Tag Archives: Jody Orsag

The 2010 EMC Y-Block Entry Breaks The 500HP Mark (on pump gas)!!

After submitting the EMC entry form for 2010 and then the list of competitors was published, I found that I was again on the alternate list. In fact I was #10 alternate which is further down the list than where I started out from last year. But alas, things just seem to work out anyhow. Another Texas shop that had already been selected and was in the 2010 field offered me their spot. Their own entry (400 sbc) was having issues and finances being what they are this year, their entry was not going to be competitive by their own standards. With that in mind, I verified that the rules would allow for an engine change and proceded forward with a Y entry for the 2010 EMC competition under the The Car Shop of Temple banner. Eventually (two weeks before the competition), my own shop name did come up but I had already committed and didn’t see any need to change.

With the Mummert aluminum heads now out and proving themselves, it was time to see how a fully ported set of these would fare over the fully ported iron heads. John Mummert performed his porting magic on a set of the castings and after some fine tuning, the aluminum heads were worth another 72+ horsepower over the ported iron heads that were run in last years EMC competition. That puts this pump gas Y engine at over 540 peak horsepower at 6200 rpms. Wow! That’s impressive.

Now that I’ve given out the good news on the performance potential of the aluminum heads, I’ll back up a bit and go into detail how I got there. Last years EMC engine was a 375 incher that got that way by way of a 3.859” bore and a 4.000” stroke. Dish pistons with the ported iron ‘113’ heads netted the engine a 10.2:1 static compression ratio. After sitting for ~nine months in the shop corner, this engine was put back on the dyno in exactly the same format that it was run at the 2009 EMC event. Last years testing on my own dyno had this engine at 464HP. The new baseline after some jetting adjustments had the engine at 468HP so all is good. Being over-revved at the 2009 EMC event repeatedly to the tune of 7400-7500 rpms doesn’t appear to have bothered this engine in the

least. At this point, the engine is using 7 quarts of Valvoline 20W-50 racing oil.

Upon getting what I considered a good baseline to work off of, it was simply a matter of switching out the iron heads for the Mummert ported Mummert heads. WaaLaa! 519HP on the very first series of dyno pulls. Same intake, same ratio rockers, same camshaft, same carb spacer and

carburetor, etc. The ignition timing was initially set at 32° total based on the testing that was performed on the stock out of the box aluminum heads. Timing advance curves and the total ignition advance amounts were re-examined again and it was found that the ported heads preferred 38° total. The 32° timing number that worked best on the 312 dyno mule was found to be an erroneous value as the damper on that engine had been unknowingly slipping thus throwing off the accuracy of the marks on that particular damper. This was found only after the aluminum heads had been removed and the engine was being retimed with another set of ported iron heads on it. The dyno mule now has one of the new Innovators West harmonic dampers on it which will prevent that particular problem from cropping up again.  With the timing on the EMC engine now optimized,peak horsepower jumps over the 540HP mark.

Also tried on the 375” EMC engine was a highly modified and ported intake supplied by John and Geoff Mummert. This intake had the spacer already built into it so it was tested with a variety of carbs while also experimenting with exhaust tuning changes. Ultimately, the best score for the engine was with last years Mummert dual plane intake with a 1” spacer that was highly modified on its underside by Geoff Mummert. Some topend horsepower was sacrificed for increases in lowend torque values which in turn produced higher score values. I’ll add that the score is simply calculated by adding the average horspower and torque values for the 2500-6500 test range, multiplying by 1000, and dividing by the claimed cubic inch of the engine.

Several carburetors were tested and the carb that was scoring the best was a vacuum secondary 750cfm HP series Holley. Regardless of the rating, this particular carb was flowing over 800cfm. The vacuum secondaries simply shined in the 2500-2800 rpm range. Beyond 2800 rpms, the four other high end carbs (all double pumpers) were similar in performance to the vacuum secondary carb..

