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Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge

Apr 1, 2008
Turp_0804_01_z+castrol_top_shop+engine_block Photo 1/2   |   Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge

A battle of epic proportions is brewing. Modified Magazine, Import Tuner, SuperStreet, Turbo, Sport Compact Car, Eurotuner and Lowrider are set to square off in a no holds-barred engine build-off - the Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge.Each magazine has teamed up with a shop and chosen an engine. The goal is to builda motor that will outlast, outmuscle and outrival the competitors in the following categories:

-Best peak horsepower and torque per liter of displacement. Forced induction engines will be given a multiplier of two to level the playing field against the naturally aspirated engines. (e.g., a 2.0-liter 4G63 engine will be judged as a 4.0-liter engine.)

-Power under the curve. An engine that produces a broad range of power rather than big peak numbers will be rewarded in this category.

-30-minute drive cycle. Engines will be tested on their longevity and build quality.

-Build quality/craftsmanship (judged by a panel of three experts). It's not all about the numbers. The best engineered and executed engine will win this category.

Turp_0804_02_z+castrol_top_shop+ams_turbo Photo 2/2   |   Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge

The rules are simple. Only production engines found in production-based cars will be allowed. Only one forced induction system per car will be permitted (either a turbo or a supercharger - but not both). The fuel is limited to 100 octane. No additives, methanol, auxiliary fuel or water injection is allowed. The rest is fair game! The final testing will be done on one engine dyno. Teams will have the ability to fine tune their engines before the official runs are made.

The rules for the Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge are wide open, so the competition will be fierce. Luckily, we've got arguably the best tuning shop in the nation on our side - AMS.Considering their extensive knowledge and R&D of the 4G63 engine, deciding what motor we would build really was a no-brainer. Martin Musial of AMS spilled the beans about what he's got in store for the trusty EVO VIII 4G63 engine. "The engine will be based around custom-length rods from Manley and custom pistons from Ross," he revealed. "The rotating assembly will be attached to a lightweight forged K1 88-mm stroke crank. With a planned redline of 9500 rpm, a good valve train to control valve motion is critical, so the ported head will use Supertech +2-mm oversized valves and dual valve springs. The snail will be a custom-built GT42 and supporting air-to-water intercooler core from Precision Turbo. The large turbo and intercooler combo will help curb detonation at big power and boost levels on the 100-octane mandated fuel. The turbo will hang off a custom-made header by our own fabrication department and will feed an AMS intake manifold. We're doing some R&D on camshafts and will be doing a custom grind to balance mid-range power and a good peak horsepower number. Fuel delivery will be handled by a set of PTE 1,200-cc/min injectors and a Fuel Lab Prodigy fuel pump. The precise control of these injectors and the ignition will be done by Jason Siebels' new PRO EFI system. Based on OEM EFI software and hardware systems, it has advanced knock and boost control, both critical in making good reliable power for this engine competition."

In the coming months we will showcase all the parts and the buildup of the engine itself. We've got to keep on our toes, though, as rumors suggest the competition have some tricks of their own. We'll keep you posted on their progress, if they ever tell us!

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