Video: Dyno Abuse! Nelson Racing Twin-turbo BBC Wreaks Havoc Again

Fortunately for Nelson Racing Engines, there are no laws against dyno abuse. If so, Tom Nelson could be found guilty as a habitual offender. Remember this EngineLabs story where he blew up an intercooler, and this 2,500-horsepower wrecking machine?

NRE is well-known for its well-engineered and complete engine packages that are delivered turnkey to the customer; they often find their way into street machines that have no business making this sort of power, but isn’t that what the horsepower game is all about?

Once again Nelson has posted a video of a twin-turbo big-block wreaking havoc on the dyno, so much so that peak numbers can never be revealed.

“The dyno just can’t take it,” sighs Nelson when asked why the sweep tests never go above 6,500 rpm even though the chart shows the power is still climbing.

For this killer combination, the engine posted 2,127 horsepower at 6,400 rpm with 22 pounds of boost. Nelson admits on the video that full throttle wasn’t applied through the entire run, yet the numbers were climbing fast.

What’s the full potential of this engine? The video headline says 2,500 but we may never know for sure. However, owner Bob Wisely of Australia will certainly have a sweet little street/strip bullet for his Camaro.

Displacing 632ci, this engine is built around a Dart alloy block with a 10.400-inch deck height.

“It’s a little taller than a normal tall deck,” explains Nelson. “That gives a little better ring pack.”

Internals are comprised of a Callies crankshaft, Oliver rods and JE pistons. On top are CNC-ported Brodix heads while a dry-sump oiling system powered by an Aviaid 5-stage pump is below. The roller cam is not as aggressive as one might expect.

“It’s not even a race cam. It’s relatively mellow,” adds Nelson.

Poor dyno!

Boost is generated by a pair of NRE’s mirror image 88mm turbos, pushing air through an air-to-water intercooler into NRE’s all-billet Alien intake. The mirror image turbochargers allow NRE to keep the overall dimensions of the engine and power-adders compact for an easy installation by the customer.

Each intake runner sports two injectors, one for pump gas and the other for race gas.

“This manifold has two completely separate fuel systems,” says Nelson. “You have a primary with its own regulator and a secondary with its own regulator. With two fuel tanks, you can do octane on demand. So, 91 runs in the primaries and the race gas runs in the secondaries.”

The engine can also be set up to run straight E85 using the Electromotive Tec3 ECU.

“We’re able to do the two fuels with one map,” says Nelson. “For E85, you just download a new program.”

With just five to six pounds of boost, the engine posted 1,177 horsepower at 6,400 rpm. Doubling the boost to 12.8 pounds, and the engine responded with 1,522 horsepower and 1,363 lb-ft of torque. At 22 pounds, there was 2,127 horsepower and over 1,700 lb-ft of torque that sheared the bolts from the water servo, which led to a small flood on the dyno cell floor.

“It just ripped the threads right out,” says Nelson. “It was an easy fix this time. We just have to put in stronger threads.”

But repairs haven’t always been so simple.

“Here’s our history. We shattered the wheels, so we made billet wheels. That held up for a little while, then we stripped the wheels of the shaft,” recalls Nelson. “So we welded the wheels to the shaft. Then we started blowing the seals out, and had to come up with a seal that will hold. Now we’re blowing off the servo motor on the bottom of the brake.”

It’s not hard to guess what Nelson wants for Christmas!

About the author

Mike Magda

Mike Magda is a veteran automotive writer with credits in publications such as Racecar Engineering, Hot Rod, Engine Technology International, Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive Testing Technology and Professional Motorsport World.
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