Noonan's 4.8" Billet Hemi Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Noonan’s 4.8″ Billet Hemi Engine

During the 2021 PRI show, we got the chance to catch up with the folks at Noonan Race Engineering to chat about one of the shop's best-selling engine combinations – a 4.8" billet Hemi engine – which can be used in applications such as NHRA Pro Mod, Top Alcohol, Outlaw Pro Mod, and Tractor Pulling to the tune of 3,000+ horsepower. Find out what went into this billet build.

Engine of the Week is presented by

It’s been more than 15 years since Noonan Race Engineering was first founded in Australia. Every year since opening in 2006, the machine shop and engine shop, located today in Spartanburg, SC, continues to enhance its reputation as a high-end provider of billet aluminum, high performance, hardcore engine componentry for professional motorsport teams and enthusiasts who want the ultimate in performance.

Noonan’s Billet 4.8″ Hemi

The 22,000 sq.-ft. shop, owned by Jamie and Renee Noonan, specializes in manufacturing its own billet cylinder heads, billet manifolds, billet valve covers, and billet engine block designs for both supercharged and turbocharged alcohol Hemi and LS engines. Noonan Race Engineering relies on its experience and the interactions of its customers to continuously design, test, develop and build better performance solutions to stay ahead of the demanding curve associated with racing. 

As such, they can usually be found at the annual PRI show in Indianapolis, which is exactly where we caught up with them – during the 2021 show – to get the run down on one of their best-selling engine combinations – a 4.8˝ billet Hemi engine – which can be used in applications such as NHRA Pro Mod, Top Alcohol, Outlaw Pro Mod, and Tractor Pulling.

Features a dry sump oiling system, although a wet sump setup could be used.

“This is our 4.800˝ bore space configuration, tall deck 426R platform,” says Barry Pettit of Noonan Race Engineering. “This particular engine package is meant for tractor pulling on mini rods or for Outlaw Pro Mod configurations. This manifold is meant to have a setback since it is tractor specific, so it is around 572 cid to meet the rules.”

This Hemi engine was front and center in Noonan’s booth as it’s an engine combo that the shop has been pushing the boundaries of in order to get a whole new level of horsepower. This combo includes the 4.8˝ billet Hemi block, all-new billet X2 cylinder heads, X2 billet manifold and X2 billet rocker covers, and is available for screw/roots supercharger or turbo/ProCharger combinations.

The valve covers are machined by Noonan Race Engineering in-house, and nearly 98% of the raw aluminum is machined out.

“It’s a solid platform and we’ve had great luck with it,” Pettit told us. “We’ll machine the block, cylinder heads, valve covers and manifold all in-house. We try to do as much of it as we can. Even something such as the valve covers come in as a solid block of aluminum. Once we machine it, 98% of that aluminum ends up in the scrap bin.”

Internally on the 4.8˝ Hemi, Noonan runs nothing but quality components such as a forged crank, aluminum rods, CP pistons, Total Seal rings, Trend wristpins, a custom Bullet camshaft, Cleveite coated bearings, Jesel lifters, PSI springs, Manley valves, and Reid or Manton rockers.

The intake manifold has a setback specific for tractor pulling rules.

Additional components on the Hemi combo include an MSD Pro Mag 44, MSD leads, a Dan Olson oil pan, a Barnes dry sump oil pump, an RCD mag drive and RCD fuel pump extension, and a Noonan front cover and gear drive assembly.

“Everything in these engines is similar to what you would see in a normal endurance racing engine, but everything is bigger,” Pettit says. “We’ll run a 4.500˝ bore and a 4.000-4.250 stroke. As for the valvetrain, we’re comfortable with 9,000-10,000 rpm out of the 4.8˝ Hemi. Our 4.9˝ package can go a little bit higher due to the raised cam.

3,000+ HP of billet Hemi goodness

“There’s a lot of components that go into an engine, so we focus on taking what’s out there and making the best solution for the racer. However, if we can’t get in front of a vendor, we’re a machine shop, so we’ll make something ourselves. Normally, we’ll see around 3,000-3,200 horsepower out of something like this.”

