B-Mod engine questions

Now that crate engines have been around for awhile, what do you think: 1) Is crate vs open are similar in performance? 2) Can you purchase an open engine from an engine builder for a similar price as a crate engine? 3) What do you think the percentage is of crate vs open engines?
 
I’m bored atm so I’ll throw one at ya. For one most drivers are reluctant to get on here and say anything distinctive about rules or tracks because their opinion will typically be misconstrued by someone who isn’t aware of all the facts pertaining to the subject. But as someone who’s raced this class locally for last three years with an open engine that I paid 6000 here I go
1.Is crate and open similar in performance?
Yes. Crates with the Four Barrel may have a little more torque but open may rev freely a little higher. The only advantage or disadvantage comes when tracks make one weigh more than the other.
2. Can you buy a crate for same price. They’re real close in price when you figure in everything needed specifically. After 40-50 nights You can “freshen” an open engine for around 2500 and be good for another 40-50.
3. Percentage of each depend on what track you’re talking about..my opinions of the tracks I’ve raced at are
1. Tri-city. Biggest Bmod turn out every single week of ‘17 and ‘18
50% crate 50% open.
2. St Francois. Second biggest turnout weekly 25%crate 75%open
3.Pevely 90% crate because over time the open guys know they’re disadvantaged by having to weigh so much more.
4.Fayette County
70/30 open
5. Belleville.
75%crate 25%open
Just my opinion and just for conversation sake don’t be hatin! Lol
 
Have to agree with the thinks said but tri city open motor are different from every other track that’s why the r nt UMP pro mods I have an open motor and have run a crate motor as well I Think they r pretty evenly match with the rules that UMP have in place just hope they leave the rules alone because I don’t think one engine dominates over the other as far as price pretty close when you consider after you by the crate you have to buy 1k carb and expensive headers and low drag serpentine belts you will have a similar price as an open motor most crates will last a long time before needing freshened but I have seen them blow up with low nights on them as well the big think is tech everyone say this guy or that guy is cheating when they win a couple races but no one want to tech hope I didn’t offend anyone just my opinion
 

Jimmy Cummins

CEO, Cummins Lumber Co.
i run a crate because I buy pump gas down the street from my house for less than $3 a gallon. good, "built" engines need 110 fuel which is $8 a gallon or more. crate engines do NOT require fancy, expensive headers. the exhaust port on a vortec head is about 1/4 higher than the exhaust port on a standard GM head, so there is a different part number for a crate header but it costs EXACTLY the same. The serpentine pulley doesn't add any HP, it supposedly doesn't "use" as much HP though as v-belt. a serpentine pulley combo would benefit an open engine as much as a crate. I ran my first crate 85 nights and burnt a piston in it, got it fixed for $1622. I just think they are more affordable.
 
Just a discussion, and with all due respect and all that.. Jimmy 110 is only 6.29 at the pump in Pevely but if ya buy it in a barrel the price drops considerably to around 4 a gallon.
The serpentine not robbing as much power as the v-belt is the same as making more power.
After you replaced a piston for 1600, you put the engine back together with all the parts with 85 nights on them and still running it? Just curious..
 

DaveMcLain

Active Member
If the rules were not written to favor the crate engine in a big way nobody would run one. I don't see any engine, crate, "built" etc not being down on power long before 50 nights of racing especially in a dirt application.
 

Jimmy Cummins

CEO, Cummins Lumber Co.
i believe it had new rings and bearings and timing set put in it, and gaskets and UMP tags. Everythind done to it was 100% UMP Pro mod legal. I can run it in the st louis area but not with USRA. and IDK about $4 a gallon race fuel, I don't believe that for a second, i don't care enough to price it, but I do know that it is $8 or $9 a gallon at the track which is where i'd bet at least half the people buy it. and like i said, who cares about the belts????? it would have as much of a gain or or a lesser loss on a crate as a built engine? I would bet money, however, that 75% of the open engines around here are down on power because of poor machine work, mix / match parts, or just not being assembled properly.
 
jimmy this was a simply discussion don’t get all bent out of shape i think everyone can agree both engines r ok just depends what u want to run
 

DaveMcLain

Active Member
Who says that you have to use 110 fuel in an "open" engine?

When you take the engine apart look carefully at the rings. Are they worn all the way across the face? If so they will be down on power even though the engine may leak test ok. Look at the valves and seats also. Are all of the angles nice and sharp? Are the seats pounded in the head? Are the seat faces of the valves worn slightly concave? If they are you'll be down on power from fresh. This all happens from normal wear and tear but also from the inevitable sanding that will occur no matter how good the air filter is in this application. I'd be astonished if I took the engine apart after running 50 nights and I didn't see any of that sort of wear.

If you're ever wondering about your air filter just pull the metering block off of the carburetor and look very carefully at the bottom of the emulsion wells. If you see dirt or gunk in there you're sanding the engine for sure and its wearing it much faster than it should.
 

t.nie

Patience Tester
Who says that you have to use 110 fuel in an "open" engine?

When you take the engine apart look carefully at the rings. Are they worn all the way across the face? If so they will be down on power even though the engine may leak test ok. Look at the valves and seats also. Are all of the angles nice and sharp? Are the seats pounded in the head? Are the seat faces of the valves worn slightly concave? If they are you'll be down on power from fresh. This all happens from normal wear and tear but also from the inevitable sanding that will occur no matter how good the air filter is in this application. I'd be astonished if I took the engine apart after running 50 nights and I didn't see any of that sort of wear.

