Dynamic Converters & Pro-Formance Transmissions
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Ready Set Go! In Part V of our series, the Indy/McCandless 451 stroker propels Project Six Pack to a 9.98/136.15 altitude-corrected quarter-mile pass.

Project Six Pack Intro Pic:
This month's story is a little different than it would be if an average enthusiast had assembled his or her own engine from scratch and had to deal with a steep learning curve. First, it's not a tuning story. Yeah, I know, we enjoy them too. Fact is, the team of Herb McCandless, Ken Lazzeri, and Russ Flagle produced an engine so close to perfect, right out of the box, there really wasn't any tuning needed. Even the jetting, often difficult to gauge at Denver's Mile High altitude, was pretty close from the beginning.

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Traditionally, Project Six Pack engines have been fairly low rpm pieces, shifted anywhere from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm. With the new McCandless/indy motor's 7,500-rpm shift point, we knew we'd need extra help in the ignition area. An MSD 7AL-2 and billet distributor were chosen. High rpm puts a real strain on a conventional ignition system, and the high-output MSD really makes a difference in establishing complete combustion and an aggressive flame front.

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Project Six Pack over the years has been fortunate to consistently have high quality people as part of the team effort, and Cart Soiko is no exception. A staunch Mopar devotee, Cart's stable incLudes a Max Wedge '64 Polara, a soon-to-be-Max: Wedged '63 330 wagon, a'62 Dodge 330 2-door hardtop, and a show-quatity'68 Hemi Dart clone. As talented at fabrication as he is in mechanics, if Cart can't find the right part, heIl make it! Though born in 1966, you'd swear he lived through the musctecar era with us older guys.

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One of the best Mopar men in the state, hands down! Well known and widely respected, Lou Carbone personifies the term "work ethic." Lou can fix anything ... engines, transmissions, foreign cars, domestic cars, trucks, diesels, you name it. He's one of those rare individuals who possess the acumen to produce winning race engines and still enjoy day-to-day diagnostic work. "Just watching Louie work makes me tired," says Ted. Ask Louie how he's doing, and he'll probably answer "out of control." Don't you believe it!

After getting some runs under our bell, the only thing we deemed necessary was a change in final drive ratio from 4:88 to 5:13, which got us about a 1/10 and a half. Bottom line? How about an altitude-adjusted 9.98 at 136-15 mph? just so you know it wasn't a fluke, the next run was a io.oo. Now if you Ire like us, you're probably looking at the photos and saying, "No way that's a 9-second run; not enough chassis action." Remember, the air is rare up here, and at Bandimere, a 9.98 at sea level works out to a 10.76 using the Stock/Super Stock factor.

Obviously, we were pleased! But that's not to say there's not more to be had from the total combination. Torque converter choice and a property-built transmission strongly impact performance.

When Frank Lupo, of Dynamic Converters, was a youngster, his parents sponsored Project Six Pack as Frank does today. A stickler for quality, Franks converters feature bulletproof sprag and stator assemblies, oversize triple roller bearing packages, and duaLanti-ballooning plates. All fins are triple-reinforced, furnace-brazed and hand-welded. On all 7, 8, and 9-inch converters, the turbine is lightened, ground, and polished as standard procedure. Frank's transmissions, sold under the ProFormance name, are fully dyno-tested and strongly constructed. Our 727 features a reverse pattern manual valve body, rollerized and lightened planetary assembly, roUerized rear support, and a heavy-duty bolt in the sprag assembly. Other features include specialty lined bands, modified servos, extra capacity direct drum assembly, and relocated vent. We've been running Frank's transmissions for a number of years now, and haven't had one problem. The Dynamic converter currently in the car stalls at approximately 6,000 rpm at sea level but, due to the e[evation, the highest we've seen here is 4,800. Leaving at 4,8oo pretty much misses the power band of the Indy engine, so Frank will adjust this for us as necessary depending upon our plans for the car.

Anotherarea ripe for improvement is the suspension.The go/lo and 75125 Monroe shocks have served us welLsince 1972. But a modern, gas

filled shock should propel the car forward, rather than eating up e.t. with upward motion. Newer, drag-specific shocks also offer multiple adjustments, allowing finetuning. Again, this is valid only if the tires work. And speaking of work, anybody who's ever gone racing knows it's a heck of a lot easier when you have friends to help out, and Project Six Pack is no exception. When your friends are exceptionally talented, it really helps. In our case, a lot of people chipped in, including Jim Zellner, who donated a Milodon part that was on back order; Gary Gokey loaned us a racing seat and the use of his trailer when the ever-dependable Wayne Benedict needed his for his own race car; Bob Stavik installed the braided lines and much of the braking system; Mike Motgard donated a trunk-mounted battery kit ... you get the picture. And white thanks are in order, special thanks are due to several individuals.
Ted's buddy, Carl Solko, a talented mechanic and fabricator, put aside his own race car efforts to get Project Six Pack up and running. Carl worked virtually every night and weekend for three months to turn the pieces into a functioning race car. Years earlier, Carl and partner/driver Gino Patlazzini had built the 440 Six Pack in their own race car from one of Ted's Project Six Pack engine articles, right down to the part numbers on the pistons. It's funny how sometimes things come fu It circle.

