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15 Dyno-Proven Horsepower Combos

Rear-Wheel Dyno Combos

Photography by Marko Radielovic

Mopar Big-Block: Wild

Car: '64 Dodge Polara 500
Owner: Rob Warden

Rob Warden's Polara is a big car, and big cars require big engines. That is exactly what Rob was thinking when he pieced together this 500-inch wedge based on a 440 block with a Mopar Performance stroker crank. With moderate 10.5:1 compression, a Comp solid-roller cam, an Indy dual-plane manifold, Holley 950 HP carb, and a good set of aluminum cylinder heads, Rob's big-block was able to punish the rollers to the tune of 443 hp while still sipping pump premium. Rob drives his B-body regularly and has turned very low 11s at his local strip.

Engine

Type: Chrysler V-8
Displacement: 500 ci
Compression: 10.5:1
Best e.t.: 11-teens

Cylinder Heads

Make and model: Indy aluminum 440-1
Port work: Gasket match
Valve sizes: 2.19/1.88 inches
Rocker arms: 1.6:1 roller

Camshaft

Make: Comp Cams
Type: Solid roller
Duration at 0.050: 252/258 degrees
Valve lift: 0.588/0.592 inch

Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

Intake: Indy dual-plane
Carburetor: Holley 950 HP
Ignition: MSD distributor and 6AL
Exhaust: 2 to 2 1/8-inch step headers, 3-inch dual exhaust

Performance

Owner's guess: 517 hp
Dyno result: 443 hp, 503 lb-ft

Ford Small-Block: Mild

Car: '67 Ford Mustang
Owner: Chris Minerich

Chris Minerich was one of the few Ford guys at the Summer Nationals to put his car up on the chassis dyno. Chris and friend/crew chief Clint Warpula have put together a potent combo that remains completely streetable using a moderate Comp XE274 hydraulic cam, a good set of Trick Flow cylinder heads, and pump-gas compatible 9.0:1 compression ratio. The 351W then received an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold and a 750-cfm Speed Demon carburetor.

Exhaust is shuttled through 1 5/8-inch headers and a 2 ½-inch dual-exhaust system. Chris and Clint's masterpiece should be good for times in the bottom 12s if they can find traction with this potent mill. As if that weren't enough, his '67 Mustang also looks great.

Engine

Type: Ford small-block V-8
Displacement: 351W ci
Compression: 9.0:1
Best e.t.: Unknown

Heads

Make and model: TFS Twisted Wedge, aluminum
Port work: Pocket ported
Valve sizes: 2.02/1.60 inches
Rocker arms: 1.6:1 roller

Camshaft

Make: Comp Cams
Type: Hydraulic flat-tappet
Duration at 0.050: 230/236 degrees
Valve lift: 0.530/0.530 inch

Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

Intake: Edelbrock Performer RPM
Carburetor: Speed Demon 750 cfm
Ignition: Holley Systemax
Exhaust: 1 5/8-inch headers, 2 ½-inch dual exhaust

Performance

Owner's guess: 275 hp
Dyno result: 328 hp, 356 lb-ft

Big-Block Chevy: Wild

Car: '70 Chevy Chevelle SS 396
Owner: Shane Wagner

We classified Shane Wagner's Chevelle as "wild" because of some of the parts he selected in his quest for street dominance, including the big Dart heads and large-by-huge Holley Dominator carb. Aside from that, his combination is fairly moderate from cam selection to compression ratio, resulting in an engine that would happily live on the street with nary a complaint--that is until Shane's right foot makes abrupt contact with the carpet, 487 hp is unleashed, and all hell breaks loose. But don't be fooled by the numbers, as Shane and engine-builder/friend Mark Dalquist feed it a steady diet of pump premium and drove the Chevelle 600 miles to the Summer Nationals.

Engine

Type: Chevy big-block V-8
Displacement: 468 ci
Compression: 9.85:1
Best e.t.: Not yet!

Cylinder Heads

Make and model: Dart Iron Eagle
Port work: Fully ported
Valve sizes: 2.25/1.88 inches
Rocker arms: 1.7:1 roller

Camshaft

Make: Comp Cams
Type: Solid roller
Dur. at 0.050: 248/254 deg.
Valve lift: 0.651/0.654 inch

Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

Intake: Weiand Team G single-plane
Carburetor: Holley 1,050-cfm Dominator
Ignition: MSD distributor and MSD 6AL
Exhaust: 1 7/8-inch headers, 3-inch dual exhaust

Performance

Owner's guess: 450 hp
Dyno result: 487 hp, 480 lb-ft

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