Performance Engine Books

The Engine High Performance Library

The Engine High Performance Library


Engine High Performance Library
Engine High Performance Library

The Engine High Performance Library is a must for anyone that wants to get into building powerful long lasting engines. Over the years I have read many great books on engines and how they make power and how to increase the power output and rpm range.

Often you get a book that is full of what I like to call fluff. Where the writer talks about the theory of things but never actually any meat and potatoes of making modifications. It is common knowledge that many engine can be modified without much or any extra parts but these types of modifications do not always produce big results.

Most of the books on engines either focus on one type of engine or another. When in fact its easy to calculate the correct variables needed for any Otto cycle engine. Its more important for us engine tinkers to find the best way to modify all engines. It is true the knowledge of the type of engine you are using is needed but this knowledge is not secret nor is it hard ot come by.

Using the net as a resource not a solution

A quick internet search for parts is usually the best way to determine what an engine can do and can’t do. If your looking to build a street engine and your math shows that the rpm you want to reach requires a larger valve than can be purchased you can determine that the larger valve upgrade is probably not viable. This will allow you to look in a direction that can be reached with popular after market parts.

Now along with any help math and performance books can provide. You will always find benefits in the OEM Shop Manual for your car. This can provide basic procedures, torque specs and wiring information.

The list of books below i have read them all and they contain good information and not a total waste of the readers time or money. I will start off with a few of my favorites and add more as I dig them out and find the information on each of them. Below is a list of the classics that all hot rod libraries need to be complete. More to come….


Engine High Performance Library


Author: David Vizard

1.) David Vizard’s How to Build Max Performance Chevy Small Blocks on a Budget (Performance How-To)

2.) David Vizard’s Chevy Big-Blocks: How to Build Max Performance on a Budget

3.) David Vizard’s How to Port & Flow Test Cylinder Heads

4.) David Vizard’s How to Build Horsepower

5.) How to Build and Modify Chevrolet Small-Block V-8 Camshafts and Valves

6.) Performance With Economy

7.) How to Build & Modify Chevrolet Small-Block V-8 Pistons, Rods & Crankshafts


Author: A. Graham Bell

1.) Two-Stroke Performance Tuning

2.) Four-Stroke Performance Tuning: Fourth edition 


Other Authors:

1.) Performance Automotive Engine Math

2.) Auto Math Handbook HP1554: Easy Calculations for Engine Builders, Auto Engineers, Racers, Students, and Performance Enthusiasts 

3.) Custom Auto Interiors

4.) How to Build Max-Performance Chevy LT1/LT4 Engines

5.) How to Rebuild Big-Block Chevy Engines, 1991-2000 Gen V & Gen

6.) Petersen’s Basic Cams, Valves and Exhaust Systems


Look everywhere you can for good Engine High Performance Library

Also dont be afraid to look up some text books and other reading on the subject. Man y of them can be found online from several universities and online libraries.

So many people have ask which book is best. Well in truth the book that is the most well written and easily understood by the reader is best. I love Automotive engines and performance for some time and love to read a great book about the subject. The master of all if you go by the internet is David Vizard. His books are amazing. They speak from a real world perspective and help you design an engine that will do what you want it to. Many others do not have such a clean and clear focus to there writing.

The information is better than ever

Much of the books from my generation are based on wider range of engineering. Not on a single focus toward a particular engine or manufacturer. The real king of engine math that most of us will get a chance to read and understand will be A. Graham Bell. His books the Theory and Practice series are the basic text book of performance. He has one for Four Stroke and Two Stroke both considered by many to be standards in the field. Vizard is more focused not a wide reaching scope of these books. They are laid out and in the depth of the knowledge presented makes for some great information.

As you can see by my list of personal books I have many of both author and recommend them both to anyone looking for knowledge of performance to start with these books. For someone looking to build a single chevy engine and don’t wish to trust the internet for advice I recommend they buy David Vizard’s books are amazing for the knowledge they deliver in a short easy to read package. Anyone reading this book even if they have worked with engines for some time will find a lot of good information.


Now some Less than High Performance Books

Now we have to talk about many of the books that we come across on the market. They seem to have good covers and promise of whats inside. When reading the book your knowledge has not increased.

I will not give any examples of these types of books as that would just promote them even more. Now with the advent of book reading devices like the Kindle they have resurfaced and contain even less useful information. In the past these type of books would contain a small amount of useful information. Now with the electronic books being so easy to produce the books seem to be even less useful.