When they had to get back to their own racing efforts, weU-known Mopar engine builder and master mechanic, Lou Carbone, took over the reins as driver/wrench. A decade earlier, working with Wayne Benedict, Lou was instrumental in getting Project Six Pack back into the i1s. This time around, he wasted no time finessing the already sharp combo into the nines, with a stout attitude-corrected time of 9.98 at 126 mph! Remember, this is from a car that's as much a museum piece as it is a race car! It's important to keep this in perspective, especialty when comparing it to contemporary race cars. A lot of people would keep a car like this wrapped in plastic. Not only is it a 12,000mite original six-barret car, and an original owner car (the only one left according to Gaten Govier), it's just been given a show-quality body restoration, and there's not a lot of incentive to beat it up again.

While we were preparing this story, a lot of discussion centered around Ted's frustration with the fact that the Denver area has absolutely no nostalgia racing at all, and the fact that N H RA has moved away from emphasizing sportsman racing as a priority. Stock Eliminator has become a money pit, with stockers sporting such things as rifle-dritted titanium axles, $4,000-Plus acid-dipped cylinder heads and, until recently, even things like Ford C-4 innards inside 727 TorqueFlite cases. Back in the early Us, you could actually drive the car you raced in Stock class back and forth to work each day. If you knew how to curve a distributor, jet a carburetor, and had good gearing, you could win the class trophy and drive home. The reason Project Six Pack was initiated back in 1972 was NHRA:s newly adopted "Pure Stock" rules structure. The 440 six-barrel. Mopar was an idea[ street/strip piece-perfect for that kind of racing.

Some may argue bracket racing is a better solution for the budget racer, and perhaps that's true from a pure cost standpoint. But for anyone born and bred on class racing, where you run heads-up against evenly matched machines, bracket racing is a poor substitute. Back in the '60s, more than a few Stock Eliminator cars were driven halfway across the country to the NHRA Nationals in Indianapolis, won the class, and drove home with the trophy in the back seat. Can you imagine the thrill of driving the national champ into the local hamburger stand on Saturday night ... wow, what a rush! And guess what, with the increasing proliferation of shows and musclecar get-togethers in the Denver area, that's exactly what we're going to do with Project Six

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Ever since NHRA allowed headers back in Stock Eliminator in 1973, Hooker headers have been on Project Six Pack. From the first street/strip set, to the adjustables that captured a total of six national records, to the largerdiameter "Max Wedge" coated headers currently occupying the engine bay, they've performed admirably. The new meta Itic-cera mic coating makes them as attractive as they are efficient, and greatly contributes to tong life.

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With the ample horsepower and torque of the Indy/McCandiess 451, boiLing the hides is no problem. After the first burnout, driver Gino Pallazzini asked if the tachometer was right, because the telltale said 8,100 rpm. Ted said yes--Gino said oops! Gino took it easier in the water after that, but was amazed at how effortlessly the engine produced that kind of rpm. On the surface, the Pro Stock-quality Winberg crank, Giannone aLLoy rods, and McCandless aluminum end caps may seem Like overkill, but considering how much power this thing builds and how quickly, it's reaRy necessary.

Pack, if something major in nostalgic racing doesn't present itself in the next few months. Now, if this sounds a little strange, especially since we just turned it into an all-out race car in the past five issues. We'll let you in on a little secret. Project cars (by their very nature) always take longer than expected. You're not just building a car, you're building a story as well, stopping all the time to take pictures and write text. When you throw in an unexpected complication like Ted's Parkinson's disease and forced retirement, which greatly affected the budget, things take a lot longer. In reality, the modification of Project Six Pack featured in these last five stories actually spanned a period of time from 1992 to the present, so it's not like we're contemplating changing something we just did. But a lot has changed, and like its inspiration, Popular Hot Roddings "Project V, which has undergone many transmogrifications since its inception in 1965, Ted would like to have the car back in a form he could get some use out of. Rest assured, any changes will be well researched and informative, so stay tuned.

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Here's a man who really enjoys his work. Noted letterer/striper Bob Blackburn carefuLLy studied photographs of the quarter-century-old Lettering by PhiLadetphia's "Jim The Painter" and duplicated it faithfuLLy. What really boggles the mind is how he perfectly replicated the delicate scrollwork of the "Project Six Pack" script in modern tape. Believe it or not, he cut it out by hand with an X-Acto knife! The gold Leaf Lettering, surrounded by a bright red pinstripe, has always Looked great on Project Six Pack's vivid (F6) Rallye Green paint.

