Make no mistake, supercharger systems these days can build serious steam with minimal effort. That is downright awesome. Dropping the initial coin may seem a bit cost prohibitive, but it's really not much more than the cost of a decent top-end package. Case in point: You can pick up one of Vortech Engineering's carbureted big-block systems from $3,500 with all the tubing, pulleys, the belt, and the carburetor box enclosure. That's certainly food for thought when considering your choice of bolt-ons.

The system we're working with is a bit different in that we had the opportunity to test Vortech's newest big-block bracketry, which, incidentally, will be available by the time you read this. And much like Vortech's complete big-block systems, we went ahead and utilized its versatile YSi supercharger-it's docile enough for mild-horsepower applications yet has the potential to make in the neighborhood of 1,200 hp with the proper pulley combinations. Think of this as a do-it-yourself system, where you get to pick and choose the exact components to match your needs.

The parameters for this month's test were rather simple. After several inquires asking about the capacity of the ZZ502 short-block, it only made sense to bring back the test mule that Pace Performance had supplied for us earlier in the year. Out of the crate and topped with a set Dart Pro 1 CNC 335cc cylinder heads, we were expecting compression levels to hover in the 8.8:1 range with its 119cc combustion chambers, making it absolutely boost friendly and accommodating our needs quite nicely. Complementing the airstream is a matching Dart single-plane manifold, while a modified Holley 750-cfm HP carb from The Carb Shop fueled the fire.

Our original intent was to toss in pump gas with a conservative tune and shoot for 900 hp for the street. But the more we thought about it, we decided that it doesn't do anyone any good wondering what the true potential is. Instead, we went no-holds-barred, filled the cell with Rockett Brand 118, and let 'er rip. The only limits we ran into were a shortage of pulleys for added boost. Even so, it's hard to argue the results. The power generated was obscene-more than enough oats to shred the hides off the largest balonies available. If you're more of a drag racer, it would even allow you to dig well into the "you're seriously going to need a lot of safety equipment" zone. Nevertheless, we've opened the doors to allow for some good ol' bench racing, so if you're looking for big power and already have a solid foundation, this is a potent combination that can be had at a real-world car guy price.

Quick Notes
What We Did

Eclipsed the 1,000hp marker with a Pace Performance ZZ502 short-block and a Vortech YSi huffer

Bottom Line
Making this level of power has never been easier!

Cost (Approx)
$13,000

Total Package
1.Handling the mixer was an Extreme Velocity hat with a Holley 750-cfm HP carburetor modified by The Carb Shop for forced-induction duties.

2. Cylinder heads of choice were Dart's CNC 335 heads featuring 119cc combustion chambers, 2.300/1.880-inch intake/exhaust valves, with spring pressures at 270/790 pounds seat/open.

3. We used an 80-tooth cog for the crank and swapped between the 32- and 34-tooth cog pulley on the supercharger.

4. To expel the fumes, we used a pair of 2-inch Hooker Super Comp heads with 18-inch collectors.

5. The trick big-block bracket assembly is listed under PN 4GA111-031 and priced at $395.95, but you'll need to purchase a tensioner separately in your choice of cog or serpentine setup.

6. The short-block is an as-delivered GMPP Gen VI ZZ502 from Pace Performance.

CAMSHAFT SPECS
Manufacturer Comp Cams
Type Solid roller
Valve lift 0.650/0.650 inch,
intake/exhaust
Duration at 0.050 245/250 degrees,
intake/exhaust
Lash (hot) 0.018/0.020 inch,
intake/exhaust
Lobe separation 112 degrees
GOT FLOW?
DART CNC 335 HEADS
LIFT (IN) FLOW (CFM)
  INTAKE EXHAUST
0.050 33 28
0.100 71 71
0.200 154 130
0.300 222 177
0.400 280 238
0.500 322 274
0.600 353 297
0.700 374 312
0.800 386 330

Here's the first look at Vortech's latest mounting system. Each kit comes with the lower mount that attaches to the driver-side cylinder head, which is topped off with a ridged, 1/2-inch-thick CNC-cut mounting plate. What's especially nice about this bracket assembly is that you're not limited to one specific blower. Should the time come to up your game, this bracket will allow you to grow into a larger range of superchargers, including the potent 1,600hp-rated V-4 series Z-trim head unit.

