Back in 2004, GM Performance Parts shipped us a complete LS1 to evaluate. Looking back, we really threw the hammer at this one. We tested every off-the-shelf cam, manifolds and cylinder heads, including a number of power-adders available.
While the momentum carried on for some time, we eventually set it aside for a few years.
Fast-forward to today. The guys at Magna Charger informed us that they were close to releasing an all-new TVS (Twin Vortices Series) supercharger system, and we were going to get the opportunity to check it out. Knowing that it was only a matter of time, we dusted off the LS and headed over to Coast High Performance in Torrance, California, where they tore it down and proceeded to freshen it up for us. Suffice it to say, the overall condition of the bottom end was excellent, showing minimal wear on the cylinder walls, and the main bearings had no indication of the hard life it lived as a dyno mule. At this point we decided to reuse the factory crank, but upgraded to a set of Probe 4340 lightweight I-beam rods and lower-compression SRS series slugs for the added boost to come.
Let's take a look into the new TVS huffer. Magna Charger offers two models. The 1900 series, while smaller, still has the ability to generate big power, being rated up to 800 hp. Next is the 2300 series, which is the model we're testing and has, incidentally, already been proven to make 950 hp using a GMPP LSX block. While belt slip has currently limited testing, the expected capacity is in the neighborhood of 1,100 hp. That's certainly more than you'd need for the street, but if you're looking for straightline performance, this forced induction setup is more than capable of getting any chassis to haul the mail.
When it comes to installing the system, it's not much different from a conventional intake manifold swap. Remove the factory manifold and drop in the complete TVS assembly. Of course if you're attempting to do this in a vehicle, it'll take a little more time, but the general principle is the same.
For cam selection, we decided on one that was designed to be a well-rounded camshaft profile that's good for both naturally aspirated and blown applications. Later in the issue, in "Whipple Stomp" (page 36) we describe the theory behind the lobe profiles for a positive-displacement system. Rather than rehashing the same info, we kept this test simple and are already planning to follow it up next month with a blower-specific grind.
What do we think of the system? For the LS family, this kit is simply amazing and hard to beat in a variety of ways. It's easy to install, and since it's a positive-displacement blower, the bottom-end torque numbers to be had are absolutely ridiculous and boost levels are pretty much instant from the moment you stab the throttle. Keep in mind that this goes for either model, but should you opt for the larger 2300 series, it's pretty reasonable to believe that you already have the cylinder heads and camshaft to complement the remainder of the combination. In this instance, we reused our factory LS short-block (albeit with stronger rods and pistons), topped it off with a set of Trick Flow's CNC-ported 215cc cylinder heads, and even took advantage of the electronic fuel injection by borrowing Westech's complete FAST XFI system.
Magna charger offers limited direct bolt-in kits for late model vehicles, however, you can pick and choose the components seen here for any application, namely LS powered transplants.
All said and done, if there's one thing we learned, it's that a beefed out Gen III powerplant with modern fuel injection is one stout package that can deliver both longevity and a serious seat-of-the-pants rush.
What It Is
Magna Charger's new TVS supercharger for LS powerplants
We made big power for the street!
$5,100 for the long-block (minus machine work), starting at $6,600 for the TVS system
We replaced the factory slugs...
We replaced the factory slugs and connecting rods with a set of Probe Industries SRS series pistons and the company's line of lightweight 4340 I-beam rods with 7/16-inch ARP cap screws. We should note that these pistons are specifically designed for boosted applications, come with lightweight wristpins, and are available in a wide range of compression ratios.
Up top we placed the factory...
Up top we placed the factory lifters back into their original trays, which keeps the lifters in their proper position, and torqued the retaining bolts to 106 in-lb.
When it came to the remainder...
When it came to the remainder of the short-block, it was simply left to a good cleaning. We even reused the factory crank; however, Coast High Performance went ahead and rebalanced it with the new rods and pistons. For added insurance we went ahead and added a set of ARP main studs (PN 234-5608).
To keep the heads in place,...
To keep the heads in place, we went with a set of ARP head studs and sealed them up with Fel-Pro MLS head gaskets with a compressed thickness value of 0.053.
Heads of choice for this operation...
Heads of choice for this operation was a set of 13.5 degree Trick Flow GenX Street/Strip CNC-ported 215cc cylinder heads. These are fully CNC-ported and come complete with 2.040/1.575 intake/exhaust valves and 1.300-inch dual valvesprings for hydraulic setups, making them good for camshafts up to 0.600 inch lift.
When ordering, be sure to...
When ordering, be sure to specify whether you have an LS1 or LS2 block. The LS1 heads comes with a 64cc chamber, whereas the LS2 features a 65cc chamber with a slightly larger intake valve at 2.055 inches.