The range of work asked to be performed by a derby engine is expansive. First, you have to look at the easy end, then the hard end. The easy end is one any builder can work with - optimum ambient temps, water capacity, fluid preservation, and fuel delivery. The hard end is only up to the imagination and experience of the builder - that is to say, the worst conditions for coolant or lack thereof, unbelievable temperatures, poor fuel delivery from increased engine tilt when the chassis is nosed up, etc. Example: If you set the float level of the carb for optimum capacity during regular conditions, at what angle of incline will the engine need to reach in the chassis before the carb floods over into the venturies? If you set it low so it doesnít flood out, how long until the engine leans out during WOT conditions? Most builders havenít even thought of things like that - they just think about how much HP they can tell you their engine has. Sure, theyíll tell you they have, but only after someone asks them about it and how it compares to our research. If you set the float level to win Metal Mayhem, and dyno with that setting, youíll run into some real problems. That is one of the hundreds of things we have studied over the years.
Many builders focus how their engine runs with a 4 core radiator on a cool day. Great, you have engine temps, even under load on the track, that seem like the engine is a great running piece. I see these guys touting how their engine runs at 180 all day long. However, by ďall day longĒ they mean as long as it had water in it. But when I see their engines run, as soon as the water falls out, they are losing power and are dead in 10 minutes. Sure some guys never lose their water, but the reality is that sooner or later, at some derby somewhere, your engine will be subjected to running with no coolant, or worse. When that happens, do you want to shut it off or only run for 10 more minutes? NO.
In 2009 at Metal Mayhem, an object pierced the underside of Bob Whittakerís car and sliced the bottom of the radiator support causing a slow leak, and traveled on under the engine, pushing a portion of the skid plate oil pan up (behind my internal reinforcements) and causing a slight tear in the pan between the skid plates. The engine ended up winning the show with only 2 quarts of oil remaining, and no water for the last 45 minutes of the show. After a quick refresh at my shop, it lived to win again. The research we were able to glean from this winning engine goes back into the technology for the next ones. Iíve seen about everything imaginable for engine destruction, and I plan to make the engine run as long as possible in the most adverse conditions. The same engine won the Night of Destruction in Nacogdoches, TX earlier that year, earning Bob over $12,500 in just two shows. Our engines powered him to 16 other feature wins in 2009 alone. Our technology is proven, as is our desire to build engines that win in ALL conditions, not just perfect ones!!
If an engine builder only has access to feedback from engines that win small shows, or worse yet, get 5th or 6th place, they will never keep up with the R&D feedback from engines winning big shows. There is a HUGE difference, and donít let anyone tell you otherwise.
Beware of other engine builders who are focused on copying us. Iíve recently seen a trend of people trying to base their engine builds on the standard we set. Donít be mistaken by people who claim they are selling a similar product, or who are trying to list or market their engines using suffix designations similar to mine. This is why we are changing out designations for 2012.