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Heads/Cam or Supercharger?

This is a discussion on Heads/Cam or Supercharger? within the Forced Induction forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; i need to know which will give me more power to use in a daily driver.....i'll be using the extra ...

  1. #1
    Rear End Roaster
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    Heads/Cam or Supercharger?

    i need to know which will give me more power to use in a daily driver.....i'll be using the extra power primarily on the quarter and street for smacktalkers.....but i want to know which would give me more power, a supercharger or heads/cam......wasnt sure where to post it....here or at internal engine but trying to make it as unbiased as posssible....thanx

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    why not turbo?

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    Junior Member Schantin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dude2race
    i need to know which will give me more power to use in a daily driver.....i'll be using the extra power primarily on the quarter and street for smacktalkers.....but i want to know which would give me more power, a supercharger or heads/cam......wasnt sure where to post it....here or at internal engine but trying to make it as unbiased as posssible....thanx
    Well, it all comes down to $$$$. You can add a nice cam and upgraded valvetrain for about $1K doing your own labor. I did this on my 02 with a TR224 cam and hopped up to 375RWHP on a daily-driver friendly package. Spending another $1.5-2.5K will get some nice heads and bump up the power to 400-440RWHP. Easily a 12sec or faster car. Total investment (even w/ LT headers and exhaust) is under $5K.

    NOW, spend $5-6.5K and you can add a STS or ATI or Vortech (take your pick) with all the necessary supporting fuel upgrades and monitoring gauges. Looking at 400-480RWHP on a stock engine. Again, daily driver friendly. Add headers...even more. Add a cam and heads to this.....power becomes obscene.

    If you're cheap, a H/C car is the way to go. But, unless you add nitrous, you just won't get the HP that forced induction can add. And nitrous isn't available 24/7 when you're driving.

    Schantin
    2002 Camaro Z28 M6
    A "few" mods.....and installing my STS kit tomorrow

  5. #5
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    If you have the money get forced induction.

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    I Fixed Da Rear jimbo98z's Avatar
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    Mystic Teal
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    Well, you're gonna probably want at least a cam and springs if you get forced induction to get the most out of it. Stock heads flow pretty well though until you get really crazy with it.

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    Here is a list of items that I recently put together for building up the chassis prior to adding the horsepower. People are always asking the question of whether to go with a head and cam package, or go with a supercharger or turbocharger. There is no way you are to match the power of an ATI ProCharger with a head and cam package unless you use a pretty radical camshaft. Nitrous oxide could be used instead of going the forced induction route, with very good results at a fraction of the cost. A cold air kit would be required if you elect to use nitrous oxide instead of going the forced induction (ATI ProCharger) route. The ATI ProChargers come with a K&N cone filter. With forced induction, such as the ATI ProCharger, the power is always going to be there when you want it, with no nitrous bottles to constantly refill. A turbocharger could be used instead of an ATI ProCharger, but I am not convinced that the turbo kits currently out on the market will stand the test of time. TurboChargers go through extreme heat cycles, which can fracture the turbo housing mounts.
    With the items listed below, your car would be quite capable of routinely running low eleven second 1/4 mile times, or faster, when combined with the M/T Street radial rear tires.

    Everyone has their opinions on what is the best package, and here is mine.

    1. Subframe Connectors - Absolutely necessary to keep your F Body from twisting and stretching. I have seen too many of these cars lose their door to fender gaps from having gone too long without subframe connectors. Subframe connectors will make the car handle better, you'll get fewer squeaks and the car will get better traction.

