Project Spinal Tap: Listen To EFI University’s LS Spin 11,000+ RPM

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably heard the arguments against the LS a thousand times. “It’s a pushrod engine so it doesn’t want to rev”, “The technology is old and out of date”, “It’s a truck engine”, etc. And while you’d have thought that the LS had put many of these “complaints” out to pasture at this point, there are still a lot of detractors out there.

But EFI University doesn’t much care for bench racing. No, they place much more stock in data. So when they teamed up with COMP Cams to build Project Spinal Tap — an LS destined to spin more than 11,000 rpm — they didn’t really care what people “thought”, they just wanted to find out what exactly could realistically be done.

After some serious engineering, and a few setbacks, EFIU was ready to put Project Spinal Tap on the SpinTron. Obviously, the team was sure to systematically approach the engine’s maximum RPM, all while monitoring the all-telling valvetrain harmonics along the way, but when the dust settled, Project Spinal Tap had done the unthinkable, touching 11,658 rpm. To put that in perspective, that’s over 190 rotations per second. 

Not bad for a so-called anachronistic piece of technology, huh? Billy Godbold, head cam wizard at COMP, can even be heard saying that the LS likely has more RPM in it if they remove up to 12 grams from the valvetrain with lighter components. It would appear that 12,000 rpm is not out of the realm of possibility but, ultimately, the goal was met when they eclipsed the original 11,000-rpm barrier.

Is there more in store form the guys over at EFI University and Project Spinal Tap? It’s definitely possible, and we have a series of in-depth stories coming your way on just how they pulled it off thus far, so stay tuned. 

About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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