Those Wonderful Big Block Engines of the 1960’s Chrysler Dodge Plymouth Muscle Cars

Those Wonderful Big Block Engines of the 1960’s Chrysler Dodge Plymouth Muscle Cars

426 Hemi Big Block Engine

By Trekphiler (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The “Muscle Cars” of the 1960’s and 1970’s are a very distinctive American art form of the 60’s and 1970’s. 60’s muscle cars are treasured by vintage and retro auto collectors of all ages and types. Some of these people perhaps could be said are reliving their past, others dreaming of the 1960’s. It has been said about the era of the 1960’s that if you can remember it then you weren’t there. These muscle cars were often pre-existing even rather mundane autos pumped up with giant motors in the ranges of 400 cubic inches. Wow. Gas as fuel was cheap then so fuel costs were not a concern as is the case today. All American auto makers were involved in muscle car production – it as a great image to have and create. This article deals with the engines which powered the Chrysler and Mopar versions

Chrysler large block engines gained the moniker of The “Big Boys” on the block or the “Big Blocks”. Internally in the Chrysler, Dodge and then Plymouth divisions these engine blocks were technically designated in shorthand as “B” and “RB” base engine blocks.

Chrysler B and RB engines are a series of very large in not gigantic engines block V8s which in the year of 1958 took the place of the Mopar designed 1’st generations of “Hemi “engines. Then in short step both the B and the RB engines made use of the specialized and whomp performing power plants – those with wedge-shaped combustion chambers.

Next in line are the group designated secondly as the “B” block engines. One might think that the “B” designation signaled as second version as in group “A” and group “B”. This is simply not so. It was just the ongoing production designation. These overall have a 3.375 inches engine stroke. A variation of these B series was the “RB” lineup of engines, which overall could of have been said to have been in full production through the years of 1959 to 1979. Essentially are told these are basically “raised block” versions of the B engines. All RB engines have a 3.75 inches stroke, with the bore being the defining factor in the engine size. Most noticeably as a well as characteristically the RBs are oversquare, yet it is an amazing testament to the Chrysler and Mopar design engineers of the time that the absolute extent of the engine purports that torque is not missing by any means. You have to remember that this was the pre-computer CAD aided design and testing era. Much of the engineering was if not calculated trial and error it certainly was in the minds and mindsets of a most exceptional group of design engineers and the associated engineering departments of Chrysler, Plymouth and Mopar. Much could have been said to be learnt and tested on race tracks across America often by the seat of the pants of engineering staff going out on the limb. It should be noted that the designation of the letter “R” in “RB” signifies raised, and that overall the RB series has a much more sophisticated deck than the B engine from which it was developed and descended from. It’s all a matter of evolution along the path of progress and race testing.

The “B” as well as the “RB” perception are essentially comparable if not identical are uncharacteristically if not unexpected similar in both design and appearances Its like anything else in that those with training and expertise in any given field learn the tricks of the trade or at least whom to ask or contact by phone or email. Vintage automotive restoration experts can swap in a snap t a “RB” series Chrysler of Mopar power plant to take the place of an “R” and vice verso. This is what you pay for in real auto restoration professionals as compared to hacks and want to bees, True an RB block is grander and somewhat longer than its original model and prototype. Yet those in the can well inform you that an RB block can be deputized with a B block of a previous backwards compatible manufacturing lot and date. However while simply stated that it sounds simple the mechanic in charge may yet have to test his mettle, with workarounds and improvisations. Still nothing good in life really comes easily one might say Finally even then when the mechanic and the somewhat patient owner may think that they see light at the end of tunnel one more step might well be a or new exhaust manifold or header. It has been said by the experienced auto restoration expert mechanic and workers that although each owner of a vintage car on the restoration block thinks that he has won the lottery , that most project cars drain the pocketbooks and bank accounts of generally 3 owners before completion and road worthiness levels are reached.

A lot of point of issues possibly will crop up with reference to the B engine blocks and perhaps questions for real devoted enthusiasts in the Chrysler Muscle Car field as well as others. Unfortunealty as in life not all questions can be answered or have answers One of these queries might be that is if the Chrysler 383 , 400 361 and the initial ancestor of the whole series the venerable 350 block ,’sequences are the same in blueprint how they are the same and how are they different? These designs of the two bolt main bearing cap layouts are the distinctive as well as defining features in this lineage or assemblage layout of basically the entire series. Chrysler has a design that is set to last miles and years. To that point there was essentially little that could be improved on these series and there was no hence no need over the years of production to make major revisions and upgrades Don’t you wish that this was the case in 2010 / 2011? There was no requirement for the enterprise to improve quality to their product line to what are referred to as “four-bolt blocks” all the more to the supreme operational deviations. It can be said that for the most part that luckily as well as fortuitously that all these said parts and associated components are in the bag. With the sole exception unfortunately of the pistons. Expertise still has a part to play. Welcome to life and the fun and games of vintage classic auto restoration projects, ingenuity and work arounds. Welcome to the unadulterated and matchless breed of cars, autos and automotive and classic 60’s “Muscle Cars” aficionados.

The “RB” rocket fast engine blocks in contrast to the before mentioned do have a lot of similar factors with the “R” series however experts in the field will both clearly and distinctively state that they are in no way like peas in a pod. The “R” has the equivalent main bearing journal diameters with the “RB”. In spite of that, the alliance motor is heftier than that of the “B” set. . Real life motoring on American roads and highways more often than not have the need of engine variability (413,426 and that of the massive 440) to have the bulk for the tension and work load. Without a doubt, the “RB” Chrysler Mopar engines have been proven and tested to be the highest quality two-bolt main bearings caps setup. Welcome to time trial testing on the auto racing tracks of America.

These hefty engines which powered Mopar “Muscle Cars” ,the 1960’s Chrysler and, along with the entire and whole stable of the legendary 60’s Plymouth “Road Runners” ,Dodge “Super Bees”. Next in line racing down the legendary highways and California roadways of the 1960’s memories of are minds are the entire lineup of 1970 Mopar Challengers, Barracudas, and as well as the 426 Hemi Cuda all of which to tell the real truth had few equals on the road or track , or so those in the Chrysler camps felt. Thus the magic has stayed with us all the way to new millennium. Its no accident that the Chrysler company and its associated Dodge division ( sans the Plymouth lineup) have introduced current hybrid replicas of these wonderful vehicles of the 1960’s in the form of the new Dodge Challenger & Chargers which distinctively combines the old mystique with newer safety , automotive engineering and electronics technologies.