David Vizard
March 1, 2007
Here is our UNC Charlotte-assembled 5.0 in finished form. Even though it was a simple spec, results were close to spectacular.

Our bolt-together 5.0 power project is being assembled by a group of students from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's motorsports program, who put together a 5.0 using a set of ported aluminum heads with 1.94/1.60 valves. The idea was to use these heads and, with the help of the good guys at D.S.S., build a long-rod street motor using the company's billet lightweight 5.4-inch rods. With a 270/280 Comp Xtreme flat-tappet hydraulic cam and an 11:1 compression ratio, this test engine made 370 lb-ft and about 415 hp. There was, however, a lot of engine-component prep, such as porting the heads, which could be done at UNCC but not necessarily by most guys in the garage at home.

Long-Block Lowdown
The long-block for our project was essentially the same D.S.S. block as was used with our initial build. All that was done here was to strip and clean the entire bottom-end parts. To save money, the D.S.S. main girdle and windage tray were left out of the build this time around. This may have cost us a little top-end power, but it was accepted as a casualty of cost cutting. Except for the deleted windage tray, everything else went together as per the original build, including the Calico coated D.S.S. pistons, and Total Seal rings along with Calico coated rod and main bearings.

Upon inspection, the Total Seal rings from the previous build had worn no more than whatever it took to break them in. This being the case, they went straight back in the bores from which they originally came. On the front of the crank, which was the earlier and sturdier 28 oz/inch item, a D.S.S. Power Bond crank damper was installed.

The Valvetrain
From the previous episode of our D.S.S. long-rod build, it was shown that for a shorter-period cam, a flat-tappet design can actually deliver more area under the curve. The point where a roller's area superiority takes over is about 275 degrees of seat timing. In this bolt-it-together phase of our build, we wanted to be a little more traditional in terms of a 5.0 cam selection. This meant using a hydraulic roller.

Allowing the fact that this had to be a totally streetable motor meant we had better not go overboard on duration. With this in mind, a search was made through Comp Cams' hydraulic roller profiles. Throwing everything into the equation, including the flow characteristics of the heads to be used and the need for respectably high lift, resulted in the selection of the intake and exhaust profiles. The intake profile was 280 degrees of off-the-seat duration and 284 on the exhaust. Both were 224 degrees at 0.050 inch. Another consideration was that the intent was to run with the springs the heads came with. This meant the agenda included investigating profiles that were easier on the valvetrain than, say, Comp's Xtreme series. With the 1.6:1-ratio Crane rockers, which actually measure out closer to 1.65, the measured lift came to 0.575 on the intake and 0.545 on the exhaust.

With the profiles selected, we went ahead and ordered our cam, which was to be ground on a 110-degree LCA with 4 degrees advance, together with lifters and a new spider and dog bones.