Definition: Street Engine vs Race Engine? - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Definition: Street Engine vs Race Engine?

I have read many responses here, the people I have great respect for, correct the poster stating “That is a race motor son! not a street motor”
It always makes me think about the line between the two.
If we can buy an all alum, dry sump, titanium rod, supercharged, inter-cooled, 600+hp car off the dealer lot (street motor?) and we routinely build all iron, two barrel, hydraulic cammed, push rod engines for a hobby stock race car (race motor?) What makes one or the other?
So in your opinions:
What is the difference between a “street” and a “race” engine?
In my mind it was always the fuel. If it ran on race gas (something not available at regular gas stations) it was a race motor. Conversely, if I could get a Nitro Hemi to run on pump gas, it was a street motor. Admittedly, not a practical one, but a street motor none the less.

Just looking to hear opinions

As always, Thank you so much for the information and advice.

Jason

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:14 AM
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IMO, it's all in what you can afford$$$$$ to run on the street.....and the fact that you can get it IM'd or at least registered. Look at the "Pro Street" cars out of the 80's, I think they proved the fact that "street" doesn't have to be practical. It's all what your ego can afford.
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Last edited by White Lightning; 11-12-2010 at 08:41 PM.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:33 AM
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Street motor= an engine you can start up Monday morning at 32 degrees
with 4 inches of snow on the ground. Warm up for 5 minutes while you scrape
the windows and drive away without any stumbling, stalling, and drive 25 miles
to work 5 days a week.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:34 AM
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Street motors have concessions made for things like driveability, idle quality, being able to live on pump gas, and long-term reliability with a minimum of maintenance. Race motors shift to the other end of the spectrum, purpose-built for maximum power regardless of the day-to-day driveability and an expectation that getting them to live for any length of time will take a more significant amount of regular fiddling, adjustments, and maintenance.

Is there a line in the sand delineating them? No. It has mostly to do with the intent of the build and how the final product works in a given setup.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:35 AM
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IMO the difference is based on camshaft i.e. RPM range of the engine. Street rollers are smaller that a full effort race roller.

A car that has little or no bottom end and is setup to launch at 4500 rpms makes street driving a challenge to say the least. Stoplight to stoplight.

I also think it is some what based on maint. interval. A street engine is designed to have a longer time between majors. I see a Max effort race engine as needing, depending on build, monthly or weekly inspection of parts to make sure it is not eating itself.

My current build is a "street" build based on this concept. I used a street roller about 650 lift and tight lash exactly for this purpose. Even though this build will mostly be a bracket car. I want to try to run this build a full season without a complete teardown.

I enjoy working on the car but I hope to take it to the track make the needed passed without opening the hood. I know this is possible becauce I see Micro do it every weekend.

My opinion only.

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Last edited by parkclay; 11-12-2010 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Deleted word
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:53 AM
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does mommas 2010 GT500 constitute a race car or a street car or a grocery getter?
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torino501 View Post
does mommas 2010 GT500 constitute a race car or a street car or a grocery getter?


grocery getter for sure.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 12:09 PM
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My minimum definition is: Using a readily available fuel (pump gas or E85), the ability to be driven for extended periods on the interstate (4+hours), and "average" maintanence (change the oil, adjust the lash, etc).

If you can't drive your car to a track that's two hours away, race it all day and drive it home, it's not a street car.

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Last edited by CarsByCarl; 11-12-2010 at 12:14 PM.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 12:25 PM
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compression and cam
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarsByCarl View Post
My minimum definition is: Using a readily available fuel (pump gas or E85), the ability to be driven for extended periods on the interstate (4+hours), and "average" maintanence (change the oil, adjust the lash, etc).

If you can't drive your car to a track that's two hours away, race it all day and drive it home, it's not a street car.
Also it must be able to idle at less that 1500 RPM (less than 1000 RPM would be better) for extended periods of time.

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 02:58 PM
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Street engine = one I build

Race engine = one I have a race engine shop build

Broken engine = see 'Street engine'

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 04:48 PM
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definition

Still comes down to [MONEY MONEY MONEY] if u can build a1200 hp motor that has street manners but can go to the track and lay down impressive #`s then what is it ?? Guess its whatever u want it to be,cause u know it won`t be the same to someone else. S---t man i`ll just be happy to get my 528 fairmont build done [then again is it a streetcar or a RACECAR Bill
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
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Street engine = one I build

Race engine = one I have a race engine shop build

Broken engine = see 'Street engine'
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 05:57 PM
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My definition of a street engine:
-Must run on standard pump gas
-Must be able to idle without someone in the car
-Must be able to run in below zero temps, and at temps above 100
-Must be able to be driven without burning off tires with normal throttle (aka no burnouts/squealing tires, which is illegal around here.)
-Must be able to handle long drives at 60mph+
-Must be reliable with only standard maintenance, like oil changes, etc

Last edited by AKB; 11-12-2010 at 06:01 PM.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 06:01 PM
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This is all VERY subjective,

My dad had a Cadilac in the 60's which was all OEM and had over 12/1 compression. It certainly wasn't considered a race engine. The guy next door had an Oldsmobile with 11.5/1 compression which had a 2 barrel; not a race engine in my book.
For a while I had a 1969 L-88 Corvette with over 12/1 compression and a factory original solid lifter camshaft with more duration than 260°/270°@.050" and it had over 80,000 street miles when I sold it.

I also see race cars which have rather mundane engines and NEVER run a mile on the street but, they certainly aren't considered to have street engines.

Personally, I think it is merely the intent of how it's built, how close all the tollerances are ... along with the necessity and schedule of expections it has to be maintained.

Definately, not the same defination for everyone.

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