new guy-what are the popular engines?

Discussion in 'Manton Push Rods Top Alcohol Tech Questions' started by wood337, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. wood337

    wood337 New Member

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    I'm a fairly new fan of top alcohol......the manufacture's, engines, combinations are mind boggling.
    I have questions mostly about hemi stuff.......I actually know a bit about the Chevy's.

    1- What/who are the engine builders (Brad Anderson, Alan Johnson, Keith Black..etc.
    2- What are the popular combo's? (what's a fat head? what's a TFX..etc)
    3- What are the popular blowers and what's the difference in them?


    Same questions about the older names.....are Donovan, Arais, Rodeck still involved?

    Give me a short education on this stuff please.

    ALSO

    I've got a low buck mid 60's altered w/a alcohol injected BBC...really a basic bracket, "for fun" car. I've got a 392 and some partsI'm slowly putting together for it, someday make the jump to hemi power.

    Is there a website for low budget nostalgia guys? This site is great but clearly way above my level. The other "bracket racer-fun racer" websites are mostly oriented around door cars and/or modern stuff.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. NITROBANDIT1

    NITROBANDIT1 LOST IN SPACE

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    thread me again

    do a search on this subject, as there are many thoughts on this. in my humble opinion, the new miner, or old arias as it were, it a great engine from a engineering standpoint. you can have a head off without pulling the supercharger and manifold, and if the engine kicks a rod, the break away panels make it much cheaper and easier to fix. yes, because of one person making it lately, the prices are high for these engines, but you get much more for the money. one drawback might be keeping spares is expensive, because nobody at the track will probably have any spares. some people are brad guys till the death, but the ones i know that have changed to a fontana, very,very few have ever gone back. soon many others will be making this engine because of a proprietary deal when miner bought it, but thats over now so the price monsters make have little contest to see who wants more business now. ask gasparelli,thompson,williamson,severence and gordon if you see them at the track. they have nothing but good stuff to say about this engine.the new century arias has nothing to do with this , it is a chevy style head. the sonnys hemi, which really isnt a hemi, is the only chevy head lately that can outflow a fontana head, but much different valvetrain geometry. do a lot of research, ask a lot of questions, and spend your money once. the only other thing i can say is
    you can build a chrysler hemi with old style fuel parts for a lot less money, and it will run good also, but a lot of that older stuff is now becoming obsolete and hard to find, so you might get stuck building a few styles of engines because of lack of common parts like block heights,cam heights, etc if you want a identical spare incase it scatters.or when..........goto http://www.rbssuperchargers.com/Superchargers.cfm?sc1=15 rbs superchargers for a good website for supercharger info., again research the threads on superchargers, and there will be enough there for a few nights work! good luck, took me years to sort this crap out............
     
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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  3. wood337

    wood337 New Member

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    Thanks very much for the reply but I think my post was misunderstood.

    I'm a top alcohol fan...not competitor. I was just trying to get a grasp on the many powerplants out there, for my own interest. So what are the top few engines?



    As far as a competitor, I just have a BBC w/a Hilborn in a plain-jane old altered. I'm not looking to do much with it other than make a little progress on my 392 and when done, swap out the Chevy.

    thanks!
     
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  4. jody stroud

    jody stroud ZOMBIE Top Dragster

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    I agree with NITRO....the MBR Miner Hemi is the shit. I did alot of soul searching and could have bought any engine combo. I went with the MBR Hemi because it is as tough as a tank.... pushrods last forever, springs last at least a year turning it to 9700 rpms, NEVER hurt a main bearing in three years of racing, easy to work on and it makes good power. Do yourself a favor and call Bob Miner and get a price on a fresh used motor, intake to pan.... very reasonable... and you can decide on what parts you want to be new. Plus with a MBR Hemi if you have a problem you talk to Bob, the man who makes and sells them, not one of several diff. tech guys or salesmen. Don't worry about spares because unless you are running all out TAD/TAFC you won't need any. I keep a spare set of rods and pistons, rings, bearings, lower pan rails, springs and oil pan. But at the heads up outlaw top dragster races we run you don't have time to fix it between
    rounds anyway. Brad motors run great so do 481X AJPE. As do any of the other brad style motors.... I'm just glad I bought a MBR.
     
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  5. wood337

    wood337 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply but your talking Greek to me. Read my two original question/posts above and you'll understand why.

