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NASCAR engine changes detailed

In a post at the Petty Racing site, “SpacemanSpiff” described why Petty Racing is not using the new Mopar NASCAR engine, as Penske is.

Several factors are involved. First, it appears that development was curtained by GEM for a time due to doubts about Dodge’s continued NASCAR involvement and Gillette’s commitment to Dodge.

The new engine, R6P8, is the sixth generation R-block and eighth generation polyspherical head; it is very different from the previous generation, and requires a major redesign to the car. The engine is also 100 pounds lighter, so the weight distribution in the cars needs to change, requiring more development time and making it inappropriate, again, to attempt to put the new engines into cars designed for the existing ones.

NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, according to this source, is less forgiving regarding handling and weight distribution, and there is a ban on testing at NASCAR tracks, which makes the situation more difficult. Penske did run the engine last year in some races, but apparently does not share their information with other Dodge teams.

The R5 was a left-bank-leading engine, while the R6 is a right-bank-leading engine, due to NASCAR’s many specifications; the distributor moved to the front of the engine, and many parts were designed for an integral cable-driven fuel pump drive (electric pumps not being allowed). The R5 was retrofitted to allow this, but the R6 was designed for it. The R6 also has a shorter block, despite slightly wider bore spacing, and has a narrower head casting; some external oil lines were replaced by internal passages. There is now more coolant flow through the engine, and it can be directed by engine builders as needed via orifices (as can oil flow; there is room for oil restrictors as well). This engine therefore has more consistent horsepower for longer periods.

(Thanks to “Hemi Magnum” and “Mopar Bob.”)

2005-06 LX warranty extension

SpeedFactory Charger

Chrysler has issued a service bulletin (#14-002-14) for the 2005-06 Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, and Dodge Charger V8s (with 19-gallon fuel tanks),…

Ram 1500 diesel selling well?

Ram-2014EcoDiesel-Web

According to an informal source within Chrysler, the Ram 1500 diesel has become popular enough to account for nearly a fifth of…

Maserati sales surge; Alfieri may be added

Maserati-Alfieri-Web

Maserati has been on a roll. In 2013, U.S. Maserati sales rose 74.1%; in the first quarter of 2014, sales have rocketed…

Dodge “Wisdom” is top viral video

Dodge-Kuniskis-Wisdom-Web

The “Wisdom” video created for Dodge’s 100th anniversary and shown at the New York International Auto Show has gone viral in a…

Categories: Motorsports.


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