It takes horsepower to be competitive in our Engine Challenge, and the two small-blocks we're featuring this month made plenty of it. In fact, the R.M. Competition entry was just shy of winning, placing a very close Third in our tightest competition to date. The Mid America Racing Engines entry also impressed us by making the most combined power of any engine in this year's Engine Challenge, screaming to more than 560 pump-gas-friendly horsepower and nearly 500 lb-ft of torque. Equally as important as the power these engines produced was the budget the builders adhered to. Since the cost of each engine is factored into the combined power, engine builders had to carefully spend money where it benefited their combination the most.
This month, we'll go inside the Third Place entry of R.M. Competition and the Fourth Place entry of Mid America Racing Engines, detailing the parts and techniques that made each engine competitive.
Placing Third and Fourth,...
Placing Third and Fourth, respectively, in the '07 Engine Challenge, R.M. Competition and Mid America Racing Engines brought powerful small-blocks to our contest.
This month we'll look inside...
This month we'll look inside these engines to see what tricks these builders used to place well.
|Diamondback Engines||Indy Cylinder Head|
|7723 FM 723||8621 Southeastern Ave.|
|Richmond, TX 77469||Indianapolis, IN 46239|
|Mid America Racing Engines||MRL Performance|
|1945 W. 18th St.||4651 Culley Ln.|
|Washington, IA 52353||Jackson, MI 49201|
|Muscle Motors||R.M. Competition|
|2085 Glenn St.||28648 Maple|
|Lansing, MI 48906||Roseville, MI 48066|
|Schurbon Engine and Machine||Speed-O-Motive|
|203 S. Clark St.||131 W. Lang Ave.|
|Maquoketa, IA 52060||West Covina, CA 91790|
Engine builder Randy Malik came very close to winning this year's Engine Challenge. Placing a close Third, this engine was mere decimals away from the Second and First Place entries in ouandy placed so well was his careful selection of budget parts, and making more than 500 hp on the dyno certainly didn't hurt. This engine was a well thought-out combination of powerful parts and was built on a tight budget since cost matters as much as power in our contest.
Starting with a production Chrysler 360 core motor, Randy performed the necessary machine work in-house. The factory block was bored to accommodate Keith Black hypereutectic cast pistons and Perfect Circle piston rings. A Scat stroker crank was matched with factory connecting rods to net a displacement of 406 ci. A production 360 oil pan was also utilized to keep costs down, and a custom windage tray was fabricated in-house. Melling was the manufacturer of choice for the oil pump, timing set, and lifters, and Federal Mogul and Durabond bearings were used in this engine. Knowing the importance of camshaft selection, Randy chose a large Lunati flat-tappet unit to work with the Weiand tunnel-ram intake.
To top his stout bottom-end, Randy chose Mopar Magnum cylinder heads from Engine Quest. Magnum heads adorned the top three finishers in this year's contest and make great power for the money. REV engine valves were utilized along with valvesprings matched to the Lunati bump stick. Harland Sharp roller rocker arms with a 1.7 ratio were used on the intake side, while Crane 1.6 ratio rockers were chosen for the exhaust side. A composition head gasket was used to seal the combustion chambers, and Randy claims compression ended up right at 12.2:1, pushing the limit for pump gas. While the Weiand tunnel-ram intake isn't really what Randy would recommend for a street car, it worked great on the dyno where peak horsepower and torque were used to help determine the winner. While no special coatings per se were used on this engine, he did paint the bottom of the intake with epoxy paint to help insulate the intake from the hot oil. A matching pair of Edelbrock carburetors topped the engine, and an air cleaner was fabricated from wood, again to keep cost down.
Randy Malik of R.M. Competition...
Randy Malik of R.M. Competition tuned his Magnum-headed stroker small-block to more than 500 hp on pump gas, clinching Third Place.
As the only engine to utilize...
As the only engine to utilize dual four-barrel induction, the R.M. Competition entry was budget built and made impressive horsepower with cast-iron Magnum cylinder heads.
Tunnel-ram induction combined...
Tunnel-ram induction combined with a pair of Edelbrock four-barrels may not be the most streetable combination, but this engine made great power on the dyno.
Dual-quad induction kept Randy...
Dual-quad induction kept Randy from making any jet changes on the dyno, but he still tuned his engine to impressive power with timing and spark plug changes.
Our rules stated the engines...
Our rules stated the engines would be filled with Amsoil to the pan's capacity, but didn't say anything about the oil filter. Randy picked this 11/2 quart unit to keep more oil out of the crankcase, reducing windage and, thereby, improving power.
Inside his 360 block, Randy...
Inside his 360 block, Randy used a Scat crank with stock rods and Keith Black cast pistons. Note the fabricated windage tray necessary for the additional stroke.
Randy chose a Lunati solid...
Randy chose a Lunati solid flat-tappet camshaft to work with his tunnel-ram induction, but no modifications were performed to keep oil away from the cam tunnel.
Magnum cylinder heads offer...
Magnum cylinder heads offer a great combustion chamber design, large valves, and good port volume and configuration. They're reasonably priced as well, so it's no wonder the top three engines all used Magnum heads.
Stock rods and cast pistons...
Stock rods and cast pistons might not work in a serious race application, but for this dyno challenge, they survived multiple pulls and kept costs down.
A combination of Harland Sharp...
A combination of Harland Sharp and Crane rocker arms kept the valvetrain in check, allowing Randy to tune his small-block to more than 500 hp and a Third Place showing in this year's Engine Challenge.
Cylinder heads were ported...
Cylinder heads were ported in-house to optimize flow, and these Magnum heads have the LA-style intake bolt pattern, allowing less expensive and more readily available intake manifolds to be used.
While no exotic coatings were...
While no exotic coatings were used, the bottom of the intake was painted with epoxy paint to keep heat away from the intake charge.