Make Power? Read on
R.M. Competition built the...
R.M. Competition built the largest displacement engine entered in the 2009 Engine Challenge. This month we'll show you what's inside this stout big-block.
The 2009 Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge featured the low-deck, big-block Mopar engine, and builders from around the country demonstrated their ability to make big power numbers while adhering to a strict budget. Since our rules this year factored the combined peak power and torque divided into the cost of the engine's major components, engine builders had to choose their parts wisely and spend money where it mattered. As an additional twist this year, we decided to factor used parts at their fair market value instead of at full retail price. In today's economy we thought it would be good to show that you don't necessarily have to use all new components to build a stout big-block.
This year's rules didn't limit engine displacement, and required all of the competitors to utilize Edelbrock's popular Performer RPM cylinder heads. R.M. Competition of Roseville, Michigan, built the largest engine in the 2009 contest, at 512 cubic inches, using a stroker kit from 440Source. No stranger to performance engines, R.M. Competition regularly builds Mopar street and race engines for circle track, dragstrip, and even drag-boat use. Known for making power on a budget, we were eager to see how the R.M. Competition entry performed.
R.M. Competition brought a...
R.M. Competition brought a stout big-block to the 2009 Engine Challenge, making 628.8 horsepower and 596.5 lb-ft of torque on 93 octane Rockett Brand unleaded gasoline.
On Comp's dyno, engine builder Randy Malik tuned his big-block to an impressive 628.8 horsepower and 596.5 lb-ft of torque, finishing seventh in this year's contest. The R.M. Competition entry certainly would have had a higher finish, but unfortunately, engine builder Randy Malik missed our rule change from the previous year, thinking that parts were factored at retail cost instead of fair market value. Using new parts instead of "seasoned" pieces simply drove the cost of this entry too high to be competitive for a top finish. Even so, at well over 600 horsepower and nearly 600 lb-ft of torque, this engine would be a monster in a well-prepped Mopar. This month we'll go inside the R.M. Competition entry and see exactly what parts they used to make their impressive power.
As a foundation for his entry, Randy made the same choice as all the other competitors, utilizing a factory 400 block for its large bore size. After performing all the necessary machine work in-house, the block was filled with a stroker kit from 440Source, featuring a forged crank, forged H-beam connecting rods, and forged flat-top pistons. Taking advantage of the kit option from 440Source, the bearings and rings were also included with the crank, rods, and pistons, for a complete balanced rotating assembly. To keep this big-block's vital engine parts lubricated, a Melling PN M63 oil pump was utilized along with a Moroso PN 20760 oil pan and a Muscle Motors top plate, allowing for an external oil pickup. A Professional Products SFI approved harmonic balancer was utilized instead of a stock unit, ensuring smooth operation throughout the rpm range.
At 512 cubic inches, this...
At 512 cubic inches, this big-block performed well on the dyno, but the cost of the parts kept R.M. Competition from earning a top spot in this year's contest. Even so, this engine would be a blast in a Mopar street or bracket car.
Edelbrock's Performer RPM aluminum cylinder heads are available either fully assembled or as bare castings. Randy chose the assembled versions to keep costs down. Instead of replacing the springs for the Lunati flat-tappet camshaft, he simply added a set of Elgin RV-926 inner springs to help control the valvetrain. R.M. Competition enlisted the help of Modern Cylinder Head to port the cylinder heads, and topped them with Harland-Sharp aluminum roller rocker arms.
A big engine needs big induction, so an Edelbrock PN 2886 intake was ported to match the heads, and a used PN 8896 1050-cfm Holley Dominator was rebuilt to handle mixing the fuel and air. To fire the mixture, a factory Chrysler electronic distributor was utilized with no modifications, along with the MSD 6 ignition box on Comp's dyno. Though not the most powerful engine in the contest, this big-block was a strong performer and we thank R.M. Competition for competing in the 2009 Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge.
|Chenoweth Speed and Machine||JD Engine and Machine|
|Mike Chenoweth||Jeff Dickey|
|Morton, IL, 61550||Columbia, MO, 65203|
|LaRoy Engines||Mid America Racing Engines|
|Jim LaRoy||David Bruns|
|Challis, ID 83226||Washington, IA 52353|
|Promax Performance||R.M. Competition|
|Ben Gorman||Randy Malik|
|Indianapolis, IN||Roseville, MI, 48066|
|Schurbon Engine and Machine|
|Maquoketa, IA, 52060|
The R.M. Competition entry...
The R.M. Competition entry fired right up and sounded good. Engine builder Randy Malik further tuned his engine to the atmospheric conditions at Comp through a series of timing, air-bleed, and spark plug changes.
R.M. Competition used a seasoned...
R.M. Competition used a seasoned Chrysler 400 block, filling it with forged components from 440 Source.
Using a 4.25 inch stroke crankshaft,...
Using a 4.25 inch stroke crankshaft, R.M. Competition achieved the largest displacement of the contest at 512 cubic inches. Note the custom oil system and windage tray/crank scraper as well
440 Source H-beam connecting...
440 Source H-beam connecting rods and forged aluminum pistons were utilized for their strength and reasonable cost. At 11.7:1 compression, this engine pushed the limits of Rockett Brand's 93 octane gasoline.
With 4.25 inches of stroke,...
With 4.25 inches of stroke, there's limited room for an internal pickup. To ensure proper oiling, a Muscle Motors external oil pickup kit was used with a Melling pump.
R.M. Competition added an...
R.M. Competition added an inner valvespring for additional valvetrain stability.
Modern Cylinder Head ported...
Modern Cylinder Head ported the Edelbrock heads, and then they were reassembled using the Edelbrock stainless steel valves, springs, and hardware, with new Elgin inner springs.
To actuate the valves, Harland...
To actuate the valves, Harland Sharp 1.5 ratio aluminum roller rocker arms were chosen for their proven reliability.
A Lunati flat-tappet camshaft...
A Lunati flat-tappet camshaft was chosen for its low cost relative to a roller unit,....
....and matched with Engine...
....and matched with Engine Tech lifters and hardened 3/8-inch pushrods.
A Holley Dominator was the...
A Holley Dominator was the logical choice. The velocity stacks were installed, and according to Randy, "It doesn't make much difference, but it looks cool."
An Edelbrock PN 2886 single-plane...
An Edelbrock PN 2886 single-plane aluminum intake manifold was utilized for good flow and ported to match the Performer RPM cylinder heads.
Having been previously dyno...
Having been previously dyno tuned, the R.M. Competition entry performed well on Comp's dyno and only needed minor tuning to optimize performance.
We congratulate R.M. Competition...
We congratulate R.M. Competition for bringing a competitive big-block to the 2009 Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge, and we thank our sponsors as well. Be sure to visit moparmusclemagazine.com to see additional photos and videos of these engines running on Comp's dyno.