    Thank you much
     
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  6. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
    Staff Member

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    combo's

    To answer your question:

    The 'fathead' style head is in the vast majority of Top Alcohol cars these days. Since you have some 'old school' knowledge, it has a smaller combustion chamber, which if you had to compare it to something back then, it's sort of like a Donavan...as far as a small chamber goes..the similarities pretty much end there.

    The fathead is it's own style of head - hardware that fits a conventional style head won't work. The Top Fuel cars still run a conventional big chamber hemi head. The Veney/Newberry heads are fairly similar to a conventional fuel head, but more engineered towards an alcohol motor (I could be wrong because I don't have a lot of experience with those heads).

    I think the fatheads came out in the early 90's, with Brad Anderson and Walt Austin making their own versions. It is an efficient head and with the smaller chamber, you can run a smaller/lighter piston to achieve the desired compression ratio. This lends itself to work better with high rpm engines. It pretty well took over most of the TAD class with the smaller high revving motors by the late 90s. There were still a lot of big chamber Veney motors in TAFC because they used to be able to run a lot more overdrive on the screw blowers, so they didn't have to rev them so hard, and the big chamber stuff was pretty competitive and common. In 2001 or 2002, NHRA in their wisdom decided to save the TAFC racers from themselves and drop the blower overdrive on the PSI from 125 over to 92 over. The racers begged them not to do it because it would mean higher revs, new fuel systems, gear ratios, etc. So now in TAFC, bigger bore, shorter stroke motors are more common to facilitate revving them 10,000+. That lead to many teams that were running the Veney combo to switch to a fathead combo. Today, there are still a handful of teams still running the Veney stuff in TAFC, with Paul Gill and Fred Tigges still running pretty good with that.

    As mentioned, the Miner Brothers combo is the progression of the old Arias hemi. Fontana bought out Arias in the mid 90's, then Bob Miner bought the drag race hemi from Fontana in the mid 2000's. Rick Paradise from Fontana recently debuted the Fontana head/engine back on the market. They are easy to work on, and it's hard to find someone not happy with their product. They are quite popular on the West Coast in TAFC, with front runners like Steve Gasparrelli, Doug Gordon, Clint Thompson and others running it. They aren't quite as common in TAD, but racers like Joey Severance and Ken Perry have put the combo in a number of winner's circles.

    The fathead has progressed primarily with different 'stages' from Brad Anderson. The Brad 5 fathead was pretty common place for a long time from the late 90's to mid 2000's. BAE came out with the Brad 6 head in 2006. they have since developed the Brad 7 & 8 head, with the BAE 7 legal for Pro Mod with a 2.400 intake valve and the BAE 8 with a 2.450 for TAD/TAFC. The latest head they have is the BAE 8x.

    Total Flow made a comparable head to the Brad 5 that was used successfully by a number of teams including Marty Thacker, the Parkertech TAFC team, Andy Bohl among others. Most recently they have developed a raised runner version of the head with the help of Chuck Ford.

    Around 2008 Alan Johnson came out with his version of a fathead, which he called the 'Musclehead.' A few teams have had success with this head, most notably Dennis Taylor running the combo until he decided to go nostalgia FC racing. Ray Drew currently runs the latest version of the AJ Musclehead.

    Another variation of the fathead came from a collaboration between Randy Anderson and John Medlen, which came out in the mid 2000's. Medlen sold the alcohol head rights to former IHRA Alcohol Funny Car champ Dale Brand, who now operates and sells the heads under the 'Co-Line' brand. Cody Perkins and Dale Brand have recently won races with these heads, and Fred Hanssen won the European TAD championship with these heads.

    In 2009, an Australian company, Noonan Race Engineering debuted their version of the fathead. Jamie Noonan had experienced success in Australia's V8 Super Car series, winning championships as engine builder for several teams. He had grew up racing Top Alcohol with his father John, so they had always wanted to build a Top Alcohol head. Chris Foster has won Division 3 TAFC Championships in 2009 and 2011 with this head, and Richard Putz has won a Division 5 TAD Championship. They have also won the last two championships in ADRL Pro Extreme with Jason Hamstra and Frankie Taylor. They have several versions of their 'X-1' head, with a legal pro mod version and an 'Outlaw' version with a 2.48 intake valve.

    In the A/Fuel ranks, the fathead style head is used by every competitive team. The Fontana combination enjoyed some success in the mid 90s to the early 2000's, most notably Keith Stark. When NHRA dropped the nitro % from 100, the Fontana combo really fell behind the pack. In the mid 2000's, Alan Johnson debuted his A/F Musclehead, which featured a smaller intake runner, more suited for a naturally aspirated motor. Brad Anderson has since made A/Fuel versions of their 6 and 8 heads.

