Everyone knows that providing a more free-flow exhaust will increase engine power, and installing tubular headers has been on an age-old V8 trick. GM and Chevrolet (for whatever reason) only offered a 305 V8 in the Corvette for California.
The headers can be modified easily by the end user for the addition of air injection if needed for pollution control.
For those Jaguar conversions using very built (high horsepower) or larger cubic inch engines, we offer headers in a "super flow" version as well. I told you last month that Project Fun Buggy has got to be just that-fun-so like any red-blooded American boy I went out hunting a proper engine for peeling out.
The straight-six Jeep engine is a torquey little anchor and the GM or Toyota V-6 is great for almost any lightweight rig looking to haul a person or two around, plus it can be dialed in for serious smoke shows on steep rocky ledges. Dyno MightyOur first dyno pull on the computer-written program gave us 395 max horsepower and 473 lb-ft of max torque. To offset the expected power loss going to the smaller engine, the engineers designed a set of free-flow header-style manifolds to replace the cast iron (ram horn) parts. Just use Hedman air injection kit # 22830, available from Summit or other speed part dealers. I've included some photos of the headers on various mount styles- take a look to judge the fit for yourself. I wanted an engine that could chug over rocks and up wooded trails, but still get allfour tires smoking or huck giant roosts in sand or mud.
Long-stroke engines are known for their torque, and when turning big tires off-road, you want torque. The 6.2 diesel V-8 in my '86 Chevy is fine, but isn't all that impressive, and the Cummins diesels are just too heavy. In my country-boy logic I saw 40-inch tires and 40-spline axleshafts (see last month's axle build), so I figured I needed 400 horses and even more torque.
The difference between the ZZ383 and GM's entry-level stroker, the HT383, is the aluminum Fast Burn heads. The two common styles of fuel injection are throttle body injection (TBI) and Tuned Port Injection (TPI).
The ACCEL system is designed to replace carbureted engines or TPI engines, but none of these ever came with more desirable Vortec style heads. We also mocked up the ceramic-coated Sanderson Headers that were recommended for the Fast Burn heads because of the thick mounting flange and exclusive D-port inlets that match the exhaust outlets. From deep, sticky mud to craggy canyons strewn with Jeep-sized boulders, we’ll take you places we guarantee are Prius-free and t-case-required! Now Jaguar Specialties offers the only professionally made headers to fit Jaguar V8 conversions, and they are made by world-renowned Sanderson Headers. The header set comes with all required mounting hardware, and matching flanges for your headpipes. Well, these flowed so well that the 1980 Corvette 305 was rated at 190 hp, only 10 hp less than the 49 state L-82 350 (rated at 200hp).
If you have some question about which mounts your car uses, please Email me a photo of them- I should be able to tell. I've seen many awesome rock buggies with Toyota, GM Ecotec, and even Subaru engines that can crawl and still get jiggy across the sand and mud, but when tires get above 40 inches, a four-banger is getting worked. All the other diesels are either weaker than what I want, too heavy, or not offered in this country. Of course, the junkyard or classified ads are the first stop for many folks looking for a good engine, but if I was going that route, I would be hard-pressed to come home with a 400hp rat motor.
The GM iron Vortec heads found on '96-'99 trucks have a reputation for great performance, and the aftermarket Fast Burn heads take that design and expand on it, getting even better flow out of slightly larger 2-inch intake valves and 1.55-inch exhaust valves.


