Q&A / Tech

Mailbag: Building Quarter-Mile Power and Huffed 406 Strokers

Got questions?

We’ve got the answers—Mondays when the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re helping customers build better track cars.

From: John Baker, Sr. • Harrison, AR
Q: I have a 1953 Chevy half-ton truck with a 283 at .030 overbore and .010 under rods and mains. I’m running early power pack heads, a port-matched stock single quad intake, a 600 cfm Carter AFB carb, and a 45,000-volt ACCEL coil. I ran the truck at my local strip and turned a lousy 15.9 at 83 miles-per-hour. When I hit fourth gear, it didn’t gain any speed. I checked the plugs at the finish line and they looked fine. My current hydraulic cam specs are .450-inch/.460-inch lift and 224-degree/224-degree duration at .050″. I think I may be using the wrong cam or that my carb is too big. What do you suggest?

A: Your current carb is the ideal size for your engine. But to shave time off your ETs, you need a cam designed to generate maximum performance throughout the powerband. A Crane PowerMax cam and lifter kit has specialized lobe patterns to precisely balance intake and exhaust flow for superior power at any rpm.

You can speed up your times even more with an Offenhauser 360 Degree Equa-Flow single quad high-rise intake manifold. The 360-degree divided-plenum design provides equal fuel flow to each cylinder, eliminating flat spots in the rpm range—which means more horsepower and torque from start to finish!

From: Tyson O’Bryan • Sandy Hook, KY
Q: I have an old 400-cubic-inch small block Chevy that I’m putting in a 1969 Nova. I plan on stroking the engine to a 406 and installing a supercharger. In the end, I want it to be a track car. What parts do you recommend to keep the compression ratio low while producing maximum horsepower for the track?

A: We’d start with a set of Trick Flow® Super 23® 215 Cylinder Heads for small block Chevy (TFS-32400007). These lightweight aluminum heads feature Fast As Cast™ runners and 67cc combustion chambers that generate massive airflow in the mid and upper rpm range—and that means more power! The heads are fully assembled with valves, valve springs, 10-degree machined steel locks, retainers, and Viton® fluoroelastomer seals.

Next up, equip your engine with JE Pistons Extreme Duty 23-Degree inverted dome top pistons (JEP-131633-8). These rugged, forged aluminum pistons will produce race-proven power when combined with the Trick Flow Super 23 heads, and they’ll keep your compression ratio around 8.7:1, which is ideal for a blower engine.

As for a camshaft, you should run a blower and turbo cam from COMP Cams. The mechanical roller configuration is specifically designed for blower applications and will produce maximum power from 3,000-6,500 rpm.

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