PRI 2019: SAM Tech’s Engine Masters LS Build Engages Students

The School Of Automotive Machinists & Technology (SAM Tech) is a great place to learn the craft of creating horsepower for those who want to enter the high-performance industry. SAM Tech does more than just provide information in a classroom setting or show students how to build an engine, it gives them real-world experience through projects like the Engine Masters Challenge.

Each year the Engine Masters Challenge brings teams from across the country to Ohio so they can compete in horsepower combat. The format and engine the teams to work with for the contest changes each year to keep things fresh. This year the teams had to build an LS-based engine that could be 400-440 cubic inches. To win the contest a team’s engine needed to have the highest average amount of horsepower. The 438 cubic-inch SAM Tech entry won the 2019 Engine Masters Challenge by making 800 horsepower and 623 ft/lb of torque from 3,500 to 8,000 rpm.

Judson Massingill and his wife Linda founded SAM Tech to teach the art of making horsepower and the Engine Masters Challenge is part of the school’s program to provide students with hands-on experience.

“We enjoy participating in the Engine Masters Challenge because it’s a great thing for both the students and instructors to get involved in. Overall we learn a lot doing a project like this and the students benefit from that. They get to see where the torque was made and where the engine was able to make all of its horsepower. The average amount of horsepower an engine makes is what wins races, not just the peak, and that’s what the students are able to really learn with this project,” Judson explains.

During the build, students were able to work with companies like Chevrolet, CID, Accufab, MSD, JE Pistons, SCAT, ARP, Total Seal, COMP Cams, Holley, and American Racing Headers as they built the winning engine. During the build students who assembled the mill got to work on the engine’s performance by swapping camshafts and experimenting with different induction systems. Students from the EFI Calibration class got to assist by working on the engine’s tune to see exactly what it needed to make power.

Check out the SAM Tech website right here to learn more about the different programs the school offers.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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