Engine Masters Challenge 2002 Rules

Contest Rules - Updated 09/18/2002


ENGINE: Any normally aspirated, small-block engine is acceptable. Maximum displacement is 366.0 cubic inches. Any and all power adders (such as superchargers, turbochargers, nitrous oxide, or any other such devices) are not allowed.

IGNITION: Any commercially available*, non-programmable ignition systems (including points, electronic, or capacitive discharge) that incorporate a distributor are acceptable. Crank triggers, magnetos, and ICTs are not allowed. Engines designed and produced by OEMs with distributor-less ignitions or modified to accept a distributor, are not allowed. Engine builders must supply an ignition box, ignition coil, and all necessary wiring with their submitted engine. Ignition wiring must be designed for easy connection to the dyno. Contestants will be provided with a single 12-volt connection on the dyno. Engines must be equipped with all necessary wiring for ignition, starter, and water pump (if electrical water pump is used) including reasonable shielding to suppress ignition noise from the SuperFlow dyno computer.

CARBURETION: Any commercially available* carburetor is acceptable. Fuel injection and/or water injection systems are not allowed. Carburetor spacers and/or gaskets are limited to a maximum total height of 2 inches. All engines will utilize an electric fuel pump supplied by the dyno facilities. A single #8 or #6 AN fitting will be provided for connection to the dyno fuel supply.

AIR CLEANER: All engines must utilize one, 14-inch diameter x 3-inch tall air cleaner while running on the dyno. Any commercially available* air cleaner is acceptable. Modifications to the air cleaner element or air cleaner fixture are not allowed. SuperFlow will supply an appropriate fixture to accommodate the contestant's air cleaner.

CAMSHAFT: Any commercially available* camshaft is acceptable. Custom designed and ground camshafts are acceptable. Solid Roller, Mushroom style, and/or any Schubeck brand or style lifters are not allowed. Lifter bore diameters must remain within 5-thousandths of an inch of OEM specifications. Lifter bore angles must retain OEM angle (+ or - 1degree, as cast). Hydraulic lifters must pump oil from the lubrication port when the lifter plunger is compressed. Lifter plungers must travel a minimum of .015 of an inch.

HEADS: Any commercially available* street style heads using OEM valve angles (+ or -1 degree, as cast) are acceptable. There is no limit to porting, polishing, valve seats or valve size. Any commercially available stainless steel valve is acceptable. Titanium valves and/or Titanium valve springs are not allowed. All drag racing and NASCAR-spec heads including GM SB2, Mopar W-5 & 7, Ford Yates, or similar style purpose-built racing heads are not allowed.

INTAKE MANIFOLD: Any commercially available* single 4-barrel, cast intake manifold is acceptable. Tunnel rams, sheetmetal, and/or composite manifolds are not allowed. Porting, polishing, and/or sizing are acceptable. Antique and vintage intake manifolds are acceptable.

CONNECTING RODS: Any commercially available* steel connecting rod is acceptable. Aluminum, titanium, and/or other exotic materials are not allowed.

PISTONS: Any commercially available* aluminum piston (with no compression limit) is acceptable. Custom-made, modified, and/or coated pistons are acceptable.

ROCKER ARMS: Any commercially available*, stud-mounted rockers with a maximum ratio of 1.6:1 are acceptable. OEM rockers with ratios greater than 1.6:1 (i.e. Pontiac or Ford Cleveland) are also acceptable. Shaft-mounted rockers are not allowed unless they were an OEM-installed configuration (i.e. Mopar). Engines using shaft-mounted rockers must replicate the single rocker shaft per head OEM configuration, multiple independent rocker shafts per cylinder head are not allowed.

EXHAUST: Any commercially available* chassis style exhaust headers are acceptable. Headers must be an unmodified, out-of-box part designed to fit an American production vehicle chassis. Headers may have any diameter primary tubes and collectors. Custom headers, header kits or multi-pieced headers are not allowed. One-piece fenderwell header designs and slip-on collectors are acceptable. Modification's such as holes (must be capped) for EGT probes and/or bungs (must be capped) for oxygen sensors are acceptable. Port matching the header flange is acceptable. A single crankcase ventilation tube running from the valve cover to aft the header collector is acceptable. Engines competing at the Automotive Training Center dyno facility must provide at least 16.5 inches of inside header clearance to fit on the dyno. Engines competing at the Competition Cams or Westech dyno facility must provide at least 10.5 inches of inside header clearance to fit on the dyno.

MUFFLERS: Any commercially available* "Street Style" muffler is acceptable. "Race Style" mufflers are not allowed. All engines must utilize two mufflers while running on the dyno.  Muffler inlets and outlets are each limited to a maximum diameter of 3-inches. Slip-on mufflers are acceptable. H-pipes, X-pipes, or any connection between the left and right exhaust systems are not allowed. Mufflers must be at least 24 inches away and no more than 36 inches away from the back edge of the bell housing in order to clear the dyno chassis. Mufflers, headers, and all necessary fasteners must be shipped along with the engine.

