||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
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
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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