A guide to the high-performance red, blue and
black straight sixes..
"If you get careless or go romanticizing scientific information, giving it a flourish here and there, Nature will make a complete fool out of you. It does it often enough anyway even when you don't give it opportunities." Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Table of Contents
Building the Hot Holden Six
- Introduction - about these pages
- Characteristics and Limitations - the Holden six, what it is and why you should or shouldn't use it
- Horsepower and where to find it - some basic theory on power production..
- Airflow - an introduction - a bit more theory..
- Planning your Engine - the most important part of the buildup; defining the rpm range and hp requirements
- The Parts Selection Process - getting it right from the start..
- Which Displacement and Block? - 179 HP? 186? 202? Strokers...
- Block Prep - Cleaning and machining, the importance of cylinder wall thickness
- Sonic Testing - ensuring accurate results from testing
- High HP Blocks - helping a block survive with high rpms and hp
- The Crank - choosing a stroke length, material and counterweight configuration
- Vibration Related Problems - Identifying the two distinct vibration modes
- Managing Torsional Vibration - a critical part of making a straight six survive
- Rods - factory and aftermarket rods, rod lengths and rod ratios
- Balancing - the effects of balancing on block life, balancing myths and facts
- Oiling - ensuring a sufficient and continuous flow
- The Clearance/Viscosity/Temperature/ Equation - getting the right combination
- Pistons - some of the commonly available pistons discussed
- Reducing Friction (and other) Losses - there's power to be had by minimising friction
- Cylinder Heads - the key component to power production, and what we want from it
- 9 Port Heads - the traditional choice for competition engines
- 12 Port Heads - there's more to performance than raw flow numbers...
- Porting and Flow Testing - a couple of tips and gotchas to watch out for
- Unshrouding the Valves and Relieving the Bores - easing the flow path on the chamber side
- Combustion Chambers and Valve and Seat Prep - the valve job + minimising losses due to incomplete burning
- Compression Ratio - calculating a dynamic ratio and converting this to a static number
- Induction Systems - most off-the-shelf systems are duds...
- IR Manifolds - Individual Runners, the all-round performers
- Common Plenum Manifolds - simple and cheap street setups
- Downdraft Setups - working with dropout and distribution problems
- Modifying the Factory Varajet Manifold - making the factory manifold work
- Choosing a Competition Manifold - IR or tunnel ram?
- Manifold Heat - don't be so quick to turn off the heat..
- CV/CD Carbs - consistent performers
- Tuned Length Intake Runners, Port Matching - tuned runners can provide a significant boost, especially with 12 ports
- Mechanical Injection - has it had its day?
- Electronic Injection - potentially the most accurate system available
- VK Commodore EFI - a cheap and simple setup that works well on the street
- Modifying the Factory EFI Manifold - investigating manifold modifications
- Air Filtration and Fuel Pumps - clean, but not lean..
- Camshafts and Valvetrain - matching a cam profile to your requirements
- Cam Selection - Calculating the cam specs, and a few recommendations
- Exhaust - how they work and how they help make power
- Cooling - water pumps, radiators, thermostats etc.
- Crankcase Ventilation - do it properly, don't just puke it into a can..
- Ignition - the Bosch HEI and aftermarket sytems, crank triggers etc.
- Assembly and Running In - giving your new engine the best possible start in life
- Tuning - an brief overview of the tuning process
- Tuning Holley Carbs - an introduction to tuning Holleys
- Jetting from Scratch - how to quickly get the right jets with an unknown combination
- Tuning SU Carbs - some hints
- Recipes - a few combos to try
- Links - some useful and interesting links plus some suppliers
- Addenda - leftovers, starting with some tips for beginners
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