First aftermarket 8-rib serpentine pulley system for LS engines with Whipple 2.9 liter superchargers

By Fergus Ogilvy If you ask LS engine specialist Gary Grimes about serpentine pulley systems, he might shock you. He’ll tell you that some pulley systems masquerading as billet are no more than aluminum castings machined to give the appearance of billet. And he’ll prove his case by revealing broken pulleys shattered by the additional demands of forced-induction engines. So he selects Concept One. Here below are the details of their latest pulley system for LS engines fitted with the W175FF 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger. ________________________________________________________________________________ -First single-belt 8-rib pulley system for Whipple 2.9L blowers -High traction serpentine arrangement sustains up to 10lbs boost -Compressor moved to upper right from lower right provides vital clearance -Machine finish or in-house polished or low-maintenance black or clear anodized   Cumming GA: LS-powered Muscle cars using the Whipple W175FF 2.9-liter blower now have access to the first high-traction eight-rib serpentine pulley kit. Driving a blower that creates up to 10lbs of boost requires adequate belt grip and by increasing the ribbed surface area by 33 percent—substituting eight ribs for the traditional six—Concept One’s latest single-belt system achieves this without belt stretch or slippage. Created and fully CNC-machined from pure aircraft-quality 6061-T6 billet aluminum, this kit, in common with its predecessors for Magnuson, GM LSA,  and Edelbrock superchargers, is engineered for easy installation and perfect fit with pulley ratios calculated for optimum drivability. To ease the installation prospects of the fully dressed LS power unit, Concept One relocated the A/C compressor from its original position on the lower right to the upper right. In doing so, LS transplants now possess adequate clearance around most... read more

Beware of copies— Off-shore and domestic

 Written by Ben Mozart Cylinder head suppliers, many of them copiers, are fighting over you. Copies are almost always cheaper. But the originals are constantly evolving—always on the cutting edge while the copies have to wait. Here is what some of our industry leaders have to say. “Back in 1970,” says David Reher “we anxiously awaited the latest port-flowed cylinder heads to be released by the Detroit car makers. Today the CNC-machining center has transformed the machining process and revolutionized the production of racing parts.” But as Reher, co-founder of Reher-Morrison Racing Engines, suggested during his recent PRI presentation in Indianapolis, it is easy to be beguiled by gleaming, perfect-looking CNC components. “If the parts are produced by people who understand racing engines the results can be spectacular.” However, judging by some of the parts he saw at the PRI show, he concluded that merit was sadly lacking. “Their allure proved nothing more than the machining feed rate and tool speed was correct: pretty parts with impressive air-flow numbers caught the eye but most were without substance. If you are unsure of the proper throat size, the optimum short turn radius and a dozen other crucial characteristics then you are just making chips. Some copies are adequate but most have obvious flaws. It’s always advisable to go with an original like Dart.” The ambiguities of air flow numbers “The longer I’ve been building engines, dynoing engines and racing engines,” conceded Jon Kaase, “the less I think of air flow numbers. On a big cu in motor, for example, knowing the cfm is largely irrelevant. In my experience, you could... read more

Constant upgrades set Pro1 big-block cylinder heads apart: Dart’s masterpiece with Pro Stock in its genes

By Ben Mozart In the nineteen-nineties and in the early part of this century, Dick Maskin’s engine programs won three NHRA national Pro Stock championships and 50 Pro Stock events. Much of his virtuosity was acquired through well-thought-out development programs—the speed was rapid, the planning meticulous, the atmosphere electric. When the dyno stopped another set of modified heads was installed before the engine lost its temperature. As the dyno was being prepared for subsequent tests, further sets of heads were being modified. And so the non-stop development process continued—over and over until they uncovered a conclusive edge. Later, Dart channeled this technology into their Sportsman cylinder heads, including these Pro1 big-block heads. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Troy Michigan: Despite having been on the market for decades Dart’s Pro1 cylinder heads for the big-block Chevrolet receive constant upgrades. In fact, this is the essence of their universal appeal—their development never ends. Originally introduced in 1982, David Reher of Reher Morrison says, “There is nothing that compares with the Pro1. They have been the best bang for the buck for years and even more so now.” Devised to bring Pro Stock technology economically to Sportsman racing the Pro1 is particularly popular in drag racing categories: Super Gas, Super Comp, and Bracket classes as well as in boat competition. Using 24-degree intake valve angles while retaining the original 4-degree cant angles, the Pro1 is also ideal for high-performance street cars. Importantly, it offers five different intake runner volumes. The 310, 325 and 345cc versions are provided in as-cast condition while 335 and 355cc designs are produced as fully CNC-ported. Moreover they operate with standard intake... read more

