Horsepower seems to be the number one concern for the novice engine builder/buyer. Iíll not spend much time in this area, simply because no one really believes me anyway. Iíll make it very simple. Personally, I donít care about some HP number that an engine builder throws out for his product. If they are looking at peak HP numbers to sell you a product, they are either ignorant, or are hoping you are. I rarely (read that as almost never) advertise a horsepower number with my products. If pressured by a customer, I try to steer them away from caring about that number, or I make a very CONSERVATIVE estimate, and never blow smoke. Letís make this easy to understand. Do you have any car magazines with Dyno tests in them? Take a look at even the most conservative engine buildup and look at the dyno numbers. Where do you see peak HP numbers. Almost always above 6000 rpm (even on a conservative small block they will peak near if not above that number), and the HP and torque curve and the crossover is something to look at, but none are necessary for this discussion. So, how often are you above 6000 RPM? For how long? Sure, there are guys who say they spin those RPM numbers all day long, but letís not fool ourselves. That will not win derbies, or at least it wonít win any derbies with any competition. What you want to see is the average HP numbers for an average RPM range - but only if you still care about HP, which by reading this far, hopefully you donít. Take a look at the torque numbers, and look them over from the lowest point of the dyno pull to about 5200 rpm (yes it is important to know the entire curve - either side of the peak is relevant) . This is what will matter.
Anyone can throw in a big cam, huge runners on the heads and intake, and a big carb to put up big peak HP numbers. I couldnít care less, and neither should you. I test all of my stuff in as close to derby-ready trim as I can. No big intake, no big carb, no big headers for the testing only - because it wonít win a derby.