Mid America Racing Engines, David Bruns
Located in Washington, Iowa, Mid America Racing Engines provides engine building and machine shop services for customers with a need for speed and has been doing so since 1975. This full service shop can handle basic or the most complex machining operations. Whether a mild street application or a full-blown race engine, David Bruns prides himself on his attention to detail. This attention to detail provides not only big power, but also creates engines that live for many miles or passes down the drag strip. As a testament to this technique, the 500-inch Hemi Mid America brought to last year's challenge made well over 650 hp and had broad power and torque curves, while running smoothly and comfortably on our 93-octane fuel. Rather than push compression ratio to a point of possible detonation, David relied on cylinder head flow and proper parts matching to make killer power from a very streetable combination. We're sure his wedge entry for this year's contest will also display a healthy blend of power, drivability, and economy.
For this year's challenge, David will be going with a fairly common 4.150-inch stroke combination and will be topping it with cylinder heads from Edelbrock. Compression will remain pump friendly and camshaft selection will optimize power. Knowing that cost is factored, David will be keeping an eye on economics, as well tweaking as much power as possible from a cost effective combination of parts.
Mopar Engines West, Richard Nedbal
If you're looking for a high-tech approach to engine building, you may want to consider Mopar Engines West located in Newark, California. After selling his software company, Richard Nedbal founded Mopar Engines West in 2001 to fill the Mopar communities need for a high-tech engine builder. Employed as an integrated Circuit engineer prior to his engine building and software careers, Richard designed electronic fuel-injection electronics and software from EFI's inception in the mid-'70s. This high-tech experience has given Mopar Engines West the required skills to build custom race and street engines, such as the 8-CNC stacked wedge in the highly acclaimed GTX-R, as well as the fuel-injected slant Six we featured in a previous issue. In 2005, Richard merged his company with Dave Timmons, who focuses on dyno work and engine assembly, leaving Richard to experiment with EFI and technical applications and theory. As their customers can attest, Mopar Engines West can build an engine that will exceed your expectations no matter what your budget is.
While they haven't yet begun assembling their entry into this year's engine challenge, you can be assured that Mopar Engines West is formulating a solid plan. Each engine they build is based on clearly defined goals, so we're sure their motor will be well thought out to optimize the power-per-dollar method by which it will be judged. At Richard's request, we won't be giving away any details on this motor, but we will say that several aspects, such as cylinder head choice, may surprise you.
Promax, Ben Gorman
Promax, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a full-service speed and engine shop that specializes in making street cars fast. They even sponsor the Promax Fastest Street Car class, which is a points drag racing series at the four main Mopar events in the country. With those credentials and hailing from an address on Gasoline Alley in the racing capitol of the world, we're expecting a lot from their entry in our engine challenge. These guys don't just speak Mopar, they live it. A quick check of their web site will confirm that not only are most of their projects Mopars, their dyno test mule is also a big-block Mopar named "cheap thrills." This test engine will serve as a platform to try new technology and determine what does and doesn't work when it comes to tweaking power from the Chrysler RB engine. Since they specialize in custom induction, we look forward to seeing what Promax has in the works for our competition.
When asked about plans for their entry in our engine challenge, Ben Gorman stated that Promax would rely on quality machining, a good combination of economical parts, and well-matched induction components to optimize their engine. Promax will be teaming up with their neighbor, Creative Flow Management, to formulate a plan based on the contest rules. As of this writing, Promax was undecided about whether to go for peak power numbers or to build a powerful, economically priced engine since our rules are based on cost as well as power. Whatever they decide, we're sure they will provide us with some impressive numbers.
Speed-O-Motive, August Cedarstrand
Speed-O-Motive of West Covina, California, has been supporting racers and performance enthusiasts since the first days of hot rodding. From humble beginnings, Speed-O-Motive has grown into one of the premier engine shops in the country. Machining operations are performed by high-quality Rottler CNC equipment, ensuring exacting tolerances at an economical price. Each engine is treated as a custom job with careful consideration given to the customer's expectations and the intended use of the engine. Their entry in last year's contest performed flawlessly, needing very little tuning to optimize horsepower and torque. August claims with an efficient combination of quality parts, their wedge engine should be able to outperform last year's Hemi.
The Speed-O-Motive entry in this year's combination will likely push the cubic inch limit to the maximum allowed by the rules. As of this writing, Edelbrock heads were being considered, but the final decision isn't made yet. As with any performance engine, careful consideration of performance potential and cost will be the deciding factors. Single four-barrel induction and MSD ignition will top off their wedge engine. we're looking forward to seeing what the crew at Speed-O-Motive can bring to the table