Reaching a horsepower or elapsed time goal can be one of the best feelings on earth, but ultimately every racer just wants to make more power or go just a little faster. Alex Taylor has laid down some solid eight-second passes behind the wheel of her 1968 Camaro known as the “Badmaro” during Drag Week and her goal for 2018 is push the elapsed times even lower. Taylor’s LSX-based engine is getting a refresh with Air Flow Research (AFR) heads and more so she can run at the front of Drag Week’s Small-Block Power Adder class.
The engine that was in the Camaro had been freshened for the 2017 edition of Drag Week, but began to have a lot of issues so the decision was made to start over again. Building an engine from a blank slate was on the radar of Taylor and her team for a while, and they finally got the opportunity coming into the 2018 season. With an idea of what direction she wanted to go, Taylor started to map out the build and collect parts.
“We mainly decided to build this new engine for added safety and more power. I previously had a 6.0L LS1 setup with a bottom end that didn’t have the best parts and I was running AFR’s LS1 Mongoose 245cc heads at the time. We had no problems, but I knew that I was pushing the engine pretty hard. I was having to make 25-26 pounds of boost to run 8.70s and I couldn’t do it consistently.
“We knew with that level of boost that I was running the risk of breaking something or lifting a head. I knew that I had to be running 8.50s with the capability of running faster in order to be competitive in the Street Race Small-Block Power Adder class at Drag Week so that’s why we went big with the new engine,” Taylor says.
After talking with AFR at the PRI Show in December and seeing the new LSX Mongoose head things started happening quickly for the new build. The entire engine was built around the AFR heads with the ability to run over 2,000 horsepower. The conversion to six-bolt heads was also done to help prevent the possibility of lifting a head.
The new tall-deck LSX 427 was machined and balanced by Tommy Keeter at KPE Racing. Inside is a Crower crank that throws a set of custom Crower rods and BME pistons inside the 4.125-inch bore. The AFR heads are accented by a set of Crower lifters, ARP head studs, Inconel valves, PAC springs, Crower rockers, and camshaft. A pair of BorgWarner turbos provide the boost and everything is controlled by a Holley Dominator EFI system.
Taylor is working on a few different projects right now and her schedule is pretty booked, but she does plan on taking the Badmaro back to Drag Week this year, where her goal is to be a contender in the Street Race Small-Block Power Adder class and run well into the 8.50s every day while out on the road.