Indy Cylinder Head had the winning combination in the 2008 Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Chal
To see video of Indy's dyno run click here.
The Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge is one of our favorite events to cover here at Mopar Muscle. We feel fortunate to be able to rub elbows with some of the best engine builders in the country, and we always learn some tricks ourselves in the process. Since all of our previous Challenges have featured stroker motors, this year we decided to change it up a little. Instead of a stroker motor, we decided to feature one of the most common Mopar engines, the 440. To make things even more interesting, we didn't factor the cost of the engines this year. Instead, we required all of the builders to use the same basic parts to build a "spec" engine, and whichever engine made the highest combined peak torque and horsepower would be the victor.
Winning an engine dyno-challenge is sometimes more of an art than a skill. It takes more than just bolting together a good set of parts to make power; it takes a well thought out building plan, many hours of labor, and careful interpretation of the rules. These theories are even more important when building a "spec" engine. Since all contestants were limited to the same basic combination of a maximum .060-inch over-bored 440 with Indy SR heads, the engine builders had to look for incremental gains in order to achieve an advantage. For the second year in a row, Indy Cylinder Head took top honors in our contest, leading a field of stout big-blocks.
Engine builders Ken Lazzeri and Russ Flagle did their homework for this year's Challenge,
So how did Indy capture the win in this year's Challenge? It was a combination of well picked parts, accurate machining techniques, countless hours of labor, and a little unconventional thinking. Starting with a Mopar Performance PN P5007624 Mega-block that was machined in-house, engine builders Russ Flagle and Ken Lazzeri used an Eagle, forged replacement crankshaft with a six-bolt flange, Manley H-beam connecting rods, and Diamond PN 46801 forged, flat-top pistons to form the foundation of their stout short-block.
In order to use a 55mm Comp Cams camshaft to take advantage of improved lobe geometry, the block was machined for oversize bearings and the three center journals were converted to roller cam bearings. Speed Pro piston rings and Clevite rod and main bearings kept the short-block sealed and spinning freely, and a Milodon PN 30930 oil pan was modified in-house for oil control using the new Hemi oil pan as a template. The remainder of the oil system consisted of a Melling M63 standard volume oil pump, Milodon internal pickup, and Milodon PN 32005 windage tray. When it came to the camshaft, Indy consulted Comp engineer Gordon Holloway to help pick their PN CRB-2521R-2525R-R108 solid roller camshaft and Comp roller lifters. By having the cam ground from a 55mm core, aggressive lobes could be utilized, equating to more lift and duration, and improved power.
When building a powerful engine, there is no substitution for cylinder-head flow. Since this year's engine was a spec engine, each builder, Indy included, had to utilize the same Indy SR aluminum cylinder head. There's no doubt that using their own cylinder head in the competition may have given Indy a slight advantage, but since all participants had to use the same head, and since there's no money or prize at stake for winning, we felt our readers would like to see what Indy could do with their product.
On the dyno, the Indy crew simply made ignition timing, valve lash, and spark plug changes
Even before it was bolted to the dyno, the Indy entry's intimidating looks had everyone wo
Indy used an Eagle crank, Manley H-beam rods, and Diamond forged pistons to fill their Mop
Diamond PN 46801 Pistons were utilized along with durable Manley H-beam connecting rods. C
A Milodon PN 32005 Windage tray was treated to a hand-fabricated, welded in crank scraper
Since our rules limited the legal short-block modifications, Indy spent time where it woul
All of the entries used Amsoil synthetic lubricants while on Comp's dyno. Indy's engine, l
Since pumping oil requires horsepower, and since an engine of this type restricts oil to t
Engine builders in this year's contest could choose either the CNC ported version of the I
Priding themselves on being engine builders as well as manufacturers, the Indy team employed some rather unique tricks to their PN 440-SR CNC cylinder heads. Instead of simply bolting on an off-the-shelf head, they used their CNC castings as a foundation for a trick set of heads. Rather than using the standard length valves, Indy consulted with Randy Longstreet of Manley Performance Products who recommended a set of titanium 2.300 inch intake, and 1.76 inch exhaust valves with longer than standard stems. While there are several advantages to longer valves, the main advantage is that a more aggressive, higher lift camshaft can be utilized without worrying about valvespring coil bind, or retainer to guide clearance.
Unfortunately, longer valve stems play havoc on the valvetrain geometry, requiring the rocker arms to be relocated. Since our rules prohibited welding on the head, Indy got creative and manufactured specially offset bushings and shims to move the rocker studs away from valves. Larry Tores of T&D Machine Products helped to calculate valvetrain geometry, recommending T&D PN 8216 rocker arms with 1.7 intake and exhaust ratios. The Indy crew also used a somewhat unconventional method to "unshroud" the intake valves, but you'll have to ask them about that trick because we're not telling all their secrets.
To top off their long block, Indy made the logical choice of their PN 440-15 tunnel-ram intake manifold. Knowing that a tunnel-ram produces more peak power, and since our contest factors peak torque and horsepower instead of averages, using a tunnel ram and dual four-barrel induction just made sense. To mix the fuel and air, and since total induction volume was limited to 1,350 cfm, Indy chose a pair of Barry Grant 675-cfm Race Demon carburetors. Topped with Indy PN 440-7PC cast aluminum valve covers and ignited by an MSD PN 8546 Pro-Billet distributor, this combination screamed to 758 hp and 601.6 lb/ft of torque to win this year's Engine Challenge. We congratulate Indy on their win and thank them for sharing what it took to put together this winning combination.
Indy Cylinder Head
Indianapolis, IN 46239
Schurbon Engine and Machine
Maquoketa, IA 52060
JMS Racing Engines
El Monte, CA 91732
JD Engine and Machine
Columbia, MO 65203
Chenoweth Speed and Machine
Morton, IL 61550
Cederstrand Racing Engines
Brea, CA 92821
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Editor's Note: If you want to hear the Indy Cylinder Head engine run, go to our web site, www.moparmusclemagazine.com, and check out the video section. Don't forget to turn your volume up.
Rather than use off-the-shelf heads, Indy chose to utilize Manley titanium valves with a l
Indy's CNC port job makes the most of the SR cylinder head. In fact, the only hand porting
Longer valves may let you run more lift, but to correct valvetrain geometry the rocker arm
Special spacers had to be made to properly locate the rocker shafts in order to work with
Knowing that tunnel-rams make power, Indy chose their PN 440-15 intake manifold and topped
On the dyno, Indy's hard work became apparent. At nearly 760 hp and over 600 lb/ft of torq
With the modifications complete, Indy used T&D Machine Products PN 8216, 1.7 ratio rocker