Chump Car runs 14hr endurance race at Road Atlanta: Exciting new area of growth in US road racing

By Freddie Heaney Braselton, Georgia: On Saturday, February 8, at Road Atlanta, a Toyota MR2 powered by a Camry V6 engine won Chump Car’s 14-hour endurance race, their opening event of the 2014 racing season. The victorious Toyota completed 363 laps at an average speed of 86.062mph—a mere one lap ahead of a Dodge Neon fitted with a 2.4 liter engine. Third to fifth place finishers all completed 360 laps, crossing the line within 20 seconds of each other. The rules for swapped engines in Chump Car racing are based on the market value of the engine out and the engine in. This explains how the winning MR2 can legitimately run with a V6, which probably generates twice the power of the original four-cylinder power unit. However, genuine MR2 engines are rare and therefore valuable, while the Camry V6 engines are common and inexpensive. Surprisingly, a Lexus claimed third place, two laps behind the Neon. Despite its considerable size it recorded its fastest lap time of 1:45.253, one second faster than the best lap time of the winning Toyota. “But lap times in Chump,” says Borg Warner engineer and Chump Car racer Mike Harris, “are much more dependent upon driver talent than car capabilities. Almost no one is getting 100 percent out of their cars. So a team with very good drivers in a less capable car can be very competitive against other teams with better cars but mediocre drivers.” Harris went on to say, “The other big equalizer is the tires. There are a couple of tires that comply with the regulations, but they are DOT-approved street-legal tires,... read more

New, taller universal thermostat housing prevents heat transfer to intake manifolds

By Archie Bosman Kennesaw, Georgia: To prevent coolant bypass hoses transferring unwelcome heat to the intake manifold, KRC Power Steering has introduced a new, taller universal thermostat housing spacer. Devised for all domestic V8 engines, both big-blocks and small-blocks as well as Chevrolet LS, KRC’s new spacer accommodates conventional thermostats and 3/8in diameter bolts on bolt-hole centers of 3.250in. In addition two 3/8in pipe-threaded ports facilitate the water bypass lines. Measuring 1.5 inches tall, thus raising water bypass lines by half an inch, this new thermostat housing is created from 6061-T6 aluminum and is available in black anodized finish or non-plated. Assigned part number 15375150 and priced at $56.93, KRC’s new thermostat housing is available direct or through distributors nationwide. For more information call KRC Power Steering at (770) 422-5135 Source KRC Power Kennesaw, Georgia (770) 422-5135... read more

Force wins 16th NHRA Funny Car title, triumphs at Winternationals, and sets track record at Phoenix

Written by Drag Racer Magazine John Force has at least a dozen reasons to hang up his fire suit and start enjoying a well-deserved retirement as the most successful driver in NHRA history. The problem is Force still enjoys the cut and thrust of Funny Car competition. Even at 64 years of age he remains competitive and his new partnership with crew chiefs Jimmy Prock and Danny DeGennaro has already propelled him to the forefront in 2014, winning the NHRA’s opening round at Pomona, the Winternationals. He also dominated qualifying at Phoenix, recording 3.99sec ET at 317.79mph—the first Funny Car to travel 1,000ft in the three second zone. “I am OK. I am excited. I love this sport. I came to Phoenix in 1985 to compete in the first national event here. I was learning how to drive and our NHRA announcer Alan Reinhardt was learning how to announce. I had match-raced here almost ten years before that,” said Force in Phoenix. “Though I got a little cocky in Pomona, during the Winternationals, I’m happy to let Prock’s tune-up do the talking for me. I did get a little crazy when talking about putting on my fire suit and feeling like a 24-year-old not 64. But I can do the job and I’ll get it done. I will give these fans a great show.” Force has been a showman from the first time he pulled on a helmet. Though he has survived imminent tragedies in the form of fires, running off the end of the track at high speed, and other adversities, he still wants to give the fans... read more

