50 Most Popular Engine Posts of All Time

The 50 Most Popular Engine Posts of All Time 
By Don Terrill
  1. Chamber Grooves - what do you guys think?
  2. Testing David Vizard’s Oil Extreme
  3. Which tunnel ram and carbs should i buy
  4. Why are carbs still used in racing if F.I. is so much better 
  5. Combustion Flame Speed
  6. exhaust port size? 
  7. Vizard's secret '128' cam spec # revealed 
  8. PICS- Factory GM oil filter adapter issues? Speak up please. 
  9. Experience With "Balanced Cams?" 
  10. Quench "flame channels" in piston vs. head quench
  11. Why an engine makes more power off a burr finish 
  12. The great torque/HP debate 
  13. Chinese look a like Little-M block 
  14. firing order swap on 4&7 
  15. Another "How much will it make?" Project "Special Needs" 
  16. First time header build 
  17. Let's talk assembly lube 
  18. TQ vs. HP which is more important
  19. Importance of Rod Ratio? 
  20. 383 dyno results 
  21. Is $200,000.00+ for an engine too much?  
  22. Ported Ford 289 heads with port energy discussion 
  23. Wave Tuning Goals 
  24. The latest "snake oil" from the Sema show 
  26. broken world heads 
  27. Singh grooves in cylinder head 
  28. The 128# LCA calculator saga Part II 
  29. what do you guys think of this? Part II 
  30. Engine Dynos 
  31. Disappointing power on 434 race engine
  32. formula to determine plenum size 
  33. Fatal Mistakes
  34. Is there a viable low cost flow bench? 
  35. HONING procedure   
  36. Arao Cleveland heads 
  37. Engine Masters. Daily report
  38. Darin Morgan Pro-Stock Ford Head
  39. Where does power come from? 
  40. BBC Camshaft LSA question 
  41. Erson Cams Quality Discussion 
  42. 421 small block dyno flog 
  43. Tight Lobe Separation angles 
  44. piston failure 
  45. Engine Masters Challenge teardown question 
  46. 2 heads better than 1 - power porting E7TE iron. 
  47. Before/After grooved head pictures 
  48. Singh Groove testing redux and CFD for groove positioning. 
  49. Design Review Please (EFI Manifold) 
  50. Calculating IFR/air bleed size on a Holley (long)  

Popular 2017 Engine Posts

Popular 2017 Engine Posts
By Don Terrill

Exhaust / intake flow ratios on LS heads
Rocker Stud Girdle Benefits
Any dyno testing on NHRA cheater cams ?
Is race fuel worth the money?
ARP bolts - Yield / Elastic limit - via stretch gauge
3.875 x 4.125 sbc, do I want a 6" rod?
Conversion to thinner rings on an older engine
Timing chain or belt for 9500rpm?
Beehives Lost Pressure
High ratio rockers
Symptoms of too high or too low motor oil (hot) viscosity?
Tech miss-directions to win races - and make a lot of money
Aluminum Rockers For Street-Only Use?
GM's new LT5 DOHC engine
Looking for Oscilloscope suggestions
Fixing the Jerky Solid Flat cam you probably have!
Non flammable liquid for electric fuel pump testing
Oil change & power loss riddle
Quench and Detonation
Camshaft-Opening a can of worms
Noticeable power gain from muffler swap
Air flow with a tunnel ram
Spare parts engine build
Port energy - A sure fire route to porting power?
Valve rocker arm tip profiling
Do big headers work ?
Chassis dyno horsepower
Does air-fuel mixture lower intake manifold temp?
Max RPM for Head Flow
Piston ‘Porting’ to increase airflow F1 engine sound
High compression pump gas
Header size vs. exhaust port size
45.or 50'degree valve seat angle?
What is in a flow number?
Opinions-- Fuel or timing?
How to decide runner taper?
Gains with 4 7 or 4 7 2 3 swap cams
Carb spacer for sbc
RPMs for Dummies
Mech. flat tappet cam; Does lash affect cam/lifter wear?
That 805 hp 87 octane street 572 - again!
Combustion chamber reshape open for scrutiny (attachments)
Advance or retard
High mileage solid roller
Carb size and Circuit advice
Fuel foam in Holley video
Muffler Tests
How would you design a max effort street sbc?
Wideband O2 Question
Air fuel ratio 02 sensors for data
Leak down testing?
Classic example of too much exhaust for (street) engine?
How long will the average automobile engine run with no oil?
Fuel injectors & fuel pressure for best atomization
Header primary pipe sequence into collector for 4/7 swap
Overheating BBC 468 Pro Street Willy's Coupe
Timing moves around all by it self
Race Engine Challenge
Exhaust system idea
Which is more important: taper & tuned length or gasket matching?
Rember the intake port texture debates?
Pressure in radiator after engine is totally cool
BBC thoughts
Mid lift rockers
Is Port Energy validation just around the corner?
Can too little compression for a camshaft cause engine heating
Flow vs hp
454 Efficiency - Compression vs port velocity
Engine Masters' Air Filter Test
Which Is Faster - 600hp@6200 or 600hp@7100
Valve overlap
2017: Revisiting 4:2:1 vs 4:1 headers w merge collectors in the modern era
How to fight exhaust reversion when the primaries are way too short
"Part Throttle" on Engine Masters!
Improving gas milage with 1000hp



