Specifications of a 440 Big Block Engine

Written by paul novak
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Specifications of a 440 Big Block Engine
The 440 engine was standard equipment on 1969 Road Runners and Plymouth GTXs. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

The Chrysler 440 is one of the two most famous big-block engines produced by Chrysler. Introduced in 1966 and discontinued in 1978, the Chrysler 440 was available in most mid- and full-sized Chrysler vehicles. The 440 was available in three different configurations; the base 440, the high-performance 440-4 barrel, and the all-out-performance 440 Six Pack. Properly tuned, the 440 Six Pack was capable of performance similar to the famous 426 Hemi.

General Characteristics

Chrysler 440 engines first entered production in 1966. The engine block is a 90-degree V8 that uses a centrally located camshaft to operate hydraulic lifters. The valves are standard in head units and are opened and closed by a shaft-mounted rocker-arm system that relies on pushrods to transfer movement from the camshaft. The 440 was produced in various versions until August of 1978, when Chrysler ended production of the engine.


The 440 used a forged-iron crankshaft until 1971. The crank's main journals were 2.75 inches in diameter, and rod journals were 2.375 inches. The 440 crank was secured within the block using two-bolt main caps. High-performance four-barrel and Six Pack versions of the 440 were equipped with a stronger forged-steel crank. After 1971, the high-performance 440 was discontinued, and in 1974, Chrysler began equipping 440s with a lighter-duty cast-ductile-iron crank.


All Chrysler 440 engines had a bore diameter of 4.32 inches and a crank stroke of 3.75 inches. Standard 400 engines had a compression ratio of 9.5:1. High-performance versions of the 440 had an increased compression ratio of 10.5:1 to help increase overall horsepower. 440 engines built after 1971 had slightly reduced compression ratios to comply with federal engine emission regulations.


The distributor on 440 engines is a points-type unit and mounted at an angle on the right front of the engine. All Chrysler 440 engines used a 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 firing order throughout their production. The distributor is driven by a slotted shaft that locks into a gear driven by the camshaft. In 1972, Chrysler stopped using points and began using an electronic distributor.


The oil pump on the 440 is externally mounted on the lower left front of the engine block and produces 45 to 65 psi of pressure. The oil filter is a screw-on paper-element design and connects directly to the oil pump. Oil capacity for the 440 ranged from 5 to 7 quarts depending upon whether the engine was a stock or performance version.

Casting Materials

The 440 engine block, heads and intake manifold were constructed of cast iron. The performance-oriented 440 Six Pack had an aluminium intake manifold that was produced in limited quantities. The intake manifold on the Six Pack performance versions was a cast-aluminium unit produced in limited quantities in 1969 and early 1970 for Chrysler by Edelbrock. Chrysler began producing its own cast-iron version of Six Pack manifolds in 1970.


The base 440 introduced in 1966 produced 480 foot-pounds of torque at 2,800rpm and 350 horsepower at 4,400rpm. In 1967, the 440's horsepower rating was increased in the four-barrel performance versions to 375, while torque remained at 480 foot-pounds. The 440 Six Pack, introduced in 1969, produced 390 horsepower at 4,700rpm and 490 foot-pounds of torque. In 1971, the Six Pack 440 was slightly detuned to comply with emissions regulations, and horsepower was reduced to 385.

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