20,000 Horsepower: The Most Powerful Engines of PRI 2019
Sitting in the winner’s circle begins with the engine that propelled you there, and at PRI 2019 there was no shortage of championship-caliber power plants on display. From record-setting, billet-blocked V8’s to cast-iron I6’s capable of withstanding 3,000 hp, the kind of engine tech that’s present at PRI is unmatched anywhere else in the world. In addition to finding turbo and superchargers bigger than your head, it’s a place where groundbreaking innovations in engine technology collide with old-school recipes that’ve all but been perfected. The following cutting-edge mills, produced by some of the most reputable names in the performance racing industry, have all found a way to raise the bar without sacrificing durability.
4,500HP SMX Water-Jacketed Pro Mod V8
Steve Morris Engines has long been known for building extreme horsepower and in 2019 the company pieced together a 4,500hp V8 with rock-solid reliability. The SMX engine would be the company’s first all-billet, fully water-jacketed (block and heads) version ever offered and it would catapult Tom Bailey’s ’69 Camaro into the 5’s. The 5-second quarter-mile pass took place at the last stop of Hot Rod’s Drag Week, the benchmark competition that requires all competitors to drive their respective vehicle to each race venue. Bailey’s 5.99-second pass at 250 mph was both the quickest and fastest in the event’s 15-year history and the SMX engine racked up more than 800 trouble-free (and extremely cool) miles traveling from track-to-track.
Wagler’s Mechanically-Injected Duramax
Everything you need to know about his one-of-a-kind engine in one picture… Wagler Competition Products brought its work of art, Duramax-based DX460 to the PRI Show with the hopes of getting some attention. Not only did this engine create a hive of activity from passersby and industry colleagues, but it also won the JE Pistons overall Masters of Motors award. The one-of-a-kind DX460 features mechanical injection, including a 16mm inline pump from Wimer Fuel Injection & Turbo in the valley, a Pro Stock turbocharger (also from Wimer) with a compressor inducer measuring roughly 6 inches and a floating core water-to-air intercooler. Soon the mechanical monstrosity will head to the dyno, where it’s expected to make more than 3,000 hp, and possibly even knocking on the door of 4,000!
Affordable Path to 2,300+ HP
Oakley Engine Performance’s 540 to 588ci engine packages have proven capable of sending 2,050-pound cars through the ‘660 in sub-4-second intervals—and pricing on them starts at less than $45,000. These 2,300-plus hp fire-breathers are perfect for Top Sportsman, Top Dragster or even Open Outlaw racing. The version shown here sports Brodix’ hipped aluminum block, intake manifold and BB3-Xtra CNC heads. The rotating assembly consists of Callies’ Magnum crank, MGP aluminum rods and Diamond custom pistons, while the fuel system was sourced from APD. Forced induction checks in in the form of a V-30 series Vortech supercharger. All of Oakley’s engines are professionally assembled and dyno’d before they’re allowed to leave its Owensboro, Kentucky facility.
Pro Stock Tractor Engine
Tractor pulling technology is a unique and highly competitive spectrum. It’s a place where diesel engines originally intended to tend the fields (mostly inline-six mills from John Deere or IH machines) are repurposed to see high rpm and belt out anywhere from 2,500 to 4,000 hp. Thanks to Salenbien Performance's presence at PRI 2019, one of its Pro Stock engines was on display for all to see. The IH-based I6 features a factory cast-iron block stuffed with a Bryant billet crankshaft, REI billet rods, Diamond Racing pistons and displaces 640 cubic inches. The head is a recast piece from Himes, the 17mm billet Sigma injection pump was sourced from Columbus Diesel Supply and the multi-feed, billet injectors came from Harts Diesel. While a 4.1-inch single turbo was bolted to this particular engine, in true Pro Stock trim a charger with an inducer of roughly 5.5 inches would be employed.
Drag Racing Dominance
Pro Line Racing’s 564ci raised cam Hemi was one of the winningest engines in drag racing in 2019. Its long list of accolades included the PDRA Pro Boost championship (along with runner-up), World Street Nationals Pro Mod winner, world’s quickest eighth-mile radial car at 3.57 seconds, the first radial car in the 3.50s, the world’s quickest ProCharger car at 3.587 seconds, setting a new PDRA Pro Boost ET record at 3.597 and much more. In max effort applications, Pro Line Racing’s raised cam Hemi—combined with a ProCharger F-3X-140 and CrankDrive gear drive—has proven one of the most effective combinations in all of drag racing.
Haisley Machine’s Super B (Cummins)
In the world of truck pulling, Haisley Machine is one of the most commonly used engine builders. For anything from 1,400hp to this 3,000-plus hp masterpiece, Haisley is the go-to place for dozens upon dozens of truck pullers. In the higher ranks of the sport (i.e. Super Stock), Haisley’s customers are after one thing: its Super B Cummins. Based around the use of the factory cast-iron 6.7L Cummins block, the Super B features ductile iron cylinder sleeves, a 1-inch deckplate (to quell cylinder bore distortion) and this one in particular sports a 24-valve cylinder head. Hanging off the passenger side of the Cummins sits three massive turbochargers from Wimer Fuel Injection & Turbo, while an 18mm billet injection pump sits just below the polished ZZ Custom Fabrication intake on the driver side. Don’t let the mirror finish fool you, this engine is a dyno and track-proven performer.
A Hulking SMX 481
They say Steve Morris engines are different from everyone else’s in the racing industry. If we didn’t agree, you wouldn’t be looking at another masterpiece from the Michigan-based engine builder. This version of the company’s SMX 481 displaces 540 ci, utilizes its water-jacketed billet block and heads and an F-3R-140 ProCharger and CrankDrive gear drive. it was put together for Matt Frost’s ’67 Nova (better known as “the Hulk”) to race at No Prep Kings’ Rocky Mountain Race Week. It was parked in the ProCharger booth, making more than its fair share of the 20,000-plus horsepower the company claimed was on display there.
If you remember the infamous Cummins dyno explosion from a few years back, this is the new engine Firepunk Diesel will soon be pushing to the limit. It was designed, machined and assembled by D&J Precision Machine. Called the Executioner, it’s based on the use of a billet-aluminum block, entails a bed plate with 6-bolt mains, D&J’s X-beam billet rods and forged-steel ring pistons. Up top, you’ll find a billet, dry 24-valve cylinder head that flows more than 380 cfm on the intake side (at .600-inches of lift) and roughly 340 cfm on the exhaust side (and sports individual exhaust ports). A custom, 12-port exhaust manifold accommodates the high-flow Cummins head. At the PRI Show, the Executioner earned the JE Pistons Masters of Motors best appearing engine award for 2019. As for the future, look for it to push the Firepunk Diesel/Save the Racks Pro Mod S10 ever closer to 3-second eighth-mile territory in 2020.
Lingenfelter’s Stuff Still Gets It Done
It might not be 2,000-plus horsepower, but Lingenfelter Performance Engineering’s 1,000hp Eliminator series package for the ’17-’19 ZL1 Camaro is one of the most refined and streetable combinations of parts on the market today. With it you get Lingenfelter’s ported and polished LT4 heads, its GT31 hydraulic roller cam, a ported and polished 103mm throttle body, an Edelbrock TVS2650 supercharger, Kooks long tube headers and high-flow catalysts, properly-sized (and E85 compatible) injectors and custom ECM programming. Running on E85, Lingenfelter’s test-mule dyno’d 933rwhp, then backed things up with a traction-limited 9.70 at 146 mph at the track.
Need more boost in your life? Check out this inside look at diesel truck pulling’s compound and triple-turbo Super Stock engines.