Chevy's W-series 348 and later the 409 became legends on the street, and in particular the 409 also became a legend on the track. In the early 1960s, these engines powered a variety of GM vehicles and the Z11 Impalas at the drag strip. While these engines enjoyed a hay day in the early 1960s and pop culture status in the hot rod community, especially with the Beach Boys and their hit song "409", higher horsepower Mark IV Chevy big-block engines overshadowed these W-engines by the late 1960s. But recently, the 348s and 409s have enjoyed a high-performance renaissance and many speed manufacturers are making heads, blocks, and virtually every part for these engines.
Veteran magazine writer and author John Carollo provides insightful instruction for rebuilding a stock engine and also how to build a sound performance W-engine as well. The reader is shown how to select a strong clean block, free of core shift and fatal cracks, select the best heads for a particular build, and increase the compression ratio. Selecting a camshaft and a strong connecting rod and piston combination is also an important aspect of the engine build, and all options are examined.
Guidance in this book will allow you to select the right cam for a high-performance aftermarket package and a cam that won't over power a stock engine's valve train. In addition, building a large displacement stock engine of 427 inches or aftermarket block to go to 509 inches is covered. From mild to wild, from stock to modified, the book covers everything you need to know about the legendary 348-409 engines.
"Carollo has crafted an informative volume on how to build Chevy's '58-'65 W engines, the 348 and legendary 409. Thorough text and high-quality photography walk you through the engine's various components, from crank to carburetor. In addition to tips on refurbishing OE components, Carollo also examines the many aftermarket parts available for the W motors." -Muscle Car Review, November 2012
"This is a how-to book on the very cool Chevrolet "W" 348-409 cubic inch engine. Even if you will never build one, that's okay because there is a ton of information that you can cross over to other applications. Know what your competition is capable of or you might be looking at their tail lights! Now that I have your attention, this book shows Lamar Walden working with World Products to produce the heads and blocks. It shows him pouring molten aluminum. It was no surprise to some of us as World Products sells these new blocks, heads, stroker kits, etc. for them. Friends, this book is worth every penny." -reviewed by Mike Caruso, engine professional, October 2012
"If you're contemplating working on a Chevrolet 348 or 409 V-8, this inexpensive text is worth it's weight in gold." -Hemmings Muscle Machines, Volume 10, Issue 4
John Carollo is an established freelance writer and photographer. He contributes to Engine Builder Magazine, Muscle Car Review, Super Chevy, and a number of other magazines. He also writes for several NASCAR magazines, including Stock Car Racing magazine. He lives in the Cleveland, Ohio area.