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Thread: Dart or Merlin block?

  1. #1
    Member MASTER JOURNEYMAN
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    Dart or Merlin block?

    Looking at a 565 short deck BBC build and wondering if there is any advantage using a Dart -vs- Merlin block. They have similiar reading specs. Just looking for your experiences with either one.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    My opinion,
    Quality control at Dart is much better.
    The Dart casting just appears to be more dense or higher quality, than the Merlins. I have the most expensive Merlin Cast Iron Race Block in my shop now sitting alongside a Dart Big M with Billet Caps and it is easy to see the quality difference in the castings.

    I also like the Dart lubrication system and the placing of the external oiling connections better too.


    The deck ht from Dart is right on when comparing side to side.

    I like the way the Dart center bolt provisions are much better than the way Merlin does them.

    And last but by far not least, It will be a freezing day in Hell before World Products ever gets anymore money from me.

    I paid in cash by Money Order upfront for a new Merlin II and was promised they would ship in no longer than 3 weeks. After tons of angry phone calls becuase of all the lies in Michigan and also all the lies of Mitchel jr. and after I lost my customer that block finally was delievered over 10 months later. They also charged me $250.00 for freight. I get Dart Big M blocks for less than 120.00 freight now.

    The Merlin will cost a little less.
    Depending on where you are I have a good source for both Merlin and Dart, but refuse to buy Merlin.

    Bill Hendren here, one of the contributing members I believe can also help you in Dart Products and also I think Merlin. Give him a phone call. His number is usually included in his postings.

    Hendrens Racing Engines
    1310 U.S. Hwy 221 North
    Rutherfordton N.C. 28139
    828-286-0780 Bill, Steve, Mike
    www.hendrensracingengines.com
    Ed
    " Let all things that hath breath, praise the Lord. Praise Ye the Lord" Psalms 150 vs 6.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    4,143
    Quote Originally Posted by edvancedengines
    My opinion,
    Quality control at Dart is much better.
    The Dart casting just appears to be more dense or higher quality, than the Merlins. I have the most expensive Merlin Cast Iron Race Block in my shop now sitting alongside a Dart Big M with Billet Caps and it is easy to see the quality difference in the castings.

    I also like the Dart lubrication system and the placing of the external oiling connections better too.


    The deck ht from Dart is right on when comparing side to side.

    I like the way the Dart center bolt provisions are much better than the way Merlin does them.

    And last but by far not least, It will be a freezing day in Hell before World Products ever gets anymore money from me.

    I paid in cash by Money Order upfront for a new Merlin II and was promised they would ship in no longer than 3 weeks. After tons of angry phone calls becuase of all the lies in Michigan and also all the lies of Mitchel jr. and after I lost my customer that block finally was delievered over 10 months later. They also charged me $250.00 for freight. I get Dart Big M blocks for less than 120.00 freight now.

    The Merlin will cost a little less.
    Depending on where you are I have a good source for both Merlin and Dart, but refuse to buy Merlin.

    Bill Hendren here, one of the contributing members I believe can also help you in Dart Products and also I think Merlin. Give him a phone call. His number is usually included in his postings.

    Hendrens Racing Engines
    1310 U.S. Hwy 221 North
    Rutherfordton N.C. 28139
    828-286-0780 Bill, Steve, Mike
    www.hendrensracingengines.com
    Ed
    Ed, what is the difference,if any,between the original merlin,the merlin 2 and now the merlin 3?

  4. #4
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    As Ed said,compare the two side by side and you will buy the Dart.Bill
    Hendrens Racing Engines
    1310 U.S. Hwy 221 North
    Rutherfordton N.C. 28139
    828-286-0780 Bill, Steve, Mike
    www.hendrensracingengines.com

  5. #5
    Member MASTER JOURNEYMAN
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    thanks Ed,
    it's hard for us new guys to know any better when you read the descriptions of each, and they are almost word for word the same. I had plans of building up my GM 4 bolt block, but after everyone's advice and asking enough questions it looks as though I might as well put in a Dart block and also add the extra cubic inches that can be pulled from the available 4.60 bore.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SENIOR BUILDER
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    Or you could open another can of worms,and go with an aluminum block! save about 140 lbs,and be cooler on the street

  7. #7
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    Quote Originally Posted by superstreeter
    Or you could open another can of worms,and go with an aluminum block! save about 140 lbs,and be cooler on the street
    Adds 4k to the price of the build.
    Wesley
    60' 1.30
    5.58 @ 127.89

  8. #8
    Administrator RACING JUNKIE
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsman
    Quote Originally Posted by superstreeter
    Or you could open another can of worms,and go with an aluminum block! save about 140 lbs,and be cooler on the street
    Adds 4k to the price of the build.
    Its only money,you can't take it with you. :P

    I'd have to vote for the Dart block as well.I've got both and like the Dart better
    There Is 1 Thing Better Than Cubic Inches,,,More Of Them

  9. #9
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    You guys might be surprised at how much torture you can putt

    You guys might be surprised at how much torture you can put that old factory GM 454 or 427 block through. It is tough as a Rhino Hide.

    Merlin II block was supposed to be a stronger aftermarket replacement for the Factory GM BowTie. At least it was when I ordered one.

    Almost a year later when it was finally finished according to Merlin it would only accept the factory advertised max bore of 4.600 in extreme examples but would be ok at a 4.560 bore. Likewise according the Merlin (World Products) It might or might not be able to clear the 4 3/4 crank with grinding. What really made me mad was that at the time according to them that block should handle 900 to 1,000 hp.

    I had already been exceeding that power level with factory production 454 blocks, so I was even more mad. By the time that block from Merlin was finally finished I had already had the Gen 5 and Gen 6 BowTies bored to the 4.600 and fitted with the 4 5/8 and 4 3/4 strokers without not much problem.

    Needless to say I was not very happy when I received my New Paid in advance Merlin II Block almost a year later and marked on it was these numbers ; " 1.190 Ht." That made me further mad at them. I did get it sonic checked and we did end up putting a 4.600 bore in it but if it had been a nitrous engine I would have been scared of the bore.

    The Merlin III Block is supposed to be very thick now. It is also supposed to be made of better material.

    The Merlin Pro Block has rasied cam tunnels usually and has billet main caps. IT also has only the .842 Chevy lifter bores.

    Comparing the Merlin Pro Block to the lower price ranged Dart Sportsman Big M or the Sportsman Billet cap block the Dart wins in my books. Plus Dart still has the Dart Race Block that is really nice.

    Ed
    " Let all things that hath breath, praise the Lord. Praise Ye the Lord" Psalms 150 vs 6.

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