Making around 3,200 horsepower without breaking much of a sweat is thanks to the Noonan brand’s reliability.

“We’re known for our reliability, and for customers like our tractor guys, when they show up to a pull, they only have one chance,” he says. “They don’t get any kind of practice or qualifying or anything. It’s an area that we feel we shine in. Our stuff shows up and performs well.”

This 4.8˝ billet Hemi engine is just another example of that reputation ringing true.

This 4.8″ Hemi can be available for screw/roots supercharger or turbo/ProCharger combinations.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – 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].

You May Also Like

427 cid Ford Windsor V8 Engine

This one-of-one Panozster we saw at the Cleveland Auto-Aviation Museum features a number of unique traits that make it a truly special roadster, including its 427 cubic inch Ford Windsor V8 engine! Check it out.

There’s an abundance of very cool cars out there in the world, but despite all those cool cars available, some folks would rather build a car that’s entirely their own, and therefore, a one-of-one example. That’s what we were treated to when we recently visited the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, OH – a one-of-a-kind, 1948 Panoz Roadster featuring a 427 cubic inch Ford Windsor V8 engine. We got the full rundown of this build, which took 13 years to complete, from the Crawford Museum’s Program and Marketing Manager, John Lutsch.

2,600 HP ProCharged 540 cid Big Block Chevy Engine

BB&T Racing in South Haven, MS has been building high-performance domestic engines for 30 years. One of their latest builds is for a drag racing customer looking to go faster utilizing an F3 ProCharger. Check out this 2,600 hp ProCharged 540 big block Chevy engine!

615 cid Big Block Chevy Nitrous Engine

It’s no secret that turbochargers dominate the power adders seen in drag-and-drive events, and to a lesser degree, superchargers. However, very few competitors resort to nitrous. Graham Hayes is one of those nitrous believers, and his Buck Racing Engines-built 615 cid big block Chevy engine put on a strong performance all five days of Sick Week 2023. Check it out.

468 cid Big Block Chevy Engine

Kevin Willms has owned this 1930 Ford Roadster since the age of 17. He’s now 62 and getting into the drag-and-drive scene with the roadster and its 468 cid big block Chevy engine. Check it out!

Sick Week’s Fastest 4-Cylinder – a Turbocharged 2.0L 4G63 Engine

Tony Niemczyk has owned his 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse since 2001. Over the years, it’s been a constant evolution to get the car from a regular commuter to the point it is today – a streetable race machine with the claim of Sick Week’s Fastest 4-Cylinder and back-to-back Sick Week Freaks class wins. That’s thanks to a turbocharged 2.0L 4G63 engine. Check out the details!

Other Posts

Tales of NHRA Drag Racing with Clay Millican’s Crew Chief Jim Oberhofer

Better known by many as simply Jim O, we got the chance to speak with Jim Oberhofer, Clay Millican’s NHRA Crew Chief with Rick Ware Racing, during a visit to Pro Motor Engines in Mooresville, NC earlier this year. Jim O was there along with another member of Clay’s team as one of the team’s

Pat Musi Racing Engines’ Outlaw 4.840 Bore Space Nitrous Engine

We love every opportunity we get to speak with Pat Musi of Pat Musi Racing Engines. This time, we were down in Mooresville, NC to check out his shop in person and get the details of a few engine builds he had underway. This is an Outlaw 4.84 nitrous engine with 731 cubic inches of

The 12th Annual Race Track Business Conference Set for 2023 PRI Show

Officials with the National Speedway Directory have announced that the 2023 Race Track Business Conference (RTBC) will take place on Wednesday, December 6, at the PRI Show in Indianapolis, Indiana. Related Articles – Lucas Oil Products Teams Up With NXG Youth Motorsports – Spec MX-5 to Become SCCA Runoffs Class in 2024 – 17-Race 2024

Wilkins Racing Engines’ 632 cid Big Block Chevy Nitrous Engine

Sandy Wilkins of Wilkins Racing Engines recently allowed us to visit his engine and machine shop in Mooresville, NC. We were thoroughly impressed by how clean and organized his shop was and the caliber of the engines his shop churns out. We got the full details of this big block Chevy nitrous engine he built