Two new Edelbrock 15-degree SB Chevrolet designs from Mike’s Racing Heads

By Sam Logan   Mike Androwick of Mike’s Racing Heads has been a cylinder head porter all his life. In NHRA Pro Stock he worked alongside Richard Maskin, Bob Glidden and Larry Morgan. In big-block Modified oval track racing series in the northeast, he provided 60 sets of racing heads, winning the 2013 championship with Brett Hearn. For 2014 he has prepared a new small-block innovation based on the Edelbrock 15-degree cylinder head. His two new designs are the 270cc (for short track ovals) and 300cc (for drag racing).   Concord NC: Mike’s Racing Heads has developed two new competition cylinder heads for small-block Chevrolets. Derived from the Edelbrock 15-degree head (part number 77549) one features 270cc intake volume runners and is developed for short track oval racing engines up to 364cu in, either dirt or asphalt. The other is endowed with 300cc intake volume runners and created for small-block drag racing. Needless to say, throttle response and drivability represent the most critical factors in short track oval engines, thus much attention was placed on the cross-sectional areas and port velocities. “The size of the engine and rpm range, “explains Mike Androwick, “dictates the size of the runners—not so much in volume but in cross-sectional area.”   Peak flow in each intake tract is reported at 370cfm and 267cfm exhaust—hence creating sufficient airflow to produce ample peak horsepower. Moreover, intake and exhaust valves are sized at 2.150in and 1.625in respectively with 50-degree seat angles while the combustion chambers measure 47cc. The heads are machined to suit 4.155in bores.   Drag Race Mike’s 300cc intake volume runners are designed for small-block...
Restoring vintage engine blocks in five steps

Restoring vintage engine blocks in five steps

By Freddie Heaney: Rare casting repairs: Five-step process in restoring vintage blocks to race-ready condition Each winter frozen coolant causes severe damage to hundreds of racing engine blocks in the northern hemisphere. Though troubling, its effects are usually even more concerning when frost damage strikes a rare, historic racing block. However conscientious you are the misfortune can happen, but if it does don’t be too dismayed for the problem is not insoluble. In Chatham, Virginia, there is a well-established engineering firm, Virkler & Bartlett, who possesses a knack for returning severely damaged engine blocks, often considered unserviceable, to race-ready condition. Their most common candidates are vintage blocks like this Maserati example damaged by frozen coolant. Here is their five-step repair process: 1. Inspect to determine mechanical and dimensional condition.  This includes examining deck angles, deck squareness to main bore centerline, main bore alignment and other critical dimensions. 2. Find crack locations using Magnaflux or dye penetrants and determine repair strategy.  Welding repairs work well in some applications, but V&B prefer steel or aluminum pins with special barbed threads that pull cracks together for most castings.  Pin repairs have the advantage of not distorting the casting. As a result, ridged fixtures are unnecessary and re-machine work is kept to a minimum.  Pins are installed with anaerobic sealants to lock them in place and prevent leaks.  Sometimes it is necessary to machine away a portion of the damaged metal and replace it with an insert that is pinned in place.  Pins are stronger than the casting and V&B has successfully pinned cracked main bore housings on highly stressed race engines. 3....

Competition cylinder heads: How would you know if air-fuel movement is good or bad?

By Ben Mozart The race engine requires a precise mixture of air and fuel, approximately 13.0:1 by weight ratio.   But the power it makes depends upon how well the mixture is emulsified and atomized. How well it is delivered through the intake manifold runners and cylinder head ports. And it’s ability to negotiate the intake valves and to swirl in the combustion chambers, which are an extension of the ports, and to occupy the cylinders.   For most of us, arranging and controlling the movements of the gases in the cylinder head ports are beyond our imaginings. Is the air-fuel mixture moving efficiently in the intake tracts or clinging, vexingly, to its sides? If so, how could it be reintroduced into the air stream? And further downstream, how is it negotiating the short turn, the five valve-angles in the throat, and does it demonstrate swirl as it moves into the combustion chamber?   Over the past three decades, Dart Machinery has shown how it identifies and retains its engineering capital. Improvements in its power-making abilities are continually being added to its range of competition cylinder heads—first the aluminum models are upgraded then the cast iron. Today they use cylinder head flow data derived from their wet-flow bench, they then monitor the advances on the dynamometer and finally confirm the revisions on the race track.   Wet flow technology: Acquiring the unfair advantage. At the turn of this millennium, Dart invested $80,000 in the largest and most elaborate wet-flow bench our aftermarket has known. Devised to better understand the flow characteristics in Pro Stock cylinder heads—chiefly wet flow behavior...

John Force: His formative years – Part 2

by Titus Bloom If you missed the first part of this story, click here. “I turned professional racing driver in 1975 and was terrible for the next ten years!” “I was never a very good mechanic; I had people to help me. I could take a blower apart and put it together with help but I was never a tuner. “When I returned from Australia and turned professional I used to sleep in my crew cab in my brother’s driveway. Walker was an LA sheriff and later joined the FBI National Academy. He helped raise me. When he retired he came to work for me, helping me with legal contracts and security. He has been very important in my life. “Then in 1986, I got my Castrol sponsorship and I’ve been with them for every win since. They have a great company and they’ve been good to me. Although they have chosen to leave at the end of 2014, I want the fans to know Castrol made me what I am today.” When did things get better? “Austin Coil joined me when I had Coca Cola and Wendy’s in 1985. In 1986, Castrol, who were known for their motorcycle oils, announced they were creating a racing team to promote their new motor oils. Company representatives Jim Gardella and John Howell were committed to establishing a super team and engaged Gary Ormsby in Top Fuel; me in FC; Larry Morgan in Pro Stock, Bill Barney in Alcohol Dragster, and David Nickens among others. After 6 or 7 years most of the guys were gone; I was the only one left....

The Five Best Read Stories of 2013

by Moore Good Ink   1. Emperor of Engine Masters Challenge: Kaase claims purse It takes uncommon pluck to enter an engine performance contest—what happens if you finish 39th? Developing racing engines is a serious business. Your reputation, your record of success and your credentials are constantly on the line.Despite the obvious reservations, however, entering the annual Engine Masters Challenge is…   Read more.   2. Titus: World’s first aftermarket Cleveland engine in production A regular top finisher in the annual Engine Masters Challenge, Mark McKeown is a man with a prolific output of engine improvements in his résumé, not least the Ford Cleveland. But even with thirty years of Cleveland toil and achievement in McKeown’s background, it takes exceptional gallantry to resurrect a low-volume engine block—a block that was first conceived almost half a century ago. The fact is though, he had the daring, the energy, and the resilience to see it through and now it’s in production. The Titus will be his hallmark: a defining moment for all Cleveland aficionados who will benefit by his incentive. Read more. 3. This man’s EFI controllers dominate high-end drag racing. How did this come to pass? Using the most powerful processors in the industry, Big Stuff 3 EFI controllers dominate Pro Mod, Outlaw 10.5, NHRA Comp Eliminator, Bonneville competition—and now it’s the impelling force in hundreds of street-strip engines. In 1983 John Meaney, originating from the south side of Chicago and now in his early twenties, had an idea for a carburetor. But his Professor at Valparaiso University said, “Don’t waste your time on those things they’ll be extinct in five...
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