Big-Block Chevrolet: World Product’s Merlin III Adds Deck Height

World Products American-made Merlin III cast-iron big block is now available with an extra .050″ of deck height. For the Chevrolet, this new feature allows greater versatility in selecting connecting rods and particularly in selecting pistons with additional compression height to keep the ring grooves and wrist pin bore isolated. The new Merlin III variant is available with a 9.850″ or 10.250″ deck height. Cylinder bores are semi-finished at 4.595″ allowing for a finish hone to suit the specific pistons and ring packages chosen by the engine builder. Cylinders can be safely bored to 4.625″ and with minor clearance the 9.850″ deck Merlin can accept up to a 4.375″ stroke crankshaft and the 10.250″ deck can accept up to a 4.750″ stroke. Nodular iron 4-bolt main caps are used with ARP fasteners for maximum strength. The Merlin III is cast from high strength iron alloy and precision machined on CNC machining centers for dimensional accuracy. World’s priority-main oiling system delivers lubrication to the critical main bearings first for reliability at high rpm. Head bolt holes are blind-tapped and do not go through into the water jackets. The valley has bosses machined for four extra head bolts to accommodate race heads which utilize this feature. The oil pan rails are machined to accept both stock pans and aftermarket race pans. World’s Merlin III big block is an ideal choice for a wide range of performance engine configurations. Part numbers for the upgraded blocks are: 081107 MERLIN III bare block,   9.850″ x 4.495″ Nodular splayed 4-bolt caps 081117 MERLIN III bare block, 10.250″ x 4.595″ Nodular splayed 4-bolt caps   Like... read more

CP-Carrillo: X-style pistons for power-adder engines

Irvine, CA: CP-Carrillo is introducing a new X-Style series of pistons for power-adder engines. Available for Top Alcohol Hemi applications with plus or minus 4.467in bores and Hemi canted valve for Pro Mod with plus-or-minus 5.000in bores, these pistons include several advanced features including the ability to run narrower rods and shorter pins, often resulting in reduced weight for most applications. BUILT TO LAST Manufactured from 2618 T-61 alloy, these pistons utilize an “X” forging for added structural support and durability. In addition, they can be designed with buttons or with wire locks and include vertical or lateral gas ports as well as forced pin oiling. OTHER TECHNICAL ELEMENTS Developed through rigorous testing and R&D – including recent wins in all the alcohol classes – the X series is available for IMMEDIATE delivery and suits most popular Dragster, Funny Car, and Pro Mod-type applications. DROP-IN READY Join the winning race teams that have chosen CP-Carrillo pistons and rods, and get them off the shelf! CP-Carrillo’s X-style pistons are ready to drop in to an engine and should improve horsepower and durability out of the box.   BACKGROUND CP-Carrillo is a company totally dedicated to pistons and connecting rods. Experienced sales specialists provide unique piston and rod solutions for myriad engine applications. The company continuously endeavors to combine manufacturing excellence, product guidance, and ongoing technical support to effectively address customers’ needs.   For more company information please review our website: CP-Carrillo is a member of PANKL Racing Systems. Contact: CP-Carrillo 1902 McGaw Irvine, CA 92614 949-567-9000 phone 949-567-9010 fax... read more

Prudomme on the current state of racing

Don Prudomme confounded the drag racing world by establishing the best win record in NHRA history – winning over 250 Top Fuel rounds losing fewer than 30. He went on to conquer four NHRA Funny Car champion-ships and now compares current conditions to those that existed then.

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New head gaskets for racing engines

By Titus Bloom:   Two months ago, in February 2015, JE has announced a new range of multi-layer steel (MLS) cylinder head gaskets for high-performance and racing engines. They are called the JE Pro Series. Originating at the turn of the nineteen-nineties, the unorthodox MLS gasket shook the establishment. Complex and revolutionary by comparison to its forerunner, its fundamental difference was its multi-layer construction—usually consisting of at least three layers. Kentucky-based World Products engine designer, Dick Boyer, says “MLS offer several significant advantages, particularly when situated between two different materials. Dissimilar metals, like a cast-iron block and cast aluminum cylinder head, for example, expand at different rates and the MLS gasket allows more movement than the conventional-style head gasket, because of its multi layer construction.” The conventional gasket is typically composed of a single steel core with paper gasket material attached. The inner portion of the MLS, which is made of stainless steel, serves to provide the finished gasket thickness. It also acts as the layer on which the top and bottom layers press against and, importantly, it contributes to the gasket’s sealing properties. The outer layers, which are also made of tempered stainless steel, feature raised beads or embossments that encircle critical sealing areas particularly the combustion openings and water jacket ports. The spring steel raised beads of the upper and lower layers resist flattening and it is this spring pressure that creates the seal, particularly when the engine is operating. Race engine builder Jon Kaase refers to the unique quality of the MLS gasket as “its springiness”. Unlike the conventional gasket, which cannot expand and contract, the... read more

Magnetos: several things you should know

Today the remarkable electric Tesla accelerates from zero to 100mph in 8 seconds and runs 250 miles on a charge, such is the progress from industrialist Elon Musk’s unique car company. A century ago the magneto was the star at the rich core of our motive lives.

