The small-block you see on this month's cover is a superb example of what you get when you combine a nostalgic look with the latest in engine management technology and the result, as we found out on Westech's dyno, is one smooth running engine. Forget everything you heard about stack injection being a nightmare to tune, because thanks to self-learning software, even us average dudes can run such intakes and not worry about the tuning. Sound too good to be true? It's not, thanks to Inglese and FAST.
The trick injection setup on these pages is Inglese's EZ-EFI Eight Stack System (PN NG4006E) featuring the FAST EZ-EFI kit (PN 30200), which features a self-tuning ECU that had us eager to try out. We've been interested in FAST's EZ-EFI system since it debuted at SEMA a few years ago, but hadn't had an opportunity to try it out. So a few months ago we set out to put Inglese's latest eight-stacked EFI induction (which uses EZ-EFI) on a 400ci Dart small-block to flog it on Westech's dyno. While we weren't looking for huge power numbers on this piece, we did want to show our readers this simple recipe for a solid small-block using off-the-shelf parts and Inglese's frigidly cool intake setup.
Years ago, an intake with eight throttle bodies (or carburetors) was a tedious thing to tune, but the EZ-EFI system with its adaptable software makes tuning your engine a matter of inputting your desired air/fuel numbers into the programmer interface and simply driving it. How cool would it be to know that your car's computer is constantly improving how your engine runs while you drive? That's exactly what the EZ-EFI system does. This learning computer also opens up the potential for those who want to run other nostalgic intakes, such as the Tri-power, cross-ram, and/or dual-quad types, without sweating the tune.
The Inglese intake comes set up with the throttle bodies, fuel injectors, rails, and throttle linkage in place, but we do have to mention it requires a stubby blower-type distributor in order to clear the rear portion of the intake. Luckily, MSD Ignition offers one that fit perfectly (PN 8570).
We're also featuring a Dart Machinery-built short-block in this article. With one phone call to the Michigan-based head and block shop, we had a pump gas-friendly bottom end on the way to California for some proper dyno testing on Westech's SuperFlow. The builders at Dart put together a 400ci (4.125 bore x 3.75 stroke) with a forged crank, I-beam rods, and hypereutectic flat-top pistons (10:1 CR), which was perfect for our mild small-block.
For the top end, we ordered RHS' 23-degree 180cc cast port cylinder heads, which feature a 64cc combustion chamber, an improved water jacket design, radiused exhaust valve seats that help promote flow, and an advanced intake port runner design that improves both power and torque over previous runners. We also opted for COMP Cams' new Ultra-Gold ARC series roller rockers in a 1.5 ratio. The camshaft we ordered was a COMP hydraulic roller with around 230 degrees of duration at 0.050 and 0.502 of lift on the intake and 0.520 on the exhaust side. The idea was to make some good low-end torque since this engine is going in a heavy car, however we wanted it to make at least over 400. We knew the mild cam, smallish head, moderate compression, and limited rpm would make it a challenge to surpass 450 hp, but we wanted to make over 450 lb-ft of torque to move the heavy roller the engine is destined for. It may not be a jaw-dropping powerhouse, but it sure looks bitchin.
Read on to learn more about this smooth operator.
Q & A with Inglese's Jay Adams
Chevy High Performance: Do the injector stack tubes come in different diameters and lengths?
Jay Adams: We offer two different sizes for our 50mm throttle bodies: 1.5 inches (PN NG5103-8) and 3.5 inches (PN NG5104-8). Additionally, we've redesigned our stacks for enhanced airflow, and we now offer snap-in design air filters to fit our individual stacks. This is an Inglese exclusive.
CHP: Have you done any testing with the different length tubes? If so, what do the various sizes do to the powerband of an engine?
JA: In very high horsepower applications, the stack length can have an affect on the engine's torque curve; more specifically, we see this in the case of mechanical injection, or even in our carbureted systems. However, in milder street applications (say below 650 hp) and more specifically in the case with EFI, there is very little measurable difference in performance and driveability between our two different length stack options.
CHP: On the website, it says "capable of supporting engines up to 1,000 hp and allow a much broader camshaft selection than a carbureted setup," is that because the stacks flow so much? How many different throttle bodies are offered?
JA: We have both 50mm and 58mm throttle bodies. When you have eight individual columns of air the size of what an Inglese system is capable of feeding the engine, the horsepower potential is certainly there. The limiting factors tends to be more relative to how radical the engine is, such as compression, choice of cylinder head, how radical the valvetrain is, etc.
CHP: What are some of the options available in terms of injectors, throttle bodies, and stack tubes?
JA: As far as hard part options, we offer both 50 and 58mm throttle bodies, but the 50s are by far the most versatile-and popular. Stack-wise, we offer the 1.5- and 3.5-inch heights. Then, when it comes to injectors, we offer a variety of sizes from 39s to 88s, and even then we can fine-tune their flow even more so with injector opening timing, the duty cycle and fuel pressure. Operating system-wise, we offer both our EZ and XFI systems, along with a full complement of harness offerings, and custom options as well, such as show polish, custom paint, chroming, etc. We can get as creative as the customer desires. We can build a system to bolt right onto a stock motor and perform with extremely good street manners, and still make excellent horsepower numbers in the upper-rpm range. Using either the self-tuning feature of our EZ-EFI system, or the full-on laptop-tunable XFI version, the systems are fully adaptable to just about any application.