deck height defined

Deck height is a vital engine measurement that dictates rod length, crankshaft stroke, piston-to-head clearance, and so much more. Here, we define deck height, how to measure it, and its impact on your next engine build. 

It’s all part of the art of building a performance or competition engine. The details separate the exceptional from the also-rans. Some specs like rod and main bearings receive a majority of the attention, but ignore something as simple as deck height and you could find a piston smacking the head at high rpm is not a good way for reciprocating parts to become acquainted.

Deck height is simple: the distance from the crank centerline to the deck surface of the block. A standard deck small-block Chevy is 9.025, but there are plenty of variations when it comes to aftermarket blocks and used cores.

This really isn’t a critical dimension if a standard rebuild is the goal. But if you’re a performance engine builder and stroker cranks, longer rods, shaved decks, and custom pistons are your thing – then block deck height is an important dimension that demands attention. For the record, deck height is the distance between crankshaft centerline and the top of the block.

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