Engine Power Featured Projects

Engine Power Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Summit Racing
ARP Stretch Gauge Specialty Kit
Summit Racing
COMP Cams Camshafts
Summit Racing
Eagle Specialty Products: Connecting Rods, Crankshafts & More
Summit Racing
Harland Sharp Heavy-Duty Roller Rockers
Summit Racing
Mallory Unilite Distributor
Summit Racing
Milodon Oil Pump Pickups
Summit Racing
Permatex The Right Stuff Gasket Maker
Summit Racing
Permatex Ultra-Slick Engine Assembly Lube
Summit Racing
Trick Flow FE Cylinder Heads
Summit Racing
Trick Flow® Replacement EFI Lower Intake Manifold
Summit Racing
Turbosmart Race Port Blow-Off Valves
Fasteners & Bolts
Flathead Cylinder Heads
Vintage Tri-Power Intake
Goodson Shop Supplies
Powered Piston Ring Filer
EFI Sniper
Matco Tools
MATCO Tools are the Official Tool Supplier to PowerNation
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies
Trend Performance
Push Rods

Episode Transcript

[ Music ]

(Mike)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Mike)>> Today it's high performance history as we revisit some of our favorite iconic engine builds. [ Music ]

(Mike)>> Aside from building big performance power plants we love to pay tribute to the engines that not only have personality but plenty of history as well.

(Pat)>> And what better way than to revisit some of the vintage iron that we have had the pleasure to revive and give new life, and some more power.

(Mike)>> Legendary for being indestructible, today we're going to dissect, rebuild, and hop up a true American cult engine, the bulletproof Chrysler slant six. Why you may ask? Well it's a popular engine several of you viewers have been asking us to go through. Its revolutionary inline six design is tilted 30 degrees off center to allow a lower hood profile, a lower center of gravity, and more access to engine accessories.

(Pat)>> We picked this one up at the local boneyard for $150 bucks, and while it's not going to perform like a V-8 this leaning tower of power is high in the cool department but I think it has some issues.

(Mike)>> Unfortunately ours sat out in the elements and heavy corrosion kept us from reusing it. So we started with a later model block and had it freshly machined. Now the crank was installed with an upgraded one piece rear main seal and reconditioned rods were dropped through the bores with new pistons attached. A completely refreshed cylinder head was dropped on the deck, and the engine was finished off with performance parts from Hooker, Offenhauser, and Edelbrock. We couldn't dyno our slant six because the bell housing diameter is too small and it wouldn't dock up to the dyno, but we told you we have a home for it and it doesn't get any better than this '71 Duster.

(Ken)>> When it's cold it spits, it sputters. I've got to warm it up. It's got an exhaust leak. So it just makes a lot of racket.

(Mike)>> And here's its owner, Ken Simington, who has an emotional attachment to this work in progress.

(Ken)>> You know this car's over 40 years old. There's not that many of them out there running. Mainly since my wife bought it brand new. When I first met her she was blonde, she was cute. Then the next time I saw her she showed up in this red car, and the red car and the blonde hair went together, and I knew right then I was in trouble. She loved it, it was her first car. She might love it more than she does me. I've never asked that question to her.

(Mike)>> This is actually more fun than dynoing a big power car.

(Pat)>> I feel safer but not really. Just for fun let's see what this one has left in it.

(Mike)>> Alright here we go!

(Pat)>> We'll make the pull from 2,000 to 3,800 and hope we can make it there. This isn't the original 225 engine. It was replaced with a 95 horsepower 1975 model in the '80's, and it's seen a lot of miles since making this Duster a perfect home for our leaning tower of power. I think we're there. At a whopping 64 miles per hour it made just over 70 horsepower and the graph tells the story.

(Mike)>> We're not laughing at it cause this was a staple of economical performance back in the day. We can hoist this 225 out of the car to make way for the new bullet.

(Pat)>> It's time to drop it in. [ Music ]

(Pat)>> I'm good right here. How's that other side? Oh something happened!

(Mike)>> It's in.

(Pat)>> Yes, yes, yes! [ Music ]

(Mike)>> At this point this project is done and just in time. [ engine starting and revving ]

(Ken)>> That's super cool. I feel like a kid at Christmas.

(Mike)>> We're taking this one to a safe 4,500 r-p-m. [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> Look at that, 125 horsepower, 161 foot pounds of torque. We're not done.

(Ken)>> We're not?

