Tech Overload: Engine Performance Expo Day 1 Recap

The second running of the innovative Engine Performance Expo kicked off today with an impressive start. Today’s program started off with a familiar face, as Ben Strader from EFI University gave a presentation on properly planning a project. He shared his method of planning out power goals using math to both verify and validate the desired outcomes. Additionally, Strader shared his methods for performing those calculations with a forced-induction engine.

From there, an illuminating discussion and example of align boring vs. align honing was undertaken, diving into the pros and cons of each method and how it can potentially affect the main journals. That was followed up by an in-depth interview with famed engine building Jon Kaase, which spans everything from Kaase’s start in automotive performance, all the way through projects he stayed busy with during the pandemic.

We were then treated to a seminar on hydraulic roller lifters versus solid roller lifters from industry legend John Callies, where he really shared some insight on why he feels that the belief that solid roller valvetrains aren’t meant for the street is more myth than fact. Chris Straub followed with a presentation on why profit isn’t a bad word, and some tips and tricks on how to be more profitable, using their LS engine fastener program as an example.

Then, an awesome interview with Roy Johnson, the engine builder and tuner for his son, Allen Johnson’s NHRA Pro Stock racing effort, which got emotional at one point, highlighting that even though we talk so much about technology, this whole industry is really based on people and passion. That feature was followed by a polar-opposite segment where speeds, feeds, and cutting tooling was discussed as it applies to automotive machining.

If you’ve ever wondered about REM finishing, the dynamic duo of Lake Speed and “Dyno Don” McAskill tackled the subject with the usual energy you get when you put those two in the same room. That was followed by Guy Tripp of SoCal Diesel diving into the Duramax diesel engine platform. Then, Ed Kiebler of Rottler Manufacturing and Embry Herrick of CNC Blockworks really dove into the nitty-gritty of the proper machining of the Dart LSNext engine block being prepared for the Engine Performance Expo build.

Then, we got a look behind the curtain at the School of Automotive Machinist and Technology and some of their CNC design and machining curriculum, and Judson Massengill explaining his theory of the importance of machining in the industry as well as how to learn the skills to put food on the table. After that was an amazing interview with “The Professor of Pro Stock” Warren Johnson, where he discussed the biography written about him, along with a multitude of engine-related topics that is absolutely not to be missed — like how he casually mentions the 14,000-rpm dual in-block-camshaft engine he designed.

The first day of the second Engine Performance Expo was concluded with an incredible roundtable discussion about the technological advancement of the industry with SEMA Hall of Famer Scooter Brothers, Warren Johnson, John Callies, Jon Kaase, and the show’s hosts, Joe Castillo and Lake Speed, Jr. The amount of experience sitting around that table is almost incomprehensible.

Day-one’s show will be available for on-demand streaming at the Engine Performance Expo site, but we highly suggest you tune in live for day two tomorrow, October 14th.

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About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent seventeen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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