Some Power Up Ideas for Your Chevy Camaro.
Twin-Turbo V8 Facts of Life
Few People Have Ever Experienced Really High Horsepower.
By C.J. Baker
Have you ever ridden in a vehicle powered by a properly engineered
twin-turbo V8? No, a single-turbo V8, or heaven forbid, a single-turbo four cylinder is not the same thing, not even close.
We’ve all heard the wisdom that there’s no substitute
for cubic inches, but cubic inches of what? Is it cubic inches of engine that count, or cubic
inches of air in the combustion chamber? It’s obviously the latter.
So consider this, 15 psi of boost effectively doubles
the size of an engine. That means 15 psi of boost will make a 350-cubic-inch performance engine seem like a 700-cubic-inch
Actually, this picture isn’t accurate. If you
understand engines, you’ll immediately realize that 15-psi boost more than doubles the performance an engine.
It does this for two reasons: first, the internal friction of the engine remains largely the same regardless of boost, so the extra
power from turbocharging is almost totally available to power the vehicle; and second, the 15 psi of boost in the induction system
actually helps push the pistons down on the intake stroke whereas the intake stroke created a pumping loss (negative torque) when
the engine was normally aspirated.
Now you may be thinking that the turbochargers create exhaust
backpressure that increases the pumping loss on the exhaust stroke, but let’s go back to the first sentence of this
discussion — we’re talking about a “properly engineered” system.
That means the exhaust restriction created
by the dual turbos will be minor, and that boost pressure will always exceed exhaust system backpressure. Simply translated, in
terms of performance, a good twin-turbo 350 V8 will turn your inside out!
Okay, just for fun, let’s compare our 350 twin-turbo V8 at
15-psi boost to a 120-cubic-inch compact four cylinder running 30 psi of boost — twice that of the V8. By our rule of thumb,
the little four-banger will now be flowing air equivalent to a 360-cubic-inch normally aspirated engine.
for a small engine, but it will still have only half the power potential of our twin-turbo V8 running at half the boost. If you
push the V8 to 30-psi boost, you’ll have the equivalent of 1050 cubic inches and over 1500 hp, if it is done correctly.
By now you get the point. Bigger engines add power, but
turbocharging bigger engines really gets the job done. Happily, there’s more good news associated with turbocharging the
small-block Chevy V8, and almost all of it comes down to durability. To begin, the performance industry offers a variety of
high-strength cylinder blocks in both iron and aluminum. Thicker main webs and four-bolt main caps are just what a turbocharged
Next, the small-block Chevy uses five head bolts or studs surrounding each cylinder to help secure head gaskets.
And of course, the aftermarket has a variety of premium head gaskets too. Then there are other heavy-duty parts readily available,
such as forged crankshafts, forged connecting rods, forged pistons, special piston pins, and premium rings and bearings.
Finding all of these things is difficult for other engines, especially
for four-cylinder engines.
Of course, the small-block Chevy V8 also
benefits from a wide variety of high-performance cylinder heads, intake manifolds, and valvetrain pieces. Simply stated, nearly
everything that improves airflow on a normally aspirated engine will also improve total flow on a turbocharged engine.
The next good news is that extreme duty drivetrain parts are readily
available for rear-wheel-drive vehicles with V8 engines. This includes clutches, transmissions, u-joints, differentials and axles.
Most of this was developed for drag racing or circle track racing. Such strength and durability is important when dealing with real power. For example, a 350-cubic-inch V8 running at 20-psi boost is capable of roughly 900 lb-ft of
torque! You don’t feed that through a front-wheel drive transaxle to high-traction tires — at least not more than once.
Turbocharging is fun. It’s addictive. How much power
can you make??
Some Aftermarket Goodies bring a big Power Boost
A review of some Basic Aftermarket goodies to Power up you Chevy Camaro
Have you ever ridden in a vehicle powered by a V8 tuned with some
aftermarket goodies? Imagine a Chevy Camaro V8 powered with those same items! Awesome.
Here is a list of some items you can install in your average
Camaro, to give some oomph to the ride.
A Good Performance Cam: Not too extreme if you plan to use the car on the street, or as a daily driver.
Some good manufacturers for street/strip cams are Edelbrock, Comp Cams and Crane.
A Good Air Filter: If the engine is going to have more power, you need more air. Remeber that an
engine is an air pump. The more air in and out, in the same period of time, the more power it will make. Some good manufacturers
for air filters are Edelbrock, Holley, Moroso and K&N.
A Good Carburator and a Good Intake Manifold:
If the engine is going to breathe better, you
have to compensate with more fuel. A performance carb and intake are always a good idea. Some good manufacturers for
Carburators and Intake Manifolds are Demon, Edelbrock and Holley.
A Good Exhaust System: With more fuel burned thanks to the Carb, air filter, and Cam, you need to get
rid efficently of the gases. You fulfill this with a performance exhaust kit -headers and pipes-. Some good manufacturers for
Exhaust Components are Flowmaster and Hooker Headers.
Good and Reliable Gauges: With a modded engine, every component is suffering a little bit
more than with a stock one. Oil gets hotter, water temp rises, among others. You definetly need to monitor all your
engine vital signs to avoid failure. A good manufacturer for Street/Strip Gauges is AutoMeter.
A Powerfull Engine needs a Stout Tranny.
A review of Transmissions and Torque Converters for a Hi Perf Engine.
If you have updated your engine with many aftermarket mods,
and you are really making tons of torque, you don´t have to overlook your transmission.
We will take a look at automatic transmissions now, that have what it takes to handle the extra power you have in your V8.
An excellent auto tranny for a strip/street Camaro, is the
TCI StreetFighter Transmission. It handles 500 Hp and is smooth to drive the kids to school. This transmission, coupled with a
steel flexplate and a performance converter, can really shave your E.T.´s on the weekend. If your engine is a Small Block Chevy, your best bet is the Turbo Hidramatic 350, aka TH350. But if you have a Big Block Chevy under the hood, you should pick the Turbo Hidramatic 400, aka TH400. All this is
perfectly explained in our section TRANSMISSIONS.
There are several manufacturers besides TCI that offer
aftermarket trannys at good prices, like B&M. They also manufacture excellente torque
converters and flexplates.