Of course, an elaborate EFI induction system such as the unit developed by Smithberg would need equally elaborate tuning and control capabilities. This is where Scott Clark fits into the puzzle. Clark has earned a reputation as a highly skilled tuner and calibration man, but his ability goes beyond simply keying the laptop. Clark’s skills in electronics and knowledge of engine management led him to build the custom Mega Squirt ECU controlling the timing of the pack ignition and fuel delivery. Trading knowledge for a wide-open checkbook, Clark employed salvaged and OEM components, from GM coil packs and Ford trigger wheel, to the cam synchronization created from a modified Chrysler distributor.
To the Challenge
With so many people involved and a short time frame to work with, it was an achievement for the team to simply make a showing at the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge. As Holmes put it: “I’d like to say we had a grand plan, but it was such a scramble to put this together.” The engine’s exotic induction system certainly captivated the interest of all at the event, making the running of this engine a “must see” affair. The Hemi didn’t disappoint, willfully loading the dyno to deliver a peak of 689 hp and 572 lb-ft of torque. The electronics package and tuning action alone was worth the price of admission. In the control room, Clark worked the tune in a virtual Vulcan mind meld with the electronics, as he fixed his attention to the onrush of data coming in via eight display channels carrying data individually from each cylinder. In attendance was Dan’s widow, Elaine, who took a leap of faith in agreeing to see the engine project completed, and was rewarded by a heartfelt kinship to the individuals who made it happen.
388ci Chrysler Gen I Hemi