Raising the runners on the...
Raising the runners on the heads means raising the intake runners as well. Epoxy lines the floors, and the ports are widened to the proper cross-sectional area.
With a touch of epoxy and a little work with a grinder, Trovato matched up an Edelbrock Victor intake to the heads. Chevy and Ford guys were visibly jealous of the long sweeping runners and four corner watering the intake featured. Long runners build torque down low, and torque is the name of the game in Engine Masters. Taking advantage of a loophole that none of the other competitors did, Bill used pre-drilled and tapped holes in the intake water passages to bring hot water from the rear of the engine to the front, reducing hot spots and increasing power. Bill's on-hand CNC genius, Steve Gerrard, whipped up a tapered carb spacer that was sandwiched between the Vic intake and a Barry Grant carb.
Once the BTR guys had the mechanicals assembled, Bill used an MSD 7531 programmable ignition box as his baton to conduct the movements. The unit has the advantage of allowing various custom ignition curves to be instantly installed based on what the engine wants. In the end though, Bill found just as much power with the timing locked, so that was how he ran it. For the contest, Shell V-Power 91-octane fuel would be lit off, and make the transition through the chamber and into a set of American Racing A-Body Cutlass headers, then blasted out the rear through a pair of Magnaflow mufflers.
With all the players in place and the stage set, the team from BTR Performance raised the curtain on this Engine Masters Top 10 performance. The depth and anger of the singing Olds made the ground shake. Cutlass owners would've thrown roses on the dyno room floor had they witnessed the performance, for Bill Trovato and his accompanists breathed life and song into a mass of inanimate objects. The opera was now complete. Encore!
Bill took advantage of the...
Bill took advantage of the holes that were drilled and tapped in his manifold by running water lines from the rear to the front of his engine. Allowing the two ends of the engine to "talk" to each other evens out the heat transfer, and overall the engine runs cooler. This translates to more power with less chance of detonation.
|BY THE NUMBERS |
CLAIMED DISPLACEMENT: 401 CI
|Team leader: ||Bill Trovato |
|Team members: ||Earl Emery, Jim Clay, Steve Gerrard |
|Hometown: ||Rochester, NY |
|Bore: ||4.000 inch |
|Stroke: ||3.980 inch |
|Compression ratio: ||10.5:1 |
|Carburetor: ||Barry Grant 1095 |
|Carb spacer: ||BTR |
|Intake: ||Edelbrock Victor |
|Cylinder heads: ||Edelbrock Performer RPM |
|Block: ||Olds |
|Intake valve: ||2.190 inch |
|Exhaust valve: ||1.650 inch |
|Camshaft specs: ||Comp; 243/254 degrees at 0.050, 0.697/0.684-inch lift |
|Rocker arms: ||T&D, 1.9:1 int., 1.8:1 exh. |
|Crankshaft: ||Olds |
|Rods: ||CAT |
|Pistons: ||CP |
|Rings: ||Mahle/Clevite |
|Ignition: ||MSD |
|Oil: ||Royal Purple, 5W-30 |
|Headers: ||American Racing Headers, 1 -1 ⅞ step |
|Mufflers: ||Magnaflow 3.5 inch |
|Flexplate: ||PRW |
|ON THE DYNO |
DTS DYNO DATA
BEST QUALIFYING PULL
|RPM ||TQ ||HP |
|2,500 ||455 ||217 |
|2,600 ||469 ||232 |
|2,700 ||483 ||248 |
|2,800 ||493 ||263 |
|2,900 ||496 ||274 |
|3,000 ||495 ||283 |
|3,100 ||491 ||290 |
|3,200 ||485 ||296 |
|3,300 ||478 ||300 |
|3,400 ||468 ||303 |
|3,500 ||460 ||306 |
|3,600 ||462 ||317 |
|3,700 ||477 ||336 |
|3,800 ||493 ||357 |
|3,900 ||512 ||381 |
|4,000 ||531 ||405 |
|4,100 ||546 ||426 |
|4,200 ||557 ||445 |
|4,300 ||563 ||461 |
|4,400 ||565 ||473 |
|4,500 ||566 ||485 |
|4,600 ||568 ||498 |
|4,700 ||571 ||511 |
|4,800 ||574 ||525 |
|4,900 ||574 ||535 |
|5,000 ||571 ||544 |
|5,100 ||569 ||552 |
|5,200 ||569 ||563 |
|5,300 ||569 ||575 |
|5,400 ||569 ||585 |
|5,500 ||569 ||596 |
|5,600 ||567 ||604 |
|5,700 ||562 ||610 |
|5,800 ||558 ||616 |
|5,900 ||554 ||623 |
|6,000 ||553 ||631 |
|6,100 ||548 ||636 |
|6,200 ||541 ||639 |
|6,300 ||533 ||640 |
|6,400 ||526 ||641 |
|6,500 ||514 ||636 |
The Edelbrock head castings...
