The Speed-O-Motive entry was...
The Speed-O-Motive entry was ready to run right out of the box. In fact, the only tuning technique used by August Cedarstrand was to install an air cleaner to his entry, which netted several additional horsepower.
Speed-O-Motive, West Covina, CA
In the engine building business for decades, Speed-O-Motive is quite adept at providing powerful, reliable engines to their customers. Their entry in this year's challenge was no exception; it fired immediately and needed no real tuning to perform flawlessly during the dyno pulls. Changing things up a bit, Speed-O-Motive adapted a set of race-bred B-1 cylinder heads to their street engine, demonstrating the diversity of their engine building techniques. While this combination was only good for a sixth place finish, we were impressed with the power and reliability of this engine.
Using B-1 cylinder heads presented...
Using B-1 cylinder heads presented several obstacles to the Speed-O-Motive crew, including having to hand cut header gaskets to prevent the gasket from impeding exhaust flow. Even so, this was a reliable and powerful engine.
Ben Gorman of Promax teamed...
Ben Gorman of Promax teamed up with Creative Flow Management to enter an engine in this year's competition.
Promax, Indianapolis, IN
Promax is known for their Six-Pack induction systems, so we were eager to see how their entry performed in our challenge. Their engine fired up and sounded strong on the dyno, but during the first qualifying pull made an unhealthy noise from the upper valvetrain and was shut down. Pulling the valve covers revealed that the bolts holding the rocker arm shafts down were too short and pulled the threads from the cylinder heads, preventing an expeditious repair. Fortunately, the guys at Comp pitched in and found the parts necessary to repair their engine, though not in time for the judged portion of the challenge. Even so, repairs were made, and we made several dyno pulls on this engine for reference.
Using too short a rocker arm...
Using too short a rocker arm bolt proved to be the downfall of the Promax entry, as it pulled the bolt from the head, bending the rocker shaft, and eliminating Promax from the competition.
Engine builder Mike Liston...
Engine builder Mike Liston of MRL Performance had what could have been the winning engine in this year's challenge.
MRL Performance, Jackson, MI
Knowing that cost was factored into the power of each engine in our challenge, Mike Liston of MRL Performance concentrated on keeping costs down. His engine was by far the most economically built in the contest and had it made the required pulls, at the required rpm, we estimate he would have won this year's contest hands down. Unfortunately, this entry was just 200-rpm shy of the 7,000 rpm required by the contest rules and didn't qualify for the judged portion of the contest. As an interesting aside, Mike's wife videoed several of the pulls, and it was later found that the vacuum secondaries weren't opening on his carb. A blocked vacuum port was the culprit and had it been found sooner, Mike would have certainly placed higher in our contest.
The team from Promax pitched...
The team from Promax pitched in to try to get Mike's engine up to speed. unfortunately, the carburetor problem wasn't found until after the contest, and the MRL Performance entry failed to qualify. Had it made rpm, this engine would have won the contest hands down. His peak horsepower number of 472.7 is quite impressive when you realize it was achieved with only the primary side of the carb.