The Holley LS Fest folks planned on taking several hours to determine a winner in the inaugural Car Craft Engine Swap Challenge. The finish took far less. The Holley LS Fest folks planned on taking several hours to determine a winner in the inau You could tell from the first moment you walked under the Car Craft Engine Swap Challenge tent that the team from Williamsburg, Iowa, had come prepared. The Olds Cutlass convertible was nothing really to look at, especially compared with their competition's beautiful big-block, Chevy-powered Camaro. But this was no beauty contest. This was an all-out test of skill at the Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to see how quickly a team of car crafters could swap a GM Performance Parts LS6 into a car and drive off. The game was as simple as it was challenging. And the team that won got to keep the LS6 and the Holley HP EFI system. The big question was: How long would it take? It had dumped buckets of southern-flavored rain the day before, and the day began overcast and humid. The two cars faced each other under the open-sided tent with puddles covering both worksites just to put a damp spin on the conditions. Holley was looking for a fun competition to round out the usual drag racing and autocross events, and this looked like a winner to us. There were plenty of applicants, but the decision came down to Corey Ritter's team from Lexington, Kentucky, working on his '69 454, five-speed Camaro head to head against Justin Dermody's crew and their 350, Chevy-powered, '70 Olds Cutlass convertible. Team Camaro showed up with a five-speed, manual-equipped, big-block Camaro. Owner Corey Ritter was confident in his team of Mercedes mechanics, who all work at James Motor Co. in Lexington, Kentucky. Team Camaro showed up with a five-speed, manual-equipped, big-block Camaro. Owner Corey Ri The tension before the start was real enough and had that feeling you sense right before the big cross-town high school football game. The Challengers With the two cars face to face under the tent, it was clear the Iowa boys had done their prep work. In a later discussion with Justin, he admitted he had purchased a complete Holley HP EFI computer and wiring harness from Jegs so he not only knew how to wire the system, but also so he would be familiar with the software should he need to access it with his laptop to get the engine running. The Olds team's preparation was evident in little things like a green tape line on each midpoint position on the body like the NASCAR teams use to indicate exactly where to place the floorjack to raise the car. As a further bit of not-so-subtle intimidation, Team Olds sported a monster Snap-on rollaway tool chest, while the Camaro guys had their tools laid out on the ground alongside their car. When the horn sounded, it appeared Team Camaro would really have to hustle. THE TEAMS Team Camaro Team Olds Corey Ritter, owner Justin Dermody, owner Townsend Gregg Trent Lower Robb Combs Clay Koenig Brian Geary Dustin Bernacki Mike Drapac, software help/coaching Dan Bernacki, Dustin's father This is how the big-block in the Camaro appeared before the competition started. The engine was equipped with EFI, which meant the fuel delivery system was already in place. The team had practiced pulling the heavy Rat but not installing an LS-family engine. This is how the big-block in the Camaro appeared before the competition started. The engin Each team would bolt in one of these GM Performance Parts LS6 engines that Holley had previously equipped and tested with a Holley intake and the new Holley HP electronic fuel-injection system. To assist the swap, Holley fitted each engine with a Mac's Pivot Plate (PivotPlate.com). Each team would bolt in one of these GM Performance Parts LS6 engines that Holley had prev Team Olds' engine compartment revealed its preparation. The rules required the car to run, but only for a short period, so Justin Dermody bypassed the radiator and had an EFI pump and tank in the trunk. The carbureted small-block was fed by a plastic gas can under the hood, and the battery had been moved to the trunk. Team Olds' engine compartment revealed its preparation. The rules required the car to run, The first surprise came when Team Olds yanked the entire front clip within the first two minutes. Note the green tape around the top of the door-acknowledging that, after all, this is still Justin's wife Melinda's car. The team had also prefitted the Olds with a late-model Caprice EFI fuel tank and pump. The first surprise came when Team Olds yanked the entire front clip within the first two m One trick that shaved seconds: Remove the trailing edge motor mount flange so the LS engine with its Holley adapter plate would slide straight into the bellhousing rather than have to be dropped at an angle. This isn't recommended for daily driving, but from a competition standpoint, it was pure racer expediency. One trick that shaved seconds: Remove the trailing edge motor mount flange so the LS engin Team Camaro was not far behind, and the Rat motor came out only a few minutes after Team Olds'. This is impressive considering they were working around the stock sheetmetal. Team Camaro was not far behind, and the Rat motor came out only a few minutes after Team O 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article By Jeff Smith Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!