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Engine of the Week

348 Chevy Stroker

Neil Riley and three partners bought Newco Performance Engines last October. They’re now making their mark as a performance engine shop in Kentland, IN and building engines like this 348 Chevy Stroker! Find out what went into this sleeper Chevy build.

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When Neil Riley graduated high school, he was eager to get his hands dirty in the auto industry. He landed a job as a diesel mechanic, but soon had a desire to build performance engines. He quickly found himself at home at L. Young Co. Inc., a machine shop in Kentland, IN. He started working at the shop six years ago as a 25-year-old.

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Diego Herrera, Jose Herrera, Will Orchard, and Neil Riley purchased what is now Newco Performance Engines in October 2018.

“We do mostly custom builds of race motors, stock motors and vintage builds,” Riley says. “It’s a mixture of all the above.”

The owner of the machine shop at the time, was 75-year-old Larry Young, who was looking to retire. Seeing an opportunity to take the shop to the next level, Riley and three partners approached the owner about selling them the shop. Riley officially took ownership in October 2018 and renamed the shop Newco Performance Engines LLC.

“I bought the shop for the love of building engines and a desire to be the engine builder known in the area,” he says. “I wanted to make a mark. Now we’re trying to kick it up a notch, build more motors and build a bigger presence.”

Newco Performance Engines has four employees operating out of 3,200 square feet. The shop is a full machine shop, but doesn’t do crank grinding or heavy-duty cleaning.

“We send that out,” Riley says. “We do computerized balancing, boring and honing, complete head rebuilding, refacing, TIG welding, and custom assembly.”

The shop recently finished a 348 Chevy Stroker build for a new customer, which the shop bored .030˝ over and stroked to 434 cubic inches.

“We did all the boring, honing, balancing and cutting the seats for the heads in-house,” Riley says. “We also did a three-angle performance valve job and some bowl blending and port work. We converted it over to screw-in studs too.”

For the internals of this 434 cid Chevy engine, Newco Performance used a Scat forged crank with Scat I-beam rods and Icon forged pistons for 10.5:1 compression. The shop took the original GM 817 cast iron heads and machined them for bronze guides, double springs, stainless steel oversized valves and added hardened seats.

The engine has a Howards hydraulic roller camshaft, lifters and springs, a Cloyes True Roller timing set, ARP hardware, COMP Cams Ultra Pro Magnum roller rocker arms, 3/8ths Engine Pro pushrods, a Melling high-volume oil pump, and the original intake manifold and carburetors. The GM distributor was also converted to a Pertronix ignition.

“It’s kind of a sleeper build,” he says. “This engine should get the customer 400 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and around 425 ft.-lbs. of torque.”

The Engine of the Week eNewsletter is sponsored by PennGrade Motor Oil and Elring – Das Original.

If you have an engine you would like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder magazine’s managing editor, Greg Jones at [email protected]

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