Two new Edelbrock 15-degree SB Chevrolet designs from Mike’s Racing Heads

By Sam Logan   Mike Androwick of Mike’s Racing Heads has been a cylinder head porter all his life. In NHRA Pro Stock he worked alongside Richard Maskin, Bob Glidden and Larry Morgan. In big-block Modified oval track racing series in the northeast, he provided 60 sets of racing heads, winning the 2013 championship with Brett Hearn. For 2014 he has prepared a new small-block innovation based on the Edelbrock 15-degree cylinder head. His two new designs are the 270cc (for short track ovals) and 300cc (for drag racing).   Concord NC: Mike’s Racing Heads has developed two new competition cylinder heads for small-block Chevrolets. Derived from the Edelbrock 15-degree head (part number 77549) one features 270cc intake volume runners and is developed for short track oval racing engines up to 364cu in, either dirt or asphalt. The other is endowed with 300cc intake volume runners and created for small-block drag racing. Needless to say, throttle response and drivability represent the most critical factors in short track oval engines, thus much attention was placed on the cross-sectional areas and port velocities. “The size of the engine and rpm range, “explains Mike Androwick, “dictates the size of the runners—not so much in volume but in cross-sectional area.”   Peak flow in each intake tract is reported at 370cfm and 267cfm exhaust—hence creating sufficient airflow to produce ample peak horsepower. Moreover, intake and exhaust valves are sized at 2.150in and 1.625in respectively with 50-degree seat angles while the combustion chambers measure 47cc. The heads are machined to suit 4.155in bores.   Drag Race Mike’s 300cc intake volume runners are designed for small-block... read more

Restoring vintage engine blocks in five steps

By Freddie Heaney: Rare casting repairs: Five-step process in restoring vintage blocks to race-ready condition Each winter frozen coolant causes severe damage to hundreds of racing engine blocks in the northern hemisphere. Though troubling, its effects are usually even more concerning when frost damage strikes a rare, historic racing block. However conscientious you are the misfortune can happen, but if it does don’t be too dismayed for the problem is not insoluble. In Chatham, Virginia, there is a well-established engineering firm, Virkler & Bartlett, who possesses a knack for returning severely damaged engine blocks, often considered unserviceable, to race-ready condition. Their most common candidates are vintage blocks like this Maserati example damaged by frozen coolant. Here is their five-step repair process: 1. Inspect to determine mechanical and dimensional condition.  This includes examining deck angles, deck squareness to main bore centerline, main bore alignment and other critical dimensions. 2. Find crack locations using Magnaflux or dye penetrants and determine repair strategy.  Welding repairs work well in some applications, but V&B prefer steel or aluminum pins with special barbed threads that pull cracks together for most castings.  Pin repairs have the advantage of not distorting the casting. As a result, ridged fixtures are unnecessary and re-machine work is kept to a minimum.  Pins are installed with anaerobic sealants to lock them in place and prevent leaks.  Sometimes it is necessary to machine away a portion of the damaged metal and replace it with an insert that is pinned in place.  Pins are stronger than the casting and V&B has successfully pinned cracked main bore housings on highly stressed race engines. 3.... read more

Competition cylinder heads: How would you know if air-fuel movement is good or bad?

By Ben Mozart The race engine requires a precise mixture of air and fuel, approximately 13.0:1 by weight ratio.   But the power it makes depends upon how well the mixture is emulsified and atomized. How well it is delivered through the intake manifold runners and cylinder head ports. And it’s ability to negotiate the intake valves and to swirl in the combustion chambers, which are an extension of the ports, and to occupy the cylinders.   For most of us, arranging and controlling the movements of the gases in the cylinder head ports are beyond our imaginings. Is the air-fuel mixture moving efficiently in the intake tracts or clinging, vexingly, to its sides? If so, how could it be reintroduced into the air stream? And further downstream, how is it negotiating the short turn, the five valve-angles in the throat, and does it demonstrate swirl as it moves into the combustion chamber?   Over the past three decades, Dart Machinery has shown how it identifies and retains its engineering capital. Improvements in its power-making abilities are continually being added to its range of competition cylinder heads—first the aluminum models are upgraded then the cast iron. Today they use cylinder head flow data derived from their wet-flow bench, they then monitor the advances on the dynamometer and finally confirm the revisions on the race track.   Wet flow technology: Acquiring the unfair advantage. At the turn of this millennium, Dart invested $80,000 in the largest and most elaborate wet-flow bench our aftermarket has known. Devised to better understand the flow characteristics in Pro Stock cylinder heads—chiefly wet flow behavior... read more

