- The small-block Chevrolet engine is a term that usually is used to refer to the 350 Chevy engine, but it can also be used to refer to the 8-cylinder 305 engine that was a sister to the 350 Chevy. The small-block Chevy was used to power a number of different cars and light trucks over almost a 30-year period, and during this time there were a number of different induction, or fuel air intake, methods that were used to power the small-block Chevrolet engine. Knowing what induction methods were available will help you make the best choice when you are building your own small-block Chevy or restoring one that you already have.
- The two-barrel carburetor was used on some passenger cars and some of the 305 small-block Chevy engines. The two-barrel carburetor has two air and fuel intake passages that feed all 8 cylinders of the engine. This is the least popular and lowest-powered induction application for the small-block Chevy engine, and is one of the main reasons that people redo or otherwise tune up a small-block engine --- to get rid of the two-barrel carburetor. While not a bad choice in carburetion and induction, the two-barrel carburetor is not capable of the wide range of power outputs of different styles of induction setup.
- The four-barrel carburetor had four air and fuel intake passages to feed the 8 cylinders of the engine. The four-barrel carburetor is one of the more common induction methods of the small-block Chevy engine, and it was used on cars, light trucks and van applications. It provided an excellent range of power from start up to wide-open throttle, and it is commonly found in stock muscle cars that had the small-block Chevy engine.
Exotic Induction Methods
- There are a number of exotic induction methods that were available for the small-block Chevy. A tunnel ram eliminates the air filter and intake manifold and forces air from the hood right into the carburetor. The ram air induction also uses air forced by passages in the hood to force cold air into the carburetor without interference by a traditional air filter assembly. Crossover rams and other types of intake manifolds can be used with a four-barrel carburetor to create other power generating induction methods as well.