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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 11:05 AM
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Stupid Question

I'm new to trucks and all, and was wondering what the term "rat" meant, like recently I heard some one talking about building a "rat" 454 BB. Whats is it?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 11:20 AM
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Re: Stupid Question

I'm not sure where the terminology comes from but a rat is a Big Block chevrolet engine (any BB even if it isn't built up), and a mouse engine is a small block chevy(also any SB). I forget where I saw it but there was an article a while back titled "The mouse that roared" And another more recently in fourwheeler titled "Mail order mice". On HPTV you'll hear them say rat engine 10 timea a show. Sorry for the rambling, I just wanted to give a few references to (rat/mouse) being used.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 12:27 PM
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Re: Stupid Question

<font face="Comic Sans MS">I believe the GM marketing reps (or some magazine people) started referring to the small block GM engine as the Mouse. They wanted to use the cartoon Mighty Mouse for it, but that didn't go over so it was just the mouse. The big block, since it's bigger and more powerful than the mouse then adopted the nickname the rat since rats are also bigger and more powerful than a mouse... That's the explanation I've always heard and went by...</font>

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 12:58 PM
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Re: Stupid Question

Yeah, Rat motors are usually refered to as built up BBC's (Big Block Chevy's). There is also a term "Mountain Motor" and that is usually 520+cubes all the way up to almost 800CI which is about the largest BBC V8 that can be built.

Not sure if you are to familiar with other engine terms but here a few that you should know.

Short block = Block,crank, rods and pistons (or the rotating assembly)

Long block = Block,crank,pistons,rods,cam,push rods,and heads and intake.

Fully assembled long block= all of the above and usually comes with carb and all the brakets as well as fuel pump and water pump and starter and alternator

There are alot more out there but I can't think of them now.


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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 09:28 PM
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Re: Stupid Question

Dont forget the other animal names like goats=pontiac and isnt an elaphant a hemi or am I nuts?? So many stories about were the term rat and mouse cam from it aint funny.

And it aint a stupid question...lots of people dont know those terms. Thats why I'm going to get lots of wierd looks if I build my motor. I'm going to write Have you stroked your mouse lately? on the tailgate[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]I'm going to make a 383 by boring a 350 out 30 and stroking it Thus having a stroker motor or stroked mouse[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 11:45 PM
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Re: Stupid Question

Actually in the old days so many of these motors were purchased by high school kids that had no money to build them up they ended up sitting out in barns. The bore diameter was the perfect nesting size for the Grey Rat, hence the name rat motor. Conservationist are concerned because as these motors become more scarce the population of this rare rat is declining. I am a charter member of the save the Grey rat foundation and of course your contributions are tax deductable.

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