This year's Engine Challenge has certainly brought attention to the Mopar small-block and its propensity for making horsepower. Engine builders from around the country built some stout small-blocks for our contest, and some of the dyno numbers would have been impressive even for big-block engines. It takes careful planning and hard work to be competitive in our contest, and since cost is just as important as power, parts selection is critical.

This month, we'll go inside the Speed-O-Motive and Muscle Motors entries in our contest and detail the parts and techniques each engine builder used to be competitive in our contest.

2007 participants
Diamondback EnginesIndy Cylinder Head
7723 FM 7238621 Southeastern Ave.
Richmond, TX 77469Indianapolis, IN 46239
281/238-6900317/862-3724
diamondbackengines.comindyheads.com
Mid America Racing EnginesMRL Performance
1945 W. 18th St.4651 Culley Ln.
Washington, IA 52353Jackson, MI 49201
319/653-6282517/569-2672
midamericadb@lisco.commrlperformance@peoplepc.com
Muscle MotorsR.M. Competition
2085 Glenn St.28648 Maple
Lansing, MI 48906Roseville, MI 48066
517/482-4900586/909-1591
musclemotorsracing.comrmcomprandy@yahoo.com
Schurbon Engine and MachineSpeed-O-Motive
203 S. Clark St.131 W. Lang Ave.
Maquoketa, IA 52060West Covina, CA 91790
563/652-3100626/869-0270
schurbo@msn.comspeedomotive.com

Speed-O-Motive is known for building strong performing, reliable engines, and the engine they entered in this year's contest was no exception. Rather than build a purpose-built dyno mule, they decided to bring an example of what they're known for: power and reliability. The Speed-O-Motive entry fired immediately and ran strong, making well over 500 hp even on their qualifying pulls. During their judged pulls, engine builder Tucker Caven tuned their 408ci small-block to the second highest combined power score of the contest at nearly 530 hp.

Like most competitors in this year's contest, Speed-O-Motive used a seasoned factory 360 block as the foundation for their short-block. The machine work was performed in-house. Inside their block, a Scat-forged crankshaft was utilized, along with Scat connecting rods. To keep compression at a pump-gas friendly level, dished CP-forged pistons were employed. Of course, the rotating assembly was balanced by Speed-O-Motive as well. To oil their small-block, a Melling oil pump was combined with a Sunny oil pan and a Milodon windage tray. A Professional Products vibration dampener ensured smooth operation, and a Howard's Cams timing set spun the camshaft.

The right cylinder heads are vitally important to the goal of producing power, and Speed-O-Motive made a slightly unconventional cylinder head choice for their engine. Instead of using factory Magnum heads, or an aftermarket Mopar or Indy head, Brodix B1B-AMC cylinder heads topped this small-block. Though somewhat more expensive than more conventional heads, the B1s are known for their power potential. Speed-O-Motive optimized their heads by installing Competition Products roller valvesprings and porting the heads in-house to improve flow. T & D rocker arms were used to actuate the valves, and a Howard's cams solid roller camshaft and lifters were utilized to actuate the valvetrain. Up top, an Edelbrock Victor 340 single-plane intake was matched with a 1,000-cfm Holley carburetor for induction. The mixture was ignited by an MSD distributor and ran very well-to the tune of nearly 530 hp and a Fifth Place finish in our contest.

Congratulations to Speed-O-Motive for placing so well.