    2. Torque Arm - BMR, Global West and Spohn all make torque arms that relocate the front mount off of the transmission by relocating the front mount back behind the transmission. The relocation of the front mount relieves the stress from the tailshaft of the transmission that the torque arm places on it, as a result of trying to contain the rear-end and it's rotational stresses. The stock torque arm is a stamped piece of sheetmetal that has broken apart for many people, and it sometimes takes out the driveshaft with it when it goes. By relocating the front mount of the torque arm behind the transmission, the geometry of the rear suspension becomes much better and really aids in hooking up the rear suspension. While replacing the torque arm, check the transmission mount, as the stock torque arm places a huge load on the mount, and the mount breaks quite often when using the factory torque arm. The adjustability of these aftermarket torque arms allows the user to adjust the pinion angle of the rear suspension which aids in finding traction.

    3. Moser 12 bolt - Sooner or later the weak 7.5" Chevy S-10 derived 10 bolt is going to break. I wouldn't waste any money into attempting to build up the 10 bolt, it just doesn't work. There isn't one strong point to the stocker. For those of you with a six speed transmission, the 10 bolt has broken on many M6 cars with stock power. Expect the worse to happen... 3:73 gears in the Moser rear-end is a good compromise, especially when adding a lot of power to the engine.

    4. Driveshaft - The stock GM driveshaft have broken for many enthusiast, both the steel and the 3.0" aluminum GM driveshafts are fairly weak. I recommend an aftermarket 3.5" aluminum driveshaft with a 1350 Yoke with a 1350 U Joint. Combined with the Moser 12 bolt with their supplied 1350 yoke, you will have a strong drivetrain.

    5. Clutch and pressure plate - I recommend the Spec Stage 3 clutch and pressure plate. Expect some chatter for the first 500 miles, then it will be pretty smooth. I would also add the '01-'02 slave cylinder for the older models, and do the "drill mod" to the master cylinder. Do a search on this forum for the drill mod, and you will see what it entails.

    At this point I believe the suspension is capable off supporting a lot of horsepower, and you can go straight to item 14.
    For those of you who are dragstrip bound, I would also add a few additional items.

    6. Adjustable lower control arms - The aftermarket lower control arms are much stouter, and will not flex like the factory lower control arms. Going with adjustable ones will allow the user to center the rear end in the wheelwell. The stock rear end position from the factory tends to be .5" towards the rear of the car. You really won't notice it until larger diameter tires are installed.

    7. Lower control arm relocation brackets - Lower control arm relocation brackets are meant to be used when the car has been lowered, which alters the angle of the lower control arms. We have found that the relocation brackets also help in getting traction in non lowered cars. We use the weld on style that BMR offers.

    8. Panhard bar - The factory pan hard bar is pretty flimsy and additional traction can be found by replacing the factory pan hard bar with a heavier duty aftermarket bar. The rear in these cars tends to sit closer to the right side, and by purchasing an adjustable pan hard bar, the rear-end can be centered in the body.

    9. Strut Tower Brace - Eliminate flexing in the front end by adding an aftermarket strut tower brace. You will also notice that the car will handle better with a strut tower brace.

    10. Battery box relocation - By relocating the battery to the trunk, you will remove a lot of weight off the front of the car and place the weight behind the rear-end, where it will aid in traction. The car will also be able to handle better with the weight relocation.

    11. Rear coil spring air bags - By experimenting with adding more air to the right air bag than to the left one, better off the line traction can be found.

    12. Adjustable shocks and front coil over springs - We use the Hal QA1 12 way adjustable shocks on our cars. It is easy to adjust these shocks for street use, and then readjust them for strip use by simply rotating the 12 way adjustable dial. The Hal QA1 front coil over springs allows the front end height to easily be adjusted.

    13. K member - By replacing the front K member and upper and lower control arms with light weight aftermarket tubular ones, a lot of weight is removed from the front suspension. Since front end weight is removed, better off the line traction and better handling will occur. We have had good success with the BMR parts, and combined with the Hal QA1 shocks and coil over front springs, gives the car a much better chance of getting traction on the starting line.

