Progress Report: Update On Project Number Cruncher

Project Number Cruncher has seen its fair share of delays due to issues outside of our control, but we’re finally making some progress with the Pontiac. If you’ve ever made wholesale changes to a project car’s driveline, fuel system, and other major components you know the process can get messy. In this video, we’ll talk about what’s been happening with Project Number Cruncher and what the future holds for this bracket racing machine.

The star of the show is the 427 cubic-inch LS engine that was built by the students at SAM Tech in Houston, Texas. This naturally-aspirated mill features an iron LSNEXT block from Dart; inside you’ll find a Dart billet CCW crankshaft, K1 connecting rods, and Wiseco pistons. There’s also a harmonic balancer from ATI Performance Products on the end of the Dart Crank.

The cylinder bores are sealed up with piston rings from Total Seal, and a set of MAHLE bearings keep everything rotating smoothly. ARP fasteners were used throughout the engine to buckle everything down into place. A Melling oil pump was selected to make sure the engine stayed lubricated as it pulls oil from the Moroso oil pan. You can learn more about the short block build right here.

A naturally-aspirated engine needs a good top end to make horsepower, so that’s why we used a set of Dart’s Pro1 LS7 cylinder heads, Pro1 LS intake, and a Wilson Manifolds throttle body. The LS-based engine’s valvetrain consists of COMP Cams Race XD lifters, COMP Cams LST camshaft, Manley valves, PAC springs, Trend pushrods, and T&D rocker arms. A Cam Motion timing set keeps the camshaft and crank in sync. A Meziere Enterprises water pump is used to cool the engine. We covered why you want an electric fuel pump for bracket racing in this article. We also went into more detail about the engine’s top end and show how much power it made right here, so make sure you check that article out, as well.

A FuelTech FT550 ECU will be controlling Project Number Cruncher’s EFI system. We’re using a pair of FuelTech’s WB-02 Nanos, along with one of its LS wiring harnesses. The FT550 will be working with a set of Fuel Injector Clinic fuel injectors, and a Holley fuel pump to provide fuel to the engine. MSD coils and spark plug wires are sending the spark to each cylinder. We cover how to build an EFI fuel system for bracket racing here. If you want to learn more about how we plan on using the FuelTech FT550 you can check out the article here.

To make sure Project Number Cruncher would be as consistent as possible we switched the car over from a TH400 to a Powerglide transmission. FTI Performance got us set up with the right transmission and torque converter for our specific combination. You can learn more about why the Powerglide was our transmission of choice right here.

We’re working hard to get Project Number Cruncher ready for the track this spring. Make sure you check out the Project Number Cruncher page right here on Dragzine.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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