Damian Baker of BG Engines says, “Rocket brought two of the Warhawk LS7X blocks into the country way back in the 2000s when they were released.” He adds, “One went over to WA and we grabbed the other. Back then, there were no LSX or Dart LS Next lightweight aftermarket blocks, and to be honest, I still think the Warhawk is better than those anyway.”
First published in the September 2022 issue of Street Machine
Damian’s affinity for the Warhawk block stems from a few architectural changes that were revolutionary when it was released in 2006. Externally, it’s nearly identical to a GM-stamped LS engine; however, under the skin World Products reengineered things like water jackets, the material between bores and the internal oiling system, to name a few. “World did a matching six-bolt head that we’re using, and the block uses 7/16-inch fasteners throughout, which is a big upgrade,” Damian adds.
Damian is the first to admit that the LS7X heads have been left behind a little when compared to some of the more efficient modern heads, but with the SSI high-helix 6/71 blower forcing air through them, they’re yet to see any restrictions.
Originally destined for BG Engines’ HQ drag ute, the SSI pump was instead called into active service for the company’s VE Commodore Powercruise car. “Being a high-helix blower, obviously you’ve got the bigger casing, which gives us the 8/71 look but inside it’s all 6/71,” Damian explains. Keen eyes will spot the extra methanol injectors plumbed directly into the supercharger housing, which further drops intake air temps and keeps things happily lubricated to protect the Teflon-coated rotors.
The blower sits atop one of BG’s own Pro Billet intake manifolds, which is a work of art in itself. “A lot of the off-the-shelf blower manifolds are just tunnel rams with a blower plate slapped on them – they’re not perfect for the job, but they’re cost-effective,” Damian explains. “With the Pro Billet, we’re able to design a manifold to suit any supercharger outlet or any block and head arrangement, because you just can’t buy manifolds for a lot of aftermarket heads. We can also design things that we know from experience we’ll need, like some extra material on the runner walls to run port nozzles.”
Under the blower, a custom-ground Crow cam spins through the middle of the Warhawk block. “It’s a solid-roller with a custom profile that we specced, with around 255/[email protected], 113 degrees LSA and just under 0.700in lift.” It’s lumpy enough to give the combo plenty of chop, but not so outlandish that it’s stressing the rest of the valvetrain.
The LS makes a stout 1312hp at 8900rpm, though Damian admits it wasn’t showing any signs of nosing over!
On the outside, the engine looks like it could easily slot into a Doorslammer. The Pro Mag 12 dominates, joining an Enderle 9gpm fuel pump and Peterson R4 oil pump, all designed to work in perfect synchronicity using a drive system that’s custom machined in-house.
“There are plenty of things designed to keep it alive, but we packaged it in such a way that it’s easy to work on while in the car, and just as simple to remove for periodic maintenance,” Damian says.
Damian is a big proponent of using a dry sump system. “For any premium engine, you’re mad to run a wet sump!” he insists. Coupled with the Warhawk’s priority oiling system, the Peterson R4 pump provides consistent oil delivery to key areas like cam and mains bearings, and ensures the VE doesn’t starve while drifting with a car-load of mates at Powercruise. The added oil volume is a great way to keep oil temps down, and the external reservoir makes oil changes (a more frequent occurrence on methanol) a breeze.
North Richmond, NSW