Streamlined Era – Pics from the past

Streamlining is a form of structure that lessens resistance and turbulence to air flow. Although its golden age is normally associated with the nineteen-thirties, the first streamlined car, the Rumpler Tropfenwagen emerged in 1921. Streamline-inspired forms were most prominent in aircraft designs, but they were also applied to trains, buses, even buildings with their beautifully rounded frontages, and trucks. Here are a few sleek old haulers, some depicted in their original settings, that might keep you endlessly amused.  ... read more

To intercool or not to intercool?

But first an amusing, brief story involving a big-block Chevrolet, an intercooler, and freon. By Sam Logan “I’m no authority on intercoolers,” admits performance carburetor specialist Dale Cubic of CFM, “but I do recall a memorable moment five years ago that involved one. Nothing too scientific,” he adds; nonetheless, it seemed an anecdote worth telling. The noted carburetor specialist had visited an engine builder’s shop with a carburetor for a 1600hp 565ci supercharged big-block Chevrolet. The engine was already installed on the dyno and suspended above it an intercooler. Unsurprisingly, with the intercooler connected, the engine improved by 50–80hp. But then the engine builder unexpectedly produced a can of freon, purchased from a local parts store, and reached up and sprayed some of its contents over and around the intercooler. He then hastened to the dyno room and made a pull. “It gained a further 40hp! Spraying freon on that intercooler was like feeding it with nitrous oxide,” remembers Cubic. But the mischief didn’t end there, to further mark the occasion it blew the plumbing off the supercharger! The engine was powered by a small Dominator and a Stage II ProCharger and the freon had condensed the charge sufficiently to pack in more air than anticipated. Intercool or not to intercool? Racers, by instinct, explore every avenue that might lead them to more power. They know that the introduction of compressed air to the cylinders generates heat and excessive heat provokes early detonation. The common solution for expelling excessive heat is to install an intercooler. And similarly with designers of modern turbochargers, who believe that no serious person would... read more

52mm Blow-off valve for all single and twin TorqStorm supercharger kits

TorqStorm’s co-founder Chris Brooker when asked his response when inquirers refer to his particular centrifugal supercharger as a ProCharger, “I admire what they have done,” he admits. “They’ve dominated the market so extensively that their trade name sometimes supplants the category name – but we’re constantly improving.” In those two sentences, perhaps, is the reason why Brooker and his relatively new supercharger company are progressively becoming such interesting rivals. Here is their latest announcement: a new blow-off valve. TorqStorm Superchargers has increased the size of their compressor blow-off valve from 38mm to 52mm. The new device was a logical step to ease the work load on the supercharger’s compressor wheel—a move precipitated partly because their existing 38mm unit was operating near full capacity and partly because the new 52mm successor offers better control of air. Connected to the 3.0 inch intake tract, TorqStorm’s new blow-off valve features a spring-loaded piston inside the valve’s aluminum housing and a 1/4in nipple on its cap that delivers a source of vacuum. Made of silicon bronze, the piston is closed by the power of the spring and opened by the power of 18psi of vacuum. The effect of the vacuum compresses the spring, allowing the piston to draw away from its seat, thus releasing unwanted boost pressure to the atmosphere through three elongated windows on the valve’s housing. Whoooosh! Now supplied with all new kits, TorqStorm’s compressor blow-off valve measures 2-3/4inches in diameter and 4-5/8in long and is made entirely at their Michigan premises. For BOV upgrades, price including aluminum nipple for mounting to a tube $200.00. More information on how the compressor blow-off... read more

Vic Edelbrock Junior: ambitious and irrepressible

By Victor Moore   Vic Edelbrock Junior was the son and only child of the Edelbrock company founder Vic Edelbrock. He was a distinguished entrepreneur in the American performance and racing industry and died at eighty years of age reportedly from complications arising from a cold. Born 23 August 1936, he passed away at his home in Rolling Hills, California on Friday, June 9, 2017. I first met him around the turn of the Millennium when he came to consider the possible purchase of the carburetor manufacturing operation where I was employed. Mired in debt, it was probably the best investment he never made. During that afternoon, we talked of his racing recreations and how he’d recently competed against Stirling Moss, an experience he related without affection. Apparently, some argy-bargy had occurred on track that had tainted the adventure. Surprisingly, the name Edelbrock is not so easy for some to get their tongue around. Recently, I overheard a seminar that began with the stern warning: “First and foremost” the speaker bridled, “it is not Ed-le-brock it is Ed-el-brock. Say it correctly before we go further,” he insisted. Edelbrock Jr. was an American performance parts producer mainly for automobiles and through his creativity led many to recognize him as one of the industry’s statesmen. He was preeminent during the second half of the twentieth century and maintained a strong presence into the first decade of this millennium. The son of Otis Victor Edelbrock, Sr., Vic Junior inherited the business when aged twenty-six. The operation was known for its engine-building prowess and competition intake manifold designs particularly for racing on California’s... read more

