Gallery: Indy Cylinder Heads Relies on Quality Vendors

While thumbing through my library of old magazines researching another vintage ad story, one company caught my attention with monthly stories about its engine builds; that builder was Indy Cylinder Heads. Each engine was unique and packed plenty of potential, but what intrigued me was the long list of aftermarket suppliers Indy used to build the big horsepower numbers. Some of the vendors have been working with Indy for decades; that itself is a statement of quality.

Above: This pump gas 92-octane 500 CID street wedge has an Eagle crankshaft and Eagle H-beam rods. A Comp Cams camshaft actuates Harland Sharp 1.6:1 roller rockers. To finish the build, Indy Cylinder Heads installed an ATI balancer, an MSD distributor, and a Milodon road race oil pan.

To put a spotlight on Indy’s vendors, Mopar Connection Magazine put together a list of suppliers Indy Cylinder Heads has relied upon for years. We loosely listed the vendors within categories of the components they sell.

Cylinder Blocks/Crankshafts/Rods
For many Indy Cylinder Heads builds, Callies Performance Products’ bulletproof blocks provide the foundation for the ultimate engine builds. Even though Callies makes great engine blocks, it started as a crankshaft manufacturer in 1989. Callies offers crankshafts for engines in Stock Eliminator up to a Top Fueler, and all of them receive the same high-quality attention to detail. If connecting rods are necessary for an Indy engine, Callies manufactures those as well.

Above: Indy Cylinder Heads recently freshened up a 540 CID Procharged Predator. It has Maxx aluminum solid block, a Callies billet crank, GRP 5301 aluminum rods, T&D rockers, and a roller Comp Cams camshaft.

As a lower-cost alternative to the Callies parts, Callies has the Compstar Performance Engine Components line of products. Compstar components are forged overseas, and the semi-finished products are machined to perfection by expert machinists at the Callies machine shops in the USA.

Founded in 1992, Eagle Specialty Products connecting rods are used in many Indy Cylinder Heads engines. The company’s crankshafts and rods are cost-effective options for engines used for serious competition. As a result, all Eagle’s products offer the most value per dollar.

Above: These are the internals of an Indy Cylinder Heads 540 CID twin-turbo race wedge. It is currently a long block. It will be complete once the customer mounts the twin 94mm turbos and coil on the plug system. It has an Indy Maxx X solid block, a Callies billet crank, GRP Pro Series boost aluminum rods, Diamond pistons, a T&D paired rocker system, a Jesel belt drive, and a Comp Cams solid roller. Additional components include an ATI balancer, a Milodon billet oil pump, and a dragster oil pan filled with Driven break-in oil.

Manley Performance is another economical, high-quality connecting rod manufacturer. Manley offers a substantial selection of shelf stock part numbers in various lengths for multiple engine applications, which fits Indy’s needs for stock and custom engine applications. Additionally, Manley has lines of pistons, wrist pins, rings, oiling systems, crankshafts, cylinder head components, and engine building aids.

Above: This mild 528 CID pump gas street Hemi build has a new Callies iron Hemi block, a Compstar crank and H-beam rods, Diamond pistons, a Comp Cams solid tight-lash flat tappet camshaft, Edelbrock carbs, an MSD distributor, an ATI balancer, and a Milodon oil pan filled with Driven break-in oil.

Oliver Racing Parts’ connecting rods are used in several Indy engine builds. Oliver’s All-American-made connecting rods are incredibly lightweight, but they give up nothing in strength. Oliver has two big-block rod options, the Max and the Max Plus series. The rods are designed for moderate to all-out performance.

When Indy Cylinder Heads needs the ultimate aluminum connecting rod, it relies on GRP Connecting Rods. If ultra-high RPM, maximum boost, or multi-stage nitrous is being used, most likely GRP rods are spinning in the engine. A quick reference to its website will provide a list of heavy hitters that rely upon the high-quality, American-made billet aluminum rods from GRP.

