interesting caddy engine build


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Camshaft Specs
Unless otherwise stated, all values are in crank degrees at 0.050-inch tappet lift.
Type: Hydraulic flat-tappet
Grind: Dick Miller Custom
Lobe separation (cam degrees): 113
Installed centerline int./exh.: 108/118
Duration int./exh. at 0.006 in: 274/277
Duration int./exh. at 0.050 in: 230/234
Intake opens/closes: 7 BTDC/43 ABDC
Exhaust opens/closes: 55 BBDC/-1 ATDC
Valve lift (1.7:1 rockers), int./exh.: 0.571/0.565 in

DYNO data
Southern Performance in Memphis is Miller's preferred test facility. Run on 93-octane pump premium with 36 degrees of advance, the engine rocked to the tune of 649.3 lb-ft of torque at 3,400 rpm, with 526.3 hp by 5,000 rpm. Grasp the total breadth of these curves: From 2,900 rpm through 4,400 rpm the engine made over 600 lb-ft. It made over 500 hp from 4,400 on up, and over 400 hp from 3,300 to 4,300 rpm.

2,900 611.6 337.7
3,000 621.5 355.0
3,100 642.7 379.3
3,200 645.6 393.4
3,300 649.1 407.9
3,400 649.3 420.3
3,500 640.1 426.6
3,600 636.1 436.0
3,700 629.0 443.2
3,800 633.4 458.3
3.900 635.9 472.2
4,000 625.6 476.4
4,100 621.1 484.8
4,200 610.0 487.8
4,300 602.9 493.6
4,400 603.5 505.6
4,500 593.6 508.6
4,600 586.1 513.3
4,700 581.6 520.4
4,800 572.2 523.0
4,900 561.0 523.3
5,000 552.9 526.3

541ci Big Block Cadillac V8 - Torque Monster! - Engine Buildup

Blueprint Data
Except as noted, all dimensions are in linear inches. For cam and valvespring specs, see the Camshaft sidebar.

Engine type: Cadillac OHV V-8
Engine builder: Dick Miller Racing

Measures And Volumes
Displacement: 541 ci
Bore x stroke: 4.375 x 4.5
Compression ratio: 10.1:1
Main journal size: 3.25 (Cadillac)
Main bearing clearance: 0.0029-0.0034
Crankshaft endplay: 0.009
Rod-journal size: 2.20 in (big-block Chevy)
Rod-bearing clearance: 0.0029-0.0030 in
Rod side clearance: 0.021-0.024 in
Rod center-to-center: 7.0
Rod/stroke ratio: 1.56:1
Piston-to-bore clearance: 0.0069-0.0073 in
Piston compression distance: 1.547 in
Crank centerline to deck: 10.794 in
Piston deck height: 0.003 in (above block)
Head gasket compressed thickness: 0.039 in
Combustion-chamber volume: 76 cc
Piston ring gap, first groove: 0.028-0.032 in
Piston ring gap, second groove: 0.025-0.028 in
Piston ring gap, oil groove: 0.022-plus in
Camshaft endplay: 0.002-0.005 in
Piston-to-valve clearance: 0.100-plus in

Critical Tightening Values
With Torco MPZ assembly lube
ARP head and main studs: 100 lb-ft
ARP rocker-arm studs: 55 lb-ft
ARP intake bolts: 35 lb-ft
With Oliver assembly lube
ARP bolts in Oliver rods: 30 lb-ft initial; rotate 40 degrees clockwise; recheck torque-should be at least 50 lb-ft
With red thread-locking compound
ARP flexplate bolts: 85 lb-ft
Grade-8 damper bolt: 85 lb-ft
Grade-8 timing-chain bolts: 35 lb-ft
Cam fuel-pump eccentric bolt: 65 lb-ft

Test facility: Southern Performance
Peak power at rpm: 526.3 hp at 5,000
Peak torque at rpm: 649.3 lb-ft at 3,400
Fuel: 93-octane unleaded pump gas
Timing: 36 degrees
Spark plugs: NGK R-5671A-7, gapped at 0.055

Building a Cadillac 500 From the Junkyard
Written by John McGann on January 16, 2016


When Size Does Matter

With their 5-inch bore spacing, Cadillac’s 472- and 500ci engines were the largest-displacement, domestically produced gasoline engines at the time of their production, which spanned the 1968 to 1976 model years. That record held true until 2002 when Dodge bumped the displacement of the Viper’s V10 up to 8.3L, or 506 ci. Unfortunately, these big engines went into production just as the federal government’s demands for tightening emissions went into effect, forcing the manufacturers’ Band-Aid approach to meeting them. During the first half of its production, the 472 and 500 had a 10.25:1 compression ratio, but around 1971, compression plummeted to 8.5 or even 8.25:1. Power levels took a dive as well. Where once the mighty 10.25:1 engines made 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, the lower-compression engines struggled to make 300 hp. To be fair, it’s a bit difficult to judge those numbers, because the switch from gross to net horsepower ratings occurred at this time as well. All you really need to know is these engines make torque—and lots of it. They make enough torque to make some diesel guys jealous, and they do it at low engine speeds—just like a diesel.

