Lots of racers have the fabrication skills to make practically anything when it comes to the chassis, body, and suspension, but few are comfortable tearing into their race engines. It's true that some aspects of race engine building that require specialized tools are best left to the professionals. But there's a lot that you can do yourself, especially if you are running a Street Stock-level class that requires stock, or stock replacement, components.
Even if building your own Street Stock engine from a bare block-including all the machining processes-is beyond your capabilities, a rebuild probably isn't. With a rebuild, you already have your parts recipe, including the critical cam grind, so that isn't an issue. You may also need to take the block and heads to a machinist to be checked out. But putting everything back together isn't that big of a deal. You may also be upgrading a stock engine with rotating assembly package-crank, rods, pistons, bearings, and rings-from a speed shop like many of the advertisers in this magazine.
This topic came up recently in a bench racing session with brothers Ken and Kevin Troutman of KT Engine Development. As professional engine builders, they've seen it all. And to help you out, they've come up with a handful of useful tips that we think can be helpful when building-or rebuilding-your own race engine.