Volume X, Issue 2, Page 65

Our Merlin-X aluminum block is all clamped down in the CNC-controlled boring equipment. The electronic probing is complete and boring is about to begin.

Project 620 Chevy Engine

When we first started considering Chevrolet power for son Andy's S&W Race Cars-built "Back-2-Basics" dragster it was a little hard for me to consider. Not because of any one thing, it was because 99% of the time my race cars have gone down the track they have had Mopar engines in them. It didn't take long to realize I could make a lot of power with the big cubic inch Chevy and not break the bank doing it.

We contacted Stan Ray at Ohio Crankshaft and started asking him questions about his Super 620 he had in the DRO ads for only $9995. After probably 20 emails, a dozen phone calls and a lot of other racers telling me to make the switch to GM, I "pulled the pin" and ordered the engine. We have decided to make a few upgrades to the engine as we will use the engine for bracket racing as well as Top Dragster racing. This car will see very little, if any, Super Comp racing. I will leave that for my car that has the Mopar in it and the throttle stop already on it.

Since I had ZERO parts in the shop for a Chevy you will get a first hand look at what it takes to get one of these big-inch engines together and running. The only thing that I had that we might use is the belt-drive fuel pump but that will need new brackets for the Chevy block.

You can see the ribbing that World Products cast into the Merlin-X block for added strength. Just one of the many details that make the Merlin-X a great choice if you are looking for an aluminum block as an upgrade or the foundation for a new engine.

After several conversations with Stan we decided to use the World Merlin X aluminum block, which will save us about 150 pounds and a set of his OC Extreme I-beam steel rods. We will use the standard Super 620 Comp Cam, a rather mild roller camshaft that will be easy on parts so we can concentrate on racing. We will upgrade to a Comp Cams #6200 camshaft belt-drive and a Fluidampr harmonic balancer. Those are basically the only things we upgraded. 

Other than that we will use his off-the-shelf JE pistons, ring package and pins. The heads and intake are from Dart. We will use the Pro1 355 CNC’d aluminum heads and their matching intake. The heads came completely assembled and are ready to go. The Merlin X aluminum block is the tall-deck version and with the Dart intake I can use a standard distributor because of the way Dart machines the intake manifold.

We will show you some very unique rocker arms from a new company called Curtis-Bilt. Bill Curtis is an experienced engine builder who has turned on a lot of win lights so he knows you need reliability to win. Now he is using his tool and die skills to carve out some of the trickest, most durable rocker arms available. The feature on them next month will be one not to miss. The standard Super 620 uses Jesel Shaft Rockers so you get some good stuff either way.

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