World Products all-new Merlin IV Block for Chevrolets

World Products has completely redesigned and re-tooled their famed Merlin big-block to achieve new heights in performance and ease of use for engine builders and racers. Starting with all-new foundry tooling and machining fixtures, World has made improvements to virtually every area of the new Merlin IV with the goal of producing the most technologically advanced and best performing cast-iron BBC block available today. New features include thicker main webs for increased strength and thicker cylinder walls, which are nominally 0.310in @ 4.600in bore. In addition to the standard BBC 9.800in and 10.200in deck heights, further new deck heights have been introduced. These measure 9.500in, 9.850in and 10.250in. Their objectives? To allow greater versatility for specific engine combinations. Furthermore, head bolt holes are blind on all available deck heights and deck thickness is nominally 0.600in. The Merlin IV is available with a 2.120in journal for standard BBC cam and standard 0.842in lifter bores, or with a 2.283in journal for a 55mm Babbitt cam and 0.904in lifter bores. Cam journals up to 2.480in or 60mm Babbitt and 1.060in lifter bores can be accommodated, but are not stocked by World Products. World also has increased the volume of the priority-main oiling system and added a front oil feed for dry-sump oiling systems. Other key upgrades include lifter oil feeds and restrictor provisions, which have been relocated to the front of the block. The new block features siamese cylinder bores in 4.245in, 4.495in or 4.595in., which are finished at 4.250in, 4.500in and 4.600in respectively. Water jackets have been further enlarged for greater cooling capacity. Nodular iron or 1045 billet steel four-bolt main... read more

Hammerhead Hemi peaks 928hp: 427ci SB Ford

By Freddie Heaney: The sound of the dyno approaching 8,000rpm was almost ear splitting. It was the first Friday of June and sitting in an open wooden-framed space at Charlie Pepper’s engine shop in Auburn, near Atlanta, Greg Brown’s innovative Hemi heads on a Man O’ War 427ci small-block Ford peaked at 928hp at 7,700rpm and generated a maximum torque figure of 674.0lb ft at 6,000rpm. Watch the video. When first tested in mild street form with around 9.5:1 compression ratio the combination yielded 602hp. Quite the accomplishment for unique and previously untested cylinder head designs. But it was not the main event nor might this be. Now, around six months later and using ported heads and intake manifold, higher compression ratio and bigger carburetor, but still employing the same stock-size valves (2.200-inch intake and 1.650-inch exhaust) the engine began the afternoon tests by generating peak power figures in the 850hp range. But with incremental timing and carburetion adjustments it eventually made its way up to a mighty 928 horsepower. Inevitable, I asked? “No, not at all, replied Brown. “Though we increased the flow in the ports from 382cfm / 260cfm to 435cfm / 290 (inlet and exhaust respectively), I would have been happy with peak horsepower numbers of around 850. Remember, ninety percent of all high performance wedge-style cylinder heads rarely exceed 800hp.” Of even greater significance, perhaps the 1250cfm Dominator-style carburetor had proved to be too small during the tests and will be replaced by another that’s capable of generating air flow of around 1450cfm. Was the 1250 carb an ill-advised choice perhaps? “No,” said Brown, “this... read more

Warning from Fang: More power from nozzle change

More venom from Fang II – largest flowing 1/16th nitrous nozzle at 90-degrees yet • Largest nitrous orifice in production – increases flow rate • Individual channels for all passages – seal cannot rupture or leak • Direct replacement for any fogger system – uses same N2O and fuel inlets • Stainless steel construction – 1/16th pipe with 90-degrees N2O discharge   Huntington Beach, California: Nitrous Supply has introduced significant improvements to the design of their new Fang II nozzle. Fuel is discharged via the two fang-like orifices beneath the larger nitrous opening, creating better fuel atomization across the entire plume. Mike Thermos, the nitrous specialist of almost forty years says, “If there is another 90-degree nozzle that flows more than this, I’m unaware of it.” As a result it is free of restrictions; it eliminates back pressure in the system. A jet of any given orifice will now flow consistent to that orifice. The Fang II nozzle is expected to be priced similar to the Fogger.   Source: Nitrous Supply Huntington Beach, CA 714-373-1986... read more

