Building Engines at Home With Roadkill’s Freiburger and Finnegan


Racers, begin your engines! One factor first, although—construct them! If you happen to’ve been following David Freiburger’s Instagram and watching MotorTrend Working from Home, you realize he is been cleansing out his storage packed filled with engine elements and memorabilia whereas we have all been in quarantine. Alongside the best way, he determined to assemble a 350 small-block Chevy, dubbed COVID 350, out of the treasure trove of elements he has stashed away. Properly, now Mike Finnegan is difficult him to a build-off! Finnegan has a contemporary, ported head and lengthy tube header he needs to bolt on to the engine of the 1985 Toyota mini truck he picked up in episode 104 of Roadkill, and he needs to see if he can get his engine began earlier than Freiburger can get some fireplace within the cylinders of the COVID 350!

What Is the COVID 350 Engine?

Eager-eyed and longtime viewers of Roadkill will bear in mind again in episode 36 when Finnegan and Freiburger used the unique Muscle Truck to tow a ship to Lake Elsinore, California, there was a completely assembled 350 small-block sitting within the nook of Finnegan’s store. It final ran in 2008, then sat and sat for years. They tried to promote it, however nobody bit and elements from it have been taken off for use on Engine Masters and different issues Freiburger cannot bear in mind. Now, it is simply an unloved short-block ready for one thing to occur to it, and whereas Freiburger has been cleansing out his storage throughout quarantine, he is determined to lastly do one thing with it!

He has so many elements hoarded in his storage, Freiburger is assured he can construct a completely assembled and fire-up-able engine with simply the junk he has sitting round! And who would have guessed it, he had loads of choices! Hydraulic or stable cam? Ported or non-ported heads? Three balancers, a dozen intakes, too many camshafts to depend, and all of the equipment and fasteners to make all of it occur! Freiburger solely had to purchase a set of valvespring seats and a cam button to get every thing collectively—all the opposite elements have been in his storage or his storage unit a couple of miles away.

Freiburger polled his Engine Masters co-hosts, Steve Dulcich and Steve Brule, asking their opinions about how a lot energy the COVID 350 will make. All three agree it is going to make its peak energy between 6,100 and 6,200 rpm. Dulcich thinks it is going to make 475 hp, Brule thinks 485 hp, and Freiburger is probably the most optimistic at 495 hp. We’ll have to attend till the COVID 350 makes its debut on Engine Masters to seek out out. Maintain a watch out on Roadkill Storage as properly; this punch of pure beef is most definitely going into Freiburger’s 1956 Chevy 210.

Rebuilding the Prime Finish on a 1985 Toyota Mini Truck

Mike Finnegan has admitted he has a mini-truck drawback, and now he is admitting that his mini truck has issues, too. The truck was picked up on the identical time he purchased the 1971 Ford Torino Wagon with a 12-valve Cummins swap in episode 104 of Roadkill. The 1985 Toyota got here with some velocity elements, twin side-draft Webers, quick tube Headman exhaust manifold, and a sizzling LC Engineering recurve distributor. Not like most Roadkill autos, nevertheless, this factor was cherry…ish. The inside may be very good, the paint is clear, the airbags work, however the bolts holding on the carbs are barely there and the nuts on the exhaust are nowhere to be discovered. That is perhaps why it solely ran 18 seconds lifeless at 68 mph in opposition to the Torino.

Finnegan has assist, too! David Newbern from Faster With Finnegan helps out with the top-end rebuild. The mini truck got here with extra than simply the velocity elements already in place on the engine, Finnegan acquired an LC Engineering ported head, “shmedium” cam, and lengthy tube header that he is hoping will add 50 % extra energy to the 22R engine. However, as Finnegan and Newbern tear into the engine, they understand the mini truck is perhaps extra Roadkill than they thought. As soon as the valve cowl comes off, the dreaded oil and water sludge is present in each nook and cranny. Finnegan chalks this as much as “condensation.” Actually, it was a blown head gasket.

After a tough disassembly, Finnegan and Newbern are prepared to begin bolting on the brand new elements. However it’ll take a couple of days for the brand new head bolts to come back in, so they may as properly swap in a brand new clutch. Then they determined they did not have the time to alter the clutch. When the brand new head bolts lastly got here in, Finnegan and Newbern had some difficulties getting the engine again collectively. Finnegan’s huge diploma wheel from Comp Cams is simply sufficiently small to suit between the body rails of the Toyota, making the fellows second guess their resolution to not pull the engine earlier than the rebuild. If they don’t seem to be cautious, they will drop the cam gear into the crank case (they already dropped it throughout disassembly) whereas placing within the new adjustable timing set. And when it got here time to bolt up that new long-tube header, there was quite a lot of “massaging” to get it to suit and clear the added suspension brackets.

4 days into their respective builds, Freiburger took a while to replicate on the challenges each groups confronted (not that Freiburger had any assist, until you depend his cat) whereas having fun with the “tasty” snack of a peanut butter and olive burrito. Certain, Freiburger has twice as many heads to take care of and half as many fingers to do the work, however Finnegan and Newbern maintain working into situation after situation. The COVID 350 construct has solely taken Freiburger this lengthy as a result of he is filming, doing the lighting, organising audio, and doing all of the meeting on the identical time. With a full manufacturing crew, he might have constructed the 350 in solely two days. He thinks he has an actual probability of getting the 350 began earlier than Finnegan and Newbern can smoke the tire (sure, it is solely a one-wheeler), however he nonetheless has to place collectively that engine testing stand. So who makes it to the end line first?

The COVID 350: Freiburger’s Small-Block Engine Construct Particulars

  • Inventory GM Forged 350 Block
  • Inventory GM 3.48-inch stroke crankshaft
  • Probe +0.030 solid pistons
  • H-beam connecting rods
  • Comp Cams stable cam; Period (consumption, exhaust) – 242 , 248; Elevate – 0.570, 0.576; Lobe separation – 110 levels
  • Comp Cams stable curler lifters
  • Lunati double curler timing set
  • Milodon machined aluminum timing cowl
  • Pioneer damper
  • BluePrint Engines 210cc ported heads
  • 1.65:1 curler rocker arms
  • Classic Weiand tunnel ram consumption
  • Twin QFT 450cfm four-barrel tunnel ram carburetors with velocity stacks
  • Moroso stamped metal valve covers
  • Moroso oil pan
  • MSD Digital E-Curve distributor
  • Mezier electrical water pump (from Freiburger’s Bonneville racer)
  • Outdated, rusty lengthy tube headers (additionally from Freiburger’s Bonneville racer)



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