I'm sitting at my desk pouring over the data, trying to find a way to present all of it in a way that makes sense. There's a lot of it! Even with my notes about each dyno run, it's difficult remembering everything that happened in just one day on the dyno. Jet changes, ignition changes, pyrometer readings, brake specific fuel consumption, let's not even bring horsepower and torque into the mix-it's a lot to keep straight. Let's start at the beginning.

When we dropped that Roush Yates engine in our Dirt Late Model project a couple of years ago, we stashed the 362ci SBC that came out of it in the corner of the shop. We didn't know much about the engine, other than it was a 362 with 13.5:1 compression and Brodix aluminum heads. Wanting to build a useable powerplant, we contacted Steve Rolenc of SRE Engine Techniques in Tucson, Arizona. SRE builds quality race engines, and if that wasn't enough, they carry an unconditional one-year warranty. SRE really stands behind every engine it builds.

We started our 362 build on the dyno. It may sound like a backwards way to start a build, but wanting to salvage as many parts as possible, it's important to know what you have to work with. SRE uses a DTS engine dyno, which is run in an open-air environment. According to Rolenc, the lack of a dyno room better simulates real-world air conditions. The engine is also dyno tested with an air filter and mufflers. While this may yield lower horsepower numbers than leaving these components out, real-world conditions are what's important.

With the engine on the dyno, Rolenc installed the Schoenfeld 13/4-17/8-inch tri-Y headers and mufflers. The mufflers are installed inside of drums, which exit through 14-inch tubes into an outdoor dyno muffler. Having the mufflers inside the drums better simulates race conditions in the car, when the body of the car surrounds the mufflers.

For fuel delivery, we used Holley's Ultra HP rebuildable mechanical fuel pump, Ultra HP fuel regulator, and Ultra HP 750-cfm carb. Ignition was handled by an MSD Pro Billet distributor, Extreme Duty 6ALN ignition box, and High Vibration Blaster Coil, which supplied plenty of spark (or so we thought-more on that later).

The engine was set up on the dyno in as close to original trim as possible. The idea was to recreate the last time the engine was raced. Obviously, the ignition and fuel systems were new, but these are what will be run on the engine in its new configuration. The Holley Ultra HP carb was run out-of-the-box with 76 jets front and rear, a four-hole carb spacer, valve lash set to 0.026, and Autolite 3932 spark plugs, gapped at 0.021. The series requires Sunoco Blue race fuel, so Rolenc filled the dyno fuel cell and warmed the engine up.

More than 20 dyno pulls were made. To put it in a nutshell, we made 10 jet changes, two timing changes, a distributor change, an ignition box change, a spark plug change, four gap changes, and a valve lash change. We started the day at 402 hp and 397 lb-ft of torque from an engine was supposed to make 710 hp (shame on whoever originally built and sold this engine). By the end of the day, we were able to bring our power output to 501 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. Tuning was done using information from exhaust gas temperatures (EGT) for each cylinder, brake specific fuel consumption, and horsepower and torque numbers. During the dyno session, there were a few discrepancies in EGT (cylinder No. 4 consistently read 100 degrees hotter than the rest of the engine), an issue with the old distributor, and the new MSD ignition box, which we ended up changing. SRE blends old-school tuning tricks with some new-school technology. The progression this engine made over the course of the day yielded some very interesting results.)