Engine Power Featured Projects

Engine Power Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Summit Racing
Flotek 180cc Ford Cylinder Heads
Summit Racing
MSD Pro-Billet Distributor
Summit Racing
MSD Super Conductor Spark Plug Wire Sets
Summit Racing
Permatex The Right Stuff Gasket Maker
Summit Racing
Trick Flow Direct Bolt-On High Performance Cylinder Heads
Summit Racing
Trick Flow Mid-Length Headers
Edelbrock Victor JR 302 Single Plane Intake Manifold
Matco Tools
MATCO Tools are the Official Tool Supplier to PowerNation
Quick Fuel Technology Inc.
QuickFuel 950 CFM Black Diamond Carburetor
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Mike)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Pat)>> When you're going for maximum horsepower your choice of intake manifold makes a difference. Plus the crew at Sam Tech knows a lot about engine machining. Today they share some of that knowledge with us. [ MUSIC ]

(Pat)>> Right now we're gonna get back on a project that you've probably seen kicking around in the shop here before. This is our Ford 302 we called Scavenged Small Block Ford. Now it is a conglomeration of parts that we have had kicking around our entire building for a long time and no one knew anything about them. So we thought it would be fun to put it together and see what it made on the dyno, and if you haven't seen it before check this out. We experimented with a couple of part setups and here's what we settled on. A set of Flow Tech 180cc aluminum cylinder heads, 1.6 ratio roller rocker arms, a Weiand Street Warrior dual plane intake manifold, Trick Flow mid length headers, a somewhat racy hydraulic flat tappet cam. Finally our Quick Fuel 950 c-f-m Black Diamond carburetor. The engine produced a matching pair of numbers on the dyno, 322 horsepower and 322 pound feet of torque. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> With a less than optimized parts selection and tune up I thought we made pretty good power with the parts we had, but where we felt we could make some bigger gains was on the induction side of the engine. So back to the used parts pile we went and came up with a single plane manifold. Now that's gonna help us on the top side. It's gonna help that cam run a little bit better, but frankly we're just doing this for fun. So let's see what it does. [ MUSIC ] Every time we use Permatex Right Stuff Gasket Maker on the intake manifold it seals up strong and tight. So of course we'll use it again on the new intake. Our single plane upgrade is an Edelbrock Victor Junior that we found in the shop. It has an operating range as low as 3,500 r-p-m to as high as 8,000 r-p-m depending on the parts. [ MUSIC ] It's torqued in multiple steps to 22 pound feet. We're using an MSD pro billet distributor with a small style cap. The old distributor will not clear the single plane intake manifold. We're also using MSD's super conductor spark plug wires. [ MUSIC ] We're running a one inch carb spacer under the Quick Fuel Black Diamond carb which we used in the previous setup. [ MUSIC ] Intake manifold change only, should be interesting. At least we're learning and having fun all at the same time. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Still idles, still has oil pressure. The thing about an unknown engine is I'm always worried that something bad's gonna happen at any given point but we're having some fun with it. Single plane manifold versus dual plane manifold. Same r-p-m range, 3,000 to 5,800, 300 a second. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> I think that was a little bit better. 328 for power, 323 for torque, I'll take that. Alright that illustrates the difference between a dual plane manifold and a single plane manifold. Single plane made a little bit more power and we'll see where it did it here. The manifold is a little bit better up top. They trade back and forth for torque and power down low, almost the same though. Where the dual plane falls off a little bit the single plane still wants to run. Again we're not optimized for what we're doing. This is a bunch of used parts, some stuff we had just laying around. A little bit of a parts mismatch but it shows that the intake manifold for a single plane will want to run higher in the r-p-m range than the dual plane just because of the way it's constructed, and its cross sectional area, and how it actually works with the cam. It works a little bit better with that larger cam but that being said there's a lot more we could do with this engine. It's not particularly as good as it could be. It's a little low on the compression side. It's got a little bit too big a cam for that kind of static compression ratio. We have our race 950 on it. We probably could put a different carb that was tuned up a little bit better for it, but all in all a lot of fun and that's how you learn what does what. There's nothing wrong with learning. We have the benefit of having a dyno to do it. On the street it's a little bit more difficult to do because you're using the seat of the pants dyno. Again all in all good fun and there's more to do to this engine, and I think we're gonna keep it for a while and maybe we'll switch some more parts on it in the future. Up next the Coyote project begins with full machine work from Sam Tech. Plus the info you need when choosing an intake manifold.

