Skip White Performance 434 Small Block Chevy Engine

Skip White Performance 434 Small Block Chevy Engine

Skip White Performance is one of the biggest players in the industry pumping out an annual average of 900-1,000 engines each year. One of those engines, and one of the shop's more popular models, is this 434 small block Chevy engine. Find out the details of what goes into this 'All Out' engine package.

Skip White Performance is one of the bigger engine builders in the industry. The Kingsport, TN shop focuses on performance engines and pumps out an average of 900-1,000 engines a year.

Owner Skip White says the shop keeps $800,000 in pistons on hand at all times to avoid the six to eight-week waiting period, $250,000 in Scat cranks and connecting rods and puts together 3,000 rotating assemblies a year, all balanced on the shop’s three CWT balancing machines. Skip White Performance (SWP) keeps busy, to say the least.

“Our shop is filled with knowledgeable craftsmen and the most advanced machinery available on the market,” White says. “Our seven staff machinists and engine builders have many years of experience building racing engines and have been in this line of work for their entire careers.”

One of the more popular engines SWP builds is its 434 small block Chevy with the All Out package.

“This motor has a Dart racing block,” White says. “We do all the machining in-house and do the boring on our Centroid CNC machine. The honing we do on our Sunnen SV10 diamond hone machine. We deck the block, bore the block, hone the block and we block prep it. We do a lot of work on that block.”

SWP decks the block to an Ra finish of approximately 15 or better, and is within .001˝ accuracy from end to end. All the parts in the 434 Chevy engine are also top shelf and the engine gets balanced in-house as well.

“We use a Scat 4340 forged crankshaft and Scat Competition Series rods,” he says. “We use the best pistons money can buy – Wiseco 2618 aircraft alloy pistons. We also use AFR fully CNC’d cylinder heads, a COMP Cams camshaft, Howards Cams & Racing Components tie bar lifters and pushrods, a Quickfuel carburetor, and Scorpion race series rockers.”

A lot of engine builders sell these 427/434 small block motors, but it’s the parts SWP uses that put this engine a cut above the rest, White says.

“That includes the little things like the timing components,” he says. “We use race timing components from Cloyes. On the oil pump, we don’t just put a Melling oil pump in there like a lot of others do. We put a M-Select Melling oil pump in there. Believe me when I tell you, there’s a lot of people putting motors together who use cheap timing components and oil pumps. They weren’t intended to go in motors like this, but a lot of people do it. Even our damper now on these motors is an ATI super damper.”

The oil pan SWP uses is a U.S.-made Champ oil pan with a windage tray and trap doors. All the hardware is ARP and the engine uses Clevite bearings.

“This 434 engine features the All Out package, which has the biggest cam and intake, so you better not put this in a heavy vehicle,” White says. “This is for a medium to light car with a good gear and a decent stall converter. This also isn’t the setup that you would choose if you’re going to be driving across the country with your wife.”

The 434 can be detuned to give it better street manners, but White warns that you wouldn’t want to be putting this engine in a heavy vehicle with an overdrive transmission and a desire for it to cruise at 1,600 rpm on the highway.

“People don’t understand that the more you build that motor up in power, the worse the bottom end power becomes,” he says. “Gear ratios, stall speed and how the car is set up can make up for all that. Everybody sells horsepower. We sell horsepower too, but it’s got to go in the right application.”

Put into the right application with the All Out package this 434 small block Chevy engine makes 625 horsepower.

“We use good parts and we’ve learned our lessons the hard way,” White says. “Other people who don’t do a lot of the things we do, you’re asking for trouble. You end up just damaging the motor and killing power. You’ve got to put the right stuff in and a lot of builders out there are not doing it.”

SWP sells so many engines that if the shop were to get a bunch of engines back for failures it would kill the company on warranties.

“Why we build a motor a little better than we have to is because we’re an online seller,” White says. “We have a two-year warranty on there. This motor has got to operate. It’s got to hold up for a long, long time. Otherwise it’s going to cost a ton of money and then when it gets back here it’s a ton of work. It becomes a horrific nightmare if this motor fails, even if it’s a minor failure.”