Popular 2016 Engine Posts

Popular 2016 Engine Posts
By Don Terrill

Is this street engine goal possible???
Ok Exaust aficcionados, what are your toughts here
Turbo are free power NOT
1.94" intake valve on 305
Kaase - this should get you guys going.....
383 carb and cam ?s
Holley 950 cfm, 3-barrel carb.
Need help picking a SBC intake manifold....
Crank Wear Pattern - oil starved?
quench vs. zero deck
SB Chevy profiler
What Tech to Talk About
Poor results from chassis dyno
Overhead Carb Video
Main caps walking - detonation?
Inexpensive SBC heads.
Oil viscosity and hyd. roller cams ?
Square tube headers? What
Novice holley carb tuning help
advice on forced induction. using max psi, E85, Nitros
Vizard's secret '128' cam spec # revealed
The 128# LCA calculator saga Part II
Electric motor vs. Gas engine
intake runner length and rpm fast 102
Will this cam change make my car a dog
When are siamesed center exhaust ports a liability on a V8
Burr finish in plenum, on the street
Holley 4412
Stone Soup LCA Calculator
Air box design
Lifter face radius question
KB Racing Advantage
Best way to extend the power - lift or duration?
Intake manifold to heads port miss alignment ?
why is my timing mark jumping around now?
Flow Balls - quick valve de-shrouding move
Engine self-distruction puzzle
shopping list for a low budget 500hp sbc
Cam LSA and Duration Selection Tool
Flat tappet breakin spring pressures....
Rocker arms question ?
Camdesign transparancy !
Cam for undercover 383
Dyno results question
16/1 compression
Best indicator of idle quality?
Very slow revving engine
Understanding Design of Motion Graphs Like Cams
Torque dip
Piston Ring and Bore Assembly Lubrication
Cranking Compression and Octane Requirements
Missmatched combo performing very well?
Cam advance/Retard – What’s Really Needed?
Porting questions
Radical dual plane intake modifications
Old stuff,mix and match,result?
Which combo for Circle track?
Plug readers please!
super victor 2 or air gap? afr 195 shp 406 200 shot...
how to improve your valve seat work
The valve lash keeps getting larger
Coil output voltage risetime
Radiator air exit temp vs thermostat temp
Flow through manifold/carb
Ring alignment/blowby issues.
Power difference between solid flat tappet and roller cams ?
Engine oil dyno test BPenn & Driven
Hp vs tq
advice for head porting
big block will not rpm
Intake ports slightly wider than head ports
anti-reversion plate
some people should not be allowed to touch engines
Runing Hot
3310 holley
From a 300-36 intake to a Victor Jr.
When is "too much Lift"?
133.5 Cam # & Edelbrock’s Supposedly Lame BBC ‘E’ Heads
Victor JR on a mild engine ?
Strange exhaust setup...is this hurting me?
600 hp LS recipe
Custom cam VS "shelf cam"
Lets just increase the bore?
coated bearings
Beehive springs advantage
Ported Chevy 781 heads
Singh Groove Test Engine – the Real Power Moves
Stroke vs Bore Does it matter?
Low Vacuum reading at idle on Nova SS
Valve - port interface nomenclature
Target Dynamic Compression
Suggestions on setup for 1000 hp
Vizard Report - Singh Groove Tests
sbc 383 intake recommendation
Gasoline evaporation rate
Low Compression and Advancing Cam
Oil squirt notches on connecting rods?
connecting rod length, suggestions
The need for new innovation and product for SBC & BBC engine
NA Engines: Factors that increase torque
Camshaft balance
Lost 2.5mph and .2 in the 1/8th any ideas
2 HP per CI with Twisted wedge R head SBF?
Tunnel Ram Like Billy Glidden's
Cooler Weather & More Power
JUST LOST!! Engine just NOT making power
Comparing 2 Heads: Implications of Reduced Exhaust Flow #s?
toluene to up octane rating
Matching chambers to the bores
New COPO Camaro cam specs
Bore Vs Stroke - how it shapes up in the real world --
The Next Generation of Lifter Technology......
Ported AFR 220 heads pre eliminator
500hp 331 with a Muthr Thumpr cam?
Pump gas compression ratio?
Four rocker arms ratios - zero difference
Power loss with bigger valves.
Advanced engine tech
Megaphone suggestions/concept
Straighter ports
Anyone ever do a custom exhaust based on the formulas?

