There’s plenty of sun in Scottsdale, Arizona year round, but the summertime outlook is miserable at best–temperatures average 99 degrees during the day, and the yearly rainfall averages under eight inches total. They call it a dry heat, but what do we know?
One thing we’re sure of is that Glen Bolz of Hot Rods By Glen doesn’t let the high temperatures deter him from creating some heat of his own in the form of a wicked Outlaw 10.5/Top Sportsman 1966 Chevrolet Nova, powered by a Steve Morris Engines 540 cubic inch Chevrolet big-block that’s pumped up with one of ProCharger‘s F-3R superchargers. When Morris originally built the engine three years ago, it twisted the dyno needle to an outstanding 2,252 horsepower and 1,577 pound feet of torque with 33.7 psi boost pressure, at 7,500 rpm.
The engine features Dart 380cc CNC cylinder heads, a Dart engine block, an SME-spec camshaft, pistons, rotating assembly, and valvetrain. On top sits a Holley Dominator EFI system and a cable-driven fuel pump. The supercharger has been upgraded with SME’s ProVolute supercharger modifications including the inlet bell.
Like any racer, Bolz is always on the hunt for more performance, and after running the car for a few seasons, he decided to make some upgrades to the engine package.
“Steve Morris completed some updates and a complete refresh. New titanium intake valves, new valve springs, new lifters, new rings, new bearings, new head gaskets and a conversion to dry sump with a new Peterson Fluid Systems 5 stage dry sump pump, tank and Moroso oil pan,” says Bolz. “The engine was in the car for four years before this; I told Steve to take it apart and replace all of the consumables and just check everything out.”
The switch to the dry sump oiling system is the major upgrade this time around, as Bolz made the decision to upgrade to try to improve the package while the engine was out of the car.
“One thing I really like about dry sump systems is that it really helps to keep the moisture out of the engine. Any time you’re dealing with a boosted engine there’s a lot of moisture, and I really look forward to not having that,” Bolz explains. “I’m kind of a perfectionist and the moisture under the valve covers drives me crazy.”
Improving the oiling, adding the ability to generate vacuum, and reducing windage were the main reasons to make the change.
It’s about generating better ring seal and more consistent oiling conditions, but “at 2,300 horsepower, we don’t really worry so much about gaining power from the vacuum generated as we’re trying to pull power out of it anyway,” he says.
Moving into one of Peterson’s R4 drag five-stage pumps was an easy choice; Bolz also went into the Peterson catalog for one of their two-gallon oil tanks along with the supporting gear to make everything work.
The R4 pump features four-lobe, twisted 1.400-inch-thick rotors–a Roots design, similar to a supercharger–in all of the scavenge stages; these are designed to help the engine achieve maximum vacuum while improving horsepower as a result of the improved sealing. It also uses a set of 1.200-inch pressure-side rotors to ensure that the engine has all of the oil it needs in this demanding application.
On the dyno at Steve Morris Engines
Another neat item that he chose to install as part of his upgrades was one of Peterson’s oil pump primers, which allows him to pressurize the oiling system to his requirements before ever starting the engine, to help reduce startup wear and promote longevity. A standard 18-volt cordless electric drill outfitted with a 7/16-inch socket can be used to drive the primer. The primer uses the same internal Roots rotor design as the R4 pump for quick action. Peterson says it will build 20 psi within ten seconds.
“The reason we developed this Oil Primer was because all of the existing methods for priming an engine were fairly clunky, time intensive, and in some cases, impossible depending on the amount of space in the engine compartment. With this product, you can walk up to the car, put a drill on it, spin it over for 10 seconds, and you’ve got oil in the engine without the need for any of the previously necessary steps. It saves a lot of time for the racer,” says Peterson’s Mike Morten.
While Bolz doesn’t have any track numbers yet with the upgrades–we caught him just as he finished installing everything–he’s expecting a number of things from the changes. Most importantly, better oil control and more consistency from the oiling system. The installation of the Peterson products combined with the engine freshen-up and a couple of other changes he’s made should help him dip into the 6-second zone with this beautiful machine.
For more information on Peterson Fluid Systems, check out their website.