When you think of the words "Kinsler fuel injection," your mind probably recalls the mechanical injection setups of the 1960s and '70s--those ubiquitous isolated-runner systems with ram tubes for each cylinder. They were of the constant-flow variety and offered more-precise fuel metering and easier adjustability when compared with carburetors of the same era.
Corvette racers like John Greenwood popularized mechanical injection in road racing, where low-profile, cross-ram-type injection systems aided aerodynamics by allowing lower hood profiles. And while the increasing prevalence of big-bore throttle bodies mounted on composite intake manifolds may make the old-school FI setups seem archaic, Kinsler has remained at the forefront of technology with electronic injection systems for even the newest LS engines.
Combining the vintage cross-ram look with a modern LS foundation would make a great combination for a 21st-century, pro-touring-style midyear Vette. At least, that was Tom Coleman's thought when he suggested it to customer Joe Henderson. Coleman is the proprietor of Ashe-ville, North Carolina's The Winning Collection, a top-notch restoration facility with deep racing roots. Henderson is an Ashville-based sports-car enthusiast with Ferraris and Porsches in his stable. He brought a '67 Corvette roadster to The Winning Collection, asking for the classic body to be stretched over a more contemporary drivetrain.
"Joe wanted the car to start, run, and drive like any modern car, but do so with that classic Corvette style," says Coleman. "A carbureted big-block might have been the easy way to go, but electronic fuel injection accommodates the varying air that comes with driving in the mountains around Asheville."
Having used Katech Performance engines on other projects, Coleman turned to the Michigan-based company for the engine-building chores on Henderson's project. And such a unique engine combination wouldn't rely on just any off-the-rack LS cylinder block, either. Rather, Katech started with one of its own billet-aluminum units.
You read that correctly. Katech offers its own LS block milled out of a chunk--a big chunk--of aluminum. That doesn't make it the most economical piece on the market, but the Katech block was designed to meet the strength and durability requirements of high-horsepower engines. More importantly, it enables a larger displacement than any other production-based aluminum LS block: 500 cubic inches.
"It's got big-block displacement and power, but it weighs more than 100 pounds less than an iron cylinder block," says Coleman.
Henderson's engine starts with a 500-inch short-block, is filled with Katech's basic Street Attack 500 components--an all-forged rotating assembly, custom camshaft, and deep-breathing LS7 cylinder heads--and, to cap it all off, draws air through that trick-looking Kinsler injection system.
"The Kinsler was my idea," says Coleman. "It works great, and it looks even better for a car of this caliber."
And the engine's dyno results are as impressive as the engine is eye-popping: 701 horses and 677 lb-ft of torque.
"It makes great power that's usable in all driving conditions," says Katech's Jason Harding. "It was the first 500-inch engine we built with the Kinsler system, and we were very pleased with how well it worked with our basic Street Attack 500 engine components."
Keep in mind that this engine was designed for the street, too, so the roller camshaft balances performance with good idle quality. An 11.1:1 compression ratio means fill-ups require strict adherence to premium gas, but it's definitely a pump-gas engine.
Gorgeous, isn't it? The Atomic...
Gorgeous, isn't it? The Atomic Orange-painted Kinsler intake manifold, along with the carbon-fiber ram tubes and valve covers, give the engine a great blend of form and function.
The cylinder block is Katech's...
The cylinder block is Katech's own big-bore, billet-aluminum piece. It enables a 500ci displacement that would be impossible to create with a production-based alloy block.
Here's the bottom view of...
Here's the bottom view of the block, showing its billet-steel main caps. Dart Machinery provides the initial CNC machining of the raw aluminum billet, which is made of 6061-T61 aluminum.
Katech finishes the machine...
Katech finishes the machine work by hot honing (with deck plates) the bores to 4.205 inches. Rather than conventional iron liners, the bores are coated with nickel-silicon carbide--a material that ranks just below a diamond in hardness. The result is exceptional wear resistance without the added weight of iron.
Engine assembly starts with...
Engine assembly starts with the installation of a Callies forged-steel, internally balanced crankshaft that delivers a stroke of 4.500 inches. It's fitted with a 24X reluctor wheel so it will work with a GM MEFI controller.
The other rotating parts include...
The other rotating parts include K1 forged-steel H-beam rods which are 6.365 inches in length; they're married to Katech's own 4032-forged-aluminum pistons. These deliver a relatively high (yet still pump-gas-friendly) compression ratio of about 11:1.
Much of the engine's combination...
Much of the engine's combination is derived from Katech's Street Attack 500 package, but the roller camshaft differs with profile specific to this engine project. Lift is nearly 0.700-inch, with a wide, 114-degree lobe separation angle that promotes a broader power band.
In keeping with Katech's roots,...
In keeping with Katech's roots, a bit of racing technology can be found in this high-tech method of degreeing the camshaft. All of Katech's engines--race or street--are degreed this way.