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  JBP'S Engine Masters Contender
by Don Keefe

Ever since its introduction in late 2001, the Engine Masters competition featured in our sister publication, Popular Hot Ro&kng, has been one of the most talked about contests for fans of normally aspirated, pushrod V 8 engines. If you're not already familiar with what Engine Masters is, here is a brief overview:

The idea is to get engine builders from all over North America, large and small, commercial and private, to showhow they measure up against one another in standardized dyno testing. They design and build an engine that conforms to a specific set of rules reganfing displacement, intakes, carbs', afld heids. The idea is for engine builders to use their expertise and imaginations to science out combinations that make power and are feasible for readers to duplicate. This series was developed for street oriented combinations," said PHR tech editor, Scott Parkhurst. "The engines have to be built with offthe shelf components and with the intentions of being installed in a '55 or newer chassis. This prohibits the use of custom made parts everyfing has to be commercially available with a part number so no one has an unfair advantage."
Though one might think that the long and extensive aftermarket support for the various Ford and Chevy V 8 engines would have oven builders of those engines an advantage, it has actually worked out to be a much more balanced matchup across the board.
With the focus on street performance, the competition placed equal emphasis on torque and horsepower. That means that the engines with the most area "under the curve" would fare the best in this contest, so the inherent strength of the Pontiac V 8, its superior torque production, would have a chance to shine in the competition.
Parkhurst said that another interesting footnote to the Engine Masters competition is that the series has attracted engine builders from drag racers all competing in the same event?"
In this round of the Engine Masters series, Pontiac was once again represented. For this story, we will be concentrating on the highest placing of the 3 Pontiac V 8s entered, a Z stroker from Butler Perfonnance. "What the Butlers did was enter an engine combination based on their basic crate motor and turn up the wick about 50 hp, Parkhurst said. "'this might be an opportunity to evolve the engines they a] ready offer."
indeed, the perforinance of the Butler 467 is impressive when one realizes that very little in the way of testing for the optimuin combination was performed. Where some of the other competitors tried as many as 5 other camshafLs in their engines, the Butlers were forced by the constraints of time to try only one camshaft, rocker ratio,intake, carb, and one set of headers.
" We built this engine on a Wednesday, broke it in and tested it that Thursday afternoon and carried it to Comp Cams the following Monday for the regional competition, without making any changes, other than timing and jetting," David Butler recalled. "We didn't even change valve lash or spark plug gap. We built this engine just like all of our customers engines and competedAith it just like we assembled it the first and only time."
With the sixth place finish overall, the Pontiac hobbyist in general can be proud of how their Ponchos stack up against some of the best Chews, Fords, and Mopars out there. Follow along as we watch Rodney and David tear down the 467 to see what went into its impressive performance and how well it held up.

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