Steve Hogue of Hogue Racing Engines knows a thing or two about small block Chevy engines, as 99 percent of the business his shop does revolves around those power plants. However, when something different comes in the door, the shop gets excited to work on something ‘new.’
Just a few weeks ago, Steve got one of those opportunities when he got a call from a customer in South Bend, Indiana who had an Evernham Dodge Race Engine that needed work. Steve hadn’t done work for this particular customer before, but a few of the customer’s buddies recommended he take his engine to Steve at Hogue Racing Engines in Akron, Indiana.
“We had never done this engine before,” Steve says. “We had done similar ones to it, but not this specific one. Because this was a Dodge and not a Chevy, it was an intriguing project and was different than what we normally do.”
According to Steve, this specific Evernham engine only runs two or three times a year at the Kalamazoo Call of the Wild Race, which is a ‘run-what-you-brung’ kind of race where you put the big side boards on and see how fast you can turn a lap.
“The customer said the engine had been smoking a little and this year they weren’t getting many RPMs out of it,” Hogue says. “The valve springs were worn out and the rings were shot.”
Steve runs Hogue Racing Engines along with his dad Bruce. Steve, as with every job, made sure to tear the V8 engine apart and check over everything.
“We will re-hone the cylinders and do a sturdy valve job on it and install new valve springs,” Steve says. “With a job like this, the pistons are made for that style engine with a specific ring package, and sometimes trying to track down a special ring package can be challenging.”
Hogue eventually tracked down some JE Pro Seal rings that fit the bill. The engine also got new bearings from Clevite, valve springs from Isky, and spark plugs from NGK.
All said and done, this Evernham Dodge race engine will be putting out around 700 hp and will be put back in a late model race car, ready to tackle the Kalamazoo Call of the Wild race once again.
Here is a look at this engine during a record run at Kalamazoo Speedway in 2015: