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well i know it's obvious the difference in a sb and a bb is the sbf's blocks are smallish and they have the lower number of cubes. and the bbf has a biggish block and has big cubes.

BUT THERE IS A DEBATE!!!!! there is a 400SB and a 390BB. the 400sbf has more cubes than the 390bbf. i think when i looked into my old ford books, there is even a 352bbf.

i'm just bringing this up to get the REAL difference between a bbf and sbs ford straight and dandy. and would like to educate myself a lil more.

the only thing i can think of is the sbf has a shorter stroke than a big block. a short stroke makes a small block and a long stroke makes a big block and maybe something with the bore. but again the 429BBF only has .09 more stroke than the 351w/c. 3.50 compared to 3.59.

please straighten me out!!!!!!
 

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Big block and small block are terms that only really mean anything in the world of chevrolet. Small block was the family of engines based on the 283, big block was the family of engines based on the 396 (or 427, not sure which came first) Untill recently any chevy V-8 was either a big block, or a small block.

Ford on the otherhand, has many different families. The flat head, the Y-block, FE, MEL, windsor, 335 series, and 385 series.
 

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Actually...Ford made a 332" FE big block. Had a 4.000" bore and a 3.3" stroke (or something along those lines.) The 351w is actualy larger displacement, but as far as size and weight go the 332 takes the cake hands down. When it comes to Ford engines, it's hard to consider one a big block and another a small-block. A 400 is almost as wide and just a shade shorter than a 429/460 but is still considered a small-block. Confused yet?
 

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On 2003-08-03 00:09, ValveTubeHead wrote:


just been dying to use this smiley
Not necessarily, a lot of people incoorectly assume that fords can be classified as a "big block or "small block". Sure some are small and some are big, but thats where it ends. I'll bet $50 that Olie wasnt the only person on this list that was confused by this.
 

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the only thing i can think of is the sbf has a shorter stroke than a big block. a short stroke makes a small block and a long stroke makes a big block and maybe something with the bore. but again the 429BBF only has .09 more stroke than the 351w/c. 3.50 compared to 3.59.

please straighten me out!!!!!!

Stroke has nothing to do with it. The 400 utilizes the largest stroke of a ford...4 INCHES!! ANd that is a small block! I am not sure either what the main difference is between a BB and a SB...But about the only thing I can think of is the Bore spacing. The 400 shares this with the rest of the small blocks. Bell housing bolt pattern cannot be it because of the damned 400...the Cleveland uses BB dizzy, and roller rockers...only thing I can think of is bore spacing..

JG
[/quote]
 

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There's the 351W, classifed as a small-block, and then there's the 351C, classified as a big-block...

The terms might have been closely related to engine displacement at one point, but like these guys have said, the terms don't really mean anything that is all that useful or consistent for Fords.
 

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I believe the difference is 2 things - deck height and bore spacing. The deck height allows for longer stroke while maintaining a favorable rod length/stroke ratio. The bore spacing allows for larger bores, such as the 4.26" on the FE 427. The bigger blocks often don't fit well in smaller cars, such as the Falcon, without some massaging of shock towers etc.
 

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I say it has primarily to do with bore spacing and along with that the ability to accomodate bigger bores.

That doesn't necessarily mean large bores are always used in conjucnction with wider bore spacing, but it clearly does mean that bigger bores are made possible.

Hence ... bigger engines in terms of C.I. are possible.

"Big Blocks" make bigger engines possible.
 

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I stand by my first response.

Perhaps the mass of each block should be considered as a symantic identifier.

