Written by Moore Good Ink
Winder, GA: The allure of Jon Kaase’s canted-valve P-38 cylinder heads increases with the addition of the smooth, rich shapes of his cast aluminum valve covers. For 302 and 351cu in small-block Ford Windsor engines they are available in black, red, or natural alloy finish or, indeed, any color desired. In addition they feature a revised bolt pattern specifically designed to fit the unique P-38 cylinder heads.
Originally the stimulant for P-38 power came from Windsor enthusiasts who desired race-quality cylinder heads, but with the intake entries and the exhaust exits in the original positions. To this end, Kaase set about canting the intake and exhaust valves, mainly fore and aft. This created a useful improvement, eradicating a shrouding deficiency between the cylinder wall and the inlet valve and dramatically increasing cylinder filling. Beyond this the act of canting allowed him to increase valve diameters, particularly the intakes. In addition he quickened the port velocities, deepened the bowls, introduced efficient, sweeping short turns in both the intake and exhaust tracts, and improved the combustion chamber shape.
A rare treat, Kaase’s credentials ensured the P-38 conversion kit would create a favorable impression when it arrived on the scene in August 2011. Now what greater pleasure than to have the first P-38 in town with appropriate valve covers?
Kaase completes 50th Boss Nine build
The Boss Nine seems the ultimate triumph of the rational mind. Seemingly unrivalled by any comparable hot rod engine it has several things going for it: it is the supreme cruiser—owners tell you, “It’ll take you to the moon and back,” and it has that evocative Boss connection. Those tantalizing valve covers, probably motivated by the fact that only 1500 originals were produced, instantly telegraph enthusiasts all they need to know. The trap is set.
The most requested Boss Nine generates 750 to 770hp @ 6,200rpm and 690ft-lb of torque @ 4,500rpm. They run 9.8:1 compression ratio. Their displacement is usually of 520cu in (4.390in bore / 4.300in stroke) and they are assembled with hydraulic rollers. Apparently, discriminating cruisers demand maintenance-free valve adjustment. The hydraulic cams usually exhibit 0.675in of valve lift with intake and exhaust duration of 258 and 262 degrees @ 0.050in valve lift respectively. The lobe separation is 110 degrees.
On fuel injected models like this, Kaase’s senior engine builder, Chuck Lawrence, adds or subtracts fuel throughout the Boss Nine’s rev range. Aided by a laptop computer he aims for an air-fuel ratio of 13.0:1 to 13.6:1. “This is the Boss Nine’s sweet spot.”