Project Buford T Justice’s Last Stand On The Dyno Video – Who Won The Shirt? How Much Power Did It Make? What’s Happening Next?

Project Buford T Justice’s Last Stand On The Dyno Video – Who Won The Shirt? How Much Power Did It Make? What’s Happening Next?

Last week I gave you a challenge. I had you throw in your best guess as to what kind of horsepower Project Buford T Justice would make on the dyno rollers at SMG Motoring in Hopedale, Massachusetts. Well, the results are in, the engine didn’t explode, and I’ve already got the car torn apart for the next phase of this seemingly endless project. First, let’s talk about the scene where the dyno fun went down. SMG motoring is a shop owned and operated by Fred Simmons Jr. Fred is a heck of a guy that I have known for many years. A successful drag racer with track championships and multiple Wallys on the shelf, his shop is a nice place where he does everything from full builds to engine modifications, and lots of work on the dyno. He’s developed engine packages for midget sprint cars, does lots of drag racing, and when we were there he was wrenching on and tuning an SCCA road race car. Needless to say, it is a fun place to hang out! Anyway, when I mentioned to Fred that it would be cool to spin the rollers one last time with the combo currently in the car before I take it all apart, he invited me out to the shop and I accepted his invitation. It was a pretty cold New England day ol’ Buford ran like a top for the 50 miles from my house to SMG Motoring. I had warned Fred that the engine wasn’t in the healthiest condition with a bunch of blow by and a pretty nasty knock when cold. He didn’t seem like he was going to care if I dented his floors with connecting rods so it was all good to go.

We made three pulls with the car and it was a pretty cool exercise to see the Atomic EFI continue to “learn” at wide open throttle. Two of the pulls are shown on the graphs below. The horsepower jumped nearly 10 numbers between the first and the second pull and then leveled right off for the third. Once we had those three pulls made cleanly we decided to let a sleeping dog lie and I decided that driving back home with a car that was still in one piece suited my just fine. The final numbers were 262 rear wheel horsepower and 306 ft/lbs of torque. That means that reader SEATSAFETYSWITCH is the big winner with a guess of 262hp! (email me your information to [email protected] and we’ll get your bs prize rolling!)

While those numbers are not Earth shattering it should be noted that it was almost exactly 100hp over the very first dyno pulls we made with the car a couple of years ago. When you consider that it is 100hp on a short block that we never touched we think that’s pretty cool. Cam, heads, ignition, headers, intake, and EFI were the upgrades made to the car in general terms. So now that you know what happened on the dyno rollers, let’s tell the rest of the story in photos and captions so we can get into the details, into what I did immediately following the dyno day, and into what’s coming next for Buford T Justice.

Visit SMG Motoring’s FB page here and give it a like. Lots of dyno videos and good stuff!


smg motoring001

Strapped down one more time. Here’s the tidy DynoJet setup at SMG Motoring in Hopedale, Massachusetts.

smg motoring002

Fred Simmons Jr operates the shop and he does everything from full car builds to street and race engine building as well as lots of dyno testing and tuning. EFI calibration and all that stuff is handled here as well.

smg motoring003

While Buford was at SMG Motoring Fred had a customer’s championship winning SCCA American Sedan Mustang in the house for some work with the 4.6L engine to make more power (legally!).

smg motoring004

Fred (like most performance shop guys) does a fair amount of LS based work these days. This engine is slated for a project Nova he’s putting his meathooks to soon.

smg motoring005

It was at this point where I asked Fred if the floor was reinforced for impact from flying pistons and rods. He laughed and I didn’t tell him that it was a serious question.

smg motoring006

This street/strip Mustang was in for some work. A single turbo on a 351 based Ford small block, it looked and sounded the business for sure. Lots of neat stuff at this place!

smg motoring007

See the “sacrificial” tires on the back of this GT500 clone? Fred had just put a line lock in for the customer and the guy wanted him to throw the junk meats on the back and give a good demo of how well it worked. Video of the test session below.