With over 150 dyno pulls on the engine, the engine was drained of oil, the WIX oil filter swapped out for a new one, and was crated up and made ready for the trip to Lima, Ohio. Team members for the Y entry for the 2010 Engine Masters Competition included Neil Elliot, Jody Gunter, myself, Jody Orsag, and Harry Hutten. As the Car Shop of Temple entry was scheduled to run at 2:30PM on Tuesday, the engine was required to be at University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) no later than 4PM on Monday. Our trip plans were made accordingly and we arrived there on Monday morning. Not long after our arrival, the engine was unloaded and placed in the staging area where the competitors engines are on public display until being made ready for installation on the dyno docking carts.

Came Tuesday, the Y entry was mounted to a dyno docking cart. The photo sessions this year for the engines and crew came before the actual dyno session. Based on some of the carnage that can occur to the engines during the dyno competition, taking the pictures beforehand is very likely a good call from the photographers point of view.

By early Tuesday afternoon, there was a number of competitors having serious detonation issues with the supplied 91 octane fuel. And several engines were having difficulty in reaching the 6500 rpm limit as a result. Many of these ended with a zero score or a DNF (Did Not Finish).

At our appointed time, the Y engine was hooked up in its assigned dyno cell, all connections were double checked and five quarts of Amsoil 10W-40 oil was added to the engine. The technical inspectors also insured that the oil filter was clean and dry prior to the engine being prepped for starting. The Y was cranked up so that the carb & ignition timing settings as well as the electric water pump operation could be verified and/or checked. Timing was still sitting at 38° total and thoughts about the number of engines that were having issues with detonation kept coming back to the forefront. But

as a team, We made the call to leave the timing exactly where it had tested best at home and go for it. The engine was shut off upon completion of that initial checkout. After a brief discussion with the tech inspector and the dyno operator regarding procedures and how we would like to see the engine loaded, the engine is cranked back up. By the rules, the engine runs a minimum of three minutes to warmup and the teams are given the option of having an additional two minutes of warmup if desired. We had the warm up dyno pulls commence at the four minute mark. The engine was then loaded and went into three back to back dyno pulls without being shut off between pulls. These pulls were made in the 2500-6500 rpm range with the engine only over-revving each pull by 200 rpms. This was an improvement over last year where the rpms were running over the limit by as much as 400-500 rpms over the 3000-7000 rpm test range.

After the three warmup pulls are completed, the teams are given three minutes to examine the data. After this, the teams are then given fifteen minutes to make tuning changes. If you can pull a head off and put it back on in 15 minutes, you’re allowed to do this. This year, there was no latitude on the tuning time. If the engine was not ready to fire back up at the end of fifteen minutes, it was DQ’ed (disqualified). I’ll add at this point that the Y entry did not experience any detonation issues during the warmup pulls and I’ll attribute part if not all of this to not running on the ragged edge on the static compression ratio as many of the teams did. The rules would allow up to 11.5:1 cr but the Y entry had its static compression ratio at 10.8:1. Upon talking to many of the competitors, it appeared that many of them were using camshafts that were on the short side for intake duration at 0.050” which in turn was driving their dynamic compression ratios to the high side and especially in those cases where the static compression ratio was targetted for close to 11½:1. The Y entry was using an Isky cam with 254°@ 0.050” intake duration and the dynamic compression ratio figured to be right at 8.5:1. Although the fuel being used in the competiton was 91 octane, the motor octane level was 86. Building the Y engine to the conservative side allowed for optimal timing while not having any detonation issues. Gotta love it when a plan actually works.

But back to our story. After the three warm up pulls, the data was scrutinized and concensus was that the engine was about 1 number jet size too rich all the way around. At this point, the clock is running for the fifteen minutes of tuning. As a team, we decide to leave the jetting alone as the fear of detonation is still on everyones mind. And last years mad thrash to fix a fuel leak after a jet change still hung heavily on everone’s mind. Instead we decide to restart the engine at 10 minutes into the tuning session and make a short 3000-5500 rpm pull to simply heat the oil. At the conclusion of that pull and without shutting off the engine, it’s observed that the oil is still not quite hot enough so we instruct the dyno operator to make another similar dyno pull. When the engine is shut down, there is one minute of tuning time remaining. But what we wanted to do is accomplished and that is heat up the engine oil while at the same time start the dynometer engine cooling system so it’s refreshing itself with cool water.

