Tech / Tech Projects

Real-World Powerplants: Casey Janis’ Chevrolet 355


Editor’s Note: OnAllCylinders is profiling engines and engine builds by everyday high performance enthusiasts—hot rod hobbyists with DIY work ethics and real-world budgets.

Casey Janis started building engines at the age of 14 and has been building engines for himself and others ever since. His definition of “Real-World Powerplant” was shaped by advice he received from famed engine builder and tuner Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins.

“I have always engineered my engines based on what the person is going to do with their vehicle,” Janis said.

This Chevrolet 355, for example, was built for the street.

Few engines are a better foundation for a real-world, real-budget build than the first-generation small block Chevrolet. While magazines like to profile 800- and 900-horsepower pump gas motors, Janis’ 355 small block takes a more practical approach to performance. It’s an approach that will produce big power without overwhelming the car or wasting horsepower.

“The cam specs were meant for a 3,300-pound car with using a minimum 1,600-rpm stall torque converter and 4.11 gears,” Janis said. “It’s built for the street!”

These result is a torque monster that produced 510 usable foot-pounds of torque and 525 horsepower by using parts readily available from your Summit Racing catalog. Janis, who says the engine was dyno tested by a friend at a nearby General Motors facility, shared these specs for the build:

Engine Specs

Engine Block: Chevrolet 355 (4-bolt mains)

Rotating Assembly: Cast steel crankshaft, TRW forged pistons: 10.25:1 compression ratio

Cylinder Heads: Dart cylinder heads

Cam and Valvetrain: Custom camshaft grind, anti-pump lifters, 2.02-inch intake/1.60-inch exhaust valves, 3/8-inch chromoly pushrods, Edelbrock double roller timing chain

InductionEdelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold, Holley 750 cfm single pumper dual feed carburetor with vacuum secondaries

Ignition and ElectricalSummit Racing HEI distributor



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  1. Would like ,very much to contact the engine builder for more details.please message me on FB. Email is not working.thank you for your time.

  2. Mike Brownfield says:

    Can I order one, how much
    How long to complete

  3. Sidney Tillotson says:

    I would like the entire spec sheet for this build and if possible I would like to be put in contact with Casey Janis.

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