(Pat)>> Small block Mopar owners can rejoice because a new head from Trick Flow fits both a Magnum or LA series engine. Here's more in today's tech tip.

(Steve)>> Trick Flow now offers direct bolt on high performance cylinder heads that will increase the performance of both the LA and Magnum 318, 340, and 360 cubic inch small block. The 190cc intake and 81cc exhaust runners are c-n-c finished and flow 301 c-f-m at 700 lift on the intake and 240 c-f-m at 700 lift on the exhaust. They feature stronger bosses for rocker arm shaft mounting, larger diameter push rod holes, and allow you to use readily available LA engine parts like intake manifolds and valve covers. This could be a game changer for you Mopar fans.

(Pat)>> Hey guys we are on a Zoom call with one of our buddies down at Sam Tech today. We have some work that we have sent down there and we're gonna go over a little bit of it about what's being done to it, and it's a Coyote so it's kinda cool and they're doing some stuff, and I have Jimmy Stray, one of the instructors, to tell us all about what's going on. Jimmy how you doing down there?

(Jimmy)>> We're doing great Pat, how are you doing?

(Pat)>> I don't know if can get any better to tell you the truth. We have a Coyote block. What did you think of the block for one thing?

(Jimmy)>> Really good platform to start with. We really enjoy working with this type of engine. I love the overhead cam stuff personally. They make a ton of power.

(Pat)>> First thing I see we've done is it's gotten up on the line hone. I see you setting up some dial bore gauging. Tell me a little bit about setup and the importance of setup. It doesn't matter the operation.

(Jimmy)>> That's something that we go over very first thing your first day, orientation here at Sam Tech, and we go ahead and teach the reading of these instruments. Some people have never picked up a micrometer, or some people have never picked up a dial bore gauge. That's one thing that we stress as paramount, being able to correctly set these up and correctly read them. One student should be able to take a measurement and hand that same gauge to the next student and get within a 10 thousandths or two.

(Pat)>> So on this align hone operation once the housing bores are where they're supposed to be how does the actual mandrel, how do you get the mandrel centered in the block?

(Jimmy)>> There's a couple of different ways. You can do it with a dial indicator to check it for centered in the bore. We do have the pin style that you can remove one of the caps. Usually we use the center cap or move that cap and put the pins, the dowel pins, in and center the mandrel that way adjusting the shoes, and then once we have it centered we'll go ahead and set the pressure with the stones and over strokes.

(Pat)>> The next thing we did is we actually looked and this thing is torque plate honed. Tell me a little bit about torque plate honing.

(Jimmy)>> Torque plat honing in a nut shell is a large plate of metal with holes bored in it that we bolt to the block to represent the head as it is fastened to the block. So when we hone the block the cylinders are distorted in the same fashion that they would be when the cylinder head is actually bolted to it.

(Pat)>> So after the torque plate I see you're gonna get setup on the surfacer to cut your deck. I see a lot of dial indicating going on. Tell me a little bit about that.

(Jimmy)>> The first thing we're going to do before we even put the block on is dial in the bar. We need to make sure the bar is level otherwise when it sweeps across it will not cut the deck level.

(Pat)>> After that's all said and done we pretty much have a fully machined block at that point depending on the type of block. We don't have to deal with cam bearings in this one because it's a Coyote. We can do a little bit of work on the cylinder head. Tell me about your cylinder head department.

(Jimmy)>> Air flow is paramount. I had a student ask me this morning how do I get to 9,000 r-p-m or how do I get to 8,000 r-p-m, and I just explained to them if your heads won't flow air you're not gonna get there. You can go overboard with air flow. We had a little bit of discussion about that also. The heads have to be matched to the cubic inch underneath. It's very important, but yeah that's one step I think is often overlooked and you can do a lot of damage also. If you're not sure how to port these heads you can make them worse than when you started.

(Pat)>> Tell me a little bit about the valve job process.

(Jimmy)>> In any situation we're gonna want to start with any guide work because everything is centered off of that.

(Pat)>> As far as valve job angles there's nothing that's universal. They are unique to the application, they are unique to the cylinder head. Tell me a little bit about how you determine what valve angle you need.

(Jimmy)>> Depending on the process and the way the valve sits in the chamber that top cut can have a lot to do with the lead in. We're gonna run with a pretty standard 45 degree angle seat cut, and the width of that seat cut has a lot to do with the valve job also. A lot of the heat is transferred through that actual contact. So if we get too narrow that can actually put a lot more heat in the valve or if it's too wide it can have some sealing issues also. So the throat cut, or the bottom cut, is determined with the air flow and how it reacts, and I've seen some of these bottom cut angles move a couple of degrees and pick up a large amount of air flow.

