Supercharged 396 LT1 Build

This article will describe the components and details of a 396 cubic inch LT1/LT4  for a supercharged application. It’s based on a combination I’ve built many times, intended for use with a centrifugal blower such as a Vortech S-trim or T-trim, or a Procharger P-600 or D-1. It has very good drivability, and will make 600 RWHP on premium pump gas at 12 psi while using a good intercooler. With race gas, an aftermarket computer, and 18 psi, this same combo has run 9.50’s at 145 mph in a very well prepared  street/strip Camaro.

Lets get to it….

 Rotating Assembly

At the heart of the rotating assembly will be a forged 3.875″ stroke crankshaft with standard size 2.100″ rod journals, 350 main journals, and a 1 piece seal rear flange. This configuration isn’t widely available, and given the power level that’s attainable, I’d certainly recommend sourcing a reputable American made company. If you plan to step up to a cog style belt, you should consider having your crank custom made with a Big Block Chevy post. Just be aware that this option requires a special timing set, timing cover, and damper.

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Where to Focus Your Engine Building Budget

One of the most common questions asked here is: “How do I get the most value for my performance dollar?” Let’s face it; most of you have a budget that will dictate careful planning for your engine project. If budget were of no concern, then the focus would become component selection most suited to the application. Although it is relevant to some degree here, I’ll address that specific method of planning in an upcoming article.

Make a Plan

As I always try to emphasize, the best place to start planning for your engine build is to set a performance goal that is realistic based on your budget. The power you hope to make is based on compression ratio, cylinder head flow, valve timing events, and RPMs. As power numbers and RPMs go up, you should plan to increase your budget in order to step up the quality of components required to add durability to the rotating assembly and valve train.

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