As Chevy enthusiasts, we have an enormous amount of bolt-ons to choose from. Whether it’s a Chevelle, Camaro, early Nova, and even some of the more uncommon cars, like late ’70s “Disco” Novas and ’80s G-bodies, all have an extensive bolt-on aftermarket—parts that can be installed in a weekend to make any GM muscle machine shine brighter, run stronger, and/or feel safer. Suspension, brakes, engine, and even bolt-on chassis components are becoming more readily available each year, which can empower even casual enthusiasts to install go-fast goodies themselves. Even those who want to tackle more involved projects have options. Companies like Detroit Speed, The Roadster Shop, Church Boys Racing, and others have been cranking out bolt-on subframe kits with suspension and steering in place for all the popular Chevys, so those with more time, money, and skill can take their bolt-on build to another level.
You can build a pretty nice ride with upgrades you can do yourself, but, of course, there will always be the need for a professional. Many gearheads would agree, some hot rod tasks are better off being installed by someone who has the tools, shop, experience, and time to take on. It’s like a free tattoo or tonsillectomy; sometimes there are things you want to pay for. But as for the majority of the gearhead masses, bolt-ons are great and sometimes being able to upgrade your car in a weekend with your buddies is just as rewarding as actually installing the part on the car. In the next several pages we show off a whole slew of bolt-ons for your Chevy, including some parts you’re familiar with, as well as some you may not be. From bolt-on frame kits that may require a week to complete in your driveway, to a simple carburetor swap for your street machine, this compilation has a little bit for everyone in the high-performance Chevy world.
Racing Head Service’s Pro Elite Heads for LS7
When Racing Head Service (RHS) released their radically strong LS engine block in 2010, LS fanatics everywhere were anxious to see what heads RHS would roll out to match their superstrong block. Two years later, RHS released some heads that work perfectly with their beefy LS creation. The Pro Elite LS7 aluminum cylinder heads are some of RHS’ most potent castings available for the LS platform. A raised intake runner design provides monster airflow, yet still allows for both production and aftermarket LS7 intake manifolds. The CNC-machined 0.220-inch raised intake ports, combined with a 12-degree valve angle, provide phenomenal airflow from 0.400-0.800 lift; we even heard rumors of 390 cfm at 0.700 lift on the intake and 238 cfm on the exhaust side. Additionally, these heads can be ordered complete or bare with small “peanut ports” for those who port their own heads. One key feature about the heads is that they feature the ever-sealing, boost-containing, combustion-holding six-bolt head design, making them compatible with the RHS LS Race and GM LSX block as well. The additional clamping force from six bolts around each cylinder provides incredible head gasket retention, making them perfect for high-boost application. A 0.750-inch-thick deck surface, a reinforced solid rocker rail, and raised 0.400-inch valve cover rails are just a handful of the trick features these heads come with.
PN: 54501 (complete with valve job)
Price: $1,200 (each)
What We Would Do:
It would be a real shame if you decided to build an engine with RHS’ Pro Elite LS7 heads and didn’t put the six-bolt head design to the test, so we are imagining we’d construct a wild 427 LS with twin 72mm turbochargers, for the street, of course.