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Chevy Small Block Part 22 - PT. 22: Horsepower Is King!

The Right Combinations Are The Key

By Mike Petralia

When we built Danger Mouse (DM) a couple years ago, the plan was simple. Build an engine that we could abuse again and again and at every possible power level. Our plan included testing some of the smartest combinations you guys, the readers, could come up with. And the letters started pouring in. DM has been the first and only magazine engine ever built specifically to test the reader's ideas. And there's no stopping it now. We have stopped doing one thing with it however; counting dyno pulls after we reached 1,500 (not all of which have been recorded).

And in the term we have seen lots of both good and bad results. In fact, we've tried so many different combinations by now that we think we've found a few new recipes for perfection. If you'd like to make 500-plus hp with your pump gas 355, we've got that covered. Or how about making over 700 blown horsepower on pump-gas little motor? Danger Mouse can show you how. This time, we've shot deeper into the realms of supercharging, roller cams, and EFI technology using DM as or bullet. And best of all the results we got are right in here.

The Beginning
If you're unaware of DM's history, here's the low-down. We built DM with the intention of running it ragged on the dyno every month trying to make all combinations work the best they could. So, to reach that goal, DM was built tough. Starting with a World Products 4-bolt Motown block bored .030-over we dropped in a complete Lunati rotating assembly making it displace a street-real 355 cid. We even left the flattop Lunati pistons 0.040-inch down the bore (as opposed to a true "zero-deck") to more closely approximate what you might have under your hood. Then we bolted some rather boring stock GM components on top and slapped it on the dyno for its first run.

After that day was finished, we were happy to report that with just a few tuning tweaks, DM made an outstanding 308 hp and 395 ft-lb of torque in totally stock trim (see BASELINE: Test 1). Then we spent the rest of the first year testing different top end combinations, while we left the bottom end completely untouched. This month's story is a recap of the best tests beginning in 2004, (we've already recapped everything up until that point in SC May and December, 2003). It's most interesting to note that, since the beginning, we've been able to increase DM's normally aspirated power output by a factor of 200 hp and by adding a blower we've almost doubled that increase to over 400 extra ponies.

Dyno Tests
Danger Mouse Stock Baseline (Test 1):
Bore: 4.030 x Stroke: 3.76, 355cid
Compression: 9.4:1
Heads: stock 461 "Camel Hump" castings
Cam: COMP Cams 246PE hydraulic (246/263 adv duration, 203/212 duration @ .050, .429/.438 valve lift, 110 lobe separation)
Intake: Stock cast iron
Carb: Carb Shop Q-jet
Ignition: Proform HEI, Champion No.14 plugs
Fuel: 76 Performance pump gas, 91 octane
Ignition Advance: 37 degrees
Exhaust: 1 5/8-inch Hooker headers into 3-Flowmaster mufflers
Test 1: Represents what a typical 355 cid small-block might make if it had just been blueprinted, but still had most of its stock components.

Baseline Test1
2600 389 193
2800 385 205
3000 388 222
3200 395 241
3400 393 255
3600 393 270
3800 389 282
4000 383 292
4200 374 299
4400 363 304
4600 351 307
4800 337 308
5000 322 306
Max 395 308
Avg 376 266
By Mike Petralia
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