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15 Dyno-Proven Horsepower Combos

Rear-Wheel Dyno Combos

Photography by Marko Radielovic

Chevy Small-Block: Wild

Car: '70 Chevy Chevelle
Owner: Mark Gjavenis

Judging by Mark Gjavenis' timeslips, his purple bomber is very traction limited as shown by the high trap speeds relative to the elapsed times. It takes a lot of grunt to move a '70 Chevelle at 117 mph, and Mark's small-block is more than up to the task of cranking out a pavement-rippling 408 hp at the wheels, with nearly 400 lb-ft of torque on tap. Relying on a 0.030-over 400 with a pair of Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads, a Comp solid-roller cam, a Victor Jr. intake and an 850 Demon carb for motivation, this Mike Segar-built small-block is a powerhouse.

Engine

Type: Chevy small-block V-8
Displacement: 406 ci
Compression: 11.0:1
Best e.t.: 12.02 @ 117

Cylinder Heads

Make and model: Edelbrock Victor Jr. aluminum
Port work: None
Valve sizes: 2.02/1.60
Rocker arms: 1.5:1 rollers

Camshaft

Make: Comp Cams
Type: Solid roller
Duration at 0.050: 254/260 degrees
Valve lift: 0.588/0.588 inch

Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

Intake: Edelbrock Victor Jr. single-plane
Carburetor: Demon 850 cfm
Ignition: MSD distributor
Exhaust: 1 ¾-inch headers, 3-inch dual exhaust

Performance

Owner's guess: 395 hp
Dyno result: 408 hp, 394 lb-ft

Chevy: Extreme

Car: '29 Ford Coupe
Owner: Carl Finney

Some of you may remember Carl Finney's Rat-powered Ford Coupe as our '03 Dyno Challenge winner in the power-adder category at the Summer Nationals in St. Paul, Minnesota. Of all the combinations we have outlined, Carl Finney's big-block is the most over-the-top. Built to run on prodigious amounts of nitrous oxide, his 540-inch Rat features pump-gas friendly 10.0:1 compression and detonation-suppressing aluminum cylinder heads. While the cam seems a tad radical, it is quite moderate by race-cam standards and not objectionable considering the displacement of this beast. No doubt the superior flow characteristics of the 335cc AFR heads contribute heavily to the final output, whereas an NOS nitrous unit helped the fat Rat lay down a cool 900-plus horsepower at the wheels.

Engine

Type: Chevy big-block V-8
Displacement: 540 ci
Compression: 10.0:1 (Approx.)
Best e.t.: 9.52 at 147 mph (on the motor)

Heads

Make and model: AFR aluminum
Port work: CNC-ported
Valve sizes: 2.30/1.88 inches
Rocker arms: 1.7:1 roller

Camshaft

Make: Crane
Type: Solid roller
Duration at 0.050: 254/265 degrees
Valve lift: 0.745/0.757 inch

Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

Intake: Edelbrock Super Victor
Carburetor: Holley 1,250-cfm Dominator
Ignition: MSD Digital 6
Exhaust: 2 1/8-inch headers, 3 ½-inch dual exhaust

Performance

Owner's guess: 600 hp on motor, 850 hp on nitrous
Dyno result: 582 hp, 547 lb-ft on motor; 904 hp, 828 lb-ft on nitrous

Pontiac V-8: Mild

Car: '71 Pontiac GTO
Owner: Kai Jones

Even in stock form, Pontiac's 400-cube engine is good street piece. Throw a few performance parts at it, such as headers, a Performer RPM intake manifold, and a high-performance hydraulic cam, and you end up with a stout street performer. This is what student Kai Jones did to his '71 Goat. Hoping for 300 hp, he missed his mark by less than 15 ponies. With 287 hp on tap feeding through a Muncie four-speed trans, Mr. Jones gets more smiles-per-mile than many other cars on the road.

Engine

Type: Pontiac V-8
Displacement: 400 ci
Compression: 10.0:1
Best e.t.: Unknown

Cylinder Heads

Make and model: Production cast iron
Port work: None
Valve sizes: 2.11/1.77 inches
Rocker arms: 1.65:1 roller

Camshaft

Make: Lunati
Type: Hydraulic flat-tappet
Duration at 0.050: 228/235 degrees
Valve lift: 0.465/0.465 inch

Induction, Ignition, and Exhaust

Intake: Edelbrock Performer RPM
Carburetor: Demon 750 cfm
Distributor/Ignition: GM HEI
Exhaust: 1 ¾-inch headers, 3-inch dual exhaust

Performance

Owner's guess: 300 hp
Dyno result: 287 hp, 350 lb-ft

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