Junker engines punching above their weight

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KnightEngines
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Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby KnightEngines » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:56 pm

Thought this topic may bring out a few cool stories.

A young guy I know will be building a 'nice' engine next year, but for now his car had an empty engine bay & he had an itch to go racing.
So he scratched around & turned up some bits to build a junker 304 holden:
Stock block with .040" over bores that were pretty sad
Stock crank
Stock rods
Set of beat up .040" slugs

We did a 'shut my eyes' hone on it & milled the block to zero deck, linished the crank & fitted the pistons to the rods.
He threw the short motor together unbalanced & threw in some ARP main studs (without a line hone).

I did a good valve job on the heads & used the factory valves (1.94 & 1.6), basic pocket port & milled for 12:1 comp.
It got a second hand 252/260 solid flat tappet cam & some basic second hand rollers.
Good single plane intake & 750 meth carb
Stock dissy hooked up to a crane Hi6 box

Second hand pipes, 1 5/8" primary tri-Y's with collector extensions

4500rpm converter, 3.7 diff gears & 26x8.5 slicks

It ran 11.63 @ 115mph at 3200lbs weight last weekend - untuned with only 26 deg timing & fat mixtures, also his 1st time ever racing & he only got 3 passes - the best pass (11.63) he floated the valves on the 1-2 change, then he got booted for running too quick - car needs a few things before he can race again.

It looks like the damn thing has a low 11 in it with some shorter gears & tuning, may even go a high 10 with a bit of a diet (plenty of weight he can pull out).

I thought that was a pretty dang good effort with a motor built from mostly stock junk.

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby cuisinartvette » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:01 pm

Funny how not so great stuff can run. Is it best, will it last who knows but it will get you down the road fine for awhile. if youre young and broke or just cheap why not

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby Krooser » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:50 am

I love stories like this.

Back in the 80's my race buddies and I were having a beer party when one guys brother, who lived next door, came over and started rustling thru the junk engine parts pile. Said he was trying to get a few more nights out of his race engine without spending any more money this racing season.

He left the garage with a handful of used pistons and rings… we all followed him over to his garage.

What we found was a 400 SBC, one head off, propped up on a pile of 2X6's with an old boring bar bolted to the block… crank still in place. Mr. Budget had found a Ford piston that was a little larger diamater than the piston that had broken and taken a slice out of the cylinder wall. Without much fanfare he fired up the boring bar and, with some help from a cyl bore gauge, got the cylinder to his desired dimension.

The next Monday he had the local machine shop bore and bush the Chevy rod to accept the Ford piston pin and he reassembled the engine. Didn't matter that the Ford piston was about .090 down the hole… he now had a running engine and finished the last two nights of the racing season… and even scored a heat race win with his Ford-rolet engine.
Last place in the B-main is better than anyplace in the grandstands...

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby GARY C » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:16 am

Had a similar deal with a pieced together 306 SBC short block from a dirt track racer complete with an on tailgate 3 stone hone job, stock crank and main bolts, 4th pass out on a 2 stage 300 horse nitrous system went a 6.15 at 114 mph, my previous best was a 6.24 with a 377 and the same nitrous system, the 306 was much slower straight motor both ran in the 6.40's on a 150 shot .

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby Cubic_Cleveland » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:19 am

12:1 out of a 304? :shock: man those heads must have been thin!

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby Orr89rocz » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:15 am

You see this kind of stuff alot in the lsx world. Swappin stock parts and budget items to make decent power. Its pretty cool to see

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby Hectori » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:07 pm

I I love the amount of creativity that really goes to those junker engines. It somewhat reminds me of the geniuses like Smokey Yunick. Everybody can nowdays just phone to the cam guy, engine guy, head guy or whatever guy and just take out their wallets. But when you build a working engine from a crap pile, that takes some creativity. It might not make you a brilliant mechanic but it is that same attitude that they do have. It`s not about what is correct choice. It is about what you can do with the things you have at your disposal.

I have done some junker engines, and had a blast with them. Had BBM 383 what blowd out head casket and burned a hole between the cylinders. I put some Epoxy on the hole, grinded it flat, threw new gaskets in and just drivet it for some 5 weeks to work without problems. It blew only when i raced it with friends of mine. Or the 350 that i put together from some leftover parts, put new bearings, oil pump and replaced one broken piston ring. I beat the living shit out of that engine for a year and it newer broke. And that 302 ford. And those inline 4 engines. Or those turbo engines that my friends build...

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby Billzilla » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:24 pm

LS1 is better, Tony.
;)

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby KnightEngines » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:23 pm

12:1 out of a 304? man those heads must have been thin!


Nah, you can rip .140" off the VN heads before they get thin, these ones had .090" off em.

Bill - wash your mouth out.

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby novadude » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:12 pm

I often think back to the days when ignorance was bliss. Some of the basic street junk I slapped together on virtually no budget actually ran pretty good. We are talking mild street engines with used stock short blocks, home "ported" heads (that probably hurt flow more it helped), and cheap generic cams. Today, I wouldn't dream of using some of the parts I used back then, but when you have no money and still want to "play", you do what you can. :D

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby Truckedup » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:38 pm

A Holden is a GM type vehicle? What US engine is most similar to one one in the low budget race car
Naked frame LSR bikes, dressed in animal hides clinging to machines propelled by fire...

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby BigBro74 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:45 pm

A Circle track racer friend of mine told me once many years ago (as I was scrounging his parts pile)
"sometimes you sweep the floor and come up with your best engine"

I don't know now if they (floor sweepers)are the best, but they sure are fun sometimes. the best to me is when you just have enough leftover second hand stuff around to build something for very low bucks, but it turns out fairly well specced and somewhat successful because of the forces of chance and your own enginuity. :D
Last edited by BigBro74 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KnightEngines
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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby KnightEngines » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:46 pm

Nothing over there is like a holden V8.
Closest you'd come is a vortech chev.

The holden heads are magic - 6 degree, flow 220cfm stock with a 2" pinch, with a pocket port & stock valves they'll go 250+ pretty easy, get stuck in to them hard with 2.05" valves & they'll go a tad over 300cfm with up to a 2.5" pinch.
So for a 304 cube engine all they need is a tidy up & they can make real good power.

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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby MaxFlow » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:54 pm

I loved those days. I've also seen things done that worked that you would never think of unless your broke. Engines put together with NO gaskets, milling heads with a hand grinder and a file, I actually saw a guy bore a hole onetime in a block with a homemade extension on an angle grinder and sized a few grinding wheels to size to put in one .030 piston in a stock 350 block. Ran pretty damn good after the nerf ball/220 grit sandpaper hone job too.

I ran around with some real broke back yarders with skills. They had a knack for making shit work with nothing.
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Re: Junker engines punching above their weight

Postby Billzilla » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:06 am

MaxFlow wrote:I loved those days. I've also seen things done that worked that you would never think of unless your broke. Engines put together with NO gaskets, milling heads with a hand grinder and a file, I actually saw a guy bore a hole onetime in a block with a homemade extension on an angle grinder and sized a few grinding wheels to size to put in one .030 piston in a stock 350 block. Ran pretty damn good after the nerf ball/220 grit sandpaper hone job too.

I ran around with some real broke back yarders with skills. They had a knack for making shit work with nothing.


Not quite on-topic but along the lines of making good stuff from nothing, check out John Britten.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9N1gfLQ--k
Quite remarkable.


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