(Mike)>> No we're gonna pull a little more out of it. Let's make a timing change. Two more degrees of initial timing for a total of six. [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> 129 and 164, picked up three foot pounds and four horsepower.

(Ken)>> That's impressive.

(Mike)>> One last run with two more initial degrees for a total of eight. How do you like that? 132, 170.

(Ken)>> That is marvelous.

(Mike)>> Two degrees picked it up three horsepower and six foot pounds.

(Ken)>> And you just can't get used to hearing that roar. I see it rolling down the road, just zipping!

(Mike)>> And now he can with almost twice the power he started with. Hat's off to Ken for keeping the legend of the slant six alive.

(Pat)>> Now let's hop in the way back machine for an engine that started it all, the Ford flathead.

(Mike)>> A while back we took a closer look at the engine that launched an entire lifestyle and industry based on power and speed, the Ford flathead. A simplistic V-8 with room for improvement and it didn't take long to find it. It was then when Edelbrock marketed his first high performance intake manifold with a cylinder head soon to follow, and he wasn't alone. Go fast parts were popping up everywhere. A new purpose for the flatty was well on its way. We found ours in a junkyard intact. The casting tells it's from the mid-'50's, and the rust confirms it. This thing is locked up solid. A short soak freed up some pistons but the rest put up a battle. The block had been previously bored and appeared solid but only a trip to a machine shop can confirm it.

(Pat)>> Up next, back from the machine shop we're building power.

(Mike)>> We're back and so is the flathead along with legendary engine builder Keith Dorton. He also brought his passion.

(Keith)>> They're the coolest sounding engines you've ever heard. They have a unique sound and they run so smooth. In the stock form they were just as quiet as a Cadillac engine. It was good to find a block that was in as good a condition as this one is even though it had some cracks in it that are common with the flatheads, but this one about as good as you're gonna find now. All that we had to do at the shop, and it wasn't a must, was we did relieving the block, which the area between the valves and the cylinder we dropped it about 80 to 90 thousandths to increase the air flow from the valves to the cylinder, which is part of the combustion chamber.

(Mike)>> The first part of the build will be the bottom end. Now a set of Clevite bearings will fill the flathead's three main journals. Now the crankshaft is Scat's 9,000 series made for the street and strip. It will give our flathead 304 cubic inches. Next up are the original main caps. Now they're filled with the other halves of the Clevite bearings. ARP bolts will anchor them in. With ARP's Ultra Torque on the bolts we can toque the first two caps to 40 foot pounds. Forcing the crank towards the front of the engine will align the two halves of the thrust bearing, which is at the rear. Now torque that cap to 40 foot pounds. Setup the magnetic base and dial gauge on the crank snout, and with the reading at zero we'll rock the crank from front to back to check the thrust clearance, right at six, which is in spec. Now torque all the caps to the final value of 70 foot pounds. The Scat rod is held to the Ross forged piston with a floating pin. Now spiral locks will keep it in place. Gapping the rings is a must. Keith is using our Goodson filer to open the gaps, which will avoid them from touching when the engine gets up to temperature, which would lead to major failure. Vic Edelbrock Senior designed the first aluminum performance flathead cylinder head back in 1938. Now from that point on production never ended. Now this is the '49 through '53 version and it got its name from the thin design. Now underneath the combustion chamber looks small but it's actually 65cc. They're ribbed internally and externally for strength and have large water jackets for better cooling. Both heads will be torqued in sequence to 60 foot pounds, and for the final time here's Edelbrock's vintage tri-power intake setup and it's not just for show.

(Keith)>> I think it's great that you can bolt these carbs on right out of the box and get the results that I'm sure we're gonna get here. The manifold looks so cool too.

(Mike)>> For spark a Mallory Uni-lite electronic distributor. A huge leap in technology from the '50's. New high flow water pumps are next and these will be the last parts Keith installs for us.

(Keith)>> We've got to put some fuel lines on it, or you do, cause I've got to get back and get to work. We've been gone long enough.

(Mike)>> Keith did what he came to do reviving an important piece of history.

(Keith)>> Really a fun project to come back and work on something this old, and I'm very confident that we're gonna get some good results out of it.

(Mike)>> And if Keith says so so it shall be. Now as far as a horsepower goal we're gonna let the dyno decide cause we just don't know. Got you seatbelt on and your helmet strapped?

(Pat)>> I'm ready, let her rip tater chip. [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> 156, 247, awesome!