In spite of this, it’s reasonable to wonder why we’d bother building a 40-year-old engine at this point. The answer lies in the fact that we see at least one 472/500 engine every time we go to the junkyards. The engines are still available, they were made with good material, and there is a surprising amount of performance parts available for this platform, so as long as they weren’t abused, there is potential to make an impressive amount of power with one. After years of lurking, we decided to dive headlong into the world of these interesting engines and see what we can make of it.


500ci Cadillac Big Block Engine Build – Four-Grand Cadoo
Written by Jeff Koch on September 1, 1998
Angelo Poffo - photographer;


575 LB-FT From 500 Cadillac Cubes? No Sweat

High-Torque Street Engines
Producing one horsepower per cubic inch has long been an ideal in the performance world. Remember Chevy crowing about its 283 fuelie motors making a like amount of horsepower in 1957? The more cubes you have, the easier it generally is to make torque and horsepower. So what better way to make power than with one of the biggest production-car engines of the modern era: the 500-inch Cadillac of the ’70s.

What better way, indeed. Larry Kruzick of Cadillac Motorsport Development (CMD) in Lakeland, Florida-“the originator of performance Cadillac applications”-posed that same question in the mid-’80s. Since then, Kruzick has become the Lux leader, making possible the swapping of hundreds of big-cube Cadoos into everything from street rods to musclecars to tow vehicles using a conversion kit he developed (“Anchors Away,” Aug. ’89). If anyone can do 500 torquey, bulletproof, streetable horsepower for a self-imposed limit of four grand, then Kruzick’s the man to pull it off with Cadillac style. Even though he’s protective of his secrets (don’t expect to have a casual conversation about how to build a stroker), he showed us the way to 500 leather-lined horsepower for cheap. Judging by the number of cool Cads that joined us on Power Tour this year, there’s plenty of interest among enthusiasts.

The 500-cube motor, also known as the 5200 block (the last four digits in the block’s part number), was available in Eldorados from late 1969 all the way through 1976; De Villes got the big ‘un in 1975-76. Although a 500 is preferable, the mods we outline here work just as well on a 472.

The part number is cast into the block at the top of the bellhousing flange, adjacent to the oil pressure sending unit. Other, more involved ways to find a 500 include measuring the stroke; at 4.304 inches, it’s about 1/4 inch longer than the 472 (4.060 inches). Pull the oil pan and check the crankshaft-500s have a small casting number (a 094 or a 793) between the No. 4 main and the rear rod journal. The 472 casting number is on the edge of the third counterweight.

To keep the dollar figures in line, we fudged with a couple of the popular items. The carb and big-block Chevy headers are parts easily available through your local speed shop bulletin board, engine shop, or racetrack newspaper. All other prices in our “Shoppin’ List” reflect those in the CMD catalog. Although you may find some non-CMD parts available through other sources for less money, chances are you’ll get a better deal overall if you buy the lot as a package from Kruzick.

The Cad 500 was created to be a torque monster. Kruzick knows that the stock valvetrain pieces tend to break at about 5,000 rpm. The rocker arm retaining rail and T-pedestals are vulnerable to valvespring pressure and, without reinforcement, can easily fail at that engine speed. While fixes like forged-steel connecting rods and reinforced rockers are available, and Cads can be coerced to 6,000-plus rpm, the cost of the components was prohibitive for our formula. Kruzick recommends revving a street Cad such as the one we built to no more than 4,800 rpm-well within the peak horsepower and torque bands.

Also, Caddy 500s had a negative-plenum intake manifold; that is, the intake was so low-profile that air had to move up through the runners and into the heads. This restrictive runner design costs power. Kruzick offers the PRO/Cad III intake manifold to take care of that failing. He also reports that, in non-Cadillac-bodied applications employing stock radiators, the engine has been known to overheat. So if you’re going to drop your Cadoo into a tight space, like an F-body, try a four-core radiator and a 2-inch spacer block to replace the fan clutch and keep the flow of cool air constant. Beyond that, our formula has a lot of what you’d expect to support more power from any engine: new high-volume fuel pump and oiling system, ignition, and so on.

Our results bear this out. For four grand, our 512-cube Cad pumped out 514 hp at 4,400 rpm on the dyno. Torque? Try a healthy 575 lb-ft at 2,600 rpm on for size, buster. Whether in a De Ville or a Chevelle, that translates to streetable, repeatable low-12/high-11 quarter-mile times. With uncommon class.

