Small block Hemi enters Grudge racing:

Small block Hemi enters Grudge racing:

Speed, adrenaline, and pure theatrics – By Fergus Ogilvy: Grudge racing has dominated the drag racing scene in the southern US States for decades. But in recent years, the Internet has conquered every part of its frenetic life, particularly Facebook postings that have expanded its Southern origins (Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas) westward to the Mississippi and north to the shores of Lake Michigan. To its masses, its chief dynamic is straight forward: betting. There is no maximum amount—when a dollar changes hands it’s a Grudge race. An addictive quality, the money won and lost, sometimes in sizable proportions, is only surpassed by pride or poor judgment of its car owners, entrants, drivers, and spectators: such an adventure, such potential for gain, such drama. Still, in the rapid passing of a one-eighth mile, the prospects of returning home $10,000 poorer are agonizing! A strictly cash economy In their pre-race negotiations, a Grudge racer attempts to learn as much as possible about his rival, his racing history, and the competitiveness of his car. They operate with “stips”, an abbreviation for stipulations that specify what is allowed: small block-powered car on 28/10.5 tires with a cast intake manifold and a single 4bl or dual 4bl carburetors.  If your opponent has a history of swapping engines, the stips might have a clause that allows his rival to view the engine before the race. When all is settled, perhaps a week in advance of the race, the deposits of the two opponents are sent to a third party, a neutral person known as the “DP” man—a further abbreviation for Deposit man. The deposit...
TorqStorm loosens purse strings and donates superchargers at 2018 Holley LS Festivals.

TorqStorm loosens purse strings and donates superchargers at 2018 Holley LS Festivals.

  By Martha Maglone: During this year’s Holley LS Fest West in Las Vegas, NV (4-6 May) and also Holley’s LS Fest Bowling Green, KY (7-9 Sept), TorqStorm will give away a supercharger at each event to participants in the Three Pedals Rumble Index Class. The participant with the best package—that is, driver’s reaction time and deviation from dial-in—in the first round will win any single system TorqStorm centrifugal supercharger available, valued at $2,800. The awards are accessible to any vehicle, including the 5th generation Camaro, C7 Corvette or any full-bodied vehicle powered by a GM LS-style (or current generation LT) power plant. Dragsters, Roadsters and Altered-style cars are prohibited. All races are regulated by a .500 Pro Tree and in an index format. Indexes will be on .25 breaks with Elapsed Times of 11.00 – 15.00 seconds. This will be an ALL RUN qualifying format. Vehicles are required to be of stock appearance and with stock body. Rental cars are prohibited. All vehicles MUST pass NHRA\IHRA safety inspection for ET and speed. Vehicles must be driven to staging and to scales, but can be towed after scales. Trans brake mechanisms are prohibited. For more information on Holley’s LS Fest events, click here. For more information on TorqStorm superchargers click here. Or phone: (616)...
Aluminum repairs – parts restored, appearance improved

Aluminum repairs – parts restored, appearance improved

By Freddie Heaney:   A call from a Muscle car owner arrived out of the blue. He told us there’s an aluminum repair specialist in Doraville, whose work deserves recognition, and if you want to learn about such a service, you won’t find another closer. In Muscle car circles, Doraville, a northern suburb of Atlanta, usually suggests one name: Lamar Walden Automotive. And so it proved to be. Walden’s shop has long been prized for its machining capabilities as well as its engine and car dynamometer resources. But the firm is, perhaps, better known for pioneering performance versions of GM 409 engines of the 1960s and a front-runner in all GM performance engines, including today’s LS variants. The caller was right; their aluminum repairs department is less familiar. What were the motivations? Normally, one doesn’t think of sending car parts to a machine shop for concours d’Elegance restoration, but that’s exactly the kind of work they undertake at this shop. “My Dad, Lamar, started it.” says Rob, “He came up with the process for the many restoration cars he built. And it’s not just repairing and restoring cracked or broken intake manifolds, for there’s a steady flow of transmission casings, alternator housings, valve covers, engine blocks, and bell housings–broken and blemished parts arrive from across the country. Basically, the service includes anything aluminum.” Aluminum intakes are often warped, particularly after being changed from one engine to another. Other common problems in aluminum castings arise through over-tightened bolts that crack the bosses and damage the treaded holes The Process: The repair process begins by dismantling the component and then cleaning...
Clarifying piston balancing with a few words from Kaase

