Mid America Racing EnginesWashington, IowaDavid Bruns of Mid America Racing Engines built what was probably the most streetable entry to earn fifth place honors in our competition. Even with the lowest compression ratio of any of the entrants, Mid America made a street friendly 666 hp and showed a very broad torque curve. Though manifold vacuum was a somewhat low 4.2 inches, this engine was making an amazing 530 lb-ft of torque at a low 3,000 rpm. Inside their Mopar Performance block, David utilized an Eagle crank with durable, though expensive, Manley connecting rods. JE forged pistons completed this tough rotating assembly, which was topped with Indy CNC ported aluminum cylinder heads and a single Dominator-fed Indy intake. An Isky cam actuated the Indy valves to provide a smooth operating engine with very reasonable idle qualities. Of all the engines tested in our competition, the Mid America entry was the happiest running on the 93-octane Rockett Brand fuel. This engine sounded as if it would run very strongly even on lower octane fuel, showing no signs of detonation during the dyno pulls. David utilized metal coatings on the pistons; relying on quality parts and accurate assembly techniques to make his power and give his engine the longevity to provide years of street use. The Mid America entry retails for $20,000 complete.
Indy Cylinder HeadIndianapolis, IndianaThere is likely no name more well-known than Indy Cylinder Head when it comes to making Mopar power. Whether big-block, small-block, or Hemi, Indy Cylinder Head has a reputation for manufacturing top-quality parts utilizing cutting-edge technology. More than thirty years experience have taught the guys at Indy how to make reliable power without breaking your automotive budget. Unfortunately, a wiped-out camshaft severely limited the power made by the Indy Cylinder Head entry, landing them a sixth place in our challenge. While their 649 hp was certainly respectable, we're sure these guys could have been more competitive if not for the camshaft problem they encountered. Manifold vacuum was a strong 6.5 inches, indicating the streetability of this combination. Indy used the smallest bore/longest stroke combination of any entrant and utilized a strong--and pricey--Callies 4.500 stroke crankshaft. Tough Manley H-beam rods connected to Arias small-dome forged pistons rounded out their rotating assembly. When it came to camshaft selection, Indy chose to use their entry for some research and development. Testing a welded and re-ground billet core with Comp solid flat tappet lifters proved to be their downfall as a compatibility issue caused several cam lobes to wear excessively, limiting the output of their engine. Topped with their CNC ported aluminum cylinder heads and a King Demon-fed single-plane Indy intake, their engine definitely had more potential than was shown in our challenge. Indy's price for this engine (without the camshaft problem) is a reasonable $17,950 complete.