For the qualifying pulls the engine is started up and immediately goes into three back to back 2500-6500 rpm pulls without any steady state running. The strategy of warming the engine up thoroughly just prior to going into the qualifying pulls ended up being a good call as a significant improvement in performance over the warmup pulls is observed. The peak horsepower numbers for the Y in the run order was 523, 521, and 524HP. The final score as a result of the three qualifying pulls being averaged together was 2205.7 points. That put the Y entry in fifth place and straight to the quarantine room. This is likely one of the few venues where quarantine or impound is a good thing as the top seven points earners at any given time are quarantined. The top six run again on Friday for the money with the seventh being available in case of a rules infraction or other variable. At the end of Tuesday, the Y still sits in fifth place in overall points rankings.

It took until midday Wednesday before the Y entry was bested in score enough that it could be pulled out of the impound area. Once pulled out, it was set back in the staging area where the simplicity of the engine and its vacuum secondary carb had competitors simply wondering how that engine managed a 2200+ score. By Thursday evening, all the qualifying pulls had been made and the Y was sitting in 16th position out of 40. At the banquet on Thursday night, Harry Hutten did the math and saw that the 524HP number posted by the Y was #13 in overall horsepower. Another bragging point for the Y.

One of the many highlights of this trip was meeting up with and talking to both Ed Iskenderian and Nick Arias. Ed was indeed a thrill to listen to and was more than willing to talk about the early Y-Block days when he built cams for the Ford engineering group. His memory was indeed sharp as a tack and the number of stories he could relate back to was just incredible. Ed and Nick were also the key speakers at a meeting with the students at the University on Wednesday evening and both gave many valuable insights and advice to the students regarding what each had learned during their own careers in the performance industry. It was a packed room for this and the complete silence of the room while each talked was a testament to what each was saying to the audience.

Friday was spent watching the final six rerun their engines and then the awards presentations took place later in the afternoon. After staying for the engine teardowns of the winning engines, we said our good byes and loaded up for the trip back to Texas. It was an uneventful trip but definitely a hard one as we drove straight through going back home. Everyone arrived safe and sound though so it has been a very good trip.

A big thank you goes out to the faculty and students at UNOH for being gracious hosts and having a great site for this competition.  And another thank you to the staff of Popular Hot Rodding for an event that went very smoothly which only happens as a result of very thorough planning and preparation.  And thanks again to the Y crew members for the help they provided at the competition as well as thanks to John and Geoff Mummert for their invaluable help and expertise on the work performed on the aluminum heads and intake as well as suggestions and advice for getting the score to where it was. And last but not least, special thanks goes to Lonnie Putnam for the impecable machine work he does on the blocks.  The goals for this year was to break the 500HP mark and be at least mid point in the scoring.  Both goals were exceeded in fine fashion.

That’s it for now and until next time, happy Y motoring. Ted Eaton.

Originally published in the Y-Block Magazine, Nov-Dec 2010 issue, Issue #101, Vol 17, No.6

A Y-Block at the 2009 Engine Masters Challenge

The 2009 EMC competition is now history.  The Y engine that was taken to the competition was the 375 inch version that was far from being a reality when September 1st rolled around.  The 4” crank and 6.750” long rods from the previously wounded 4″X4″ Y engine were used in the 375 incher along with the cam and lifters.  Diamond Pistons came through with a set of custom pistons to fill a 3.859” bore and a pair of Total Seal 1.2mm rings with a 3.0mm oil ring sealed each piston to its respective bore.  This engine had good peak numbers on the dyno but the overall score was down due to the oem iron heads being a serious bottle neck in the higher rpms.  Just too much cubic inch for these heads.  Now I know.

