As car lovers, we can’t help but enjoy the wine of a supercharger bolted atop a V8. Unfortunately, unless you are a do-it-yourself type, you will not likely get to see what goes into building a high-horsepower blower engine. But, not to worry, Heath Moore from Harrop Engineering gives us a look behind the curtain at Mast Motorsports and shows us a supercharged L8T making four-digit horsepower.
Moore recently made his way to the States to visit the Texas-based performance parts manufacturer. Mostly known for its high-performance cylinder heads, Moore received a tour of Mast’s manufacturing facility from none other than Horace Mast to see firsthand the process of creating LS and LT heads to meet customers’ needs worldwide. Fortunately, there was a Harrop-supercharged L8T on the engine dyno during the tour as well.
Although development initially centered around the Gen IV LS, Horace explained Mast Motorsports is investing in newer platforms like the Gen V LT and remaining heavily focused on engineering innovations in all its cylinder heads. In addition to developing and manufacturing high-performance heads, Mast offers its customers complete engine packages.
In the workshop, the air is filled with familiar sounds of CNC machines whirring and tools running, the sweet symphony of high-performance parts in process. The metal shavings fly around the clock as cylinder heads are machined in various stages. Mast offers a large variety of heads to choose from, with 14 currently for the LS platform, not including race-specific heads, and more to suit a variety of other engines. One advantage of Mast’s heads is their durability and build quality. Thanks to their thick decks, a supercharger can run at its full potential with minimal compromise in water flow and cooling effects throughout the heads.
The R&D teams at Harrop and Mast continue to push the envelope of innovation, with 1,000-plus horsepower being the norm nowadays when not too long ago, such figures were an engineering feat on an LS-based engine. One of the ways this is achieved is with consistent product development. Mast believes that development should always be active and ongoing, no matter how well current parts work. Innovation is critical to components already utilized in these engines, and the same goes for new parts being introduced to the market. With that mindset, Mast Motorsports continues to refine its current cylinder heads as well as work on new heads for the LT platform and even for the 7.3-liter Godzilla from Ford.
In a recent piece published in LSX Magazine, we mentioned that the L8T could be the successor to the discontinued LS7 from GM, and during the tour, Moore gets to see its potential in action. Due to shortages in supply chains and the discontinuation of certain LS blocks, Horace explains that the availability of the LT aluminum block makes it a viable alternative for engine builds. Additionally, if you’re looking for extra durability, the L8T iron block is a robust foundation for a boosted application. The supercharged L8T package is an excellent choice for swapping into restomods, cruisers, and just about anything else you can think of. The test engine on Mast’s dyno proves you can have 800 to over 1,000 horsepower with relative ease. Predominantly, the team at Mast doesn’t outsource tasks. Instead, the machining, sleeving, and engine assembly are all conducted in-house for their complete engine packages. This ensures that every step meets the quality levels expected by Mast, along with increased production efficiency.
To finish the tour, Moore went down to the R&D center to meet with Perry, the team leader for the cylinder head department. Perry explained the process for putting the Mast touch on factory LT cylinder head castings. To start, every factory cylinder head is pressure tested. This ensures no surprises from porosity in the casting during the CNC porting process. Next, the heads get a quick check of their valve guide clearances before being placed in the Rottler CNC machine to receive Mast’s proprietary port design. Lastly, the heads receive a final valve job before being milled and cleaned.
From the video tour, it is apparent the team at Mast are automotive enthusiasts committed to producing high-quality products to serve customers wanting to make big horsepower reliably. So it only makes sense to partner with a company like Harrop to offer supercharger packages. Combining Mast cylinder heads and a Harrop supercharger on a rock-solid foundation like the L8T is a winning recipe that we would love to have in one of our projects.