One of the cool things was seeing the Atomic EFI do some WOT learning on the rollers. The only change we made between the first and second pulls was a pump shot change that took that big dip out of the curve. The car has been pretty fun to drive with this engine and you can that it makes all of its “power” in the mid range. We were stopping the pulls at right about 5,000 RPM and it was all done by then anyway. Our bolt on mongrel was making almost 100 more hp than it did when we got it.


Here’s the last two pulls. We decided to call it good enough here because as you can see the two pulls were near mirror images of each other. Yes we could have started messing with timing and stuff but that wasn’t really the point of the day. I really wanted to put a final point on this engine and see where it ended up after the work we had done. It has been a fun car to drive and we were pretty happy with where it ended up. Now…what happened next?

engine pull1

Chad and I have been scheming on an engine build for the car now over the last couple of months and that is the plan we’re putting into action. We’re going to do a budget 383 stroker that reuses many of the parts already employed on this engine…including the block if it checks out. I want to keep this as real world as possible so I am going to take the route that I think lots of us would with a cast crank, some good but not insane rods, good forged pistons, etc. We’ll be reusing the rocker arms, intake, ignition, headers, block, EFI, etc. New rotating assembly and cylinder heads will be part of the program. As we get all of our stuff piled up we’ll go through the specific components and all of that. For now, here’s the fun I had last weekend with my kids pulling the engine out using my seldom seen Brutus 1968 C50 wrecker. — Dyno pulls were made on Thursday and by Friday this lump was ready to levitate out of the engine bay (which is also going to be cleaned up.


Not a scene from a horror movie….unless you are my wife. Driving rains on Saturday stopped my progress but I did get this cool photo when I was moving the truck on Friday night.


The truck’s twin 15-ton winches will pull lots of heavy stuff. This engine didn’t even make the thing sweat.


Hey we caught one! It is an oily, knocking, lump that needs some good old fashioned horsepower TLC and that is what we plan to do with lots of parts and help from Dana Hard and Jon Wall at Custom Automotive Machine in Weymouth, Massachusetts.


I blew the motor apart in my driveway much to the delight of my neighbors and wife. Everyone loves a good show, right? We’ll be back soon with engine specifics and all that good stuff. For now, here’s the video of the engine coming out of the car –


Picture 2


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11 thoughts on “Project Buford T Justice’s Last Stand On The Dyno Video – Who Won The Shirt? How Much Power Did It Make? What’s Happening Next?

  1. Sumgai

    “Fred had just put a line lock in for the customer and the guy wanted him to throw the junk meats on the back and give a good demo of how well it worked. Video of the test session below.” – Aww, you got me excited to see Mustang burnouts and when I clicked play I had to stare at Caprice ass. Haha. Congrats on a dyno day without explosions!

  2. mooseface

    Darn! I thought The Silver Buick and I had the HP estimate dead-to-rights!

    I’m really liking the direction of this project! Keeping it real, evidence that this is a site for driveway motorheads by driveway motorheads.

    1. TheSilverBuick

      Haha, you saw that! =D Wasn’t sure if it was going to get lost in the noise =P A little Price is Right strategy.

      Using Brutus’s cranes for engine removal is the coolest!! I’m jealous.

      1. mooseface

        Yeah! I laughed when I saw it, but didn’t reply because I thought it would get lost in the noise, too!

        Congrats to Seatsafetyswitch!

  3. doug gregory

    Keeping it real Brian. Be sure and capture all the bumps in the road along the way. It would be great if it all goes smoothly, but we know for most of us that just isn’t realistic. I’m hoping you get 400ft/lbs at under 4,000rpm and around 350hp coming in around 5,600rpm. Good, useable numbers for an all-purpose vehicle you can still take the family out for a hot dog or four. 😀

  4. John Brewer

    I’ll bet your blowing the engine apart in the driveway had ulterior motives such as i a pre fab garage for the homestead for a Christmas present!

  5. TheSilverBuick

    I just noticed the video at the bottom! Is that a giant crank to raise the boom or do you have to wind up the lifting motor like a clock? =D

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