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Author Topic: The end of the big block  (Read 4164 times)
Stingr69
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« on: December 20, 2009, 07:23:24 AM »

News Story - Chevy Tonawanda shuts down Big Block production.

http://www.tonawanda-news.com/local/local_story_352232506.html

The end of an era.

-Mark.
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gro51
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 09:01:07 AM »

Yeah, I heard that on the radio.  Very sad indeed.
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Joe
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 09:39:41 AM »

I have to wonder if our new administration in D.C. has anything to do with it?  These engines are not very "green" in their eyes and with all the bail outs for Government Motors, I think that I see the writing on the wall.  It's a shame and yet another change at GM.

Merry Christmas to everyone,

Jerry
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Charley
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2009, 09:55:53 AM »

Big blocks have become obsolete. For heavy rigs that use big blocks you can use a Duramax diesel, get better mileage and tons more power. For a gas engine the new LSX family of engines make great power, good mileage, don't leak and they put millions of them in cars. How many big blocks were being used in cars ? I think they were only being used in Big Suburbans and large trucks. I finally switched over to a 3/4 ton crew cab GMC with a Duramax and this thing will leave any big block I have owned in the dust. It makes a ton of torque and gets 14 mpg. My old 90 SS 454 1/2 ton got 10 mpg on a good day and didn't have near the power. GM is trying to make money. They probably don't sell enough big blocks to justify the expense and there are better production line engines. There will always be the aftermarket supplying big blocks when needed.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2009, 10:35:43 AM »

No surprise here - GM forecast the end of the BB line two years ago due to continuously declining demand, to give their BB customers time to order what they'd need. The Gen V engines (502, 572) haven't been made at Tonawanda for many years anyway - GMPP has them made by outside suppliers, like the ZL-1. The only one Tonawanda made was the 8.1L, and its primary usage was the Kodiak and Top Kick trucks, and those products are now history; the only other users were marine engines.
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2009, 12:26:49 PM »

I suspect then, the BB engine has run its course.  It's a shame but time marches on.  When I bought my Dura Max truck there were still many die hard BB people who wanted the BB in their 2500 HD truck.   

I watched the Baltimore GM assembly plant shut down too.  That was due to the politicians wanting more money and more money to stay here in Baltimore.  Tax, tax, tax.  GM finally said that they would shut the plant down and move on.  They did and the plant was leveled.  Thousands of jobs were lost due to the plant closing.  Many from Norwood were transferred to Baltimore when Norwood shut down in the mid 1980's.  That is how I was able to interview many Norwood workers before writing my first Camaro book.

During the late 1960's, the Chevelle and Pontiac mid size cars (GTO, LeMans) were built here.  I toured the plant when I was in high school.  My '69 Chevelle was also built in Baltimore. 

The Maryland government is now struggling.  There is no money and massive state lay offs are predicted for 2010.  Most big companies have left this state due to the tax issues.  I say good for them.  The Baltimore mayor was just convicted for corruption and more charges are still pending.   

Jerry   
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jonboy1216
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2009, 01:00:38 PM »

im sure the baltimore mayor will not be the only politician to have to answer for crimes against our nation on judgement day.our country is very different today than it was twenty years ago its a shame to see it steadly going down hill. i wonder if the value of our big blocks will increase in the future because of the plant closing?
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jacmac
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2009, 02:14:44 PM »

The minute gov. sticks its nose in private business,it wont be long when its demise will begin.GM use to be the largest corp. in the world.This country in my opinion is going down hill fast!
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2009, 02:37:49 PM »

Just wait until the health care kicks in........

Jerry
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Indy 69
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 04:33:03 PM »

As an outsider looking in and having many friends in the US. It is a darned shame to see the collapse as it were of such a great nation.
We can only hope that the powers to be and those who are directly responsible for the problems are smart enough to ask why it happened and how it can be prevented from happening again. In my opinion if those simple questions are not addressed and people are not prepared to answer the hard questions, then we would seriously wonder if the US will ever recover. It may be more than Big Blocks that go, hasn't Pontiac got the chop as well?  Huh
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Pex68
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 04:37:55 PM »

Wow, Seriously sad to hear that.  I took a trip to Niagra Falls last winter and had to stop by the plant to see where my engine was born.  The place was massive!  Here's some pic's.
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Chris P
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2009, 06:58:30 PM »

As an outsider looking in and having many friends in the US. It is a darned shame to see the collapse as it were of such a great nation.
We can only hope that the powers to be and those who are directly responsible for the problems are smart enough to ask why it happened and how it can be prevented from happening again. In my opinion if those simple questions are not addressed and people are not prepared to answer the hard questions, then we would seriously wonder if the US will ever recover. It may be more than Big Blocks that go, hasn't Pontiac got the chop as well?  Huh