Posts > 2000

Flashback: Popular 2015 Engine Posts

Flashback: Popular 2015 Engine Posts
By Don Terrill

Wheel stand--carb stumbles
2.2 hp/cfm
440 "six pack" cam
performance slow down as day goes on
Exhaust question: What is "blowdown length"?
CDI ignition - gross vs nett spark energy
Would you do this on your intake side?
Results from thinner ring pack
Budget 350 Chevy build ?
Oil viscosity vs engine longevity
350 sbc de-stroked with 262 crank?
Mobile 1 Flat Tappets?
Anyone ever flow bench verified the benefit of notched bore?
rod bearings gone, trying to understand why
Which EFI and coil-on-plug ignition with crank trigger?
Single plane on this motor?
400 sbc
romaxx clyinder heads
New heads new valve job?
what heads would be best for a 383 stroker
iron head vs aluminum head combustion heat
Solid Cam With "Forgiving" Lash Ramp Design?
Sheet metal intake manifold help please
Just another sb2.2 build
Holley 4 corner idle
Valve spring pressures
calibrating a maf sensor
egt sensor question
How to test oil properly.
c6 z06 ls7 cylinder head upgrade
Crank Thrust Surface Trouble
Cowl-induction scoop
how will installation centreline effect my cam?
Fuel "foaming" in float bowls problem
Vacuum Advance..
BBC 496 cam selection.
461 heads - Angle mill vs. Flat mill
Billet pistons
How to size a valve to port
.904 Lifter Advantage?
camshaft duration and dynamic compression questions
Vic Jr or no??
Advantages of beryllium copper valve spring seats?
Intake manifold test data.
Intake Port Extreme Narrowing Before Bowl ?
More Rocker Geometry Considerations
engine kicking back on starter ?
Air fuel ratio,what is proper?
355 SBC 640hp with iron heads on avgas
Dual plane porting results........
Russian cyl head
What and how important is Effective Compression
Reason for using a "slow" ramped intake lobe?
Cool valve cover video
BBC machine work , valve size & oiling mods
Injection timing in relation to valve events
Piston, bore scratches - What happened here?
Unconvential approach to leaning out a Holley idle circuit
Step okay from exhaust port to header tube?
Pressurized radiator
High pressure / high volume oil pump
Changing heads for more horsepower and hopefully lower et
for the efi specialists - maf question
Volvo's forgotten V8 engine
merge collectors
exhaust and muffler question
Is my intake too big for my combo?
EFI experts, True VE tuning
The New NHRA Pro Stocker
Controlling the Heat
A neat post from Larry Widmer
Sportsman 2's porting
Rocker Arm Geometry-How to Modify?
Arao Cleveland heads
Any news on the Melling Helical Asymmetrical oil pump?
Criteria for going to bigger intake valve?
Peanut Port Drag Test
Muriatic acid for cleaning water jackets?
Tailgate porting..
900hp Small block Chevy street engine
Header size (too large) vs cam selection in BBC
5/64 ring package
18ยบ 434 SBC Dyno Results
460 BBC Dyno Test
Can I get to 10.0 with new combo?
Mid 10's street car NA?
Build an ECU porject
shift recovery/ engine recovery
Turbo exhaust manifolds
The human element of tuning
Port velocity info
low lift airflow
Singh Grooves, one more time

Looked for posts with >2,000 views - 3,000 to 4,000 would have probably been better.

