Growing up in the ‘60s, surrounded by hot rod culture and drag racing, Phil Schalk was immediately drawn in. His new-found hobby led him to becoming a cleanup boy at a local shop, and before long, he worked his way up the ranks. In fact, this summer will mark his 50th year working in this industry.
Starting at the bottom and having worked his way up, today Phil is the owner of Riverside Engines in Tiffin, OH, a competition diesel engine and machine shop he purchased about 20 years ago, that has the capability to do all its own engine work and even some parts manufacturing in-house.
When it comes to the shop’s competition diesel engine builds, Riverside Engines stays diverse, building diesel engines capable of 500-600 horsepower all the way up to 4,500-plus horsepower.
From John Deeres and Internationals, to Allis Chalmers, Fords and more, Riverside knows how to deliver diesel performance.
One such engine that Riverside specializes in is a 680 cid John Deere Pro Stock engine and we’ll give you all the details in this episode of Diesel of the Week.
According to Phil, these builds start out with a stock John Deere block that can be as big as 680 cubic inches, as well as Riverside’s own billet rods and billet crank. Here’s Phil himself to tell you more.
“The only stock part in the engine is the block itself. While the block is stock, we completely redo it as far as the main cap area. We put four-bolt main caps on it and machine it out. This engine also gets a steel girdle to keep from breaking the block.”
In addition to the main cap enhancement, Riverside also wet-sleeves the John Deere to help handle the added horsepower. The shop also builds the billet cylinder head, all the manifolding and the entire valvetrain in-house. The oiling system is a three-stage, external oil pump that utilizes a Riverside fabricated oil pan. And, most of these 680 cubic inch John Deere Pro Stock engines feature a Wimer turbo.
“In the Pro Stock class, most of these engines end up with a Wimer turbo. The exhaust side of the turbo has a limit of 6˝ – these things are huge. A lot of our customers are split between NTPA and the PPL in terms of where they typically hook and compete.”
No matter where these customers are running, Riverside Engines’ 680 cubic inch John Deere Pro Stock engine can realistically crank out 4,500 horsepower and a ton of torque! It’s some seriously impressive stuff!