crate motor

Technical Report

SUBJECT: Performance Gains from HPC Performance Engine Coatings
DATE: September 24, 2001


To determine performance gains in the areas of horsepower and torque and from HPC Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC) and Solid Dry Film Lubricants.

Test Description

Street Rodder Magazine (Primemedia, August 2000) used a new GM 350 cubic inch 300 horsepower “crate motor” to determine performance gains using HPC coatings. A Holley intake manifold and 750 CFM vacuum secondary carburetor was used for testing. The baseline dynamometer test was done at Pro Machine of Placentia, California. No adjustments were made to the carburetor or ignition advance curve to optimize the engine, however the engine produced a near perfect averaged air/fuel ratio of 12.17:1 throughout the RPM range.

The engine was then disassembled and selected parts were sent to HPC for coating. The pistons and valves were coated with HPC TBC and S01 coatings. Valve springs, rocker arms and balls, oil pump gears, connecting rod and main bearings were coated with S01. The inside of the valve covers and oil pan as well as well as both sides of the windage tray were coated with S02 to reduce windage and promote oil flow back to the sump area.

The parts were then returned to Pro Machine for reassembly and due to scheduling conflicts dynamometer testing was done at Dyno-Motive, also of Placentia, California. Again, no adjustments were made to the carburetor jetting or ignition advance curve to optimize the engine.


The HPC coated engine produced 11.8 (5%) more horsepower and 15.5 lb/ft (5%) more torque at 4000 RPM. Even more remarkable was a 13% increase in volumetric efficiency (VE) from 90% to 103% and a 9% reduction in brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) from 0.558 lb/HPhr to 0.508 lb/HPhr. Because of this increase in thermal efficiency the engine “leaned out” an average of 12% (13.62:1air/fuel ratio), showing that further work with carburetor jetting and ignition advance would yield even bigger gains in horsepower and torque, especially in peak figures.

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