Steve Morris Makes This Drag And Drive Big-Block Sing On The Dyno

Engine builders have found ways to extract insane amounts of horsepower from all kinds of engine combinations thanks to advances in technology. There’s one engine package that’s always been able to make big power since it was first created: the famed big-block Chevy. In this video, we hear what engine guru Steve Morris did to make a rat motor lay down over 2,500 horsepower on the dyno.

Steve Morris Engines has cranked out all kinds of innovative engine packages that have won at every level in drag racing. The 540 cubic-inch big block Chevy that’s the subject of this video is owned by Mike Berardinelli and is used to power his street-driven Malibu.

According to Morris, this engine had seen some valvetrain issues that needed to be addressed, and it really had never reached its full potential because of those previous issues. The engine received a Steve Morris Engines piston and rod package to assist with improving its performance. The Howards Cams Billet Reaper crankshaft continued to serve as the rotating assembly’s backbone, since it was more than capable of handing all the boosted horsepower. Morris was also able to use the Dart block and RFD cylinder heads the engine came with, too.

A billet Steve Morris Engines intake was used to replace the traditional cast intake to improve the engine’s ability to breathe. Currently, the engine only uses one set of fuel injectors, but the intake Morris added can hold an additional set in case Berardinelli needs them. A giant 118mm turbo from Precision Turbo & Engine supplies the boost, while a FuelTech ECU controls the engine.

This combination is simple, effective, and makes crazy power for a street car. The turbo takes advantage of the engine’s efficiency and lives in a near-perfect horsepower range.  Berardinelli’s goal was to make 2,000 horsepower to the tires on the chassis dyno, and based on the engine dyno session that shouldn’t be an issue.

On a diet of E100 fuel, the big block cranked out 2,536 horsepower and 1,693 ft/lb. of torque at just 18 pounds of boost while being spun to 7,900 RPM. With pump gas in the tank, the engine made 1,296 horsepower and 1,012 ft/lb. of torque at 6,800 RPM, with 7 pounds of boost being pumped into the engine.

You’ll want to check out this entire video because there’s a lot of good technical information included. Steve talks about how intercooling works with gas and methanol applications and why this engine works so well.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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