With the 375” engine assembled by SeOn the dynoptember 19th, it was put on the dyno and some serious testing commenced.  Seven different intake manifolds were tested along with a variety of carburetors, carb spacers and rocker arms.  Also tested was a pair of headers with one set being off of my ‘23T altered roadster and the other being a set of stepped headers supplied by Jerry Christenson and Royce Brechler.  The final engine combination used the new Mummert intake manifold with a Holley 950HP (834 cfm actual) and the stepped headers with 1.75/1.875” tubes feeding into a modified 3½” collector and then the mufflers.  Metal Finishing Services (Church Brothers) provided the Jet Hot coating for the headers.  An electric water pump design was also finalized and used.  By the time the testing was completed, the dyno was showing 462-464HP and 446-449s/ft torque peak values through the mufflers for the combination that was being taken to the competition.  Not too shabby for a 10.1:1 compression ratio and on pump gas.  Of special note is a 1050 cfm Holley Dominator carb was tried and to my surprise, the torque values jumped up significantly.  There just wasn’t enough time in that last week of thrashing to build a rules specific carb spacer/adapter to work out that particular combination but theUncrating the Y engine definitely likes more carb than what I was taking.

With all the testing behind me, the engine was crated and made ready for shipment.  By luck of the draw, the Y would make its qualifying pulls early on Thursday October 8th which meant I could take it to the competiton myself rather than have it shipped in advance.  As a result, I get the engine to the EMC site (University of Northwestern Ohio) in Lima, Ohio on Tuesday by noon.  It was required to Hooking up to the dynobe there by no later than 5PM or it would not be eligible to run.  On Wednesday, the engine was installed on a docking cart and is hooked up to the dyno later that evening in preparation of being the first up the following morning in that particular dyno cell.  Thursday morning the engine hookups are finalized and the engine is ready to start and run for a timing and carb check.  I’ll add at this point that the crew members for this adventure also included Jody Orsag, Harry Hutten, Jerry Christenson, and Royce Brechler.  The Y was indeed being very well represented and was the perfect crew for the occaision.

There were some issues with the carburetor fuel line prior to startup on Thursday morning and the spare I had brought along was installed.  That could have been a show stopper but someone upstairs was looking out for us.  Once that was resolved, the engine fired right up and idled cleanly at 900 rpms.  Timing is checked at 3500 rpms and is sitting at 39° total.  Perfect!  After the prerequisite five minute warmup period where both the oil and water temperatures are brought to 160°F, the engine then makes three back to back warm up pulls from 3000 to 7000 rpms.  At that point the engine is shut off and the team has five minutes to decide on what tuning changes can be made in the allotted twenty minute tuneup period.  Prior to installing the carb on the engine the previous day, We had rejetted the carb up to 77/89 jets whereas it had been 75/87 jets on its last dyno pull in Texas.  Looking at the data from the warmup pulls, the Y team decides the engine would like more jetting.  The plan was to simply change the jets, make a short pull, re-evaluate the data, and make another jet change if necessary in the allotted twenty minute tuneup period.  Didn’t quite work out that way.  The bowls were pulled and the jets were changed out but upon repressurizing the fuel system, the rear float wasn’tElectric Water Pump holding the fuel and fuel poured out of the rear carb vent into the engine.  The bowl was pulled again, float moved around and reinstalled.  Same problem and more fuel into the engine.  Team members go to both sides of the engine and start pulling all the spark plugs while I pull the rear bowl once more but this time I remove the needle seat assembly from the bowl and blow it out.  I reinstall the bowl assembly back on the carb with the float level eyeballed in place and this time it holds the fuel when pressure is applied.  At this point, the engine is spun over with the plugs out and there’s a bunch of fuel coming out of cylinders on each bank.  As soon as the fuel is cleared from the cylinders, the spark plugs go back in and the plug wires are hooked back up.  There’s no time to double check the rear float level so I instruct the dyno operator to start the engine, make a cleanout rev on the engine and then a 3000 to 4500 rpm dyno pull.  This is done and upon shutting down the engine, there are only 90 seconds remaining in our tuneup period.  The pressure was definitely on for a bit but all is looking better now.  A quick look at the short pull data shows an increase in power so it looks like a good call on the jet change.  It’s a good thing as We are now officially out of time.

