Modern technology has given us so much performance, drivability, and fuel mileage, it’s hard to imagine that there might still be some performance to be had with “simple bolt-ons.” The guys at Blackdog Speed Shop recently revealed in their latest video that in fact, there are some ponies to be made with just a few simple hand tools.
In this video, the guys at Blackdog Speed Shop spent a few minutes (just under two-and-a-half minutes to be exact) turning wrenches on a 2018 Camaro ZL1. Of course, it took longer than two-and-a-half minutes to swap out the factory LT4’s damper and drive pulley for an ATI Performance Products Super Damper and 15% overdrive belt pulley, but they figured they’d spare you the boring details. Besides, a large portion of the video is a soundtrack of that LT4 engine at full song. You’re welcome.
Out with the old, in with the new!
The guys at Blackdog Speed Shop emphasized this modification can be done by the DIY performance enthusiast in their own garage. BSS didn’t even use a lift! The only items besides the OEM damper that were removed from the Camaro were the air intake and the cooling fan. With the help of some battery-operated tools, the guys had the old damper in hand without much issue. Of course, installing the ATI Super Damper could easily be whittled down to, “Install in reverse of disassembly.” But, for the skinny on all the info on how to properly install the ATI Super Damper on the late-model Camaro, we’d defer you to ATI’s own Super Damper installation PDF.
The ATI Super Damper is an elastomeric damper comprised of two concentric rings, an inner one that connects to the crankshaft, and an outer one that is designed to counteract any torsional vibrations of the crankshaft. The ATI Super Damper is the only crankshaft damper designed exclusively for high-performance Chevy engines. Each ATI Super Damper exceeds SFI 18.1 specs and is tunable, rebuildable, and extremely efficient at all RPM.
The ZL1 uses a serpentine-style damper and as an added bonus, the ATI damper features laser engraved timing marks around its circumference. One deviation from the disassembly process was the installation of the ATI Performance Products 15-percent overdrive pulley for the supercharger. This larger pulley is designed to spin the supercharger faster, which in turn pumps more air into the engine. More air equals more power. The ATI 15-percent overdrive pulley reportedly brings another two-to-three psi of boost to the table.
On the dyno
The guys then rolled the Camaro back onto the rollers to see what the difference would be with the new ATI damper and overdrive pulley. On the initial run, the car churned out 580 horsepower and 536 lb/ft of torque. With the new damper and pulley, the car now churned the rollers with 617 horsepower and 613 lb/ft of torque. That’s a difference of 37 horsepower and 78 lb/ft of torque! Now, in full disclosure, the guys at Blackdog Speed Shop did say in the comments section that they did some tuning on the car after adding the damper and pulley. Even so, that’s quite a difference for just a few hours with some hand tools and a little tuning. And, while GM doesn’t necessarily endorse ATI’s line of Super Dampers, they did choose to use it on their LS3-based CT525 circle track engine available through Chevrolet Performance.
The addition of the ATI Super Damper and overdrive pulley not only brings better seat of the pants performance but also increases the reliability of the engine. There’s a reason why the big names in racing have ATI Performance Products under their hoods, and now, you can too. Check out the ATI Performance Products website and this video to see how this bolt-on (and a little tuning) can give your LT4-powered GM vehicle a boost of performance you’re sure to feel.