When people achieve power, they often want more. For extreme examples, think of history's many tyrants. For less extreme examples, think about hot rodders. While it's true that we hot rodders are slightly less deviant that the Napoleons of the world, we are fairly consumed with increasing our power-horsepower that is.
A little power under the hood leads to ambitions of more, much more. (Insert evil laugh here.) After the first grab and taste for horsepower, there's no choice but to become a local tyrant at the dragstrip or on the street.
For those who lust for domination, Gale Banks Engineering has taken the small-block Chevy and given it more power than any reasonable person could want. Perfect! When it comes to musclecars, are any of us horsepower junkies truly reasonable? Banks' twin turbo-powered small-block Chevys have the capability of producing up to 1,100 horses at the flywheel.
Super Chevy magazine hasn't run many turbo builds, so let's take a kindergartner's view of what a turbo system is and what it does. We all know that the more fuel and air that enters the cylinder and gets burned, the more power an engine is capable of producing. Unlike a supercharger, which derives its energy from a series of pulleys that are directly connected to the engine's crankshaft, turbos use exhaust gasses to spin their turbines. Being connected to the engine's crank means there's an amount of parasitic energy taken from the engine to power the supercharger. Why a twin turbo? Banks Engineering uses two moderate sized turbos for the express purpose of creating more boost pressure from the engine's exhaust pressure, eliminating much of the turbo lag ... and it just looks darn cool, too.
Banks Engineering has several turnkey twin turbo engines that it builds, ranging from 700 hp to 1,100 hp. We asked Banks engine builder Mauricio Lindoro what the difference was between the different turbo-powered engines and the horsepower numbers. Mauricio informed us all the engines are built to the same exacting standards; the difference lies in the valvetrain selection, i.e., cam profile, lifters, springs, etc. The rest is intercooled vs. non-intercooled, fuel octane ratings and the amount of boost that's stuffed into the engine.
Let's not fool ourselves. We all know that creating serious horsepower requires serious money. One of these Banks Engineering 6.0L (374 ci) twin turbo turnkey engines runs just shy of $40,000. That may be out of reach for a majority of us (editors included), but it still makes for amazing eye candy to see a small-block push the 1,000hp mark. Even tyrants have an eye for beauty. (Kim Jong Il's hairdo and wardrobe notwithstanding.)
Each build starts with a Dart 4-bolt main iron block. And from there the Dart block is further bored and machined to the tolerances set by the engine builders blueprint. For this application, the bore is 4.125-in. and the stroke 3.50-in.
After machining and cleaning, the Dart block is painted black or red and ready for assembly.
The freeze plugs are not just pressed in and left there. Each plug is also riveted once it's in place.
As good as the Scat crankshaft is, the cranks are also machined and mic'd according to the build sheet.
The oil galleys on the crank are also chamfered and de-burred according to spec. This enhances oil flow as it returns to the pan.
The main caps are measured and honed checking for the right size between the crank journal and block.