Those of you who have been following the '06 Royal Purple/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge know that these 500ci big-blocks made excellent power on Rockett Brand's 93 octane fuel, with most easily topping the 700hp mark. There were only a few minor mishaps during the challenge, which kept two of our competitors from qualifying for the judged portion of the challenge, but none of the engines succumbed to catastrophic failure. All who attended this year's challenge were impressed by the hospitality of Comp Cams and the efficiency of their dyno crew. Even with an unforeseen power outage on our first dyno day, the guys at Comp quickly caught up, even getting us far enough ahead of schedule that we had time to play with a Zex nitrous-oxide kit on one of the engines.
The engines brought to the '06 Engine Challenge were as diverse as the builders themselves
Comp's dyno operator, Rich Smith, not only worked dyno controls, but also found time to he
So with this contest over, we're looking forward to our next engine challenge, which will feature powerful small-block Mopar powerplants. The applications have been pouring in, and we believe you'll see some previous competitors, as well as some new faces. We've changed it up a little with a less restrictive cylinder head rule, and we should see some unique and powerful combinations in the '07 engine challenge. Will they top the numbers posted by last year's wedges? While we feel the potential is there given the rule changes, we'll just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, let's take a final look at the dyno sheets for the big-blocks.
Mid America Racing Engines, Washington, IA
David Bruns of Mid America Racing engines brought a somewhat docile Hemi to our first engine challenge, placing respectably with the most streetable engine of the inaugural competition. This year, however, his careful parts selection and machining techniques put his 500ci big-block ahead of the field. While his engine wasn't the most powerful, or the most economical engine of the competition, it was the best blend of the two, which equated to a first place finish.
Learning from his entry in last year's challenge, David Bruns tuned his economical engine
While a broken rocker adjuster had the crew from J.D. Engine and Machine scrambling to mak
J.D. Engine and Machine, Columbia, MO
Another of our returning competitors was J.D. Engine and Machine. Everyone expected big numbers as engine builder Jeff Dickey made the most power of our initial Hemi engine challenge last year, and they weren't disappointed as Jeff's power was enough for a second place finish. Knowing the wedge engine's propensity for torque, Jeff deftly tuned his 500-inch wedge to the biggest torque numbers of any Edelbrock-headed engine, and the second highest torque of the contest.
Judging by the team effort, the crew from J.D. Engine and Machine has plenty of racing exp
The crew from HiTech Motorsport quickly set a high standard as one of our early competitor
HiTech Motorsport, Ramsey, MN
Engine builder Bart Wells and his crew from HiTech Motorsport are no strangers to power. By luck of the draw, the HiTech entry was the first engine on the dyno, setting the standard high by quickly making more power and torque than even the most powerful Hemi in last year's challenge. Professionally built from a cost effective list of parts, the HiTech entry placed a close third, just points away from a higher finish.
Though they were a little nervous about being the first on the dyno, the crew from HiTech
Engine builders Chuck Millen and Pete Costa are no strangers to the big-block Mopar as the
Best Machine, Warren, MI
Best Machine of Warren, Michigan, has a reputation for tweaking killer power numbers from the big-block Chrysler engine. Having the experience of racing these engines certainly helped engine builders Chuck Millen and Pete Costa tune their entry to the second highest power numbers of the contest. At more than 746 hp and 652 lb-ft of torque, this engine would be a blast in a street car and has the power to propel a well-prepped B-body well into the 9s in the quarter-mile. Best Machine finished fourth.
Tuning their engine primarily with air bleed and timing changes, Chuck and Pete netted add
As engine builder, David Timmons, concentrates on the dyno's computer screen, dyno operato
Mopar Engines West, Newark, Ca
While the key to winning our engine challenge is making the most power per dollar, the guys from Mopar Engines West obviously wanted to set the power standard for our competition. While the price of their parts cost them a win, we were certainly impressed by the raw power this engine made. Like any good engine builders, Rich Nedbal, David Timmons, and David's daughter, Angie, concentrated on incremental power gains in multiple areas, netting an impressive 761 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque.
Upon inspecting the Mopar Engines West entry, it was apparent that a combination of good p
The Speed-O-Motive entry was ready to run right out of the box. In fact, the only tuning t
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 several obstacles to the Speed-O-Motive crew, including
Ben Gorman of Promax teamed up with Creative Flow Management to enter an engine in this ye
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 bolt proved to be the downfall of the Promax entry, as it pul
Engine builder Mike Liston of MRL Performance had what could have been the winning engine
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 in to try to get Mike's engine up to speed. unfortunately, th