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Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/25/20 7:17 p.m.

1: LS

2: LS

3: LS 

4: LS

5: sbc

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/25/20 7:31 p.m.

I see a lot of love for SBC and BBC.  Undoubtedly great engines, but they haven't aged well.

Those of you who said BBC, care to share why?

slowbird SuperDork
9/25/20 7:38 p.m.

Boss 302
Ford 460
Ford 427
Mazda B-series
Ford GT version of the 5.4 V8

svxsti Reader
9/25/20 7:40 p.m.

1. 1969 ZL1 427

2. Honda S2000 with dual 2 into 1 RC51 Mufflers

3. Radical SR8 Suzuki V8

4. Mercedes M120 V12 decatted

5. Porsche 5.7L V10, the last sound Paul Walker heard RIP.



barefootskater UltraDork
9/25/20 8:05 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

That's the idea. What are your favorites? You don't even need to say why!

barefootskater UltraDork
9/25/20 8:07 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I see a lot of love for SBC and BBC.  Undoubtedly great engines, but they haven't aged well.

Those of you who said BBC, care to share why?

Can't wait for google to pick this up as a result for  "the 5 best engines ever" then someone with less knowledge tries to search "bbc" and goes to a dark place. 





*pun intentional. 

bigdaddylee82 UberDork
9/25/20 8:17 p.m.

Some of these are families of engines, not just an engine.

Volvo Redblock

Volvo Whiteblock


LT5 (The Mercruiser built C4 ZR1 one)

Briggs & Stratton I/C and Vanguards


Honorable mentions:

Cummins 5.9l (I own a 12V but I like 24Vs too)

Mercedes OM6XX

Kaiser Jeep Tornado 230

GM L67 3800

Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/25/20 8:58 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

What do you mean by "haven't aged well"?

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/25/20 9:14 p.m.
Ranger50 said:

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

What do you mean by "haven't aged well"?

1950s architecture band-aided for 5 decades to limp through the dark ages of smog while OEMs struggled to make money by not reinventing the wheel, and monumentally eclipsed by the next generation making most people realize just how old and crippled they are.

Don't get me wrong... they are icons.  They have defined nearly half a century of performance, but to say that SBC and BBC with their limited head flow capacities, ancient engineering, and their inability to keep up with the Jones'es is like talking about how sexy Heddy Lamar was.  This is the 21st century.  We have Ariana Grande now.

They have their place in the hall of fame, which is why I was asking.  If folks listed SBC or BBC as a "top 5 engine" I wanted to know if it was because A) they have their place in the hall of fame, or B) they are still better than anything out there.  The former I can support.  The latter I would politely argue.

I realize I'm saying this as I drool over possibly getting a flathead for a build I'm dreaming.  I'm not saying they don't have historical importance, I was just seeking clarification on what the criteria were for those individuals putting them in their top 5.

Underpowered New Reader
9/25/20 9:17 p.m.

Depends on what top criteria.  Most iconic, most reliable, easiest power, or just favorites?


In no particular order.


Jeep 4.0


Big block chevy

Hemi 426

Toyota 22re


Personal experience with all but the hemi.  

frenchyd PowerDork
9/25/20 9:31 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Reason A. 
  In fact all of my engines are reason A. If I were allowed one additional engine it would be the Rolls Royce Merlin.  With its powering of the planes that won the Battle of Britain ( and subsequent uses ) it fails to meet the top 5 only by its tiny production. 

barefootskater UltraDork
9/25/20 10:01 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

I would argue that the Chevy V8 has aged remarkably well. It's 65 years old! It may not be top dog anymore, but it still does what it was designed to, and quite well. A recent engine masters made over 1000hp, NA, from a bbc using off the shelf parts. And I'd be willing to bet that there isn't another platform that can match the sbc for cheap lazy power. I'm sitting on $150 heads and a $100 cam, which when applied to my $100 engine (with a $200 intake) would be good for 350-400hp, and not even be stressed. It's not huge power by today's standards, but it is simple and cheap. Show me another easily sourced and simple to maintain engine capable of that for less. And it'll do that for 200k miles, not one or two passes before imploding. 

Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/25/20 10:12 p.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

I just finished watching that episode and I'd be careful of using the term "off the shelf". The block itself is a custom ordered tall deck aluminum piece from dart. All easily done machining but still not an off the shelf piece.

