The factory heads are based on the LS3 heads. However, they have a flow vane in the intake port. This helps emissions and idle stability, but reduces flow. CNC porting the heads is common. This removes the vane and improves airflow by about 70 cfm. Aftermarket cylinder heads are another option. These heads will flow even better than ported stock heads and have thicker deck surfaces to withstand more boost.
The CP Carrillo-backed Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot left the starting line with a psychic .029-second reaction time and kept right on going for a 5.425, 269.67 win over Swede Ulf Leanders’ 5.508, 268.33. Aggressively testing in Phoenix prior to the Winternationals paid off for Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shawn Cowie, who scored his 11th national event win and second season-opener Wally with a defeat of Garrett Bateman.
Upgrades are usually done in stages. Each level will provide more performance than the one before it. However, they will also be more involved and expensive. The first upgrade we recommend is tuning the computer. This involves changing the fuel and ignition curves to optimize performance. A good tune can gain up to 40 hp on a stock engine. (Any significant upgrade will require re-tuning the computer.)
Detonation can occur if inlet air temperatures get too high and/or low-octane fuel is used. This will destroy the cast pistons in the LSA. Forged pistons are a smart upgrade. (The LS9 came with forged pistons from the factory.) Due to extremely high cylinder pressure, the heads can start to lift around 1,000 hp. At that point, you will need to basically build a whole new engine. The following upgrades will be required.