Above: Indy Cylinder Heads bolted together a basic 500 CID street wedge filled with an Eagle crank and H-beam rods, Harland Sharp roller rockers, a Comp Cams solid flat tappet camshaft, a Quick Fuel 850 CFM street carb, and an MSD Pro Billet distributor. Additional components include an ATI balancer, a Milodon 8-quart oil pan with a windage tray, and Driven 30-weight break-in oil.

Established in 1968, Diamond Pistons worked with Super Stock, Pro Stock, and NASCAR teams providing a variety of components until the company was purchased from its original owners in 1999. A renewed business model and an exclusive focus on internal combustion engine pistons came with the new ownership. As a result, Indy Cylinder Heads rely almost exclusively on the wide range of piston designs, rings, expanders, wrist pins, and wrist pin locks designed by Diamond Pistons.

Indy Cylinder Heads counts on Comp Cams for nearly all its camshaft selections. For decades, Comp has made camshafts, lifters, pushrods, valve springs, and timing chains. A constant of Comp Cams is that it has remained committed to performance on the track and the street, excellent customer service, advancing valvetrain technology, and results that show as increased horsepower, better reliability, and improved gas mileage.

Trend Performance pushrods are used in many Indy engines. Due to the invention of the valvetrain Spintron, valvetrain inadequacies were discovered. The founder of the Spintron tester started Trend to manufacture race-quality pushrods. Since its inception, Trend has added additional valvetrain components to its catalog.

Above: This is a freshened 604 CID Predator engine. It has Callies crank, Oliver billet rods, Diamond pistons, T&D rockers, a Jesel +0.250” belt drive, and an MSD crank trigger.

During its nearly 50-year history, T&D Machine Products has developed competition rocker arms for hundreds of cylinder heads. The intense focus of T&D on its shaft rocker arm systems has provided drag racing, NASCAR, Sprint Car, and off-roaders engine builders a reliable product. Indy Cylinder Heads has confidence in T&D rockers regarding its mild builds with factory cylinder heads or its wild aftermarket or custom cylinder head applications.

With all the changes in the racing industry since the 1950s, Harland Sharp, America’s Rocker Arm Company, has never lost focus. Harland Sharp, a family-owned company, still provides its customers with the highest quality USA-made performance parts. For example, Harland Sharp has quality rocker arms, whether the big-block head is stock, a Brodix B1BS, or a Stage IV/VI. Additionally, Harland Sharp has rockers for Trans Am, W2 Econo, W2/W5 Race, or stock small-block heads.

Jesel provides the Indy engines with a fully adjustable belt drive system for performance engine builds. In addition to the belt drives, Jesel offers rockers, lifters, followers, cam cores, and specialty tools.

Above: Indy put together a basic, no options 572 CID Super Street Hemi. It has a Callies iron Siamese block, a Compstar crank and H-beam rods, Diamond pistons, a Comp solid roller cam, a pair of Edelbrock 750 CFM carbs, an ATI balancer, and a Milodon oil pump and 8-quart oil pan with windage tray.

Ignition and Fuel Systems
Indy Cylinder Heads uses MSD crank triggers to keep the ignition timing rock solid depending on the engine build. Over the years, MSD has expanded its business beyond ignition controller boxes and distributors to fuel injection, transmission controllers, starters, alternators, fuel pumps, regulators, fuel filters, and ignition tools and testers.

Indy Cylinder Heads has confidence in Quick Fuel Technology when carburetors are needed for fuel mixing. Quick Fuel’s carburetors come with a street calibration, a performance and race calibration, or an all-out professional race tune. To complement its line of carburetors, Quick Fuel offers fuel pumps, filters, carburetor tuning and repair components, and its Quick Fuel Injection system.

Above: Several updates were included in the freshening of this 655 CID Predator. It has a Callies billet crank, GRP 5301 pro series aluminum rods, Diamond pistons, a T & D rocker system, Trend pushrods, a Comp Cams 55MM roller camshaft, and a Jesel +0.250 belt drive.

