Building an 800-horsepower Hemi engine with viable street manners and runs on pump fuel is a challenge few engine masters are willing to accept, but Ray Barton Racing Engines in Robesonia, Pennsylvania, is one shop that accomplished the feat with ease. With help from AEM Performance and its Infinity engine management system, David Barton and the rest of the RBRE team assembled one wicked engine for Wisconsin customer Curt Woodward’s ’68 Road Runner. You need to see this engine run in the video below!
The bullet is based on the company’s long-proven 528 cubic-inch “Street Hemi”, and has a number of features that make it the ultimate street engine for Mopar fanatics. Starting with a Mopar Performance iron Hemi block, Barton Racing Engines blueprints it in-house to their specs and fills it with a K1 Technologies 4340 forged crankshaft and 4340 H-beam connecting rods. Diamond forged pistons wear a 1/16, 1/16, 3/16ths-inch ring pack, and the rotating assembly is balanced in-house before installation.
Stage V aluminum Hemi cylinder heads feature one of RBRE’s custom multi-angle valve jobs, and the valvetrain is actuated by a custom RBRE camshaft that has been specifically selected for this application. In addition, RBRE developed the individual shaft rocker-arm system that rides front-and-center atop the cylinder heads. Top-shelf 3/8-inch x.080-wall TREND pushrods are used, along with Comp Cams springs, retainers and cups.
A solid camshaft was selected along with tool-steel solid lifters and a billet double-roller timing chain to help control timing events. A host of other quality components from companies like ATI Performance, ARP, and Moroso were used to finish off the engine, and the result is a whopping 801 horsepower at a super-street-friendly 6,400 rpm, with 716 lb-ft peak torque at 5,100 rpm.
Perhaps the coolest part of the engine is the sky-high set of Kinsler throttle-body stacks sitting atop the intake manifold. They hide the fuel injectors that are run via the aforementioned AEM Infinity engine management system.
“It was a breeze to tune,” says David Barton. “Once you put in the basic parameters, within half half-dozen runs the engine was right where it needed to be. It fired up right away and worked as it was supposed to – I don’t really think it could get much better than that.”
There were no struggles in either startup or general tuning, thanks to the Infinity’s configuration.
“The way the auto-correction works in closed-loop, the system pinpoints the fuel curve that you’re looking for right away. For example, if you tell it that you want 12.5:1 air/fuel ratio, it pinpoints that instantly,” says Barton. “On the first few dyno runs, you kick up the feedback values and it just meets that number. I don’t know how they engineered it to work so well, but it’s right on the money. A quick look at the datalogs and see where it added and removed fuel, and then adjust your base curve from there. Within a few runs, it’s spot-on. It basically makes me look smart.”
Barton adds that the biggest challenge was wiring everything up — and that wasn’t even difficult. Since the Kinsler setup arrived from the factory with the fuel rails and linkage already installed and ready to go, all the RBRE team had to do was set up the Infinity’s harnesses to work properly.
“We had to do all of the wiring from scratch; it actually took longer to wire it up than it did to run the thing and get everything tuned in,” says Barton, who runs a 2010 Dodge Challenger in the NHRA Stock Eliminator in Eastern events. “Obviously you can’t put any type of air cleaner on it, but we don’t anticipate that the customer will be running it during any dust storms.”