The idea for the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge was simple: Put almost $80,000 in prize money on the table, and convince the country's top engine builders to battle it out with the baddest street engines they could screw together. Our ulterior motive was to get the top racing gurus to focus attention on street power, turning their vast knowledge of drag racing and circle track engines to our favorite place: the street. To keep it interesting, we said use off-the-shelf parts like intakes and cylinder heads, keep the compression in check (under 11.5:1), and use a hydraulic cam. Then bring 'em out to the twin DTS/SuperFlow Powermark dynos at the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) the week of October 7, 2013, feed in some VP100, and bring the thunder!

Guys bench race horsepower and torque numbers all the time, but despite an abundance of empirical dyno data, there's always disagreement over the true performance. The problem is, peak numbers don't tell the whole story, and differences in equipment and testing nullify any conclusions. Getting enough killer engines together in one dyno facility at the same time, all with similar equipment and adhering to the same set of build criteria might seem like an impossible task, but it is the key to leveling the field. If you can do that, you can fire up your next bench racing session with all the right ammo, and even use the intel to build your own badass boulevard beast.

Leveling the playing field is the purpose of our homebrewed performance formula: We take the average torque and horsepower output of each engine over three runs between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm, add them together, multiply by a thousand, and divide by the number of cubic inches. In this calculation, a premium is placed on a wide powerband, and differences in engine size are compensated for by dividing the results over cubic inches. There's one other stipulation placed on competitors: You gotta bring an engine with at least 400 ci. Every hot rodder worth his salt loves big cubes, so we baked that into the rules to bring you the big numbers.

With a big purse of cash, a sane set of street-savvy engine rules, and a playing field designed to give everybody an even shot, we loaded up the dynos with V-8 muscle car powerplants from all brands and eras, and let them duke it out. What follows is the result of that competition, including dyno data from the competitors' best runs, and all pertinent engine specs. Chances are very good you will find one or more engines that get your blood pumping, but it gets better. We've chosen nine of these to feature in detail through the course of the next 12 months, including Jon Kaase's winning mod motor, Ron Shaver's LS, the Ford Cleveland out of the RCS shop, the injected Pontiac from Throttle's, Mopar B-series wedges from both Jesse Robinson and Randy Malik, Survival Motorsports' Ford FE big-block, Weingartner's big-block Chevy, and David Freelander's 572-cube big-block Ford. If high-octane street engine tech is your thing, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for these reports.

Does the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge sound fun to you? We'll be announcing the rules of the 2014 competition soon. We will be looking for a mix of solid previous competitors and new talent to fill out the roster, so check back here, and on PopularHotRodding.com for breaking details. We want to see you at UNOH next October!

Accufab Racing
Ontario, CA
401ci Ford Four-Valve Mod

On The Dyno & Best Qualifying Pull
RPM: TQ: HP:
3,000 500 286
3,100 496 293
3,200 502 306
3,300 520 327
3,400 539 349
3,500 559 373
3,600 571 392
3,700 575 405
3,800 581 420
3,900 592 440
4,000 606 461
4,100 623 486
4,200 637 509
4,300 646 529
4,400 648 543
4,500 645 553
4,600 642 562
4,700 642 574
4,800 647 591
4,900 651 607
5,000 659 627
5,100 663 644
5,200 664 658
5,300 662 668
5,400 658 677
5,500 652 682
5,600 644 687
5,700 638 692
5,800 633 699
5,900 629 707
6,000 625 714
6,100 621 721
6,200 616 728
6,300 612 734
6,400 604 736
6,500 592 732
6,600 578 727
6,700 562 717
6,800 545 705
6,900 527 693
7,000 512 682

Qualifying score: 2,928.5
Team leader & members: John Mihovetz, Fred Grochulski
Engine type: Ford Modular 5.4
Claimed displacement: 401ci
Block: Ford
Bore x stroke: 3.740 x 4.560
Compression ratio: 11.42:1
Compression height: .004
Crankshaft: Bryant Racing
Engine bearings: Federal-Mogul
Connecting rod: Eagle, 6.657
Connecting rod bearings: MAHLE Clevite
Pistons & rings: CP-Carrillo, Total Seal
Compression & 2nd ring: 1.2mm, 12mm
Camshafts: COMP Cams
Cam duration at .050: 232/232
Valve lift: .560/.560
Head gasket: Cometic .047
Cylinder heads: Ford GT
Valves (in/ex): Manley 39mm/33mm
Valve lifters: Ford
Rocker arms: Ford, 1.8
Engine gasket set: Ford/Fel-Pro
Intake manifold: Ford Racing Cobra R
EFI ECU: Motec
Injectors: 60 lb/hr
Throttle body: Accufab
Ignition system: Motec
Spark plugs & wires: Champion/MSD Performance
Fasteners: ARP
Flywheel: RAM
Engine damper: ATI
Water pump: Meziere
Headers: Hooker, 2-inch
Valve covers: Ford
Hoses & fittings: XRP
AMSOIL oil viscosity: 5w20
Oil pump: Accufab
Oil pan: Stef’s Performance Products
Mufflers: Flowmaster