V8 Engine Dimensions

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A V8 engine has two banks of four cylinders arranged in a ‘V’. The eight pistons drive single centrally mounted common crankshaft. The two banks are normally set to right angles or 90°, although sometimes this angle is narrower.

Unlike a 4 cylinder engine the V8 engine has a cross-plane crankshaft with heavy counter balance eights. Several people, including manufacturers such as Ariel, have tried to join 2 four cylinder blocks together, but vibrations problems were very hard to overcome. As capacities increase, the vibrations get worse.

Conventional V8 engines use complex crankshaft designs that virtually eliminate vibration. There is a simple rule that states, the more cylinders the smoother an engine will run. The Jaguar V12 engine was reputed to be so smooth, that you could balance a coin on top. V8 engines are far more common then V12 engines, therefore manufacturers can invest more in their development. Because of this, when the Jaguar AJ-V8 was launched, it was said to run even smoother than it’s V12 predecessor.

Until recently, most V8 engines had cast iron blocks, a single central camshaft and 2 valves per cylinder. The central camshaft operated cam followers, push-rods and rocker assembles, that in turn opened the valves. These cast iron V8’s are very heavy.

There have been some aluminium V8 engines, such as the Buick derived Rover V8, around for years. But it is only in recent years that aluminium V8 engines have started to dominate. Modern aluminium V8’s have quad overhead cams, 32 valves (4 valves per cylinder), fuel injection and a very light and compact. They offer huge power and torque compared to their predecessors.

A 1953 303i 5.0litre Olds V8 had 135hp and weighed 700lbs (317Kg). A 2002, 256ci 4.3litre Aston Martin AJ-V8 derived engine has 380hp and weighs only 441lbs (197Kg). The fuel efficiency has also been dramatically improved. A supercharged Jaguar AJ-V8 weighs a little over 200Kg yet produces over 400bhp.

Cast iron V8 engines have been very popular with ‘Hot Rodders’ for decades. Even now, they are the primary choice for most builders.

So why don’t people fit Modern V8 engines to kit cars and Hot Rods?

The problem is not the engine; it’s the engine management. Modern ECU (Engine Control Units) have inputs from every corner of the car.

Including:

  • Brake Sensors
  • Gearbox
  • Differential
  • Exhaust
  • Air Flow Meters
  • Fuel Pumps
  • Air Conditioning
  • etc

There are even signals from the windscreen wipers. If it is raining a computer will run a special ‘wet weather’ profile.

These components send digital signals to the ECU and if they go faulty or are disconnected a fault code is generated and power output is dropped right back to protect the engine.

Along with a highly complex wiring loom and several computers, there are also a mass of other components to accommodate, such as:

  • Oil coolers
  • Inter-coolers
  • Air Flow Meters
  • Multiple Oil Pumps
  • Multiple Fans
  • etc.

V8 Engine Dimensions

When looking for V8 Engine Dimensions it is important to remember that many  engines were fitted to different makes and models across many years. One engine could have multiple water pump, starter, distributor, carburetor and injection options. Manufacturers and indeed forums publish weights and dimensions but often there is zero consistency on what components are fitted. e.g. whether the engine has oil, water and all required hardware or just a bare block. Therefore these dimensions should be taken as a ‘rough guide.I personally found that a dimensional drawing of the Rover V8 that had been published across 1,000’s of websites and even dozens of books was several inches ‘out’ and 100Kg of what a ‘running’ engine would weigh.

All dimensions and weights are approximate
Engine Cubic
Inch
A
length
(inch)
B
length
(inch)
C
height
(inch)
D
height
(inch)
E
width
(inch)
Distri-
butor
Sump Starter Oil
Filter
Weight
(lbs)
AMC 250
287
327
x 27.75 24 x 24.12 rear rear right left
rear
601
AMC 304
360
401
28.75 29.25 21.25 29.5 21.5 front rear right right
front
540
600
Buick
Olds
Rover
215 x 28 x 27 26 front rear x right
front
315
Buick 350 29 30.5 21.5 28.5 23 front rear right right
front
450
Buick 322
425
x 33.5 x 29 28 rear rear left right
rear
685
Buick 400
455
29 30 22 30 23 front center right right
front
600
640
Cadillac 331
390
60-62
x x x x x rear rear left right
rear
699
720
Cadillac 331
390
63-up
x x x x x rear rear left left
front
699
720
Cadillac 425
472
500
30 30.5 28.5 32 28.5 front rear right left
front
625
Chevy 262/400
Short
Water
Pump
26.5 27 20.5 27 22 rear rear right left
rear
575
Chevy 262
400
Long
Water
Pump
27.88 28.38 20.5 27 22 rear rear right left
rear
575
Chevy 348
409
x 34.5 x 32 28.5 rear rear right left
rear
685
Chevy 396
454
Short
Water
Pump
30.5 30.5 23.5 33 27 rear rear right left
rear
685
Chevy 396
454
Long
Water
Pump
32 32 23.5 33 27 rear rear right left
rear
685
Ford 221/302 27 29 22 27 22 front front right left
front
440/460
Ford 332
428FE
30 32 28 32 27 front front right left
front
650
Ford 427
SOHC
32 34 30 34 32 front front right left
front
680
Ford Flathead 30 30 22 x 26 front front left left
rear
569
Mopar 273
360
29.5 29.5 23.5 31 25 rear front left right
rear
525
560
Mopar 350
440
29 30 24 30.5 29.5 front center left left
front
620
670
Mopar 331
392
Hemi
32 31 24 31 29 rear center left right
rear
729
745
Mopar Late
Hemi
32 32 24 32 29 front center left left
front
765
Olds 303
394
x 32 x 29 30 rear rear right right
rear
700
Olds 350 28.25 28.25 20.25 27.5 26 rear rear left right
rear
560
Olds 455 29 31 24 31 26.5 rear rear left right
rear
605
Pontiac 350/400 28.25 29 20 31 27 rear rear left right
rear
650
Pontiac 455 29.5 32 27 33 27 rear rear left right
rear
650
  • A – Length from rear of intake manifold to water pump pulley
  • B – Length from rear mounting surface to water pump pulley
  • C – Height from bottom of sump to highest point of intake manifold
  • D – Height from bottom of sump to top of carburetor
  • E – Width outside of valve cover to outside of valve cover

V8 Engine DimensionsV8 Engine Dimensions

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