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Cooling fix for power steering systems and automatic transmissions

Kennesaw, GA: KRC believes they have a new contender for fluid-cooling honors. Earlier this year they expanded their horizons when they introduced a promising new power steering fluid that withstands repeated high temperature usage. Now they are launching a new all-aluminum furnace-brazed fluid cooler for power steering systems and automatic transmissions. It promises to demonstrate impressive heat dissipation, presenting itself as 40 percent more effective than regular fin-tube or  spline-fin coolers. Combining micro fins with serpentine fins Impressive heat dissipation can be elusive. But by channeling the fluid through multiple internal fins located within four flat-sided oval extrusions, KRC succeeded in reducing fluid temperatures by 22F degrees. The temperature difference is measure between fluid entering the inlet port and exiting the outlet port. Furthermore, as the heat transfers through the micro fins and the extrusion walls, its dissipation is hastened when it reaches a dense maze of serpentine fins. Attached to the external surfaces by a technology known as furnace brazing the serpentine fins, though almost invisible to the naked eye are themselves festooned with a multitude of tiny louvered fins. At the rear of the cooler a vertical plate runs its length with angled slots and the letters KRC notched out. Their objective, particularly the angled slots, is to create turbulence. The turbulence generates a negative pressure that disrupts the air flow, which further improves cooling performance. Importantly, the cooler exhibits minimum flow restriction, hence a minimum pressure-drop that further aids cooling performance. How hot oil travels through a cooler without losing heat! Oil, when heated, builds an insulation layer between the internal surface of the tube and... read more

Ford of 1910: changes to make you ponder

Data loosely compiled by Martha Maglone, April 6, 2015: For this Ford of 1910 only 144 miles of paved roads existed in this country. In fact, only 8,000 cars existed in the entire nation, the maximum speed limit in most cities was 10mph and fuel was available from drug stores only. More importantly life expectancy for men was 47 years. In 1910 the average US wage was 22 cents per hour and only 14 percent of homes had a bathtub and 8 percent a telephone. The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year. In 1910 more than 95 percent of all births took place at home. Ninety percent of all doctors had no college education! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned by both press and government as ‘substandard.’ In 1910 eggs cost fourteen cents a dozen and sugar and coffee four and fifteen cents a pound respectively. Most women washed their hair only once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. There was no such thing as under-arm deodorant or tooth paste. Canada, warm-heartedly, passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering their country for any reason. In 1910 the five leading causes of death were: 1. Pneumonia and influenza 2. Tuberculosis 3. Diarrhea 4. Heart disease 5. Stroke In 1910 crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t yet been invented—neither had Mother’s Day nor Father’s Day.... read more

Fancy a quick lap of the Silverstone GP circuit?

As Radical’s latest RXC Spyder prototype drew closer to completion, track testing is imminent. Now spring and antiroll bar rates are settled and the damper settings, roll centers and Ackerman angles operating at their optimum, you’ll enjoy sweeping through those ancient curves of Copse, Abbey, Maggott’s and Beckett’s at speeds approaching 125mph. Watch the video: The new Radical RXC Spyder is powered by a 2.9 liter V8. It produces 460hp, weighs a mere 200lbs and transmits its power through an ingenious 7-speed transverse transmission. Visit:... read more

New Edelbrock Rollin’ Thunder Camshaft For Small-Block Chevrolet Engines

TORRANCE, CA (April 2, 2015) – Edelbrock has introduced a new Rollin’ Thunder camshaft for small-block Chevrolet engines. Designed to improve horsepower and torque, it produces an evocative idle sound yet provides sufficient vacuum. Rollin’ Thunder camshafts feature more aggressive lift profiles than conventional flat-tappet hydraulic cams, without excessive valve overlap that can compromise low rpm driveability. The new Rollin’ Thunder camshaft (#2231) is designed specifically for use with 1957-86 Chevrolet 283-400 V8 engines. It features a unique profile that will provide sufficient vacuum at idle for power brakes and other vacuum-powered accessories. In addition it includes assembly lube and instructions (lifters sold separately). During testing, this camshaft produced 460 HP and 460 ft-lb of torque when matched with a Performer RPM intake manifold (#7516), a Thunder Series AVS carburetor (#1813) and Performer RPM E-Tec cylinder heads (#60985) on an Edelbrock 383 crate engine. Features Include Rollin’ Thunder camshafts are designed for optimum power from 1,500 to 6,500 rpm Rollin’ Thunder camshaft (#2231) is designed for use with 1957-86 Chevrolet 283-400 V8 engines It produced 460 HP and 460 ft-lb of torque on an Edelbrock 383 c.i.d. crate engine Features aggressive profiles that will also provide excellent performance with sufficient vacuum at idle for power brakes and other vacuum-powered accessories Includes camshaft, assembly lube and instructions. For more information visit... read more

Camshaft lobe separation angle: what does it mean?

