Beware of copies— Off-shore and domestic

 Written by Ben Mozart Cylinder head suppliers, many of them copiers, are fighting over you. Copies are almost always cheaper. But the originals are constantly evolving—always on the cutting edge while the copies have to wait. Here is what some of our industry leaders have to say. “Back in 1970,” says David Reher “we anxiously awaited the latest port-flowed cylinder heads to be released by the Detroit car makers. Today the CNC-machining center has transformed the machining process and revolutionized the production of racing parts.” But as Reher, co-founder of Reher-Morrison Racing Engines, suggested during his recent PRI presentation in Indianapolis, it is easy to be beguiled by gleaming, perfect-looking CNC components. “If the parts are produced by people who understand racing engines the results can be spectacular.” However, judging by some of the parts he saw at the PRI show, he concluded that merit was sadly lacking. “Their allure proved nothing more than the machining feed rate and tool speed was correct: pretty parts with impressive air-flow numbers caught the eye but most were without substance. If you are unsure of the proper throat size, the optimum short turn radius and a dozen other crucial characteristics then you are just making chips. Some copies are adequate but most have obvious flaws. It’s always advisable to go with an original like Dart.” The ambiguities of air flow numbers “The longer I’ve been building engines, dynoing engines and racing engines,” conceded Jon Kaase, “the less I think of air flow numbers. On a big cu in motor, for example, knowing the cfm is largely irrelevant. In my experience, you could...

Constant upgrades set Pro1 big-block cylinder heads apart: Dart’s masterpiece with Pro Stock in its genes

By Ben Mozart In the nineteen-nineties and in the early part of this century, Dick Maskin’s engine programs won three NHRA national Pro Stock championships and 50 Pro Stock events. Much of his virtuosity was acquired through well-thought-out development programs—the speed was rapid, the planning meticulous, the atmosphere electric. When the dyno stopped another set of modified heads was installed before the engine lost its temperature. As the dyno was being prepared for subsequent tests, further sets of heads were being modified. And so the non-stop development process continued—over and over until they uncovered a conclusive edge. Later, Dart channeled this technology into their Sportsman cylinder heads, including these Pro1 big-block heads. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Troy Michigan: Despite having been on the market for decades Dart’s Pro1 cylinder heads for the big-block Chevrolet receive constant upgrades. In fact, this is the essence of their universal appeal—their development never ends. Originally introduced in 1982, David Reher of Reher Morrison says, “There is nothing that compares with the Pro1. They have been the best bang for the buck for years and even more so now.” Devised to bring Pro Stock technology economically to Sportsman racing the Pro1 is particularly popular in drag racing categories: Super Gas, Super Comp, and Bracket classes as well as in boat competition. Using 24-degree intake valve angles while retaining the original 4-degree cant angles, the Pro1 is also ideal for high-performance street cars. Importantly, it offers five different intake runner volumes. The 310, 325 and 345cc versions are provided in as-cast condition while 335 and 355cc designs are produced as fully CNC-ported. Moreover they operate with standard intake...

Chump Car runs 14hr endurance race at Road Atlanta: Exciting new area of growth in US road racing

By Freddie Heaney Braselton, Georgia: On Saturday, February 8, at Road Atlanta, a Toyota MR2 powered by a Camry V6 engine won Chump Car’s 14-hour endurance race, their opening event of the 2014 racing season. The victorious Toyota completed 363 laps at an average speed of 86.062mph—a mere one lap ahead of a Dodge Neon fitted with a 2.4 liter engine. Third to fifth place finishers all completed 360 laps, crossing the line within 20 seconds of each other. The rules for swapped engines in Chump Car racing are based on the market value of the engine out and the engine in. This explains how the winning MR2 can legitimately run with a V6, which probably generates twice the power of the original four-cylinder power unit. However, genuine MR2 engines are rare and therefore valuable, while the Camry V6 engines are common and inexpensive. Surprisingly, a Lexus claimed third place, two laps behind the Neon. Despite its considerable size it recorded its fastest lap time of 1:45.253, one second faster than the best lap time of the winning Toyota. “But lap times in Chump,” says Borg Warner engineer and Chump Car racer Mike Harris, “are much more dependent upon driver talent than car capabilities. Almost no one is getting 100 percent out of their cars. So a team with very good drivers in a less capable car can be very competitive against other teams with better cars but mediocre drivers.” Harris went on to say, “The other big equalizer is the tires. There are a couple of tires that comply with the regulations, but they are DOT-approved street-legal tires,...

New, taller universal thermostat housing prevents heat transfer to intake manifolds

By Archie Bosman Kennesaw, Georgia: To prevent coolant bypass hoses transferring unwelcome heat to the intake manifold, KRC Power Steering has introduced a new, taller universal thermostat housing spacer. Devised for all domestic V8 engines, both big-blocks and small-blocks as well as Chevrolet LS, KRC’s new spacer accommodates conventional thermostats and 3/8in diameter bolts on bolt-hole centers of 3.250in. In addition two 3/8in pipe-threaded ports facilitate the water bypass lines. Measuring 1.5 inches tall, thus raising water bypass lines by half an inch, this new thermostat housing is created from 6061-T6 aluminum and is available in black anodized finish or non-plated. Assigned part number 15375150 and priced at $56.93, KRC’s new thermostat housing is available direct or through distributors nationwide. For more information call KRC Power Steering at (770) 422-5135 Source KRC Power Kennesaw, Georgia (770) 422-5135...

Force wins 16th NHRA Funny Car title, triumphs at Winternationals, and sets track record at Phoenix

Written by Drag Racer Magazine John Force has at least a dozen reasons to hang up his fire suit and start enjoying a well-deserved retirement as the most successful driver in NHRA history. The problem is Force still enjoys the cut and thrust of Funny Car competition. Even at 64 years of age he remains competitive and his new partnership with crew chiefs Jimmy Prock and Danny DeGennaro has already propelled him to the forefront in 2014, winning the NHRA’s opening round at Pomona, the Winternationals. He also dominated qualifying at Phoenix, recording 3.99sec ET at 317.79mph—the first Funny Car to travel 1,000ft in the three second zone. “I am OK. I am excited. I love this sport. I came to Phoenix in 1985 to compete in the first national event here. I was learning how to drive and our NHRA announcer Alan Reinhardt was learning how to announce. I had match-raced here almost ten years before that,” said Force in Phoenix. “Though I got a little cocky in Pomona, during the Winternationals, I’m happy to let Prock’s tune-up do the talking for me. I did get a little crazy when talking about putting on my fire suit and feeling like a 24-year-old not 64. But I can do the job and I’ll get it done. I will give these fans a great show.” Force has been a showman from the first time he pulled on a helmet. Though he has survived imminent tragedies in the form of fires, running off the end of the track at high speed, and other adversities, he still wants to give the fans...
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