CSU has gained a reputation in the blow-through, turbo-, and supercharger community, but t
The fabricators at ProPan built the custom oil pan for John's engine out of aluminum, and were able to incorporate a full-length kick-out to absorb some of the oil that was whipped around in the crankcase. The final element of the oil system was the K&N oil filter that traps microscopic particles.
Besides the big camshaft companies, there are a few smaller shops that offer custom cams. One of these is Dougherty Racing Cams (DRC), a small company in Northern California that John has trusted for his customers, and his own engines. Besides the cams on the Torque Inc. website, John mentioned that he has at least 50 other cams that he has used successfully. For those wanting to build really big power, he said: "We do rollers; they're just ungodly expensive right now. We're making hydraulic roller camshaft cores to bring the motors into the 1980s." John Dougherty, the man behind the cam grinding machine, has been grinding cams for two decades, and has worked alongside some of the most respected names in the cam world before striking out on his own. DRC put together a solid flat-tappet cam for the Torque Inc. entry that took advantage of the high-flowing exhaust ports, ending up with the same duration and lift on intake and exhaust. Though the cam was not nitrided, the tool steel lifters and aggressive lobes managed to survive the abusive environment. Torque Inc. offers a modified Cloyes roller timing set to spin the big Caddy's cam, but was tight-lipped about what changes had to be made to adapt to this uncommon engine.
Anyone who's spent more than 10 minutes trying to hop up a Cadillac finds out quickly that if you want to use factory heads, you only have two choices: The early model pre-smog heads have relatively decent 76cc chambers yielding a little over 10:1 compression, and the '74-76 smog heads have lame 126cc chambers with an 8.5:1 compression ratio. Bulldog cylinder heads gained a reputation over the last few years as a company building heads for the black sheep of the American car manufacturers. Not too long ago, they began offering a head for the Cadillac engine that was the answer to John Walker's prayers. Cast in aluminum, these heads offer big valves, efficient combustion chambers, and, of course, high-flowing runners. As John was progressing in the build of his engine, his friends at Maximum Torque Specialties (MTS) were progressing in their bid to become the foremost manufacturer of aftermarket Cadillac performance parts. As such, they acquired the design rights to the Bulldog heads and intake manifolds for Caddy engines in the middle of 2007. With the desire to improve an already great product, Paul and Marty at MTS enlisted the help of Torque Inc. to aid in redesigning the old heads and intakes. John's personal touch is seen in the new MTS heads and intakes being cast now. They will be switching the aluminum to a better grade, downsizing the runners for better performance, and offering them bare or fully assembled with one-piece stainless valves.
The ICE ignition system almost looks too easy to use. In fact, the basic wiring system, ma
The Bulldog/MTS heads on John's engine were given a good amount of attention. Lightweight hollow-stem valves reduced the tendency of the lifter to shoot off the nose of the cam at max lift, while allowing the valves to seat with minimal bounce. Using coated PSI valvesprings and titanium retainers certainly helped ensure the stability of the valvetrain. Cadillacs are blessed with a 12-degree valve angle that allows for an efficient combustion chamber. The steep angle also promotes excellent flow numbers when treated with an appropriate amount of port work. When asked about flow numbers, John says: "They went 345 at .650 on the intake, and 268 at .650 without a pipe on the exhaust." Those are definitely numbers that promote big horsepower. T&D shaft rockers are all designed for a specific head, and in this case, the 1.8 ratio pieces functioned perfectly. They included a set-up tool that allows the engine builder to discover the correct valvetrain geometry easily and set pushrod length correctly.
The Bulldog-branded intake manifold's design was purchased by MTS. John took the design even further by adding a significant amount of epoxy to the floor of the plenum, as well as reshaping the carb flange from an open box to a cloverleaf design. The clover design tends to increase signal strength to the carb, and really helps get the fuel flowing correctly at low rpm. This design is extremely close to what the new MTS intake casting will be, minus the inch of epoxy on the plenum floor. CSU prepared the big 1050 Holley Dominator that sits atop the intake.
Another of the showcase items John had on display was the electric water pump he offers. Starting with a CSR center section from a big- or small-block Chevy, he makes his own end pieces, as they just bolt onto the center section. Voil, an electric water pump for your early '70s El Dorado!
Using a Hall-effect trigger in the distributor instead of a typical magnetic pick-up has t
The only other item drawing electricity on this beast was the ignition system, and what a system it is. Ignition Components and Electronics (ICE) is an Australian-based company that's been taking the hot rodding and racing world by storm. They've created three levels of ignition systems (6, 7, and 10 amp) that put out significantly more joules of energy than other similar systems. The 6- and 7-amp systems are common for street, strip, or circle track applications, while the big 10-amp setup was designed for forced-induction and alcohol engines that are notoriously difficult to keep lit. Typically, a naturally aspirated pump-gas engine like the big dude that John Walker built doesn't call for a 10-amp ignition, but overkill be damned, he put it on there, and it worked perfectly. The system used a billet aluminum Hall-effect distributor that's proven to be more accurate than a magnetic trigger distributor. Extremely simple wiring connects a voltage booster pumping out 24 volts to the ignition box, again a simple design with a built-in adjustable rev limiter, and a two-step for drag racing. The coil and plug wires are equally high-quality pieces.
Once all the Shell 91 octane was ingested, it was spit out through a set of custom headers built by the Fab Shop in Indianapolis. John couldn't find enough good things to say about the quality of their work. Running a set of two-inch primaries, they dumped into a set of three-inch Howe Racing merge collectors. Once only found in the upper echelon of NASCAR and Pro Stock, merge collectors have found their way into the sportsman racing world with prices decreasing and availability increasing. Ten years ago, an engine like this 505 would probably have had 2.5-inch primaries dumping into four-inch collectors. The use of energy by the merge collectors and a rethinking of how exhaust works have brought a major decrease in the size of exhaust systems. John's efficient system was able to successfully scavenge the exhaust gasses without creating a restriction in the system.
When this creation finally came to life on the dyno, the remainder of the Engine Masters Challenge competitors expected to see some big power numbers from this seasoned competitor. They were not disappointed. Even with the restrictions imposed by the EMC, John and Torque Inc. created a bombproof, mega-power combination using common sense and a little bit of ingenuity. "I want people to know that this motor is basically the motor we build for everybody." Can you imagine the reality of dropping a 607 lb-ft monster in your Caddy? With the availability of Cadillac engines still fairly good, and now some nice parts hitting the market, it might be about time to rethink the old formula before you build your next project. When it's time for that first rolling burnout, you can do it in style. Cadillac style!
The Bulldog/MTS intake shows off its large, smooth, arcing runners, and clean casting. The
With only four mounting points holding the rocker system to the heads, it was critical tha
The "Altoids box" piston is actually a dual-quench design. Taking advantage of the combust
Slicker than dog snot, the red epoxy in the lifter valley keeps the oil draining back to t
The Bulldog/MTS heads sport an extremely efficient combustion chamber and large 12-degree
Trend supplied the stout ?-inch-diameter pushrods. The thick-walled pieces are strong enou
Pro Pan built this trick oil pan with a full-length kick-out, and trap doors that keep oil
Even with thin, lightweight rings, there was no sign that the engine pumped oil into the c
John modifies Cloyes heavy-duty single-roller timing sets to work with the Cadillac engine
With a deck height of 10.8 inches, the ultra-long 7-inch rod still requires a tall piston
Cold starts are hard on any engine, but the Cadillac has to pull oil almost three feet thr