As expected, the 499 inch entry built by Jeff Dickey fired immediately and sounded crisp having been dyno tuned prior to our contest. Known for power, it was a surprise when the J D Engine and Machine entry seemed a little lame on its first qualifying pull. Jeff, along with Don Driskill and Daniel Crane, quickly entered the dyno cell, finding a switched plug wire causing the problem. The difference was evident as the engine made well over 700 horsepower and more than 600 lb/ft of torque on its next dyno pull. Only missing the top horsepower number by a few points, Jeff and his team spent the remainder of their pulls efficiently gaining power through carb tuning and ignition timing changes. Making their best pull with 38 degrees of timing, J D Engine and Machine achieved their goal of the most horsepower making one more horsepower than the LaRoy entry. With 724.5 horsepower and 610.3 lb/ft of torque for a combined score of 1334.7, J D Engine and Machine leads the AMSOIL/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge in terms of power.

Chenoweth Speed and Machine
Morton, Illinois

Chenoweth Engine and Machine obviously decided that building a budget engine was the way to win our contest as they utilized primarily a mix of factory and used aftermarket parts in their motor. Starting with a very used 400 block, the Chenoweth's added a forged 440 crankshaft for a displacement of 452 cubic inches. We're not sure if they came up with it on their own or if they'd spied on Schurbon, but the Chenoweth's also utilized a second-hand tunnel-ram and carbs, though their success with this setup was limited.

As the last competitors to run their engine on Comp's dyno, Chenoweth Speed and Machine already knew what kind of power the other competitors made. Firing their engine, Dale and Mike Chenoweth allowed it to come up to temperature and set the ignition timing to 32 degrees for their first pull. After running the engine for a short time with a load on the dyno to set the rings, the Chenoweth's made their first pull to 5,500 rpm just to check things out. Everything looked good so they made their three qualifying pulls to 7,000 rpm back to back with only an ignition timing change. During the remainder of their qualifying time, the Chenoweth's removed their Holley and installed a used Weiand tunnel-ram intake with dual AFB carbs. Making their last qualifying pull with the tunnel-ram power was down, so Mike and Dale made a jet change in their carbs and went directly into their judged pulls. Noticing power was still down, the Chenoweth's made the logical choice to put the Edelbrock intake back on and make the remainder of their scored pulls with a single four-barrel. This decision paid off as the next pull was their best at 589.6 horsepower and 518.9 lb/ft of torque.

Do you think you have what it takes to compete in the Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge?
Remember that our annual contest is open to large and small shops, and even to individuals who build their own engines or want to start an engine shop of their own. While there is no cash prize for winning, previous competitors will tell you that participating in our challenge will get your phones ringing as Mopar Muscle gets your name out to thousands of subscribers and readers.

To enter the Engine Challenge, you just need to fill out an application (available at or simply email us or send us a letter via U.S. Mail and we'll send an application to you. Alternatively, if you plan to attend the PRI trade show in Orlando, you can watch as we announce last year's winner, and pick up the rules and an application right there.

The AMSOIL/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge is a blast for everyone involved, and is a good excuse to attend the Mopar Nationals in August, and to visit Comp Cams in September. Everyone involved with the competition freely shares information so it can be a learning experience as well as a great way to expose your engine building abilities while gaining exposure for your shop.