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

Multi-Angle Valve Job
A multi-angle valve job improves airflow, which improves power. When we increase the number of valve face and seat angles, we reduce air turbulence and resistance to flow as it enters the chambers. The more rounded the valve faces and seats, the smoother the airflow.

Use Ceramic-Coated Headers
Ceramic-coated headers, such as these Hookers being installed from Holley Performance Parts, lower underhood temperatures, which lowers induction temperature, which helps power. Ceramic-coated headers also keep extreme temperatures inside the header tubes, which depending on valve overlap, will make a difference in power as well.

Weight-Loss Program
When you're shopping for a stroker kit, consider the selection of lightweight components-pistons, rods, crank, and flywheel. The less rotating and reciprocating mass you have in there, the less power wasted getting it all to move. What's in your engine?

Use Zero-Gap Piston Rings
MCE Engines is an advocate for zero-gap piston rings because less power is lost via blow-by. The objective is to make the most of hot gasses and thermal expansion. Zero-gap rings keep heat energy focused and where it belongs. Childs & Albert is an excellent source for zero-gap rings. So is Perfect Circle.

Install A Low-restriction Air Filter
Look no further than K&N and Summit Racing Equipment for low-restriction air filters. This is a fundamental way to reduce restriction and improve airflow. Don't forget to clean your K&N filter periodically-and do it per K&N's instruc-tions. The K&N Xstream lid shown here is a great way to get additional filter surface area (and airflow) without raising the filter height and having hood-clearance issues.

Increase Rocker-Arm Ratio
Would you like to improve valve lift and make more power without a cam swap? See Crane, Comp, Jesel, Scorpion, and so on about a revised rocker-arm ratio. If you have a 1.6:1 rocker arm, check into a 1.7:1. First, make sure you have enough piston-to-valve clearance. The quickest way to lose power is engine failure because you didn't check these all-important clearances.

Limit Engine-Oil Pressure
None of us thinks about this one, but it's important. Set your oil-pump relief valve to a limit of 60 psi maximum with the engine hot. Excessive oil pressure consumes power via the pump shaft and load. It also creates excessive oil bypass, which can rob power and elevate oil temperature. When you build, blueprint your oil pump and remove all doubt about lubrication and power.

Remove All Of The Junk From Your Trunk
Remember the horsepower-to-weight ratio-10:1. One horsepower for every 10 pounds of vehicle weight is the maximum. If you want to haul, watch vehicle weight and plan power around it. Don't expect a rocketship if you have a 289ci small-block in that big Galaxie.