Clay Millican is one of the absolute nicest guys I've ever met. We have a mutual friend in Memphis who is an NHRA Hall of Fame member. He suggested I go meet Clay. I really enjoyed shaking his hand. He is gracious and fun to talk to.
So, after a ton of work I finally got the Hot Rod on the Dyno Monday. I watch way too much YouTube and Facebook so I had a number in mind. The new engine just felt like a beast compared to the old engine. My oldage memory recalled a 320 number on the old engine and I recalled that as horsepower with a larger torque reading. The new Holley Sniper had greatly improved drivability over the old carburator setup. I engaged John Gilliland to put a tune on the Sniper, we were running the basic Sniper self learned tune on the new engine until Monday. The tune itself goes into dozens if not hundreds of areas of the engine, fuel, spark, and air combination at the entire range of engine speed, temperature, air density, and a number of other variables the new Sniper has provided sensors to measure.
The first few pulls were well below 300 HP to the Wheels with Torque in the 320-330 range. That set the baseline. John went to work changing the timing and fueling, improving the driveability incredibly. Still the numbers only came up into the 320-330 wheel horsepower range though the torque did manage the mid 330's. Studying the pulls and John's seat of the pants intuition, we determined the Wheels were not hooking up to the dyno at all. After the tweaking, which included the fat guy sitting in the trunk, we did a final that netted right at 343 rear wheel horsepower and 358 foot pounds of torque. It was a general improvement in the numbers. But I was somewhat disappointed as my expectations were higher. I really had no idea of how good these results were.
First, going into the session I had no idea what the redline for the new motor was. We saw a clear falloff at 6200 RPM so that is where we set it.
Second the engine suffered an overheating problem with the old setup, often reaching 240 degrees on hot Texas days. On the trip out before the tune we averaged 190-195 degrees, showing a remarkable improvement over the previous engine. With the tune adjustments to idle and cruising timing, on the return the temps dropped to below 170, meaning I need to up the thermostat. The car cruises at about 185 degrees now as opposed to 192 prior to the tune.
Also on the way out I averaged 9 miles per gallon. On the way back with the new tune we averaged 14.5 miles per gallon figuring a near 30% increase in economy while cruising. Of course when my foot gets involed that gets worse sometimes.
My exhaust was designed for a 190 horsepower sbc crate engine with 2" collectors and tubing. The headers are 1 3/4 tubing. I need 2.5 to 2.75 inch headers with 3-3.5 inch collectors and 2.5 inch exhaust piping. Just my opinion
I installed an adjustable 4 Link system a few years ago and have never really gotten that effectively dialed in. I am old and don't bend so well. I don't have access to a rack to take the 4 link adjustable settings and properly set up the pinion angle. That may well have been a lot of the problem with the traction, though light weight needs to own some of it. I need to pay attention to that.
Overall drivability is excellent after the tune. John did a great job. Holley Sniper provide an okay daily driver safe solution and the learning keeps the finicky fuel tables up but the touch of a tuner smoothing out the timing and fueling transitions is a big improvement. In the photos below there are three sheets, two from the old engine done in 2016 and 2017 and the third is from the latest session. All in all a 50-55 rwhp gain and a 36 rwtq gain. Over the 2017 session and an 81 rwhp gain over the 2016 session. Enjoy the dyno, no surprises in it, just a bunch of pulls.
With those RWHP figures that's a very good flywheel HP number for a SBC. I'd guess it's getting up in the 450 hp range or maybe a bit more at the flywheel, which is darn good.
Don't recall if what your trans is, but if it's not got an overdrive then that mileage is awesome for a 1:1 top gear. An overdrive would make highway mileage boost about 30% higher.
With the 5 speed T45 you should get pretty good mileage when cruising at highway speeds. But of course you need to be steady cruising, vs. hot footing it to get the mileage. The T45 is just about at it's limit of 400 ft. lbs. torque with your engine build, but the lightweight of the car helps a lot.
Was very honored to get an article on Ethyl published in the NSRA StreetScene Magazine this month. On page 46 of the November 2020 issue Ethyl got a nice write up and some cool photos published. I have enjoyed the car immensely and enjoyed sharing it with the guys on this board. Thgis submission was prior to the louvered side panels and the 383 stroker motor install. Hopefully we can parlay them into a future article.
Many years ago, I developed a camera mount for the Pontiac GTO community. One of the first few videos I made with it was one against a WRX-STi from the dig. The what's the Camera For comes from that encounter. Here is another STi years later