Pics .. 409 Alum Block

Discussion in '348 and 409 Engines' started by NITROFC, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. NITROFC
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    NITROFC New Member

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    Here are a few snapshots of the brand new World Products aluminum 409 Chevy block on a pallet headed to the upcoming PRI Show in Orlando.

    Not a lot of info on the block yet but a note attached said that Bill Mitchell had 409 guru Lamar Walden do the engineering design and the hope is it is the lightest 409 block ever made.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. Skip FIx
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    Skip FIx Active Member

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    I thought they were just a BBC block with an adapter plate? Couldn't see it on the picture/
  3. walkerheaders
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    walkerheaders Active Member Supporting Member 6

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    thats it's own block there........no BBC similarity.
  4. scott hall
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    scott hall Member

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    What is the extra holes in the rear of the block? Is there an external line that feeds the rear of the cam? looks like there is a line hook up at the left rear top.:dunno:dunno:dunno
  5. impalamike.com
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    impalamike.com   Supporting Member 1

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    Super cool! Post more info when you get it! What's the latest on Bob's block?
  6. skipxt4
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    skipxt4 Active Member Supporting Member 5

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    WOW ! The cylinders look really close.:doh
  7. yellow wagon
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    yellow wagon   Supporting Member 1

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    ^ yes they do! Notice the 2 different lifter valleys also? :dunno One has an indented area in the structural support area and the other does not
  8. wbc409
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    wbc409 New Member

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    I'll have to read the article on it again, but I believe L.W. started with a World Products BBC Alum. block. Then he machined the waterpump mounting area's and machined wedges for the top of the cyl so World could make a mould.
  9. impalamike.com
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    impalamike.com   Supporting Member 1

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    WOW ! The cylinders look really close.

    I think its because those photos show the block without the removeable iron sleeves. They claim a bore of 5.300". See below:

    http://www.worldcastings.com/news/7/MERLIN_409.html

    Developed in conjunction with the guru of the original Chevy W big block, Lamar Walden, World Products will be releasing an aluminum (357-T6 - the strongest available!) version of the block, based on its rugged MERLIN X.

    The new MERLIN 409 will feature, just like all of World Products' blocks, priority main oiling for superior lubrication and reliability, extra-thick walls, blind bolt holes to prevent leaks, expanded water jackets, reinforced bellhousing area, replaceable ductile iron sleeves, main caps located by ring dowels, in addition to stock registers, and ARP hardware standard.

    The Merlin 409 will also look unique with its reinforcement ribs that increase stability around the cylinder walls and lifter bores. A max bore of 4.530" gaurantee huge cubic inches, and splayed 4-bolt main caps will hold a ton of power.


    Look for a release date later in the year for the newest addition to World Products' diverse lineup!
  10. impalamike.com
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    impalamike.com   Supporting Member 1

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    On the HAMB Brad54 posted the following interesting information:

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=420877&page=2

    Well, I guess I'll weigh in. Other than Lamar, his son Rob, and possibly Bill Mitchell, I probably know more about these blocks than anyone in the country. Actually, I probably know more than Mitchell because he doesn't know that much about the original blocks and their shortcomings.

    I was at Lamar's when he was prototyping the first one on his CNC machine, and I did the story on them that's in Super Chevy (last month or this month... don't know).
    Passenger car 409 blocks start at $3,000, and that's a deal. Truck 409 blocks aren't far behind. I have yet to see a complete 409, (truck, passenger car or irrigation pump) for less than $2,000--and the heads, intake and water pump are throw-aways. Lots of blocks are worn out, need sleeves or a really big overbore. Complete 348 are still a dime a dozen... and just like every early Hemi is "a 392," every W-motor is a 409, even if it's not.

    All 348/409 blocks have a few weaknesses: run them too hot, or get them too cold, and the block cracks below the deck from the middle of the front cylinder all the way to the middle of the rear cylinder. That area is too thin.
    They are also weak between the lifter galleys.
    Lamar addressed this, plus he put a thicker deck in it for strength, so the head bolts won't pull out in boosted or sprayed engines.

    Pan Rail: It's the same pan rail as a BBC... prices for original 348 and 409 pans got a little silly for a long while. There are repops available, but they're still expensive. And other than a Stef's pan, you're SOL if you want a deep sump, a road race pan, or a pan with kick-outs. In other words, now you can call Milodon or Moroso and get a decent pan, rather than an expensive stock repro or a piece of rusted, dented original **** that needs to be restored.

    Timing chain cover: Again, 348/409 covers are unique, and expensive. There are also different covers for the different sized dampers (placement of the timing tab). I don't know if anyone is making reprops of those. Rusted, pitted and dented original, or pay a lot for a nice one. OR now, get any number of modern covers, including finned aluminum.

    Water Pump: it's as big a visual cue as the valve covers--Lamar kept it, rather than a BBC pump.

    Cams: 348 and 409 have BBC cam length, and SBC cam bearing sizes. It's a unique core. Guess who was the only source in the country for 409 cores? Crane. The supply all but dried up last year--Lamar got the last couple from COMP (incidentally, Lamar was the very first racer to run a Competition Cams sticker and cam in his race car... he goes back with them to the beginning). Lamar has a guy supplying him now, but with BBC cams, the options and supplies are wide open. Also, with a larger cam bearings, you can put higher lift lobes on it. Someone tell me how that's a bad thing?

