Engine builders generally operate on fairly straightforward parameters. For the NHRA/IHRA class racer the objective is to achieve maximum performance within the rules. Likewise, contestants in the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge must adhere to certain restrictions. For "Super" class and E.T. Bracket racers the goal is to build a consistent, reliable engine. But when Bill Holland sought to develop a powerplant for his unique 1923 "Track-T" street rod (which was featured in the September '10 issue of Hot Rod magazine) there were a multitude of factors to contend with.

The car itself is a blend of classic styling and contemporary technology, with a major emphasis on performance. It's a T-bucket engineered to stomp a Z06 Corvette on the dragstrip and road course. Bill's idea was to use a venerable small-block Chevy engine that looked and acted like it came out of a Sprint Car-but it would need to be well mannered for cruising and not require constant maintenance. Additionally, weight was a consideration. And lastly, Bill wanted the engine to shine in the 2,500 to 6,500-rpm range as put forth in the EMC, as that's where it would be spending most of its time.

From an aesthetic standpoint the obvious link to Sprint Cars was a set of Kinsler port injectors. There's something about a set of eight flared stacks that appeals to most hot rodders. The trick was to combine panache with performance. And the key to the equation was a FAST controller, which allowed the fuel and ignition curves to be optimized throughout the engine's very broad powerband. A set of blueprinted fuel injectors from RC Engineering also contributed to the engine's smooth operation, while XRP's braided stainless steel hoses and black anodized AN fittings added a finishing touch to the fuel system.

Let's go from the bottom up. Given the criteria for keeping weight to a minimum, a World Products Motown Lite aluminum block was selected. Weighing about 100 pounds with sleeves, it fits the bill for lightness. Other important features of the World block include "bulges" for larger water passages and horizontal ribs that offer benefits in both cooling and cylinder bore stability. They look sweet, too. The block comes with billet steel four-bolt splayed mains and ARP hardware, and there are reinforcing ribs in the valley connecting the banks. They are drilled to cross-feed the lifter galleys. Optimum lubrication is assured through the use of a priority main oil system, which feeds the crankshaft bearings first and the valvetrain last.

Carrying on with the engine's lubrication system, a high-volume Melling OEM-type pump was deemed adequate for the engine's 6,500-rpm ceiling. However, as a precautionary measure the pressure relief valve piston was chamfered and the gear clearance set at .0015 inch. An Aviaid road race pan was selected because the car would be called upon to go around corners aggressively. ARP pan studs and Fel-Pro gasket sealed the deal. With its inboard coilover rocker arm front suspension, similar to an Indycar, triangulated four-bar rear, and wide meats all the way around, skidpad readings nearing 1 g have been achieved. A Pure Power remote oil filter, with a removable stainless steel element that can be easily cleaned, is employed on the car.

The old adage of "there's no substitute for cubic inches" certainly came into play here, with a 4.000-inch stroke Callies 4340 forged steel crank complementing a 4.125-inch bore, for a displacement of 427 ci. Filling the holes are a set of Manley Platinum Series pistons, which are forged from the highly desirable 2618 alloy and weigh about 450 grams. The static compression ratio checked out at 10.5:1 for compatibility with premium pump gas.

Rods are Manley 6.000-inch H-beam, which are forged from 4340 steel and come with ARP rod bolts. Manley also supplied the piston rings, which include a ductile moly top and cast-iron seconds. Clevite H-series rod and main bearings were employed. The rotating assembly was internally balanced by West Valley Balancing and topped off with an ATI SuperDamper.

Selecting the camshaft was obviously an important part of the equation. Given the parameters, Crane Cams' Chase Knight recommended going with a hydraulic roller that was somewhat in the middle of the company's offerings for the small-block Chevy and of a .900-inch base circle configuration to provide necessary clearance for the stroker. Crane PN 119691 was selected, which has 234 degrees duration at .050 (296 degrees advertised) on the intake side and 242 degrees at .050 on the exhaust. Lift is .548-inch intake and .558-inch exhaust, with a lobe separation of 112 degrees. Of course, these are specs with a stock 1.5:1 ratio rocker, but since 1.65:1 ratio shaft-mount rockers were employed the at-the-valve lift is far more aggressive.

