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How to Build Max-Performance Chevy Big-Blocks on a Budget (S-A Design) Paperback – June 10, 2011


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How to Build Max-Performance Chevy Big-Blocks on a Budget (S-A Design) + How to Rebuild Big-Block Chevy Engines
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Product Details

  • Series: S-A Design
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: CarTech (June 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934709387
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934709382
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Product mention. (Muscle Car Review 2011-09-01)

Book mention. (Chevy High Performance 2011-11-01)

"Any library strong in auto repair and modification references must have this illustration-filled how-to." -Midwest Book Reviews, October 2011 (Midwest Book Review 2011-10-01)

Book mention. (Ol’ Skool Rodz 2012-07-01)

From the Back Cover

The Chevy big-block, or Mark IV, has powered iconic Chevy muscle cars—Chevelle, Corvette, and Camaro—of the 1960s and 1970s. The big-block or Rat motor provides impressive stock performance, but this engine can be built into a giant killer and it can be done without breaking the bank. Within these pages, master engine builder and veteran author David Vizard imparts his 50 years of engine-building experience and unique insight, to help you wisely invest in maximum-performance Chevy big-block build-ups. Just as in his top-selling Max-Performance Chevy Small Blocks on a Budget, he shows you how to get the optimal machining performed, select the ideal parts, and assemble the strongest engine package for a budget of $2,000 to $15,000. Unknown to many, Chevy big-block heads suffer from poor port design and less-than-ideal valve positioning, and in effect, are undervalved. As a result, the heads offer limited breathing capacity for a big-cube engine. Vizard offers an affordable, real-world solution to maximize airflow of the heads and the performance potential of the engine. In addition, the ideal aftermarket iron and aluminum blocks for your application, street or strip, or a combination of both, is discussed. Special coverage is dedicated to selecting the best crankshaft, connecting rod, and piston combination, so you have a rotating assembly that performs at its best. He also covers all the crucial aspects of building a stroker engine. To get maximum cylinder filling and flow for maximum performance, he shows you how to select a stock iron head or an aftermarket aluminum head and match it to a cam and valvetrain to meet your budget and performance goals. If you’ve been looking for a book to stretch the performance frontiers of a Chevy big-block but not your pocket book, you’ve found it.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
It seems he really can "think outside the box".
Mr. David J. Martin
I was concerned that this book might end up being "How to Build Horsepower" with pictures and dynos of just Big Chevies.
R. Anderson
I met David Vizard one time and was impressed with his matter of fact knowledge of engine design.
Dans review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. David J. Martin on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
As someone who earns their living from building performance enhanced big block Chevy engines for a discerning marine clientele, I was delighted to get my hands on David Vizard's latest big block performance book. Over the years I have come to not just expect a professionalism second to none in his writing, but actually take it for granted, and once again, as so often in the past, I was not disappointed, as it exceeded what even I have come to expect from him. David Vizard has a way, just when you think you have read it all, and hopefully learnt most of it, producing a book that pushes the boundaries past anything currently available out there. It seems he really can "think outside the box". Also I believe the unique reason that he is held in such high esteem by so many people in the industry is that you can have confidence in the fact that there is no untested theory in his books. He has built, tried and tested for himself everything he writes about. The cam selection charts in this book are a prime example telling you exactly what is needed, where even the cam companies often leave you feeling a bit uncertain.

I was a little surprised by Mr, Halverson's comments regarding the lack of mention of GM parts and feel that he may have inadvertently missed the point. I think that my 45 year career as a successful engine builder probably gives me some insight that only comes with long experience. Reading between the lines it would appear to me that David Vizard must have had a hard time packing all the information he has into only 144 pages. I have his original, incredibly comprehensive book on tuning Mini Cooper engines, all 528 pages of it, (and confess I have not managed to read all of them!) I have however read all 144 pages of this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Anderson on July 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As I anticipated, Max-Performance Chevy Big-Blocks on a Budget by David Vizard is superb. If you have read anything else by Vizard, you would expect nothing less, but I was a little apprehensive because the other titles that I have read by Vizard are general performance, while this covers just one engine. I was concerned that this book might end up being "How to Build Horsepower" with pictures and dynos of just Big Chevies. Just three pages in, I knew that would not be the case. This book is simply sensational.

The level of specificity is absolutely stunning. This book should be a guide to all other authors who intend to write books on a particular engine. For example, Vizard details in both words and pictures casting lumps that impede airflow. He gives precise measurements for critical tolerances such as minimum allowable cylinder wall thickness. Unlike most books which give generalities such as most blocks being capable of a .030" overbore, Vizard says sonic check the walls and go with the biggest bore that leaves you with .200" wall thickness or more. He even details where on the bore you should check and goes so far as to tell you the locations with the highest loads are so that if one cylinder would be .190" in a certain spot, you can judge the true level of risk.

While many authors understandably shy away from giving manufacturer names, Vizard does not. I understand it must be hard for an author to find the balance between providing the best information and biting the hand that feeds you (trashing the manufacturer), yet Vizard does it superbly. He doesn't tell you to skip brand X but he does say, "here are the brands I have used with success, and while I have tried many others, only those on the list do I recommend buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MaxRaceSoftware - Meaux Racing Heads on July 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David always has the best looking Graphics and Charts out of all the other Authors !

i've purchased all his Books , especially ones geared towards Head Porting/Cylinder Heads,
and i also have one of his very 1st books , but the binding is coming apart , its now loose leaf :)

highly recommend purchasing Vizard's Books
i don't think there is anyone on planet Earth
that would not gain nuggets of knowledge after reading any one of his Books .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hib Halverson on July 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
How to Build Max-Performance Chevy Big-Blocks on a Budget (whew, that's a long title!) fills an empty spot in the Chevy DIY enthusiast book market.

Oh, there's no overall shortage of titles covering performance enhancement of Chevrolet's timeless "Mark Engines." There has been, however, an absence of current books on how to modify those engines in a manner that improves performance and does so in a cost-effective manner.

Author, David Vizard, who's sort of carved a niche in writing "budget build-up books", does a pretty good job at giving the reader the information he or she needs to put together a 500 or so cubic-inch Rat Motor at a reasonable price.

The best of this book is its coverage of high-performance and racing engine theory as it applies to the Chevrolet Mark IV, V and VI "Big-Block V8. Among other subjects, the author delves into combustion chamber and piston design, camshaft and valvetrain theory and the basics of performance exhaust system design. It's valuable to the reader to have such complete and clearly-written material on theory in what's marketed as a book on how to build engines on a tight budget because such information helps DIY engine builders make key decisions on what performance parts represent the best value for their projects.

Another feature we liked in this book is its excellent imagery. Photos show close-up detail when necessary, are properly lit and the book's reproduction is top notch.

The worst of this book is its lack of coverage on the wide variety of Big-Block Chevrolet performance parts available through GM's Performance Parts Program.
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