The main problem is that there are those within and without this great country that see the US as the one last obstacle to absolute power and control.  Most of us foolishly believe that things will always go on as they have in the past.  The reality of what has happened in the recent past prove that that is not necessarily true.
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68Z28
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2009, 07:17:55 PM »

Well written!
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Charley
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2009, 09:02:04 PM »

Still the only country I would want to live in. We might not like the Govs involvement in GM but if they hadn't stepped in there probably wouldn't be a GM for everyone to bitch about.
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jdv69z
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2009, 09:39:48 AM »

The current political happenings scare me like no other in my life. I'm afraid these new programs will cost us more than our money.

Jimmy V.
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Jimmy V.
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2009, 09:52:24 AM »

i have a 8.1 in my 3/4 ton avalanch,  it is a great engine to bad i can't replace the truck i guess i will rebuild the engine when the time come.  unless the goverment deems that bad too?
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BILL69
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2009, 10:18:41 AM »

The demand for that particular engine did not justify the enormous cost of building it.   The factory space is needed for the 4 cylinder engines that will go in many more GM vehicles.    The diesel engines demand did away with the large gas engines over the past few years,  I work in the Ford Kentucky Truck plant where we make the Super Duty line of pickups,  the diesel engine is by far the best seller in the 3/4 ton and up vehicles.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2009, 11:34:16 AM »

Little-known trivia - during WWII, Tonawanda built Pratt & Whitney 2,000-hp R-2800 airplane engines.  Smiley
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77thor
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2009, 12:34:47 PM »

No real surprise. It was inevitable.
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Fred - Milwaukee, WI
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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2009, 04:56:07 PM »

I drove by the that plant the other night on the way home from a Buffalo Sabres game.It takes up a lot of property in not a real good area.
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« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2009, 06:01:42 PM »

I think that airplane engine was the "double wasp"?  That was one nasty engine in it's day.  I saw one at a local air museum and to say it looked complicated is an understatement.
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68Z28
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« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2009, 08:50:48 PM »

I wonder if they will level the plant as they did with the Baltimore plant or will they re-invent it for future GM use?  Not really sure from the article if all the workers are without jobs or not?

Jerry
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jonboy1216
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« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2009, 09:44:22 PM »

it looks like the gov.politicians would let those employees keep there jobs in some small way. so they can help the rest of us pay the ridiculous deficit and other wasteful spending they love to do so much.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2009, 12:00:24 PM »

I wonder if they will level the plant as they did with the Baltimore plant or will they re-invent it for future GM use?  Not really sure from the article if all the workers are without jobs or not?

Jerry

Nope. The 8.1 BB was less than 3% of the plant's output, and didn't take up much floorspace. The primary products at Tonawanda are the 2.2L Ecotec and its derivatives, the I-4 and I-5 Canyon/Colorado engines, and the 3.5L and 3.9L V-6 for the Malibu, Impala, and Lucerne. The plant is in no danger of closing.
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Jrschev
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2009, 08:41:06 AM »

As an outsider looking in and having many friends in the US. It is a darned shame to see the collapse as it were of such a great nation.
We can only hope that the powers to be and those who are directly responsible for the problems are smart enough to ask why it happened and how it can be prevented from happening again. In my opinion if those simple questions are not addressed and people are not prepared to answer the hard questions, then we would seriously wonder if the US will ever recover. It may be more than Big Blocks that go, hasn't Pontiac got the chop as well?  Huh

Read this book:  "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire."  It's all right there.

Big blocks are really cool but they belong in old Chevys not modern vehicles. They should have been gone years ago. This is one of many reasons why GM is where it's at. I worked for this company for many years and many, not all, of the management still believe the old statement made during the government hearings of the 1950s:  "what's good for General Motors is good for this country" That mentality was pervasive for years.

Chevrolet made millions of big block engines. There will be plenty to go around for us old car nuts for many years to come. We just don't need them in modern vehicles. Look at it this way; they will become even more collectible now that you can't get them.
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2009, 09:24:50 AM »

John,

I'm glad to hear that the plant will not close.  It broke my heart to see the Balitmore plant get leveled.  Especially since my first new car out of high school was built there. 

Baltimore was a happening place in the 1960's.  I know that Detroit was too!  Both cities are done so stick a fork in them.  A real shame.

Merry Christmas,

Jerry
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L78 steve
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« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2009, 06:34:49 PM »

I was sad to see Tarrytown leveled.  20 miles from where I grew up.
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