Building The World’s Largest LEGO Chevy 454 V8 Engine!

When it comes to rebuilding Chevy’s iconic big-block Chevy engine, there are a lot of pieces that need to work together for a properly running engine. For LEGO enthusiast, Evan Koblentz, the number of pieces working together to create what is possibly the largest LEGO Chevy 454 V8 engine is simply staggering.

At just around 40 pounds, and taking about four feet of tabletop, the engine earns the “big-block” moniker, especially so far as LEGO engines go. Evan admits there are too many pieces to count, but the number of bits ranges into several thousand. He took on the task as something to do while the world was enjoying a global lockdown a few years ago.

We found out about Evan’s big-block build on his YouTube channel, where he shows the engine in operation and explains how he constructed it using only materials available from the 1980s. Everything used to build and run this LEGO Chevy 454 V8 came from an earlier era. Even the computer that controls the firing order of this beast is a Laser 128 (a clone of the Apple IIc) running 8-bit BASIC language (another throwback to computing’s early days.

Building A LEGO 454 V8 Engine And Transmission

Building a real Chevy 454 engine has been done before and there are plenty of books, videos, and websites devoted to building Chevy’s big-block into the best it can be. But, when working with those interconnected LEGO bits, the path has rarely been trodden, and creating a working LEGO V8 engine is a daunting task. To think that Evan not only created a LEGO 454 V8 engine that runs, but also integrated a working four-speed transmission, complete with operating clutch assembly is truly incredible.

The engine features an operating valvetrain, as well as spark plugs that light up in a typical 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 fashion, according to the BASIC code Evan designed. As the crankshaft spins, driven by nine LEGO 4.5-volt electric motors, the pistons travel in their bores and the camshaft keeps time with the engine’s rotation.

At the rear of the crankshaft resides the LEGO equivalent of a Muncie or Saginaw four-speed transmission. Not content with simply watching a spinning output shaft, Evan was fastidious enough to also create different ratio gears out of those square blocks. The largest LEGO Chevy 454 V8 engine also has an operating transmission – with reverse!

While this LEGO 454 V8 may substitute its mechanical “clackety-clack” for a sweet-sounding big-block’s compression and performance camshaft, it’s still very cool in our eyes. The fact that Evan designed the entire LEGO 454 V8 and operating clutch and transmission with such detail shows his abilities, and what is possible, even with square-block LEGOS. We’re not the only ones who think Evan’s creation is pretty cool either. The world’s largest LEGO Chevy 454 V8 engine wowed the judges of the “Best Mechanical” class at the recent Brickworld Chicago event in 2023. Check out the video and see for yourself what it takes to create a running engine and transmission from square blocks.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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