Making a reliable, street-capable engine that produces record-breaking horsepower numbers is arguably one of the most difficult tasks that can be presented to an engine builder. One of the most grueling tests of machine and builder is the week long drag racing event know as Drag Week, an event that requires more than just trailering a vehicle across the Mid-West to compete at five different tracks over a five day period.
Steve Morris has been an industry authority on pushing the envelope and building top-tier Drag Week style, road-going, engines. Tom Bailey, is no stranger to this event, and his “Sick Second 2.0” 1969 Camaro is one of the many competitors that rely on the Steve Morris power.
In this YouTube video, we get a first glimpse of the engine that is a year in the making. A frightful billet twin-turbo’d 615-inch powerhouse that aims to break down the 5-second average wall at this year’s Drag Week. During the initial dyno testing, we get an inside look at the potential of this combination as it tips the scales with an impressive 2,959 hp and 1,973 lb-ft of torque at a mere 20 pounds of boost.
“This new motor is on track to make 1,000 horsepower more than the original big-block that propelled Bailey’s car into the 3.90’s,” Morris stated.
This new 615ci engine features a 5-inch bore spacing that helps accommodate coolant system based cylinder gaskets. A set of standard type fuel injectors handle the street driving of this engine, with 16 screw-in Billet Atomizers managing the 1/4-mile fuel requirements, all of which are controlled by a Holley EFI Dominator. Other killer portions of this setup include a set of 94 mm Precision turbos, Peterson dry sump oiling system, Crower billet crank and titanium connecting rods, and custom Diamond pistons.
After clinching last years Unlimited class average, Bailey was in need of a more robust engine combination to continue his winning streak. According to Steve Morris himself, the cast-iron big-block Chevy was not able to hold up to the 100-degree street driving reliably coupled with 3,500 horsepower demands of each pass down the track. The solution was scrapping the cast iron approach and going all billet.
“The hardest portion of this build has been entirely water jacketing the engine. There is only so much you can accomplish with cast parts before you start breaking things left and right,” Morris shared with us. “The market doesn’t supply fully CNC’d cylinder heads and blocks that have water jackets, so this particular engine required a lot of one-off design. Thankfully, we were able to get a set of heads designed and machined by CFE and a custom LSM block with the addition of the cooling passages this build needed.”
It is astonishing what kind of advancements the racing world has bred, and the impact it has on the community. Five years ago, we would’ve guessed that an engine making over 4,000 horsepower wouldn’t be able to make a 1,200-mile trek and blast down the 1/4-mile in less than 6-seconds. It is an accomplishment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. We look forward to seeing the kind of power Bailey and Morris can pump out of this new engine and how it performs under pressure at this year’s Drag Week.