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What really gives the gold leaf much of its visual appeal is the burnishing process. Here Bob uses a special burnishing too[ in a hand drill to create the reflective that's so much a part of this style Lettering. Although hard to appreciate in a black and white photo, when the bright Colorado sun hits it, this "engine-turned" effect kicks in and the gold leaf Lights up like a neon sign. With the sound the 15:1 Indy engine makes, and the car's striking appearance, the crowd always takes notice when Project Six Pack pulls out from under Bandimere's timing tower.

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Proper alignment is an absolute must for a race car. It not only helps the car go straight, but reduces parasitic horsepower losses present when the alignment isn't correct. Luckily Lou Carbone had a friend with a high-end body shop who was kind enough to let us use his four-wheel alignment setup. Having equipment like this available is really a benefit, as it removes all guesswork.

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Frank Lupo, of Dynamic Converters, has been a fan of Project Six Pack since he was a kid. Back then his parents owned a major transmission company that sponsored the car in 1972. Among other accomplishments, Frank's converters were the first to put an SS/AA 'Cuda into the eights, and recently propelled )oe Aluise's'63 Max Wedge Plymouth into the NHRA record book as the first official nine-second stocker.

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Despite his hero status among Mopar fans, former Sox and Martin Pro Stock driver Herb McCandless (left) is a delight to work with. With all his technical knowledge and welldeserved celebrity, he'll still take time to talk with anybody about their Mopar problem, and do his best to explain how to fix it. Herb has a great sense of humor, and claims his main goal in racing is to avoid "goin' slow and Lookin' stupid." When complications from owner Ted Struse's Parkinson's disease made it difficult to retrieve the car, Herb towed it all the way from North Carolina and personally delivered it to Ted in Colorado. Like Ted says. "It was a tough time in my life, and Herb shows up Christmas week with my car. You don't forget a thing Like that."

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Going up! First floor, ladies' lingerie, second floor, housewares, third ftoor-well, you get the picture. As this photo graphically shows, the 28-year-oid Monroe shocks really let the suspension work overtime. Current thinking though, maintains it's better for a car to move forward as quickly as possible than it is to
waste time moving up. The new slicks work so well, say the pundits, that aU that upward motion isn't necessary. Future testing includes adjustable gas shocks in the rear combined with CalTracs bars and their new two piece mono-leaf springs.

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Comp Cams and Project Six Pack have over a quarter-century of shared history. UntlL now, A have been hydrauLics, from the acceLerated ramp stocker grinds of the mid-'70s to the .507-tift version that put the car back in the lls a decade ago. The Latest Comp Cams grind a .690 roLLer, makes power up to 7,500 rpm. A .770-Lift version was originalty scheduLed. but piston-to-valve cLearance precLuded its use untii the piston notches can be deepened.

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Like he does with so many of the cars he builds, Kennedy Race Cars owner and chief fabricator Shawn Kennedy took a test drive in Project Six Pack. In addition to being a very capable chassis builder, Shawn is also an excellent driver, with a spate of 5.0 tights behind the wheel. Ted told Shawn he was happy with the times the car was running, but really needed a 10.76 (the equivalent to a nine-second run) to cap off the article. Shawn remarked it was a 10-90 car, not a 10.70 car. As Shawn watched from the stands the next week (after the rear change), Lou Carbone ran a 10.76, while Shawn shook his head.

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Lou Carbone adjusts the Lazzeri-prepped 1050-cfm Holley Dominator while Carl So[ko looks on. Both these guys are talented mechanics with excellent fabrication skills. They're good at what they do and good people to boot. You can't do any better than that!

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And we're off! This 3/4-shot from the rear shows the car's Launch from another perspective. It's evident from this angLe that the suspension is definiteLy working. it's atso obvious the car is somewhat under-convertered. Due to the relativeLy high rpm range of the Indy engine, the 4,800-rpm flash speed of the converter doesn't get it into the power band off the Line. Most of this is due to horsepower Losses caused by the rarefied air. Frank Lupo of Dynamic Converters wiLl adjust the converter for us if we want to pursue this particutar configuration further.

Slick Budget Small-Block, Part IV
This is more than just a test

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After a tong winter of working on our Challenger Challenge project car, it felt great to get to Engtishtown for some springtime testing. Here we heat up the BFG Drag Radials. Our on-the-cheap 360 and fresh Pro-Formance 904 held up great to all the abuse we dished out.

