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Big-Block Chevy Engine Build - Project American Heroes: Shock & Awe

Project American Heroes Will Blow Away The Competition Thanks To Its 717-Horse Smeding Performance 572 Big-Block

By: Joe Rode, Mike Harrington, Photography by Mike Harrington

The Ultra series of carburetors are 100 percent wet flow tested from the factory and come with "out-of-the-box" performance calibrations. Even Ben Smeding Jr. helped out with some of the fastening of the ARP bolts.

Believe it or not, the more time-consuming aspect of this engine build was installing the March serpentine system-2 1/2 hours later it all came together. We found the instructions a bit difficult to follow, but eventually we got everything properly aligned and bolted on.

Because of the possibility of variances in the mounting positions of some of their components, the March system doesn't come with a belt. A quick measurement with blue masking tape determined the length. The harder part of this equation is finding a good auto parts store that has the proper length belt.

Holley supplied us with its new Performance Mechanical billet pump. It's a great looking pump and is solidly built. We had to clearance the March idler bracket with a dremel tool in order for the pump to fit.

MSD recommended one of its billet Ready-to-Run distributors. The folks there were more than confident that this would do the trick on our 572. We used the conversion kit that came with the distributor to lock out the vacuum advance. Chad Martin, our dyno guy, stayed with the blue advance stop bushing that is installed from the factory. This keeps the advance to a maximum of 21 degrees.

He did change the advance springs to one heavy silver spring and one light silver spring. This will bring all the advance in by about 3200 rpm. To complete the ignition, we used an MSD #8202 Blaster Coil and 8.5mm Super Conductor wires.

Here's the PAH heavy artillery after Chad fully dressed her in full "get-down-to-business" dyno garb. Smeding used Earl's black -8 Pro-Lite 350 hose and their Ano-Tuff hose ends and carb line kit. After breaking the engine in on standard racing oil, Smeding refilled it with Royal Purple 10-40 synthetic. Besides having a stealth look, this stuff is awesome to work with compared to braided stainless line. You can cut it with a razor knife and you don't have to battle any sharp frayed wires.

Seeing is believing. We included a copy of the dyno sheet to look at. We also high lighted the peak torque and horsepower numbers to make it easier to read.

Total Seal, Inc. Smeding Performance
Dept. MMFF
3340 Sunrise Blvd.
Rancho Cordova
CA  95742
Holley Dart Machinery
353 Oliver St.
MI  48084
King Engine Bearings Earl's
Ross Racing Pistons
625 S. Douglas Ave.
El Segundo
CA  90245
MSD Ignition
El Paso
Fel Pro Gaskets
Dynamic Test Systems, Inc. (DTS) Racing Head Service (RHS)
Automotive Racing Products (ARP)
531 Spectrum Circle
CA  93030
Dept. 5.0
2700 California St.
CA  90503
Performance Stainless Steel
P.O. Box 67266, Dept. SC
Scotts Valley
CA  95067
Melling Engine Parts
2620 Saradan Dr.
MI  49202
K&N Engineering
1455 Citrus Ave.
CA  92502
Pro/Race Performance Products
42295 Avenida Alvarado
Unit 3
CA  92590
Sanderson Headers
517 Railroad Ave.
South San Francisco
CA  94080
Canton Racing Products
232 Branford Road, Dept. MMFF
North Branford
CT  06471
By Joe Rode, Mike Harrington
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