There’s certainly nothing new when it comes to a small-block Chevy crate engine, but we’ve picked up on these two new engines from Edelbrock because they do things a little bit differently. These are all-new engines with a 4.030-ich bore and 3.75-inch stroke using a forged-steel crank and forged aluminum pistons pushing 10.4:1 compression. Most regular crate engines pump out a measly 400 horsepower or so but Edelbrock’s EFI version delivers a solid 500 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 450 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm. The carbureted version comes in slightly lower at 485 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 465 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm.
Making 500 horsepower with a small-block Chevy 383 is no walk in the park, especially with EFI. But when you compare the prices, the EFI motor is certainly well worth the investment at only $1,000 more than the carbureted version. There are some hidden tech bits inside this small-block that are worthy of mention. Take a look at the included cam specs and note that even with a 1.6:1 rocker, this COMP hydraulic roller cam sports serious valve lift of 0.624-inch for the intake and 0.608-inch lift for the exhaust.
With plenty of duration — 234/235 degrees at 0.050 — this cam offers roughly 0.070-inch more lift on the intake side compared to a comparable duration COMP Xtreme Energy cam. We would hazard a guess that this additional lift is where at least some of the 500 horsepower originates.
The rest of this engine is no slouch with Edelbrock E-Tec 200cc aluminum heads, beehive valve springs, 1.6:1 rockers, a 7-quart oil pan, 6.00-inch forged steel rods, a Super Victor single-plane intake manifold and Edelbrock’s Pro Flo 4 sequential EFI system calibrated specifically for this new engine.
The carbureted version is also worth consideration with many shared components except that it is fitted with Edelbrock’s new VRS4150 750 cfm carburetor. We’ve looked into this new carb and it offers a tremendous range of opportunities for specific tuning with additional circuits not found on a typical street carburetor. The carbureted engine also comes with a specifically tuned HEI ignition to round out the package.
These small-blocks may appear to be a bit fussy and perhaps even high-strung for street engines, but Edelbrock says these engines will idle at 14 inches of manifold vacuum at 950 rpm. That’s enough to run power brakes and to make solid torque at low speeds as well. Check out the dyno curve we’ve included with torque at 400 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm.
These new Edelbrock crate engines have just raised the bar on what can now be new ground for those who still believe in the traditional small-block Chevy. There’s clearly life left in this veteran engine package and Edelbrock has just pushed it along a little further.