Six Proven Engine Combos

This Sexter of Tire Shredders Puts the "Power"in Powerplant

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Building the ultimate beast--it's part of the beauty of our hobby. But let a hundred gearheads' minds contemplate the ultimate engine combination, and you'll end up with several hundred--if not more--recipes for making big power. The possibilities are nearly endless. Small-block, big-block, or new-school Gen III? Factory block or slick aftermarket casting? Lightweight aluminum or stout steel? Blown, squeezed, stroked, or naturally aspirated? Run a carb or go with fuel injection? And don't get us started on the myriad of choices when it comes to cranks, rods, pistons, cams, valvetrain, and all the other necessary internal mechanisms. So many choices, so many ways to pound the pavement into submission--and we love 'em all.

With that in mind, the CHP staff strained their brains to come up with a variety of proven performers--a small but diverse sampling of hi-po powerplant possibilities. They all have eight cylinders--beyond that, the differences are legion, as we've featured motors based on the Gen III mill, hot GM big-blocks, a pair founded on exotic steel and aluminum castings by Dart and World Products, and even a rowdy street beast created from a red-headed stepchild 305. We won't tell you that these combos are cheap--proven performers rarely are. We will tell you, however, that these recipes deliver the goods, and many of you will find perfect occupant for your Chevy's engine bay right here. And for those of you who don't...we bet our offerings will stimulate the ol' gray matter to come up with your own proven combos. Read on, then let the bench racing begin.

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LS1 - 483 hp At The Wheels!
Although the LS1 was pretty much an unknown quantity at its debut in 1997, it's taken a few years for the aftermarket to respond with readily available performance components. Is it because most of the earlier factory warranties are already beginning to expire? Possibly. But we're thinking it's that the LS1s are becoming more affordable the older they get. Nevertheless, the LS1 is nowhere near its peak demand, especially when you consider the number of aftermarket performance components that are currently readily available over-the-counter. Whether you opt for a simple electronic chip or a complete engine package, these stout, new small-blocks will respond to most any modifications and flat-out kick ass!

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The combination revealed here belongs to Tony Mamo, the leading cylinder head designer at Airflow Research. Utilizing AFR CNC 205 cylinder heads, an AFR valvetrain, and a few select parts, he's turned his '00 C5 Corvette into a street brawler that thumps nearly 500 horsepower at the wheels! For you quarter-mile hounds, that equates to low 11s at 125 mph. Just for insurance, a Nitrous Express 125-horsepower shot quickly improves those numbers to 605 hp and 636 lb-ft. Best of all, with Tony's choice of camshaft, this C5 still features exceptional idle quality, and he drives it everywhere!

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ProCharger Blown Big-Block
Centrifugal superchargers are a hot commodity and are wildly popular for a number of reasons. They are relatively easy to install, affordable, and easily transform a mundane street engine into a stout powerplant with minimal effort. The following combination isn't magical by any means, but on the other end of the spectrum, shows just how well a GM Performance Parts 502 crate engine can perform when matched with a few carefully selected components and topped off with a monster ATI ProCharger F-2 supercharger. Though this combo is on the aggressive side, with a very elaborate air-to-water intercooler system, it's good to point out that the potential to achieve power levels of this magnitude is real and it doesn't have to break the bank.

Type: GMPP ZZ 502
Block: Chevrolet cast-iron, four-bolt main bearing caps
Oiling: Melling high volume
Crankshaft: Forged steel
Connecting Rods: Cat Power steel H-beam
Pistons: Wiseco forged
Cylinder Heads: GMPP aluminum (PN 12363408)
Camshaft: Comp Cams 0.715/0.715-inch lift, 272/275 duration at 0.050, 114 LSA
Compression: 7.5:1
Valvetrain: Jesel shaft rockers, Comp Cams pushrods
Induction: Ported Offenhauser dual four-barrel, 450-cfm Holley carburetors
Ignition: MSD Programmable Digital 7, MSD coil and wires
Power Adder: 1,800 hp air-to-aater race intercooler, 28-psi positive manifold pressure
Exhaust: Hedman Husler 2.25-inch primary headers, 4-inch piping, Flowmaster mufflers
Output: 1,196 rwhp on Dynojet Chassis Dyno (1,495 estimate at the flywheel
14801 W. 114th Terr., Dept. CHP
Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 338-2886
10490 Ilex Ave., Dept. CHP(818) 890-0616
GM PERFORMANCE PARTS(800) 577-6888 (nearest dealer)

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World Products Aluminum 427 Small-Block Crate Motor
If you want to make big horsepower, but love small-blocks, this all-aluminum 427 from World Products may be just what you need. The lightweight casting is World's new "Motown Lite" block made of 357-T6, and it drops the engine's total weight to a wispy 435 pounds (GM iron assemblies are typically 585). Output is upwards of 550 hp. The assembly is backed by a 2/24,000-mile warranty.With this much power off the throttle, you'll need a hefty rear axle housing, a slick working suspension, and a strong transmission. For a 3,400-pound vehicle we'd recommend a rear axle ratio in the range of 3.73:1 to 4.10:1. Plan on running a big exhaust system (2 1/2- to 3-inch) and headers with 1 3/4-inch primary tubes. To learn more on the 427ci all-aluminum spook, call (631) 981-1918 or write to World Products, 51 Trade Zone Ct., Dept. CHP, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779. Info is also available online at:

Type:World Products 427
Block: Motown Lite (357-T6 aluminum)
Crankshaft: 4340 Eagle forged steel
Connecting Rods: Eagle 4340 forged steel H-beams with L19 connecting rod bolts
Pistons: Mahle forged
Cylinder Heads: 23-degree Motown Lite cylinder heads with 220cc intake runners, 2.08/1.600 valves
Camshaft: Crane Cams hydraulic flat tappet, 0.516/0.525 lift, 244/252 at 0.050-inch, 112 LSA
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Valvetrain: Scorpion Roller rocker 1.6:1 ratio, double roller timing chain
Induction: Motown single-plane intake with 870-cfm Holley 4150 four-barrel
Ignition: HEI Mallory
Oil Pan: Milodon six-quart, Mellings oil pump ProRace balancer 8-inch
Output: 535 horsepower
Warranty: 2/24,000-mile
Price: $10,995

SourcesWorld Products
51 Trade Zone Ct., Dept. CHP
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
(631) 981-1918


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