The Edelbrock head castings provided a clean sheet from which Trovato designed his valvetrain. The T&D shaft rocker design was a direct result of the valve and pushrod location. The final length of the rocker arm dictates the maximum ratio possible before the pushrod digs into the rocker fulcrum.
In a naturally aspirated engine,...
In a naturally aspirated engine, tight quench makes power. Really tight quench blows up stuff. Bill had it right on the edge as the witness marks on the pistons show.
Some early flat-tappet big-blocks...
Some early flat-tappet big-blocks and later-model hydraulic roller blocks used a 0.921-inch diameter lifter. The BTR team took advantage of this by having a cam ground with aggressive opening and closing ramps. This fooled the engine into thinking it had a solid-roller cam.
Starting with a factory steel...
Starting with a factory steel forging, Bill chucked his crank in the CNC mill and ran a program designed to make the leading and trailing edges of the counterweights more aerodynamic.
It's always the little things...
It's always the little things that point out how serious these EMC guys are. The CNC engraving on the heads and fuel pump block-off plate are neat for sure, but look closer, and you'll see where the timing cover was cut in half to allow quick on-the-dyno cam timing changes without pulling the ATI damper. Pretty sneaky.
The undisputed leader in oil...
The undisputed leader in oil pump technology is Melling. Oil pressure maintained a steady 30-40 psi throughout the pulls. Many engine builders purposely run pressure this low in order to reduce the parasitic losses that the pump puts on the engine. Anything more than what's required to keep the bearings happy is wasted horsepower, and wear on the distributor gear.
H-beam rods are a solid choice...
H-beam rods are a solid choice for strength and dependability, and these 6.735-inch long monsters made by CAT are plenty strong. CP machined the pistons to the required 10.5:1 compression ratio, and cut the ring grooves for extremely tight clearances, keeping the Mahle rings from fluttering and losing precious compression gases.
The tell-tale sign of an Olds...
The tell-tale sign of an Olds is the double-quench combustion chamber. Deep bowls and large venturis under the valves are part of the port design that allowed the 401 to make such great power.
Even starting with small runners,...
Even starting with small runners, Bill filled up the bottoms of the intake ports with over a quarter inch of aluminum. Without sourcing the heads in an as-cast form, his runners would have busted through the roof where the spring pad would normally be cut down low.
American Racing Headers builds...
American Racing Headers builds these beautiful pipes to fit an early A-body chassis. They produced a beautiful harmony through the polished Magnaflow mufflers. The bends, collectors, and welds are works of art. Of course, changing a tall oil filter on one of these babies is never quite clean and easy. Tip: wipe any oil spill off your headers before firing the engine back up and you won't smoke out your garage.
Doubling their pleasure, the...
Doubling their pleasure, the BTR Performance team adds Comp 159 cam break-in lube with the Royal Purple XPR 5W-30 oil. The combination proved an effective barrier against any wear on the engine components while providing a few extra horses from reduced friction.
During the allotted 20-minute...
During the allotted 20-minute tuning phase, EMC competitors are allowed to make as many changes and dyno pulls as they like. Bill hooked up his laptop to the MSD 7531 Digital Programmable 7 ignition box and was able to make timing changes without having to touch his distributor.