    14. Headers and cat back exhaust - Everyone has their favorites, but we have grown very fond of Hooker and Flowtech headers, and the Hooker and Magnaflow Cat Back exhaust systems.
    Flowtech and Hooker ceramic coated headers fit very well, with excellent ground clearance. The Flowtech headers are priced very competitively with PaceSetter headers, yet they install and fit much better. The ceramic coatings go a long way towards keeping the exhaust temps in the pipes, keeping the engine bay cooler and improving internal exhaust scavenging. These two brands of headers will give you 2.5" more in ground clearance compared to SLP headers.
    The Hooker and Magnaflow cat back exhaust systems give these cars a good muscular sound that will not drown out your stereo while driving down the road. The exhaust tubing is larger than the stock tubing and is mandrel bent, for better exhaust flow.

    For those of you who want it loud. If you are looking for an exhaust system that will annoy everyone around you, the two above exhaust systems are not for you. The SLP "Loud Mouth" cat back is a good system for those of you who want to be noticed. When we have one of these cars on my dyno with a loud mouth exhaust system, everyone around our area can hear the car!

    15. ATI ProCharger D-1SC eight rib supercharger - Simply the best and easiest way to get 450 to 500 rwhp out of your car in my opinion, when combined with headers and a good cat back exhaust system. The car will still see great part throttle gas mileage, overall driveability will still be excellent, and the power is always there when you want it. At 8 pounds of boost, the car will be very dependable, and with the twin high flow air to air intercoolers, unleaded premium is all you need to use. I recommend the ATI ProCharger D-1SC "tuner" kit, as the D-1SC can handle future mods much better than the P-1SC. You will need 42 lb fuel injectors, a 255 litre in tank fuel pump, and chassis dyno tuning with the "tuner" kit.

    Hopefully this list will help you in your quest for having a quick car! Bob
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  9. #9
    I Fixed Da Rear jimbo98z's Avatar
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    All that with a blower I would think would be high 10's, since a lot of cars that are cammed with stock heads and bolt-ons can see mid-high 11's.

  10. #10
    Window Licker Sassy Cassie's Avatar
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    I say... BOTH!

  11. #11
    Member csteingraber's Avatar
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    the way i look at is you will have between 400-500hp with either and blown engine being a bit higher.

    if you do heads and cam first they will prob up the compression a bit with hand ported heads and upgraded valvetrain and you will be fast but if you want more power later and you want it with a supercharger then you gotta swap the heads again to low compression.

    But if you supercharge first like a D1SC with potential for higher boost later, you have great power and later if you want you can add heads and cam with lower compression all designed to match the FI. It's more expensive at first but less expensive in the long run, IF you want an ultimately dumb fast car.

    Now if you will stay with 400-500 range i think Heads/Cam is better cuz you are upgrading the valvetrain and making the engine more reliable (and the fact that usually with H/C you swap to LS6 oil pump, double timing chain, etc) so that is actually making your engine better and newer on top of more power. I know you may want both eventually but consider heads and cam only cuz you can have a 10sec car with H/C and bolt ons. Do you really want to go faster than that? maybe you'd rather spend the rest of the money building suspension,chassis, brakes, and any other areas of the car. You may not be able to afford h/c after supercharger cuz all that power requires a lot of other mods like rear end, maybe even transmission, fuel supply, driveshaft, chassis reinforcement, etc.

    If you go heads and cam i would recommend finding a really good shop with hand ported, not cnc ported, heads and matching cam and custom tune. You will also need headers and ls6 intake to take full advantage of h/c. and sticky tires!

  12. #12
    Slomaro
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    I am friends with a local guy that is running a 7 psi Procharger with LTs and full exhaust on a completely stock engine that puts down 440hp and 400 tq through a 3500 (I think) stall auto. Car runs 11.8s.
    My plans involve a T56, good heads, moderate cam and later a STS setup. From my research, a GOOD H/C can make similar power to a 5-8 psi car. But, if you do a good H/C, some sort of charger later on makes even more power.
    Last edited by 91_RS_LS1; 03-06-2006 at 06:28 PM.

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