Bill Schurr’s 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is a fairly large vehicle that has the worst aerodynamics possible for drag racing, his solution to this problem and going fast is brute horsepower. The Gen III HEMI that powers Schurr’s Jeep is the most powerful in the world using a cast block and cast heads. Schurr plans on using all the 2,577 horsepower the HEMI makes to pick up some wins this year racing with the Carolina N/T series.
The HEMI engine that Schurr has created is the result of bringing nearly everything in-house to Paramount Performance. Schurr enlisted radial tire racer Jeff Miller to assist with building the newly designed mill. All of the machine work is done at Paramount except for the block honing that’s done by Honeycutt Machine & Engine, and the cylinder head work that’s taken care of by Brian Maloney. Schurr has put over 150 passes on the new engine with zero failures, and he says the cast aluminum Gen III block has very tight main caps to this day.
The new engine plan was based on the idea of overbuilding everything to prevent failures as much as possible. Inside the HEMI you’ll find a Winburg billet crank, GRP connection rods, and Wisco pistons. For the valvetrain, Schurr used Manton pushrods, a 60mm Bullet Racing camshaft, and Jesel rocker arms. Since Schurr uses the Jeep as a test mule for the Paramount Performance TH400 transmission program he needed the engine to be as reliable as possible.
“There is definitely more power left in this engine. Our driver Jimmy Chavis lifted on the dyno at 7,378 RPM due to the converter pulling the engine down during our dyno pulls at Modern Racing. Previous pulls we made during the day showed power increasing well past 8,300 RPM. I would project this engine will make 2700 horsepower to the hub next time on the dyno. We will stop there since it’s difficult to get that much power to hook up on a 275 radial tire,” Schurr says.
Schurr’s plan is to have Chavis handle the driving duties for 2021 in the Carolina N/T Boost class. Since the Jeep will be running with the clocks off Schurr won’t give an ET expectation, but he’s confident the SUV will be tough to beat.