Ford Engine Dimensions Engine Family LxWxH in inches Weight in Lbs.
289-302 29 x 24 x 27.5 460
Boss 302 29 x 24.5 x 28.5 500
335 Series/351 Cleveland 29 x 25.5 x 29 550
351 Windsor 29 x 25 x 29 510
FE Series/352-428 32 x 27 x 29 650
Boss 429 34 x 30 x 30 680
385 Series/429-460 34 x 27 x 29 720
427 SOHC 34 x 32 x 30 680



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ValveTubeHead on 8/3/03 3:35pm ]</font>
 

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A thought to go along with the bore spacing comments: A 400 head will bolt directly to a 289 block (or 221, 260, 351, etc.). Since a 289 is obviously a small block, then a 400 must also be a small block! Seriously, Ford has too many variations to just say "small block" or "big block". Leave that to the simpletons over in the Chevy camp.
 

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And to confuse things even more...
´the FE 332 Isn´t thath engine physically as big as a FE 427 428?

And as someone said.. smallblock/bickblock is more a chevvy thing...
but... FE is really big blocks amd MEL blocks are big.... and 429 460 is big, if you lok at them.. clevelands are bigger than 289 302´s.. to look at..
 

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So let me get this straight, as far as Ford is concerned, there really isn't a small block or a big block? Growing up in Chevy country, I always heard reference to sb's and bb's, so now it is like learning metric. It makes sense to some. So really there is only the:
Flatheads
Windsor family
335 series
385 series
FE-What does FE stand for?
MEL-What does MEL stand for?
Y Block.
Did I get this right?
 

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On 2003-08-03 07:55, blueovalfarms wrote:
So let me get this straight, as far as Ford is concerned, there really isn't a small block or a big block? Growing up in Chevy country, I always heard reference to sb's and bb's, so now it is like learning metric. It makes sense to some. So really there is only the:
Flatheads
Windsor family
335 series
385 series
FE-What does FE stand for?
MEL-What does MEL stand for?
Y Block.
Did I get this right?
Yup looks good
FE stands for Ford Edsel, which meant when the FE engine was designed, it went strictly into ford cars or Edsels. The MEL is Mercury Edsel, and Lincoln, same Logic applies


Oh and one more we been forgetting to add, is the new modular series of engine
 

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Just a couple of thoughts....
1. The old Y-block (239-312)has the same bore spacing as the Windsor and Cleveland series engines. So was the Y-block considered a small block?
2. Chevy had 2 different big blocks 348/409 and 396/427.
3. I wonder what the Mopar Polyspherical V-8 would be called? (I once owned one in a 57 Plymouth).
3. Where do bowtie boys catagorize the LT-5 and LS1/LS6 blocks?
4. Is the Modular V-8 a small block while the modular V-10 a big block?

It does seem that given the multitude of choices and no real standards of measurment, the terms SB and BB are inadequate for describing the range of engines that have been produced by any manufacturer. One thing's for sure, the little Ford V8 (221-302) was the smallest, lightest, cast iron OHV V8 engine produced.
 

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Seems laughable to me (once again) when someone actually would state "a cleveland is a big block" and a "windsor is a small block."
To those I suggest a tear-down and some measurements. Tell me which block is smaller and let's call *that* block the *small* block.
 

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Let's not forget about Pontiac, the big block sizes range from like 326 to 428. Don't read so much into the cubic inches, the difference is in bore spacing, which can allow for larger bores if the walls are cast thick. I also believe that BB's have taller decks for the most part for more stroke.
 

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well i know it's obvious the difference in a sb and a bb is the sbf's blocks are smallish and they have the lower number of cubes. and the bbf has a biggish block and has big cubes.

BUT THERE IS A DEBATE!!!!! there is a 400SB and a 390BB. the 400sbf has more cubes than the 390bbf. i think when i looked into my old ford books, there is even a 352bbf.

i'm just bringing this up to get the REAL difference between a bbf and sbs ford straight and dandy. and would like to educate myself a lil more.

the only thing i can think of is the sbf has a shorter stroke than a big block. a short stroke makes a small block and a long stroke makes a big block and maybe something with the bore. but again the 429BBF only has .09 more stroke than the 351w/c. 3.50 compared to 3.59.

please straighten me out!!!!!!
Folks should wonder what SPACING from center bore to center bore could mean thus they would distinguish between small, medium and big blocks Ford.
 
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