When last we left our low-buck 360 (High Performance Mopar, May '01),you may recall our Slick Budget Small-Block (SBSB) initially ran for only 10 minutes in our Challenger Challenge project car before it stalled. In that former episode, our stock starter fried, making it impossible to restart the 360.

In the interim, Summit supplied us with a Powermaster high-torque mini-starter. Having experienced mainly big-blocks with headers, it was a pleasure how our Powermaster mini-starter (and even the bulky stock unit) slipped through the headers for easy removal and installation. Starter installation only took minutes on our headerized small-block.

With the new Powermaster hi-torque starter in place, our SBSB fired right up and we varied the rpm between 1,8oo-2,800 for 25 minutes to complete the break-in on the Summit cam and lifters. To satisfy our curiosity, we knew a ride around the block was mandatory. AR fluid levels, possible leaks, timing, tires, air/fuel mixture, belt tension, and so on were checked before we

Since our E-Body was equipped with a 4.56 open rear (8 3/4) and sporting a set of 28-inch tall bargain brand radials, 4,000plus rpm came in at only 55 mph. We noticed going down the street that the 904" TorqueFlite neglected to shift into second gear, going directly into third gear. This was confirmed on the next road at only 45 mph when punching the 360 caused the toasted TorquAtite to downshift into first gear (instead of second) which pegged the factory tach at 7,000 rpm.

Without second gear, we proceeded to drop the trans pan to inspect our T-Ftite, where sat a few spoonfuls of clutch material in the pan. Next we dropped the valve body and noticed the front band was worn down to the metal, scorching the front drum. We

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Our bulky stock starter (left) fried, requiring us to get a new piece. Summit supplied us with a high-torque Powermaster starter. This mini-starter is a few pounds lighter than the stocker, yet packs a more powerful punch. The Powermaster spins our LA motor easily and faster for quicker starts.

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The hood hinges were bead-biasted to bare metal using a buddy's blasting cabinet. We used the durable Eastwood Company Chassis Black as it features an epoxy base to ensure years of service. With the hinges properly protected we were confident enough to reinstall the Railye hood.
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We were really shocked by the DUI (Davis Unified Ignition) from Performance Distributors. The DUI is the best ignition upgrade "yours truly" has ever done. DUI will custom tailor the advance curve to your engine's specs. The spiral wound Uvewires plug wires feature heat resistant
sleeving and are numbered at each end for the correct cylinder.13
Wanting the best in a reliable and dependable transmission, we called Frank Lupo at Dynamic Converters/Pro-Formance Transmissions. The smatter 904s are generally known to be worth a tenth in e.t. over a 727, and a swap to a 727 would have required a change to a 727 converter and a shorter driveshaft. Our new ProFormance street/strip trans would feature automatic shifting, reprogrammed valve body for quicker shifts, a 5.o kickdown [ever, heavyduty low/reverse spring, and hi-po bands and clutches.This well-built Pro-Formance 904 wilt deliver the same quality, performance, and durabilitywe received from the lo-inch Dynamic converter that's been tested, used and abused in our'67 R/T mule for years.

Our band-aided TorqueFlite would hopefully stay together until our new Pro-Formance trans was built. In the next few test drives, we noticed the 360 would start breaking up at 5,4oo rpm. Some folks would suspect the ignition, but we knew it was the wimpy valve springs. Single thin springs without dampers were the culprit. Fortunately, the blown 318 we removed from the Challenger had MP #P4120249 valve springs. The used MP springs at[ checked OK and within 5 tbs. of each other, usingAcme Engine Company's valve spring pressure tester.

Powerhouse Products provided us with a convenient too[ for removal and installation of valve springs without putting the heads. On our next ride out, the smalt-btock pulled right up to 6,000 rpm easity, and still wanted more. We eliminated another bug from our new et-cheapo powerptant, and it didn't grenade.

The next upgrade we performed was removing the stock electronic distributor and installing a Davis Unified Ignition (DUI) from Performance Distributors. The DUI is an HEI-style ignition that can really leave a lasting impression on you. In the past 15 years, we've changed from points to electronic ignition, added external spark amplifier boxes,and sensed a small difference. The intense DUI made a tremendous improvement in the smoothness, performance, and driveabi[ity of our breathed-on 360.

At this point we had enough of the open 4.56 gears in our E-Body's 8-3~4. In stock at home we had a mrnpJ~-Ie, i7iiief-running third member with a 3.55 Sure-Grip. During the week we were waiting for our Pro-Formance 904 to arrive, we jumped at the opportunity to replace the open 4.56 pig to a more street-driveabie 3.55. Also, with the mild 3.55 gearing, our 36o was now turning just 3,000 rpm at 60 mph instead of screaming at over Voo rpm with 4.56s. Our spent 904 made its last shift when we tried a WOT downshift at 50 mph, causing it to stick in second gear and blow fluid out the dipstick onto the headers. Looking in the rearview mirror revealed a cloud of smoke. Luckily, this happened only a hatf-mite from home. Our totally toasted TorqueNte was stipping and sliding and barely made it into the garage.

