Hughes Engines Tech Center: Small Block Intake Manifold Shootout

Making big-time horsepower with small-time cubic inches requires the utmost in technology, research, and know-how. All components need to work in precise harmony, especially the induction system since it has such a huge effect on air velocity, fuel mixture, and power curves.

Intake opinions are easy to find, but spinning the dynamometer speaks louder than any words. The Hughes Engines Tech Center put a trio of small block intakes to the test and the numbers are hard to argue:

These tests were designed to show the power potential of each manifold and each porting level. This was NOT a stock small block engine. It had very good heads, a mechanical roller cam, and needed race gas. Yes, you could run it on the street, ¼ mile at a time. As you can see, the engine had the potential of 700hp due to the cam, compression, and cylinder heads. Later tuning brought the engine up to the 750hp range.

Don’t expect to see the same horsepower increases on your stock 318 with a hydraulic cam and pump gas. If the engine is good enough and needs additional air flow, this is what these manifolds and our porting can provide, and the numbers are relative as they were all tested on the same engine.

We also tested 1” and 2” 4 hole tapered spacers which we have found to make the most power differences. Our part numbers are (1” – HUG SS4150-1AL, 2” – HUG SS4150-2AL). We tested the 340 Victor, Super Victor, and Indy 360-1 intake manifolds. We tested each stock with and without both spacers, and ported, with and without both spacers. 3 tests were averaged.

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Kent Will

Kent grew up in the shop with his old man and his '70 Charger R/T. His first car was a 1969 Super Bee project when Kent was fourteen. That restoration experience lead to pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a career in manufacturing. Since then, the garage has expanded to include a '67 Satellite, a '72 Scamp, and a 2010 Mopar '10 Challenger.

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