The GM small-block engine family is an engine design intended as the only V-8 engine used in General Motors’ line of rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks. The GM small-block series was a “clean sheet” design with only the rod bearings in common in terms of shared parts with the classic Chevrolet small block V8. The basic layout owes a good deal to the essential concept of Ed Cole’s original small-block design of 1954-55, though the small-block engine also uses design cues from Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac engines. Some small-block engines are all-aluminum, especially the performance oriented engines, while others are cast iron, and all small-block engines have five main bearing caps. The small-block engine has been the sole powerplant of the Chevrolet Corvette from 1997-2015 and has seen use in a wide variety of other General Motors vehicles, ranging from sport coupes to full size trucks. Due to the engine’s relatively compact external dimensions compared to its displacement and power output, the engine family is also a popular choice for import cars, kit cars, hot rods, buggies, and even light aircraft.

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