BG Engines-built 434-cube small-block Chev

This tough BG-built Chev mill runs on pump fuel and is destined for a street-and-strip LJ Torana


The small-block V8 made by GM prior to the Gen III is often overlooked these days, but it’s still a pretty handy thing if you know how to tickle it. This example was pieced together by the team at BG Engines, and it’s a stout little pump-fuel, street-and-strip/Powercruise engine that’s destined for an LJ Torana.

First published in the September 2023 issue of Street Machine

The block is a Dart SHP Pro item, which comes with a number of upgrades aimed at high-rpm applications. “The block comes with 50mm big-block Chev cam journals, billet steel four-bolt mains caps, and .904in lifter bores,” explains BG’s Damian Baker. “We run the Dart PRO1 227cc cylinder heads on this engine too, which we’ve given a bit of a tickle-up.”

The engine is a healthy 434ci in capacity and uses a Scat crank, Eagle H-beam conrods and CP forged pistons. The compression ratio is 13.2:1 – lofty for a 98-octane pump-fuel engine.

“We had scope to do that because it has a fair bit of camshaft,” Damian explains. “It has quite an aggressive exhaust lobe, which washes a bit of that static compression off without sacrificing power. We went with pump fuel for this combo just for the ease of it; the customer is from the Hawkesbury region of Sydney, and there are no servos out that way that carry E85.”

Said camshaft is a custom-grind Comp Cams solid-roller sporting 268/276° duration, 109° centres and .645in lift. It acts on .904in BAM lifters, Jet Engineering pushrods and T&D rockers. The ignition system is all Aussie-made ICE gear.

Induction-wise, an APD billet carby and two-inch Wilson spacer were utilised, along with an Edelbrock Super Victor intake. Out of the box, that manifold is good for about 600hp, but significant effort in the porting department managed to yield a fair bit more on the dyno, with a healthy 670hp and 584ft-lb of torque achieved.

“It was a great result for a pump-fuel, street-oriented small-block,” says Damian. “It would have been interesting to see if we could make 700 or so with E85, but that’s not how it’s going to run in the car, so we didn’t go to the effort. It’ll be a lively little street car!”

I can see clearly now

In the interest of engine inspection and minimising maintenance, BG went with a Clear View oil filter set-up. “It means that even if I’m not at the track with the owner, all he needs to do is give the filter a quick blow-out with compressed air and send me a photo of it,” says Damian. “It’s a 15-second check we can perform to help ensure that the engine is healthy and keep the car out there turning laps.”