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Supercharged LSX Engine Build - A New Level

A ProCharged Z06 pushes output to the extreme

Jay Heath Apr 25, 2011
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With factory performance levels continuing to chart an upward trajectory into the troposphere, it's increasingly difficult to build a speed-modded Corvette capable of reliably slackening jaws at the weekly club night or cruise-in. But while opinions may vary slightly as to what constitutes the "new normal" among the horsepower elite, a figure of 1,000 ponies seldom fails to elicit the desired outbreak of hushed awe and wholesale gawping.

Vemp 1106 01 Supercharged LSX Engine 2/23

Dave Cell took a significant step toward dyno-sheet superstardom early last year when he installed one of ProCharger's new P-1SC blower kits on his Atomic Orange '09 Z06, a process we covered in detail in our July '10 issue ("Air to the Throne"). Thus fortified, the car cooked up a rousing 583 horses and 512 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels, handily outpointing its uplevel sibling, the ZR1, in both measures.

For most Corvette enthusiasts, that would have been a logical stopping point, but Cell—a former GM powertrain engineer—soon found himself dreaming up ever more outrageous forced-induction engine combinations for his daily driven Z. When his febrile imaginings finally coalesced around a supercharged, 1,000hp mill capable of withstanding the rigors of top-speed, standing-mile, and open-road racing, Cell set about compiling a list of hardware upgrades needed to make that dream a reality.

The first piece to come in for scrutiny was the blower itself. While the P-1SC head unit already installed on the car was ideally suited to its intended mission—namely, inflating the output of street/strip cars equipped with stock or lightly modified engines—it was never intended to support the Can-Am–quality power levels Cell hoped to achieve with his new combo. ProCharger's Jeff Lacina recommended a step up to the company's F-1A supercharger, a larger, race-oriented unit that also happened to be compatible with Cell's existing bracketry. An eight-rib drive—to keep the belts wrapped tightly at high rpm—completed the simple-but-effective blower upgrade.

Next up was the engine itself. For all its putative "race-inspired engineering," the LS7—with its frangible rod configuration and high-compression cast pistons—makes a singularly poor forced-induction motor when high boost levels are required. Since Cell's recipe called for up to 16 psi of puff from the new ProCharger setup, a replacement mill was clearly in order.

Vemp 1106 02 Supercharged LSX Engine 3/23

After weighing his options, Cell settled on an iron LSX cylinder block from GM Performance Parts to undergird his new combination. Topped with ported GMPP LSX-LS7 heads and assembled by Fast Forward Racing Engines in Zephyrhills, Florida, the bombproof LSX casing should prove more than capable of withstanding the sustained full-throttle torture sessions to which Cell is sure to subject it.

There were, of course, innumerable other upgrades and fortifications required to support the new combo, most of which we've attempted to address in the accompanying photos and buildsheet. As you'll see, wringing 1,000 hp out of a reliable, street-worthy package requires a patient, holistic approach to engineering that is quite at odds with the zeitgeist of instant gratification promoted in many Internet forums and, yes, magazine articles. No, the new normal doesn't yield itself readily to quick fixes, but for those willing to follow a meticulously conceived build plan like the one outlined here, the payoff should prove well worth the wait.

ProCharged LSX Z06 Buildsheet

Second-generation LSX block; bored to 4.125-in, decked, and line-honed
Callies Dragonslayer crank; 4-in stroke, LS7 configuration
Oliver Speedway 6.125-in rods
Diamond custom forged dished pistons, 9.8:1 final compression
Diamond tool-steel piston pins
Steel-top ring set
Calico coated main and rod bearings
ARP main studs
ARP "6-bolt" head studs
GM LSX 6-bolt steel head gaskets, 0.041-in
Stock LS7 oiling system
ATI eight-rib Super Damper, 7.53-in
GM LSX-LS7 cylinder heads
Stage II porting by Richard Reyman/West Coast Cylinder Heads
Combustion chambers opened up to 73 cc's to unshroud valves
Del West titanium intake valves, stock size
REV stainless exhaust valves, stock size
PRC EHT valvesprings
Comp Cams custom grind (0.630-in lift, 232/256-deg duration, 114-deg LSA, 110 ICL)
Morel link-bar lifters, 0.750-in rollers
Trend custom 3/8-in pushrods, 0.080-in wall
Cloyes Extreme HexAdjust timing set
Stock LS7 rockers, converted to bushed bearings by CHE
LS7 intake manifold, ported by Pete Incaudo/VMax Motorsports
LS7 throttle body, ported by Pete Incaudo/VMax Motorsports
Katech valve covers and coil mounts
MSD ignition wires
CoolTech plug-wire shields
Stock coils
NGK BR7EF plugs
All engine work by Joe Irwin/Fast Forward Racing Engines

ProCharger F-1A with eight-rib drive
ProCharger intercooler from standard Z06 kit
ProCharger racing blow-off valve with custom mount by Greg Lovell/AntiVenom
"Big Mouth" air filter and ducting from Taylor Sims/Dallas Performance
Intake-manifold inlet tube from Taylor Sims/Dallas Performance
4.75-in pulley for "street" tune, 3.7-in pulley for "race" tune

ProCharged LSX Z06 Buildsheet (Continued)

American Racing 1 7/8-in headers, ceramic-coated and modified for wideband/thermocouple installations
American Racing high-flow cats and X-crossover pipe
Stock LS7 exhaust with "muffler mod" by Greg Lovell/AntiVenom
Mild 2 Wild exhaust switch

Modified Dallas Performance "1,800hp" fuel system with custom hard lines by Greg Lovell/AntiVenom
Fuelab 515 boost-referenced fuel-pressure regulator
Siemens 80-lb/hr fuel injectors
Dallas Performance fuel rails
AlkyControl methanol-injection kit with custom drain line and valve by Greg Lovell/AntiVenom
Dallas Performance frame mount for methanol pump
Dual Dallas Performance stainless steel methanol-injection nozzles

RPS BC3 billet triple-disc carbon clutch, steel flywheel
RPS slave cylinder
Clutch-bleeder kit
QuickTime SFI-approved bellhousing
The Driveshaft Shop "1,000hp" 3.5-in custom heavy-duty aluminum driveshaft
The Driveshaft Shop 12mm polyurethane driveshaft couplers
Stock Z06 transmission/rearend
MGW shifter
The Driveshaft Shop "1,000hp" Level 5 axles
East Coast Supercharging halfshaft safety loops

Stock Z06 brakes with Carbotech 1521 one-piece pads
Quantum Motorsports spindle ducts and cooling kit
Doug Rippie Motorsports stainless steel lines
Motul 660 fluid
Pfadt Sport Shocks
Additional Instrumentation
AEM wideband, connected to an HPTuners MPVI for datalogging and tuning
SPA Technique dual fuel-pressure/boost gauge
SPA Technique dual EGT gauge
Autometer A-pillar gauge mount
Mounting and custom reset buttons by Greg Lovell/AntiVenom

Custom catch can by Taylor Sims/Dallas Performance
Catch can/PVC plumbing by Greg Lovell/AntiVenom
DeWitts A05A aluminum radiator, modified by Taylor Sims/Dallas Performance for oil-cooler-line clearance
Liberal use of CoolTech heat insulation products where advisable


The Driveshaft Shop
Salisbury, NC 28147
Seffner, FL 33584
American Racing Headers
Amityville, NY 11701
Accessbile Technologies Inc. (ProCharger)
Lenexa, KS 66215



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