Engine builders Chuck Millen and Pete Costa of Warren, Michigan's Best Machine tuned their
Best Machine, Warren, MI
Best Machine uses a simple equation when it comes to engine building: correctly selected parts, the best machining tools, plus a knowledgeable and experienced engine builder equals a happy customer. All we can say is, it must work because we would certainly be happy with the 746.7 hp their entry made in our competition. Gaining valuable experience at the dragstrip as well as in the engine shop, engine builders Chuck and Pete have tried it all when it comes to Mopar engines. Relying on both past experience and innovative new ideas, these guys are known for building powerful, application-specific engines that exceed their customer's expectations. For that reason, it was no surprise when their engine screamed to the second highest combined power and torque score of this year's challenge.
The Bottom End
Knowing a sturdy bottom end would be necessary to handle the power this engine would make, the guys at Best Machine used a combination of strong and economical parts in their short-block. Their factory 440 casting was machined in-house to a final bore size of 4.380 inches and was then clearanced for an Eagle-forged, 4.150-inch stroke crankshaft. ARP studs were also incorporated to keep the Best Machine billet-aluminum main caps in place. Eagle 6.76-inch H-beam connecting rods were matched with Wiseco-forged flat-top pistons to achieve a final compression ratio of 11.9:1. JE file-fit piston rings were used to keep the cylinders sealed. To keep their engine lubricated, Best Machine utilized a Melling high-volume oil pump matched with Milodon's oil pan (PN 30930) and internal pickup. A Mopar Performance windage was used to keep power-robbing oil off the crankshaft and in the pan. For a camshaft, the guys at best Machine relied on their experience to come up with a Best Machine custom grind. Lift numbers are .752 inch on both the intake and exhaust with duration at .050-inch lift at 260-degrees intake and 268 degrees on the exhaust side.
Like all the builders this year, Best Machine utilized a factory 440 block to keep costs d
Wiseco-forged, flat-top pistons were used in this engine to achieve a final compression ra
The 4.150 inches of stroke puts the piston deep in the hole when at bottom dead center, bu
It's no secret that Indy heads make power, and that's why Best Machine chose Indy's 440-1
The Top End
Years of racing experience have taught the guys at Best Machine that Indy heads make power. For that reason, Chuck and Pete chose Indy's 440-1 cylinder-head kit to top their engine. "We've used these heads with great success on both street and race engines, and think that in kit form, the Indy heads are one of the best buys on the market," says Chuck Millen. The kit used on this engine features Indy's CNC ported heads, single-plane intake, 1.6-ratio roller rocker arms, cast-aluminum valve covers, and all the hardware to complete the installation. Best Machine simply added a set of Manley valvesprings matched to their solid roller camshaft and bolted the heads on as provided by Indy. Topping their Indy single-plane intake, Best Machine chose a Pro-Systems 1,150-cfm Holley Dominator carburetor. An MSD Pro-Billet distributor was used to ignite the cylinders to the tune of 746.7 hp and 652.2 lb-ft. of torque. This was the second highest combined power and torque score of the contest and good enough for a fourth place finish overall.
Indy's 440-1 heads utilize a long-stem valve design that allows for significantly taller i
Combustion chamber seal is vitally important to making power, so Best Machine used multila
The valley cover used by Best Machine is another product they manufacture in-house. Unlike