Putting spark to the flame is this MSD Pro-Billet distributor (PN 85551, $232.90). The housing is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum for durability and the oversized shaft has a QPQ coating for friction reduction. Two sealed ball bearings guide the shaft and ensure accuracy even at high rpm. Keeping it locked in place is an equally good looking hold down from CVR High Performance (PN DHB6CL) and an ARP fastener (PN 130-1701, $3.88).
Heads can make or break an engine build, both in terms of performance and budget. For this build we decided to try out the new offerings from Patriot Performance. These big-block Freedom series heads are targeted towards the street/strip crowd and feature 320cc rectangular intake ports. They are small enough to use on the street, but still flow enough to make good higher-rpm power. Our fully assembled heads (PN 2211) sell for only $1,395 and we think that's a steal for what you get. With stainless 2.25-inch intake and 1.88-inch exhaust valves these things flat-out move a ton of air. The 119cc chamber volume also helped us nail down our 10.2:1 pump-gas-friendly compression ratio. Also of note is that they come standard with a 5-angle valve job and manganese bronze valve guides. Sweet!
Going with a roller cam means we need roller lifters as well. These Comp High-Energy vertical bar hydraulic roller lifters (PN 854-16, $459.95) made "going roller" with our non-roller block a snap. Before dropping them into the lifter bores we made sure they were completely coated in oil.
When it comes to choosing an intake you need to make a decision on how you're going to use your car. For a strip car that spends tons of time in the upper rpm a single plane intake is the way to go. But the goal of our mill is a street bruiser that's all about low-end grunt. We went with Weiand's dual-plane Stealth intake (PN 8018, $219.95) with this in mind. Its long separated runners are ideal for low and mid-range power, which is exactly what we're looking for.
Topping off our 496 stump-puller is a Holley 950 HP carb (PN 80496, $714.95). This carb is all about making power with features like screw-in air bleeds, stainless steel throttle plates, and notched floats. They feature Dominator style fuel bowls that allow fuel line plumbing from either side. We also went with Holley's dual-spring throttle bracket (PN 20-112, $95.95) and a T6-6061 billet aluminum 360-degree swivel water neck from CVR High Performance (PN TSH6CL, $69.95) along with some fittings from Performance Stainless. Hey, there's nothing wrong with looking good.
After Andy measured for just the right pushrod length we could then install Comp's new Ultra-Gold 1.7 rockers (PN 19021-16, $289.95). These lightweight aluminum rockers are CNC-machined to strict tolerances and incorporate some of Comp's most advanced features.