What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

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What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by c4mo » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:46 am

Curious about short track or road course set up. What kind of rpm they turned. Compression, general cam specs, heads mostly used (862 pontiac style?). And what kind of power they tended to make. Any help is appreciated kind of hard to find out about these things. Mostly interested about mids 80s to late.
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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by Krooser » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:43 pm

I'll start… 358, OEM iron block and heads, 4150 Holley, mushroom lifters… I ran a pair of Ford 351-C heads from Bud Moore's shop in '81-'82 on my dirt car.
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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by ingram » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:03 pm

Many engines ran a Reed camshaft and carburetor during that period. A popular camshaft was an SA230-232-6A2 grind. It was a steel billet with full circle grooved lobes that were stellite welded. The lifters were 0.874 diameter solids at the time. The cam profiles were 268/272 at .050 with 0.386/0.390 lobe lift. The camshaft was ground on a 106 lobe separation with maximum lift at 102 and 110. The camshafts were usually run for only one race, but we did regrind some. The carburetors were Holley 0-4779 or 0-8156 750cfm that were fully modified and flowed around 1050cfm. Sometimes a Holley 830 with annular boosters was used.
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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by CamKing » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:17 pm

Here's the specs on the cam the fast guys were running in the mid to late 80's.
268/274 @ .050"
.409"/.395" Lobe Lift
108 LSA

we didn't start using the stelite welded cams until about 1990. Until then, we were using standard cast cores, with standard .875" lifters.
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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by woody b » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:19 pm

For the Chevy stuff, if my memory serves me correctly. The blocks evolved over the years, but were basically cast iron gen 1 small blocks from mid 70's until early 2000's. I believe the switch from cast iron "292" heads to "Bowtie" aluminum heads was around 1982. The 18 degree stuff came around in the late 80's. The "Pontiac" heads were sometime during the mid 80's. (1985ish?) I can't remember, were Chevys allowed to run the Pontiac heads? I'm pretty sure there was no compression rules back then, but I'm not sure how high they ran it. I've ran "292" heads as well as aluminum Bowties, and Pontiac 867's on my drag car. All of them were Nascar take off's from the 80's.
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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by StanJ » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:20 pm

We ran a mix of of the Pontiac #867 and raised port Bowtie heads on the Hendrick #5 car in 1989. Compression wasn't limited back then; non-restrictor plate engines were usually around 13.8 to 1, with plate engines going as as high as 17.5 to 1 (had to be REALLY careful with those on restarts and coming up off of pit road until RPM was high enough and VE was low enough to keep cylinder pressure in check). Holley #300-41 intakes worked well with the #867 heads on "open" engines. We had Murray Jensen hand-rub some Edelbrock #2967 manifold cores to give us enough metal to hide what we were doing with the restrictor plate manifolds at the time.

As I recall, we used stellite cams for the most part, and it used to p*ss me (and everyone else in the engine department) off royally when Greg would insist on full 190 lbs seat pressure right from the start, no break-in rockers, and no real break-in procedure. He'd kill about one out of every three cams that way before the rings even sealed up...which meant an all-nighter on Thursday for everyone and a frantic trip with the race motor - which should have been in the hauler Tuesday - to the track Friday night in the back of somebody's pickup.

Still, I wouldn't trade those days for anything.

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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by speedymatt » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:12 pm

Back when the engines were built by engine builders not by manufacturing facilities that build them now.

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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by Belgian1979 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:17 pm

Bore/stroke/ rods? HP ?

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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by StanJ » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:33 am

Belgian1979 wrote:Bore/stroke/ rods? HP ?
Depended on the application. Our short track and road course engines (and even one specific combination that ran very well at Darlington) tended to be 4.030" to 4.060"ish on the bore size with stroke in the 3.450" to 3.500" range to come in around 357 cu in. Rods (Carillo or Lentz for the most part, unless we were chea...excuse me, durability testing titanium rods that week. As I recall, we did a lot of that sort of...testing. Atlanta/Charlotte/Michigan engines tended to be 4.100" to 4.145" on bore size with a corresponding decrease in stroke and increase in rod length.

You had to be careful going much past 357 on displacement, since even a true 357.5 cu in combination would sometimes check over the 358" limit after a race depending on short block temperature, the relative attitude of the inspector involved, and whether your driver's post-race comments regarding NASCAR's officiating last week were positive or negative.

Quoting power numbers for any sort of comparison is an exercise in futility, just on dyno and testing procedure variations alone. On our Superflow 901's, we generally saw a peak of 670 to 680 at around 7600 RPM on short track engines on a 200rpm/sec sweep test, with an "Atlanta"-style motor making 695-700. Restrictor plate engines were in the 460 hp range. Some teams - including Stavola Bros./Bobby Hillin effort for which I worked before joining Hendrick Motorsports - were still doing RPM step tests at the time, which really skewed the numbers upward. Obviously, the Yates Ford engines were the power kings at that time, with reliable reports of 740 - 750 hp tossed around over lunch at Sandwich Construction. Their cylinder heads were about 30 cfm better than our best Pontiac 867 stuff, so they should have had that kind of power advantage.