Right on time, our new trans arrived the next day. Most TorqueFlites Pro-Formance buitds are of the competition (manual shift) and trans-brake variety. Many top-rated racers and record holders use Dynamic converters and Pro-Formance transmissions in their Mopars. We asked Frank Lupo to set us up with a Street/Strip automatic and install a high rpm governor for 5,500-6,000 rpm automatic upshifts. Man, did he hook us up. The new trans shifts better than our R/T's modified 727. This dependable 904 has perfect (for the 360's powerband) 5.700 rpm upshifts. At normal around-towning driving

speeds, it feels like a stock TorqueFlite, but with firmer, more solid shifts. This ProFormance trans is the best automatic I've ever installed in a Mopar. Great job.

To protect our new tranny from excessive heat, we installed a used trans cooler and TO deep aluminum pan. The stock wasted rubber trans mount was replaced with an Energy Suspension polyurethane mount to prevent our precious new trans from jumping around in the tunnel too much. After a few local test rides, we changed the fluid and fitter to aid in a proper break-in for our fresh trans. Frank Lupo recommended we run one of his new 9-1/2-inch Dynamic converters, but we decided to stick it out with the unknown io-inch converter that came in our project car. This way we can do a proper same day 9 1/2- versus lo-inch converter test in the future.

Donut Break
When we originally purchased our '74 Challenger Rallye, it was shod with Weld Superlite wheels, 15x8 rear and 15x6 front. In the tire department there were P275/6o rear meats and P205/70S up front. Having used BFGoodrich T/A radials since the '7os, it was a no-brainer to use regular T/As and T/A Drag radials for street driving and testing purposes. For superior handling, a smooth ride, and safe street driving, we chose 275/6oR15 T/As with a 9-inch tread and 28-inch diameter. For strip duties we'll test both 235/6oR15 and 275/6oR15 Drag Radials to see what effect they have on the 60-ft. time, quarter-mile e.t., trap speed and rpm with their 26- and 28-inch diameters.

Besides setting us up with all the parts and accessories for our smati-block buildup, we ordered two sets Of 15x8 Weld Supertites from Summit. These handsome wheels have a 4 1/2-inch backspace for easy fitment into the rear whee[wells; of our E-Body. My buddies at Shore Wheels in Tuckerton, NJ, mounted and balanced our three sets of wheels and tires. With a fresh motor, trans, gears and rear meats, the Challenger was a treat to drive on the street.

We now felt confident enough to take our hard working combination on the gominute trek to Raceway Park in Engtishtown, New Jersey. The mitdty-cammed 36o felt

second passes. Our plan was to baseline the car with regular BFG radials, then switch to their famous Drag Radials (we've seen 9second cars run with them so we knew we'd hook). Once we established a good baseline, we'd move on to air filter testing, then strip tuning.

Test Time
Clear, bright skies greeted us at Raceway Park. The weather and track conditions (always cleaned and freshly sprayed for our tests) were ideal. Our fresh SBSB felt strong enough to put our 3,600-lb. Dodge well into the 13s. When our first pass [it up a 13-14 at 103.96 on the scoreboard, we were shocked. Our well-matched and under $2,000 longblockwas performing betterthan we expected. Next, with more off the line finesse, we dropped the e.t. to a 13.06/104.08. With those numbers, we had to try and get 12S out of our combo before switching to the T/A Drag Radials.

After a 15-minute cooldown, we tried again and gotclose, but no cigar-we posted a 13-04/104.23 mph. The previous 13-06 and 13-04 came with 1.96 and 1.95 6o-ft. times (respectively) by walking the Challenger out of the hole. Determined, we let our cheap motor coot off for 25 minutes. The longer cooldown did it. We went an astonishing 12.98 at 104-47 on genuine T/A street radials.

At this point we were really stoked. Once we put the Drag Radials on, we knew we could only go quicker. We ran a bunch of 12.8s with the 275/60 T/A Drag Radials, posting 1.81 to 1.83 6o-ft. foot times. The Drag Radials hook like sticks yet offer less roiling resistance, enabling better e.t.'s and trap speed. Still with no tuning changes the Drag Radials grabbed us a best e.t. (so far) Of 12.82 at 104-31. The 28xg-inch T/A radials and the Drag Radials (both 275/6oR15) were spinning our SBSB at 5,400 rpm through the traps. Considering our motors powerband seemed to fait off after 5,700 rpm, we wondered if the 26-inch-tall 235/6o Drag Radials would be too short for our combo.
Off came the tall 275/6oRl5s and on went the shorter 235/6o Drag Radials. We needed to spend a few more seconds in the burnout box with the shorter and one inch narrower shoes to achieve the same traction

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Here's the coil and ballast resistor's unsightly presence hanging from the firewalt. Without the carburetor's choke hooked up it would take over 5 minutes of foot on the gas pedal until our motor would idle smoothly. This was with the stock distributor reworked for full advance aLL in by 1,500 rpm.

