If you haven’t heard about Project Spinal Tap, you can to read up on it here. A few years ago, Benjamin Strader of EFI University set out on a quest to build an LS engine that would be capable of the 11,000 rpm range reliably. With the help of Comp Cams’ chief cam designer Billy Godbold, the two have collaborated on this engine project. The guys have had their ups and downs by finding out what will and won’t work for this combination.
According to Strader, the team spent about 1.5 to 2-years just getting the valvetrain stable on the LS7 based engine combination thanks to COMP Cams. After they managed to figure out the valvetrain components that were needed, it took them another year to piece together everything else required for this high-rpm combination.
In the video, you can tell that Strader is nervous about the test as he proceeds to talk us through the details. The 358 cubic-inch engine will be warmed up before making the pull. Strader mentions that while the engine will probably make peak power around the 9,000 rpm range, he intends to start the pull at 9,000 rpm and take it to 11,300. After the mill is warmed up, Strader opens up the beast, and the sound from this engine is nothing short of glorious as it zings past 11,000 rpm.
After the pull, Strader frantically fumbles around on his computer, trying to display the exact rpm the engine reached. The final number for the 358 cubic-inch LS was a monstrous 11,230 rpm. The LS made an impressive 921 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque but we wern’t sure at what rpm. We reached out to Strader who said, “It made peak power at 9300 rpm with peak torque around 8000-8200 rpm. We knew it only had enough cylinder head to go 9300-9500 with this engine displacement but the main goal was valvetrain stability so we just focused on that instead.”
Congratulations to Ben Strader, EFI University, COMP Cams, and everyone else that is involved in this project.