    As far as blocks go, probably 90% plus of the Top Alcohol teams out there run the BAE forged block. There are some who use the TFX block, which is almost universally used in Top Fuel. Very few teams still run a KB cast block. The Miner Bros. motors either use CN Billet or TFX blocks.

    The PSI D blower is the only blower run by competitive teams in TAD/TAFC. You are still allowed to run a roots, but they are not competitive. The Whipplecharger is no longer legal for competition after they quit certifying the blowers for a period of time during the early 2000's.

    I hope this answers your questions.
     
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  7. wood337

    wood337 New Member

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    Yes, Thanks Will!

    I'll no doubt digest this and have a question or two yet.


    Do you know of any blogs for guys in my pack? By this I mean........

    While I am a fan and I admire top alcohol...AND I'm astounded by what a door car with nitrous and a skinny tire can do these days........

    ...... I run with some guys that have low-buck FED and altereds. We try to keep them true to their original design. Most run a Chevy, some blowers, some injectors, some alky, some even gas. Most don't even run the NHRA Heritage series.

    Anyone know of a nostalagia website....maybe one that leans toward "open" cars and speaks "jr. fuel", "301 Chevy" "392" "Algon" "6-71" and that kind of language?

    Over on the HAMB/Jalopy Journal there's a little of that but it's not a racing site.

    Thanks again Will
     
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  8. TOL

    TOL Active Member

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    Hey Jody, do you run the Chev style (2.750) mains in your MBR?...
     
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  9. NITROBANDIT1

    NITROBANDIT1 LOST IN SPACE

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    wood

    http://anra.com/ heres some guys some friends of mine run with. its a lot more with the nostalgia than the rest. might be a place to start.
     
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  10. Blownalky

    Blownalky Top Sportsman

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    See the next.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  11. Blownalky

    Blownalky Top Sportsman

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    Fantastic post! Should be a sticky.
     
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  12. SoDak

    SoDak Active Member

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    Help me learn.
    The MBR engines, are they BBC bore spacing of 4.840?
     
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  13. NITROBANDIT1

    NITROBANDIT1 LOST IN SPACE

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    mbr

    yes, 4.840 std chevy crank dimensions. however the cranks have chrystler rod bearings. most bocks are 10.7 height for fc, but they make 10.2 for dragsters, and 11.1 for trucks. the new blocks have larger than bbc cams with the 4,7 swap now, and all use hemi lifters.
     
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  14. SoDak

    SoDak Active Member

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    and the head bolt pattern is BBC also but with 1/2" studs?

    Whose making the new blocks?

    cam drives the same as BBC?
     
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  15. SoDak

    SoDak Active Member

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    Anybody have a 5.0 bore space block with hemi heads that is setup for roots blowers?
     
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  16. NITROBANDIT1

    NITROBANDIT1 LOST IN SPACE

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    mbr

    the heads dont have a bbc bolt pattern. instead they have 10 of either 9/16 or 5/8 head studs with nascar lug nuts on top of the rocker assemblys. no inner studs to tighten , so the heads come off with slots in the intake, just loosen the intake bolts, take the 10 head nuts off with the stands, and the head comes off with the intake, blower and etc still attatched.cn used to make the blocks, now alan johnson is making a new lightweight version. the cam drive is a fontana gear drive with a mag cover. its unusual because to the left of the motor it has a auxillary drive meant to drive a mag, and a dry sump pump. you can use left or right rotation mags because they make a left and right gear setup for the distributor worm gear. the crank support is different also, because of the bolt patterns set up in the front of the block to put the studs. the blower idler bracket is bbc. try this http://minerbrosracing.com/
     
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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  17. Shawn Jones

    Shawn Jones Jr. Dragster

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    Bob Miner now offers a new design for the front cover. It's a really nice piece (our new motor has it). It's an all billet aluminum piece. It has provisions for two crank sensors on both sides of the hub, has a built in center flange crank support (no more bulky rcd support), and uses a RCD/Miner designed mag and oil pump drive (no more slop)!!!
     
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  18. TOL

    TOL Active Member

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    Shawn, would it be possible to shoot a couple of pics of this my way? whome@look.ca Thanks.
     
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  19. Shawn Jones

    Shawn Jones Jr. Dragster

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    #19
  20. overkill69

    overkill69 Member

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    mbr

    that MBR is nice and i'm one of the last chevy guys. No cross bolted mains? How much weight hit over the BAE 100 tall promod combo?
    Did you crash at Tulsa?
     
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