When brothers Dale and Glenn Robinson decided to take up the gauntlet and enter the 2008 Engine Masters Challenge, they knew they needed every advantage they could get. They had to know all of the rules inside and out, and create a combination that could wow the crowd and still stay within budget. Their approach to building this little 307-based Olds mirrored their team name, Robinson Analytical.

Dale has been bracket racing with Olds power for a number of years, and is comfortable enough with the architecture of the engine that he knew its weaknesses and strengths. Talking with Dale, it is clear that he's a levelheaded player, and his philosophy was to break down the engine building process into two distinct focus groups: weaknesses and strengths. This, he figured rightly, would be the best way to approach the build.

The Robinsons started their analysis with a $50 core engine from an '84 Toronado. A little digging tells us that the 307 engines were popular throughout the whole GM family. All of the BOP and Chevy passenger cars received versions of the 307 for their mid- and fullsize cars from 1980 to 1990. Most Olds engines have the cubic inches cast into the side of the block, though the 307 has a casting of a 5.0 liter on the block. If you are looking for one in the junkyard and you spot a two-barrel carbureted V-8, keep on looking, as all 307s used a four-barrel Quadrajet. In fact, the 307 was the last passenger car offered with a carburetor in the United States (except some Crown Vic Police Interceptors, as we're sure someone will scream out).

For every Olds lover, the biggest struggle with the engine isn't necessarily making power, but keeping the engine intact. The 307, like the 403 and other Olds blocks, uses an open main-webbing design that saved the powerplants a good amount of weight, and GM a good amount of coin, but sacrificed structural strength. With a talent for machine work and an eye for details, Dale got started remedying this issue by building a structural support, connecting all of the mains to the block. He says: "I used a piece of 1018 flat bar with some blocks to connect it to the halo girdle, and I machined the caps and that's it. I bought the halo off J&S Machine and connected it all together." He used a set of spacer blocks between the J&S halo and the main girdle and used brass shim stock to set the preload to what he wanted. Finally, 3/8-inch Allen-head capscrews fasten the homebuilt girdle to the pan rail. In essence, he built a super-sized main girdle for the block. The beefed-up support had a secondary feature that helped move the oil pan further from the windage whipping around, thus better controlling the oil.