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  • 10 hot Engine Combos

    10 Dyno-Proven Horsepower Combos
    We Sorted Through 60-Plus Dyno-Challenge Entrants To Bring You A Variety Of Popular Chevy, Ford, And Mopar Approaches

    By Marko Radielovic

    The dynamometer has been called a polygraph machine, a tool for uncovering the truth, a gauge that can shatter your dreams or fulfill your fantasies.

    Every year at the Car Craft Summer Nationals, we camp out at our portable DynoJet chassis dyno and attempt to unlock the secrets of the ultimate dyno-proven combination--the conglomeration of parts that just magically work together. That "ultimate" combination is elusive, but in our search for it, we stumble across many engine recipes that mirror what most of us actually have or are contemplating building. While a couple of the featured engines are tilted toward the more extreme end of the spectrum, we know that there are car crafters out there in readerland who drive radical street machines. Although our environment was less than ideal with record heat and humidity that undoubtedly affected the outcome of every dyno test, everyone faced the same obstacles. We sorted through 60-plus dyno-challenge entrants at this year's show in St. Paul, Minnesota, to bring you a variety of combinations of popular Chevy, Ford, and Mopar V-8s representing 10 different approaches to the goal of increased performance ranging from mild to wild.

    Check out the three out off ten combinations below.

    Ford 5.0L: Wild

    ’90 Ford Mustang GT

    Owner: John Garner

    Featuring more tricks than a McGuyver rerun, this homebuilt supercar represents backyard ingenuity at its finest. It sports many homemade features, including an intercooler/intake manifold that John fabricated himself. A Probe Industries 347 short-block provides the foundation for the blown Mustang, which was topped off with a set of mildly reworked Victor Jr. heads to channel the boost to the cylinders. While excess heat is the enemy of all engines, supercharged mills are particularly sensitive. The test conditions undoubtedly took their toll, but more than 500 rear-wheel horses from a small-block is still impressive.


    Type: Ford small-block V-8

    347 ci

    Approx. comp. ratio: 9.0:1

    Best e.t.: none

    Cylinder Heads

    Make and model:
    Aluminum Edelbrock Victor Jr.

    Port work: Pocket-ported, gasket-matched

    Valve sizes: 2.05/1.65 inches

    Rocker arms: 1.6:1 roller


    Hydraulic roller

    Duration at 0.050: 224/232 degrees

    Valve lift: 0.555/0.565 inch

    Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

    Homemade air/water intercooler with Trick Flow Track Heat base, Vortech YS-trim supercharger

    Fuel metering: 83-lb/hr injectors, Accufab 90mm throttle body, Pro M 92mm mass-air meter

    Distributor: MSD Pro Billet

    MSD Blaster II

    1-7/8-inch–long tube headers, 2-½-inch exhaust system


    Owner’s guess:
    620 hp

    Dyno result:
    513.3 hp, 632.7 lb-ft

    Chevy 454: Wild

    Car: ’74 Chevrolet Nova

    Owner: Rob Lilledahl

    Rob’s Nova is packing some serious heat as evidenced by his high-10-second quarter-mile performance. He put this combination together 14 years ago, and it still faithfully serves him. It consumes a steady diet of 100-octane fuel but will run on pump premium in a pinch. Rob says his Rat is fairly maintenance-free, having had its valves lashed a mere five years ago.


    Chevrolet big-block V-8

    Displacement: 460 ci

    Approx. comp. ratio: 11.0:1

    Best e.t.: 10.70 @ 127 mph on motor, 10.20 @ 136 mph on nitrous

    Cylinder Heads

    Make and model:
    Cast-iron GM oval-port

    Port work: Fully ported

    Valve sizes:
    2.19/1.90 inches

    Rocker arms: 1.7:1 roller


    Solid flat-tappet

    Duration at 0.050: 298/298 degrees

    Valve lift: 0.630/0.630 inch

    Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

    Edelbrock Victor single-plane

    Carburetor: Holley 1,050-cfm Dominator

    Distributor: Performance Distributors HEI

    Coil: Performance Distributors

    Exhaust: 2-inch headers, 3-inch exhaust system


    Owner’s guess:
    400 hp

    Dyno result: 411.5 hp, 473.7 lb-ft

    Mopar 383: Wild

    Car: ’70 Plymouth Road Runner

    Bryan Sherva

    Bryan’s bright-orange B-body came equipped with the often-overlooked 383ci big-block. Equipped with a dual-plane intake and sipping pump gas, the little big-block sounded like a typical lightly warmed-over street mill. When Bryan guesstimated that it would pump out 450 horses at the wheels, we felt that he was being rather “optimistic.” What we weren’t prepared for was the 433.7 hp it cranked out. We suspected that things were not as they seemed, and Bryan fessed up that his “383” is packing a 3.75-inch– stroke (stock is 3.38) crank out of a 440, bringing the displacement up to 431 ci.


    Chrysler big-block V-8

    Displacement: 431 ci

    Approx. comp. ratio: 10.5:1

    Best e.t.: 11.50 @ 115 mph

    Cylinder Heads

    Make and model:
    Cast-iron Chrysler 346 castings

    Port work:

    Valve sizes: 2.14/1.81 inches

    Rocker arms: 1.5:1 roller


    Solid flat-tappet

    Duration at 0.050:
    268/268 degrees

    Valve lift: 0.585/0.585 inch

    Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

    Edelbrock Performer RPM

    Carburetor: Holley 950-cfm HP

    Distributor: MSD Pro Billet

    Coil: MSD Blaster II

    2-inch headers, 3-inch exhaust system


    Owner’s guess:
    450 hp

    Dyno result: 433.7 hp, 437 lb-ft

  • #2
    this looks interesting, i'll get into it when i get more time. Nice post