And this would be our fabricated...
And this would be our fabricated solution to making a Chevy radiator fit a Ford engine. Special thanks to the Roush Yates machine shop for this little setup. You can see the hoses running from the Y-pipe to the heads. Rob Fisher
An interesting little situation cropped up after we got the engine completely installed and ready to fire-we noticed that the oil pump belt rode half off the pulley on the pump. The bracket Roush Yates machined to attach the pump to the bellhousing for the dyno run never took into account the size of the mid-plate. Back to Pro Tools for more of Gus' machining expertise.
Cool Issues One thing I failed to mention at the start of this story is that this motor swap was such a major undertaking because we decided to do it between races. That's right we raced Saturday night, pulled the old motor on Sunday and planned on racing the new motor the following Saturday night. I know what you're thinking, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
One of the interesting things you'll find about switching from a Chevy to a Ford is that a Chevy radiator (which is what we have) has the inlet and outlet on opposite sides. On a Ford they are both on the same side. Couple that with the fact that the Roush Yates engine requires cooling hoses to feed both heads and we had some fabricating to do to make our Chevy radiator fit our Ford application. Now, before you start sending letters to the editor, remember we were trying to make a race deadline. We'll be swapping in a new Ford radiator in a separate story in a coming issue.
Cranking It Up The new Circle Track Dirt Late Model race shop is around the corner from our main office and is situated in a small industrial park. In addition to our DLM team there is a street performance shop that specializes in a number of different vehicle makes right across from us. They're a great group of guys but it's not unusual to hear that trademark tuner whine come out of their shop. With the last wire connected to our MSD ignition, it was time to fire up the engine. It was late Thursday evening and our tuner friends had been poking their heads in to see a "big" motor all night long. They took delight in revving up their turbo four-cylinders as the clock continued to tick, almost baiting us. It was pretty clear that they were almost as anxious to hear the engine as we were.
When Jeremy finally primed the carb, hit the switch and the 822 horses came to life the steel buildings rattled as if a Category Five hurricane just blew through. It was music to our ears and we felt ready to take on the world.
When was the last time you turned 9K?
Here's the dry sump pump mounted...
Here's the dry sump pump mounted to the bellhousing as it sat in Roush Yates' dyno room. You'll notice the belt rides perfectly on the cog. kevin thorne
"You'll have to twist that motor for all its worth," said Billy Wells, owner of Wells Brothers Racing and the first ever Roush Yates dirt late-model motor. "Choose your gears wisely."
The switch to the Roush Yates motor was a huge step up for us. Other than the fact that both engines had eight cylinders, there are few similarities between our new motor and the old Chevy. But the real significant difference is when the car hits the track. With a ton more horsepower and torque in a much higher rpm band, driver Bobby Clark will have to drive the car in a whole new way. Flat-footing a track like East Bay Raceway Park (1/3-mile oval), in Tampa, FL, will no longer be an option. Rear gear selection, while always important, will be critical, just like Wells said. Harnessing all of that horsepower and learning when to use it and, more importantly, when not to use it, will be something that will take some getting used to.
Our inaugural run with the new Roush Yates Motor is set for Volusia County Speedway in Barberville, FL, followed by a visit to North Florida Speedway in Lake City. Stay tuned for next month, where we lay it on the line.
In the meantime, head over to www.circletrack.com to see video outtakes and bonus photos, including some really funny ones, from this story. And if you want a Roush Yates Dirt Late Model engine of your own, Jeremy Anderson will hook you up for $25,000-which includes everything but carb, headers, bellhousing, and plumbing. Get him a Cuban sandwich from Brocato's and he might even come help you install it.
However, with the motor in...
However, with the motor in the car, the belt rides too far toward the front of the cog. When the bracket to hold the pump to the bellhousing was fabricated, we forgot to take into account the thickness of the mid-plate, which wasn't used during the dyno run. We had to run up the street to Pro-Tools to have the bracket machined down so that the belt would once again ride in the center. Rob Fisher
That's Jeremy in the blue...
That's Jeremy in the blue shirt; we made sure that he did way more on his trip to Florida than just tune and fire the engine. Here, he helps Bobby put our radiator back into the car. Rob Fisher
358 cubic inches of Doug Yates...
358 cubic inches of Doug Yates magic ready to unleash it's 822 horsepower on the competition. Tune in next month to find out what happens. Rob Fisher