Occasionally we come across something so differentyet which makes sensethat we know youll want a good look at it. When the folks at JBA Performance called and said they had a Novi-assisted small-block on the dyno, we thought that was nice. Then they said it was breathing through a carburetor, and we thought that was interesting. Then they said it made well over 900 hp, and we were there.
Actually, weve seen this block, crank, and rods before, running injection and powering J. Bittles Dominator project car. The A4 block and slightly stroked Crower crank and the TFS Street Heat cylinder heads have been from demo car to header development mule, and now to drag duty. The intended engine bay this time is in JBAs white 5.0 drag car, a West Coast machine that has made just a few outings to date, but were sure youll be seeing more of it soon.
The JBA drag car is aimed at promoting headers, of course, but not with an unlimited budget. Thus, JBA engine builder Kevin Peterson decided to bail on the original EFI plan in favor of the faster, easier carburetion concept. Plus, it would be something different. That has meant the somewhat seasoned engine internals, the use of an early Novi blower that was on hand, and the also-on-the-shelf Holley Dominator carburetor. The finished engine tuned easily, and has been reliable as sunrise on the dyno. Once jetted and timed, the engine started making 920 hp or thereabouts depending on the weather. When we stopped by for photos, it made 911 hp while we stood in the cell (Dont try this at home, kids!). Standing that close to such a banshee wail buzzed body parts we had forgotten we had.
The next step is to see how the rig works at the strip, an idea that has the normally exuberant J. Bittle a bit dry-lipped as he contemplates running low nines and eventually high eights. To see the details on why, check out the photos.