If you've been driving, and quite possibly racing your Mopar, you'll eventually need to refresh your motor or even replace it with a more powerful propulsion device. Most Moparites tend to run their motors on the aggressive side. This adventurous behavior will, at some point, leave your motor tired with its tongue hanging out.

The faithful 440 in our '67 R/T has seen its share of beatings since a rebuild and balance job sometime in 1986. It has accumulated over 40,000 street miles and logged somewhere on the far side of 600 quarter-mile blasts. This well-abused wedge was competing back in the '80s at the Supercar Showdown and the Muscle Car Review Nationals. From 1996 to 2001, this same motor did some bracket racing and was strip-testing performance parts. Keep in mind this motor's longevity can be attributed to frequent servicing and the fact it never exceeded 6,400 rpm. Yes, this engine still performed well, but it had excessive blow-by and oil consumption. It was time to replace the old warrior-a time bomb that could explode at any given moment.

We wanted a dependable motor with more power and decided to give Ray Barton Racing Engines in Robesonia, Pennsylvania, a call. RBRE has been building record-setting Super Stock Hemi engines for years, giving the same attention to detail on their street engines.

Our original game plan was to order a new RBRE balanced and blueprinted 440 with Edelbrock heads. RBRE's 440 and 500-inch wedge street/strip motors come complete, from intake to oil pan. Ray suggested we step up to the big arm wedge-500 cubic inches-because of the R/T's portly 4,000 pounds. RBRE normally utilizes the Mopar Performance 4.15-inch crank with its own rods but gave us the nod to try an Eagle crank along with Eagle's H-beam steel rods. RBRE fully inspects all cranks and rods for straightness, cracks, hardness, stroke, and balance. Instead of using the R/T's engine block or one of Barton's cores, we happened to have a good standard bore '70 block-a 9-8-69 casting. Before the fun began, the block was brought to RBRE, stripped bare, and cleaned and Magnafluxed to ensure it was free of cracks and damage.

In our next installment, this long-armed, E-headed, wild street wedge will see test duty on Barton's new DTS engine dyno. Following dyno testing, we'll drop it in the R/T-can't wait to feel the power!

Check out next month, when we put the Long Arm Wedge on the Dyno. We don't want to let the cat out of the bag yet, but would you believe we got over . . . ouch, OK, Randy, I'll shut up.