Since first being formed in 1966, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has not only been focused on the current well-being of the automotive aftermarket, but also its future. To that end, the SEMA Memorial Scholarship was established to help the industry's future leaders and workers find help in paying for a college education. Thanks to this scholarship program, thousands of college students have received a total of over two million dollars towards attending college, so they could graduate to a career in the automotive aftermarket.
To help fund the scholarship's trust, the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund was formed to help generate revenue so the program could grow and operate no matter what the state of the economy, or rising costs of college tuition. Each year at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, a silent auction consisting of various items is held, with all the proceeds going to the scholarship fund. In addition to this silent auction, a separate eBay auction is held for a custom-built engine, with the components selected by engine guru Ed Pink to suit the auction winner's application. For 2012, the silent auction brought in nearly $57,000 for the scholarship fund, with the Ed Pink-assembled engine selling for $10,202 online. There was a fair amount of irony here, since auction winner Rod Johnson is a graduate of the WyoTech automotive trade school, and understands exactly what his money is going towards.
Johnson sat down at the 2012 Performance Racing Industry trade show last December with Ed Pink and Frank Honsowetz (Ed Pink Racing Engines' manager) to discuss what he'd be putting the small-block Chevy in, and the expectations for performance. The vehicle was a '55 Chevy restomod truck that belongs to Rod's father. The truck sees primarily street use and cruise nights, so steady power and turn-key reliability were two big things it needed.
Thanks to the efforts of almost two-dozen SEMA member manufacturers, and the considerable skills of Ed Pink Racing Engines, the net result is a potent, good-looking engine that is ideally suited for its new home, with the proceeds from the eBay auction ultimately benefiting a number of young people hoping for a career in the automotive aftermarket. Scholarship information is available at www.SEMA.org/scholarships.
1. Nearly two dozen companies in the aftermarket contributed parts and support to the build of this engine. Contributing its efforts to the build for the last several years has been Ed Pink Racing Engines of Van Nuys, California—one of the most respected horsepower emporiums in all of motorsports. EPRE is unique among its peers, having been responsible for building engines that have won the Indy 500, plus captured numerous championships in drag racing, off-road, sprint car, midget and road racing competition.
2. The folks at EPRE also know what it takes to build a top-shelf street motor, and that's precisely what emerged from the project that was planned in collaboration with the winning bidder. Rather than have a complete, pre-packaged dyno-tested engine for sale, a unique twist to the 2012/13 program was to tailor the build to the needs of the buyer. The winning bidder, Rod Johnson(left), met with Ed Pink (right) and Frank Honsowetz (not pictured) of EPRE at the 2012 PRI Show, and they chose a course of action
3. A solid foundation for the build came in the form of a Dart small-block Chevrolet SHP cast iron block, which was mated to Dart SHP aluminum cylinder heads. From that point on, the build was the proverbial “clean sheet of paper.” Johnson wanted an engine for his dad's street-driven 1955 Chevy pickup—something with good performance, but completely docile.
4. Cubic inches are always a good way to get more power without sacrificing reliability, so a Scat 4340 forged steel stroker crank (3.750-inch stroke) was selected, as were Scat 4340 H-beam connecting rods (5.700-inch length) along with Clevite rod and main bearings and Fel-Pro gaskets. An ATI Super Damper augmented the internally balanced engine. Mahle forged aluminum pistons (4.145-inch bore) and Total Seal piston rings were employed in the 405 cid package, which came with a 9.55:1 compression ratio.
5a. The heads featured 200cc intake ports, 64cc combustion chambers, and had 2.02-inch intake and 1.60-inch diameter exhaust valves; a good balance between air/fuel flow and velocity. Continuing with the premise of having a streetable power curve, a Comp Cams hydraulic roller (PN 12-467-8) was used. A set of Manley one-piece chrome moly pushrods connected the Comp hydraulic roller lifters to the Comp 1.6 aluminum roller rockers. This gave the engine a net lift of 0.612-inch at the valve, with a duration of 248 degrees (intake) and 255 degrees (exhaust) at .050-inch with zero lash.
5b. The heads featured 200cc intake ports, 64cc combustion chambers, and had 2.02-inch intake and 1.60-inch diameter exhaust valves; a good balance between air/fuel flow and velocity. Continuing with the premise of having a streetable power curve, a Comp Cams hydraulic roller (PN 12-467-8) was used. A set of Manley one-piece chrome moly pushrods connected the Comp hydraulic roller lifters to the Comp 1.6 aluminum roller rockers. This gave the engine a net lift of 0.612-inch at the valve, with a duration of 248 degrees (intake) and 255 degrees (exhaust) at .050-inch with zero lash.
6. Ed Pink has been in the business of building engines for more than 40 years, and not just street engines. His team of skilled mechanics builds everything from drag race engines to USAC midget engines, and exotic stuff like this NOVI DOHC motor. EPRE also helps with designing whole engines, such as a recent projects with developing a two-valve, four-cylinder, 2.7-liter methanol fueled racing engine, and four-valve engines developed for off road truck racing.
7. For induction the engine uses a Holley Stealth Ram fuel injection system. Available for both Vortec and standard Gen I small-block heads, the system uses Holley's fully programmable and self learning EFI computer. It can also be used with distributorless ignition if you so desire.
8. The Stealth Ram EFI uses a twin blade 116mm throttle body, and 35 lb/hr. injectors. A FAST distributor was used to signal the Holley ECU, with a Crane HI-6 ignition and coil providing the power to the Moroso plug wires and Champion spark plugs. The fuel pressure required at WOT was 43 psi, and the distributor had 33° advance.
9. A pair of Moroso polished aluminum valve covers, specially engraved with the SEMA and Ed Pink Racing Engines i.d., add to the engine's exclusivity.
10. For an accessory drive, a March Performance V-belt billet pulley system and brackets were used to drive the Edelbrock water pump and PowerMaster alternator..
11. After all the normal break-in procedures were completed, the engine was put through its paces on the dyno, with adjustments to ignition timing and fuel mapping made to optimize performance. The engine cranked out an impressive 475 foot pounds of peak torque at 4500 rpm, and exhibited a very wide torque band that showed in excess of 400 ft. lbs. for about 2500 rpm. Peak power was a steady 453 horsepower, which it held between 5,500 and 5,800 rpm. Needless to say, with its broad power band the SEMA/Ed Pink small-block will make for an excellent
12. The beauty of the Holley EFI is that the ECU will “learn” the actual driving parameters of Johnson's Chevy and make the necessary finite adjustments for optimum performance.