Foreword by Jim McFarland
All the parts within any engine are designed and engineered using the appropriate mathematics to function efficiently and be durable. When discussing high-performance automotive engines, a specific set of math formulas are used to develop and design powerplants to make more power at higher rpm levels and still survive. The various forms of motorsports and street use all have different requirements, but the math used to design engines to be competitive does not change, regardless of the specific discipline.
Multi-time author and well-regarded performance engine builder/designer John Baechtel has assembled the relevant mathematics and packaged it all together in a book designed for automotive enthusiasts. This book walks readers through the complete engine, showcasing the methodology required to define each specific parameter, and how to translate the engineering math to hard measurements reflected in various engine parts. Designing the engine to work as a system of related components is no small task, but the ease with which Baechtel escorts the reader through the process makes this book perfect for both the budding engine enthusiast and the professional builder.
Author Baechtel’s experience and writing capabilities shine in Performance Automotive Engine Math, and this book will surely be a strong addition to any high performance library.
Muscle Car Review
Baechtel, a longtime Petersen Publishing employee who left the magazine business to found the Westech Performance Group engine dyno facility, has taken what would be a dry and hard-to-digest subject and enlivened it with informative sidebars, lots of photos, illustrations, charts and other pieces of art. Material in the book ranges from basic (an explanation of commonly used terms) to advanced (engine simulaation and modeling software). In between are formulas to figure everything from displacement to piston speed.
August 2011, Muscle Car Review
Competition Engine Building contains great new information, using modern technology to increase the performance of your engine. As I read the book I kept thinking that the information was probably going to be over my head – and at first glance there’s quite a bit of engineering and science being related to the reader. The bottom line, though is that if you have some good understanding of the mechanics of your engine and you have the patience to read through this book, I think it can make a stunning difference in your engine build. I kept wanting to go out and wrench on my truck while reading this – it’s really written from the perspective of someone who wants high performance and wants to understand why certain tweaks work the way they do. Much of the focus is on the inter-relationship between the various parts, the mechanics, why certain materials are preferable, and how every piece unifies into a whole that will produce fantastic results. Great stuff in here with lots of full-color photography, text with context and some how-to information. You can do a lot worse and pay a lot more. – John Eaton, Amazon
Finally a completely new resource guide for competitive engine design using up-to-date technology. This guide focuses on manipulating the inter-relationships of all components to create a more powerful race engine. Explains how the “whole” can be much faster than the sum of its parts in certain combinations and why. Even re-tuning ideas for various component preferences, not one pet formula. The author explains how to use tools and collect helpful data and how to use testing and data collecting machinery properly and what to do with the results.
Although a complex subject, this book is practical and easy and enjoyable to follow. Plenty of theory but loads of practical applications and examples too. Filled with practical tips and precautions with new products evaluated. Each chapter has section headings, great photos, illustrations and bullet point boxes that kept me focused on what was most important, while keeping the reading from being too overwhelming. I felt like the author was talking with me not preaching to me. Gave me some great ideas, and helped me come up with a few of my own to try.
More speed is what we all want, right? I bet this will replace those old “revised and updated manuals out there. – Jamie, Amazon
The all new Practical Engine Airflow book by John Baechtel seeks to demystify this complex subject and present the basics of engine airflow in easy to understand terms for the average hot rodder and engine builder. You don’t need to know a lot of mathematics to understand and apply the basic concepts to improve your personal engine projects. The dynamics of airflow in a running engine are quite well understood at this point in time and this new book offers insight and clear explanations of what happens to the air on its journey through an engine and why increasing airflow is the key path to power.
The book describes the airflow path from atmospheric pressure entering the engine to atmospheric pressure after exiting the engine and all the various changes that occur in between. The secrets to max power are in the processing of air through the engine and efforts to increase the capacity and conditioning of the air/fuel mixture as it moves through the engine.
The physics of airflow are quite complicated but this book walks the reader through the process starting with air entering the engine at the air cleaner and following the various velocity, pressure and temperature changes that occur through the carburetor, the plenum, runners and ports, combustion chambers and out through the exhaust flow paths. It relates all of these components to links in a chain that represent an expansion of the four cycle concept with three additional cycles that are actually the key to improving torque and power. For example if you always thought that the compression stroke is the same length as the crank stroke, you need this book. It describes in detail the seven cycles of operation and how they are all closely linked with each cycle setting the stage for the next.
Now, before you let words like “dynamics” and “physics” scare you off, this book tackles these processes in layman’s terms. Within these pages are the building blocks on specific procedures for applying practical and simplified principles to managing and unlocking your engine’s potential. The author covers V-8s, V-6s and imported 4-cylinder engines. – The Motor Book Store
Small-Block Chevy Performance 1955-1996
by John Baechtel
The small-block Chevy is widely known as the most popular engine of all time. Produced in staggering numbers and boasting huge aftermarket support, small blocks are the engine of choice for a large segment of the performance community.
Originally published as two separate volumes, Small Block Chevy Performance 1955-1996 now covers the latest information on all Gen I and Gen II Chevy small blocks, this time in one volume. This book continues to be the best power source book for small-block Chevy. The detailed text and photos deliver the best solutions for making your engine perform. Extensive chapters explain proven techniques for preparing blocks, crankshafts, connecting rods, pistons, cylinder heads, and much more. Other chapters include popular ignition, carburetor, camshaft, and valve train tips and tricks.
“This book is an excellent resource for a Chevy Builder.” -Hemmings Muscle Machines, November 2006
“Covering a depth and breadth of information rarely found in any reference material, this book would make a worthwhile addition to any Bowtie fan’s high-performance library.” -Vette Magazine, January 2007
“One of the most popular induction swaps for the small-block Chevy is the ’85-’92 Tuned Port Injection (TPI) unit. More and more, we are seeing TPI transplants under the hoods of ’55 Bel Airs, ’79 Monte Carlos, and everything in between. If this modification intrigues you, the Chevy TPI Fuel Injection Swapper’s Guide will be an invaluable asset. Written by leading aftermarket performance authority John Baechtel, this guide references the different TPI units – there were variations in the cold start injector, sensor compatibility, and intake manifold bolt angles, among other details. To help visualize important technical points, Baechtel has included 300 black-and-white photos. Even if you aren’t about to swap your Mouse to EFI, this book contains excellent general information on how EFI functions and how to tune it for increased performance.” — Steve Magnante, HOT ROD, February 2000
“For anyone contemplating a tuned port injection (TPI) or an electronic fuel injection (EFI) swap in to a musclecar-era vehicle, this is the one book you should have in your automotive library.”— CHEVY HIGH PERFORMANCE, July 1998
“This information book is the latest offering by one of the leading automotive journalists, and a must for anyone who is planning to install a Chevy motor fitted with Tune Port Injection. Filled with all of the “must know” information concerning such an upgrade, you will certainly find the conversion much easier to accomplish using this well written guide.”
— GOODGUYS GOODTIMES GAZETTE, May 1998
See page 2 for more reviews