(Pat)>> I like it. Let's throw some timing at it and see how it likes it. We'll sneak it up to about 26. [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> 159, 264, that's nice. Nice smooth graph too and it's still climbing.

(Pat)>> The coolness factor on this one is off the charts.

(Mike)>> So it's back to 26 degrees for one last pull. We'll claim victory at 159 horsepower and 257 foot pounds of torque.

(Pat)>> I'm glad I got to be able to help with it. This is ultra-cool. It's a great little engine. We've built plenty of engines but the Ford FE was a boneyard to beast favorite.

(Pat)>> We're back on Engine Power with a new and more importantly damage free block for the 390 FE build. Before we got started we examined this block inside and out, and it looks good. Now we can make forward progress on the build starting with new cam bearings. Next are a set of Speed Pro main bearings with the clearance setup between 30 and 33 ten thousandths. With a fresh rear main seal in place the bearings are lubed with Permatex Ultra Slick. Then the crankshaft is carefully placed into the block. This is a cast steel piece from Eagle Specialty products and has a 4.250 stroke. The ARP fasteners are torqued to 100 pound feet. The camshaft is a custom ground billet hydraulic roller from Comp Cams. The lobes are from their Extreme Marine high lift series, which increases durability with extended run times. Comp also provided the billet double row timing set. The pistons are Mahle's Power Pack series with a 16cc dish. They are mated to a set of Eagle 43-40 forged I-beam connecting rods that are 6.700 in length. The included ring package is a modern one millimeter, one millimeter, two millimeter thick set. The rod journal is the same size as a big block Chevy, and the rod bearing clearance is between 23 and 27 ten thousandths. The rod bolts are torqued to 90 pound feet to achieve the correct bolt stretch of 59 to 63 ten thousandths. We confirm this with our ARP digital rod bolt stretch gauge. A Melling high volume oil pump will keep the engine well lubricated. We choose Milodon for the windage tray, oil pickup, and eight quart oil pan. [ Music ] With the ATI balancer in place true t-d-c is set, and the timing pointer is modified to indicate zero.

(Mike)>> It's time for this old iron to meet modern air flow and performance thanks to the guys at Trick Flow for designing and bringing to market these FE cylinder heads. They're designed for 390 through 428 engines are dubbed the Power Port 175's. Now that's because of the 175cc intake runner. The combustion chamber is heart shaped and measures in at 70cc. The intake valve is 2.190 and the exhaust is a 1.625 diameter. Flow at 600 inch lift is 332 c-f-m, and these heads are a direct bolt on for all '61 through '76 FE engines.

(Pat)>> We're restricting the oil to the top end of the engine using a three-eighths set screw with a 75 thousandths hole drilled into it. This ensures more oil goes to the main and rod bearings instead of flooding the valvetrain. 30 thousandths thick Cometic m-l-s gaskets drop into place, followed by the cylinder heads which are torqued to 100 pound feet. Comp retrofit hydraulic roller lifters will move the valvetrain. Our freshly sandblasted intake splash guard goes in, followed by some beads of Permatex right stuff 90 minute gasket maker. The Trick Flow track heat intake manifold is a single plane design that has a basic operating range from 4,000 to 7,000 r-p-m. Perfect for our application. Our engine combination requires custom length push rods and Trent Performance made it happen with a set of 8.900 long, 80 thousandths wall, three-eighths diameter pieces. No matter what you need they can handle it. The heavy duty shaft rocker assembly is from Harlan Sharp. It has a 1.76 ratio with a seven-eighths inch shaft and full needle bearing construction for high horsepower and endurance builds. Valve lash is set and this engine is headed to the dyno.

(Mike)>> Okay we've got the 445 cubic inch FE on the dyno. It's running and we're ready to make some pulls. This thing is gonna be a beast. How are you doing the pulls?

(Pat)>> We're gonna go 35 to 65 to start out, 30 degrees of timing. You like that?

(Mike)>> Love it! [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> Hello sir!

(Pat)>> Look at that! How you feeling now? Woo 550 pound feet of torque and 562 the first pull. I got a little tingly on that one. Now we've got to step on some timing. We'll add two more degrees of ignition timing for a total of 36 degrees. Give her the gusto.

(Mike)>> Pretty healthy FE. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Nice super clean pull.

(Mike)>> 583, 562.

(Pat)>> We're gonna start to get into a threshold here. I'm completely fine with stopping here.

(Mike)>> This is a stump pulling heavy car, heavy truck, anything. I would like to see this go in a truck.