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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by WeingartnerRacing » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:31 am

I miss those times in Nascar. I use to watch then. They were going 212mph then now with all the advancements they go a barely 200mph. Almost 20 years later hundreds more horsepower and they are still slower than they were then. I know they slowed them down due to safety but what it did for me is make them boring. Also back then most people could buy the parts from those engines now only a rare few will. Nascar took a good thing and destroyed it. I rarely watch it now and if a Toyota ever wins the great AMERICAN race I will not watch that race again either.
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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by MileHighMan » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:40 am

WeingartnerRacing wrote:I miss those times in Nascar. I use to watch then. They were going 212mph then now with all the advancements they go a barely 200mph. Almost 20 years later hundreds more horsepower and they are still slower than they were then. I know they slowed them down due to safety but what it did for me is make them boring. Also back then most people could buy the parts from those engines now only a rare few will. Nascar took a good thing and destroyed it. I rarely watch it now and if a Toyota ever wins the great AMERICAN race I will not watch that race again either.

X2..If I do watch it,,,it's just the last few laps...Funny thing though,,,20 years ago when I met my wife,,,she really did'nt even know what Nascar was....Now,,if we're home,,,she'll watch from start to finish.....Dan..

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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by pamotorman » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:48 am

StanJ wrote:We ran a mix of of the Pontiac #867 and raised port Bowtie heads on the Hendrick #5 car in 1989. Compression wasn't limited back then; non-restrictor plate engines were usually around 13.8 to 1, with plate engines going as as high as 17.5 to 1 (had to be REALLY careful with those on restarts and coming up off of pit road until RPM was high enough and VE was low enough to keep cylinder pressure in check). Holley #300-41 intakes worked well with the #867 heads on "open" engines. We had Murray Jensen hand-rub some Edelbrock #2967 manifold cores to give us enough metal to hide what we were doing with the restrictor plate manifolds at the time.

As I recall, we used stellite cams for the most part, and it used to p*ss me (and everyone else in the engine department) off royally when Greg would insist on full 190 lbs seat pressure right from the start, no break-in rockers, and no real break-in procedure. He'd kill about one out of every three cams that way before the rings even sealed up...which meant an all-nighter on Thursday for everyone and a frantic trip with the race motor - which should have been in the hauler Tuesday - to the track Friday night in the back of somebody's pickup.

Still, I wouldn't trade those days for anything.
were you running the oil trought under the cams back then to keep the cam in a oil bath or using the jets in the bottom side oil gallery ??? was kewi at hendeicks back then ???

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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by Cubic_Cleveland » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:12 am

WeingartnerRacing wrote: I rarely watch it now and if a Toyota ever wins the great AMERICAN race I will not watch that race again either.
Why? Toyota is a public company traded in the USA, and employs many Americans to make its cars. I'm sure the NASCAR team has American drivers, pit crew, engineers, and the motors are built there too. I don't see the problem.

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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by StanJ » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:34 am

pamotorman wrote: were you running the oil trought under the cams back then to keep the cam in a oil bath or using the jets in the bottom side oil gallery ??? was kewi at hendeicks back then ???
The whole inclosed cam tunnel concept was just starting to come around when I left Hendrick Motorsports to start my own business at the end of the '89 season. I'm pretty sure we hadn't raced one up to that point. We did use face-oiling lifters though.

"Kewi" is a name I remember and associate with the guys that worked at the main Hendrick Motorsports facility over near the speedway. Our team was the only one not based at that location. We were down I-85 a few miles (back toward Charlotte proper) in Huntersville. Our facility was in a sister building right beside the one that housed Raymond Beedle's Kodiak team. From what I understood, there was some sort of deal in place between Rick and Raymond, with one of them owning the property and buildings, and the other owning most of the equipment used by both teams. Don't remember for certain who owned what, though.

Compared to the main Hendrick Motorsports facility...or that of practically any other decently funded Cup team at the time...our place was a dump. Of course, by any other comparison it was clean, organized, and very well equipped. Still, for someone who eats, sleeps, and lives racing engines 24/7, that shop had at least one advantage - there was nothing behind it but a railroad track and about a mile of forest. No need for dyno mufflers; just open up the two metal doors that formed the rear of the dyno cells, turn on the fans, and and enjoy unfiltered that beautiful, magical song that a Cup motor sings when it comes up on the sweet part of the cam around 6800 RPM and starts "doing business". No way you could get away with that now.

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Re: What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?

Post by pamotorman » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:07 am

StanJ wrote:
pamotorman wrote: were you running the oil trought under the cams back then to keep the cam in a oil bath or using the jets in the bottom side oil gallery ??? was kewi at hendeicks back then ???
The whole inclosed cam tunnel concept was just starting to come around when I left Hendrick Motorsports to start my own business at the end of the '89 season. I'm pretty sure we hadn't raced one up to that point. We did use face-oiling lifters though.

"Kewi" is a name I remember and associate with the guys that worked at the main Hendrick Motorsports facility over near the speedway. Our team was the only one not based at that location. We were down I-85 a few miles (back toward Charlotte proper) in Huntersville. Our facility was in a sister building right beside the one that housed Raymond Beedle's Kodiak team. From what I understood, there was some sort of deal in place between Rick and Raymond, with one of them owning the property and buildings, and the other owning most of the equipment used by both teams. Don't remember for certain who owned what, though.

Compared to the main Hendrick Motorsports facility...or that of practically any other decently funded Cup team at the time...our place was a dump. Of course, by any other comparison it was clean, organized, and very well equipped. Still, for someone who eats, sleeps, and lives racing engines 24/7, that shop had at least one advantage - there was nothing behind it but a railroad track and about a mile of forest. No need for dyno mufflers; just open up the two metal doors that formed the rear of the dyno cells, turn on the fans, and and enjoy unfiltered that beautiful, magical song that a Cup motor sings when it comes up on the sweet part of the cam around 6800 RPM and starts "doing business". No way you could get away with that now.
kewi still works for rick as his guy in charge of "frivoious spending" as his business card says. he takes care of ricks play toys.

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