Despite countless other high-horsepower engines at the 2021 PRI Show, when we walked past this 598 cubic inch big block Chevy engine, we had to do a triple take. It was a head turner for sure due to its size and the fact that it had a triple carburetor setup sitting on top of a 14-71 blower.
Built by M&M Race Cars & Competition Engines in Gleason, TN, we were able to chat with Justin Melton about some of the details of the build. Justin told us many of his customers prefer carburetor setups, and this engine was no exception.
“This is a 598 Brodix block and Brodix heads with a T&D rocker set up and a custom crankshaft, which will be used as a Top Dragster engine,” Melton says. “We try to go fast with carburetors on the supercharger. Everybody likes [fuel] injection, but you get a little more throttle control with the carburetors as well as a lot easier starting.
“We can change the pulley without having to change jets and all that. There’s less variables without changing a lot of things, so we’ve got a lot of customers who prefer carburetors.”
For the triple carb setup, M&M partner with Get‘M Performance and chose a Blower Shop 14-71 XR-1 supercharger to pair them with.
“The Blower Shop 14-71 XR-1 is their best blower,” Melton says. “When we used two 1600s, they couldn’t keep up. We had to go to three in order to get 4,800 cfm.”
Without enough airflow from two 1600 carburetors, M&M knew they’d have to take this engine up a notch. The shop also has a sister engine to this 598 big block Chevy that still has only two carbs versus three, so they can test the advantages and disadvantages of each.
“The triple carb engine definitely outperforms the other,” he says. “We haven’t got enough testing on it yet though. We just got it together right before the cold weather hit. We only got to do a little bit of testing, but what little bit we saw, it definitely exceeds the other engine.”
Aside from the triple carburetor setup from Get’M and the 14-71 XR-1 blower, M&M Race Cars also opted to use some quality internals, such as a custom crankshaft, aluminum rods, Wiseco pistons, Brodix 380 CNC cylinder heads, a roller camshaft, T&D rockers, and Isky or BAM lifters. It also has a Moroso oil pan.
“We estimate this engine should put out somewhere around 2,600-2,800 horsepower at around 7,600 rpm,” he says.
We trust that Justin and the M&M Race Cars team will continue to dial in this combination as the weather warms back up later this year, and we can’t wait to hear how it runs.
Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor Oil, Elring – Das Original, Scat Crankshafts and Engine & Performance Warehouse Inc./NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]