Mile High Performance/Pro Built Engines
Big-Block Chevrolet
Jay Kidwell & Rich Martin
Englewood, CO
(303) 781-1118

his engine was a joint effort with both Mile High and Pro Built contributing to the entry. The engine is a big-bore short-rod configuration. Jay explains, "I've always liked the big bore to help unshroud the valves. The rods help with the low octane; they pull away at the top. With less piston dwell it helps manage the cylinder pressure. We also went with a tight quench, a 0.039-inch head gasket, less the pistons being 0.003 inch out-of-the-hole, so you're looking at not very much clearance which makes excellent turbulence in the chamber."

Basic Engine Specs
Size: 509 ci
Bore:4.500-inch, Dart block
Stroke:4.000-inch, Callies crank
Rods:6.535-inch, Manley
Compression ratio: 12.25:1 compression, Mahle pistons
Carb:Holley Dominator
Camshaft:COMP, 245/255 gross duration, 0.750/0.780-inch lift, 104 LSA
Top horsepower:725 at 6,000 rpm


RM Competition
Ford 385-Series
Randy Malik * Roseville, MI
(586) 909-1591

Malik built a big-block Ford, however, he isn't brand-loyal. Randy explains, "I thought a big-block Chrysler would be the best, but I had all of these parts, so a Chrysler would have cost me three times as much. The big-block I ran in 2003 is this engine. I put a crank and rods and a roller cam in it, otherwise, it's basically the same engine. As far as trick parts, I wanted to mention the cam drive made by Scott Main, of MPG Heads. It lets me change the cam timing in the cell in seven minutes." A mysterious cooling problem caused overheating when the engine met the dyno, leading to a DNF.

Basic Engine Specs
Size: 508.7 ci
Stroke:4.051-inch, Eagle crank
Rods:6.700-inch, SCAT
Compression ratio: 12.0:1 compression, Diamond pistons
Heads:Ford Super Cobra Jet
Carb:1050 Holley
Camshaft:COMP, 251/270 duration, 0.430/0.440-inch lobe lift, 112 LSA


Clayton's Performance
big-block Chevrolet
Neil Clayton * Hubbard, OH
(330) 717-2989

Clayton's took a route that has proven popular in Engine Masters. Neil Clayton explained, "It's a small-bore, big-stroke, short-rod combination with relatively low compression." The heads are unusual, with a 2.350-inch intake valve, and a 1.800-inch exhaust, with an extremely small cross section. Neil elaborated, "The port is only 2.5 square inches in cross section; we're looking for high gas speeds and velocity to try making lots of torque. We were really short on developing this engine; we only had six hours on it. We lost 50 hp somewhere, and one possibility is the ignition, since we're running a different system from testing."

Basic Engine Specs
Size: 507.7 ci
Bore:4.310-inch, World block
Stroke:4.350-inch, Eagle crank
Rods:6.535-inch, Dyers
Compression ratio: 11.5:1 compression, Ross pistons
Carb:1195 Demon
Camshaft:Crower, 263/270 duration, 0.801-inch lift, 112 LSA
Top horsepower:713 at 6,300 rpm


Traco Engines
big-block Chevrolet
Larry Salisbury
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 471-8581

The Traco engine was a big-bore combination making extensive use of GM Performance Parts components. The highly detailed Chevrolet was tended to by a methodical Larry Salisbury, who was wrenching alone during the competition. The engine seemed to encounter a mechanical problem, which led to a rapidly declining score in successive pulls, although it completed the qualifying runs. We were disappointed that the problems prevented us seeing what this big-bore combo is truly capable of.

Basic Engine Specs
Size: 508.9 ci
Bore:4.500-inch, GM block
Stroke:4.000-inch, GMPP crank
Compression ratio: 11.7 compression, CP pistons
Carb:1095 King Demon RS
Camshaft: COMP, 320-degree gross duration, 0.700-inch lift
Top horsepower:691 at 6,500 rpm


Shaver's Specialty Co.
big-block Chevrolet
Ron Shaver * Torrance, CA
(310) 370-6941

Ron was tempted by the Ford since Shaver's Specialty builds quite a few for off-road racing, but the Chevy has been the company's mainstay for 30 years. Ron finds the low-rpm aspect of the Challenge as the biggest question mark. As Ron puts it, "You know, there is very little documentation of high-horsepower engines running at 2,500 rpm, so we are all kind of stabbing and steering right now trying to get a feel for what we really need to have. Maybe even a longer stroke would be better." Ron emphasizes the importance of ring seal in oil and combustion control: "We had everything designed around low-speed sealing, so our rings are a little fatter; we're using 1/16-, 1/16-, 3/16-inch rings, with a Total Seal top."

Basic Engine Specs
Size: 509 ci
Bore:4.365-inch, Dart block
Stroke:4.250-inch, Eagle crank
Rods:6.535-inch, Carrillo
Compression ratio: 12.2:1 compression, JE pistons
Carb:1050 Holley
Camshaft:COMP, 256/268 duration, 0.850-inch lift, 108 LSA
Top horsepower:824 at 6,300 rpm


W Enterprises
big-block chevrolet
Charles Williams
Newport News, VA
(757) 218-2593

Charles, a runner-up two years running, has fielded Chevrolet engines exclusively. The new combo was built on the accepted long-stroke theory, with the cylinder heads much modified to develop a working combination. The engine experienced detonation and was hurt in qualifying, so Williams elected to withdraw rather than risk further engine damage.



Basic Engine Specs
Size: 508.5 ci
Bore:4.250-inch, Dart block
Stroke:4.480-inch, Eagle crank
Compression ratio: 12.5:1 compression, Wiseco pistons
Carb:1050 Holley
Camshaft:COMP, roller
Top horsepower:827 at 6,400 rpm