By Freddie Heaney: The lobe separation angle of a camshaft is typically determined by the engine’s purpose, its displacement, and its compression ratio. A 350cu in oval track racing engine, for example, often runs on a narrow lobe separation angle of 106 degrees. In contrast, a smooth-running high-performance street engine might use a lobe separation angle of 112 to 114 degrees. Five-hundred cubic inch NHRA Pro Stock engines in 2015 that revved to 11,000rpm operated on 116 degrees LSA and 800-plus cu in Pro Stock Mountain Motors 120 to 122.   The lobe separation angle is the angle in camshaft degrees between the maximum lift points, or centerlines, of the intake and exhaust lobes. It affects the amount of valve overlap; that is the brief period of time when both the intake and exhaust valves are open. A narrower LSA adopts more overlap and with it a lumpier idle and a narrower more specific power band. The narrower separation makes the engine sound choppier. Some engine specialists refer to it as that 106 sound—the NASCAR and short track oval sound where preferred lobe separation is usually specified between 104 and 106 degrees. The primary function of narrow lobe separation is to impel urgent acceleration off the turns when the throttle is opened. A wider LSA, on the other hand, reduces valve overlap, offering better idle and cruising qualities. Supercharged engines typically benefit from a wider LSA because they don’t require as much overlap for exhaust scavenging as does the naturally aspirated engine. “Changing the lobe separation angle,” says Doug Patton of Pro Line Race Engines, “changes the amount of... read more

What can we learn from an intelligent belt-drive assembly?

Salina, Kansas: Innovators West has introduced two new belt-drive systems for Ford Windsor 302 or 351 engines. They serve wet- or dry-sump arrangements. One style is equipped with integral side brackets for serious track use, the other without. The side brackets are regarded as unique. They accommodate the mounting of an external oil pump or a vacuum pump or a belt-driven fuel pump, often a requirement for turbo or blower engines. Hole-center spacing is similar to that of the big-block Chevrolet. On drag race cars, external competition pumps are customarily mounted on the 1/4in thick aluminum engine mounting plate, but this is rarely satisfactory as the plate is apt to deflect, resulting in imperfect belt alignment. Besides generating less friction, the essential proposition of a belt-drive system is its ability to maintain precise valve timing, particularly at high engine speeds. It also has the capacity to eliminate harmful harmonics. Acting as a damper, it absorbs vibration and noise transferred from the crankshaft to the valve train, thus guarding against valve train instability. As expected, Innovators West has machined slots in the cam pulley to degree the cam. This simply means that valve timing events can be advanced or retarded, which is convenient during dyno tuning. Significantly, an eccentric idler pulley is supplied to overcome difficulties of tensioning the belt when using different diameter pulleys and compensating for belt stretch over time. The cam pulley, incidentally, is of hard-anodized billet aluminum while the crank pulley is made from heat-treated steel. Both pulleys are machined in a multi-axis lathe in one operation to ensure exact concentricity. In addition, a cam retaining... read more

Garlits to remarry and other anecdotes

By Martha Maglone:  Last month, February 2015, Don Garlits (83) popped the question to photographer Lisa Crigar, whom he met during a magazine interview in 2014. They plan to marry 25 July 2015 at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida. Don Glenn Garlits’s mother had ambitions for her son; she wanted him to train as an accountant, and though he tried the profession it had no appeal. Inspired only by thoughts of racing, he went to work in an auto body-shop and later founded Don’s Speed Shop. It is likely Garlits would have succeeded in any form of racing, but he fell under the spell of drag racing while growing up in Tampa. “In those days we all had hot-rods – cut-down Coupes were the top of the line. I had a 1940 Ford with a Cadillac engine, and we went racing on an abandoned army base in Zephyrhills,” he recollects. “We marked out a quarter mile, went flat out all day long, no clocks, just a guy who flagged us. That was June 1950.” Occasionally, his pal AJ Foyt reminds him that in oval track or road racing if you’re a tenth off here or there you have the opportunity to recover and still win. In drag racing, if you’re a hundredth or even a thousandth off, your race is likely finished. What makes the difference? “Reflexes and focus are the two main elements—you’ve got to have those because there’s no second chance,” says Garlits. “Before a run I’d sit in the truck and take a power nap and come out fresh and sharp.... read more