Road registered 3,900lb four-door running small-block, stock suspension & with 57psi boost records 6.96sec at 211mph quarter mile.

Road registered 3,900lb four-door running small-block, stock suspension & with 57psi boost records 6.96sec at 211mph quarter mile.

Action in last summer’s Australian Drag Challenge peaked on the Thursday, the penultimate day of their annual five-day contest, when Frank Marchese took the lead, recording 7.36sec at 192mph. On the following day, he won the event, which is similar to the US Hot Rod Drag Week. It was his first attempt.   Son of a Melbourne farmer, the forty-three year old is hardly famous in the US, but in Australia, Marchese (pronounced Mar-chej-zee) is notable in the 275 class, a class restricted in use to 10.5in wide drag radial tires. Three years earlier, his notoriety came about when photographs emerged on social media of three engine blocks, all blown to bits. One of them, an aluminum style, shattered from top to bottom after five racing passes. The outer halves of the cylinders parted from the core of the block and wrecked everything in its path, including the bellhousing and converter. Alarming for most race engine devotees, it was the greatest catastrophic failure they had seen, and the replacement cost of Aus$35,000 was no less daunting for Marchese. Yet, his racing efforts descended into further chaos when the remaining two cast iron units fractured from the cam tunnel downwards. All were US made. The tumult was so financially destructive it cast him out of racing for two years. “At that time,” said Marchese, “I was aiming for only 2,000hp. If I’d had the slightest hint that those racing blocks were unfit for purpose—and in one case, the disreputable behavior by a company head—I would never have risked my racing capital.” Yet, it turned out that these successive tragedies could...
Oakley: Desire to be fastest

Oakley: Desire to be fastest

Race engines from Oakley Motorsports won NHRA Top Dragster championships 2017 and ’18. In NPTA championships (National Tractor Puller Association) they succeeded twice, in Battle of Bluegrass truck pulling championships four times as well as various circle track dirt championships and big-money Bracket events. They even conquered the Engine Masters’ Horsepower King and Torque Monster contest of 2013—the year the company was founded by Phillip Oakley. “When I was 15, my Dad started an automotive service station business—auto repairs. We held onto it for 25 years but by the 19th year I’d had enough. I dreaded going to work, and in 2012, the tiresome adventure was over. Before long I closed the operation and replaced its weary prospects with the promise of building race engines. I married Jessica when I was 19. We met in High School and have been married 28 years. She has gamely supported me through the highs and lows, the times of drudgery and uncertainty. For years, I had been building my own race engines on the side at our home, but now I risked everything on a dream: hoping to sustain a living by building 10 to 15 race engines per year. Even then, I harbored hopes of continuing my own drag racing endeavors. I was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, and today my son Jay works closely with me. You ask how I cultivated the bond. The relationship with my own father, Greg, had always been difficult. A former Marine, it was often his way or the highway; we couldn’t occupy the same room for more than 20 minutes without friction. So, I determined...
TorqStorm introduces centrifugal supercharger kit for Small-block Mopars 1967 to ‘93.

TorqStorm introduces centrifugal supercharger kit for Small-block Mopars 1967 to ‘93.

Grand Rapids, MI: TorqStorm’s latest supercharger kit pursues small-block Mopars—the 318, 340, and 360cid units produced between 1967 and ‘93.   As part of TorqStorm’s Plus range, this new kit includes air conditioning compressor, alternator, power steering pump, pulleys for both crankshaft and water pump in addition to the regular supercharger components. Blow-through carburetor not included.   The ideal compression ratio for engines with cast-iron cylinder heads is 8.5:1 or 9.5:1 with aluminium heads. According to TorqStorm, adding their supercharger and blow-through carburetor to a stock engine increases power output by an average of 40 percent.   A compact assembly, this new Plus supercharger kit extends no more than 17.5 inches above crankshaft center and, similarly, 17.5 inches laterally.   Constructed almost entirely from 6061-T6 billet aluminum, TorqStorm superchargers are supplied with limited life-time warranties. More consequential, its boost range exhibits urgency, usually beginning around 1,800rpm and extending to 6,500rpm.   Available in natural alloy or black anodized or with a micro-polished finish, Plus kits are now available and selling for $4950.00, which include all above-mentioned components.     Common tuning questions from those interested in supercharging: The installation of aluminum cylinder heads, high performance intake manifold, and camshaft improve the supercharger’s capability. But adding a free-flowing exhaust system is usually first priority. Because superchargers add substantially more air to the combustion process, factory exhausts, particularly headers, restrict gas flow, impairing its potential. Modified engines with improved breathing are further enhanced by...
9.200in Deck Engine Block for Fords