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Here's our cieaner-looking firewall without the coil and ballast resistor. With the DUI installed we could have eliminated the MP orange box, but we left it there for Looks. The fat HE style distributor fits B- and E-Bodies easily, but not A-Bodies. Performance Distributors makes a smaller OUT that will fit A-Body Mopars. Once the DUI was installed, our powerplant would easily idle after only 30 seconds of warm-up time.

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For someone duplicating our buildup, don't use the Edlebrock Sure Seat Springs. Use the beefier Ediebrock Torker Springs. The 360 was breaking up at 5,400 rpm. Once we installed the MP #P4120249 springs (we pirated from the blown 318), our thrifty smati-block would rev smoothly to 7,000 rpm (1,000-plus revs over peak power). Powerhouse Products offers this tool to change valve springs without removing the heads.

were derived from the 26x8-inch drag radiats, but with slightly quicker e.t.'s and trap speed. With the shorter tires, our new best e.t. and mph was 12.79 at 104-94. Effective gear ratios for our 3.55 gearing remains the same with the 235s while it changes to 3.30 with the 275 skins, the reason we chose the 275/60-15 regular T/As for highway cruising.

With the 235/6o Drag Radials laying claim to the best e.t. and mph, we decided to continue testing our SBSB with them. Chucking our carburetor's choke plate improved our low-buck engine's performance, but not as much as we've seen on our deep breathing big-block. Still, we got down to a 12-76 and our 36o ran its first 105 mph pass. We were amazed how our mildly carnmed combo got us into the 12S (.441 tift, 218/228 duration @ .050). Without the hours of head porting we did, this same combination of parts would be capable of low 13s.

In years of testing, the K&N air fitter has always been worth a few ponies over a paper element filter. We put a 104-inch K&N setup on the car, but we suffered fuel starvation in second and third gear. We hadn't realized how low on gas we were before makingthisrun. Backinthe pits,weadded a couple gallons of pump premium, and forged on. The new K&N XStream@ air flow top

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Fed up with the excessive rpm caused by the 4.56 open pumpkin (right), we popped in a 3.55 unit. The 4.56 would be useless at the strip only doing a one-tire burnout and be way beyond our 360's powerband. The 3.55 SureGrip matched our powerpLant for great all-around street and strip use. We're stiR astounded we went mid-12s with such a mild-mannered motor and only 3.55 gearing.

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The Challenger's original 904 TorqueFlite (left) was toasted and leaked from all its seats. A stock rebuild, along with a shift improvement kit from a regular rebuilder, wouldn't be tough enough for our torquey 360. Our dynotested Pro-Formance 904 (right) has the guts to handle our heavy car (3,600 ibs.) and strong smati-block combo. This severe duty, street/strip 904 features a stronger 5 clutch drum, 360 front pump, 5.0 shift lever, positive shifts and relocated vent, along with rugged bands and clutches. C3


Baseline with 275/60R15 T/As, test lbs. 3595

48°, 45 percent humidity, 30.00 barometer
60ft. 1/8 mile MPH 1/4 mile MPH Comments

1.96 8.29 84.24 12.98 104.47 Wow- 12s on street radials
Test #1 with 275/60R15 T/A Drag Radials, test lbs. 3580

49°, 43 percent humidity, 30.03 barometer
60ft. 1/8 mile MPH 1/4 mile MPH Comments

1.81 8.12 83.48 12.82 104.31 Drag radials reduce e.t. significantly.
Test #2 with 235/60R15 T/A Drag Radials, test lbs. 3585 (added gas)

52°, 41 percent humidity, 30.03 barometer
60ft. 1/8 mile MPH 1/4 mile MPH Comments

1.81 8.13 84.32 12.79 104.94 Shorter tire increases gear ratio, resulting in quicker e.t. and more trap speed.
Test #3 Remove choke plate and shift, test lbs. 3580

54°, 39 percent humidity, 30.03 barometer
60ft. 1/8 mile MPH 1/4 mile MPH Comments

1.84 8.10 84.70 12.76 105.11 A chokeless Holley always goes faster for us.
Test #4 K&N 14x4-in. air cleaner, test lbs. 3575

55°, 37 percent humidity, 30.03 barometer
60ft. 1/8 mile MPH 1/4 mile MPH Comments

