Aluminum Wedge Block, Here We Go
There are a lot of readers of Mopar Max that are aware of the “engine problems” I had in 2007. (WOW, am I glad that ordeal is over! I was running out of oil-dry.) Both engines met their demise because of cylinder block failure, or at least that is the conclusion we have come to. That means I had to start looking for a new block to build another 572” Wedge for my Project 4-Link dragster. I wrote an article a few months ago about all the different blocks there were to choose from. Well, I got a little ahead of myself. There were only two companies that could ACTUALLY DELIVER a block to me on time. One of them, Indy’s Maxx-aluminum block needs some serious work before it’s ready to use so that cost too much. The other was the World Products aluminum Wedge block. Priced right and AVAILABLE!
We decided that the World Race Aluminum Wedge block would be our choice. I called World and I almost dropped the phone when they said they had them in stock. I sent the Cashier’s Check and it was on the pallet waiting to be trucked to Ohio Crankshaft the next day. Now THAT’S SERVICE! Thanks to the guys at World Products.
If you are considering building a Wedge and you want to go fast you might want to follow along with our Project 572 (the sequel) for the next couple months as we assemble the Ohio Crankshaft 572” Wedge for our dragster. We operate on a budget just like most racers do. I am using all the pieces that were still okay out of the first 572” that served me for so many seasons. The Indy 440-1 heads, the Jesel rockers, the intake, the camshaft and lifters (after a Comp Cams rebuild of lifters), the oil pan is getting repaired and the ignition is OK.
We will be installing the 4.500” stroke Ohio Crankshaft crankshaft that came out of the 540, we will get new JE Pistons and pins and are still trying to decide whether to use a steel rod or go with aluminum.
I can look back now at the decision I made to build the 540” E/85 engine with a stock block and see the fault in that thinking. Once we put good flowing heads and fuel injection on it I should have realized we would go over 800 HP. I don’t think it would have mattered if we used block filler or not; it was too much horsepower and the loads on the cylinder walls were too much for a 30-year-old block. That is now a history lesson Wedge owners will learn from or rediscover on their own, that’s a personal choice.