Here's the iron 232 six shooter...
Here's the iron 232 six shooter prior to installation. With the Hyper-Pak induction and headers, it weighs about 450 pounds and gives nearly 50/50 weight distribution. Working from such a favorable starting point, we weren't surprised the aluminum 227 didn't show any appreciable advantage despite its 380-pound total mass.
In our last installment, we assembled an aluminum block Hyper-Pak Slant Six packing 223.3 hp at 5,400 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque at 3,700. It's got enough suds to run with the V8s and propel any 3,000-pound vehicle through the quarter in the mid-14-second range. This month, we put it to the test in a '62 Valiant and show you how to assemble a platform that will match our results.
We'll be the first to admit that before we built this little motor, we viewed the Slant Six as something to be yanked, making way for a V8 swap. But thanks to Doug Dutra and Clifford Performance, we've been converted. True, if you insist on maximum bang for your buck, build a 360 small-block. But if you want to blaze your own path and draw a crowd every time you pop the hood, build a Hyper-Pak Slant Six. Whether using a rare aluminum block or a common-as-nails iron block, if you follow our recipe, you'll have a car that idles at 900 rpm, runs great in traffic, delivers decent fuel economy, handles well, and blows minds when you mash the gas pedal and the rear skins explode in a cloud of tire smoke. Ladies and gentlemen, the Slant Six has arrived.
First Time Ever Aluminum vs. Iron Slant Six Drag Test
Thanks to the sticky Carlsbad...
Thanks to the sticky Carlsbad launch pad, we inflated the tiny M/T 24.5-9.0/13 slicks to 25 psi to reduce rolling resistance. The 2.0-second 60-foot times are impressive considering the 3.55 axle ratio and modest 13.2:1 lb:hp ratio. Both engines caused 3 inches of front suspension rise, ensuring plenty of weight transfer.
As far as we can tell, nobody's ever done this before. [Ed. note: That's a good enough reason for us to do it]. So, to find out what effect the lightweight block would have on dragstrip performance, we first tested the Valiant with an identically-prepared iron short-block. From its Engle KV-1 cam to its Enginetech cast-aluminum pistons and moly rings, every detail was duplicated for maximum consistency. We even used the same head, induction, headers, fan, and ignition, swapping them between the blocks. The only difference was the iron block's 232ci displacement (thanks to a .060 overbore versus the alloy block's .020 oversize bores and 227-inch measurement). Would the aluminum block's 70-pound weight advantage prove the old saw about every 100 pounds equaling a tenth?
We rolled up to the staging beams at the historic Carlsbad, California, dragstrip, former stomping grounds of Jim Nelson and the aluminum-blocked Dragmaster Dart Slant Six dragster. Tipping the scales at a svelte 3,025 pounds (2,790-pound vehicle weight plus 235-pound driver), the iron Hyper-Pak was ready. Each run was started by brake-torquing the Art Carr converter to maximum stall (2,700) and releasing the brake pedal as the last amber flashed. All upshifts were made by punching the Art Carr full-manual 904 TorqueFlite's buttons at 5,000 rpm. The 24-inch M/T slicks and 3.55 axle ratio put us over the finish line at a perfect 5,000 rpm. The best of several runs was an uncorked 14.695 seconds at 90.98 mph. Wow, our "lowly" Slant Six was turning e.t.'s comparable to a stock Street Hemi.