Life is full of surprises. Take our 2010 Camaro SS project car, for example. We had steadily been upping its power output and were pretty happy with its recent 550-rwhp dyno number. To be honest, we didn't really plan on increasing that number at the time, but you know how fate can be. Turned out that our stock GM fuel system preferred a horsepower number somewhere far under where we were at, and in defiance decided to quit on us at the top of a run. The boost was up, the fuel pressure was down, and the rest was history. The Camaro still ran, but we could tell it was hurt, so we cruised it over to Tim Lee at Don Lee Auto in Rancho Cucamonga, California, where we confirmed that two cylinders were nearly dead. Bummer.
So there we were, knowing the LS3 would have to vacate the car and get some mechanical TLC. But hey, this is America where we make lemonade out of lemons, so we decided if we had to pull the engine apart we would go ahead and build it up a bit. After all, it's about the same amount of work, and who can say "no" to more power? Not us, obviously.
The plan became: drop the engine, diagnose the problem, and then rebuild the LS3 as a 416 stroker. It's an exercise that is ridiculously easy, since larger displacement is only a hone and a mild stroker crank away. Now, we didn't want to get too carried away, so we swore we would leave the GM heads alone. Sure, we tossed in a bigger cam, which required stouter springs, but overall, nothing exotic and certainly within the capabilities of anyone familiar with rebuilding engines.
As for the stock fuel system that decided to let us down? Well, it turned out our friends over at ADM Performance had a solution already in place for that dilemma. Look for that install in the next issue but, for now let's see how much more power we can coax from our blown LS3.