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Is handling on all big-block Vettes sub-par?

 
Old 04-01-2019, 10:13 PM
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brassplyer
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Default Is handling on all big-block Vettes sub-par?

I've read that big block Vettes with stock suspension don't handle well. I've never personally driven or taken a ride in one. Would you concur with that? Can a bb Vette be made to handle as well as a sb Vette?
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
I've read that big block Vettes with stock suspension don't handle well. I've never personally driven or taken a ride in one. Would you concur with that? Can a bb Vette be made to handle as well as a sb Vette?
Dont know what you mean by sub par but aluminum heads and block will make the weight about the same as a SB
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:30 PM
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zwede
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No idea where you read that, but it's not true at all. The C3 engine is mounted so far back that the heavier BB doesn't get nose heavy. With aluminum heads, intake etc a BB sits right at 50-50 weight distribution. A low option early SB C3 is rear heavy. Even a fully optioned all iron BB is only about 52-48 distribution.

The 73 BB was Duntovs favorite handling C3 according to a Car & Driver interview I read. The new-for-73 rubber body mounts allowed him to stiffen the suspension up without GM management complaining it rode too harsh and with the BB rear swaybar and 50-50 weight distribution he was very happy with it.
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:38 PM
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There are negatives to more weight up front! I have always kicked the crap out of most big blocks! But then I havenít had one personally to see if I could reverse that! I think heavier springs can fix it, if you donít mind harsh! All of the cushions could make most think it is riding a lot nicer than a car where you need a kidney belt or a chiropractor! Every Corvette ever in our family has not been comfortable to ride in!

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Old 04-01-2019, 11:53 PM
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My 73 big block with all OEM suspension (except for newer aftermarket shocks) handles very well, even with all the 46 year old OEM bushings.
The majority (those who don't have big blocks) will argue that their Corvettes will out maneuver and handle better than the big blocks.
Maybe they do and maybe they don't, but there is nothing wrong with the handling of a big block Corvette, and nothing beats the torque applied to the rear wheels when pushing down the accelerator.


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Old 04-02-2019, 12:12 AM
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99% of people will NEVER have the abilities to push it that far.....

Changing tires makes all the difference in the world on a C2/C3 as far as handling. As mentioned..the engine is so far back it handles well anyway.

JIM
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:40 AM
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I believe the C3 in either BB or SB handle pretty well, it really depends on your definition of good handling. If you're a serious auto-crosser I'd think less weight has advantages, if you are wheel to wheel track racing at Daytona (I know, not likely) a well driven L-88 can be formidable (read a great story about a guy that drove his (mostly stock) L-88 Vette to Daytona (68 or 69), raced it and got on the podium.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by TCracingCA View Post
There are negatives to more weight up front! I have always kicked the crap out of most big blocks! But then I havenít had one personally to see if I could reverse that! I think heavier springs can fix it, if you donít mind harsh! All of the cushions could make most think it is riding a lot nicer than a car where you need a kidney belt or a chiropractor! Every Corvette ever in our family has not been comfortable to ride in!
50/50 weight distribution being the best is another old wife's tale passed down by the uniformed.

I was looking at factual information on BBC weight VS SBC and let's just call it 100 pounds difference. Because I can put aluminum heads and intake on both types and they are still 100 pounds difference. I've had the pleasure of working on and driving real historic from back in the day Gt1 vettes and the B.. small block counter parts in c1,c2,&c3

They have tire a wheel width rules. So on a bigger open hp tracks the brute power of an up to say 496 ci will kick butt on the more nimble sbc. The tighter lots of turns tracks the sbc dominated

It's a whole different driving style to muscle a BBC around a track. The braking point is farther from the turns and they are prone to front end push. That is where the front tires loose grip and you go straight into the wall. All caused by the front being heavier. Modern mid and rear engine racing cars are closer to 30% front 70% rear. It's feasible to obtain about 42% front and 58% rear using a 427 co sbc in a c3 vintage production race car. That makes for very late braking and 4 wheel traction compared to the pig BBC counter part. Our local 4.2 mile 18 turn track was always fun I could catch and pass all the BBC and Porsche turbo cars on the infield only to be repassed on the big front straight by the superior hp to weight ratio cars. Great fun 😁

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Old 04-02-2019, 02:02 AM
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I read an article that was an interview with a couple of pretty well known guys- Jerry Thompson and Tony DeLorenzo. This is an excerpt(sp?) of that article:

Thompson: For the time, they worked. That doesn’t mean they were easy to drive. The engines had so much torque and power that most guys were intimidated by them. There were a few—including us—who would slide them to get the most from them. You had to have some slip angle to really race them on the hard tires they had back then. All the time, somebody would come in the pits and tell us we had the worst-handling car on the track, because it was sliding so much. They’d say, “You were entering the turns almost backwards.” Then one of the crew would show them a time sheet that [we were] a second, or more, quicker than the competition. That shut them up.

https://www.corvette-mag.com/issues/...k#.XKL59HdFzYM
In case anyone wants to read a bit of history..
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by zwede View Post
No idea where you read that
Here's one example. I can't say whether it's accurate, just saying it's the kind of thing I've seen.

