Getting back on track!

Hi everyone and welcome back! What can I say? Since last summer the frequency of my articles has been, well, not frequent. But, I have legitimate excuses, err, reasons, and I hope you will believe me when I say that it has all been a temporary sacrifice in exchange for a future reward! On to the ‘taters.

In the last article, I was just into the beginning stages of ownership of a brand new Stuska Track Master Gold 1600 HP engine Dyno installed, by myself, at my business, Roeder Performance Machine and DYNO Service, and poor Muscrate had been banished to the trailer for “temporary” storage. Well, as you have probably figured out by now, the temporary became not so temporary. As a matter of fact, I rolled Muscrate into the trailer in July and it has been there ever since. I did attempt to work on it a couple times, but honestly, unloading and loading the car into the front stall of my current shop and trying to work around it was just not practical. So, in October I had the stroke of brilliance to build a new 30’x32’ garage at the end of my existing building and dedicate it to being the new home of Project Muscrate. I figured on having the new shop up and functional by the end of November no sweat and getting back to work on the race car. What could possibly go wrong? Apparently, lots of stuff! Lets just sum it up by saying that this will probably be the last time I ask permission from the County, seek the proper permits, get the “OK” twice to build in a certain location, and then get the plug pulled at the last minute due to a property line dispute with one of my “charming” neighbors that owns the horse pasture behind the shop. After considerable effort, I was finally able to prove where my property line is and gain the final approval of the government to build what I wanted and pretty much where I wanted it. This brings us to the END of October! Next time I will beg for forgiveness instead of ask for permission, lesson learned.

So, thankfully we had a very mild fall into winter season and by the middle of December I had a floor poured, building erected, (by myself and a couple friends), and from the outside it appeared a completed building. Then winter temperatures hit and the typical December/January slowdown (read: work stoppage) hit in the shop and no extra money was available to work on the new garage. And that brings us to current day where, since the middle of February, I have been balls to the wall seven days a week trying to get customer stuff done because everybody needs to be racing at the same time in April. Funny how that happens EVERY year! Oh well, I digress.

So, here’s the new plan. I’m going to slowly start picking away on the new building as time and money permit so I can once again start finishing up the chassis, and I am also planning on a complete repaint. But in the mean time I am going to finish the engine, test it on the dyno, and cover that process along the way. After all this time, a quick refresher on the engine plan is probably prudent so follow along.

The NHRA rules for Super Stock Modified Stock, in my case SS/AS, stipulate that you must use “generally available” and “OEM” parts in the engine with the corresponding Ford, GM, or Mopar part numbers. So, as long as it was assigned a part number, it’s good to go. Other than that and the mandatory 850cfm maximum carb size, with choke horn, it’s pretty much a do-what-you-want class as far as the engine is concerned. I was lucky enough to hook up with the good folks at Roush Yates Performance Parts a while back and started using and selling some of their good used and new parts at my shop as a way to get some value out of the older parts and make it possible for the “little guy” to purchase some truly remarkable components. They were also a perfect source for the engine parts needed for Project Muscrate and gladly decided to be involved with the project.

As part of my agreement, I am going to build the first engine using basically untouched (by me) major components sourced directly from RYPP to demonstrate the potential of these very high quality used parts that are available to anyone with a need for speed and the budget to get it done. You would be very surprised at the affordability of these components. How about a used Sonny Bryant 3.300” stroke Crankshaft with Honda rod journals and 302 SBF mains with less than ten races on it, thoroughly inspected, and originally costing about $3000.00? Would $500.00 seem fair? That, my friends, is a deal!

They offer used blocks, heads, intakes, pistons, connecting rods... you name it they probably have it. I recently helped a customer build an engine very similar to what I am building for Project Muscrate using many of the same parts. His engine was slightly smaller at 363 cubes, 14:1 compression, a set of early prototype Yates D3 heads, used pistons and rings, and a single carb intake with a 1050 cfm carb. It made 816 HP at 8400 rpm on my Stuska Dyno! That’s 2.25 HP/Cube with “generally available” parts!