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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 and found himself at home at Newco Performance Engines in Kentland, IN. He started working at the performance engine shop eight years ago as a 25-year-old.
The owner of Newco Performance Engines at the time, was a 75-year-old guy who was semi-retired. Seeing an opportunity to take the shop to the next level, Neil and three partners approached the owner about selling them the shop. Riley officially took ownership in October 2018.
Newco Performance Engines does pretty much everything in-house out of its 3,200 square feet of space, including this 348 Chevy Stroker build for a new customer, which the shop bored 30 over and stroked to 434 cubic inches. It’s our Engine of the Week.
According to shop owner Neil Riley, Newco did all the boring, honing, balancing and cutting of the seats for the heads in-house. The shop also did a three-angle performance valve job and some bowl blending and port work, as well as converted the engine to screw-in studs.
Having bored and stroked the 348 to 434 cubic inches meant the Chevy engine needed some new internals. Newco Performance used a Scat forged crank with Scat I-beam rods and Icon forged pistons for 10 and a half to 1 compression. The shop took the original GM 817 cast iron heads and machined them for bronze guides, double springs, stainless 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.”
Well, that does it for this episode of Engine of the Week. Thanks to our sponsors PennGrade, Scat Crankshafts and Elring. If you have an engine you’d like to see featured, please email Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]. Thanks for watching!