The first step, obviously, was to find an appropriate donor motor. You might be able to get away with using the 602 engine's cast crank and powdered metal connecting rods if you are building a Pure Stock motor, but our plan had us aiming at the higher level Super Street class. This meant we wanted the forged crank from the 604. After a little searching we found a candidate that had been pulled from a race car and basically abandoned after a blown head gasket made it unfit for racing. We agreed to cough up a grand for the engine, which was probably a bit on the high side compared to what you will be able to get one for with a little haggling, but we considered it a way to help a racer get back on the track.

The engine we purchased had already been torn down, so we don't have any photos of it together. But it did show signs of water having sat in a couple of the cylinders. We also noticed that a couple of the rod journals on the crank had been scratched by the rod bolts during disassembly--which is annoying but not a deal killer. Overall, the parts we wanted looked to be in decent shape and the rest will likely be finding its way onto ebay anyway, so we considered the project a go.

The first step was to take the block and crank to be machined. We used KT Engine Development in Concord, North Carolina, which specializes in race engines. In this installment we'll take a look at a few of the components we'll be adding and our reasons why, machine up the block, fit the bearings and assemble the short block. So follow along!

The Game Plan

Eventually, we hope to put the completed recycled crate engine into a race car and put it to the test in real competition. We're shooting for a typical Super Street class, which is a high-end Street Stock racing usually on dirt. So we came up with the most common rules for this class. These fit no particular racetrack--so if your track has a Super Street-type class there will probably some differences in what you are allowed--we simply came up with what we have found is typical at most tracks. This means we may have to make a few changes when we do choose a specific track to race, but at least this allows us to make a real game plan.

Block--Cast-iron, may over bore 0.060

Crank--48 pounds minimum weight, can't knife edge, stock stroke for engine size

Pistons--Any flat-top, may float wristpins

Rods--Any steel rod, must be stock length, may be bushed

Heads--Stock or stock replacement, no Vortec, no porting, all bowl work must be in line with valve guide, screw-in studs allowed

Valves--Must be steel, maximum size 2.020 intake 1.600 exhaust

Rocker Arms--No shaft mount, may be steel or aluminum, roller tips allowed

Intake--Edelbrock 5001

Camshaft--May run solid or hydraulic, flat tappet only, 0.500-inch max lift measured at the valve (0.025 lash allowed), lifters must be stock diameter for engine run

Exhaust--Headers allowed, no Tri-Y collectors

Carburetor--May run Chevy Quadrajet, Ford Motorcraft, or box stock Holley 650 (PN 4777), carb spacer maximum 1 inch

Timing Chain--Chain only, no belts

Oil System--Wet-sump only, any pan

After a little searching we found a candidate that had been pulled from a race car and basically abandoned after a blown head gasket made it unfit for racing

The connecting rod is very highly engineered and is fully machined, so even with the reduced mass, it should be capable of holding up to high rpm's and 500-plus horsepower in a racing environment

Edelbrock (Carbs)
Powerhouse Products
3402 Democrat Rd.
TN  38118
925 Tower Ave.
WI  54880
1801 Russellville Road
Bowling Green
KY  42101
1863 Eastman Avenue
CA  93003
180 Zoar Valley Road
NY  14141
Comp Cams
3406 Democrat Road
TN  38118
Jones Racing Products
72 Annawanda Road
PA  18942
Performance Distributors
2699 Barris Drive
TN  38132
124 Poplar Pointe Drive Unit #104
NC  28117
KT Engine Development
384 Industrial CT
NC  28025
King Engine Bearings
327 Little Falls road, Suite 5
Cedar Grove
NJ  07009
3416 Democrat Road
TN  38118
Bradley Auto Parts
JE Pistons
15312 Connector Lane
Huntington Beach
CA  92649
Cometic Gasket, Inc.
8090 Auburn Road
OH  44077