One look at the front end of Phillip Stallings' Camaro tells you all you need to know about why he swapped it to LS1 power. When Phillip wanted to go fast, he knew the old motor in his '94 Camaro just wouldn't cut it and, well, LSX power certainly would. It's obvious, to even the most diehard fourth-gen fan that a '94 Camaro, purchased for a high school graduate with "too many speeding tickets," wouldn't be ideal for drag racing. The engine didn't make much power, it certainly didn't look cool, and it had a ton of "known issues" that just wouldn't cut it in the late-model racing world. Plus, they don't even have a good series for those engines. We are, of course, talking about the stock six-cylinder that came in Phillip's '94 Camaro. LT1 fans, you can put down the pitchforks now…
We kid, but the story of Phillip Stallings' killer '94 did in fact start with a less than desirable engine. "I got the car for graduation of high school in 1994. Because of [the] speeding tickets I had, my parents got me a V-6 car. Loved the car but hated the motor. So I drove the car through college and working for a few years. Finally I decided to put an LS1 in it." And so, Phillip did just that, dropping not only an LS1 but also a supercharger into the engine bay of his Camaro—an engine swap that lasted, well, not too long. "It lasted five pulls on the dyno. So then the build started."
Like always, what was "supposed to be a mild street car with no class racing in mind," quickly turned into a project worthy of GMHTP glory. Phillip's first new purchase was an LSX block from Chevrolet Performance, which he dropped off with Chuck Kebler in Concord, North Carolina to machine and assemble. With 4-inch bores, Phillip set out to build a 427, and Chuck dropped a set of Diamond pistons, Callies Compstar connecting rods, and a Callies 4.125-inch stroke crankshaft in the block to get Phillip the cubic-inches he needed with the strength he didn't yet know he was going to need. "Then I found a back sheet metal intake for a good price," which meant Phillip now needed a set of square port Gen-IV cylinder heads, which he sourced from Mast Motorsports. The large bore Black Label LS3 heads topped the 9.0:1 compression LSX and were paired with a custom 263/269 duration, .612/.612 inch lift hydraulic roller camshaft for maximum performance. With everything buttoned up, Phillip dropped the 427 back in his Camaro, bolted up the old supercharger and went back to the dyno. "I couldn't keep the belt on it, and I wasn't going to spend the money on a cog kit," he said, so he spent the money on a turbocharger instead.
Using a set of stock GM truck manifolds and 2.5-inch stainless steel tubing, Phillip began his turbo build and quickly ordered an 82mm billet wheel turbocharger from Reed Patridge at Work Turbochargers to be the center of the show. The supporting cast features a Precision Turbo 66mm wastegate to control boost, a ProCharger Race blow off valve, and a massive—and we do mean massive—front mount intercooler setup to keep charge temperatures under control. On 18 pounds of boost, Phillips' 427 was sure to make some power, which meant he also had to fortify the rest of his Fourth-gen.
Backing the new motor is a TH400 transmission, which features a tight Ultimate Converter 2800-rpm stall converter, a Hughes shift kit, and a B&M transmission cooler to keep the fluid temperatures in check. Further back, Phillip had Eric Yost of Customs by Biggun install a 9-inch rear, which was stuffed with turbo friendly 3.25 gears, Moser 33-spline axles, and a spool for ultimate straight-line performance. Interestingly, Phillip and Biggun chose to install the 9-inch on a set of ladder bars, which utilize a set of single adjustable coilover shocks to control the rear end. The ladder bars allowed Phillip to ditch the torque arm, Panhard bar, and rear sway bar, which was a nice weight saving bonus. Up front, the Camaro rides on a set of QA1 coilovers, which attach to a PA tubular k-member and a set of BMR tubular upper and lower control arms.
Remember when this was just supposed to be a mild street car?! "Once it was all back together I took it to Heintz Racing for a tune. After several late nights, we ended up with 927-rwhp on 19 pounds of boost. On pump gas, with meth." 927 to the tire through a TH400, 9-inch, and 275 Mickey Thompson drag radials? Yeah, we can dig that. And the track times back it up, running as fast as 9.36 at 154mph in the quarter, and 5.59 at 127mph in the 1/8th mile with 1.29-second sixty-foot times. Seems that ladder bar suspension works! Of course, Phillip already wants more telling us, "I cannot wait to put some good gas in it and turn the boost up a little more, but for now "I am having a blast with the car. Future plans are to finish the cage so I can run it in the 8's… Oh yea, a chute also." So much for a safe street car for a guy with too many speeding tickets!
Car: 1994 Camaro
Owner: Phillip Stallings
Block: Chevrolet Performance LSX, 427cid
Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
Heads: Mast Motorsports Black Label LS3, 2.200-inch intake, 1.600-inch exhaust valves
Cam: Custom hydraulic roller, 263/269 duration at .050, .612/.612 inch lift, 114 LSA
Rocker Arms: T&D shaft mount, 1.7-ratio
Pistons: Diamond, forged
Rings: Total Seal
Crankshaft: Callies, forged
Rods: Callies, forged
Throttle Body: Nick Williams, 96mm
Fuel Injectors: 80 lb/hr
Fuel Pump: Aeromotive Eliminator, in-line
Ignition: Stock, coil-near-plug
Engine Management: Stock, tuned by Heintz Racing in Moorseville, NC
Exhaust System: Truck manifolds, 2.5-inch hotside, 5-inch downpipe, no muffler
Turbocharger: Work Turbocharger, 82mm billet wheel
Blow Off Valve: ProCharger Race
Wastegate: Precision Turbo, 66mm
Converter: 2800-stall, built by Ultimate Converter Concepts
Driveshaft: 3.5-inch, steel
Front Suspension: PA Racing K-member, BMR upper and lower control arms, QA1 coilovers, removed front swaybar
Rear Suspension: Custom by Bigguns ladder bars, Strange coilovers, removed swaybar, Panhard bar, lower control arms
Rear End: 9-inch, 3.25:1 gear, Moser 33-spline axles, spool
Brakes: Wilwood drag, front and rear
Wheels: Billet Specialties, 15x4 front, 15x10 rear
Front Tires: Mickey Thompson Sportsman, 26/7.5-15
Rear Tires: Mickey Thompson Drag Radial Pro, 275/50/15
Best 60: 1.29