For stock or mildly modified Indy engines, Edelbrock carburetors will be found sitting under the air cleaner. The Edelbrock carbs, whether a VRS-4150-, an AVS2-, or a Performer-series carburetor, have decades of technology and innovation built into them. Edelbrock has developed carburetor and intake manifold kits and has a complete line of carburetor accessories.

For the fuel injection customers, Indy Cylinder Heads secures FAST (Fuel Air Spark Technology) throttle bodies and injectors to plenty of intake manifolds. The FAST products cover a wide range of combinations to meet the needs of the engine builder and customer. FAST also has ignition products and automatic transmission controllers.

Above: This is another 500 CID wedge Indy Cylinder Heads’ build. It sports an Eagle crank and rods, Icon dish pistons, a Comp solid flat tappet camshaft, a Quick Fuel 850 CFM street carb, an MSD distributor, and Milodon oil system components.

Balancer and Gaskets
When it comes to engine vibration control, ATI Performance Products balancers will be found on the crankshaft snout of many Indy Cylinder Heads’ engines. Dampers, crankpin kits, timing pointers, and installation bolts make ATI the perfect company for engine timing monitoring and damping.

Two gasket companies’ products are installed in Indy engine builds. One is Cometic, and the other is Fel-Pro. Both companies offer head gaskets, engine gaskets, timing cover seals, rear seals, and plenty of driveline and cooling system seals and gaskets.

Above: This is an Indy Cylinder Heads 433 CID / 6.1 Hemi. It debuted in 2007, and it has accumulated over 3700 runs. It has an MP Gen3 aluminum block, Manley crank, rods, valve springs, Diamond pistons, a Comp roller cam, and a Melling HV oil pump.

Oil and Oil Containment
Indy Cylinder Heads depends on Brad Penn or Driven engine oils to break in each engine. The oils have superior film strength and protection, reduce internal friction, and deliver excellent shock load and temperature protection. The oils have specific detergents, dispersants, and foam and oxidation inhibitors, which Indy requires.

To retain the oil, Indy Cylinder Heads employs Milodon, Inc. oil pans. Milodon oil pans are found on hot street engines to professional gasoline and nitro-burning engines. With advanced baffling and sump kick-outs, Milodon pans extract the maximum horsepower of the engine by controlling the oil movement and windage. Milodon also sells water pumps, thermostats, gear drives, oil pumps, valves, timing covers, and main caps.

Above: Indy Cylinder Heads freshen up this 572 Super Street Hemi with Diamond 11.5:1 pistons, Trend pushrods, a Comp Cams roller camshaft, an ATI balancer, and an MSD distributor.

To pump the oil throughout the Mopar engines, Melling Engine Parts oil pumps are fitted into each Indy Cylinder Heads’ build. Melling has greatly expanded its line from oil pumps to highly desirable engine parts for the aftermarket and the performance industries.

Finally, to complete the power produced by an Indy Cylinder Heads’ engine, TTI Performance Exhaust & Headers delivers the best performance, fit and application catalog of any aftermarket supplier of exhaust systems – from the header flanges all the way back. TTI stands as one of the Mopar market’s best manufacturers and there’s no question why Indy would choose to work with this company for decades straight.

Indy Cylinder Heads’ vendor sponsors are industry leaders, and nobody would expect Indy to use anything less. If a crate or aftermarket engine build is not in the budget, but you already have an engine, taking the time to shop from the aftermarket partners of Indy Cylinder Heads will provide dependable, high-quality parts for any budget-conscious engine build.


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Chris Holley

Technical Contributor Chris has been a college professor for 26 years; at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. for the last 21 years. Chris instructs automotive classes in HVAC, electrical/electronics, and high-performance, including using a chassis dyno, flow benches, and various machining equipment. Recently, he added a vintage vehicle upholstery class to his teaching assignments. Chris owns a '67 Dart, a '75 Dart, a '06 Charger, and a '12 Cummins turbo diesel Ram, and he is a multi-time track champion (drag racing) with his '69 340 Dart, which he has owned for 35 years.

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