EP153: Glory, Pit Lizards, and the Dirt We Wear Home

EP153: Glory, Pit Lizards, and the Dirt We Wear Home

Published by Crate Insider on 2nd May 2023

Each week, Kate Dillon from Crate Insider and Steve Hendren from Hendren Racing Engines go live on the Crate Insider Facebook page and Crate Insider YouTube Channel to chat about world events, random things, and to answer tech questions.


To watch this podcast on Crate Insider's YouTube channel, click here.

In this episode of Racing Insiders Podcast, Kate and Steve discuss Glory, Pit Lizards, the Dirt We Wear Home. This weeks topics also include first racing wins, Danielle's Birthday, making money on Anheuser Busch Stocks, RPM ranges, valve springs, priming engines, electric fans, billet center sections, fuel pumps, the cost of racing, pit entry fees, fuel storage, changing part numbers, and the reasons racers race- glory and pit lizards!

What's your recommendation on RPM range on a 604?

I generally recommend 6800 Max. I mean, that being said, with current valve springs that are out there for GM. I mean, if you have to turn 7000 prequalifying do that, that's fine. Because only two laps, but I would certainly make it back to like 6800 for, you know, feature time. Most guys that are really going fast are at 6800 or below. So that's my recommendation.

Would you not change valve springs until you notice RPM loss? Are people still changing 602 valve springs every three or so races?

Every three races is probably a little extreme. I say more closer to like, five or six, maybe. But I would certainly wouldn't wait until you see, you know, a loss of RPM because once you start seeing that, then that means you're you know, the springs are so weak. You're in valve float, basically. So I recommend, at least every five or six races.

Just purchased a new 602, are they pre-primed?

No, I would certainly prime it because there's no guarantee. What I would do, is a lot of these engines have, I've seen as much as three quarts of whatever kind of shitty oil that GM puts him. I believe they do prime them to a point. That's why I've seen oil in engines. So certainly make sure you drain out whatever's in there before you put in, you know, the oil you're starting with. 602s don't come with an oil filter adapter or an oil filter on them. Unlike 604s. So I would certainly be be priming that thing. And like said, just drain all that or whatever that crappy shit is in there.  

Do you recommend a certain electric fan to run on a 602?

In an asphalt application? That is the only time I would recommend even running an electric fan. If that's what you're running, no, I don't. Because primarily the dirt stuff that we do. I've never been able to make an electric fan work on anything ever. Maybe on alcohol, it could be a thing. But as far as asphalt -no, I don't. I'm gonna assume I mean, because you're you're dealing with, like absolute ram air in an asphalt application. We're on dirt. You know, the noses are sealed off and everything. I've tried it personally, on my own car when you know I was racing. And I mean, I actually had a fan from Hendrick, which they run on the cup cars. And it was like some frickin European model super duper deluxe electric fan guaranteed to cool anything and shit didn't work. At least not on dirt. 

Is VDL making billet center section?

I'm not sure I doubt that they are because they're so tied in with Holly and primarily VDL is like mostly a asphalt carburetor manufacturer. Is there an advantage to a billet center section? 100%. So what really are the differences? And why is it an advantage to have the billet center? I mean, the most current thing that Holley produces is the HP center section. That compared to let's say, a BLP, or like a Willys billets center section, for instance, you're looking on a 604 You're looking at at least 10 horsepower difference. I mean, it could be nine. I don't know. But you know what I mean, but I'm saying 10. Because that's what I've personally seen. And that's what we when we originally tested, that's what we saw. Now, when we're talking about billet center sections, we're really talking to as opposed to cast center sections. You know, why do you think it is that the billet center sections are so much more powerful? Because the way it's designed. It's night and day difference versus a cast center section. Okay, so, the cast looks nothing like a billet senator section. I'll put it that way. 

What makes more power, block mounted fuel pump or a reverse mount?

Honestly, neither one. It's basically the same. I haven't seen a difference, nothing measurable, at least. I prefer the bellhousing mounted pump because it's always 100% Positively driven. It's a rotary type pump. So there's really nothing to go wrong. Whereas in a mechanical pump, you're dealing with all sorts of shit going on in that mechanical pump. So I mean, I prefer the reverse mounted pump. I mean, if you can afford to do it, I mean, there's plenty of block mounted pumps out there that work just fine and it's not going to make horsepower difference one way or the other.

The cost of parts to build a race car is getting out of hand. Most people can't afford to keep up with the Joneses. And the car count is low tracks can't afford to be open anymore. It sucks.