2014's Top Engine Posts

2014's Most Popular Engine Posts
by Don Terrill

2016 Group Buy special ends 3/15/16
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starting race motor during winter storage
Block groove above main bearing?
Freezing cam bearings before installation?
Cam bearing failure x2.. help...
Alot of timing to make it run...48
Using solid lifters on a Hydraulic camshaft
What is the best oil for flat tappet solid with high/press
3D printed intakes
Racecar batteries
Grumpy Chevy Book Volume 2 What If?
cam timing using cranking pressure
Can some have a look at this plug
SBC intake manifold dyno comparison
What is this telling me?
Rectangle port Intake on Oval port Heads
Exhaust leak-- car slows down
desperate for cold weather quadrajet advice!
Noisy Hydraulic Roller Lifter.. Causes?
header collector question
Valvetrain Geometry: Mid-Lift Method vs Valve Tip Pattern
What would a mid 80s sbc nascar engine consist of?
Oval Track Dizzy… Locked Advance or Not?
Intake port air speed
Popular cam companies / designers
Dumb history question for the carb guys
Best air-fuel ratio monitor?
Exhaust system sizing for big HP
Pump gas 496 hyd roller build and dyno test
Custom Race Header Power Loss
Exhaust restriction equals more torque?
Hotting up a 502 Crate
Cross Drilled Crank
Interesting Choice Of Break-In Oil
Who believes you really need 10 PSI oil pressure....
Too much cranking compression
How Much Would You Pay To Go A Lot Faster - Reliably
Fuel Injection Vs Carburetor: What Makes More Power?
X pipe
need help reading piston burn pattern
SBC 408 cid, is 600 hp unreasonable N/A
unshrouding intake valve near cylinder
ring to groove clearance, minimum?
Best hp oil filter
ignition timing at WOT question
merge collectors
Pushrod Length, best method
Drop Base Filter Update/closure
starting engine in cold weather
Why an engine makes more power off a burr finish
Can too much intake lobe area decrease performance?
High octane fuel burns slower?
Engine myths vs facts
Valve Shrouding
Why is there "premature" choke at Mach 0.6
Oil Sloshing

2016 Group Buy special ends 3/15/16
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Isolated Component Testing

Isolated Component Testing
By Don Terrill © - RacingSecrets.com

Thinking theoretically has huge value, but when it comes to getting every last horsepower (or other desired outcome), it's all about testing. Of course you have track testing and dyno testing, but if you're really serious you need to also isolate components and test them individually.

Reasons for component testing:
  • You don't own an engine dyno or race track.
  • It's easier to find every last horsepower.
  • You can drastically reduce variables during testing.
  • You can see small changes.
  • Some items are easier to test in isolation, like a wet sump oil pump.

How to build a component test rig:
  • Use an electric motor to drive the component and then measure electrical draw.
  • Use anything to drive the component and then measure drag with a load cell -- like your typical engine dyno.

Some items lend themselves to component testing better than others. The best are things that drag on the engine, like accessories.

Possible Applications:

Of course this applies better to wet sump engines as a dry sump pump can be easily optimized on the engine during dyno testing.

What to measure:
  • Pressure.
  • Volume.
  • Efficiency.
  • Power loss.

What to test:
  • Different oil pumps -- manufactures, designs, etc.
  • Reduced rotor height.
  • Change/adjust bypass spring.
  • Different pick-ups.
  • Different oils.
  • Oil temperature.

I'd probably use a junk block to build a water pump test rig. This way I could also measure where and how coolant flows.

What to measure:
  • Pressure.
  • Volume.
  • Efficiency.
  • Power loss.

What to test:
  • Different water pumps -- manufactures, designs, etc.
  • Underdrive pulleys.
  • Modified pump blades.
  • Of course you could use an electric water pump and move the drag to the alternator.

You'll have to figure out a way to load the alternator like race conditions. You'll also need to know the peak draw created by your car.

What to measure:
  • Output.
  • Efficiency.
  • Power Loss.

Things to test:
  • Different alternators -- manufactures, size etc.
  • Underdrive pulleys.
  • Turning off the field.
  • Fully charge battery.
  • Different batteries.
  • Multiple batteries.

Things to watch out for:
  • Frictional losses in your test rig that vary with temperature.
  • Testing in the wrong conditions -- like at an rpm that's too low.

There is one item I would never consider testing in isolation and that is the oil pan. The only way to do valuable testing on the oil pan is at the track, which is not very convenient.

The number of things you can test in isolation is only limited by the total number of components.

I've been talking about the engine in this article, but you could apply this to every part in your car.