At the end of the twenty minute tuneup session, the engine is restarted, allowed to warm back up, and then go into three moreDyno back to back 3000 to 7000 rpm pulls.  These are the qualifying pulls and the ones that count.  Jerry calls them the money pulls.  Did I forget to mention that the dyno permits the engines to over-rev to 7400-7500 rpms on each pull?  I wasn’t really excited about that but the team members as well as the spectators were starting to cringe.  I had already increased the over the nose valve spring pressure from 330 lbs to 388 lbs during the course of my own testing to insure that the rpm capability would not be compromised. The engine makes the three required back to back pulls and I then give the dyno operator instructions on how to shut it down.  A quick look at the data shows that the jet change was still a good call as the engine is now peaking at 433 horsepower and 416 torque.  At this point, I’m taken to a side room where the score is tabulated and I sign off on a 1949.8 score.  Yes!!!  We’re ahead of a 426 Hemi with dual quads and two other engines that couldn’t complete their qualifying runs.  Mission accomplished.  We’re not in last place and as Jerry says “Just a few spots out of first”.

The rest of the day is spent watching the remaining competitors run their engines.  The top six from the four days of running will run again on Friday for the money.  Jon Kaase ultimately wins the competition on Friday with the 403 cid Ford engine he won it with last year and his other engine (a 511 cubic inch Boss engine) comes in sixth.  Second place comes in 1.4 points behind first so it was a close race for first.  A mid Fifties Hemi (360 CID) comes in third place overall and was indeed impressive with its rows of Weber carbs doing their job.

Of special note is all the competitors were getting lower numbers at the competition than seen on their own dynos.  SomeDyno Sheet 1 of the competitors were commenting that they were down at this event by over 100 horsepower.  Our Y entry ended up being over 30 HP down from what I was seeing at my shop.  Not a major concern as everyone is in the same boat on this one but this did create some speculation as to why the differences.  A possible consideration and falling into the equation is that it essentially rained each day of the competition.  Although the air was cooler, it was definitely saturated with moisture.

The engine oil and fuel was provided at the competition.  I had already tested and tuned the engine at the shop with the sample of 91 octane fuel that had been sent to me.  The oil used during my own testing was Valvoline 20W-50 racing oil.   At the competition, Valvoline was not on the selection list so I used Lucas 20W-50 full synthetic racing oil along with some Lucas zinc additive that was available.  It was interesting that the oil pressure was about 10 lbs less with the full synthetic than with the Valvoline although both were the same rated viscosities.  At this point the oil pressure difference could reside in either the oil itself, a difference in sensor readings between the two dynos, or the oil temperature.  There will be more testing later to determine exactly what is going on in this regard.

Dyno Sheet 2In looking at the other engines in the competition, the Y entry was the only engine present with oem iron heads.  All other competitors were using some form of aftermarket aluminum head.  Roller camshafts were also very prevalent and if the Y wasn’t the only one with a flat tappet camshaft, then it was difinitely in the minority.  When the Popular Hot Rodding and Engine Masters Magazine articles hits the newstands starting in January, more details on the competitors engines will be available.

On Friday, We recrate and load the engine and the second crate of parts back into the truck and prepare for the trip home.  After the awards ceremony later in the afternoon, Jody and I jump into the truck and start putting some miles between us and Lima, Ohio.  Harry, Royce, and Jerry have already headed home long before this.  And of course it’s still raining.  After spending the night in Southern Illinois, We use up Saturday travelling back to Texas and get home after the sun has set.  All in all, a very good trip.  Special thanks again to all that helped make this happen!!

Originally published in the Y-Block Magazine, Nov-Dec 2009, Issue #95.