1.79 8.08 84.00 12.78 104.19 Low fuel in tank causes fuel starvation second and third gear.
Test #5 K&N XStream® Air Cleaner Top 14" test lbs. 3595 (added gas)

57 degrees, 37 percent humidity, 30.03 barometer
60ft. 1/8 mile MPH 1/4 mile MPH Comments

1.77 8.02 84.63 12.68 105.15 More torque & lower e.t.'s
Test #6 31 to 37 primary squirter, test lbs. 3590

59 degrees, 37 percent humidity, 30.03 barometer
60ft. 1/8 mile MPH 1/4 mile MPH Comments

1.77 8.00 85.06 12.64 105.27 Larger squirter lowers e.t.'s.
Test #7 Swap jets 74 to 77 primary, test lbs. 3585

59 degrees, 37 percent humidity, 30.03 barometer
60ft. 1/8 mile MPH 1/4 mile MPH Comments

1.77 80.06 84.23 12.73 104.85 Efficent SBSB slows from fuel enrichment.

plate looks like one of the coolest new products to come out in a while. The XStream@ allows airto enter smoothly through the top, helping pull more air from the sides. This great idea should have come out years ago as it performs as advertised. Our e.t. numbers dropped across the board bringing us down to a 12.68 at 105-05 mph, a stunning number for our basic budget build-up. We predict this great new piece witI. be seen under the hood of many Mopars, especially at the drags.

Our 360 had a slight low speed stumble between i,ooo and 1,600 rpm. We knew a change to a larger squirter would help banish the slight bog. Removing the stock #31 squirters; and moving up to a #37 did indeed eliminate the slow speed stumble. Now we could have launched at 1,200 to 1,500 rpm, but to keep our testing consistent we stayed at 1,800. The larger squirter sent our SBSB screaming down the strip to its best run of the day with a 12.64 at 105.28. Man, were we taken aback by those numbers.

Our Davis Unified Ignition had our spark plugs burning so clean we thought if we richened the jetting we might go a little faster. Along with the coot air (high 50s) we hoped swappingthe stock primary74 jets for 77s might improve our 1320 times. Unfortunately, we slowed down to 12.73/104-85, a step in the wrong direction. Out of time, we were unable to lean it out a tad for possibly even better el's.

Much to our amazement (and the amazement of all involved in this build-up), this low-buck smalt-block delivered performance beyond our expectations. We're tickled to have an efficient motor (11-15 MPG) with everyday driveability that would respond well in a truck, boat or luxurious C-Body. Sure, upgrading to a bigger cam, ported aftermarket heads, 3.9is and a [a rge r exhaust could put our E-Body into the lis. But, then it would lose its ability to be a docile daily driver. The SBSB has the feel of a torqueY 440. *

Pic 10:
The B&M (Summit #BMM-10239) 360 external balance fLexpLate is of utmost importance when replacing a 318/340 with a 360. We've seen too many people have vibration problems from not using a properly balanced ftexplate or converter. Using the B&M plate will enable us to perform converter upgrades in the future.

Pic 11:
On the Left is the 10-inch. high-staLL 904 converter that came with our project car. To the right is an 11-inch 727 converter. The unknown brand 10-inch converter was flushed out, then filled with quality ATF before installation. Down the road we intend to do a same day converter swap strip test. Elapsed time and efficiency gains will follow when we team up the Dynamic converter with the ProFormance transmission.

Pic 12:
Check out the dyno tested 02-27-01 date code on the Pro-Formance tranny. We degreased, then bead-biasted the trans crossmember down to bare metal. Eastwood Chassis Black will bond to steel protecting it from rock chips and rust. It's much tougher than regular paint, having proven itself for years in other applications.

Pic 13:
The stock to-po trans mount is missing half its deteriorated rubber. When this rotted rubber mount was in place, you could push or putt the taiLshaft one inch in either direction. Replacing this worn rubber mount with a new rubber mount wouldn't prevent our transmission from excessive torque movement between the motor and mounts.

Pic 14:
We removed aR the old rubber from the inside of the original steel shell. The Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings install from each side of the bracket, then the bushings stip through the sleeve. It's that easy, plus it's better looking and more durable.

Pic 15:
We mounted this old trans cooler from our'67 R/T in the '70s, '80s and '90s. Excessively heated trans fluid is the number one kilter of automatics. A cooler running TorqueFtite is added insurance to longer transmission life.

Pic 16:
Our Pro-Formance killer 904 trans deserves only the best of care and service. After a few local break-in rides, we replaced the stock pan and filter with a TCI deep aluminum pan (Summit #TCI-127900). It holds 2 extra quarts of ATF. Bolted in place is the detailed crossmember and Energy Suspension potyurethane mount.

