One of the spots we were excited to check out while we were in Houston, TX last fall was the School of Automotive Machinists & Technology, also known as SAM Tech. We’ve been able to showcase the automotive technical school, which has a focus on engine building and machining, in prior features and articles, but we hadn’t been to the facility in person – until now.
We came away very impressed by what the school offers those looking to get into engine building and the automotive industry. We got a full tour of SAM Tech, a rundown of the courses offered, and also got to speak with a few students, including Jaylon Victorian, who was in the final stages of building an 1,100-horsepower, 408 cid nitrous LS engine. Each student has the chance to build their own engine during their time at SAM Tech, and Jaylon took full advantage of this opportunity, doing all the work himself using the new knowledge and skill set he gained from being at SAM Tech. He gave us the full details of his build for this Engine of the Week.
“We get a chance to build and dyno an engine here using what we learned in class – from block class, engine theory, oil clearances, piston-to-wall clearances – basically everything we learn from upstairs, we bring down and apply to the engine,” Jaylon Victorian says. “From the line hone to the cylinder hone to surfacing to measuring pushrod length to get the perfect rocker geometry – everything we learned we apply to building this.”
SAM Tech students can build any kind of engine they want, and build it for any application they want. For Jaylon’s build, he chose to go with an LS engine for a street/strip application.
“It is going in an OBS-style dually,” Victorian told us. “The vehicle came with a 454 cid big heavy motor, so I went with the LS because there’s a lot of parts you can find aftermarket-wise, and it’s cheaper to build from the crank to the intake. You also get to make the most power out of the engine that you can, so that’s pretty much why I went with the LS.”
As mentioned, everything that is taught during classes at SAM Tech gets applied to the real-world engine builds these students get to do. Jaylon got to machine and build everything himself on this 408 cid LS.
“For components, I went with a Scat 4.000” crank and Scat rods,” he says. “It’s got Diamond race pistons in it. For rockers, it’s got 1.7 ratio rocker arms from Yella Terra. It also has a Holley Hi-Ram intake and Holley Sniper 92mm throttle body. The heads are from AFR, and I went with a Nitrous Outlet nitrous kit.
“To start the build, the first thing I did was clean it and inspect all the parts. Then, from there I went to ordering parts. I did a line hone and got that right. It’s got ARP main studs and head studs in it to hold the heads better. I align honed it, then I moved on to the cylinder hone and we torque plate honed it. That’s how we hone everything here. Then, we went to the surfacer and gave it a fresh look on the deck.
“These heads were already on this engine, but the vacuum sucked, so I cut a new valve job in it with the SG-9. We made sure to vacuum check them and then assembled them and measured my installed height on everything. Then, I went and got a set of Texas Speed springs with 427-lbs. open pressure to control the camshaft in it. The camshaft is 248/270.5 @ .050 with a 114 LSA on it, which is perfect for when we go and spray nitrous.”
According to Jaylon, his set of AFR heads flow 328 cfm at .600 lift, and he plans to be lifting to .630. His goal for the build is to have a stout LS engine with good naturally aspirated horsepower and strong boost from the Nitrous Outlet nitrous kit.
“My goal NA is to make about 620 hp on motor,” Victorian says. “If I make 620 hp on motor, I hope to make at least 1,100 hp using nitrous.”
The end result should make for a pretty rowdy and fun engine in Jaylon’s OBS dually.
Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade1, Elring – Das Original and 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].