6th Place
J D Engine and Machine

J D Engine and Machine of Columbia, Missouri, is known for making power, and that's just what they did in this year's Engine Challenge, making more horsepower and torque than any of the other competitors. J D Engine and Machine is a full service shop that can do any type of engine work including bushing lifter bores, cylinder head flow work, and dyno tuning, right at their facility. Engine builder Jeff Dickey is an avid drag racer himself, winning the NMCA Championship in 2008, and has built numerous championship engines for all types of race cars. J D Engine and Machine builds anything from mild street engines to blown alcohol race motors for their customers, fully understanding the needs of Mopar enthusiasts.

For the 2009 Engine Challenge, engine builders Jeff Dickey and Daniel Crane obviously made the decision to sacrifice costs, going for all-out power instead. Like all competitors this year, Jeff used a stock 400 block because of its large bore diameter. Performing all of the machine work in-house, Jeff and Daniel installed an Eagle 4.150 inch crankshaft and forged connecting rods, with Diamond forged pistons for a displacement of just under 500 inches. A main girdle from Chenoweth was installed for additional support. The Edelbrock heads were ported in house and assembled with Comp valve springs to match the Comp solid roller camshaft.

In Comp's dyno cell, the J D Engine and Machine entry fired immediately and sounded tame, and didn't make the expected power on its first pull. Finding a plug wire off, the problem was quickly corrected and Jeff Dickey and his crew tuned their entry by making ignition timing and valve lash changes. This durable big-block made some 16 pulls on Comp's dyno, netting a best judged pull of 724.5 horsepower and 610.2 lb/ft of torque for a combined score of 1,334.7, topping this year's second most powerful entry by some 20 points. While the use of top quality parts kept this entry from competing for a win, this engine impressed everyone with its power and endurance.

7th Place
R M Competition

Located in Roseville, Michigan, R M Competition has been in business for 12 years, building engines of all types for their customers. As a full service engine shop, R M Competition has experience building stock restoration engines, as well as highly modified engines for drag racing, oval track, road racing, and even truck and tractor pulling. Engine builder Randy Malik's engines are competing in various forms of sanctioned racing vehicles, even inboard drag boats!

For his Engine Challenge big-block, engine builder Randy Malik decided to utilize a factory Chrysler 400 block, installing a forged rotating assembly from 440Source for a final displacement of 512 cubic inches. Randy chose a Lunati flat-tappet camshaft, and had his Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads ported by Modern Cylinder Head before bolting them onto his short block. Keeping costs down, a factory electronic distributor was utilized along with an Edelbrock Victor intake manifold and used Holley Dominator carburetor.

On the engine dyno at Comp, engine builder Randy Malik made ignition timing and air-bleed changes but the engine didn't seem to be responding. Ignition timing was erratic, making it difficult to pin down the problem. Through a series of adjustments, Randy managed to tune his engine to a best pull of 628.8 horsepower and 596.5 lb/ft of torque for a combined score of 1,225.3. Though not a contender for a top spot this year, the R M Competition entry performed well and unlike most other engines this year was built with mostly new parts internally. This is a respectable big-block built on a reasonable budget and would be at home in any Mopar street/strip vehicle.