The heads were finished off with REV stainless steel valves, measuring 2.250-inch intake and 1.880-inch exhaust. In terms of valve selection, Weingartner says, “I ran a 2.250-inch intake valve because I could never get the flow from a 2.300-inch valve on the 4.310-inch bore. The 2.250 was always better. I use a tulip exhaust valve—the theory being that you do not have as much of a cross-sectional area change off the seat as with a nailhead valve. It keeps the air flowing better and I know it helps the low-lift flow on the exhaust.”

Weingartner expanded by discussing the intake manifold: “The intake manifold was a compromise, since by the rules we had to run a dual-plane. I used the Brodix, since it was the biggest one I could find for a rectangular port. The heads flowed 400 cfm, but as soon as I bolted the intake to it, the flow dropped to 352. I would have liked to have done more work to the intake manifold, and if I would have read the rules more closely on what was allowed, I would have ground more on it. I did some more work after the competition, and with the intake bolted to the heads, they flowed 362 cfm. That was a mistake. I should have done more to the intake.” For the carb, Weingartner ran an 830 Holley.

The camshaft selection for this combination began with a custom stick from Mike Jones Camshafts, but this long-duration cam was just not going to clear as far as piston-to-valve clearance. A smaller COMP cam was substituted, and Weingartner was skeptical, expecting it to nose over too early. Weingartner tells us, “The COMP cam proved to be really good. I was pretty happy with the cam, because I didn’t think with that duration, on this big of an engine, that it would hold on at the higher rpm as good as it did, but it did.” The cam was ground on a lobe separation of 106, and Weingartner found it made the best power installed at 4 degrees advanced. The valvetrain was finished off with a set of Scorpion rocker arms, COMP pushrods and keepers, and Herbert limited-travel lifters, springs, and retainers.

Finishing It Off

There are always the final details on any engine build, and here Weingartner again looked to maximize value. The lubrication system was provided for by a stock replacement Melling oil pump, which Weingartner extensively ported for improved flow. To complement the pump, the engine was fitted with a Hamburger oil pan, which comes with an integral windage screen and scraper. As a precaution, Weingartner sealed the lifter valley with screens epoxied into the oil drainbacks to prevent any debris from entering the mechanicals below. The headers are Doug’s 2.25-inch units, featuring a set of added Edelbrock merge collectors. To light the fire, Weingartner used a PerTronix I3. As Weingartner related, “I love that thing. It’s far less complicated; it only has two wires, and it hooks right up. That PerTronix distributor is an angel; I use it in almost everything I have. I’m a huge fan of PerTronix, it doesn’t cut out, and the timing seems stable … they make good products.” MSD wires finish the ignition.

Overall, Weingartner put together an effective bread-and-butter combination—the familiar 496 Chevy big-block. Right down to the bore, stroke, and rod length, this engine used conventional parts that are readily available from the aftermarket, and priced right too. With 660 hp on tap through a single four-barrel carb and running a hydraulic cam on pump gas, that’s power in a simple street package. Simple, cost-effective engines that work are a Weingartner trademark—and who can argue with that?