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Engine of the Week

434 Chevy Small Block Engine

Bruce Nelson takes customer satisfaction very seriously. He doesn’t want customers coming back to his shop for the wrong reasons, and this 550 hp 434 Chevy small block was no exception.

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Bruce Nelson, owner of Engine Factory, Inc., knows if you don’t treat customers right, they’re going to put you on the internet in a bad way. For that reason, when you visit the Engine Factory website, the first thing you see is the Lebanon, NJ-based shop’s five-star rating.

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“We want the engines to look absolutely beautiful, and we work with customers hand-in-hand to give them custom options,” says Nelson, who started the business in 1969. “We try to satisfy the customer as much as possible. With each customer who calls in, we ask them a series of questions to help give them what they need and want. We ask them what they are doing with the engine? Will it go in a show car, is it a cruiser, or are you going to the drag strip? We try to put together the exact engine that a customer will be 1,000 percent satisfied with.”

Engine Factory will build almost any engine, however, one of the shop’s more popular engine builds is the 434 Chevy small block.

This particular 434 Chevy features the all-new Dart SHP block with splayed 4-bolt main caps, as well as Dart aluminum cylinder heads and air gap intake manifold. The crank and rods are from Eagle, while the custom hydraulic roller camshaft and the roller rockers are from Comp Cams. The high-pressure oil pump comes from Melling, and the oil pan is from Moroso. Engine Factory also used Clevite H-series rod and main bearings.

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“I wanted to develop engines that when people get them they don’t have to go out and search for any other parts to get the engine up and running,” Nelson says. “You’re not going to have to run out a buy a thermostat housing or a throttle bowl or the right choke set up, etc. We use American-made parts and refuse to go out and lower the quality of what we do. We use companies that are true and tested. You don’t want to hear from that guy leaving your shop until he is ready for another engine.”

In addition to using numerous high-quality parts on the 434 Chevy, Nelson makes sure his guys live run the engine before it goes out the door.

“We live run the engine for an hour in our shop because we feel it is more important than 30-second dyno pulls in terms of understanding real world conditions the engine will face,” he says. “We hook up a radiator, exhaust and electric fan and run it to make sure everything is 1,000 percent good to go. Everything is gone through extensively so we can produce an engine that won’t come back with a problem.”

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Every engine that Engine Factory builds is also documented with photos and video. These are available for customers to look at as Nelson and his team build the engine.

“We know everything that could possibly go wrong, and we want to cover our bases so that when our customer gets the engine, it’s something he can put in and have total confidence with and feel really good about.”

All said and done, this 434 Chevy small block produces 550 horsepower and 530 lb.-ft. of torque. Another satisfied Engine Factory customer.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by Cometic Gasket

To see one of your engines highlighted in this special feature and newsletter, please email Engine Builder managing editor, Greg Jones at [email protected]

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