I have not been spending much time on the various forums for a little while - other "life" issues have taken priority...but I am back in Engine Masters again and figured I should write something up. I still have minimal time so if you read this on the other forum you can skip this 'cuz its a cut & paste deal.
I run on Thursday.
I was an "alternate" this year and did not get the go ahead until a few weeks ago after somebody else had the misfortune to need to abandon their efforts. I went through the parts we had on hand in the shop and built a pretty straightforward combination that met the rules. Certainly not exotic - or a threat to any of the leaders - but should be cool in any case, and the only FE I am aware of in the contest. First time I have ever entered a 390 based engine.
I am using a basic .040 over 390 with a 4.25 stroke and flat top pistons - same short block as we sell all the time. The rotating assembly is actually made up from used parts other than the rings and bearings. It has a pair of CNC'd Survival heads with 2.200 intake and 1.68 exhaust valves - used from a Stage X head project. Intake is a Performer RPM from last year's entry, as are the C8AX oil pan and the vintage 850 vacuum Holley carb. My friend Tim made up a custom ignition using a factory Ford distributor.
Rules mandate a .600 max lift flat tappet cam with hydraulic lifters. This is where the problems doubled up. The custom cam came in on time and the whole deal got assembled pretty quickly without any real drama - all the big parts had already been machined and assembled once before. Engine fired up and went through cam break in with no signs of trouble - oil filter was clean.
Started making pulls and torque looked good but we were having apparent problems at higher RPM with a jagged curve. Tried shuffling to a beehive spring package to get some control but it just kept getting worse in 3 or 4 subsequent pulls. Looked at a couple valves while turning the engine over and it was apparent that we had killed a couple lobes. With zero time to get another custom stick (this was Thursday!) we went to the shelves and grabbed the only legal thing we had, a genuine Comp 294S. As would be expected, the torque was way down but the power was decent and it runs really well. Compared to stuff we've run across the dyno in the past this one is nothing awesome - heads are too big - and I was hoping to use that custom short cam to crutch the bottom end. So much for well laid plans.
We borrowed the Hooker '63 Galaxie headers and the cast iron long runner manifolds from Rod C again. Since Murphy was not done with us yet, the last pull from yesterday popped a 3/8" hole in a primary tube just beyond the port, and another is cracked. They are simply too old and rusting away. No time to repair those either. So we are going with the full vintage vibe. Its all Ford blue now, including PBF valve covers, a Ford oil pan, a Ford distributor, a really old Holley, and a cam from the 1980s - even painted the heads and intake. Engine looks like I tugged it out of a Galaxie although the valve covers are 1968ish.
Based on the data gathered testing Adney's entry I was not going to be in the hunt anyways for score with the 294S cam, so we are going for the cool factor. Here at home the peak torque is just over 500 lbs, and peak horsepower is about 543 running through manifolds. I sometimes say that a particular combination can be built at home. Really true with this one.