Coiled To Strike
Some real searching was done before settling on the proper coil for this concoction. The search led Richard to Diamond Electric-an OE vendor to DaimlerChrysler,Toyota, and Lexus. Diamond Electric is not a retailer, and as such, doesn't sell to the public. The company was, however, very helpful with assisting in this project. Richard wanted the driver electronics to be part of the coil to minimize heat buildup in the EDIST box. The universal EDIST box can drive coils directly, but with the trend toward low-impedance coils that are less than 1 ohm, Richard was concerned about how much heat would be generated in the EDIST box. Lance Ward, a chief engineer at F.A.S.T., verified that coils with on-board driver electronics would be the way to go if it were physically possible, and if the interface signals could be made to work. Diamond provided sample coils and Richard went to work. He built an electronic breadboard to test and debug the system. Some special wiring is required; such as shielded lines with custom circuitry that Richard had to engineer to minimize the effects of EMI noise. In fact, each trigger wire to each coil is really RG-174 coax with a built-in filter under the jacket.

Richard also machined extensions for the spark plugs since the coils ended up a little short of reaching them when installed. The setup is long enough to provide a water seal when installed. The coil tops have rubber seals that would fit inside the Hemi's spark-plug tubes, once Richard machined the tops of each tube. Studs with spacers are used to mount each coil to the valve cover. The result is fully functional and quite pleasing to the eye. So what if you wanted to duplicate this engine? Where would you get the coils? Stroll down to you local Lexus dealership and order replacement coils for the '03 RX 330 Lexus.

It's Hemi Time
The engine is destined to fall into the engine bay of a '71 Challenger convertible, owned by Ed Sternfeld, one of the principal owners of Dependable Dodge in Canoga Park, California. Since this is to be a one-of-a-kind Hemi, Ed wanted only the best. So how about a 528 Hemi, designed to run on pump gas, with a solid-roller cam? Ed wanted a level of power and that special sound that only serious cam duration gives you. Richard's EFI experience showed that a sequential EFI system could tame a big Hemi even with a somewhat radical cam. So what are the cam specs? The cam is a custom grind from Comp Cams. The duration comes in at a healthy 252/260 degrees duration at .050, with a lift of .400/.412 inch. With the Stage-V roller rockers, this equates to .640 inch at the valves. The lobe separation angle (LSA) is 112 degrees, and the cam is installed 4 degrees advanced. A relatively low valve lift-as compared to what a typical 252/260 roller would have-was chosen to give the engine longevity. A 112-degree LSA gives back some street driveability and enhances idle vacuum. Even with this cam, the engine has 12 inches of vacuum at a 900-rpm idle.

The block is a Mopar Performance 4.498 rough-bore Mega-Block that Richard deburred, finish-honed, indexed, and parallel-decked. The crankshaft is an Eagle eight-bolt 4340 piece, with a healthy 4.15-inch stroke and radiused journals. Manley H-beam rods and JE custom pistons with a .990 wrist-pin round out the rotating assembly.