HP & Race happy Proud.
    Rest want creature comforts & vintage Air A/C. Immediate giveaway they will never ever drag race let alone street race.

    My Generation at 45 years old ........Its Just Me & '70 Bird man.
    Pontiac V8 power. & I like BBC.

    Phils Gen..........Race anything if they can find and afford it.
  4. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    Only one way to bring back the Glory in Full Grumpy.
    Unfortunately the Bar has been raised so high by Warbirds Hellcats most are not interested.
    Just Myself, Phil, & You Grumpy.

    The Worst that ever happened to this Hobby is that Pro Touring Movement .
    Turned the bunch into a wanna B's.
    Cars are the Furthest from what's needed to Win Drag Racing.

    Corvette has lost to the Hellcats.

    Not My 1970-1/2 TA. STILL FULL RACE.
  5. Russell

    Russell New Member

    I am currently building my T with a 454 from a 78 dually. As of this writing it is bone stock with the 791 heads removed. If the rotating assembly checks out I will leave it alone and just put a street friendly cam in it (possibly the smallest thumpr cam) and rebuild the heads. I have a Weiand Stealth intake for it already.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  6. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    there are FAR better cams than the CC THUMPR SERIES
    I build a good many big block engines and you DO have other choices that will produce better power
  7. Russell

    Russell New Member

    I agree. That's the first one that came to mind. I have built several small blocks but this will be my first bigblock.
  8. JohnHancock

    JohnHancock Well-Known Member

    I’m building a T Bucket with a Vortech 454. It will have a very long wheelbase (think front engine dragster) and yes, it will be supercharged!
  9. Loves302Chevy

    Loves302Chevy "One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."

    I don't care for the look of the LS engines, and I think I would puke if I saw one in a T bucket.
  10. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

    Just Awesome .
    I Love Big Block Chevies.
  11. Indycars

    Indycars Administrator Staff Member

    Good to see you back on the forum John, don't stay away so long this time !!!;)

    Tell us more about your plans for this TBucket
  12. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    Russell I could be wrong here,but it would seem like your not all that concerned with making the most of that BBC 454, engine power potential, thats fine.
    if your just looking to build the engine for its visual impact., a set of tall cast or chrome valve covers and your choice of several intake manifolds,
    careful paint work, on the block,and impressive headers, can potential give you that "LOOK" without having to invest much in parts

    JohnHancock once we know more about your intended power range and budget limits we can surely suggest some component choices,
    but keep in mind if the intention is to drive the car on the street, you'll want to think carefully about power/rpm range & durability
    most components that are designed for 1/4 mile racing won,t work on a car that might be used for taking a couple hundred mile cruise at highway speeds.
    you could easily build a low 10, or even a mid 9 second big block car with a mildly improved 454-540 BBC,that would be useful for trips and street drive-able.
    but the drive train suspension and tires, brakes , engine and transmission fluid,cooling and transmission durability and shift points will be more critical than,
    the getting the max potential power from the engine in that light weight car.
  13. JohnHancock

    JohnHancock Well-Known Member

    I built my avatar in 1972 and drove it for over 100,000 miles in a 9 year period. I had a 588 Dragster that ran 7.50@175 so speed I’d not my goal. I’m now 72 so my power is not my goal. I just love the front engine dragster look so that is my motavation for this build. Hanging with Indy Cars will make me have to step up my game!!
  14. JohnHancock

    JohnHancock Well-Known Member

    Guys, the more I poke around this site the more I find out how much I don’t know! When I started my build I thought I would just stick a blower on a stock Vortech 454 and drive on down the road. Not really needing more power than that would give me. Now I’m starting to reconsider that train of thought! You guys are going to cost me MONEY! Lol
  15. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    yeah, but were also not going to have you sitting on the side of the road wondering why you spent $4K-$6K on a project that blew up a week or two, after the engine was assembled
  16. Indycars

    Indycars Administrator Staff Member

    Cool !!!

    So lets get started planning, what are going for 600-700 or maybe 800 HP?? How radical
    cam are you think? Yada yada yada ???
  17. JohnHancock

    JohnHancock Well-Known Member

    Oh Rick! I knew you would be all over this! This will give us some fun times over chicken wings and beer! Lol
  18. Indycars

    Indycars Administrator Staff Member

    Snicker Snicker, hehehe !!! :p
  19. JohnHancock

    JohnHancock Well-Known Member

    Testing to see if I can post a picture. This is a car I built from a stock ‘32 Ford about 25 years ago.

    Attached Files:

  20. Indycars

    Indycars Administrator Staff Member

    Yep, you got the magic touch with pics! Nice car, guess you sold it to fund another project?

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