Pic 17:
Our E-machine featured Weld wheels for its original $1,000 purchase price. The three pair of BFG T/As we tested were mounted on 15x8 Weld Dragiites with a 4 1/2-inch backspacing. Left to right, shown mounted: 275/60RI5 T/A Drag Radial, 275/60RI5 Radial TIA, 275/60RI5 T/A Drag Radial, 235/60R15 T/A Drag Radial, and mounted up front is a Brand X 205/70-15.

Pic 18:
Here, Bud Hoerth, the famous "Budman," helps mount a Drag Radial. Not seen but on the other side was John Pank who once owned our project car. Bud and John were a great pit crew while John videotaped each run of his old car. Those T/A Drag Radials hooked up like sticks, eventually returning 1.77 60-ft. times.

Pic 19:
Who do you think got to chuck the choke plate? On our 440 mule we reduced our e.t. by over a tenth with this trick on a 750 Holley. Removing the choke and its shaft on our 360 showed a smatter improvement. It seems our smallblock didn't need as much additional air flow as a big-block does. Our chokeless wonder did see its first 105-mph trap speed afterwards, however.

Pic 20:
The Performance Distributors DUI (Davis Unified Ignition) clears our old 12-Inch open paper element air cleaner by one Inch. The DUI directs additional spark energy to the plugs, allowing the plug gap to be opened up to.055. The DUI worked with our combination as a team helping our SBSB produce outstanding driveability, efficiency, and tow e.t.'s.

We found this inexpensive every day package right out of the Summit Catalog. Summit's low-buck engine kit, cam timing set, and parts are all high quality. Acme Engine Company's machine work was top rate, contributing to great engine seal. Proper porting to the 1.88/1.60 smog heads combined with all the above gave us a freaky-fast SBSB combination. According to our Barry Grant Professor II computer, our SBSB is making 351 horsepower.


Engine: 1978 360 with .030 hypereutectic 9.1 pistons
Heads: 1978 casting "596" 1.88 intake, 1.60 exhaust ported
Cam: Summit Hydraulic 441 lift 218/228 duration @ .050
Induction: Edelbrock Performer RPM Air Gap with 750 Holley Double Pumper #74 primary, # 80 secondary jets 14x4-inch K&N with XStream top
Ignition: DUI with full advance in by 3,000 rpm 12° initial, 38° total
Exhaust: 1 5/8 Hedman headers with 2 1/4 full exhaust generic 2 1/4 turbo mufflers
Transmission: 904 by Pro-Formance transmissions, 3000 stall no-name 10-inch converter
Wheels/Tires: Weld Draglites, 15x6 front, 15x8 rear, 235/60 BFG Comp T/A Drag radials (rear) 205/70 off-brand tires (front)
Suspension: Stock, gas shocks (front) air shocks 20 psi (rear) pinion snubber resting on floor
Rear: Stock 8 3/4 with 489 case, 3.55 Sure-Grip
Pic 21:
A warning in the DUI installation instructions states air cleaners over 13 inches might not fit. This warning prompted us to order a UN offset base air cleaner. This 14x2 1/2-inch air cleaner will need to be installed as shown in order to clear the 750 Holley's float adjusting screws and the fat HEI style distributor cap. The Challenger's RaLLye hood bracing would only clear up to a 14x3 offset air cleaner.

Pic 22:
We wanted to use a 14A drop base style cleaner. Here we discovered a 14-inch K&N drop base clears the fat distributor by 1/4 inch. The trans kickdown adjustment rod needed to be clearance ground down to 1/4-inch (top front corner). This helped clear the air cleaner's drop base.

Pic 23:
E-Bodies with an Rfr, Ratiye or'Cuda Raisin Bran (two scoops) hood should have enough clearance for a drop base K&N 14x4-inch air cleaner set up. To install it, the plug wires need to be held back while placing the fitter onto the drop base. Our Livewires plug wires only rested against the fitter, no biggie-just run a regular 14-inch diameter air cleaner (we wanted to for our strip testing efforts).

Pic 24:
The K&N XStream@ air cleaner top is one of the best new products to come along in years. It delivers noticeable gains in throttle response and e.t. Reductions in 60-ft., eighthand quarter-mite times were realized. This new XStreame lid MR be in place for aH future tests. This outstanding piece got us out of the 12.7s and into the 12.6s.

Pic 25:
Excited about running a 12.68, we felt a squirter change would help. We only changed the #31 primary squirter to a #37 squirter, and left the #31 secondary squirter alone. This simple change dropped the eA. to a 12.64

Pic 26:
Increases in airflow will usually demand more fuel mixture. Expectations with coot air (59*) had us jetting up the stock primary from #74 to #77. This was a step in the wrong direction and stowed us down by nearly a tenth. Out of time, we were still amazed how this miid and inexpensive combination brought us mid-12 second e.t.'s.

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