Dart’s new LS Next block in production:

Written by Moore Good Ink Earlier interview with Richard Maskin • 9.240in deck height • Cylinders extended by .375in (effective deck height 9.615in) • Stock & aftermarket LS components utilized • Available in standard 4.000in & 4.125in bore sizes (4.200in maximum) • Manufactured on homeland soil using premium cast iron   In Dart’s dyno room on April 4, their new LS Next block was undergoing its final stages of testing before making its production debut.  “It produced 740hp @ 7,000rpm,” said its creator Richard Maskin “and it sustained 700hp for a long way.” Configured with 4.155in bore and 4in stroke the 434cu in test engine made 600ft lbs of torque. See original story here →  Introduced by General Motors in 1997, the purpose of Dart’s LS replacement block is to exploit greater potential from the engine, particularly in the reduction of windage and improved lubrication. To keep the tests simple and meaningful Dart used a distributor and a carburetor. In so doing they isolated the effects of modern ignition, fuel injection, and electronics from the equation. “It’s got a mechanical roller camshaft in it,” said Richard, “because I wanted to be able to rev it to 8,000rpm with the existing springs. It makes over 690hp @ 8,000rpm. It has a real flat power curve emphasizing its suitability for street use. It’s got a small cam in it, 255/265. It’s got our Cathedral-port heads, GM intake manifold, and a conventional-looking oil pan. It has, however, 12:1 compression ratio.” To monitor the oil level during testing, a sight gauge was installed on the side of the engine. Because the lubrication system...

Titus: World’s first aftermarket Cleveland engine in production

By Fergus Ogilvy Photos by Moore Good Ink 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.   Waldorf, MD: Revived by MME (McKeown Motorsport Engineering), the world’s first aftermarket Cleveland engine is now in production. It is called Titus. Accepting standard Cleveland accessories and hardware, these new larger displacement blocks are available in aluminum or cast iron, with deck heights of 9.2in or 9.5in and with bore sizes ranging from 4.00in to 4.20in. As anticipated, MME’s Titus engines are suitable for street or strip use and for most forms of drag, oval track, and road racing. Needless to say they operate in naturally aspirated form or with nitrous, turbochargers, or superchargers. More importantly, though they are designed to handle extreme power, they mate to stock components and operate easily in standard street cars. Unlike the original Cleveland block, the lubrication system has been redesigned for priority oiling to the main bearings with the ability to adjust oil flow elsewhere. In addition, the main webs are designed for solidity, providing the greatest amount of...

The day the Hemi Cuda took flight

By Fergus Ogilvy: Photos courtesy of Jim White Almost fifty years ago, toward the end of the 1965 drag racing season, Chrysler and their Southern Californian Plymouth Dealers Association underwrote the costs of constructing and operating a blown nitro 426cu in rear-engine Plymouth Hemi Barracuda Funny Car. The proposition that brought together the Chrysler Corporation and the Southern Californian Plymouth Dealers Association was conceived by the late Lou Baney. Lou, who was already running the “Mongoose” in the Yeakel Plymouth Center’s Fuel dragster, could see the potential for exploiting a new Hemi Barracuda Funny Car in exhibitions and Match races. The moment was right and the deal was struck; B&M Automotive were contracted to construct the car, Dave Zeuschel to prepare the engine, and Tom “Mongoose” McEwen to drive it. The origins of the Funny Car The term Funny Car had derived from the appearance of Chrysler’s Ram Chargers a year earlier. The corporation’s competition department had moved the rear axle assembly forward on the chassis in an attempt to improve weight transfer under acceleration, thus increasing the car’s traction. Also, funny by today’s standards, this Fuel car, those that run on nitro methane, and others from that era exhibited a conspicuously high front ride height. Constructed with leaf springs resting on a simple front beam axle the high front ride height was most probably adopted for its ability to transfer weight quickly to the rear end during full acceleration. However the practice came to an abrupt end when the “Mongoose” unleashed the new 1965 Barracuda on its first full quarter-mile run at Lions’ drag strip in Los Angeles....

