springtime is creeping up on us again... was wondering if you had dusted that thing off and/or if there were any improvements and mods over the winter.... Have been thinking about that engine and have some questions.. know you run a glide... is the bellhousing pattern the same as the 60v6 or is it something else? had you heard any more about manual trans conversions on that motor or have any links where one may explore?? might have to build a hotrod/sportsracer type toy... probably no time or money this season but can maybe start to collect parts and start planning a Locost7 inspired chassis.. to placate my wandering mind...
pls post some more pics and ET-times...
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Thread: Vortec 4200 Miller Swartz Rail
03-20-2010, 01:20 PM #1
Vortec 4200 Miller Swartz Rail
03-25-2010, 07:54 AM #2
Well even though weíve had a few nice weeks here lately in Wisconsin, there always seems to be this sense this time of year that Mother Nature will want to even out the karma scale. We can easily see 60+ degrees one day and a blizzard the next. This is why the tracks this far north typically donít open until April (and even thatís crap shoot). Iíve been to one too many first Div. 3 races of the season at Indy where snow was flying. My planned first race this year was going to be the Division 5 race in Brainerd, MN, but that is being preempted this year by the birth of my second son. So it looks like the Div. 3 race in Joliet is the new target with some testing before then.
We have done some things to the engine this off season based on info we acquired with the data logger we put in the car late last season. Last year was a bit of a struggle - as it seems to be with any new engine program. We were having a hard time getting the motor to last more than a few runs. The logger ended up showing that it was related to an oil pressure (or lack of) issue at certain times during the run. We hope to have that gremlin taken care of with a new oil pan/pick-up design that I just finished welding up a couple of weekends ago. Even with the problems we did have, we started to run under the G/ED index and qualified at a few Division races. Unfortunately wounded engines kept me from making the 1st round call each of those times, but it was encouraging.
To answer your trans question, the bell housing is different on the 4200. In production, this engine was coupled with a ďmodularĒ type transmission where the bell is separate from the rest of the trans. Regardless, the problem that we run into is that even if we fabricated a bell that would mate engine to Ďglide or TH 350, NHRA rules state that we still need a SFI approved flex plate shield. They just don't exist for this bolt pattern. So we use the rear motor plate as an adapter between the motor and trans and use a standard flex plate shield for a 'glide. Now as far as manual conversions go, Iím sure they are out there. I personally donít know of any, but this motor has been used for a few years now in some off road racing where manual transmissions are used. With a little bit of a search Iím sure you can find somebody who has done it.
As I get more pics this season, Iíll make sure to post them for you.
03-25-2010, 08:45 AM #3
here in NE Pa we had a few days of warm.... enough to get the river flooding... and now is getting cold again.... spring is still coming eventually...
on your oiling prob... there are a few guys at inliners.org that are starting to fool with that motor... and it is showing some real promise.. 900+ hp turboed.... with stock internals... there is supposed to be a sub 10second street driven nova out there with that motor.... so they must be addressing it somehow..
there is a rear sump pan being developed out there that may help..
of course dry sump is always an option... albiet expensive....
glad to see you are still messing with it... looking forward to pics and more discussion..
BTW... the 2006 internal redesign is rumored to have improved the oiling system as well..
03-25-2010, 01:12 PM #4
The engine does have quite a bit of potential. Unfortunately many of the HP improvement options you mentioned (e.g. turbo charging) are not allowed in G/ED. For example, I had to convert the motor from fuel injection (which was OEM) to running carburetors. As far as the oiling goes, it certainly isn't a stock engine related issue. Because there are limited after market components for the 4200, items like a performance oil pan have to be custom fabrications. Unfortunately in the original design, there as so much suction that the pick-up sucked down to the floor of the pan. The choked off pick-up coupled with a trap door (used to prevent the oil from sloshing toward the front of the pan during deceleration) that wasn't operating as efficiently as it should, all created a situation where there just wasnít enough oil flowing through the engine lubrication the parts that needed it (i.e. the main and rod bearings).
In the example in the link, the oil pan design is something more like a stock small block/V6 style oil pan. In a more performance related application, there are a few issues with such a design. The shallow front end of the pan tends to keep the oil as it drains down relatively close to the rotating assembly. This increases the chance that the oil will be drawn back up against the rotating parts which robs horse power. This is why a dry sump system usually increases HP. It pulls the oil directly out of the pan and away from these rotating components. Again, because of G/ED rules, I cannot use one of these either.
03-25-2010, 01:20 PM #5
then I take it that you are allowed to modify the stock pan to correct some of that... are you allowed to make and install a windage tray or crank scraper??
BTW... in the application that I am looking at.. do not have any restrictions other than streetability... and since I will probably be building my own chassis.. crossmember clearence and sump position will not be an issue.... do you have any Idea as to your hp in the carb config???
03-26-2010, 09:28 AM #6
Yes, both are allowed as are other engine enhancements like bore, stroke, head porting, etc. As far as HP, it is only estimated at this point because we have not dyno'd the engine yet. It didn't make sense last year to do dyno pulls without knowing if the motor would last.