Katech Performance LS Engine - 21st Century Cross-Ram

A Kinsler-Fed Katech LS Delivers 700 Horses With Classic Style

Barry Kluczyk Sep 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)

When you think of the words "Kinsler fuel injection," your mind probably recalls the mechanical injection setups of the 1960s and '70s--those ubiquitous isolated-runner systems with ram tubes for each cylinder. They were of the constant-flow variety and offered more-precise fuel metering and easier adjustability when compared with carburetors of the same era.

Corvette racers like John Greenwood popularized mechanical injection in road racing, where low-profile, cross-ram-type injection systems aided aerodynamics by allowing lower hood profiles. And while the increasing prevalence of big-bore throttle bodies mounted on composite intake manifolds may make the old-school FI setups seem archaic, Kinsler has remained at the forefront of technology with electronic injection systems for even the newest LS engines.

Combining the vintage cross-ram look with a modern LS foundation would make a great combination for a 21st-century, pro-touring-style midyear Vette. At least, that was Tom Coleman's thought when he suggested it to customer Joe Henderson. Coleman is the proprietor of Ashe-ville, North Carolina's The Winning Collection, a top-notch restoration facility with deep racing roots. Henderson is an Ashville-based sports-car enthusiast with Ferraris and Porsches in his stable. He brought a '67 Corvette roadster to The Winning Collection, asking for the classic body to be stretched over a more contemporary drivetrain.

"Joe wanted the car to start, run, and drive like any modern car, but do so with that classic Corvette style," says Coleman. "A carbureted big-block might have been the easy way to go, but electronic fuel injection accommodates the varying air that comes with driving in the mountains around Asheville."

Having used Katech Performance engines on other projects, Coleman turned to the Michigan-based company for the engine-building chores on Henderson's project. And such a unique engine combination wouldn't rely on just any off-the-rack LS cylinder block, either. Rather, Katech started with one of its own billet-aluminum units.

You read that correctly. Katech offers its own LS block milled out of a chunk--a big chunk--of aluminum. That doesn't make it the most economical piece on the market, but the Katech block was designed to meet the strength and durability requirements of high-horsepower engines. More importantly, it enables a larger displacement than any other production-based aluminum LS block: 500 cubic inches.

"It's got big-block displacement and power, but it weighs more than 100 pounds less than an iron cylinder block," says Coleman.

Henderson's engine starts with a 500-inch short-block, is filled with Katech's basic Street Attack 500 components--an all-forged rotating assembly, custom camshaft, and deep-breathing LS7 cylinder heads--and, to cap it all off, draws air through that trick-looking Kinsler injection system.

"The Kinsler was my idea," says Coleman. "It works great, and it looks even better for a car of this caliber."

And the engine's dyno results are as impressive as the engine is eye-popping: 701 horses and 677 lb-ft of torque.

"It makes great power that's usable in all driving conditions," says Katech's Jason Harding. "It was the first 500-inch engine we built with the Kinsler system, and we were very pleased with how well it worked with our basic Street Attack 500 engine components."

Keep in mind that this engine was designed for the street, too, so the roller camshaft balances performance with good idle quality. An 11.1:1 compression ratio means fill-ups require strict adherence to premium gas, but it's definitely a pump-gas engine.

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