GM EFI Magazine has friends all over the industry; including our buddy, Eric McClellan. Eric’s one of our editorial contributors and also runs his own blog on the side, Gearhead Daily (GHD). He’s currently building an SLC Superlite Coupe, dubbed Project Boom Stick, essentially a fiberglassed-bodied kit car that’s designed specifically for road racing.
While that might not be a GM vehicle, what resides under the hood of GHD’s example is; a LS376/525 Chevrolet Performance powerplant. Although we typically shy away from such vehicles, we feel that Eric’s creation is just too cool to ignore. Below are Eric’s assertions of his vehicle’s motivation. -Ed.
Crate motors are fun, they come fully-assmebled, the research has already been done and you know that they were built by a competent engine builder. In the case of the LS-series of motors from Chevrolet Performance, they are virtually plug and play.
We got our hands on the LS376/525 you see in our photos here. We had to do some modifications to the engine to fit our chariot, the Superlite Coupe or SLC to the folks in the know.Why did we call it Boom Stick? Honestly, in a car that weighs just a smidgen over 2,100lbs, it’s going to be a friggin’ missile!
The first thing people will notice is that the intake has to be reversed. This means we have to relocate the oil pressure sensor. The also requires us to fill in the valley pan with a small weld. The intake reverses with no other issues.
We had to have the water pump modified as well. Since this car is mid-engine, the engine sits very close to the driver and rear firewall. This doesn’t allow for much room for the coolant pipes. We solved this by making the angle of the water pump inlet and outlet much more extreme. While we were at it, we drilled and tapped an 1/8th NPT hole right behind the thermostat for a coolant temp sensor. These mods were made by turbo guru and custom builder Nathan Shaw of One Guys Garage he treats us pretty well (most of the time).
We also had a good chance to dyno the engine. We took it to TPIS in Chaska, Minnesota where Jim Hall ran our motor. We were honestly a little surprised that it made almost exactly the advertised horsepower rating of 525 horsepower and made 461 lb-ft. With no corrections or fiddling with the ECU, straight out of the box it was near spot-on. Often times they come a little on the rich side, but ours was perfect!
Eric is an automotive journalist with an eclectic taste. He has written text manuals and creates dynamic features with exciting photography and engaging writing. He holds a masters degree in a different field and lives in the blustery state of Minnesota. He builds cars on the side and enjoys road racing as a weekend warrior. His current project is an LS3-powered RCR SLC.