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1560407546
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:16 AM
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68 coupe 427 4-speed with a slightly modded 390hp engine versus a 68 roadster 327 4-speed slightly modded 350hp engine with a VP&B dual mount monospring suspension front and rear. The coupe always took command on the straights and the convertible would catch up and overtake in the corners. Just a real life experience between 1427 and my 6t8. T
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Old 04-02-2019, 07:19 AM
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Well being a c3 BB owner I can say with out prejudice that a stock suspensioned BB C3 handles ok in a straight line.
stock brakes mmm , there is a reason that there are so many aftermarket brake swaps for a C3.
When going hard , the front is easy to loose in cornering so much so that you find your self working the throttle the get the rear around
I’m now running ridetech suspension , really a huge difference for the better
you can get the c3 to handle well and stop well , it’s only a matter of funding.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
I've read that big block Vettes with stock suspension don't handle well. I've never personally driven or taken a ride in one. Would you concur with that? Can a bb Vette be made to handle as well as a sb Vette?
I concour with your first question. But no stock vette BBC or SBC ever did even with the up graded factory option suspension. I would never put them in the sports car class.

NO to the last question! If you made everything equal including the same power per weight ratio the car with the lowest weight front end would win.

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Old 04-02-2019, 01:00 PM
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Youll have to drive one and see how you like it. You can always add aluminum parts to bring the weight down. Bottom line the amount of part throttle grunt and thundering exh note is worth it.
No matter what kind of sb hp numbers you see on the web it will never feel like a big block. The BB is a little less sensitive to being overcammed/undergeared

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Old 04-02-2019, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cuisinartvette View Post
No matter what kind of sb hp numbers you see on the web it will never feel like a big block.
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:32 PM
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How about a stroked LS7, 440 or so cubes? Big block size with less than conventional small block weight in front of a 5-speed?
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:39 PM
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Or a world block with LSx heads, SB2.2 stuff is getting cheap. 400cfm head can make big power.
Member here recently deceased built a st friendly hyd cammed one that made over 730chp and drove just fine.
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cuisinartvette View Post
Or a world block with LSx heads, SB2.2 stuff is getting cheap. 400cfm head can make big power.
Member here recently deceased built a st friendly hyd cammed one that made over 730chp and drove just fine.
I've seen these and wondered why more people don't run them. I have never seen one in real life. Maybe it is the $2500 bare block price that keeps them down.
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Old 04-02-2019, 07:18 PM
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Anyone bragging about BBC power has never been around 427 through 454 so called small blocks.

A cubic inch is a ci. You can argue the merits of bore VS stroke ratios all day long. But you can't argue that lighter weight reciprocating assemblies ability to change rpm faster.

My 427 sbc can take on the all most all N/A of the up to 454 BBC's that I have ever come up against. Even in mph at one mile airport runway events.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by zwede View Post
No idea where you read that, but it's not true at all. The C3 engine is mounted so far back that the heavier BB doesn't get nose heavy. With aluminum heads, intake etc a BB sits right at 50-50 weight distribution. A low option early SB C3 is rear heavy. Even a fully optioned all iron BB is only about 52-48 distribution.

The 73 BB was Duntovs favorite handling C3 according to a Car & Driver interview I read. The new-for-73 rubber body mounts allowed him to stiffen the suspension up without GM management complaining it rode too harsh and with the BB rear swaybar and 50-50 weight distribution he was very happy with it.
Counterpoint!

I was Zora's concierge for a week...We talked BB's. and dozens of other Vette topics ALONE. Truth...HE HATED THEM... so I'm calling BS! ILL handling, overheating, hard to work on, and felt he was FORCED into the BB's by the market. You all keep mentioning Aluminum this and Aluminum that...so Aluminum headed and Blocked big blocks were what 5% of what Chevy Produced??? What about the Cast iron ones? The quote I remember is "Ze hantle like a rock on a string".

Sorry...I was there. (however I'd sure like to see that article!) Mclellan was much more of a political animal than Zora....this smells of 'politician speak'.

Nowadays they CAN BE MADE to handle...technology has moved on.

Unkahal

I'M not a 'hater', just not a gushing fanboy either. What Zora Really liked was LT-1's.

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