Project 572 and Project 4-Link
Preparing for season 7 with our Mopar-powered dragster
In the spring of 2001 I decided to join the "piperack" racers and have a dragster built and, of course, I had to have a Mopar engine in it. (To follow that entire "from tubing to the track" story you can search the Archives for Project 4-Link in DragRacingOnline.com starting in early 2001 through present day.)
The Ohio Crankshaft 572 engine that will power us for 2008 and beyond is due for some dyno time this week. When we get the results we will update this article so check back in a week or so to get the results. I have written about what we are doing to try to get our 572 Wedge into the winner's circle.
Consistency is definitely one of the most important things we shoot for, but a lot of horsepower won’t hurt you either if you have the other components to take the abuse from the horsepower and torque. This month I will touch on some of the "little things" we do to let us use the 900+ horsepower and not eat up parts.
First, the engine. When we started the Project 572 we had to come up with a budget. If you don't set a limit on what you want to spend it can get so out of control you never end up at the track. Sometimes the budget means you don't get the trickest pistons, lightest valves or the best-flowing heads on the planet. Just get what you can afford and plan around that combination.
That is exactly what we did with the Project 572. To start off we wanted the best block we could afford. I had just destroyed two cast iron blocks at the end of 2007 so I was thinking aluminum block all the way. The answer came to me in a World Products Mopar Wedge aluminum block. We chose the Ohio Crankshaft 572" (4.500" x 4.500") rotating assembly that included their own 7.100 aluminum rods and their custom ordered JE pistons. You can definitely spend more money on similar parts from different companies, but do you really get more for the money? You have to answer that for yourself.
Oil systems are critical to both performance and longevity. I chose to go with a proven combination, the Milodon dual line swinging pick-up setup. I chose the flat-bottom oil pan for the dragster chassis but they have one for door cars that has been around for 20 years. Why redesign the wheel? This system works. You can go out and buy billet rail oil pans, aluminum kickout pans and even dry sumps oil systems. We are going to run this engine 6800 to 7000 rpm and the Milodon system will serve us well.