Corvette and Camaro owners with LS7 engines who want to add significant boost now have a billet aluminum option over a composite intake manifold.
Late Model Engines out of Houston, Texas, has designed a 5-piece intake manifold machined out 6061 alloy billet that will fit under the hood of a C6 ‘Vette or 2010 and newer Camaro. This construction will withstand high levels of boost and not suffer any of the deterioration or durability problems sometimes associated with composite manifolds.
“This is a large plenum, short runner manifold designed for boosted and big-cubic-inch LS7 engines,” says Bryan Neelen of LME, noting that the manifold is good for 8,000-plus rpm in a 427ci or larger engine.
The shorter runners will help increase rpm range of the engine, and the plenum is designed to feed air to the cylinders more evenly.
“The angle of the throttle body is important,” Neelen tells EngineLabs, noting that extensive airflow modeling and CAD work was needed to achieve the optimum design. “You want the air to enter the plenum in a manner that doesn’t favor the front cylinders. You want equal distribution in the plenum.”
The manifold is assembled with stainless hardware and is fully O-ringed for a tight seal. There are also dual mounting bungs integrated to the injector bosses for owners desiring 1- or 2-stage direct-port nitrous. Weight with the fuel rails is 24 pounds. The manifold shown has provisions to feed a boost manifold on the firewall, but production versions will support a factory MAP sensor, including the mounting bolt hole and O-ring.
In the video above, LME tested the billet intake on a 488ci LS engine based on a RHS tall-deck block with a 4.500-inch-stroke crankshaft and 13:1 Wiseco pistons. The engine easily pulled 600 lb-ft from 5,100 through 6,800 rpm, and it made 700-plus horsepower from 5,800 to 8,000 rpm.
Taking advantage of the modular design, a dual-throttle-body model will be introduced in the near future, and LME is already developing an LT1 version. Of course, applications are not limited to Corvettes and Camaros. It will work well on LS7 engines used in street rods, musclecar conversions and marine applications.