Engine blocks are often the forgotten heroes of internal combustion. People focus on camshafts, pistons, forced induction, air intakes and even cylinder heads before thinking about the poor old block. But there’s a lot more to the humble block than meets the eye. The myriad fine points of their design make for a fascinating lesson. Sit back and enjoy an impressively simplified take from YouTube channel How a Car Works on the genius of how an engine block works.
The pressure builds. The drive to perform efficiently ramps up. Failure of one aspect could be devastating. It’s a lot to ask of an engine. You’re asking the same from your engine builder, who’s charged with creating the key to propel your racing career. Whether you are a hobby racer or a professional, you are probably entrusting your success to a knowledgeable person who practices the craft of race-engine construction. After all, it’s not what you have, but what you do with what you have. An experienced engine builder offers a competitive edge. Chuck Jenckes works in the engine shop…... [Read more]
What do you call a small-block 340 that can develop 602 hp at 7,000 rpm on 91-octane go-go juice? Impressive comes to mind. The idea for this project was to put together a streetable package by replacing a tired small-block with something to really brag about. The goal was to make 2 hp per cubic inch with a normally-aspirated motor on 91-octane pump gas. As far as we know, this engine combination has never been built before, so Mike Johnson of JMS Racing Engines in Monrovia, California, set out to do just that for customer John Copeland. The new Chrysler…... [Read more]
If you’ve been around the world of performance engines for any length of time, you know things don’t always go as planned. Such was the case with the block used in this engine build. It was damaged enough to need new cylinder liners and have it’s crank ground. The owner brought it to John Bouchard Engines, in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with a simple request, “Make big power, and make it last.” Likewise, engine builder John Bouchard turned to the experienced hands at Tommy’s Auto Machine for the extensive machine work, which included re-sleeving the LS7 block with Darton sleeves and a…... [Read more]
We have lightened the block, cleaned it up, and done a thorough inspection. Where do we go next? “Basically, after you have the fundamentals done, you can talk about the bore itself,” Jenckes says. “There’s a lot to be said about bores. The most important design element is, at operating temperature, to have a round and square bore or have a bore that [is as close to cylindrical] as possible. The piston runs up and down, and if the bore is round and straight, you can run tighter piston-to-wall clearances. Your rings are going to perform better. You’re going to…... [Read more]
[Editor’s Note: Last month we talked to DEI engine specialist Chuck Jenckes about procedures in preparing a block for an engine build. Jenckes continues his thoughts on matters like mains, honing, and sleeving.] We have lightened the block, cleaned it up, and done a thorough inspection. Where do we go next? “Basically, after you have the fundamentals done, you can talk about the bore itself,” Jenckes says. “There’s a lot to be said about bores. The most important design element is, at operating temperature, to have a round and square bore or have a bore that [is as close to…... [Read more]