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It’s ALIVE and making horsepower!


Finally, the engine is together and has been through the initial warm-up, valve lash settings and oil change. Ready to go to the first race!

Thanks for checking in on our Project 540/E85 engine. We finally got all the parts and got everything assembled – which, as you will read in a few minutes, was no easy task. I will go over the final assembly and some of the basics we check as we put the final touches on the big Mopar.

We are trying our first Crane Cam in almost ten years. Chase Knight and his tech crew convinced me to give one of their grinds a try. They suggested I start with the cam installed at 110 degrees. To get that setting I had to install a 2-degree offset bushing in the Milodon gear drive we used. The gear drive came out of the retired 500-inch engine we ran last season.

With the camshaft installed and the front of the engine buttoned up we installed the oil pan. Using the new Flatout Gasket’s silicone oil pan gasket I knew oil pan leaks were a thing of the past. The gasket has a metal core and the bolt holes are also metal reinforced. I used no silicone and this is the first time I have ever tried that. The oiling system we are using was taken off the old 500-inch engine as well. It is your standard Milodon dual line pickup system with a custom Moroso oil pan. We did make one minor change this year and decided to go with just one pickup hose.


Here is a view of the front of the 540 with the Ron's Fuel Injection pump, the vacuum pump, the Meziere water pump, TCI Rattler damper and the MSD crank trigger all in place.

Here's What's New!