While Chevrolet’s small-block and LS-based engines continue to lead the pack at the heart of the engine-swapping craze, the Bowtie’s big-block variant is still getting the lion’s share of high-performance applications. A case in point is this engine recently assembled for a customer of Prestige Motorsports in Concord, North Carolina.
The team at Prestige is doing more than just assembling parts packages designed to cover a broad range of applications. Instead, the company specializes in engines that are designed to accomplish the specific goals set out for the vehicle’s owner. They offer many options to best suit the application, and handle all machining in-house to ensure quality and optimize the finished product for its intended use.
Building A 632 Cubic-Inch Big-Block Chevy
This particular 632-inch big-block Chevy engine is destined for a customer’s airboat, but at its core, it reveals the level of quality products that go into every engine Prestige builds. To start, the company has a long-standing relationship with World Products.
Starting with an iron World Products Merlin IV block, the customer has the option of using either cast or billet main caps. Prestige also has the ability to add oil squirters in the block to direct additional cooling oil to the undersides of the pistons. Under each main cap for this engine is a Liberty Performance 4340 forged-steel crankshaft that received a set of 4340 forged-steel, H-beam connecting rods with gas-ported, forged-aluminum pistons on the other end.
When it comes to all those articulated bits just north of the rotating assembly, Prestige tailors the camshaft to each application. This engine utilizes a custom-ground COMP cams solid roller camshaft with BAM Products lifters. Thanks to the World Products block, Prestige can utilize either factory-style dog-bone or tie-bar-style retainers for those roller lifters.
The attention to detail continues as each of those valvetrain pushrods transitions from the iron block to aluminum heads. Prestige offers a variety of options for capping off each of the cylinders. For this application, a set of Air Flow Research (AFR) Magnum 18-degree, cylinder heads is secured by a set of Automotive Racing Products (ARP) fasteners.
For this engine, an optional set of T&D Machine Products shaft-mounted billet rocker arms make sure the exact ratio of up motion gets transferred to the down-side. Customers can also opt for a stud-girdle-mounted set of rockers if they wish. Under each rocker is a spring package designed for the selected camshaft and a full complement of Inconel valves to time the incoming air charge.
Tuning The 632 Cubic-Inch Big-Block
As if building a beast of a big-block wasn’t enough, getting the engine to run at peak performance takes extensive testing and tuning. Each complete crate engine Prestige builds is treated to dyno time as the finishing step. In doing so, each engine can be tuned with the exact components the customer will be using.
This engine is using a Holley fuel injection system. Customers can choose from Holley’s Dominator, HP, or Terminator line of controllers, depending on the application. Prestige can also complete the build with the customer’s choice of carburetion.
As part of the tuning process, Prestige utilizes oxygen sensors in every exhaust tube to register any cylinder-to-cylinder variances and make the necessary adjustments. Additional runs to check oil temperature are also included in the dyno session to ensure the engine keeps cool during prolonged, heavy-duty use.
Since this engine uses EFI, the aluminum intake manifold was modified for injectors and a Holley EFI fuel rail. The accompanying Holley ECU and sensors were then fitted to the engine, along with a Holley 4500 throttle body capable of flowing over 2,000 cfm.
How Much Horsepower Did It Make?
The customer wanted a pump-gas engine that would offer consistent starting and reliability along with ease of tuning. With the final step of tuning complete, the engine makes a conservative 947 horsepower at 6,300 rpm, with 840 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm. At 3,500 rpm, the engine was already making 736 lb-ft of torque with a flat torque curve going all the way to 6,000 rpm.
When Prestige tunes its engines on the dyno, they are treated to a conservative tune. That way, when the customer receives the engine, they can be sure it is safe to install and run without worry of detonation.
After the dyno session was complete and the engine had time to cool, the team removed it from the dyno and packaged everything in a crate to be shipped to the customer along with all the accompanying fuel, ignition, and accessories. Prestige has established a system where customers can work with its sales staff to create the perfect engine for their application and once completed, that is exactly what they get shipped to them.
Check out the many options and engine combinations offered by Prestige Motorsports and see how they can build the perfect engine for your application. You can be sure that once you receive your engine, it’ll perform exactly as you anticipated, no matter whether that is on land or sea.