540 cid ProCharged Race Hemi Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

540 cid ProCharged Race Hemi Engine

Ken Lazzeri of INDY Cylinder Heads, is an engine builder rivaling anyone who calls themselves one of the best to build Mopar horsepower. He's been building engines since he was a teen and he recently finished up a 540 cubic inch ProCharged Race Hemi engine for a fast bracket Cuda. We saw it highlighted on Facebook and had to share the details.

Engine of the Week is presented by

To many Mopar fanatics, there are only two types of motorheads in this world – those who want a Hemi and those who have a Hemi. One company catering to this crowd is INDY Cylinder Heads, a Mopar parts manufacturer and engine shop, which until recently, was headquartered in Indianapolis for nearly 50 years.

Founded by brothers Russ and Fred Flagle, INDY Cylinder Heads is synonymous with top tier performance parts and complete engines for the aftermarket. The company offers customers any number of variations of engine blocks, cylinder heads, intake manifolds, and valvetrain components to produce the ultimate in power utilizing small and big-block wedges and Hemis from 360-600 cubic inches for both street enthusiasts and professional drag racers.

However, despite offering the great products it does, INDY’s reputation soured over the years due to customer service complaints. In late 2019, husband and wife Chris and Charli Wheatcraft acquired INDY from the Flagles looking to continue the brand’s legacy and mend its reputation while serving their Mopar community to their full potential.

The Wheatcrafts are longtime Mopar drag racers themselves and are owners of Extreme Mopar Apparel Sales, Caged Insanity Clothing and Wheatcraft Concrete Services. They viewed their purchase of INDY Cylinder Heads as an investment in a product line. For them, INDY never needed fixing, but rather the proper investments and procedures. That plan meant continuing to invest in employees, equipment, software, and programming.

Over the year and a half-plus they’ve owned the business, the Wheatcrafts have made more than a few, simple tweaks. The biggest being uprooting the company from its home in Indianapolis to a new 20,000-plus square-foot facility in Xenia, Ohio to streamline INDY’s cost effectiveness. The space offers a new showroom, new engine and assembly room, a new machining room, and a new inventory room. While they’ve kept most of the company’s staff in place despite the move, new team members have joined the business, along with new products and new machines.

One thing, or rather person, that has remained constant, is the man behind the engine builds coming out of INDY Cylinder Heads – Ken Lazzeri. Ken rivals anyone who calls themselves one of the best to build Mopar horsepower and has been building engines since he was a teen.

Ken recently finished up a 540 cubic inch ProCharged Race Hemi engine for a fast bracket Cuda. We saw it highlighted on Facebook and had to share the details.

The build utilizes the new INDY Maxx X block and INDY’s 426-1RA CNC’d 295 Hemi heads. This particular Maxx X block is a solid block with water in the heads only. It has 1/2˝ head studs, 9/16˝ main studs, and has a 4.500˝ bore and 4.250˝ stroke. The engine also features a raised 55mm cam tunnel for a 55mm COMP Cams camshaft with a 4/7 swap.

The rotating assembly uses a 4.250/2.200 billet crank with aluminum rods for boost and Diamond 10.35:1 compression pistons with double coating and DLC pins.

In addition to the heads being CNC’d, they also got o-ringed and outfitted with INDY rockers, Trend tapered pushrods and 2.030˝ seat height lifters. Rounding out the build is a Jesel +250 belt drive, an ATI balancer, an MSD crank trigger, an INDY offset distributor, Firecore wires, an Indy 426-4 intake that got fully ported, an APD blow-thru Alky carb, and an F-3R ProCharger to really crank up the horsepower.

Once assembled, the 540 cid Hemi engine got broken in with race gas. Now all that’s left to do is drive this rebuilt Cuda!

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – Das Original and Scat Crankshafts. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor, Greg Jones at [email protected].

You May Also Like

Supercharged 4.900” Bore Space Hemi Engine

Building upon its 4.800″ bore space Hemi engine platform, Noonan Race Engineering made improvements to its 4.900″ bore space Hemi engine to the point that its now one of the engine shop’s bread and butter builds. Don’t let that fool you – this engine is packed with unique features and the performance to back it all up. Check it out.

During our week in Charlotte, NC, we got to check out some amazing engine shops in and around Charlotte and the Mooresville area. However, there’s been an engine shop we’ve always wanted to see inside of – Noonan Race Engineering. Located just 90 minutes southwest of Charlotte, Noonan Race Engineering is headquartered in Spartanburg, SC. Being so close by and the idea of getting to see Noonan’s state-of-the-art shop space and brand-new tech center was too strong to ignore.

5.3L LS Engine

Tony Paladino’s shop, Concord Engines, has been serving the Kannapolis, NC area with engine rebuilding and machining services since 2014. One engine platform they specialize in is the LS, and it is offered in three different power levels and configurations. Check it out!.

731 cid Outlaw 4.840 Bore Space Nitrous Engine

When it comes to building a 4.840″ bore space engine for drag racing, the class is limited on deck height and limited on bore space, but anything else pretty much goes. Pat Musi of Pat Musi Racing Engines recently finished development on his state-of-the-art 4.840 engine platform, and this 731 cid nitrous combo is freaking awesome!

632 cid Big Block Chevy Nitrous Engine

With a storied race history of his own, Sandy Wilkins has taken his passion for cars and engines and turned it into his life. From race teams to Roush Yates Performance to opening Wilkins Racing Engines, he knows how to build high-horsepower engines like this 632 cubic inch big block Chevy nitrous engine for No Prep drag racing. Check it out!

448 cid Billet LS Engine

Pete Harrell of Harrell Engine & Dyno is real good at doin’ stuff, like building turbocharged and forced induction high-powered engines such as this 448 cid billet LS engine for Limited Drag Radial. Check out what went into this 2,500+ HP engine!

Other Posts

Noonan’s 4.8 Bore Space Billet Hemi Engine

Known for their Hemi engine platform, Noonan Race Engineering has been perfecting its 4.8 bore space Hemi offering for quite sometime. This version, which we saw during a visit to the Spartanburg, SC-based engine and machine shop, features a water block and will have twin turbos. It’s our Engine of the Week! Related Articles –

PennGrade 1 Hosts Paralympian and Top Sportsman Driver Matthew Stutzman at PRI

Born with no arms, Stutzman drag races competitively using his feet.

Elgin Pro Stock Conical Valve Springs

Elgin PRO-STOCK conical valve springs help stabilize valvetrain dynamics and provide superior damping without wear.

Mark Finnie Named CEO of Racing & Performance Holdings

Racing & Performance Holdings, the organization overseeing AFR, Scat, Vortech, Paxton, RaceTec Pistons, and ProCar brands, has announced the appointment of Mark Finnie as its new CEO. This strategic move is part of Racing &Performance Holdings’ vision to implement a new organizational design aimed at capitalizing on growth opportunities within its performance brands. Related Articles