A few months ago we announced our entry into the Castrol Syntec Top shop engine challenge. This event pits 7 of the top shops in the country against each other to build the best engine possible using only 100 octane. Each shop was to pair up with a magazine to cover the build. With our great relationship in the past Modified magazine selected us as their shop of choice and we did NOT want to let them down!

You can read about all the contestants HERE!

The principle behind the event is simple…make the BEST all around engine. You are scored on peak horsepower, horsepower under the curve, engineering and even your overall presentation. To keep things fair every engine must succumb to a series of multipliers/handicap based on the size and power add ons. For instance an all motor 4 cyl would have very little to nothing in the way of multipliers but a twin turbo big block V8 would be severely handicapped with multipliers. This keeps a level playing field.

By choosing a 2.0 liter 4cy Turbo 4G63 with only a small multiplier/ handicap we knew we could do pretty well in this event.

The Goal: 1000hp on the engine dyno on only 100octane.

With only two months to engineer this motor we had our hands full! The motor must fit into the chassis of a car so to make things a bit easier on the development and testing we needed an easy car to work with. Because of all the supporting modifications and chassis setup our drag car was the best candidate for the job! Out came the current 1100whp power plant and the ball was rolling.

Initial plans were to build a staged turbo system. Time was not on our side but we persevered on and the guys involved burned the midnight oil more times than I can count. Time was ticking away…and FAST!!

The proposed power plant would be the following:

AMS 2.0 Steel Rod 1000hp capable block using Ross Racing pistons, Manly Turbo Tough rods and a super lightweight K1 2.0 Crank
AMS CNC Cylinder head using Supertech Valvetrain Components
AMS Dry Sump Oil System
AMS Drag plenum VSR manifold
AMS Custom Staged Turbo System using a GT42R and GT28RS courtesy of Precision Turbo
AMS Custom Air to water intercooler system
AEM EMS engine management and Gauge setup
Spark-Tech Custom COP system
and a whole bunch more

This was quite the task. The amount of fabrication and engineering involved with this was just staggering to put into an 8 week window.

here are some of the build pictures of the staged Turbo system burring its build. The engineering that went into this was just NUTS!

So many people at the shop pitched in on this build. We had guys here WELL INTO THE EARLY MORNING CONSISTENTLY, hammering away to get this done. Here you can see Justin working his magic on the Drag Plenum VSR. The following picture is of Chris Nielson. Chris played a HUGE roll in the majority of the custom fabrication on this project..including that wild header you see

Chris Nielson Welding up our custom air to water intercooler

The finished manifold

Just building a motor for the competition was not enough. This had to be put on an engine dyno outside of a car. To accomplish this we had to make a supplementary cart to contain all the vital components for the engine like, Water cooler, Dry sump oil reservoir, battery and the AEM EMS complete with gauges. Because we are judged on
engineering and our overall presentation we had to make sure it all was done right and very clean. in the next grouping of pictures you can see Ivo (another work horse in this build) doing some wiring between the engine and the cart. Don’t worry it looked much better when it was all done lol.

The Custom AMS made AEM Gauge display

Spark-Tech knocked out this AWESOME custom COP unit!

The super sweet display that Spark-tech worked up for us at the last minute!

At this point in time we were literally DAYS away from having to ship the engine setup to the engine dyno. Stress levels were at an all time high here at the shop to try and get this done and tuned before the deadline. It was time to throw her on the dyno for some testing and tuning.

The boys moving her around for the dyno session

Tuning on the dyno went a little longer then we had hoped. Working the bugs out on this system was requiring a decent amount of time…the one thing we did not have. At this point we were only 48 hours from having to ship the engine. Between working out the bugs and getting the valves to actuate correctly on the staged turbo system we had to make a decision. with only a little over a day left we had to ditch the staged system and go with a single 42R. With some last minute fabrication and another LONG night the team pulled together and got the car ready and TUNED! it was time to pack it all up!

So the final engine setup was as follows:

AMS built 2.0 1000hp capable block using Ross Racing pistons, Manly Turbo Tough rods and a super lightweight K1 2.0 Crank. Built and assembled by our own Tim Salefski!
AMS CNC Cylinder head using Supertech Valvetrain Components
AMS Dry Sump Oil System
AMS Drag plenum VSR manifold
AMS Custom fabricated turbo system using a GT42R turbocharger courtesy of Precision Turbo
AMS Custom Air to water intercooler system
AEM EMS engine management and Gauge setup
Spark-Tech Custom COP system
and a whole bunch more

In the end we met our deadline but just BARELY!

This event took a lot out of us here at the shop, including taking the drag car out of commission for two months. It was task that honestly I wasn’t sure we could get done. To build an engine from scratch including custom fabricating a turbo system, Intake manifold, Air to water intercooler set,supplementary engine cart, wiring and tuning in just 8 weeks is just AWE inspiring!

I did not have any hands on work with this build but watching the guys involved pull together and team up to get this done was phenomenal! Not a day goes by that I do not feel a great deal in pride working here. This just brought it to a whole new level!

So to everyone personally involved in this build…THANK YOU!

I also want to take time out to thank all the companies involved. Without you this build simply would not of happened.

Here are our sponsors in no particular order:

Precision Turbo
TiAL Sport
Fuel Lab
Vibrant Performance
Fuel Lab

The winning motor will be unveiled the week of November 3rd at SEMA in the Castrol Syntec booth. We were up against some tough competition. Come SEMA we will find out just how good our little 2.0 turbo really is

in the meantime you should be entering to WIN the winning motor by going to http://www.syntectopshopchallenge.com/ You never know, you could walk away with the engine in this thread if we WIN!

In close I leave you with some final pictures of our entry into the 2008 Castrol Syntec Top Shop Engine Challenge! Thank you for taking the time to read this and keep an eye out.


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