The 2010 Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge If you love the Mopar small-block, then this year's AMSOIL/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge is right up your alley since Chrysler's LA V-8 is the featured engine. The rules for the 2010 contest required all of the builders to utilize the new RHS/Indy cast iron "X" cylinder head, and all of the engines were run on Rockett Brand 93 octane gasoline, but pretty much anything else was fair game. Of course, our rules do keep the engine builders from using too many exotic or one-off parts like aluminum or titanium connecting rods, ceramic lifters, or undersize piston rings, but that's just to keep these engines similar to what our readers have in their cars. We also eliminated the upper rpm limit this year, and there was no maximum displacement rule.

Like each year of our contest, the engine builders were selected after submitting an application that can be downloaded from our website, and then had from February 15 until the opening day of the Mopar Nationals to complete their engines. Of course most contestants chose to complete them a little early for some pre-contest dyno testing, which is certainly allowed within the contest rules. After their display during the Mopar Nationals, we delivered the engines to Comp Cams' Memphis, Tennessee, research facility to be tested on Comp's Superflow engine dynamometer.

Six engines made the deadline for this year's contest, ranging from the over-bored 273 of Chenoweth Speed and Machine, to the 408 stroker brought by Mid America Racing Engines. At Comp, the engines were run in random order and had to make a minimum of three qualifying pulls in one 45-minute period, then three judged pulls in a second, scored 45-minute period. Engine builders are allowed to tune and modify their engines during this time, so long as their changes are within the rules and performed within the timed periods of the contest. Scoring this year was easy, as each engine would be judged by one of the oldest standards: horsepower per cubic inch.

At Comp, last year's winner Schurbon Engine and Machine drew the Monday morning dyno session, hoping to set the bar high with their 340 cubic inch small-block. Engine builder Scott Schurbon and his team then surprised everyone by quickly making their three qualifying pulls, then performing a camshaft change right in the dyno cell. Risking disqualification if they didn't achieve their goal, Scott and his crew finished the cam change and had the engine fired up in plenty of time to make the required pulls and accomplish a little tuning.

Scoring a best pull of 511.3 horsepower from a 340-inch motor, or 1.504 hp/ci, the Schurbon entry not only impressed everyone as a solid performer, but held on among tough competition to win the 2010 Challenge. This month we'll show you the highlights of our trip to Comp, and the details of each dyno session in the order the shops finished. Be sure to watch future issues of Mopar Muscle Magazine, where we'll go inside these engines and show you the parts and techniques each builder used to gain an advantage, and check out to see video of these engines on the dyno.

First Place

Schurbon Engine and Machine
Maquoketa, Iowa

Engine builder Scott Schurbon has become very adept at studying the rules of our Engine Challenge, putting together winning combinations in back-to-back contests. Last year, Schurbon Engine and Machine won the Challenge by building the most economical engine in the contest, and this year they achieved the win by tweaking the most horsepower per cubic inch from their somewhat unconventional short-stroke 340 cubic inch engine.