9.200in Deck Engine Block for Fords

Louisville, KY: World Products has released a new 9.200in deck version of their Man O’War Ford small block. It is ideal for oval track and drag racing applications. The shorter deck height accommodates smaller, lighter connecting rods and pistons which improve acceleration. It also reduces overall weight and lowers the center of gravity. What’s more, the iron alloy castings have been upgraded to 40,000psi. They also feature stronger main webs. The front web is now 0.080in thicker than previously and the center three are increased by 0.030in. This new block is available with 3.995in or 4.120in Siamese cylinder bores (to finish at 4.000in or 4.125in), and either 302 (2.248in) or Cleveland (2.749in) main bearing journals with billet steel 4-bolt caps on all five mains. World Products also changed from the standard 1/2in main cap fasteners to 7/16in ARP fasteners. Assigning more material to the main webs strengthens the structure. The Louisville manufacturer’s Man O’War accommodates any standard SBF cylinder heads, and it is the only production SBF block with 6 head bolts per cylinder. The cylinder barrels extend into the crankcase by 1/2 inch to provide superior piston support with long-stroke crankshafts, and the block is supplied already machined with clearance for a 4.125in stroke crankshaft.   087150 – 9.200 Deck, 3.995 Bore, 302 Mains, Billet Caps 087160 – 9.200 Deck, 4.120 Bore, 302 Mains, Billet Caps 087152 – 9.200 Deck, 3.995 Bore, Cleveland Mains, Billet Caps 087162 – 9.200 Deck, 4.120 Bore, Cleveland Mains, Billet Caps World Products’ blocks and heads are 100% American made and are subject to stringent quality assurance procedures to ensure superior quality and...
Always wanted to be a contender.

Always wanted to be a contender.

By Fergus Ogilvy. Matt Weston, a 33-year old Super Street drag racer with more than 30 wins and 5 championships to his credit, has achieved his wish startlingly well. Beginning at 18-years old and racing street cars, Weston gained vital hands-on experience during the subsequent decade and a half, learning all he could. In IHRA Quick Rod, the 8.90 class, he scored top-five finishes in three successive years and won the championship in 2010. He also won two consecutive Divisional championships. An auto accident delayed his racing plans for two years, 2012 – 2013, during which time, he sold his dragster, retained the engine, purchased a 1970 Camaro, and switched to NHRA Super Street Division 2 (Southeast). He won his second race and finished second in the championship at first attempt. In the annual Jegs All-Star race, Weston won his division three times. His engine had been a Merlin II, an engine Scott Duggins of PAR in Spartanburg, SC knew well. “Matt likely raced that engine in 10 different cars with different heads and different combinations and with displacements ranging from 555 to 565ci,” speculated Duggins. “Now we use the Merlin III block. It accepts a 55mm camshaft and .904in lifters. I like it because it’s more installation-ready—it requires less machine work—it comes with rotational clearance for a 4.750in crank. Also, you don’t have to machine the cam tunnel or the lifter bores. Obviously, the big cam core has greater operating surfaces, less deflection, and allows more lobe lift without cutting into the base circle.” Matt Weston travels to around 15 races each year, from Chicago to Orlando. In...
Understanding hydraulic valve lifters

Understanding hydraulic valve lifters

By: Ray T. Bohacz: I have a love-hate relationship with valve-lash adjustment. I love adjusting anything mechanical: getting my hands on it and fine tuning it to perfection. The part I dislike about lash or free play adjustment is its awkwardness and complexity. Too many components have to be removed to perform a ten-minute task. For this reason, I like engines with hydraulic valve lifters that, for the most part, require no adjustment. However, when adjustment is necessary, instead of setting lash, as you would with solid or mechanical valve lifters, a hydraulic system requires preload as there is no lash. This is usually required only when the cylinder head is being reinstalled. The need for lash or free play The camshaft is responsible for the valve’s timing and its lift as well as its duration—the periods it remains open and closed. In a cam-in-block engine, this is accomplished by the camshaft working with intermediate components: valve lifter (or tappet), pushrod, and rocker arm. With an overhead cam design, the intermediate components differ, using some style of follower in lieu of a pushrod and possibly a tappet. This discussion focuses on the hydraulic tappet employed in cam-in-block engines. It’s the profile of the camshaft lobe that determines the valve action, and that motion is first transmitted to the valve lifter and onto the pushrod and finally the rocker arm that contacts the stem of the valve. When the parts are cold, they shrink and as heat is generated they expand. For this reason, free play is required to prevent parts binding when heated. Free play is created between the...