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The Edelbrock LS3 Swap Supercharger

By , Photography by , Grant Peterson,

"We don't want to break it," said Chris Johnson, senior calibration engineer at Edelbrock, as he tossed us the keys to our '65 El Camino project car. He wasn't referring to the engine or the car but rather the Muncie four-speed that is the wide-eyed weak link in the drivetrain between the roughly 700 hp at the flywheel of the now-supercharged Chevrolet Performance crate LS3 and the gooey Toyos bolted to the Moser 12-bolt.

That's our excuse for not having "after" numbers to accompany this supercharger installation story. No dyno guy wants to mop up precious '60s Muncie parts off the floor of his dyno room. So for now, you will have to trust us. Mat the throttle, and the chassis leaps away from the pavement like it's on a forklift, and this car builds speed like a locomotive that just blew its stack. Let's take a look.

Edelbrock's new E-Force supercharger kit is based on Eaton's new Gen VI TVS 2300 rotor. It is roots style, meaning it is a non-pressure system with an equal number of lobes on each rotor that rotate away from each other, but with a 160-degree longitudinal twist. It's this twist that allows the TVS-style supercharger to be more efficient at low speeds. Edelbrock's system inverts the supercharger so it moves air up from the front-facing intake, pressurizing a plenum before passing through twin intercoolers and eight individual 12-inch intake runners. The impressive design eliminates the low-end torque deficiency of a short runner, and because of the intercooler and the twist in the rotors, it greatly improves the efficiency of the supercharger at higher rpm, where heat and friction create diminishing returns.

This supercharger kit is designed for cars that are already equipped with a Chevrolet Performance LS3 crate engine, Chevrolet Performance computer, and supporting fuel and cooling systems. The base crate LS3 makes 430 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. It uses the L92-style square-port heads and a 204/211 duration at 0.050 camshaft to make power. It's tough, with an aluminum, six-bolt deep-skirt block, and it revs to 6,600 rpm. The Edelbrock system promises 600 hp, a gain of about 150 hp over stock. Since our engine already made 600 hp, thanks to a stroker kit and ported Chevrolet Performance heads, we're estimating about 700–725 hp from the kit.

The E-Force is an easy bolt-on with hand tools, a little fab work, and a weekend spent working in the garage. The tuning is performed using a hand-held controller that plugs into the OBD-II connector on the factory harness. If your engine is modified with a cam, heads, or a stroker kit, there is a tuner version available as well.

1. This is what we started with—a Chevrolet Performance LS3 with a Y-body (Corvette) FEAD. We had to remove the FAST throttle-body and replace it with a factory Chevrolet Performance drive-by-wire unit and relocate the power-steering reservoir.

2. Cooling and fuel systems need to be up to the task. We are using the Be Cool Direct Fit radiator and an Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump. The supercharger requires a minimum fuel flow of 65 gph at 60 psi. The A1000 pump is rated at 725 lb/hr at 58 psi. Doing the math (725 / 6.2 = 117 gph), you can see that the pump can keep up with the power.

3. The supercharger, manifold, and intercooler are preassembled at Edelbrock so there is virtually no way to make a mistake. The oil system is self-contained, so there is no need to plumb into the oil pan.

4. This is the underside of the supercharger. You can clearly see where the air is moved into the intercoolers (indicated by the water ports) and down through the intake runners.

5. The LS3 uses a press-on balancer that doesn’t include an anti-rotation mechanism to prevent the balancer from loosening. The Edelbrock kit comes with a drill guide to install a crank pin. Fortunately for us, the rotator from Procomp Electronics/Demon Engines had a standard keyway, and we used a keyed balancer from TCI and skipped those steps.

6. The supercharger has a slightly different bolt arrangement than the stock valley pan, so a new one is included in the kit. The bung at the back of the lifter valley is for the oil-pressure sender.

7. The kit requires a heat exchanger (sold separately) that mounts in front of the radiator. We used a pair of brackets made by Car Craft fabricator Grant Petersen. The reservoir mounts above the passenger-side valve cover and the pump mounts near the stock battery location.

8. Grant also mounted this bracket that hides the intercooler water pump under the battery. The bracket itself is from a Ford Racing/Whipple supercharger kit.

9. Here is how the intercooler works. Water is pumped from the reservoir into the heat exchanger, and then into the intercooler and back. Edelbrock provides the pump, the hoses, the reservoir, the wiring harness with a relay, and a fuse.

10. The supercharger manifold uses the stock O-rings that fit into machined grooves. The torque spec is only 7.5 lb-ft (90 lb-in), so you might want to invest in an lb-in torque wrench.

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