(Pat)>> Another aspect that is very, very important in any sort of high performance build is balancing.

(Jimmy)>> Balancing I'm gonna tell you this is my o-c-d. That's one of those things, between that and surface finish on the hone, those are my two favorite machines because there is such a large variance. Do I put two percent in it, do I take two percent out? Setting up and getting the correct bob weight is very important, but the finish balance, the finish number. I mean the right offset or left offset numbers, they need to match. The couple needs to be 180 degrees out. We will get a better finished product.

(Pat)>> Now you're saying all these terms about offset and bob weights, things like that. The best thing about being at Sam Tech is everything is explained 100 percent how to get to that point. Covering from basics all the way to advanced engine building, and everything in between.

(Jimmy)>> I was a student myself several years ago and I can remember about the second day thinking how cool this was, and once I got into the technology that we're gonna share with you. We are very specialized with performance engine building. Each thing that you mentioned we go through in the theory class, and then we'll come down and put it into play with the practical class downstairs in the lab.

(Pat)>> Engine building is universal as far as the process. It doesn't matter if it's a single cylinder, V-12, the process is the same from evaluation, to parts selection, to machining, to assembly, to testing. Tell me a little bit about that kind of stuff.

(Jimmy)>> Obviously these are just air pumps. People ask me all the time do you like Chevy, do you like Ford? I'm like I just like going fast. I like an efficient air pump. We're not looking at one horsepower per cubic inch and thinking that's a high five day. We're looking at four, five, and higher, some really high numbers per cubic inch.

(Pat)>> If you've got some from friends with a loaded c-n-c shop and they're willing to make you a unique torque plate you should let them.

(Pat)>> We've been working on an engine recently that's generated a lot of enthusiasm and fun around the shop. It's an old Ford 300 inline six that was running an industrial water sprayer. We coaxed 88 horsepower and 217 pound feet of torque from this power plant. Several upgrades including induction, ignition, carb, and valvetrain improvements resulted in 169 horsepower and 280 pound feet of torque. We're still searching for more power, and to do that we'll need to do some machining such as cylinder honing. Of course we'll need a torque plate for that. Lucky for us the crew from the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology has offered to help. Now we have c-n-c instructor John Waitt and he's gonna tell us about some c-n-c programming classes that they do down there and something very special that they're actually building for us so we can do some real work here. John thanks for joining us. Tell me a little bit about the extensiveness of c-n-c in our industry.

(John)>> That's a really good question. We actually have quite a bit of people now days. A lot of shops are able to go out and purchase a machine, but then you can also go out and get these guys that are running machine shops for oil field, aerospace, medical, and you can get them to come work for you producing parts.

(Pat)>> For a guy to go into a shop and hit the ground running it does take some pretty extensive training and that's where you come in.

(John)>> True cause you're not dealing with cheap equipment. It's very expensive, so if something goes wrong it's gonna be very costly. That machines gonna be down. So it does take a bit of training to understand how that machine works, how to set it all up, and not to have anything go wrong and be able to turn out a good product.

(Pat)>> And you guys will train a person up so they can walk into a shop and essentially hit the ground running.

(John)>> Absolutely we teach them how to program the machine by hand because no matter what you're still gonna have to do a lot of stuff manually on that machine. We teach them how to design parts, how to program the tool pass, how to setup the machine, and how to produce that part.

(Pat)>> In terms of class length how long does something like this usually take to train somebody up so that you feel that they are safe and can walk into a shop and just start producing parts?

(John)>> Our class is about seven and a half months.

(Pat)>> Seven and half months, so this is not a two week get you in get you out. Far from it obviously. Now I'm extremely excited because we had you do a special project for us. Tell me a little bit about that.

(John)>> We were able to get a blue print for a gasket for this Ford 300 motor. So from that gasket blue print we were able to create a cad model of that torque plate. So we're making this torque plate that's 28 inches long by about six and a half inches wide, two and a half inches thick and it's an inline six. So it's a massive piece of material just to put into our machine also. So we have to have our students go in there, get that machine setup, get all of the vices, all the tune setup, but then spend all the time actually cutting. I think the run time for that torque plate was approximately 8 hours.

(Pat)>> You qualify your tools first. I see a pretty unique deal. You guys make your own tool qualifying fixture?