Vortech Engineering's Ricky Best helped put the finishing touches on our test mule. While mounting the system is pretty straightforward and easy, the bulk of the work will come from fabricating the inlet tube, the piping that connects the supercharger to the carburetor. And we have to credit Vortech's Bob Endress for welding this piece together at the eleventh hour-seriously, he eye-balled the measurements the day before and busted out the welder, nailing the correct dimensions on the first try. For the inexperienced (like us), expect to have someone fabricate the inlet tube.

If your motor is already residing in the engine bay, you can use the supplied tool to tap into the pan for the superchargers return line. For our configuration, Endress went ahead and removed the factory oil pan and welded a bung onto the side of the pan.





ZZ502CI BIG-BLOCK DYNO DETAILS
Headers 2 1/8 Hedman long-tube headers with 18-inch extensions
Fuel 118-octane Rockett Brand Fuel
Carburetion Holley 750-cfm HP Series modified by The Carb Shop

By The Numbers

BASELINE
Advance 30 degrees
RPM LB-FT HP
4,600 582 510
4,700 579 518
4,800 578 530
4,900 584 545
5,000 589 560
5,100 590 573
5,200 589 583
5,300 586 591
5,400 583 600
5,500 581 608
5,600 578 617
5,700 577 626
5,800 576 636
5,900 573 644
6,000 567 648
6,100 557 647
6,200 546 644
6,300 534 641
6,400 523 637
6,500 514 636
6,600 506 636
Avg 566 601
Max 590 648

YSI 12.7 PSI
Advance 30 degrees
RPM LB-FT HP
3,600 703 482
3,700 710 500
3,800 723 523
3,900 737 547
4,000 751 572
4,100 764 596
4,200 776 621
4,300 788 645
4,400 800 670
4,500 813 697
4,600 826 724
4,700 840 752
4,800 852 778
4,900 864 806
5,000 874 832
5,100 882 857
5,200 887 878
5,300 890 898
5,400 894 919
5,500 899 942
5,600 904 964
5,700 908 985
5,800 910 1,004
5,900 911 1,023
6,000 910 1,039
6,100 907 1,053
6,200 901 1,063
6,300 892 1,069
6,400 880 1,073
6,500 866 1,072
6,600 850 1,068
Avg 842 827
Max 911 1,073
YSI 14.2 PSI
Advance 30 degrees
RPM LB-FT HP
3,600 742 508
3,700 751 529
3,800 764 553
3,900 778 578
4,000 792 604
4,100 809 632
4,200 825 660
4,300 838 686
4,400 850 712
4,500 865 741
4,600 880 771
4,700 895 801
4,800 912 834
4,900 926 864
5,000 938 893
5,100 946 919
5,200 952 943
5,300 957 966
5,400 960 987
5,500 963 1,009
5,600 966 1,030
5,700 968 1,051
5,800 969 1,070
5,900 967 1,086
6,000 963 1,100
6,100 956 1,110
6,200 944 1,115
6,300 928 1,113
6,400 907 1,105
6,500 884 1,094
6,600 863 1,085
Avg 892 876
Max 969 1,115
Sources
Automotive Racing Products (ARP)
arp-bolts.com
The Carb Shop
909.947.3575
customcarbs.com
Comp Cams
compcams.com
Dart Machinery
dartheads.com
Fel-Pro Performance Products
federal-mogul.com
Holley Performance Products
800.HOLLEY.1
holley.com
Moroso Performance Products
moroso.com
Pace Performance
paceperformance.com
Rockett Brand Fuel
rockettbrand.com
Vortech Engineering
805.247.0226
vortechsuperchargers.com
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