In a world where bigger is better, engines with less than 400 inches are sometimes overshadowed. But in today's world of techno performance, a big dose of nitrous to a smaller motor can garner huge results. To learn just howmuch power we could gain with a medium-sized powerplant, we took a Dart block that was punched out and finish-honed at Smith Performance and Machine and packed it full of high-quality components including a completely balanced Lunati 377ci stroker kit, Brodix Track 1 M2 CNC heads, a Lunati solid-roller camshaft, a Brodix intake, and a Holley 950-cfm Ultra HP carburetor.
With this setup, the 377 easily spun to 7,500 rpm, producing 485 lb-ft at 5,800 rpm, but more importantly we achieved a neck-snapping 597 horses at 7,000 rpm. Of course we couldn't leave well enough alone and subjected the motor to a bit of juice. Utilizing a complete Nitrous Oxide Systems Big Shot kit, we installed the 175-horse jets to demonstrate how nitrous can affect the power curve. As expected, the torque jumped immediately to a massive 753 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm and 830 hp at 7,200 rpm. Of course, this amount of torque is far more than most small tires can glue to the pavement. So in order to help control the ludicrous amount of power, we took it a step further by adding a progressive controller to the mix. This allows the end user to ramp up the nitrous at a slower rate. While these controllers have been proven, it's important to perform periodic maintenance on the solenoids to prevent failure--and nobody wants that. Read on to see how to add juice the right way.