Dandy engines-built Ford 380ci Cleveland – Mill of the Month

Robert Kardum is expecting around 700hp on the dyno from his 380-cube Clevo, built by Frank Marchese at Dandy Engines in Victoria

Photographers: Nathan Jacobs, Dragphotos.com.au

WHEN you’ve got nearly 30 cars, a project is never far away. Some might know Robert Kardum from his stout green XE Falcon drag car ROB XE, but what you might not know is that he’s also into the burnout scene. Rob got into burnouts almost by accident, and now he has two skid rigs in the build, including a yellow XD Falcon powered by our feature mill.

“I’m a Ford man, but I bought a VH Commodore burnout car for my kids to muck around in,” Robert says. “They weren’t really into it so I ended up using it. I’ve been to Summernats with it the past few years, but now it’s time to build a Ford burnout car.”

Rob had a mostly assembled Cleveland engine ready for Frank Marchese at Dandy Engines to dyno, but it just wasn’t going to cut it. Frank pulled the engine down and completely rebuilt it using the parts that Rob had supplied. “It’s not your standard combo; it’s 380ci,” Frank says.

The rotating assembly consists of a Callies DragonSlayer crank, Precision International H-beam rods, and Diamond pistons that Frank machined. The 380-cuber uses Aussie-made Jet Engineering pushrods, a Comp Cams roller camshaft and Yella Terra roller rockers. Heads are AFD SP4Vs, and the whole shebang’s topped by a Weiand tunnel-ram intake manifold.

“The intake manifold was designed to work with the factory 4V heads rather than the aftermarket AFD SP units, but Rob wanted the twin-carb tunnel-ram look, so we epoxy-puttied the bottom of the runners in the intake to suit,” Frank explains.

Rob’s XE Falcon runs a Dandy Engines-built 427ci Windsor Dart block with Higgins Cleveland heads. It has run a best of 9.35 aspirated and 8.67 with a 150-shot of giggle gas. Dandy Engines is currently working on a new 447ci combo for the car, which will make around 950hp aspirated before it too gets a shot of nitrous

Topping the manifold is a pair of Quick Fuel methanol carbs, and the motor turns a belt-driven methanol fuel pump. Ignition is handled by MSD gear. Frank hasn’t had it on the engine dyno yet, but expects it to make around 700hp and spin up to 7000rpm.

“Now that the engine is done I’m hoping to have the car at Peter Grmusa’s Xtreme Powerfest at Bairnsdale Dragway in October,” says Rob, who’s already looking towards the next build. “I’ve got a 1000hp blown burnout car that Frank is building an engine for too, but that’s a bit further away.”