409 Gets Ready to Rock! - Validation on the Edelbrock dynamometer: Part One

from Volume III, Issue 5

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Validation on the Edelbrock dynamometer: Part One

Last month we brought you an exclusive first look at Edelbrock’s exciting new aluminum Performer RPM cylinder heads for the 1958 to 1965 Chevy W-series. For a refresher course on these groundbreaking goodies – plus a look at Edelbrock’s new intake manifolds, water pumps and valve covers for the mighty W, go to the MaxChevy “archives and search” section and tap the buttons for the May 2008 issue.

This month, we’ve returned to Edelbrock. This time we’ve moved from the highly guarded R&D department to the equally clandestine engine assembly room. Located just a few foot steps away from Edelbrock’s bank of dyno cells, this is where Curt Hooker and Robert Jung have been assembling dynamometer test engines for over two decades. It’s time to watch as Robert Jung prepares a 409 mule for a long life of dyno testing.

With a vast array of diverse product offerings for everything from Ford flatheads to AMC 401’s, the Edelbrock crew always makes sure they can validate and quantify any and all performance gains and claims regarding new products by running them on  engines. So it’s only natural they’re prepping this 409 to serve as a test bed, not only for the Performer RPM 409 heads and intake manifolds, but also for future product devoted to the W-series engine family.

You didn’t hear it from us, but there’s talk of a Total Power Package for the 409, and this dyno mule will play a central role in its development. Let’s dig in and watch as Robert begins the assembly and offers some useful info on how to assemble the legendary W motor.

Finding a good 409 block can be frustrating unless you know where to look. While the Beach Boys, Dyno Don Nicholson, and Dave Strickler immortalized the 409 as a drag strip champion – helping to sell about 44,000 passenger cars equipped with them between 1962 and 1965. Plenty were also installed in heavy-duty Chevy and GMC trucks between 1962 and 1966. Marketed as the Work Master 409 in trucks (sorry, no pickups), the industrial motor featured single four-barrel carburetion, 7.75:1 compression and mild cam timing to deliver 252-horsepower and 390-lb/ft of torque. The Edelbrock mule is based on a ’64 truck block bearing casting number 3857656.

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