TBI is similar to a carburetor in that there are injectors (usually two) situated at the top of the intake manifold, and the fuel is atomized in and flows through the intake to each cylinder.
Instead the Vortec style heads only came in trucks with some goofy Central Port Injection (CPI) that utilizes eight injectors and tubes that run down to each intake valve. The crew at Scoggin-Dickey split the difference between the two to guard against any leaks. The ECM and wiring harness is simple for initial installation, and it also comes with various fueling strategies such as sequential, bank-to-bank, batch, or staged batch. We set the timing and calibrated the dual-sync distributor, hooked up the fuel, spark, electric dyno water pump, and exhaust. Since I was trying to learn all the available options for the program, as well as what all could be adjusted, Tracy Dennis took the time to run 13 different dyno pulls on the 383.
Besides displacement, the only real difference between the engines was the exhaust manifolds!!
I would love to explore them more down the road, but Fun Buggy needs some steak-and-potatoes power while keeping on the salad side of weight. In fact, only two small-block Chevys ever came from the factory with over 400 horses, and both were in exotic Corvettes. But unlike a carburetor, the fuel is injected (duh!) under pressure and is more controlled. As the cam rotates (it's turned by the timing chain attached to the crankshaft), its lobes raise the lifters which in turn raise the pushrods that then pivot through the rockers and cause the intake or exhaust valves to open and close, and all this has to happen multiple times every second. Finally, before heading out to break in and test this torquer, we installed a set of MSD 8.5mm Super Conductor Plug Wires. And since the laptop could record the different results of each pull, he was constantly adjusting numbers to try and get more power. These performance headers for the Jaguar are very close in design to those original pieces, so it is reasonable to expect a good power gain when switching to them from cast iron. And finally, it had to look cool under the hood and give off a rumble that would scare the yuppies down the street. It is also ready for an automatic transmission with a 12.75-inch flexplate, and comes with stamped-steel valve covers that we replaced with Scoggin-Dickey's fabricated aluminum versions. If I was going to go with a junkyard engine, I would choose the late-model Gen III 6.0 like Tech Editor David Kennedy put in his Blazer (June '04 and June '05). If you have a '55-'00 GM V-8 and want to go to an aluminum Vortec style head, you can get them through GMPP as well as many aftermarket companies such as Edelbrock, who offers similar E-Tec heads. TPI (also referred to as multiport injection) usually has an injector for each cylinder and sprays fuel directly above the intake valve.
The hydraulic roller lifters have less friction and can handle steeper cam lobes (more lift with less duration), which is good for allowing more air in or out. They come as a set, but are not at complete lengths so that you can cut them to your desire. A wide-band O2 sensor not only tells the controller whether the engine is rich or lean, but also how far from optimum it is so that the computer can more accurately fix the problem. What I ended up powering this tube car is not cheap, but it will make the tires turn and I'm trying to show the coolest dream parts I could get my hands on that are still anchored back to what the average guy could start with.
These lifters also require shorter pushrods, which are less likely to deflect so they are more stable and stronger. This is especially useful if the computer is put in a closed-loop program, where the information from the O2 sensor is recorded and the ECM adjusts the fuel ratio automatically.
We eventually surpassed even Scoggin-Dickey's claimed numbers on this crate engine with 413 hp at 4,800 rpm and 491 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm.
I know many of you might think this means a big-block or an LS1 aluminum Gen III small-block.


I decided on the aftermarket ACCEL DFI Super Ram system that is designed like a TPI but offers many options for tuning. Plus they have a High EMI suppression, which refers to the electromagnetic interference that radiates from plug wires and can interfere with onboard electronics and computers. This is done by monitoring the manifold pressure, throttle position, intake air temperature, engine coolant temperature, manifold surface temperature, and exhaust gas oxygen and then by adjusting fuel, air, and spark accordingly.
Better yet was the fact that the torque curve was flatter than the military haircuts my dad gave me growing up.
They sound cool, can make big power and torque, and just seem right for a 4x4, especially one on big tires.
I will show you the MSD 6 off-road ignition-control box and blaster coil when they are installed in the chassis.
To simplify things, the initial setup is done by inputting basic known features of the engine such as compression ratio, displacement, camshaft specs, and fuel pressure into a Windows-based computer. In fact, we couldn't even get the dyno to adequately brake the engine under 3,000 rpm since there was so much torque. The big-block is still too heavy, and though the LS1 is lightweight and an awesome performer, I decided to push the classic iron block.
Here was this beautiful engine with all types of hoses and wires running all over it so that Tracy Dennis, the owner of Sunset, could monitor what was going on and tune the ACCEL computer for maximum performance. Then the ACCEL software will determine a base-line program for the ECM that will get the engine running. Check out the numbers below and you will see that this engine should pull hard and still peel out with the big dogs. The new Dodge Hemis and Toyota V-8s are hard to get-very cool, but hard to get-and there just isn't that much stuff for the Nissan V-8 yet. GM claims 425 horses and 449 lb-ft of torque, but that is based off of dyno tests using a carburetor, and I want fuel injection for steep climbs and off-camber wheeling.
An engine dyno is a fixture that puts a load on the engine in order to see how much power and torque it can turn at certain rpm.
So further research brought me to Scoggin-Dickey Performance center in Lubbock, Texas, and its ZZ383EFI. Dennis and his crew are used to building big-block engines for drag racers that push around 1,000 hp, so my little monster was not gonna scare them. This crate engine from Scoggin-Dickey comes with a base program that should be roughly 405 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.
Since Feature Editor Jerrod Jones is the Dodge guy, and a good buddy of mine is running a Ford, I started thinking Chevy. If you want even more, just take it to one of the many Engine Management Installation Centers (EMIC) across the U.S. Plus this is 2005, and 50 years ago some engineers at General Motors designed a V-8 engine that has stood the test of time. Or you can get a Windows-based laptop computer, load the software, and begin making adjustments on your own.
Since the program can be saved on your ECM or laptop, you can always return to those initial settings.



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