Shoppin’ List
Block: ’71 Eldorado (“5200” casting), shot-tumbled, magnafluxed,
surfaced, bored 0.040 over (to 4.340) $440
Pistons: CMD cast 10:1 pistons with wristpins, Childs &
Albert Dura-Moly rings $485
Connecting rods: Stock cast rods, flash-ground, beam-polished, $69/set bolts
with CMD chrome-moly rod bolts $96/set rods
Rod bearings: Michigan/Clevite 77 $50
Heads: ’71 (902 casting), shot-tumbled,
magnafluxed, bronze guide liners, seats recut for Cad Company 2.18/1.86
swirl-polished stainless valves, port-matched and pocket-ported,
surfaced 0.050
inch, 4130 chrome-moly stud kit with nuts and washers $580
Rockers: CMD Stage II Shaft Rocker System with special pushrods $499
Crankshaft: Stock, polished 0.010/0.010, internally balanced
with stock balancer $200
Main bearings: Michigan/Clevite 77 MS970-AL $80
Camshaft: CMD PRO/Cad 600H hydraulic (110-degree lobe
separation); includes Super Street lifters, performance
valvesprings, chrome-moly retainers, shims, locks, and seals $449
Cam bearings: Durabond $35
Timing chain: Cloyes Tru-Roller $99
Intake: PRO/Cad III aluminum intake (includes free bolt kit and Cad
Company T-shirt) $395
Carburetor: Used Holley 850, PN 0-4781 $140
Ignition: OEM distributor with new module, reluctor,
adjustable vacuum advance, Mallory cap, rotor, and coil $105
Oiling system: Original 6-quart pan and pickup, Cad Company high-volume Gold
pump with Fram PH-25 filter $129
Fuel: Cad Company high-performance fuel pump, 65 gph at 81 pounds
of pressure $119
Exhaust: Used Hooker #2455 (big-block ’70-’72 Chevy Monte Carlo) with
Cad Company header flange kit $170*
Gaskets: Fel-Pro, complete $160
Block hardware package: Includes brass freeze plugs, pipe plugs, cam plugs and
dowels, and cam galley plug $20
CMD catalog: $4
TOTAL: $4,324
Less 10 percent bulk-purchase discount: $3,892
* Application refers to a Cadillac body. For
other GM applications, use the appropriate big-block Chevy header for
the chassis in conjunction with the CMD flange kit. CMD offers a
universal adapter kit ($80) to fit Cad 500s in almost any
rear-wheel-drive GM vehicle. (Shipping and assembly costs not included.
Machining prices will vary. Prices correct as of press time.)

the caddy v8 cylinder heads pistons and valve sizes changed several times, and in many cases are at least in theory interchangeable to some extent,
it is possible to get up to 11:1 compression changing / mis matching years on different various components
Only way to know for sure is to look at casting number in the crank which requires the oil pan to be off or measure the stroke by sticking something down a spark plug hole and hand cranking the engine.

70-76 the block casting ended in 5200 for both the 472 and 500. 70-74 500's only came in Eldos so if its got the oil pan with the rear sump, notch in it, and 2 drain plugs it could be a 500. The rest of the cars got the 472 and had the oil sump in the front (which would be backwards from a more typical engine like a Chevy. 75-76 all cars but the Seville got 500's. The Eldorado pan is the closest to a typical GM setup and over the years the Cad motors have been popular to swap into other cars and trucks so its possible that was what someone had done or planned to do with this motor so it could be a 472,500,425, or 368 with an Eldorado pan. Its also possible that an original engine was replaced with what ever was available at the time.

500 has roughly a 4.3 stoke, 472 roughly 4.0 so you are looking for around a 1/4" difference.

Block casting number is on the top leftish side of the flange where it butts to the transmission.
About where the distributor would be on a Chevy.

1486238 was block casting number 68-69
1485200 was 70-76
1609110 was 77-79 425
1615255 was the 80-81 368 4bbl
1620734 was the 80-81 368 DEFI (including the 8-6-4)

1482464 was the 68-74 472 crank
1495094 was the 70 500 crank
1496793 was the 71-76 500 crank
1609142 was the 368 & 425 crank (same 4" stroke as the 472, smaller and tiny bores)

If nothing has been swapped around there are some visual clues to the year. They changed small things like valve covers and the breathers over the years. EGR started in 73. HEI distributor on some 74 and for sure 75. Electric choke started in 75. Intake was single plane and aluminum on the 425's and 368's. Timing cover slightly different on 425 / 368 vs the 472 / 500.

Picture of the intake carb pad, choke, and egr will narrow down the year. If you have the heads off the type of pistons could narrow it down. Head number can also narrow it down. Head casting numbers are on on the top side center on the smog rail which is between the rocker arms.

1486250 was the 68-70 small chamber smog
1495950 was the 70 small chamber non smog
1497902 was the 71-73 small chamber smog
6024493 was the 74-76 large chamber smog
6024552 was the 74-76 large chamber non smog

The small chamber heads were for the high compression engines. In 71 when GM mandated lower compression their fix was to put huge dishes in the pistons which was less than ideal for performance and emissions. Guessing they were hoping they would be allowed to return to high compression but when that did not look like it was going to happen they re designed the heads to use a more typical piston. Except for the 70 the difference in smog and non smog heads is just if the passage was drilled.

Only difference between a 472 and 500 is the crank and pistons. Everything else was the same including the firing order. Depending on the year there could have been differences like the oil pan if it was in a Eldo or a RWD car.

What is different about the 472-500-425-368 family was the #1 cylinder is on the right side, not the left like many other GM's. The firing order is also not the same as many of the other GM's of the era. I think the firing order is the same as the current LS engines. Supposedly some of the designers of this engine went on to Ford to do the 460 so the 460 has some similarities to the 472 family.
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