Handsome hat from TorqStorm Superchargers: more hood clearance less turbulence

TorqStorm has announced a new carb hat to be included with all their 2017 and onward carbureted single supercharger kits. Cast in lightweight aluminum (approx 2.25lbs) and more elegant by far than the two-can profile of its predecessor, it has shrunk in height to just 3.25 inches to reduce threats of minimal hood clearance. For the most part, transferring pressurized air from a supercharger via a right-angle turn into the carburetor can be a tricky calculation—turbulence means power loss. Accordingly, TorqStorm collaborated with air flow specialist Dave Visner in its creation. Visner, who honed his talents in fluid dynamics with Detroit’s major players and more recently in Pro Stock, applied his craft efficiently. He also bestowed the hat with appealing oval proportions, a flat-sided oval inlet port (4in x 1.75in), and a sense of luxury and quality. Measuring just under 8 inches in diameter at its widest, TorqStorm provides an O-ring to seal the hat to a 4150-style carburetor flange and three domed, stainless steel hexagon nuts—1/4-20tpi, 5/16-18 and 3/8-16—one of which will secure the hat to the centrally located stud of the carburetor. The nuts are flanged and grooved on their undersides and each contains an O-ring. The carburetor hat’s flat-sided oval inlet uses a 3.5in silicone reducing elbow and a special Clampco 4.0in T-bolt clamp to connect with the metal tube and blow-off valve assembly.   For more information contact: TorqStorm Superchargers 3001 Madison SE, Wyoming, MI 49548 Telephone (616) 706-5580 or visit www.TorqStorm.com or email... read more

How to adjust a carburetor choke

New Jersey native Ray Bohacz is a respected engine builder. Though he relished the challenge of preparing race-winning engines, his earliest memories were linked to farming and its many aspects—particularly its mechanics. Recently he has combined these interests by demonstrating the value of short, technical trouble-solving videos. No doubt most of us have encountered problems with carburetor chokes, so watch for Ray’s good... read more

Joe Hornick and his unusual service:

America’s first help line for race engine builders. By Victor Moore: “He’s been an absolute master at soaking up knowledge, which has been a great help to us. He applies it intelligently and explains it in simple terms,” says John Force’s Funny Car crew chief Jimmy Prock. In our racing world, from Sportsman level to F1, it is those with acutely sharp brain power that gain the decisive edge. Though not always recognized by the public at large, top teams know them, know their capacities and know they are indispensible. Joe Hornick is one such and like a rare trumpeter swan, when he’s in full flight his capabilities are something to see, since builders help people with houses and engines, or even installing an alarm fitter or an engine which are needed for many businesses. “As an engineer, he is the best I’ve known,” says race engine builder Jack Cornett. “I first met him in 2011 and hired him initially as a consultant to unravel mysteries within our valve train assemblies. It didn’t take him long.”     Hornick, who grew up in Madison, Minnesota gained an aptitude for the skills required to develop advanced racing engines. His technique was mostly conventional: endless research and careful analyses. More unconventional, however, has been his embrace of all types of internal combustion engine development from nitro methane to alcohol, gasoline, to diesel, from drag racing to oval track—both asphalt and dirt, he even advises on and develops engine systems for marathon boat racing. He learns from them all. Says Richie Gilmore of ECR’s engine shop (Richard Childress Racing) in North Carolina:... read more

New Digital HP CD Ignition System

PerTronix, the California-based exhaust and ignition specialist recently introduced a new CD ignition system. Fifty-state emissions-legal it’s called the Digital HP. Smallness and greater spark energy are two of its advances. So are 3-step rev limits and price. There are more: • Ultra small form factor: 70% smaller than conventional CDI units for more installation options • Increased spark energy: over 187mJ, about 30% more than current CD norm • Integrated 3-step digital REV limiter to govern burnout limit, launch and fatal over REV protection • Multiple spark function, which is active to red line and twice as fast as conventional units for better spark timing • RPM activated trigger for accurate control of shift lights, solenoids and RPM devices • Adjustable start-retard function makes starting high compression engines easier •Available in a black or silver anodized finish • 50-State emissions-legal • $232.73  PerTronix recommends either their Flame-Thrower III canister coils (44001, 44011) or their E-Core HC/HP coils (60103, 60100) for optimal performance on the street or at the track.  The Digital HP works with most ignition distributors, including points or electronic or with PerTronix’s new Flame-Thrower Billet Mag Trigger Distributors. For more information and to view informative setup and installation videos visit... read more