THESE days it’s pretty easy to get blasé about horsepower. With turbocharging making it all too easy to build a 1000hp street engine, it can be hard to get excited about anything less. But we were pretty pumped to see this 540ci big-block Chev engine on the dyno at Dandy Engines the other day, because it’s using these new big-block heads and it makes 800hp naturally aspirated.
Now you may be wondering what’s so exciting about new heads for a big-block Chev V8 – there are literally hundreds of different cylinder heads available. Well, for starters, these heads are made in Melbourne, Australia by Competition Induction Design (CID), which is a joint venture between cylinder head gurus John Konstandinou and Nathan Higgins. The heads use a symmetrical port design to keep the intake runners pretty close to the same length; naturally this requires a specific intake to suit, and CID makes them for both standard 9.8in-deck-height big-blocks and 10.2in tall-deck blocks. They’ve also changed the combustion chamber to a more efficient design, which requires custom pistons, but it’s worth it. Out of the box the CNC-ported heads flow around 420cfm at 0.850in lift, and almost 400cfm is available at 0.700in lift. They also do a full competition version that flows close to 500cfm.
When the donk arrived at Dandy Engines, it made 693hp with Brodix heads and a solid-roller cam. Changing to the CID heads, custom pistons (same compression) and a solid flat-tappet cam yielded just on 800hp, and yet it remains a streetable pump-fuel engine.
“This would be the perfect engine for an HQ,” Frank Marchese of Dandy Engines says, “and in fact that’s what it is going into. If you want a little extra, give it a shot of gas and you’ve got 1000hp!”
Imagine that! If you want to know more about CID’s new big-block Chev heads, or indeed any of their cylinder heads, take a look at www.cidheads.com.
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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