Thankfully for customers and for Skip White Performance, the attention to detail, use of quality parts and equipment and skilled engine work mean engines like this 434 small block Chevy rarely come back with issues.

The Engine of the Week eNewsletter is sponsored by Cometic Gasket.

If you have an engine you would like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder magazine’s managing editor, Greg Jones at [email protected].

You May Also Like

Ford 2.3L Duratec Engine

Poteat’s Engine Rebuilding is a shop that doesn’t shy away from any kind of engine work – gas or diesel. When a customer asked to have a Ford 2.3L Duratec short block built, the answer was an easy yes. Check out this stout little four cylinder!

Home to many, many engine shops, our trip to Charlotte, NC earlier this year was filled with visits to all sorts of different engine building establishments. One of those unique shop visits took us to Kannapolis, NC to check out Poteat’s Engine Rebuilding.

Ford's 2.3L Duratec engine. Poteat's Engine Rebuilding built a short block for a customer.

Supercharged 4.900” Bore Space Hemi Engine

Building upon its 4.800″ bore space Hemi engine platform, Noonan Race Engineering made improvements to its 4.900″ bore space Hemi engine to the point that its now one of the engine shop’s bread and butter builds. Don’t let that fool you – this engine is packed with unique features and the performance to back it all up. Check it out.

5.3L LS Engine

Tony Paladino’s shop, Concord Engines, has been serving the Kannapolis, NC area with engine rebuilding and machining services since 2014. One engine platform they specialize in is the LS, and it is offered in three different power levels and configurations. Check it out!.

731 cid Outlaw 4.840 Bore Space Nitrous Engine

When it comes to building a 4.840″ bore space engine for drag racing, the class is limited on deck height and limited on bore space, but anything else pretty much goes. Pat Musi of Pat Musi Racing Engines recently finished development on his state-of-the-art 4.840 engine platform, and this 731 cid nitrous combo is freaking awesome!

632 cid Big Block Chevy Nitrous Engine

With a storied race history of his own, Sandy Wilkins has taken his passion for cars and engines and turned it into his life. From race teams to Roush Yates Performance to opening Wilkins Racing Engines, he knows how to build high-horsepower engines like this 632 cubic inch big block Chevy nitrous engine for No Prep drag racing. Check it out!

Other Posts

Engine Builder Magazine’s 2023 America’s Best Engine Shop Winners

Engine Builder magazine has announced the three winners of its 2023 America’s Best Engine Shops contest, sponsored by The ArmaKleen Company and Safety-Kleen. The three winners, Noonan Race Engineering (Race), Warren Diesel Injection (Diesel) and 955 Automotive (Vintage), accepted their awards during Engine Builder’s PRI Party, sponsored by The ArmaKleen Company and Safety-Kleen, at Tin

Engine Builder Magazine Announces 2023 Engine of the Year Winner

Engine Builder magazine has announced its annual Engine of the Year winner for 2023 – a Twin-Turbo 5.0L Coyote engine – built by Joe Irwin of Fast Forward Race Engines in New Port Richey, FL. Joe Irwin and his team accepted the award at Engine Builder’s PRI Party, sponsored by The ArmaKleen Company and Safety-Kleen,

Noonan’s 4.8 Bore Space Billet Hemi Engine

Known for their Hemi engine platform, Noonan Race Engineering has been perfecting its 4.8 bore space Hemi offering for quite sometime. This version, which we saw during a visit to the Spartanburg, SC-based engine and machine shop, features a water block and will have twin turbos. It’s our Engine of the Week! Related Articles –

Take a Tour of PAR Racing Engines

During a recent trip to Spartanburg, SC, we had the opportunity to stop in PAR Racing Engines, a well-known race engine and machine shop owned by Scott Duggins. Scott showed us around and we definitely came away impressed. Related Articles – Warren Diesel Injection’s New 6.0L Powerstroke Race Engine – Pat Musi 632 cid Big