Jim Smart
December 25, 2006
Contributers: Marvin Mcafee Photos By: Marvin Mcafee

Roller Bearings
If you are planning for power, consider the investment in roller-cam and cam thrust-plate bearings. Conventional cam bearings and thrust plates are friction sources. When you put your cam on roller bearings, you reduce friction by a huge margin. This is a nice, hidden power gain.

AntiFriction Coatings
When you're building an engine, ask yourself how you can reduce friction everywhere inside. Low-friction piston coatings are a good place to start. Also think about temperature-resistant piston top coatings that allow you to push the engine a little harder at wide-open throttle. Speed-Pro pistons from Federal-Mogul sport coated skirts for reduced friction. Other piston manufacturers are doing this as well to win the war on power.

Roller Tappets
We hear a lot of you are concerned about the cost of roller-cam conversions, but there's no single greater way to free up power and make fresh power while you're at it than a roller-cam conversion kit. Roller tappets reduce internal friction-which frees up power. You may run a more aggressive cam profile when you're running a roller cam. Here again, that makes power, too.

High Energy Ignition
It has been proven time and again that spark intensity determines how effectively we light the mixture. A hot spark makes power. A weak spark doesn't penetrate the mixture like a big, fat, intense spark. Simply put, your ignition system means everything to power. Old point-triggered ignition systems are barely adequate for stock engines. We want to make real power through capacitive discharge and a programmed spark. A hot spark excites the mixture and gets your engine hop-ping. MSD, Crane, Mallory, and others can help with easy-to-install ignition systems, such as billet distributors and ignition boxes designed to shake the fuel/air mix right down to its toes. You will feel the difference at your backside.

If MSD or other high-end ignitions are beyond your reach financially, consider the Ignitor or Ignitor II from PerTronix, along with a 50,000-volt Flamethrower ignition coil. The engine doesn't know where that hot spark comes from-it only knows a powerful spark penetrates the mixture, inciting fury (and power) in the chambers.

Performance Distributors is yet another source for high-energy D.U.I. (David Unified Ignition) solutions you can drop right into your engine in an afternoon. What's more, you will feel the difference.

Run A Carb Spacer To Increase Plenum Volume and Insulate The Carb
Temperature has everything to do with power because heat and cold (plus relative humidity) directly affect pressure. Hot fuel does not make power. Cold fuel does. That's why we want to insulate the carburetor from engine heat in order to make power. Don't just use a gasket between carburetor and manifold; use a heat-insulating phenolic spacer from {{{Summit}}} Racing Equipment or Wilson to keep heat away from carburetor fuel bowls. This also increases power by getting those fuel bowls well above the hot manifold. Cooler fuel is dense and ignites with more fury, which means more power.

Carburetor spacers are also designed to improve low- and midrange torque by increasing air velocity between carburetor and manifold. This happens whenever we increase the length of our intake runners. A four-hole carb spacer, for example, gives you four runners-a continuation of the intake manifold runners. Try a 1-inch spacer first and expect to see a modest increase in torque. Then try a 2-inch spacer if it will fit-then compare torque values. These spacers are available in a variety of thicknesses and configurations.