Building a Big Block Ripper to go Mud Bogging!

Here's the challenge: How much naturally aspirated power can you make for twenty grand? Mud Bogging is about as All-American as it gets when it comes to motorsports. We travelled to the shops of Motorsports Unlimited to meet up with owner Lance Stillwell as he builds a 582 cubic inch big block for a Mud Bog racer. Best of all, this engine makes well over 1,000 horsepower for less than twenty grand!      
mud bogging
Our big block will be going into this tube-frame Chevy C10 mud bogger.
 
World Products Merlin IV big block
Motorsports Unlimited owner Lance Stillwell installs the PBM forged crank into the World Products' Merlin IV block.
 
Erson solid roller camshaft
Stillwell checks the specs on every cam that goes into an engine in his shop. This is a solid roller from Erson Cams.
 
PBM connecting rods
Stillwell chose H-beam connecting rods from PBM. They are 6.535 inches long with a bushed little end for a floating pin.
 
JE big block piston
The JE forged pistons have a big dome to help maximize compression.
 
JE pistons in block
Here, you can see just how much the piston dome extends above the block.
 
Moroso billet oil pump
One of the trickest pieces in this entire build is the billet oil pump from Moroso. It is actually lighter than an OEM pump and while also operating with much greater efficiency.
 
Canton oil pan on world products merlin block
Stillwell has the Canton oil pan bolted down and takes a moment to check the diameter of the crank snout. If he finds the crush between the ID of the damper and the snout is greater than 0.0015 or so, he will hone the damper to ensure it fits properly.
 
Pro-filer cylinder head
The cylinder heads are from Pro-Filer. These are their Sniper 24 degree big block heads with 119 cc combustion chambers.
 
T&D shaft mount rockers
Valve control will be helped tremendously by a set of T&D shaft mount aluminum rocker arms.
 
Pro-Filer Sniper intake
Pro-Filer's single-plane Sniper intake manifold will help improve the high-rpm power band.
 
Moroso vacuum pump
A vacuum pump from Moroso will help improve power by creating a better ring seal inside the crank case.
 
big block engine dyno
Our engine on the dyno.
 
big block dyno chart
On the dyno, this big block produced peaks of 834 foot/pounds of torque and 1,053 horsepower at 7,300 rpm.

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