Don Garlits:

How his severed foot led dragster design to its most defining moment By Sam Logan Don Garlits’ front-engine race car career ended at Lion’s Dragstrip in 1970. “His 2-speed transmission exploded and severed a portion of his right foot—from the middle of his foot to his toes,” Tom McEwen explained. “We rushed him to a hospital immediately where he remained for a month. His wife, Pat, flew to Los Angeles and I gave her my Cadillac and put her in a hotel. We visited Don each day and took him sci-fi books—he enjoyed science fiction: outer space, black holes and all that. But it was in the hospital that he dreamed up the first rear-engine dragster.” “Big Daddy” of innovation Always influential, constantly seeking a technical advantage, Garlits was determined to reduce the driver’s exposure, particularly feet and legs, to exploding engines and transmission parts.” By eradicating the conventional rear axle, Garlits’ rear-engine dragster was the greatest innovation since 1954, when Mickey Thompson moved the driver’s seat behind the rear axle that marked the creation of the slingshot era. “We had a lot of success with front-engine cars,” said Don Prudhomme, “then Garlits came out with the rear-engine dragster and that changed things overnight. It made the front-engine cars obsolete.” Garlits sold his first rear-engine chassis to Tom McEwen, who won the Bakersfield March Meet soon after. In 1971 Don Garlits returned to professional drag racing with his Swamp Rat XIV and won two of his next three Top Fuel Eliminator events. The only remaining impediments to the success of his engineering prowess lay in changing the steering ratio...

Two new upgraded clutch assemblies for 2014 model ZL1 Camaro

By Sam Logan For smooth drivability, use organic disc series for up to 800hp For higher power, use metallic disc series (1,000 to 1,100hp) For racing purposes use metallic series for 750hp and over Columbia, SC: To transmit aftermarket power adder increases applied to the 2014 model ZL1 Camaro, RAM has announced two new 10.5in dual-disc upgraded clutch–flywheel systems.  Direct replacements for the original equipment 10in dual-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel arrangement, Ram’s new systems are distinguished by their greater clamping power, lighter weight, and special friction materials: 300 series and 900 series. The 300 series is described as an organic friction type that with light pedal pressure transmits up to 800hp under normal circumstances; that is conventional tire compounds, gearing, and weight. On the other hand, the 900 series is characterized by its metallic friction materials that transmit up to 1,000 to 1,100hp. Residing in the hub of the outer clutch disc, urethane encapsulated springs resist four times the compression rate of uncoated springs. To sustain greater torque loadings, Ram’s cover assembly, which is equipped with a nodular iron pressure ring, develops clamping pressures of 2,400psi. Also worth noting, a special billet aluminum flywheel is provided with dimensions that properly position the clutch discs on the OE transmission input splines. Better still, this new flywheel-clutch assembly (PN 80-2112) weighs 50lbs compared with the rather hefty original at 65.5lb.  For further information contact: RAM Automotive Company 201 Business Park Blvd. Columbia, SC 29203 Telephone (803) 788-6034 or visit:...

Little M 305: Dart introduces new engine block

By Ben Mozart Late last week Richard Maskin revealed that Dart Machinery is releasing a new engine block, the Little M 305. Refreshingly, this is a direct replacement for the now obsolete 5-liter power units so prevalent in Chevrolet cars and pickup trucks from the mid-nineteen seventies to the mid-nineties. Camaro models employed the 305 from 1976 to ’92; it was even installed in the 1980 Corvette not to mention its popularity in boat propulsion. But curiously, the 305’s resurrection was initiated from a much more improbable place: the amphitheater of the Sprint car arena. In recent years, French Grimes, head of Virginia’s RACESAVER organization, shook the Sprint car establishment by transforming the struggling 305 class from disarray to order. In fact Grimes, a master organizer, has emerged with almost 1,000 race cars competing in what has become one of this country’s most successful racing series. But RACESAVER’s remarkable growth forced the obsolescent 305 engine blocks virtually out of existence—until the dynamics of Dart intervened. Standard bore 3.720in Maximum bore 3.800in Complete water flow around all cylinders Small-bore full water-jacket block with all the sensible features of the acclaimed Little M Lifeline for 1,000 Sprint car campaigners: RACESAVER ® relishes prospects Troy MI: Dart Machinery has unveiled a new 5-liter engine block. It is known as the Little M 305 and its arrival is hotly anticipated as its predecessor neared extinction. Created as a direct-replacement for GM’s 305 small-block, which was used extensively in Muscle cars, passenger cars, pickup trucks and boats from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, Dart’s most immediate need is to satisfy the demands of RACESAVER...