Like most real heart transplants, our Chevy-to-Yates engine swap was a major undertaking. The old engine was a wet motor, while the new Roush Yates power plant ran a dry sump system. For starters we needed a new mid-plate from Rayburn that, when it arrived in bubble wrap, was beautifully machined. Installed into the chassis it actually looked kind of funny, that shiny aluminum plate bolted to well worn mounts painted in red, but it would work, and at this stage that's what we cared about.

In addition to the mid-plate courtesy of Rayburn, we also had to get a new bellhousing, a lot of hose, and plenty of oil. Like many car builders, C.J. Rayburn manufactures his chassis with oil tank mounts in place. Roush Yates provided us with the tank, which basically meant that all we had to do was drop the motor in, plumb it, wire it, and fire it. Heck, we didn't even have to move the radiator, although we would end up having to cut the shroud a bit.

In With the New Our new Roush Yates Dirt Late Model motor starts with the Ford Racing R452 block and comes in at 358 cubic inches. Some in the DLM world will balk at a steel block engine because of its added weight, but the rules in our series and at the local tracks we run state steel blocks only, so we're good to go. The block is topped off with Ford Racing D3 heads that sport Xceldyne valves, PSI springs, and a set of Roush Yates steel rocker arms. Deep inside we've got a Bryant crank, Pankl rods, and Mahle pistons with Cleavite bearings and Total Seal rings. The motor sports a Comp Cams roller cam with 905 dogbone lifters from Jesel, an Autoverdi oil pump, Roush Yates cam belt drive, and Jones Racing Products pulleys. Topping it all off is a Holley 4150 830cfm carb "borrowed" from some guy who drives car No. 99.

Schoenfeld Headers hooked us up with an absolutely gorgeous pair of Tri-Y headers for this motor. These headers' round port (PN 642VYRP) match perfectly with the D3 heads, and the Tri-Y design would maximize the horsepower output of the engine. (Check out "The Header Test" in the June '08 issue of Circle Track for more on choosing headers for your motor).

To mate up our newly rebuilt Bert (see "Rebuild Your Bert" in this issue, page 44), QuarterMaster sent us its latest Clutchless Bellhousing Kit. The kit is literally everything you need and then some. It includes the bellhousing itself, starter adapter plate, an oil pump, a 91-tooth ring gear, drive hub, a true reverse rotation starter, an oil pump belt, and complete instructions. The Quartermaster bellhousing is one of the lightest and stiffest on the market today. Its design has eliminated the cracking around the starter pocket, a common problem on bellhousings. Check out the March '09 issue of Circle Track for a detailed install of this bellhousing kit.

Roush Yates dynos every one of its engines before it ships them, so you can imagine how eager we were to see the results. For this dyno run timing was set at 29 degrees and Anderson topped the motor with a 2-inch open spacer. The results? How does 822 hp and 491 lb-ft of torque at 8,800 rpm sound? Our jaws hit the floor when we heard the numbers. We had known for some time that our 362 Chevy was down on horsepower compared to some of the other competitors in our series. After hearing those numbers we were pretty sure we would be at or above many of those same guys. Heck, 822 is World of Outlaws power levels.