It's a little intimidating at first. You know it's just another engine. It's got all the same stuff a traditional small-block has, like pistons, crank, rods, a cam, and lifters-but this one has been masked in an unfamiliar dress. This one is skinned in aluminum and lacks the traditional painted iron block and deep-sumped oil pan. Plus it sports metric hardware instead of the American units we are accustomed to. Don't kid yourself though. This all-aluminum mill means business, and it has become one of GM's tried-and-true thoroughbreds of the new millennium.

For this month's test, rather than piecing something together from scratch, we opted for a complete LS2 short-block from Turn Key Engine Supply out of Oceanside, California. Inside the aluminum fortress rests a Lunati LS1 Pro Series stroker kit assembly featuring a 4340 forged crankshaft with a 4.00-inch stroke, 4340E billet rods, and forged JE Pistons with valve reliefs.

Once we began to unzip its skin to reach the insides, it was clear GM knew what it was doing from the factory. Cam swaps from stock to aftermarket can be achieved without dropping the oil pan. Case in point, we had two solid-rollers to try out. The first was right out of Comp's catalog (PN54-500-11), which specs out at 235/240 intake/exhaust and 0.646/0.641 intake/exhaust duration at 0.050 inch with 113 lobe separation, while our second, more aggressive cam (PN 54-501-11) features a 243/248 intake/exhaust and 0.653/0.648 intake/exhaust duration at 0.050 with 113 lobe separation. Both were paired with a set of their linked solid-roller lifters. Our cylinder heads of choice? We couldn't pass up a chance to test Trick Flow's newest fully CNC'd units. They feature 340 cfm of flow at 0.600-inch lift. Additionally, the build wouldn't be complete without throwing a little juice and fuel down the mouth of an Edelbrock Victor Jr. manifold via a Holley 1,000-cfm HP carburetor and a Zex perimeter plate.

How well did our 402-inch short-block fare with the new cams, lifters, and tremendous flow from the cylinder heads? Read on. We think you'll be impressed by the results.

Quick Notes
What we did

Tested Trick Flow's latest 235cc cylinder heads, two Comp Cams solid rollers, and a Zex Perimeter plate

Bottom Line
600 hp on the motor and nearly 800 hp on nitrous

Price (Approx)

Manufacturer Description PN Price
ARP LS1 head studs 234-4317 $290
Comp Cams Camshaft* 54-500-11 453
Lifters 8956-16 547
Pushrods I/E 8.200 7750-16 144
Roller rockers 1375-16 400
Fel-Pro Head gaskets (2 @ $70) 1161R/1161L 140
Moroso Valve covers 68355 493
Coil mounting brackets 72396 222
Ultra 40 wire set 73436 60
Trick Flow TFS 235 CNC TFS3060T001-C03 2,500
Total $5,249
*Alternate camshaft PN 54-501-11 also $453
Holley 4150 950HP 0-80496-1 $717
4150 1000HP 0-80513-1 $747
Zex Perimeter nitrous plate 82043 $200

By The Numbers
During our dyno session we test two different 'sticks, two carburetors, and even two hits with the nitrous, all the while adjusting our timing curve.

1. Comp Cam Solid Roller 235/240, Holley 950HP,
28-34 @ 2,800-7,000
AVG 477 442
MAX 535 589
2. Comp Cam Solid Roller 243/248, Holley 950HP,
Wilson 4-hole 1 inch open, 27-40 @ 2,800-7,000
AVG 506 510
MAX 542 608
3. Comp Cam Solid Roller 243/248, Holley 1000HP,
Zex Nitrous Perimeter Plate 150 hp, 27-30 @ 2,800-7,000
AVG 600 608
MAX 763 744
4. Comp Cam Solid Roller 243/248, Holley 1000HP,
Zex Nitrous Perimeter Plate 200 hp 27-30 @ 2,800-7,000
AVG 628 642
MAX 801 780
Comp Cams
Trick Flow
Turn Key Engine Supply
Westech Performance Group
Wilson Manifolds
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