(Pat)>> Nice hustle!

(Mike)>> Up next it's an interesting request for some big bowtie power.

(Mike)>> It's time for us to start some new projects and you may be wondering what we're doing over here in the Truck Tech shop. Well we're teaming up with LT and Austin on their '65 Chevy truck project, and like usual our assignment is in the engine department. This is the actual engine that we're building for Truck Tech. We honed it here on our Sunnen SV-15, did some head work on our MSD industrial machinery. Then took it to Shacklett Auto Machine to do a valve job. It was assembled using parts from Summit Racing, Trent Performance, 12 Bolt dot com, and Comp Cams. We had some fun with LT and Austin on the dyno. Here is how that went down. [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> That's where it starts to sound good! [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> It sounds like an airplane.

(Mike)>> Awesome oil pressure, everything. Let's see what we've got.

(LT)>> You guys will hate me for saying this but it almost sounds like a Skyline motor.

(Pat)>> You shut your trap!

(LT)>> So these came from the factory with what, 165 right?

(Austin)>> 160, 165 is what we looked up.

(Mike)>> From small four bangers to big inch race engines turbocharging is an easy way to make efficient and very impressive horsepower. Now our task today is to outfit that 292 with this turbo system that LT and Austin designed for their project. It has a cast iron turbine housing with a three inch v-band outlet, and the turbo has a .88 a-r ratio. The rest of the system was designed to be simple and straight forward, eliminating the need to constantly work on it to keep it on the road. It's a driver not a race rod. With that being said other components include an air to air intercooler, precision waste gate, turbo smart blow off, and several clamps, pipes, and components to wrap up the plumbing.

(Pat)>> One of the main changes that will be happening from the naturally aspirated to the turbo setup is that the carburetor will be going away. We've opted to run one of these new e-f-i setups that Holley has been developing.

(Mike)>> LT did a great job fabricating the hot side for both the N/A runs and the turbo install. [ Music ]

(Pat)>> Nice going! [ Music ] [ drill buzzing ]

(LT)>> It's always a great idea to have an intercooler anytime you're pressurizing air with a turbo because that heats the air up and we want to cool it back down so it has the most capacity to make more power. Colder air is denser. Now you might look at this and think well it's not a very large intercooler, and you'd be correct, but there's two reasons that kinda work in our favor. Number one, we're not gonna be pushing this turbo very hard. So it's not gonna be generating a ton of heat, and the second reason, that's just space. We don't have a ton of room behind the grille and in front of the radiator on our C-10 that this 292 is going in. So that's just a fact of life. This is what we have to work with.

(Austin)>> And we also installed the turbo smart race port blow off valve, which on a gas motor when you let off the accelerator that throttle plates gonna close and it just relieves that extra boost. That way you're not stalling out that turbo. [ Music ]

(Mike)>> Austin and LT just wrapped up installing the cold side on their 292, and I've got to say it looks pretty impressive. Now it's our turn to go ahead and put in all of our new notes for the turbo system and get the dyno all up and running so we can make some pulls, and before we do that Pat's got something to tell you about in the dyno room.

(Pat)>> Having the Sniper X-flow e-f-i run on a naturally aspirated versus a turbo is simply telling it what it's on. If you go into the initial setup wizard you can actually choose turbocharger, nitrous oxide, supercharger, or from naturally aspirated, and that tells the unit what it's on. Now that will give you a couple of options of retarding your timing per boost level and also adjusting your air/fuel ratios for boost level. It's pretty slick.

(Mike)>> Alright LT and Austin are wrapped up and it looks really good. Now it's our turn to make some noise as LT would say. Now they had to run out and go do something else. So we're gonna continue with the dyno pulls. Now right now we have the natural and the red spring in the waste gate for a total of 7.5 p-s-i of boost. Pat's gonna go ahead and make the pull and see how this thing ends up. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Look at that!

(Mike)>> That's not bad!

(Pat)>> What do we want to do with spring?

(Mike)>> We go with the natural and the green spring. That'll go from 7.5 to 10.5. That's a three pound increase.

(Pat)>> I'll buy that. [ Music ] [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> Wow, holy cow!

(Pat)>> 510, now I kinda ramped it in there, 376 horsepower. I am definitely happy. Man this is absolutely a win! I love history and I love engines. So hopefully this will inspire you to rethink your next project build.

(Mike)>> That's right and if you're interested in anything that you've seen on today's show hop on over to Powernation t-v dot com for more.
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