Shooting for 1000 hp, page 1, the guts

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The last few trips to the strip with the Vortech s-trim resulted in very consistent 10-flat, 139 mph time slips.  This is really cruisin', but it was obvious that the s-trim was up against the wall, CFM-wise.  I was spinning it as hard as I dared (2.75/7.00 pulleys), and an s-trim in a 3750 lb, 3.42-geared pig is not supposed to go even that fast.  Since the car was already back on its favorite jack stand perch due to another blown head gasket, why not crank the heat up one more notch?  I knew that Brian "Madman" Jeffery could rework my blower brackets to accept the ys-trim, and could also supply a cog drive system, so that became The Plan to Reach 1 kilohorsepower.

Out came the motor for yet another trip to my favorite engine dude, Mike Blackstone.  I sent the blower brackets to the Madman, and also ordered the cog drive setup and an ATI damper.  This SFI-approved damper brings me another step closer to being NHRA legal.  The Vortech ys-trim and mondo bypass came from preferred vendor and all 'round good guy Steve Devillier at PerformanceSS.

Mike thought that a few changes to the original 383 build-up were necessary for the engine to withstand the stress of 1000hp.  The Eagle rods have been replaced by Lunati Pro Mods, which are almost too cool looking to hide.  The old d-cup JE pistons have become full bathtub, coated, 0.040 oversize JEs (so the motor is now a 385).  Because I manage to blow head gaskets with just ~11 psi of boost (more than once), and the ys-trim should make upwards of 20, we decided to go with copper head gaskets.  The block is cut for stainless steel o-rings and mating receiver grooves have been cut in the heads.  Mike has warned me that blowing head gaskets is like blowing a fuse, and that the copper gaskets won't blow.  Leaning out this motor will likely destroy a lot of stuff.

piston-rod.jpg (32278 bytes)    bigend.jpg (36855 bytes)    o-rings2.jpg (46292 bytes)

Mike has massaged the (original!) LT1 heads several times now.  What's new this go-round is a set of new seats allowing 2.05" intake and 1.60" exhaust valves to be used without shrouding the throat area.  And the valves are gorgeous!  Way too nice to be abused the way I'm gonna abuse them :-).  It doesn't show in the pic, but the face of the intake is as mirror-polished as the exhaust.  Mike knows that a blower motor needs plenty of exhaust flow, so he took another whack at the exhaust ports.  I don't have the full set of flow numbers, but the exhaust flows 199 @ .400, 220 @ .600, and 231 @ .700.

chamber.jpg (27087 bytes)        valves.jpg (23629 bytes)

With Mike tending to the delicate work, I decided to attack the intake manifold with a die grinder.  It turned out OK, except for the little spot of daylight visible in the middle pic.  TIG-meister Craig Hill of Top of the Hill Race Cars plugged the hole by building up material as shown below right.  Per Mike's guidance, I tried to create runners with a rectangular cross section that is largest at the plenum, smoothly tapering down to smallest at the port opening.  Turns out you can't achieve that without adding more material to the port roof than Craig did to fix my oops.  Craig thought all the heat from a more extensive build-up would probably warp the intake pretty bad, so I'll have to rely on boost to overcome a sub-optimal intake.

manifoldport.jpg (30508 bytes)    oops.jpg (17107 bytes)    CHweld.jpg (29753 bytes)

Since the ys-trim is going to get a big air/air intercooler eventually, a BMR engine cradle seemed like a good way to buy some added room for all the necessary piping.  The cradle is a work of art, just like everything I've gotten from BMR.  BMR's Brett Rockey was concerned that my standard torque arm might not be up to 1000hp transbrake launches, so I got one of his XtremeDuty torque arms to compliment the Xtreme LCAs I installed awhile back. BEEEEEFcake!  Very robust.  Brett's customer service is also very robust - when I mentioned having to space the cross member down 3/4" to clear the 4" Mufflex, he said he'd tweak the new Xtreme cross member so take care of the clearance problem.  Thanks, Brett!

This seemed like a good time to address my marginal cooling situation.  The TH400 and 4500 stall converter mean that when the engine isn't idling, it's spinning at 3000 and up.  The car never overheated, but it wouldn't stay at the thermostat temp if the outside temp rose above 75 degrees or so.  After exchanging a couple of emails with Don Meziere, I swapped my standard electric water pump for their HD version.  I've already trimmed the fan shroud and passenger side fan to get the standard pump to fit (I have a BeCool radiator that pushes the fans closer to the engine), but this new pump is *really* going to require some creativity.

cradle.jpg (16595 bytes)    torquearm.jpg (13890 bytes)    HDvsStdMez.jpg (21158 bytes)

The last set of pictures for now show the blower (love that warning plate!), pulleys, and damper.  The black pipe is the inlet Craig Hill built for my s-trim.  Clearly the ys-trim is a bit bigger.  Stay tuned...

Not4StreetUse.jpg (30908 bytes)    pulleys.jpg (14439 bytes)    damper.jpg (35910 bytes)