Yeah, you see that in a lot of areas, which completely sucks. But, you know, that's the times we're living in now. So I think there needs to be more- Well, I hate ever saying there needs to be more rules made. But I think there needs to be better divisions started. That makes sense. It does.

Here in North Carolina, we got like, we got a class, I think it's called Thunder mama or something like that. And it's basically junkyard motors. But like, the rules on that shit are so stupid, I literally do not own equipment shitty enough to build one of these engines, and have it be legal. Which is, to me, it's completely stupid. So, then you got dudes out there looking for, like, some intake manifold that they had to buy from frickin BFE, Nebraska, because it had an X on it. And that intake manifolds, like 1200 bucks or some shit, like, I mean, all these all these divisions shoot themselves in the foot. They can make racing very affordable, in most every division, if they want to, or if they know how to, but they don't talk to the right people to make rules to make it to where you can actually do that. And that drives me insane. But also, as being a part store that, you know, we have run into some severe inflation. honestly, I mean, nobody's gouging anybody here is the problem. And so that's what makes it so sticky. So how we get around that and how we can adjust. It's it's such a, it's it's an equation where all the pieces are all connected together. And we need, you know, the rising tide lifts all boats, and you know, the sinking tide. It thinks them all. We need to get more fans in the stands. And in order to be able to make the case to raise purses, for instance.

It just hurts everyone. Yeah, series that actually will work together and make it to where, hey, we all succeed. I mean, that that would be a great thing. Because if they succeed, then the racer succeeds. And the race, you're gonna go race for money. And, you know, I mean, that, which is what you're after. I mean, none of us are in this business to make money. Honestly. I mean, unless you're racing, Lucas Oil, World of Outlaw or something like that, then you're a driver. Everything else is just basically a write off. So you know, drivers make money in that series. 

Even that being said, I think every month this year, we've had price increases on shit. Which normally it's twice a year. And it's been every other month so far. Well, and it used to be only once a year until they went to the MAP pricing with the publish pricing. Correct. Then it became I mean, every month you're changing something almost, you know, valve springs and stuff like that.

What is the average price to rebuild a 602 these days?

On average, right at $3,000. Thanks to GM's price increases.

On the 604 engines. There was two different part numbers for the intake. Is there a difference in them?

No, because what GM does is when they change part numbers on anything is because they change manufacturer so I think Edelbrock is making their intake manifolds now I believe so yes. And it couldn't even be Edelbrock was in California but now they've moved to- Texas I think it is maybe can somebody can look it up I was thinking it was Alabama or Mississippi but anyway, they moved so I wouldn't be surprised if the if it's exactly the same casting and the exact same equipment but moved to a different location would probably still be a different partner. That's how GM works. So any anytime that a manufacturer has changed. I don't know about the moving part. But anytime a manufacturer has changed the part number changes. Because there's gonna be a new part number, well there already is for 604 pistons for instance. That's how they keep track of when they look at the part number. Yeah, yeah, no, no, but we see the engine is 604 engine has had a numerous partners it always ends in 604 for us, but the the other combination, the other like seven numbers. So anytime a manufacturer let's let's take 604 for instance, anytime a manufacturer of one piece, that engine changes that part number for that engine changes.

How do these folks race these $60,000 cars for $2000 a win, at best?

That's pretty much any late model right now. Whether it's a crate car or, supers closer to 100. So crate cars, I assume is what you're talking about. And that's, that's that whole drive and willingness to race for nothing. I guess we could call it raising the debt ceiling. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I mean, we've all done it. I mean, shit. I mean, hell, I've raced for 500 bucks to win on a Friday or Saturday night, you know, in a car that was you know, at the time, you know, $30,000 or $40,000. So, you know, like, we all do it, because that's what we strive to do is race for, you know, pit lizards and fame. Oh, that was good. Yeah. Glory and pit lizards. That's what we do.

Could you get tossed by tech for running a new part number piston on an older 604?

No, no. So once that new part number comes out, and once those are released, no. You would not be. Same as you can't get tossed for running an older engine with newer heads. So no, no, no.

How long is the shelf life of E85 in a sealed drum?

If it was off the ground. We keep it you know, on a pallet or something like that. Usually six months is what the what the manufacturers recommend? And now you normally would put put like a drum on top of a pallet. Yeah, correct. And now you normally would put put like a drum on top of a pallet. Yeah, correct. Yeah, you don't want sitting on concrete. Now what happens if you just leave the fuel sitting on concrete? Sounds weird. But you actually can like suck moisture into the drum. I don't know, I'm not a chemist. So I just know that everybody says no, keep it on the pallet.