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.
Speed-O-Motive and Muscle Motors placed Fifth and Sixth, respectively, in the Mopar Muscle
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.
|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|
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.
Remember, these aren't high-compression race engines-they all had to run on Rockett Brand
Engine builder and dyno operator Tucker Caven of Speed-O-Motive tuned his stroker small-bl
Though he brought one of the smallest displacement engines to our contest, engine builder
Comp Cams hosted our dyno challenge again this year, offering their research facility, dyn
Supplying racers with big power keeps Muscle Motors busy throughout the year, so when time was short for our contest, engine builder Mike Ware made an executive decision. Instead of building an engine strictly for our competition, Mike got permission to bring an engine that he was already building for a customer. While he knew the small displacement and expensive parts in this motor would likely keep him from a top finish, he says this engine is more representative of what customers want. Rather than purpose-built dyno engines, Mopar customers today demand powerful, reliable engines that will last for many years in a street car, or many passes in a drag car.
Utilizing Brodix aluminum heads, Speed-O-Motive made the second highest power numbers of t
Using timing and jetting changes, Speed-O-Motive's Tucker Caven tuned his engine to a Fift
Speed-O-Motive used a stock 360 block for their build, but the block was pretty much the o
For durability at a reasonable cost, it's hard to beat Scat I-beam connecting rods. CP for
Along with an extra-capacity oil pan, a Milodon windage tray and Melling pump ensured prop
During the tear-down, there was no evidence of abnormal wear. True to form, Speed-O-Motive
Starting with a factory block, engine builder Mike Ware performed all the necessary machine work in-house at Muscle Motors. Inside the block, he installed a Callies 3.79-inch, stroke-forged crankshaft, 6.379-inch connecting rods, and Ross 11:1 compression forged pistons for a final displacement of 400 ci. Oiling was handled by a Melling oil pump, Milodon deep pan, and Milodon windage tray. Since roller cams are known for making great power and providing improved reliability, Mike chose a solid roller cam for this engine.
Large valves, relatively small combustion chambers, and dual quench areas make the Brodix
T & D shaft-mounted rocker arms are some of the best rockers on the market, but they also
A Performance Carburetors-prepped Holley and Edelbrock Victor 340 single-plane intake hand
Muscle Motors built one of the smallest engines in our competition, and although limited b
The Muscle Motors entry made more than 450 hp and nearly 460 lb-ft of torque. Impressive n
Engine builder Mike Ware chose a solid roller cam for this engine to improve both power an
Topping his bulletproof short-block, Mike chose Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads. He stated that the Edelbrock heads have great flow for the money, and since most Mopars are at least slightly front-heavy, aluminum heads are a great way to shave some 40 pounds from the front of the car. The heads were ported in-house at Muscle Motors before being treated to a multi-angle valve job, stainless steel valves, and new roller valvesprings. Since this engine was a customer's and would be installed in a T/A Challenger clone, Six-Pack induction was mandatory. While Mike knew the dual-plane Six-Pack intake would limit peak power numbers, he chose his combination accordingly and made up for the loss of peak power in torque. In fact, this engine made as much torque per cubic inch as the top motors in this year's contest.
We congratulate Mike Ware and Muscle Motors for their Sixth Place finish, and, more importantly, for showing us the potential of a Six-Pack-equipped small-block.
During tear-down, it was apparent that Muscle Motors had spared no expense on this engine.
Under-driving the water pump is just one of the tricks Mike Ware used to tweak every avail
A Six-Pack intake with a trio of Demon two-barrels adorned the Muscle Motors entry. This w
Though not purposely built for our dyno challenge, the Muscle Motors entry impressed us wi
Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads were chosen for their proven power potential as wel
Though limited by the single-plane design of the Six-Pack intake, Mike optimized flow by p