John Force: His formative years – Part 2

by Titus Bloom If you missed the first part of this story, click here. “I turned professional racing driver in 1975 and was terrible for the next ten years!” “I was never a very good mechanic; I had people to help me. I could take a blower apart and put it together with help but I was never a tuner. “When I returned from Australia and turned professional I used to sleep in my crew cab in my brother’s driveway. Walker was an LA sheriff and later joined the FBI National Academy. He helped raise me. When he retired he came to work for me, helping me with legal contracts and security. He has been very important in my life. “Then in 1986, I got my Castrol sponsorship and I’ve been with them for every win since. They have a great company and they’ve been good to me. Although they have chosen to leave at the end of 2014, I want the fans to know Castrol made me what I am today.” When did things get better? “Austin Coil joined me when I had Coca Cola and Wendy’s in 1985. In 1986, Castrol, who were known for their motorcycle oils, announced they were creating a racing team to promote their new motor oils. Company representatives Jim Gardella and John Howell were committed to establishing a super team and engaged Gary Ormsby in Top Fuel; me in FC; Larry Morgan in Pro Stock, Bill Barney in Alcohol Dragster, and David Nickens among others. After 6 or 7 years most of the guys were gone; I was the only one left.... read more

The Five Best Read Stories of 2013

by Moore Good Ink   1. Emperor of Engine Masters Challenge: Kaase claims purse It takes uncommon pluck to enter an engine performance contest—what happens if you finish 39th? Developing racing engines is a serious business. Your reputation, your record of success and your credentials are constantly on the line.Despite the obvious reservations, however, entering the annual Engine Masters Challenge is…   Read more.   2. Titus: World’s first aftermarket Cleveland engine in production 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. Read more. 3. This man’s EFI controllers dominate high-end drag racing. How did this come to pass? Using the most powerful processors in the industry, Big Stuff 3 EFI controllers dominate Pro Mod, Outlaw 10.5, NHRA Comp Eliminator, Bonneville competition—and now it’s the impelling force in hundreds of street-strip engines. In 1983 John Meaney, originating from the south side of Chicago and now in his early twenties, had an idea for a carburetor. But his Professor at Valparaiso University said, “Don’t waste your time on those things they’ll be extinct in five... read more

How to make a Street Stock racing clutch survive

By Freddie Heaney, Photos by Moore Good Ink: Racers frequently face the inconvenient fact that some clutch-flywheel assemblies are so light they fail prematurely, often during the taxing process of getting the car into the trailer. Curiously, most professional clutch makers agree that you quickly reach a point where the ultra light clutch unit has no advantage at all and instead its arch attribute, lightness, undermines the process bringing decreased durability. A stroke of marketing brilliance some might say! Racer purchases ultra light clutch, racer quickly destroys ultra light clutch, racer purchases successive ultra light clutch. You may think racers would resent these dubious practices, but there is no evidence to suggest they do. In all likelihood if you added a little strength to the unit you would probably gain 50 percent greater clutch longevity without any perceptible loss in power. In either case, to reduce these often unnecessary costs here are a few tips intended to prolong the life of the racing clutch. Persistent clutch killer Probably the most persistent clutch killer strikes when the racer is on his own. Without crew members or a winch to assist, he is often obliged to load the car by himself. So he slips his thin, thin lightweight clutch a couple of times and as it colors dark blue its end is nigh. To minimize clutch damage during loading and unloading without crew members it pays to use a winch. Of course, the amount of wear on all racing clutches is largely determined by how much the slippage is provoked during takeoff.  Excessive slippage will cause premature warping, especially in lighter... read more