Schurbon Engine and Machine
Mo-par City Maquoketa, Iowa/Oregon, Illinois

Schurbon Engine and Machine teamed up with Mo-par City, using a 400 block and factory 440 crank to build a 452 cubic inch big-block for our contest. After studying our rules, engine builder Scott Schurbon decided that keeping costs down was key, and built this big-block with mostly "seasoned" stock parts provided by Larry and Michael Pontnack from Mo-par City.

Drawing the first dyno slot on Monday morning, engine builder Scott Schurbon and his team were eager to fire this engine and show what kind of power it had, making their first three dyno pulls quickly, utilizing a single four-barrel Holley. After qualifying with those three pulls, Scott and his team decided to swap intake manifolds from the single-plane to a used Weiand tunnel-ram with a pair of second-hand 650 Quadrajet carbs, using the remainder of the qualifying period to tune their engine for more power and torque with each pull. Before the hate mail begins, Q-jets were available on some Mopars. Scott and his team then made their scored pulls, adding ignition timing and leaning the carbs to net additional power with each pull. As the first engine on the dyno and perhaps the lowest cost engine in the contest, the Schurbon/Mo-par City entry set a fairly high standard for this year's competition.

Promax Performance
Indianapolis, Indiana

Engine builder Ben Gorman from Promax Performance also utilized a stock 400 block combined with a factory steel 440 crank as the foundation for his entry. This combination requires either line-boring the block and main caps to 440 journal size, or grinding the main journals of the crankshaft down to the smaller 400 size. Either way, this is a potent and inexpensive combination, making great power and torque throughout the 3,000 to 7,000 rpm range of our contest.

The Promax entry was second on the dyno, and fired immediately, sounding crisp and strong. After warming the engine up and verifying ignition timing, Ben told dyno operator Rich Smith to throw the handle, and made his first pull with 36 degrees of timing. For the second pull, Ben and his crew bumped the ignition timing to 38 degrees, gaining a little power and torque. Allowing the engine to cool between pulls, Promax made only minor ignition timing adjustments, netting more power with each pull until a best of 568.9 horsepower and 518.1 lb/ft of torque. This entry likely had the most reasonable compression of the contest, and was tuned very well prior to making pulls on Comp's dyno. Using a combination of factory and aftermarket parts, Promax built a solid street motor for the 2009 challenge.

Mid America Racing Engines
Washington, Iowa

Mid America Racing Engines is no newcomer to the AMSOIL/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge, having competed in all except last year's contest. This year engine builder David Bruns decided that making power with cost effective parts would give him an advantage, so he put together an economical 500 stroker using a factory 400 block and porting the Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads in-house.

From the first dyno pull, everyone could tell that the Mid America entry meant business. Engine builder David Bruns quickly got busy tuning his engine, making an impressive 695 horsepower during the qualifying session. David paid close attention to the air/fuel ratios, making multiple jet changes and staggering the jets in his Dominator carb for optimal power. Bruns even employed his wife Dianne between pulls to refill an icepack used to cool the intake manifold. After multiple jet and ignition timing changes, Mid America entered the scored session, making their best pull of 697.4 horsepower and 619.3 lb/ft of torque for an impressive showing. Though not the least expensive engine in the contest, the Mid America entry may have enough power to offset its cost once the final results are tallied.