If you're ever wondering about your air filter just pull the metering block off of the carburetor and look very carefully at the bottom of the emulsion wells. If you see dirt or gunk in there you're sanding the engine for sure and its wearing it much faster than it should.
Isn't it cheaper to freshen a crate engine though? And you are right about "if the rules didn't favor the crate engine nobody would run one." I would say "if the rules didn't allow crates to be competitive, people would just quit racing altogether."
 
Isn't it cheaper to freshen a crate engine though? And you are right about "if the rules didn't favor the crate engine nobody would run one." I would say "if the rules didn't allow crates to be competitive, people would just quit racing altogether."
I'm not sure that it would be less expensive if you went the genuine GM route for parts but if you didn't maybe so.. The rings would be cheaper and you could use a complete premium gasket set from Engine Tech but then you'd have to buy those pesky seals.... How much are they selling for over the internet right now?

Using a built engine by me as an example I usually buy a cheap rebuilder gasket set and then reuse the Cometic head gaskets on a freshening.

It would not be difficult to take the basic parts from the crate engine and build an engine that would out do it by 50 horsepower with a good 4412 the right cam etc, no problem. What about the guy who wants to build his own engines? I know a lot of those guys. They could easily build something to out do the crate for much less money are those guys supposed to be the ones to quit racing?
 

Lizardracing

race it, don't rice it!
One for the open engine. I can repair it myself and save a lot of money compared to a sealed engine.
One for the crate. Most guys aren't doing engine work like they used too.
On for the open. I can put in better parts and save money in the long by reusing those parts over and over. Cranks and Rods for example.
Either way, I like doing the engine work myself. I trust my skills more than GM or any engine guy. I also enjoy being able to piece meal engines and looking
for good deals on parts than buying brand new all the time. $4000 for a crate is a pretty big check to write for damn near everyone.
 

t.nie

Patience Tester
You know what might be an idea is to build a $3500 open engine that outperforms the crate and then do some kind of lease deal to racers. $2500 up front, $400 a month for the season for maintenance on it, then whatever for a rebuild at the mid season point? Pay $xxx if you blow it up. That might be a "crate killer" idea. Test that out with 5 guys and see if you can get them competitive on some kind of predictable fixed cost for a race engine, I'd bet if it works and guys running your engine deal are up front you could do pretty well. Especially for people who dont want to mess with engines themselves and dont have the expertise you bring. My numbers could be way off but its an idea.
 

DaveMcLain

Active Member
I'm under capitalized to do the whole rental program but it might not be a bad idea for someone. I do however think that an average guy could build a $3500 "open" engine that would easily out perform the GM crate engine, no problem.

A long time ago I built an engine for a customer who won a lot of races, totally a budget build, two bolt block, stock crank, rods and pistons(cast flat tops from Speedway), Edelbrock intake, Vortec heads and a good 4412. That engine made 400 horsepower with a used flat tappet cam that was kind of close to what it needed. No weight break for the crate and that engine would be an easy winner.
 

t.nie

Patience Tester
Would you be able to build a $3500 open engine that would be competitive? If so, would anyone be interested in doing some kind of deal of letting you build said engine and give guys running it a lesser weight penalty to make it competive with the open engines and crate engines? Some kind of middle ground that would satisfy racers who want to feel like they know who built their engine (and it didn't get shipped in from over the border with 500 others) so they trust it is as good as it can be for the budget they have but don't have the money to go all out to overcome the weight penalty with a serious open engine piece?

Im just thinking along the lines of "create your own market" where it doesn't exist now. I know the engine builders hate crates because it takes business out of their shops, and racers hate them because... well.... because! They feel like its just some giant corporation taking their money for an off the shelf product they don't necessarily have full confidence in that the one they get is going to be as good as the next guys. I get that. But right now it seems like the only two choices are budget with a weight break but you really don't completely like the engine or go all out and break the bank to overcome the weight penalty, which a lot probably can't afford to do.

Just a thought. Ive always been of the opinion that tracks should team up with engine builders and control engine costs with a spec engine for each class, instead of giving all the local money to GMPP. To me that's a win win win, for the racers, the tracks and the local engine suppliers, provided everyone can get on the same page, develop a cheaper engine that is competitive with the crate and is an engine builder that doesn't have buddies racing. Nothing would kill it faster than an engine builders friends winning every weekend. Whether or not there was any "favors" being done, just the perception would destroy the integrity of the idea. But then again, good, transparent tech would go a long way too, provided by someone not affiliated with the racers or the engine builder. A disinterested third party, lets say.
 

DaveMcLain

Active Member
I don't think that I could build a $3500 engine that would be really competitive with "open" engines but it would easily be competitive with the 602 crate engine. I wish that an engine package like the very well thought out Allied Sportsman engine would have been adopted in the B mod class. A flat piston 355 with an inexpensive intake manifold etc. This would have made it really easy for guys to move from a sportsman to a B mod the costs would have been reasonable and the competition would have been good.

Using my customer Craig Bessinger as an example of someone who did this very thing. The engine that he's running is the same flat top piston 355 Chevy engine that I built over six years ago for his sportsman car. It does have a different intake manifold but everything else is the same. That engine made more than 500 HP last year and more than 470lbs/ft peak torque. It seems to run pretty competitively against other "open" engines. Could I do better with a larger engine? Yes but its being used because that's what he's got.

Could I duplicate that engine for $3500? No I don't think so but somebody else might be able to especially if they ran a larger engine with higher compression.

Another option might be for tracks to again get rid of the weight penalties but put the open engines on a 7448 carburetor. I just hate to see guys who want to build there own engines or run a Ford, Chrysler, or AMC etc be discouraged by rules that are weighted to favor a factory built engine. That sucks.
 












Top