OIL PAN: Any commercially available* "chassis style" wet-sump oil pan is acceptable. Oil pans must be an unmodified, out-of-box part with a production part number and designed to fit an American production vehicle chassis. Dry sump systems and vacuum pumps are not allowed.

OIL: All engines must contain at least five (5) quarts of oil during the dyno pulls. Engines must be shipped "dry" to the authorized dyno site along with five (5)-unopened quarts of the engine builder's oil of choice to confirm contingency payout.

WATER PUMP: Any commercially available electric or mechanically operated water pump is acceptable. Engines utilizing a mechanical water pump must be equipped with an operational belt and pulley system. Use of a cooling system thermostat is not allowed.

STARTER: Engines must be equipped with a starter and related wiring.

DYNO CONNECTION: Engines must be equipped with a standard flywheel or flex plate in addition to a bell housing for connection to the dyno. Engines must be equipped with basic engine mounts for connection to the dyno.

FUEL: All engines running on the dyno will be fed spec 76 Racing 49 state-legal, 92-octane unleaded pump gasoline.

*  "Commercially available" is defined as any engine component that is or was generally available for purchase by consumers prior to April 15, 2002 (the date of contestant selection). Contestants may be required to provide proof of purchase and/or undisputable proof of availability on any contested engine component(s) or face possible disqualification from the competition.


ENGINES: Participants are responsible for coordinating and funding their engine transportation to and from the Engine Masters Challenge dyno sites. At the conclusion of the initial dyno competition, PRIMEDIA will (at PRIMEDIA's expense) seal, crate and ship the 10 top engines to the final dyno competition site in Southern California. At the conclusion of the final dyno competition, the 10 finalists will be responsible for coordinating and funding their own engine transportation from the final dyno site to their home location.

PARTICIPANTS: Participants are responsible for their own transportation, lodging and food expenses that may be incurred while attending the Engine Masters Challenge dyno events.


  • Assigned dyno times are actual "start-up" times. Contestants and/or their engines must arrive at least three hours prior to their assigned dyno time to ensure that all engines are properly prepared and loaded on the dyno. Contestants with early morning dyno times should deliver their engines on the previous afternoon to ensure that we maintain our published schedule.
  • Contestants who are not planning to be present during their dyno session should contact Michael Simpson immediately to make proper arrangements for their engine.
  • Contestants are not required to be present during the entire four days of competition.
  • Primedia will post the latest performance rankings as each dyno session is completed.
  • Contestants that are qualified for the Finals may not remove their engine from the dyno facility.
  • Contestants that fail to qualify for the Finals or are bumped out of qualification may remove their engine from the dyno facility at that time.
  • The Final Dyno Competition will be held on October 30th, 31st, and November 1st at the Westech facility in Southern California.

North East Dyno Site:
114 Pickering Way
Exton, PA 19341
(610) 363-6716
Steve Hiscox, Don VanDemark, Wayne Lehnert

South East Dyno Site:
3406 Democrat Road
Memphis, TN 38118
(901) 795-2400
Scooter Brothers

Western Dyno Site:
11098 Venture Drive, Unit C
Miraloma, CA 91752
(909) 685-4767
John Baechtel


Engine performance rankings will be determined using SuperFlow WinDyn software calculating all data, both torque and horsepower, under the curves then averaged together. Each sample will range from a minimum RPM of 2,500 to maximum RPM of 6,500. Tuning and/or mechanical adjustments on the engine are acceptable prior to the engine being connected to the dyno, tuning and/or mechanical adjustments will not be allowed after the engine has been connected to the dyno. The two highest performing engines from each of the three dyno locations will be selected to compete in the Final Dyno Competition event, in addition to the 4 highest performing engines not previously selected. A total of 10 engines will compete in the Final Dyno Competition.


TEARDOWNS: PRIMEDIA reserves the right to tear down any engine for a rules enforcement inspection. PRIMEDIA personnel will conduct and supervise all teardowns. All winning engines will be torn down for rules enforcement inspection and contingency sponsor verification. Any participant found to be in violation of the rules or refusing to comply with an inspection request will be disqualified from the contest. It is the responsibility each Engine Masters Challenge contestant to verify the legality of any questionable part or component they have selected to use on their engine prior to the dyno competition.


First Place: $10,000*
*PRIMEDIA payout in addition to contingency money.

CONTINGENCY MONEY: Participants must run the contingency sponsor product on their engine during the dyno pulls in order to qualify for contingency payouts. Contestants may only claim one contingency product per category. The Engine Masters Challenge Contingency Sponsors will determine their own contingency payout requirements. It is recommended that each contestant to check with there selected Contingency Sponsors to determine their individual payout requirements prior to the dyno competition. Contestants with questions or concerns regarding contingency payouts should contact the appropriate sponsor directly. Contingency money will be paid as follows;

First Place- $2,500 per qualified contingency category
Second Place- $1,000 per qualified contingency category
Third Place- $500 per qualified contingency category


  • OIL