Buy Don's New Book Today: The Horsepower Chain - [Click Here]

2013's Top Engine Posts

2013's Most Popular Engine Posts
by Don Terrill

what to do to equalize header temps Acoustic versus finite waves
Chamber Stall
VE and rpm related to the intakes valves L/D ratio
Exhaust Design - Exhaust Pressure Traces
Max Horse Power for Ford 302 block
Aluminum rods hitting cam
towing heads and cam question
piston damage question
Is Taylor a useful reference for racing engine design?
How to diagnose a random misfire?
Exhaust thrust
racing gasoline
Pinch point debate 2
History of the Chevrolet/GM BBC big block Chevy
Low profile intake manifold tuned for the 3rd resonance
Help rocker wear pattern w/ pics
Synthetic oil for Flat Tappet cams
Please school me on dry sump systems
Retarded timing acting like a rev limiter
Compression Ratio Limits and Iron Heads
Worn Thrust bearing .........…again
Even runner flow
how much oil pressure is too much?
Importance of Valve Job
Lean spot from 1800 to 2,500 light throttle
engine assembly horsepower tricks/tips
Dyno tune up---100 HP
Emulsion Part 2

2013's Top Engine Book: The Horsepower Chain

Garage Tech

Photo by Charlie Kindel

Garage Tech
by Don Terrill (c) SpeedTalk.com

One thing all racers have in common, no matter the type of racing, is the garage.

To get a little philosophical here, what is a garage? For me it's a place to escape the world, a place to tinker, a place to embrace our inner Edison. As men, it's in our DNA, we can't help ourselves -- we're wired to try and make things better. Women will never understand this drive, even though they have no doubt benefited from it. In fact, without this drive we'd all be living in caves.

Now on to the utility part of this article. Below are a few random thoughts, many coming from the mindset of "If I had it to do all over again." I have built a garage from scratch and I'm currently half way through another.

Designing a new garage -
To layout the inside of your garage, consider the method used to design golf courses -- draw the inside shape of your garage on a piece of paper. Next make paper cutouts (to scale) that represent items you want to put in your garage -- benches, etc. Then just move the items around on the paper until you find the best layout. Of course there are computer programs that can do the same.

Reorganizing your current garage -
This may seem daunting, but by far the best method is to pull everything out of your garage and then put back one item at a time. I think you'll be surprised by the number of items you don't return to the garage.

Finding more space -
Racers never think their garage is too big. Need more space? Think vertical. Move items that don't get used often towards the ceiling.

Kits / Workstations -
I hate having to hunt for things to do a job. So, depending on the task, I build a workstation or put together a kit. A kit is usually nothing more than a toolbox with everything needed.

Wiring -
If you're designing a new garage make sure you have plenty of outlets. You should also wire for items you may add in the future, like a welder, air compressor, hoist, etc.

Lighting -
I've never seen a garage that had too much lighting. Fluorescent lighting will be best in most cases, but if you want some ambiance, add some recessed lights.

Flooring -
I'm not a fan of painted or epoxied floors. I've yet to see one stand the test of time and use.

Heating -
In-floor heating is awesome, but would be hard to justify if you don't use the garage everyday. Overhead gas will probably be best for most. A home furnace can be used, just be careful you don't collect return air near the floor -- many flammable vapors, including gasoline, are heavier than air and sink to the floor.

Cooling -
For heating and cooling it's going to be all about where you're located. Unless you're using a home furnace, you're going to be stuck with a window AC unit or a mini-split system. Both of which are better than most people think and especially effective if you have divided areas (which is something to consider).

Insulation -
No matter where I was located I'd go overkill on the insulation. The nice thing about a post (pole barn) construction building is it allows for more insulation in the walls.

Water -
Nice to have, but if you're up north you'll have to worry about freezing pipes if you don't heat all winter. Maybe plumb it so you can drain the system or add rv antifreeze.

Compressed Air -
To me, with waterless hand cleaners I don't need water, but can't imagine a finished garage without plumbed compressed air. The debate over what type of pipe to use never seems to end  -- black pipe, copper or pvc. Heavy wall copper tubing has my vote.

Floor drain -
Seems like a great idea, but in my first garage I probably used it once in ten years.

Benches -
For me the keys are a nice top, the proper height and a very secure attachment to the wall and/or floor.

Rodents -
Where I live the mice are tenacious. They will find every single weakness in your structure, high and low. The biggest problem is them chewing through wires (which they love) and starting an electrical fire. Best advice: Great Stuff foam together with bronze wool.

Roof Ice -
Another problem here in the north. I fixed my icing when I stopped listening to roofing and insulation people. Icing has almost nothing to do with insulation. It's all about air flow.

If I could offer only one piece of advice it would be to make your garage a comfortable place -- A place you want to be -- a man cave.

And maybe, if society is lucky, you'll spend more time in your garage and invent something -- moving the human race forward.

Join the garage tech discussion at:

If you have some photos of your garage, we'd love to see them.