Big Power - Focus where it matters

Big Power - Focus where it matters
By Don Terrill (c) - www.RacingSecrets.com

When trying to make more power, it's very easy to waste a bunch of time on things that don't matter. The following lists will help to focus your time and money - Do these first and then consider other areas. Rules may limit some of your options, but these are the biggies.

The Engine:
  1. Power-Adders - Considered by many as the easy way out, but you can't deny the results of nitrous oxide, blowers and turbo chargers. In fact, HP per Dollar, nothing beats nitrous. I know many racers will have too much pride to consider power adders, but there's still no doubt their position for this list.
  2. Engine size - Unless there was some really good reason, why would anyone build a 289 Ford, 327 Chevy or 396 Chevy? With the current price of aftermarket stroker crankshafts, there's no excuse for not building big.
  3. Intake & Exhaust - Like the cliche' goes, an engine is just an air pump. So, anything we can do to increase the amount of air entering and leaving the cylinder is going to increase power. Follow the air path - hood, air cleaner, carb, intake, heads, headers, mufflers and tailpipes.
  4. Compression - The need for better fuel and added load on engine components make this no free lunch, but there's no doubt the power potential of increased static compression.
  5. Valve Events - The right camshaft and rocker ratios will maximize the amount of air that is compressed before combustion. Valve timing is half the equation in calculating dynamic compression (static compression and valve timing).
Now that you've got the power, don't waste it.

The Car:

  1. Weight - Nothing lightens the load quicker than actually lightening the load. If rules permit, or there are no rules, why not choose the lightest car possible? You can also trim weight from your current car - start at the front of the vehicle and work your way back.
  2. Hook - It doesn't matter if you're stock car racing or drag racing, all the horsepower in the world is worthless if you can't hook it.
  3. Gear ratios - Every engine has an optimal rpm range - torque converters, transmissions and rear gear ratios can all be adjusted to keep an engine in that range.
So, if you're starting from scratch, why not build the biggest engine, put it in the lightest car and then bolt on your power-adder of choice?

Want to send off a nasty email about how wrong I am? Well, first read this and then write your own article.