Power Parts
The custom roller cam from Cam Motion is proprietary. Wise explains: "It is a specific cam that we have been working with for 15 years. I have several of them and they are very similar. When we have the cylinder head, intake manifold, and compression, the cam gets matched to that. Our cams specs are very private—I don't like to give that away. Lift is around .800 inch. Those particular cylinder heads, the way they flowed, and where, and all the other parameters, that cam worked really well with those. I was very happy with the cam." [Wise was obligated under competition rules to disclose cam specs for publishing, and his official spec sheet listed .849-inch lift, and 262/300 degrees duration at .050-inch lift. -ed.] The custom camshaft is linked to the valves via a set of Manley pushrods operating a custom set of T&D rockers with a ratio of 1.8/1.7:1. The rockers are actually custom made for the Wise-modified Batten aluminum heads, and are specific for that application.

Elaborating on the cylinder heads, Wise explains, "The heads are Batten Olds cylinder heads from back in the 1980s. We have a CNC program for these cylinder heads and they do very well. We don't mess around with the factory valve angle because the 6-degree angle is almost optimal. There is a reason why the Chevys and Fords go with a flatter valve angle—they found they make more power with a flatter valve. We go with that and just make a good port design and a good chamber.

"There is nothing to like about these antique 1980s cylinder head castings. The material is not that great, and it's soft, and they move around. By contemporary standards, the actual design is not very good. What we do is take raw castings and weld them up and put our own chamber and our own ports in them. To solve this problem we have designed and manufacture a brand-new cylinder head. When we went into this with a clean sheet of paper, I looked at it and had to decide what we wanted to do with it. I wanted inline valves, just like stock. I wanted the stock valve angle and bolthole location. I wanted all that to be stock Oldsmobile so everything will bolt up. From there we looked at the port design, and we straightened everything up on CAD. We will debut these new heads at the 2013 AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge."

Feeding the reworked heads is an induction featuring Edelbrock's Victor manifold and a Dominator carb. Wise explains that the induction has a dramatic influence on the power curve: "We've done a lot of testing and with this intake and its long runners we have found a tremendous amount of torque. I manipulate the powerband with certain things I do inside the intake manifold and the carburetor spacing. That is what dictates our rpm range. The carb is a 1050 Holley Dominator. It is one of our dyno carburetors and is a one-off piece. It is something we do."

Tuning the engine combination continues to the exhaust side, as Wise tells us: "The header was designed by dyno testing over and over. The runner length, size, shape, and entry size are all developed by testing. The result is this three-step header, and it made 40 more horsepower than any other header. There is a lot in headers, and a lot of people just don't realize it; we found power just by changing collector length. For this header we used a 1⅞-inch first step, and that is what created the torque we needed for this application. I could have gone with a 2.0-inch and it would make more power, but it would change the rpm level. For the Engine Masters competition, the smaller first primary step was right. The headers use a merge collector with a 2¾-inch choke and goes back out to a 3-inch collector. That choke really makes a difference. In the testing we have done we've found a very small change in the choke can make a quite a bit of difference."

Dyno Time
The engine was dressed with a Meziere electric water pump and an MSD ignition system, including an MSD Digital 7 Plus programmable control box, and a Wise-modified Moroso crank trigger. Bolted to the DTS Powermark engine dyno at the University of Northwestern Ohio, this hot Oldsmobile combination had the opportunity to prove its worth. Running on VP Q16 race fuel, the Olds showed a power curve that was staggering for a production-based Olds small-block. With a healthy 465 ci built into the diesel block, the torque curve displayed massive twist, recording 672 lb-ft at 6,200 rpm. Obtaining peak torque that high in the curve illustrated that breathing and airflow was available in abundance from the extensively modified heads and induction. Where there is giant torque at high rpm, mass quantities of horsepower are sure to follow. In this department the Olds delivered the goods, posting a peak of 876 hp at 7,400 rpm. That is power that will shove an Oldsmobile down track in a real hurry!

As Wise tells us, "Getting the heads to make serious power with the Oldsmobile engine has always been the difficulty. We put a great deal of effort to get the most of the old castings that were available, and this engine shows the success of that effort. What we are doing now is taking things to a new level of performance and parts availability with our all-new head castings. This will open the door for more horsepower for Oldsmobile fans everywhere." We appreciate the efforts and unwavering enthusiasm of Oldsmobile specialists like Wise Performance Engineering in keeping Olds performance alive and well.