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Best Mill

Excuse if I’m just repeating something thats already been beaten to death( with a twist-been out of circulation for a couple of years) what engine and engine type was the best and why?-Kevin

Best for what? Drag racing? Street driving? Hot Rod? Powerboat? Chain saw? ??? 4 cylinder Offenhouser motors dominated Indy racing for something between 10 and 20 years. For drag racing MoPar Hemi’s were hard to beat. A lot of folks love the old flat head Ford V8’s. Just not sure what you are asking.

Like Jimmy Dean said"Dance with the one that brung ya".what you love,cars and trucks mostly-dont forget that a lot of auto based engines used to go into fairly heavy trucks-Kevin

Best all around is probably the Chevy 350; most versitile and upgradable engine that I can think of.

I agree bscar2. I’ve seen them in old Fords of all kinds…66 Mustangs and 33 Fords to name a couple. You don’t get any better respect than powering a competitors vehicle.

WardsAuto Ten Best Engines – current and past years.

WardsAuto website with 2011 list:

But if you mean of all time, I’d have to go with the Chevy smallblock V8, like bscar2 said. Chrysler and Ford have similar offerings that are just as tough and nearly as versatile, but nothing as popular or moddable as the ol’ 350.

Paid For and Running.

The smoothest type engine is an inline 6 cylinder. It is inherently balanced. A V-12 is also inherently balanced and smooth. The old Mercedes SOHC I-6 was one of the most durable engines ever built as well and was the basis for the Toyota “A” series engines that were Toyota’s most durable engines. They just weren’t very powerful.

I’d say the small block Chevys, especially the 350s, for their commonality, reliability, parts sourcing ease, and price.

At the local dirt oval race track here almost every car there runs a SBC for those reasons.

I am casting my vote for the small block Chevrolet V-8. When it was developed for the 1955 cars, it went from the drawing board to production. It weighed less than the Chevrolet 6 cylinder engine by over 100 pounds and gave about the same gasoline mileage with much better power. The stud mounted rocker arms were more efficient than the rocker arm shafts that were used in competing engines. The Pontiac V-8 engine that came out in 1955 also had the same rocker arm arrangement. By 1957, the engine was refined and gave good performance. In the early 1960s, the Pontiac was a hot performer in stock car races. However, it didn’t seem to catch on in popularity as did the Chevrolet engine.
When I was a kid, the Ford flathead V-8 was considered a great engine. What is interesting is that this engine was introduced in 1932 and was last used in 1953, so it had a 21 year run. If a person takes off the years during WW II when cars weren’t being produced and sold, it had an 18 year run. Variations of the Chevrolet V-8 that was developed in 1955 are still being used forty seven years later.

Looking forward, it’s a 4-cylinder world, typically DOHC with 16 valves. Want power? Put a turbo on it. Want economy? Make is smaller, or much smaller with a turbo. V6s are disappearing.

I also vote for the small block GM engine. It was used for decades. It was not only the work-horse V8 as the 265, 283, and 307, it was even a high performance engine as the 302, 327, 350, 389, and 400.

The best engine by my definition would have proven itself to last longer than the vehicle it’s installed in, be highlly versatile in its applications, make efficient use of it’s fuel, be easy to maintain, and have low cost of ownership. That pretty much eliminates everything before electronic injection, and the new designs that have yet to prove themselves.

By this definition I vote for he Toyota 22R.

Happened upon an old book in a book shop by, Bill Fischer ? about hot rodding the Straight Eights,Chevy Stove Bolt 6 and the GMC large sixes.In those days to get a HP per cubic inch,you had to usually go with alcohol.And believe it or not the stock Chevy 6 probaly had more HP then the stock 239 cid Flathead 8 Ford(but the Fords would wind forever)I love the inline six engine.But the chevy smallblock gets my nod.Ever hear the story about a grateful Mr.Honda rewarding some GM engineers with a sketch of a short stroke compact,pushrod V-8 engine for thier hospitality?Interesting story from the mid fifties-Kevin

SB Chevy chainsaw anyone?:

Same Mountainbike,these goons around here kill the 22Rs someway.I dont think they care about oil changes in the older trucks(plus the floorboard operation of the throttle) but I’ve seen all makes of engines die this type of death.Myself I can run most any brand till I get tired of it.One of the most "Unkillable"engines I ever saw was a 440 Plymouth-it survived 5-6 owners,the last I heard of it it was removed from the old police Fury and was residing in a Charger ,the second most indestructble was a 283 in a 2 ton Chevy Viking truck 59 model(did you know all old 283s had steel cranks?) The old thickwall 283s would stand an overbore of.120-resulting in a sweet running 301,Kevin

The Small Block Chevrolet is almost certainly the most versatile engine in existence. A dozen old red necks like me could hobble up some old Transmarros and turn young wannabe Junior Johnsons loose with them against a couple of Ferraris at Daytona and most likely the Ferraris wouldn’t finish the bump and grind but what was left of the Transmarros would limp in.

But best at what, kmccune?

Maybe well loved? anyrate there are some good opinions around here.You can mess around with other engines-but when you look at a SBC,the gains are pretty much inexpenive and satisfying,eg; power pack heads are easy to find and better ones are easy to obtain too,I refer you to the work of John Lingenfelter and I realize that unless you are a tinkerer and Hotrodder at heart it has little relevence,but being in production for almost 60 yrs says something,besides its a great powerplant in its various incarnations.From the Indy 208 to the 454 inch plus big Mouse.Certainly one of the best V-8s ever conceived-Kevin

Hard to beat the GM 3800 V6 for economy, longevity, and performance, except for maybe the 350 gas. I don’t think I think much of Ward’s list-the Northstar? Really? Maybe for technology but not longevity and economy-I’ve got one.

Yes,the 3800 slipped my mind,often wondered why they didnt make a version of it for the S-series pickup(too nice for such an app? it would have fit nicely between the fourbanger and vortec V-6,my guess is it would have the other 2 mills superflous)-Kevin PS-Circutsmith,thought maybe that was the Terminator’s chainsaw (fantastic)