Other tricks in the short-block were aimed at strategically controlling the oil with the required wet sump oiling system. Plates were fabricated to close off the bottom of the cam tunnel, preventing the oil in that area from draining onto the crankshaft. A drainage provision was machined into the cam tunnel below the bearings to allow the oil to drain to the front of the engine. Likewise, the drainbacks at the upper portions of the engine were blocked off at the rear of the block, and all the oil was directed to the front of the engine. A plate was built to bolt onto the front main cap, which compartmentalized the oil return away from the crank. Everything was routed so that the returning oil would not get anywhere near the crank. As Chris says: “The oil control allows you to have less oil in the pan, and of course, the crank can spin a lot easier if it doesn’t have to spin through oil. You will definitely see less oil thrown on the cylinder wall, especially with the long stroke crankshaft.”

Heads, Induction, and Cam

Of the key components that define this engine combination, the CHI 3V Cleveland heads played a major role. Chris tells us: “The CHI head is not the only production-style head, but given the ability to flow 400 cfm on the intake side with that small of a port and intake valve, then it is just what we want to run. There are better cylinder heads out there, but they are not strictly production-style heads. As far as modifications, we sized them for a certain rpm. To make power at a certain rpm, we had an idea of where the port needed to be sized. The ports were actually epoxied to shrink the port. At first we ran them as-cast, and then kept adding epoxy until the overall power score began to decline. With that experience, we can get closer considering the cam selection right off the bat. We learned a lot over the years, especially in light of the requirements of the competition and the wide operating range required. We actually had a smaller intake valve in the head earlier in the development, but later found the bigger valve added power to the top end without hurting the bottom end numbers.”

The CHI package features a corresponding intake manifold, in this case a Dominator-flanged single-plane unit. Chris detailed the intake mods: “Since our combination was fuel injected, we didn’t have to do a lot of runner tuning, since we could do that on the EFI. The manifold was ported and epoxied to match the heads, and that’s about it. It is just a nice-looking manifold.” To feed the intake, a Holley EFI system using a 2¼-inch Dominator throttle body was selected. Chris tells us that his experience with the Holley system came about as a result of a dyno test done at the school using the Holley EFI: “I was very impressed with the usability of the Holley EFI. The system was much simpler even for a novice than some of the other systems out there. I liked the fact that the fuel tables were in lb/hr, rather than in VE, making it easier to transition from a carb to the EFI system.” All of the porting development on the intake manifold, as well as the cylinder heads, was performed in-house at the School of Automotive Machinists.