(John)>> That is actually a brand new project that we just added to the curriculum. It's called a tool pre-setter, so that way they can go in there and they can actually measure the length of their tools as the set them up manually.

(Pat)>> That helps you produce a better and more accurate product. You use some specialized stuff right down to engraving your logo and our logo on the plate. So tell me a little bit about who determines what tooling to use for what application.

(John)>> That's a pretty involved question because it really depends on what we're making. So if we're making a torque plate, which is two inches thick, then I'm gonna have to have tooling that's gonna be able to reach down through that much overall thickness.

(Pat)>> Well I want to thank you very much. The torque plate I can't wait to use and I'm very excited about it, and now that I know you can do it I may have some other unique stuff that I might have you do if you're willing. So I really appreciate it, thank you very much.

(John)>> Thanks!

(Pat)>> If you want comprehensive training in engine machining, e-f-i calibration, or an education in c-n-c technology that could lead to a career in a wide variety of fields check out Sam Tech, the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology.

(Brian)>> What we do here we feel really prepares our students and graduates for the real world.

(Pat)>> If you are looking to make performance improvements on either your gas or diesel powered pickup that don't require you to get your hands dirty Bully Dog's GT Performance Tuners have you covered with that. Plus a whole lot more. Both come with some pre-loaded tunes for your application to unlock more horsepower and torque in your ride. They also have a built in driving coach feature that will help you change your driving habits if you want to optimize fuel mileage. They have the ability to monitor several parameters at once and display them in real time. Plug you can adjust several things yourself to customize your truck's function, like door lock chime, fog light function, speedometer adjustment for tire size, shift firmness in the transmission, and throttle control just to name a few. To find out more and to find one for your truck go to Bully Dog dot com. Which is better single plane or dual plane? It all depends on what you need.

(Pat)>> Earlier today we showed you how the choice of intake manifold affected power on our 302 inch small block Ford. We took off a dual plane intake and installed a single plane one and picked up a little bit of horsepower. Last year we did an intake swap on our 408 Windsor called Old Gray Mare with a similar result. Check it out. [ MUSIC ]

(Pat)>> There are more intake manifolds on the market today than you can shake a stick at. There are ones for single, double, and even triple carburetors, and there's also a bunch for fuel injection, like stack injection, multi-point, or even throttle body. Plus different types of manifolds from dual plane, single plane, and even tunnel rams.

(Mike)>> The purpose of manifold talk today is for a specific engine we recently dynoed. We saw significant gains between a dual plane and a single plane version. Now there are several reasons why we see changes in air flow characteristics, r-p-m ranges, fuel delivery, and of course power.

(Pat)>> A dual plane separates the manifold into two different plenum sections. Each one along with its separate set of runners to connect every other cylinder in the firing order. This allows a dual plane to see induction pulses every 180 degrees of crankshaft rotation. That allows them to do a better job of balancing the air and fuel mixture from cylinder to cylinder throughout the r-p-m range. Although these manifolds are great at fuel distribution they are quite restrictive in a high performance application due to their small cross sectional area in the plenum. They are designed for good drivability and low to mid r-p-m ranges, but that doesn't mean that they won't make power. We have had several of these that'll make over 500 horsepower. A single plane intake manifold has a single open plenum that sees all eight cylinders. A larger cross sectional area and a deeper plenum allow these manifolds to flow a lot more air than a dual plane. They are designed for more mid to high r-p-m applications.

(Mike)>> If hood clearance is not an issue a tunnel ram is a great choice for performance in a wide r-p-m range. Now it's still a single plane design but its advantage is a straight runner with a clear eye shot from the carburetor all the way down to the intake valve. Depending on the runner length and plenum volume they can be designed to make power virtually anywhere in the r-p-m range. As low as 4,000 and as high as 10,000 r-p-m. The difference in dual plane and single plane power was displayed in excellent fashion with our "Old Gray Mare" 408 inch stroker. We ran both a dual plane and single plane manifold, and here are the results. [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> Now that you've seen that you know the advantages of a single plane manifold. The same goes for a tunnel ram. If you have a daily driver that's pretty mild the dual plane is the way to go, but if you've got a car that you take to the strip and drive on the street definitely lean towards a single plane.

(Pat)>> Keep in mind that induction is application specific and there are a ton of different options to consider when planning your engine build. Try to look at all of them before spending your hard earned money. For more information on anything you've seen today visit Powernation TV dot com.
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