One name that has become increasing popular in the performance LSX world is Frankenstein Engine Dynamics, and for good reason. The Texas-based company offers not only some of the best looking parts for the aftermarket, they are also some of the best performing intakes and cylinder heads available. So good in fact, that NHRA teams have been utilizing their technology ever since Pro Stock went EFI instead of the traditional carbureted induction. With the billet intake on the Pro Stockers doing so well, Frankenstein decided to use this race-bred technology and integrate it into the LS and LT world.
“We’ve been servicing a few Pro Stock teams for years with porting cylinder heads; then with the introduction of EFI a few years ago we started designing and manufacturing intake manifolds. We signed a lot of NDA’s so we can’t disclose who’s running what, but you can see it on each qualifying sheet who has our stuff and who doesn’t,” proclaims Chris Frank, President of Frankenstein Engine Dynamics. Frank added, “We’re ready to step up in the manufacturing game ourselves. We figured our Pro Stock manifold was doing well, so why not make it for the LS?”
The company previously had offered porting services for popular aftermarket heads for engine builders and head manufactures, but decided to open its doors to the public about three ago. The company began by first offering CNC ported GM castings for LS and LT applications.
As you can imagine, building an engineering masterpiece is a long and tedious process. According to Frankenstein each intake manifold starts with a SolidWorks CAD drawing and is then then run through multiple CFD tests. This process can take the team up to three months to finish. After that process is complete, two Mazak 5-Axis CNC machines are then utilized to take solid pieces of aluminum and machine them to make a modular unit. The intakes are then assembled and each new design goes through a painstaking series of tests with the intent of forcing the parts to fail.
“We will completely seal off the intake and pressurize it to some rather insane numbers to try and find a weak point. Data from pressure tests, CFD, engine dyno, wheel hub dyno, and actual on-track testing has led us to our three main designs across the LS and LT platforms — not guesswork or tradition, but data. We are proud of our ‘small shop’ roots but have grown by constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries. Frankenstein is a state and federal licensed engineering firm. We just happen to make intake manifolds and cylinder heads,” Frank states.
Frankenstein offers three different versions of their billet intake manifolds: the Low-Pro Intake, the Freakshow, and the Iceman. The Low-Pro intake is the go-to for the the high-performance street/strip crowd. This intake utilizes a low profile design that will fit under most hoods without modifications. The Low-Pro has been put through the rigors of Forumula Drift with Johnathan Cash Hurst’s twin-turbo Infinity G35. If if there was any flaw in the manifold’s design, the Formula Drift circuit would definitely expose it.
The Freakshow was forged out of NHRA Pro Stock competition. “We did a few things to our Freakshow manifold to fit the LS platform and it’s most popular applications a little better than our Pro Stock version. We lengthened the runner to change the rpm it will perform best at and we added a burst plate in the rear of the manifold for our nitrous and boosted friends.” Frank goes on to further explain, “There’s a lot of misinformation in the LS community when it comes to intake manifolds, specifically the boosted community. A lot of people believe that the manifold doesn’t matter because you can just simply crank the boost up, and that’s partially true. You can always just turn the wick up on anything that’s boosted. However, our manifolds make great power naturally-aspirated and what that means is it requires less boost to make the same amount of power that was previously made on a higher boost mark. What that translates into is when our customers install these manifolds they will see a lower boost number while making more power.”
The last intake manifold and possibly the most impressive unit on the Frankenstein roster is the Iceman. This wild-looking piece is very unique to the automotive industry. This is the same intake that Cleetus McFarland is using on the notorious Leroy the Savage. According to Frankenstein, after the intake was placed on the stripped-down ‘Vette, it immediately dropped the elapsed time, allowing Cleetus to become the first stick-shifted GM vehicle into the sevens. While it shares the same design as the Freakshow, a massive air-to-water intercooler was strategically placed between the lid and the intake plenum. Frank states “The Iceman is without a doubt special to us. It embodies everything about this company into one product. It showcases our capabilities and experience at the same time. The same things that makes the Freakshow fast is what makes the Iceman fast, except it features an air-to-water intercooler that evenly drops intake air temperatures massively while staying extremely efficient.”
One thing is for sure: you can count on Frankenstein Engine Dynamics to deliver a race-proven design that makes power and will withstand the punishment that racing can exert. With that said, we’re excited to see what kind of monstrous creations Frankenstein and crew will develop next.