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How to Get Big Horsepower Out of a Chevy Big Block

by Jen Davis

Chevrolet has put big block V-8 engines in a wide variety of cars and trucks over the years. These big block V-8s include the 366, 396, 402, 427, 454, 502 and 572. Chevrolet made and introduced these engines following the Second World War when large, heavy vehicles became the standard for American produced cars and trucks. Big block V-8 engines feature high displacement and generate large amounts of horsepower and torque, which you can improve through aftermarket modifications. Due to their relatively poor fuel mileage, these engines are now commonly in large trucks and high performance vehicles only.

Step 1

Upgrade your camshaft, rods and pistons to aftermarket items specifically for generating higher power levels and better performance than the stock models. Specially designed and plated pistons and rods can increase performance and power. This will require taking the motor completely apart and a mechanic or automotive professional should do it.

Step 2

Install a performance chip. Performance chips work with the powertrain control module on your engine to optimize the fuel-mixture and flow for additional power.

Step 3

Replace the intake manifold with that advertises increased horsepower and performance. Improved airflow through an aftermarket intake manifold will allow the engine to generate more power.

Step 4

Upgrade your exhaust with aftermarket components.Typically these will be larger than the stock equipment and allow exhaust gases to exit your vehicle more quickly. Expediated exhaust flow allows your engine to burn fuel more efficiently and more quickly, creating more horsepower.

Install a turbocharger, supercharger or nitrous on your engine. These all provide extra speed, torque and horsepower. Turbochargers work by using exhaust gases to generate extra power. Superchargers use a pulley system that uses power from the engine and nitrous is a gas that burns to provide boosts of power.

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