Rolling With It
At the beginning of this buildup, your hardheaded author wanted a particular solid street-roller cam for this motor. Ray suggested we try one of his solid flat-tappet cams that would make the power we wanted for less money than a roller cam. The RBRE .638-lift cam proved its worth, making more power than we anticipated. "Hey Ray, can we still try that roller?" we asked. Ray responded, "Why not?" Remember, upgrading to a roller cam will add $700 to $900 to the price of the motor.

Our cam choice was the Comp Cams Magnum solid street roller with .575-inch lift and .262-degree duration at .050, and a 110-lobe separation. The Comp street-roller cams have gradual and gentle ramps that are easy on the valvetrain. The next day, we easily performed the cam swap. The same RBRE three-bolt billet timing set and Comp Cams 929 double valvesprings were used. The taller Comp roller lifters necessitated the use of pushrods that were .200 inch shorter. Roller cams also require the use of a cam button to prevent cam walk. Also, a bronze gear was needed on the intermediate shaft. After Mike Barton degreed the cam and I lashed the valves, we readied the stroker for its next dyno session.

For a fair comparison, the same configuration of 1 7⁄8-inch headers, carb spacer, and carb, was used. The powerplant was warmed up for 25 minutes, and then the valve lash was reset. After a few preliminary pulls, the wedge was making its most power again at 39-degrees timing. On the best baseline blast, we observed 608 hp at 5,500 rpm (down 23 hp) and 660 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm (up 21 lb-ft). The 3,500-6,000-rpm average horsepower was down by only 1 hp, but torque was up by 3 lb-ft. This is an acceptable trade-off in power for our heavy street driver. We'll call this "flat tappet versus roller cam fight an even brawl."

A little disappointed because the roller had less peak horsepower, we decided to see if a few tuning changes could get it back. First, we took a shot at leaning out the jetting. The 1000 Demon's stock 85/93 jets were replaced with a set of 83/91s. The jet swap picked up the peak ponies by 5 hp. Peak power was now up to 613 hp at 5,500 rpm. Average power was up a tad at 2 hp and 2 lb-ft of torque. Could we get peak power back to 631 hp with only an hour left in the day?

More Tuned Tubes
Most header manufacturers say the 1 7⁄8-inch header is sufficient for up to 575 hp. Hovering over 600 hp, we ordered a set of 2-inch tti's with 3 1⁄2-inch collectors. Would the 2-inch be too big like the 2 1⁄4-inch dyno tubes used at the beginning of dyno testing? We put the hammer down and soon realized 8 more peak horsepower. This moved peak horsepower up 200 rpm higher, topping out at 621 hp at 5,700 rpm. A plug check revealed the fuel mixture was right on. More tuning would be on the agenda after we dropped our Barton Bruiser in the R/T.

Driving Impression
Engine replacement was simple enough. We just pulled out the old 440, dropped in the new 493, bolted it in, and went! We did change the oil, and after 300 miles, we'll switch over to Mobil 1 15w50 synthetic. RBRE built us a powerhouse that has the same 1,200-rpm idle quality as the old 440. Yet, this monster has better street drivability, pulling faster through the gears, and it has more top-end power. How does smoking 'em at a 50-mph roll sound? We were anxious to drive to E-Town to strip-test our new Barton Brute, but it was January and what were we to do?