R.M. Competition Engines
Roseville, Michigan

R.M. Competition Engines decided that size does matter as they brought the largest displacement engine to this year's contest. Engine builder Randy Malik assembled his short-block with a combination of economical factory and aftermarket parts, and had his Edelbrock cylinder heads ported by Modern Cylinder Head in Michigan. At 512 cubic inches, this is about as far as you want to go with a stock 400 block, and other than a minor distributor issue the R.M. Competition entry performed very well.

Though initially a little hard to start, the 512 inch wedge built by R.M. Competition sounded good once it fired up. After a brief warm up, engine builder Randy Malik checked ignition timing and made his first pull. Experimenting with air-bleeds, Randy tuned his engine during the qualifying session but it just wasn't responding so he went back to the original tune up for his judged pulls. For his first judged pull, Randy installed new spark plugs and advanced the timing to 37 degrees, but noticed the timing seemed to be unstable. Subsequent tuning gained R.M. Competition additional power, and a final timing adjustment to 35 degrees of advance netted the best pull of 628.8 horsepower and 596.5 lb/ft of torque.

LaRoy Engines
Challis, Idaho

Entering the contest for the first time, LaRoy Engines built their low-deck big-block using a '74 vintage Chrysler 400 block and a factory forged 440 crankshaft. Like the other engine builders, Jim LaRoy used economical factory parts where he could, and durable aftermarket parts where needed. Jim's son Cody ported the Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads utilizing the same flow bench that his grandfather had used to port Mopar cylinder heads, achieving an impressive intake flow of more than 340 cfm at .700 inch lift.

Though a little nervous about their first engine dyno competition, the LaRoy's were eager to get their engine running and start making pulls. After placing an oil heater on the pan to keep oil temperature up, Jim LaRoy fired the engine and allowed it to warm up before verifying ignition timing and beginning his qualifying pulls. As a neophyte to our contest, there was speculation as to how the LaRoy entry would perform. All questions were answered when their big block ripped off over 700 horsepower on its first pull, with power still climbing through the contest limit of 7,000 rpm. During their dyno session, Jim and Cody efficiently and professionally tuned their engine to more power each pull by making air bleed, jet, and ignition timing changes. Nailing the tune up on their third judged pull, the 452 inch LaRoy big-block screamed to 723.4 horsepower and 568.8 lb/ft of torque for their best pull of the session. After these impressive numbers, the LaRoys asked to pull the engine to 7,600 rpm for fun since the power curve was still climbing at 7,000 rpm. Although it didn't count for the competition, the LaRoy 452 made an impressive 726.3 horsepower at 7,600 and was still trending higher. While we haven't factored the cost of these engines yet, we do know that LaRoy Engines impressed everyone in attendance by making an impressive 1.6 horsepower per cubic inch on Rockett Brand 93 octane pump fuel.

J D Engine and Machine
Columbia, Missouri

J D Engine and Machine is known for making power, and they have placed well in previous Engine Challenges by producing big horsepower and torque numbers. This year engine builders Jeff Dickey and Daniel Crane utilized a factory 400 block with a 4.15 inch stroke crankshaft to build a 499 cubic inch Mopar, installing economical parts wherever possible to save money. By making contest leading power, it will be up to the other competitors to beat J D Engine and Machine on cost to win the 2009 Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge.