565 cid Big Block Chevy Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

565 cid Big Block Chevy Engine

Looking to clinch a three peat at this year's Summit Midwest Drags in the naturally aspirated class, Terry Miller was at the drag-and-drive event with his 1982 Pontiac Firebird that features a 565 cubic inch big block Chevy engine. Check out this 1,000-hp NA beast!

Engine of the Week is presented by

One of the first cars we came across during the Summit Midwest Drags earlier this summer was Terry Miller’s 1982 Pontiac Firebird with a 565 cubic inch big block Chevy engine in it. It turned out that Terry was at the drag-and-drive event chasing a three peat in the naturally aspirated class having already won in 2020 and 2021.

We spoke to Terry, who does his own engine work under the guise of Miller Engines, during Day 1 of the Midwest Drags. Terry bought this ’82 Firebird when he was just 15 years old, and now closing in on 45, he’s owned the vehicle for 30 years. Naturally, the Firebird has gone through several different iterations, but it’s always remained street oriented. Terry has done some small tire 275 radial racing and heads up racing. He’s run it on nitrous as well, but since finding drag-and-drive events back in 2017, Terry has focused on the naturally aspirated classes.

Helping him attempt to achieve the three peat this year at the Summit Midwest Drags is a 565 cubic inch big block Chevy engine that features a Dart aluminum block and Dart Pro 355 heads, which aside from new valve and spring combos, new Jesel rockers and some port work, are right out of the box.

The engine has a short 4.250” stroke, but a 4.600” bore. It has a Callies rotating assembly with 13:1 compression JE pistons. Terry also told us he turns it at about 8,600 rpm through the traps. The Dominator carb on top was built by Competition Carburetion in Nevada. Wilson Manifolds did the intake manifold and the bulk of the engine was put together and built by Terry himself.

Of course, not owning his own machine shop, Terry does get machine work done at either Sperry Engines in Cedar Rapids, IA or Shepard Engine Development in Muscatine, IA.

According to Terry, every time this engine has been on the dyno, it makes just under 1,000 horsepower NA. The car has been a fastest 7.63 at 182 mph in the quarter mile on nitrous, and it consistently goes 8.50s-8.60s naturally aspirated. The Firebird has an 8.50-cert cage, so Terry admits it’s a little sketchy going mid-7s.

Behind the big block Chevy is a Powerglide transmission with a 180 first gear and a 410 9-inch rear gear. The car is pretty streetable thanks to a big radiator, an electric fan and electric water pump. The vacuum pump for the engine is actually removed when Terry street drives the Firebird, so it doesn’t pull oil out. Going down the track, he runs about 10-inches of vacuum.

Something a little unique that Terry does is drive and race on the exact same tires, which not many other drag-and-drive competitors do, but it seems to work as he’s had no trouble winning recently. He even ended up completing his three peat at the 2022 Summit Midwest Drags!

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – Das Original and Engine & Performance Warehouse Inc./NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

You May Also Like

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.

During our week in Charlotte, NC, we got to check out some amazing engine shops in and around Charlotte and the Mooresville area. However, there’s been an engine shop we’ve always wanted to see inside of – Noonan Race Engineering. Located just 90 minutes southwest of Charlotte, Noonan Race Engineering is headquartered in Spartanburg, SC. Being so close by and the idea of getting to see Noonan’s state-of-the-art shop space and brand-new tech center was too strong to ignore.

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!

448 cid Billet LS Engine

Pete Harrell of Harrell Engine & Dyno is real good at doin’ stuff, like building turbocharged and forced induction high-powered engines such as this 448 cid billet LS engine for Limited Drag Radial. Check out what went into this 2,500+ HP engine!

Other Posts

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 –

PennGrade 1 Hosts Paralympian and Top Sportsman Driver Matthew Stutzman at PRI

Born with no arms, Stutzman drag races competitively using his feet.

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 – Is Lower Viscosity Oil Better? – Wilkins Racing Engines’ 347 cid Small Block Chevy

Warren Diesel Injection’s New 6.0L Powerstroke Race Engine

Jesse Warren and his team are synonymous with the Ford Powerstroke platform, specifically the 6.0L. As such, Jesse’s team at Warren Diesel Injection continues to push the envelope of the 6.0L Powerstroke and recently unveiled a new race truck at the 2023 Ultimate Callout Challenge. Find out what went into this 3-year-long build! Related Articles