Budget Super Stock Buildup
- Part III
With a lot of help from our friends...
By Matt Zapp
Photos by Michael Beard
Spring has sprung upon the racing community and smoke is rising in burn-boxes across the county. At the Staging Light LLC shop, smoke is flying too. But it happens to be from our mental wheels that are turning and not the new Mickey Thompson tires!
The Budget Super Stock Project is well underway and crucial decisions are being made to extract peak performance from the ’95 S-10 pick-up.
In the last article, it was made clear that finding the needed stock parts for an engine combination can be challenging. Although the goal of our team has remained consistent since January, our engine combination has changed. Building a Super Stock engine combo on a budget can be very tough.
A few weeks back, our team took the S-10 to Jeff’s Madison Autoworks in Madison, Ohio. The project for the weekend was to run all new brake lines and install the master cylinder on the S-10.
Things went quite well. With a lot of help from Jeff Roth and our friends at the local CARQUEST Auto Parts store, the brake lines were ran in a safe and secure fashion. But the interesting note to the weekend was the little treasure that Jeff had hiding in his shop.
"That is a four bolt 350 engine I have been holding onto," explained Jeff. "It ran fine when I took it out of the vehicle a few years ago. It is complete from carb to pan."
My immediate reaction was to check the carburetor numbers, the head casting and the block. Jeff was right on the money as usual.
Michael and I had been scouring the country looking for that exact engine combination without any success. The motor was in perfect shape and had been less than 1,000 feet from our shop the entire time. So we bought the complete 350 from Jeff with the intention of using the carburetor, heads and block.
After running the numbers and calculating our race weight, it appears that the S-10 will weigh in at slightly less than 3,100 pounds. So I jumped on the phone and gave a quick call to both Hupertz Racing Engines and WISECO Piston.
"What do you mean you have changed your mind again? Come on man, are you serious," asked engine builder Mike Hupertz. "You are never going to get this thing done if you keep changing the program."
I explained to Mike that by changing the head from a 186 casting to a 441 option, the truck would be nearly 200 pounds lighter on race day. He was convinced that the move was better for the overall performance of the truck, as well as parts wear and tear.
The next call was to WISECO Piston and our infamous Automotive Salesman, Brian Nutter.
"Hold on. The CC volume is greater on the 441 and you are going to lose compression. I’m not sure this is the right direction to go this late in the season," continued Brian. "What is the weight gain versus performance loss?"
After some further calculations and coin tosses, it was determined that the 1969 Chevrolet 350 combination with a 441 casting head is our winner. The intention will to run in GT/TB with an index of 11.15.
A few other "Big Guns" of the industry were called in to hammer out the details. Chris Douglas and the team at COMP Cams were the professionals tapped to help with the all important cam selection.
"COMP Cams is thrilled to be a part of the Project S-10 Super Stock build-up. Although a big percentage of our business these days is focused on street performance, our company’s heritage and the heart of our employees still revolves around hardcore race performance applications," explained Chris Douglas. "We spend millions in R & D each year, including having more on-staff engineers than all other valve train manufacturers combined to stay on the leading edge of technology. As an organization we take pride in constantly refining our products to include the absolute latest in technology."
Chris put us in contact with COMP Cams engine builder and fellow drag racer, Tim Cole.
Tim Cole and Brian Nutter of WISECO work closely on many high profile projects for their respective companies. When these two experts get together, the results are phenomenal.
"You guys are not going to buzz this thing up to the levels where some of the max effort, rods hanging out and Wesson Oil in the crankcase guys are. I have read your articles and suggest a cam on a 105-lobe separation. This will help your truck accelerate better and keep your peak torque range down," explained Tim. "I tend to stay with the KISS method even on my own combinations. I know that is hard to believe with a 16:1 V-6 Corvette, with two dominators and an automatic transmission. But it did go 8.66 at 154 last year and the theory has served me well."
Tim obviously understands the importance of cam selection, as his own race program proves it! So we are going to take his suggestion and install a Comp Cams roller that will be 270/279 at .050" with a .452" intake and .430" exhaust lobe lift. For more information please visit the company web site at www.compcams.com.
Brian Nutter gained all of the pertinent information needed to develop the proper class legal piston from Tim. Our piston will remain a flat top version with 4-valve relief stock model as it did in 1969. The main trick to the piston trade primarily relates to weight savings.
Thus, WISECO is currently in the process of building a lightweight 350 piston for our combination. More information on the championship winning products produced in Mentor, Ohio please visit www.wiseco.com or call 800-321-1364.
Another benefit to overall engine performance is heat related. So the team at Staging Light LLC contacted the experts at Coastal Coating Services in Madison, Ohio. Jim Lorenz and his son Cory were asked to review the program. With much thought and concern, a truckload of parts was delivered to the powder coating shop.
"We have a coating system that we use on the intake manifold. To stop heat from coming into the manifold we apply a heat barrier coating. Typically a normally aspirated engine will see a 1% improvement for every 10-degree drop in carburetor inlet temperature. Next we coat the outside of the intake with a thermal dispersant coating (black in color) so that any heat that does get into the manifold will be more rapidly dispersed into the air moving over the manifold," explained Jim Lorenz.
Coastal Coatings also helped with the performance and appearance of our headers. They coated the Headman Header kit that was reworked at Davis Racecars. The finish was beautiful and will help with overall airflow. Jim can be reached at Coastal Coating Services by calling 440-417-0110.
The next article in our series will cover information and items pertaining to the engine bay, roll cage and exterior beautification. We will showcase the importance of paint selection and preparation with help from the Dupli-Color lines.
Be sure to check back to Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com as the final stages of the Budget Super Stocker unfold!
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