To see video of Cedarstrand's dyno run click here.

When deciding what engine to feature in this year's Amsoil/Mopar Muscle engine challenge, we figured that with tough economic times affecting most of us, we'd choose the Mopar engine that would logically give the most bang for the buck, the 440. As the largest displacement V-8 engine ever produced by Chrysler, the 440 was standard equipment in various platforms including muscle cars, trucks, and many C-bodies. Since the 440 packs a mean punch stock and responds well to modifications, we decided it would be fun to see how much power professional engine builders could make with this potent V-8.

This year, our rules restricted all the engine builders to a .060-inch maximum overbore 440, and they all had to use the same Indy SR cylinder heads, steel connecting rods, and run on Rockett Brand 93 octane pump fuel. Otherwise, anything other than weld or epoxy modifying the heads or block was fair game. Engine builder August Cederstrand of Cederstrand Racing Engines built an impressive 440 for our 2008 Engine Challenge, making more than 670 hp and 573 lb/ft of torque to capture fourth place in our contest. This month we'll go inside the Cederstrand Racing Engines entry and see just how they did it.

To build a 440 that would make great power and be durable enough to last for multiple dyno pulls, August says he decided to use nothing but top quality parts for this engine. Stating that the entire engine is only as good as its weakest part, August relied on quality parts, accurate machining and assembly techniques, and a well thought out combination to give him an advantage in this year's contest. Having been dyno tuned prior to arriving at Comp, this engine needed only minor ignition timing and valve lash changes to produce killer horsepower and torque. During the scored dyno pulls, August pulled out all the stops by adding velocity stacks and cooling the intake manifold with electric parts cleaner for maximum power. Follow along as we go inside the Cederstrand Racing Engines entry to find out just what combination of parts and techniques were used to capture fourth place in a very close contest.

Knowing the 440 Mopar block is one of the toughest factory blocks ever produced, Cederstrand Racing Engines chose a seasoned '71 block for their build. As a clean factory block, August chose to sacrifice a few cubic inches and only bore it .030 inch oversize to save the block for future builds. After boring the block, it was honed with torque plates and fitted with tough Milodon ductile iron main caps and Milodon main studs, then treated to new freeze plugs and painted inside and out. To fill the block, August chose a factory forged steel crankshaft, which was turned .010 inch undersize, and matched the crank with a set of Ross forged flat-top pistons and Oliver forged I-beam connecting rods. The entire rotating assembly was balanced to within 1/2 gram. Clevite full-grove main bearings and coated rod bearings were utilized, and Total Seal rings with a gapless top and Napier second ring were used to seal the combustion chamber. To ensure proper oiling, a Milodon PN30931 single external pan and oiling system was used with a Melling high volume oil pump. To further reduce windage, a Milodon "top fuel" style windage tray and NAPA high volume oil filter were utilized.

To top this solid short-block, Cederstrand Racing Engines was required to use the same Indy SR aluminum cylinder heads as the rest of the field. Starting with Indy's CNC ported castings, August installed S.I. Silverline stainless steel racing valves with undercut stems and performed a full-radius valve job before hand-lapping the valves. Isky PN 9357 double valvesprings were used to control the action of the .728-inch lift, 260-degree duration at .050-inch lift, Comp custom ground solid roller camshaft. T&D 1.6 ratio roller rocker arms were used for their durability and ratio accuracy, and the rocker shafts were shimmed .030 inch for perfect valvetrain geometry. Manley 3/8-inch chrome-moly pushrods with a 7.65-inch overall length were used to actuate the rockers. To spin the camshaft, August chose an accurate Milodon gear drive instead of the conventional double-roller timing chain and gears, stating that for valvetrain accuracy and durability, nothing beats a gear drive.

Topping this combination, August chose Indy's tunnel-ram aluminum intake manifold with a pair of 650-cfm Holley HP series carburetors. The intake was port matched in house, and Magnaflow anti-reversion plates were installed before bolting the carbs on. To light the fires, an MSD Pro-billet distributor and MSD 8.5mm race wires routed the spark to the NGK platinum race plugs. Like most of our competitors, August says there's no one part or technique that helped him build such a powerful 440, but rather a well thought out combination of parts and techniques that helped his engine achieve its impressive power numbers. At over 670 hp, this is one bad 440 and would be fun in any street car or bracket racer. We congratulate Cederstrand Racing Engines for placing fourth in their inaugural Engine Challenge and wish August success with his new business.

2008 Participants
Indy Cylinder HeadChenoweth Speed and Machine
Indianapolis, IN 46239Morton, IL, 61550
317/862-3724309/266-8084
indyheads.comchenowethspeedandmachine.com
Schurbon Engine and MachineCederstrand Racing Engines
Maquoketa, IA, 52060Brea, CA, 92821
563/652-3100714/653-4523
Cederstrandracingengines.com
JMS Racing EnginesPromax
El Monte, CA, 91732Indianapolis, IN 46222
626/579-4567317/241-3432
jmsracing.comsales@promaxcarbs.com
JD Engine and Machine
Columbia, MO, 65203
573/445-4550
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