I asked because every damn year is a "new" part for the sbc/bbc. Stuff to me that hasn't aged well is BOP's, caddy bb's, Cleveland's, sbm.... Nothing short of spending huge amount of dollars can they make comparable power.

barefootskater UltraDork
9/25/20 10:18 p.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

What I remember is them saying you could buy everything, with the exception of the pistons being custom.., either way, fair point. But I've not seen an LS that makes 1000 without boost. And sheer torque! Curtis is the guy that says inches make torque. What's the biggest LS? 427ci? BBC goes way way way bigger. Dwarfing the caddy. And the aftermarket is unmatched. And every JY in the country has 12 of them. 
Again, not saying it's the best, but it is still a contender. 

Also, very cheap. laugh

But this thread is not about arguing which is best or why. It's about what folks like, and beauty is in the eye of the cheapskate gearhead. State your reasons if you want, but like what you like for whatever reason. It's all fun. 

Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/25/20 10:26 p.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

You can buy everything. Just have to remember you're using Mopar diameter lifters, 55mm cam bearings, 4.56" bore piston... it's all machining in the end. Unless you're using something like the paper thin lobes and offset lifter cups used for super stock 426 hemis to correct the horrible pushrod angles.

I can still buy either a big bore a460 block or call up c&c motorsports for an aluminum version in a 12" deck configuration bbf or something in between for something I'd rather have and do.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/25/20 10:42 p.m.

I'll play, and this is based on personal experience...I mean, I'm sure a Ferrari Colombo V-12 or a Hartley V-8 are both just dandy, but that is still conjecture and hearsay for me at this point.

Toyota 4A-GE

Ford Kent-derived twincams 

Honda B18C

Honda F20C/F22C

Suzuki air/oil-cooled GS/GSXR series

Gotta love winding out the revs...


79rex Reader
9/25/20 10:47 p.m.

1.  20b

2.   dohc 2.0 in my neon (cant kill it, have tried)

3.   lincoln flathead v12

4.   hudson twin h power

5.  k24



Jay_W SuperDork
9/25/20 11:15 p.m.

That OMFG 4.0 V12 Cossie that Gordon Murray is putting in his t50 playtoy.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/26/20 12:55 a.m.



Audi 4.2L V8


Um.  LS I guess.



spitfirebill MegaDork
9/26/20 6:44 a.m.

In no particular order:

Chrysler 340

Chrysler 413/426 wedge

Buick Nailhead

Toyota 4AGE

Triumph 2.5l inline 6

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
9/26/20 7:12 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

GM sells LS crate motors at 472 cu. in. and producing 700 HP.  The new generation LT crate motors make up to 750 HP.,but that's with the factory supercharger.


1100 normally aspirated horsepower.

Five isn't enough, but I'll give it a shot. In no particular order:

Suzuki G13B


Ducati 900 air cooled



(this leaves out the Honda CB-1 400, RD 350/400, Ford Flathead, OK- LS, Isuzu 6VE1, SBF, 2ZZGE, Oil Cooled Suzuki GSXR/Kat....


Vracer111 HalfDork
9/26/20 8:06 a.m.

I'm going to go favorites based on sound they make...

Toyota 4AGE Atlantic

BRM 1.5L V16

Mazda 4-rotor R26B (787B)

Yamaha 1LR-GUE 4.8L V10 (Lexus LFA)

Honda B18C5 (as in ITR and JDM CTR)

jamscal Dork
9/26/20 9:03 a.m.

No particular order.


1. VW flat 4  (for simplicity and # produced)

2. Detroit Diesel 71 series (for longevity (1938-1995), modularity, 2 stroke diesel, and they fact they could be supercharged and turbocharged at the same time...and  the 6-71 blowers (and 8-71) were/are used on hot rods.)

3. Toyota 22RE

4. Mercedes M117

5. LS

turtl631 HalfDork
9/26/20 9:53 a.m.

Nissan RB26 (nothing like an angry high rev RB with a big single)

Honda K series (king of the I4s, n/a and turbo power galore, swap everything)

Mazda 13B/20B (Much cool, such noises)

BMW S85/S65 (//M flexing before going full turbo and crossover)

Porsche Mezger flat 6 (reliable and robust despite incredible revs and hp/L, keeps exotics on their toes, sound!)


My list is more modern stuff that I know about and have some level of experience with.  These are engines that I think are cool and important and would love to own or swap into something.  Honorable mentions to Honda B series, BMW S54, GM LS, Toyota 2JZ, Nissan VQ.  


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