Clarifying piston balancing with a few words from Kaase

By Titus Bloom: “It’s hard for me to be persuaded on the merits of piston balancing,” said a leading oval track engine builder recently. “While operating, the piston is being thrust up against one side of the cylinder wall,” he continued, “wedged in one direction on the even bank and in the opposite direction on the uneven bank. Besides, there’s the action of the connecting rods, their weights, their lengths and where they’re connected to the piston. Then, you might consider combustion forces, and piston domes being assaulted by wedging forces—to say nothing of the degree of tumult in the crankcase. I think you’re splitting hairs,” he argued convincingly. “Fine piston balance is neither here nor there.” But from a piston maker’s approach, there are two types of balancing. First, the conventional balance is used to reduce the prospect of significant piston weight variation in large-bore engines. The objective is to maintain bearing loads within the design range, that is, main bearing loads, as they are the focus of engine crank balancing and also of vibration levels. In addition, crank pin and piston pin loads must also be held within their respective design loads. So, in truth, these efforts are more focused on durability than performance. This is why some engine builders see little value in it. However, certain engines will be more sensitive to piston weight variation than others, so it can be important for engines where bearing capacity or vibration levels are reaching their upper limits. The second type of piston balancing is embraced by those engineers ardently seeking any slight advantage and involves manipulating the mass distribution of...
TorqStorm reveals centrifugal supercharger kit for Chrysler Slant Six, the first of its kind

TorqStorm reveals centrifugal supercharger kit for Chrysler Slant Six, the first of its kind

It’s been a busy year for TorqStorm, their 2017 inquiries for superchargers had tripled from the previous year. Established in 2009 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, TorqStorm’s centrifugal supercharger had the advantage of being the product of two accomplished tool and die makers, Chris Brooker and Scott Oshinski, the company’s co-owners and operators.  Most notably among the firm’s recent announcements is a new supercharger kit for Chrysler’s Slant Six. Produced from 1959 to 2000, sources familiar with Slant Six engine production believe thirteen million of these power units were produced worldwide. A prototype of the Slant Six supercharger kit was publicly revealed last August at the Mopar Nationals held at Columbus, Ohio. Now available, here are details of the new production unit.     When TorqStorm’s supercharger exerts itself, expect a boost range that extends from 1,800 to 6,500rpm, thanks to the design of the compressor wheel. Yet, to the majority of Slant Six owners, slightly less gusto—5,000 to 5,500rpm—is probably all that’s required. But in horsepower increases they seek an additional 100 to 150hp, which is around an 85 percent gain over the stock engine’s power output, and easily within the scope of this new supercharger kit. The kit comes with a robust billet aluminum gear box housing and cover. Within the casing, straight-cut tool steel gears are lubricated by an independent oiling system, and a stout three-quarter-inch thick mounting bracket secures the gear box and compressor assembly to the engine. TorqStorm’s newly designed blow-through carburetor hat is also included as well as an automatic belt tensioner, an 8in diameter crankshaft pulley, a 52mm vacuum-controlled blow-off valve, and related...
Joe Hornick: The man who mastered consultancy in racing

Joe Hornick: The man who mastered consultancy in racing

By Bertie S. Brown: At the lower rear corner of the rear wing of 2017 Funny Car National Champion, Robert Hight, a decal displays three letters: JHE, an abbreviation of Joe Hornick Enterprises. Hight won this year’s national championship at Pomona, Calif., and JHE, based in Mooresville, North Carolina, assisted them with technical know-how throughout the year. Since the beginning of this century, Hornick has been the hidden hand in a long series of racing successes. His business model is entirely his own: he offers his company’s complete services to just one racer in each category. Their complete service is an interesting proposition. JHE uses a test pool that serves to advance research and development in race engines with similar characteristics. Let’s say they have four customers running blown alcohol engines in four different racing categories—a blown alcohol pulling tractor, Pro Mod, Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car. In the test pool program, each engine runs different components or systems and, in so doing, each race team shares a quarter of the R&D costs and receives the cumulative results from all four. Additionally, they have a base of consulting customers like John Force Racing or Earnhardt Childress Racing. They also have a race engine-builder base. “If an engine builder is an existing valve spring customer,” says Hornick, “I’ll help them with any engine problem at no cost. That’s part of the service we provide as a spring supplier, because we have no consulting customers that compete against our valve spring customers.” “When first starting out and working long hours,” recalls Ernie Elliott, renowned NASCAR race engine tuner,...
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