Armed with the information from last month's Blower Basics story, it's time to tear into our LS engine, prepping it to accept the Torq Storm centrifugal supercharger that we showed you last month. But before we can start bolting on the front drive components, bracketry, and blower, there are a handful of things that need to be addressed first.
One of those is the installation of a set of knock sensors. Originally, we had planned to use a carburetor on our LS and so the knock sensors were not necessary. But with the addition of the Holley Dominator ECU to control our engine, it became necessary to install a pair of knock sensors as well as the related wiring pigtail, all available from GM, so that the computer could detect any possible internal problem and react to it before anything went "boom." Since our truck LS327 uses the valley pan-mounted knock sensors, it's necessary to sort out the parts needed and install them before the intake goes on.
Another item that came up once we got started was related to the steam vent piping. On the LS327, the steam vent piping was a one-piece affair that connected the front and rear water jacket on each head. Unfortunately, the Holley Mid-Rise intake sits closer to the valley pan than the piping allowed, so it's necessary to replace it with two plugs at the rear and a simple crossover at the front which will tie into the water inlet at the radiator.
Something else that we did in preparation for the blower install, and something that should be done as standard on any high-performance LS engine, is what's known as "pinning" the crank. This is done to prevent the damper/pulley assembly from turning on the surface of the crank snout, which is possible in stock applications due to the fact that most LS crank assemblies do not incorporate a woodruff key or some other sort of deterrence to prevent this from happening. A drill jig is installed on the end of the crank and a hole is drilled through the damper/pulley and crank snout. A roll pin is then installed, effectively preventing the hub from spinning on the crank snout. This is very important in our situation since the blower will be driven off the crank, putting an added strain on the pressed relationship between the crank and pulley.
There are a handful of other items that we'll cover this month before diving into the fun stuff in January; bolting all the components on. To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed by all the little things that we had not thought about before the time came to start putting all the components together. Hopefully, we'll save you guy's some heartache when it comes time to doing yours!