Make no mistake, supercharger systems these days can build serious steam with minimal effort. That is downright awesome. Dropping the initial coin may seem a bit cost prohibitive, but it's really not much more than the cost of a decent top-end package. Case in point: You can pick up one of Vortech Engineering's carbureted big-block systems from $3,500 with all the tubing, pulleys, the belt, and the carburetor box enclosure. That's certainly food for thought when considering your choice of bolt-ons.
The system we're working with is a bit different in that we had the opportunity to test Vortech's newest big-block bracketry, which, incidentally, will be available by the time you read this. And much like Vortech's complete big-block systems, we went ahead and utilized its versatile YSi supercharger-it's docile enough for mild-horsepower applications yet has the potential to make in the neighborhood of 1,200 hp with the proper pulley combinations. Think of this as a do-it-yourself system, where you get to pick and choose the exact components to match your needs.
The parameters for this month's test were rather simple. After several inquires asking about the capacity of the ZZ502 short-block, it only made sense to bring back the test mule that Pace Performance had supplied for us earlier in the year. Out of the crate and topped with a set Dart Pro 1 CNC 335cc cylinder heads, we were expecting compression levels to hover in the 8.8:1 range with its 119cc combustion chambers, making it absolutely boost friendly and accommodating our needs quite nicely. Complementing the airstream is a matching Dart single-plane manifold, while a modified Holley 750-cfm HP carb from The Carb Shop fueled the fire.
Our original intent was to toss in pump gas with a conservative tune and shoot for 900 hp for the street. But the more we thought about it, we decided that it doesn't do anyone any good wondering what the true potential is. Instead, we went no-holds-barred, filled the cell with Rockett Brand 118, and let 'er rip. The only limits we ran into were a shortage of pulleys for added boost. Even so, it's hard to argue the results. The power generated was obscene-more than enough oats to shred the hides off the largest balonies available. If you're more of a drag racer, it would even allow you to dig well into the "you're seriously going to need a lot of safety equipment" zone. Nevertheless, we've opened the doors to allow for some good ol' bench racing, so if you're looking for big power and already have a solid foundation, this is a potent combination that can be had at a real-world car guy price.
What We Did
Eclipsed the 1,000hp marker with a Pace Performance ZZ502 short-block and a Vortech YSi huffer
Making this level of power has never been easier!
1.Handling the mixer was an Extreme Velocity hat with a Holley 750-cfm HP carburetor modified by The Carb Shop for forced-induction duties.
2. Cylinder heads of choice were Dart's CNC 335 heads featuring 119cc combustion chambers, 2.300/1.880-inch intake/exhaust valves, with spring pressures at 270/790 pounds seat/open.
3. We used an 80-tooth cog for the crank and swapped between the 32- and 34-tooth cog pulley on the supercharger.
4. To expel the fumes, we used a pair of 2-inch Hooker Super Comp heads with 18-inch collectors.
5. The trick big-block bracket assembly is listed under PN 4GA111-031 and priced at $395.95, but you'll need to purchase a tensioner separately in your choice of cog or serpentine setup.
6. The short-block is an as-delivered GMPP Gen VI ZZ502 from Pace Performance.
Here's the first look at Vortech's latest mounting system. Each kit comes with the lower mount that attaches to the driver-side cylinder head, which is topped off with a ridged, 1/2-inch-thick CNC-cut mounting plate. What's especially nice about this bracket assembly is that you're not limited to one specific blower. Should the time come to up your game, this bracket will allow you to grow into a larger range of superchargers, including the potent 1,600hp-rated V-4 series Z-trim head unit.
Vortech Engineering's Ricky Best helped put the finishing touches on our test mule. While mounting the system is pretty straightforward and easy, the bulk of the work will come from fabricating the inlet tube, the piping that connects the supercharger to the carburetor. And we have to credit Vortech's Bob Endress for welding this piece together at the eleventh hour-seriously, he eye-balled the measurements the day before and busted out the welder, nailing the correct dimensions on the first try. For the inexperienced (like us), expect to have someone fabricate the inlet tube.
If your motor is already residing in the engine bay, you can use the supplied tool to tap into the pan for the superchargers return line. For our configuration, Endress went ahead and removed the factory oil pan and welded a bung onto the side of the pan.
By The Numbers
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