Crane's shaft-mount rockers are in themselves quite interesting as they utilize a Poly-Matrix composite bearing instead of the conventional needle bearings. This is said to improve the efficiency of the system since there is no parasitic loss as the needles reverse direction with every cycle. The composite bearings are also thinner than needle bearings, which allow the shaft diameter to be increased for additional stability. The rocker arm bodies also feature what Crane calls "Quick-Lift" technology. This is simply the result of moving the pushrod seat inward and down as compared to other designs, which affects the geometry to the point where the valve comes off the seat at a higher ratio (around 1.72:1) and returns to 1.65:1 at mid lift. Naturally, the pushrod length was optimized and one-piece chrome-moly units employed.

World Products' tried-and-true 220cc intake Motown Lite aluminum cylinder heads were used at the time of the build, although the firm's new 235cc 23-degree heads would have made an interesting alternative. It also would have eliminated the need to enlarge the pushrod passages to accommodate the geometry of the shaft rockers. A set of ARP chrome-moly head studs assured the required clamping force.

Manley 2.080-inch diameter severe-duty stainless steel intake valves were used, as were 1.600-inch diameter severe-duty exhaust valves. Titanium retainers were employed to harness the Manley NexTek valvesprings. Capping the valvetrain are Moroso fabricated aluminum valve covers, with a Moroso electric water pump handling the cooling.

An MSD billet distributor with a built-in reluctor wheel called the shots to the ECU, while a familiar 6 AL ignition, coil, and 8.5mm spark plug wire delivered the energy to the plugs. In the vehicle a Powermaster alternator replenishes the car's Optima battery, while a Powermaster starter handles the cranking.

Ollie Hellert of Van Nuys, California, performed the machine work on the engine (align bore, plate hone, decking) and cylinder heads. Ollie and car owner Bill assembled the unique small-block. Tom Habrzyk, known for his many fuel injection related article in the pages of Engine Masters, lent his expertise to the project, first mapping the FAST controller for pulls on the dyno, and later dialing it in on his chassis dyno (EFI West) when the engine was installed in the roadster.

On the SuperFlow 902 dynamometer the engine pumped out 567 hp at 6,300 rpm, while the near-flat torque curve peaked at 563 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm. The engine is very docile and mild mannered at low rpm, but when the pedal is to the metal it's no holds barred!

Dyno Results
Superflow 902 Engine Dyno
World Aluminum Small-Block Chevy 427
Tested at Ollie's Machine Works
RPM Torque Horsepower
3,600 488 334
3,800 496 359
4,000 527 401
4,200 540 432
4,400 547 458
4,600 559 489
4,800 563 514
5,000 556 530
5,200 545 539
5,400 530 545
5,600 516 550
5,800 504 556
6,000 492 562
6,200 480 567
6,400 453 551

SOURCE
MSD IGNITIONS
El Paso
915-857-5200
www.msdignition.com
Callies Performance Products
901 South Union St
Fostoria
OH  44830
419-435-2711
www.callies.com
FAST (Fuel Air Spark Technology)
3400 Democrat Road
Memphis
TN  38118
877-344-8355
www.fuelairspark.com
Moroso Performance Products
80 Carter Drive
Guilford
CT  06437
203-453-6571
http://www.moroso.com/
Crane Cams
1830 Holsonback Drive
Daytona Beach
FL  32117
866-388-5120
http://www.cranecams.com/
Pure Power! Incorporated
15751 Chemical Lane
Huntington Beach
CA  92649
714-894-2994
www.gopurepower.com
XRP
5630 Imperial Hwy
South Gate
CA  90280
562-861-4765
www.xrp.com
Manley Performance
www.manleyperformance.com
ARP
1863 Eastman Avenue
Ventura
CA  93003
800-826-3045
www.arp-bolts.com
Kinsler Fuel Injection
Troy
MI
248-362-1145
www.kinsler.com
ATI Performance Products
6747 Whitestone Road
Baltimore
MD  21207
877-298-5039
http://www.atiracing.com
Aviaid
818-998-8991
www.aviaid.com
World Products
51 Trade Zone Court
Ronkonkoma
NY  11779
631-981-1918
http://www.worldcastings.com
EFI West (Tom Habrzyk)
951-897-0678
www.efiwest.com
Powermaster
1833 Downs Drive
West Chicago
IL  60185
630-957-4019
www.powermasterperformance.com
Ollie's Machine Works
818-785-7964
http://www.olliesmachineworks.co
m
RC Engineering
20807 Higgins Court
Torrance
CA  90501
310-320-2273
http://www.rceng.com
  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • View Full Article