    Lamar didn't give me a price on the blocks, but he's shooting to have them available for about the same money as a prepped iron block can be had...

    So for all you "trad" doofs, these blocks weigh less, will support more CI (509 stock, 609 possible), are lighter, are stronger, will use better and more readily available parts, and every one in a race car or hot rod is an iron block that can go back to a resto car. So it's made out of aluminum... big ****ing deal. So's that old Tattersfield or Edmunds intake. What about new cast iron Fenton headers? They're repops too, but they get a pass because a magnet sticks to them?
    Paint the block if the sight of cast aluminum bothers you.

    Incidentally, I've spoken with Bob Walla a couple times. Nice enough guy, but... there's a reason I go to Lamar's.
    Lamar's first race car was 409 powered, and he ran a blown/injected '09 in a '33 Willys gasser back in the early '60s. Eventually, he took delivery of the 51st ZL1 '69 Camaro, directly from Vince Piggins, and raced it in Pro Stock. He's been Chevy his whole live, and he's done more with the 409 than anyone on the planet, and he's done more for the 409 than all the other guys out there have TALKED about doing.

    It also occurs to me that the things that make a 409 mechanically unique are the port design and layout, the valve arrangement, and the fact that it's a flat head with the combustion chamber in the block. Visually, the heads, valve covers and water pump are what really sets it apart.
    Sneering at the pan rail, timing chain cover, cam journals, etc. is really pretty dumb.

    I wonder how these same guys feel about the French flat heads, Donovan hemi blocks or Bob Walker's aluminum hemi heads... after all, they're not the "Trad Triple Nickel" heads.

    -Brad
  11. Fathead Racing
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    Fathead Racing Well-Known Member Supporting Member 5

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    Incidentally, I've spoken with Bob Walla a couple times. Nice enough guy, but... there's a reason I go to Lamar's.


    This just say's volumes to me, anyone who knows Bob will know what I mean. Oh by the way, there's a reason Ill stick with Bob.
  12. petepedlar
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    petepedlar Active Member Supporting Member 3

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    Bob definately has my vote......... I know where there are pictures of a block that completely failed....... the main webbing broke completely out of it within a very few hours of running...... a year and a half ago and nobody in this world will help in any way...... the last I heard is that no one will return phone calls from the company who designed and manufactured the block.

    I'll see if I can get my hands on the pictures..... and permission to post them.

    ......... my advice will stand...... BUY FROM BOB

    Dave
  13. jim_ss409
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    jim_ss409 Well-Known Member Supporting Member 4

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    I'm sure this block will be great but I'm also partial to Bob's blocks, mainly because he was just a regular 409 guy that put a lot of time and effort into getting it done. I think Bob's cast iron block might be quite popular. Most of us don't really need an aluminum block but a good strong cast block that's good for 500 plus cubic inches looks like a good idea.:beerbang
  14. monk
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    monk Guest

    Is this a 409 or a 509.....:dunno

    I'll take my '65 truck block.......$500
    :D
  15. Tom Kochtanek
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    Tom Kochtanek Well-Known Member Supporting Member 5

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    More for the hobbyist!

    I applaud all those who take the risk in putting out a new product. I know it can't be easy -- if it was, everyone would be doing it. The new aluminum blocks will likely go to those who want to race and can afford them. Not everyone will be able to participate in those builds, but we'll all benefit from them.

    Technology advancements, and advancements in metallurgy have certainly made these products desirable for those who choose to take that path.

    Me, I like the original GM components, flaws and all. I don't want to go faster, I want to go back in time to the 60s when things seemed less complex (that's all relative, as we know, but with our revisionist history we like to think this was a great time...). I like the idea of using newer parts in these old cast iron parts, and I like the chase involved in finding these older parts that were cast aside later in the 60s. That's what's fun for me.

    Others who want to have high horsepower and engines that look like a 409, those blocks will be for them and their friends who enjoy supporting them in their racing efforts.

    I suspect in a few years or so I would like to purchase an aluminum block from Bob Walla. That will go in my to-be-designed replica of the infamous 1963 Grand Sport Corvette. Since the original had an aluminum SBC (377 cubes) I thought it would be nice to slip an aluminum 409 between those custom rails :).

    To each his own, and the more the merrier :).

    Cheers!
    TomK
  16. monk
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    monk Guest

    Ditto...........
  17. NASTY 409
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    NASTY 409 Member

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    I've never met Bob, but my $$$ are with his aluminum 409:),
  18. buildit
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    buildit Member Supporting Member 7

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    409 core engines

    People say there are no truck 409 core engines available for $1500 to $2000? How many do they want? I have five available, but haven't received even a single offer. My point is, engine cores are available at a fairly reasonable price, and a person doesn't have to spend $2500 for a bare block to get started, regardless of what the magazine articles say.

    Some say that the above aluminum block is a dedicated 409 casting, but you can clearly see how the lifter bore castings are still angled for a BBC. Nothing wrong with that, it is what it is. I assume that the cam to crank centerline distance is also BBC?
  19. oldskydog
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    oldskydog Well-Known Member Supporting Member 6

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    Tom,
    No doubt, you're an automotive archaeolgist as I am.
    keep the faith.:coffee:
  20. monk
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    monk Guest

    I agree with buildit..........seems theres a 409 block out there
    if you take the time to search for one.

    The new aluminum block is a hybrid........and is going to take
    some deep pockets to build