Introduction: West Coast Racer DJ Reid’s Off Season LSX Engine Build


My name is DJ Reid and I‘m building an LSX – but before we get to that, let me tell you a little about myself.

Based out of Silicon Valley, California, I run my 1968 small block supercharged Camaro in various Outlaw 8.5 and 275 Drag Radial series spanning from here in California to as far east as Georgia; yes, the one next to Florida. In the last couple years, my team of two – which includes my crew chief, Erik Kvilhaug – has developed quite a following as I’ve maintained a top five spot in the national Leaf Spring 275 radial ranks. On the West Coast, I’ve consistently made first and second place appearances in both Outlaw 8.5 and 275 radial classes.

dj3You also may have seen me in the various tech sections of the Yellow Bullet forum sharing what I’ve learned and even in some of the less technical sections, sharing my occasionally provocative views on matters such as class parity and other small tire racing topics. Now, I’m bringing you along as I dive into the LSX ranks and build a monster.

275 Drag Radial racing is alive and well on the West Coast, and as we approach 2014, some of the hottest  “left coast” racing organizations – like the National Muscle Car Association West series (which features the Street Outlaw class), the Pacific Street Car Association and the West Coast Hot Rod Association –- have pledged their full support for heads up radial racing. Likewise, the racers have responded positively and it’s becoming clearer than ever that the 275 class is poised for red-hot action up and down the western seaboard next year.


Mo’ Power

Although we performed very well, it became clear over the last year that I needed an increase in the power department if our team was going to try to consistently run very low sevens at over 190 mph. Enter the NMCA West event in Pomona, James Lawrence, and the infamous BlownZ. It was at this race that Eric and I met James and after a few conversations, it quickly became apparent that we had a lot in common. After looking around at several successful team efforts, we began to think about forming a partnership with James and building an LSX engine for the car.

In only his second year with the BlownZ project car and his first year of serious competition, James has made an impressive push from the bottom to the top that culminated in an impressive sub-record and winning run with a 7.35 at 189 mph at the NMCA West Finals in Bakersfield in October. His team’s ability to quickly learn and adapt was aptly demonstrated as they improved their year-over-year performance by well over half a second. His accomplishments have been further recognized as the NMCA West community recently nominated him for Rookie of the Year honors.

dj1After several late nights of car banter and a few races crewing together, James, Eric, and I came up with the idea for a LSX race engine build for 2014. In this project I would not only build a new engine but also author a complete article series on the build, highlighting the installation and the racing performance of the engine in my ’68 Camaro for 2014. In addition, we would pair together to form an informal partnership to race in 2014.

James’ engine is a 400ci ProCharger F1X-boosted Edelbrock/Curtis Boggs-headed LSR engine built by Late Model Engines. Although we aren’t going to spill the beans on the complete build for my ’68 Camaro just yet, we can say it will be a 400-430 cubic inch LSX built with top-flight components like Dart’s LS-Next Block, MAST’s MOZEZ heads, Holley EFI and a Vortech XB105 supercharger. More to come on that later…


Double the Data

The idea behind the relationship is simple. James and I will be able to take our programs to the next level by effectively doubling the data gathered in a given session and doubling the brain cooperative in analyzing that data. Essentially, the relationship will unify the efforts, resources and data of two capable teams into a singular machine with one goal – winning. In addition, we will use the off-season to unify the two programs in race-day processes and hardware as much as possible. The unification will be topped off with a “boost” from a set of sister LSX “bad boys” taking the reigns in each engine bay. 

The plan means we will have two similar platforms to work with, a wider pool of manufacturer feedback and finally more comprehensive data comparisons. This data will not only provide the information needed to win on the track but will significantly increase off track productivity, as both of our teams currently work with a host of manufacturers in product testing and development.

The Off-Season

Out with the old, in with the new. Shown at left is the monster new intake that will sit atop the new LSX.

Out with the old, in with the new. Shown at left is the monster new intake and Mast heads that will sit atop the new LSX.

From the 25.3 chassis to the drivetrain, our team will be updating many aspects of our 1968 Camaro. Chris Alston’s Chassisworks was brought on for a new rear-end, and as we mentioned, our conventional

 SBC that has served us well in the past will be retired. In addition to the new bullet, Peterson Fluid Systems has come aboard to handle the oiling duties, while the entire fuel system will be replaced with enough Aeromotive mechanical hardware to supply upwards of 2,500 HP worth of fuel.

dj5Overall, I’m very excited to be working with Power Automedia. As a part of this effort, I am working on an 8-part article series with,, and in exploring cutting edge LSX supercharged technology. These race inspired platforms will be the perfect foundations for a multitude of performance components and are virtually guaranteed to present a wide array of editorial opportunities throughout the season. These editorial opportunities, some already in the planning stages, will include literature on supporting drivetrain and other high performance related hardware. 

The 2014 season is shaping up to be a good one for us. While we haven’t finalized the entire 2014 schedule, rest assured we are going to do our best to be a big part of the 275 radial racing scene out West. Please cheer us along and I’m looking forward to sharing everything I learn as we build and run this LSX bullet.


About the author


Dragzine® delivers the hard-hitting news, rumors, and event coverage that drag racers crave from NHRA, IHRA, NMCA, PDRA, Outlaw, and Drag Radial events, not to mention videos, in-depth car features, tech articles, and interviews. It’s drag racing — 24 hours a day! Our goal is to deliver to you the quickest news and insights in the drag racing world. You’ll also find some of the best technical content on the web — from installations, dyno tests, project vehicles and more.
Read My Articles

Drag Racing in your Inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Dragzine, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.