214ci, 700HP Chevrolet IndyCar Street Engine
Jerry Magnuson, Ventura, CA
And now for something really different. Jerry Magnuson, owner of Magnuson Products, the supercharger company that markets the trick aftermarket Eaton blowers we all love, has a '54 Corvette that just needed a little boost to make it interesting. His friend Ryan Falconer, the man behind the Falconer V-12 you may have heard about, was one of the original engine builders involved with the '02 Chevrolet IndyCar race engine program. Falconer had a few of these 214ci engines at his shop that he had converted from their original methanol-fueled race configurations into 560hp, 98-octane street engines, still utilizing much of the original engine architecture. These street engines utilized the smaller, 112 Eaton positive-displacement supercharger, so Magnuson, being the inveterate car crafter that he is, upgraded his engine to a larger 122 blower that now makes a solid 700 hp. This is the rear view of the engine, because frankly, it's the most interesting side, since the front covers contain the drive mechanism for the dual overhead cams (DOHC) and no accessory drive. The driver side of the engine mounts a small water pump and alternator driven off the same shaft with a starter motor squeezed in there as well.
Falconer builds the custom aluminum adapter that connects the blower to a drive between the engine and flywheel. This particular transmission is a Getrag six-speed originally used in a BMW sedan. The clutch is a tiny, Tilton three-disc carbon-fiber unit.
What is difficult to see under the Falconer intake manifold is a slightly larger-than-stock Magnuson 122 High Helix supercharger that is beltdriven off the crankshaft. Magnuson built the adapter for the intake manifold to use a GM 90mm electronic throttle body. The original race engines were normally aspirated and made roughly 700 hp on methanol.
The small wiring pigtail exiting the valve cover is about all you can see of the distributorless ignition system and coil-near-plug arrangement that's hidden underneath that shiny aluminum cover. The EFI is controlled with a MoTeC engine management computer to give Magnuson all the control he needs to put the reins on this ex-race engine.
This engine was part of a brand-new V-8 design for IRL IndyCar racing for the '02 season. The aluminum block houses a 3.66-inch bore and a wrist-flicking 2.534-inch stroke to create a mere 214 ci. The engine utilizes a 180-degree crankshaft instead of the more normal 90-degree configuration. In an effort to reduce internal friction, it uses a tiny 2.10-inch main bearing and 1.7-inch rod journal diameters. The qualifier race piston weight measured a mere 330 grams. This is a DOHC arrangement with a centrally located spark plug with four valves per cylinder. The entire engine only weighs roughly 350 pounds, and even with the trans, the whole package is less than 500 pounds.
Daily Engineering produced the dry-sump oiling system mounted on the passenger side of the engine. The water pump, alternator, and starter motor are in roughly the same place on the opposite side of the engine.
Magnuson plans to put this engine and trans in a red '54 Corvette that will be fitted with a complete Art Morrison chassis with a three-link rear suspension and a 9-inch. Making this engine look even wilder is the lack of accessory drives on the front to make it distinctly different from any engine compartment. When Magnuson finishes this car, we'll be sure to include some photos.