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What will replace the sbc???

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  • What will replace the sbc???

    This has been on my mind for some time. For years, the default hotrod engine has been the small block Chevy. I've joked that you can almost overhaul your SBC from parts off the shelf at your local Walmart. Looks like conventional carburetor engines, mechanical points, etc. are going the way of the old hand crank.

    So...what's next? What will come along in sufficient numbers, economically feasible, easy to come by, complete package to lend itself to be transplanted into just about anything imaginable? It is my uneducated impression, that new power plants (pick any brand) are so computer controlled, that the entire drive assembly, from engine, transmission, and final drive, will need to be used so that all the sensors will supply correct data for efficient operation.

    Surely, with new alloys, lighter, smaller, power to weight ratio engines already exist. There are four, and six cylinder engines cranking out more horsepower than the huge displacement chunks of cast iron in our vintage muscle cars.

    What's next????
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

  • #2
    They call that PROGRESS.
    '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
    Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club


    • #3
      The LS series of GM engines have already become the new engine of choice.


      • #4
        My guess is that the LS series of GM engines is already starting to take over the "popular" engine spot. My oldest son has a 76 Corvette that is small block powered, and is at this moment waiting for my return to home (I'm on vacation) to install his 383 stroker. He has said this is the last time he'll stick money into the small block, preferring to switch to an LS next time. My younger son has a 2000 Chevy 1/2 ton with the 5.3 LS that he has "tweaked" a bit and recently installed a Magnacharger system. That truck is a rocket that he can drive daily and have both the "fun" while maintaining respectable fuel economy. So I believe the LS engines will be the engine of choice for the future. Bill


        • #5
          Originally posted by mbstude View Post
          The LS series of GM engines have already become the new engine of choice.
          I agree with mbstude on this one, gen 3 and gen 4 small blocks typically referred to as LS series have pretty much taken over where the old SBC left off and for good reason.


          • #6
            Yep...all over the place already, from drag racing to road racing, filtering hard into high end car show cars, next is the hot rod and engine swap car...the GM, LS series engine.
            While it's already in countless hot rods, since it's a little more expensive and you need at least a computer driven ignition, if not the full computer powered engine. Carburetor intake manifolds are available.
            Also the oil pan configuration has to be payed attention to.
            Hell, you can buy a used up NASCAR engine if you want a lot of

            The LS engine is here.

            Ford and Chrysler still have their crate engines, but they still aren't as popular as the GM engines.
            And for the record, the first generation GM small block engines "and" its parts are STILL abundantly available. This will be fact until the hydrogen or the electric powerplant is the most common form of engine. There's just way too many early small block Chevy engines out there for the aftermarket to stop making parts.
            You have a Flathead Ford...also, still easy to get parts. While not at every corner store...neither are parts for the Stude engine, and both can easily be found.


            P.s. - I'm calling all of the "small" variations of the small Chevy prior to the LS design...generation one.


            • #7
              In 20 years, the engine of choice will be any variation of the EcoBoost.
              The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers


              • #8
                A quick look at car-parts for the midwest shows a lot of running, under 100K Mile LS 5.3's for $1500-2000 some including trans.

                With the cost to reprogram the ECM under $100 locally, it's hard not to put one in a project. As with the SBC, they are making them by the millions so aftermarket parts are strong. Not that other brands Coyote/Hemi aren't in the mix but the LS still maintains the smaller profile that helped fit them about anywhere.

                There will also be 4/6 cyl engines show up probably in smaller rods but currently price is higher and they are more difficult to adapt as most of them come from front wheel drive cars. I know the newer pickup have them but that makes them lower in production numbers and higher in cost.

                One thing that needs to be mentioned is using the existing the ECM. I believe that the earlier LS ECM took reprogramming quite well but it's becoming more difficult with newer ECM's so adding to the conversion cost on recent engines will be the cost of a new aftermarket ECM and harness.

                , ,


                • #9
                  What will replace the sbc???

                  Nothing can.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mbstude View Post
                    The LS series of GM engines have already become the new engine of choice.


                    PS, not default engine
                    Engine of choice.


                    • #11
                      Well, if I were replacing a small block Chevy in a C/K Stude, ("poor man's Corvette"), would have to be with an early Caddy V8......GO STUDILLACS!


                      • #12
                        I'm holding out for one of these.


                        • #13
                          Honestly--nothing. Engine swapping, using big V8's will eventually die. The don't fit in front wheel drive vehicles, easily. Rear wheel drive cars are almost gone, trucks probably will still be RWD but still will be a "minority" hot rods. The availability of platforms to use, to make a rod are disappearing, coupled with the various Federal and State regulations limiting what you need to do, to put something new, in something old and be able to license it. I think that's why most of the younger set are modifying what's there by adding turbos, etc.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
                            Well, if I were replacing a small block Chevy in a C/K Stude, ("poor man's Corvette"), would have to be with an early Caddy V8......GO STUDILLACS!
                            More expensive to buy and rebuild than a Stude V8... But I sure like mine.


                            • #15
                              Awesome Dan, Coors or whatever powered!
                              Second Generation Stude Driver,
                              Proud '54 Starliner Owner