Video: Nelson Racing Tames LSX For 1,200+ Street Horsepower

Plenty of torque, especially in the low- to mid-range power bands, was the primary objective of this latest bullet featured on the Nelson Racing Engines YouTube video channel.

“It’s just a good daily driver,” says Tom Nelson.

Built for a 454SS Chevy pickup, the 454ci V8 starts with an O-ringed LSX iron block and is fitted with a Callies crankshaft, Oliver rods and JE 8:1 pistons. On the bottom side is an Autocraft pan while LS7 cylinder heads, reworked by Richard Reyman at West Coast Racing Cylinder Heads, fit on top of the SCE gaskets.

Nelson assembled one of his trick Alien dual-injector intake manifolds with the anteater inlet and twin blowoff valves. The two injectors per cylinder allows for octane-on-demand, which is a second fuel system that adds high-octane fuel under extreme boost. It’s all programmed through an Electromotive ECU.

“With the truck, we had a little more room to get longer runners in,” adds Nelson.

Other features of the engine include a very mild hydraulic roller cam for a tame idle, and the front drive is from a Cadillac CTS-V.

Boost is provided with a pair of NRE 72mm mirror-image turbos.

“We now have 61mm turbos but this is a 454, so the bigger ones were used,” says Nelson.

With just under 10 pounds of boost, which is where Nelson says most of the daily driving will be conducted, the engine made 900-plus lb-ft of torque from 3,600 to 5,300 rpm, peaking out at 941 lb-ft at 4,100 rpm. Max horsepower was 925 at 5,800 rpm.

Jumping to 13 pounds of boost, the LSX responded with 1,000-plus lb-ft of torque from the bottom of the dyno pull and hit 1,042 horsepower at 5,800. A final pull at nearly 18 pounds of boost resulted in 1,200-plus lb-ft of torque and 1,237 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.

About the author

Mike Magda

Mike Magda is a veteran automotive writer with credits in publications such as Racecar Engineering, Hot Rod, Engine Technology International, Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive Testing Technology and Professional Motorsport World.
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