Turbocharged 6.0L LS Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Turbocharged 6.0L LS Engine

When it comes to the drag-and-drive world, it's all about your hustle and motivation. Brandon Doller of Lowdoller Motorsports certainly didn't lack any motivation. He worked his tail off leading up to the 2022 Midwest Drags to complete his '70 Nova and its 98mm turbocharged 6.0L LS engine. Check it out!

Engine of the Week is presented by

At US 41 Drag Strip this summer, we got to speak with Jamie Doller about his 1971 Camaro during the Summit Midwest Drags. As that conversation was happening, we couldn’t help but notice three guys very hard at work in the next pit over. Laying on the ground under a gorgeous 1970 Nova, one of those three men was Brandon Doller, Jamie’s brother and owner of Lowdoller Motorsports. Brandon was kind enough to take a 5-minute break from fixing his streetcar to speak with us about the Nova and its 6.0L LS engine setup.

His team was hard at work because after an early pass down the track that morning, Brandon’s car was smoking quite a bit.

“We found that we had a dead hole, or a low-compression hole,” Doller says. “We’ve been kind of fighting that and questioning it. The engine had a noise, so we pulled it apart and the oil had some aluminum in it. We went through the rockers several times and basically decided to keep driving it and see whether it would self-clearance itself or not. I believe it might have self-clearanced itself out there at about the 1,000-ft. mark.

“We haven’t found any windows or big pieces of the block out of it, which is beneficial. We’re tearing it apart and we have the pan off. It’s got a little bit of metal in there. We checked rod bearings and main bearings real quick to see if there’s anything obvious.”

While the second day of the drag-and-drive event had already been eventful, Brandon told us it had been an eventful month preparing the car just to make it to the 2022 Summit Midwest Drags.

“The car is a ‘70 Nova, and it’s been together now, running, for about five days,” Doller says. “It’s been a mad thrash. I’ve owned the car for about seven years. I had it together for two or three years and had maxed the turbo out on something like pass 15, and I decided it wasn’t enough. I was going to change the turbo and it turned into doing everything.

“Nothing on the car is the same from what it was besides the roof and the quarters. The back end of the car was done by Tin Soldier Race Cars, and the front is a stock sub frame, bolt-in sub frame, drop-in replacement. It’s clearly not a stock suspension car, but it’s as close as we can get with some of the rules that were in play at the time. Outside of that, it’s a full steel car – steel roof, steel quarters, steel doors, fenders – and a carbon hood and carbon deck lid.”

If getting all that work done wasn’t enough, Brandon also decided to paint the car himself. He purchased a ‘bouncy house’ blow-up paint booth for his garage and got busy. “I never painted a car, so that was interesting,” he admits.

Of course, the exterior of the car was just one half of the conversation. Brandon also wanted more horsepower and performance out of the 1970 Nova, so he revamped the turbocharged 6.0L LS engine under the hood as well.

“We have a 6.0L iron block that’s a little less than 370 cubes,” he says. “We have a Callies DragonSlayer crank, Callies Ultra billet rods and Wiseco 12.5:1 dish pistons. It’s also got Trick Flow 220 cylinder heads as cast on it, and then it’s got a custom ground cam from Nick over at BTR, who did some of his magic on it.

“On the other side of it, we have a dual fuel system – nothing too crazy. It’s got a 16 gallon-per-minute mechanical pump in the back and a cable drive up to the front with a mandrel. Then, it’s got a drop-in pump in the tank. For that, we took a 20-gallon cell and split it and added the other one in.

“I’ve been working on the tune this week, so basically it drives on pump gas or E depending on what I put in. I’ve got a content sensor that reads that. I have three fuel tables that I’m blending this whole time and it transitions in and out based on my parameter.”

Speaking of the different tuning options and sensors that help operate the car appropriately, that’s some of what Lowdoller Motorsports helps customers with. Brandon spent 10 years doing industrial engineering sales and he realized quickly that people were paying way more than they should on a lot of these sensors.

“Since I had ties in that market, I brought that in and we designed some stuff in-house such as shock sensors, laser ride heights, outside pressure sensors – a little bit of everything,” he says.

As mentioned earlier, Brandon’s whole impetus for rebuilding the car was a desire for a larger turbo. The LS engine now features a 98mm Forced Inductions turbo to up the ante on the horsepower. Brandon’s cage is certified to 8.50, and that’s what he was aiming to run during the Midwest Drags.

“We’re hoping to go 8.50s this week, but at Edgewater when we’re back and I turn in my 8.50 passes, then I’ll roll into it a little bit more and see if we can get it to go somewhere in the 7.50s or so,” Doller says. “We’ve got some lofty goals for it ahead, but you have to have goals, right?”

In terms of the horsepower capability of Brandon’s 6.0L LS, he says the turbo is able to handle more than the engine can give it, but 1,600-1,700 horse is certainly possible.

“The turbo is capable of making more than it will ever eat,” he says. “I think the turbo is probably somewhere in the range of 2,200 hp. It depends how angry I am at the tune, but if I do things right, it can easily make somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,600-1,700 hp at the wheels.”

Brandon was competing in the Super Street Small Block Power Adder class, and unfortunately, he wasn’t able to finish the week at Midwest Drags due to the issues he had on day two. He’ll look to rebound at future drag-and-drive events!

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – Das Original and Engine & Performance Warehouse Inc./NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

You May Also Like

Turbocharged Billet K24 Honda Engine

Noonan Race Engineering is well-known for its V8 engine platforms, but the shop has now dipped its toe into the 4-cylinder world with a billet K24 Honda engine. The objective – huge horsepower, while keeping factory creature comforts. Check it out!

In 2023, we got the chance to showcase a lot of what Noonan Race Engineering has going on inside its state-of-the-art engine and machine shop located in Spartanburg, SC. The shop was named our 2023 America’s Best Engine Shop in the Race category, and we gave people a full shop tour video of the facility, as well as showcased Noonan’s popular V8 Hemi platforms in a couple Engine of the Week features.

ProCharged 5.000” Bore Space Billet Big Block Chevy Engine

One of the first 5.000″ bore space big block Chevy engines that Visner Engine Development has come out with in this new design, this billet engine was built by Nick Bacalis of Bullet Racing Engines for a 1971 C10 belonging to Michael Rieck. Check out what 4,000-plus horsepower looks like!

billet big block Chevy engine
3,500+ HP 427 cid Billet LS Engine

At ACE Racing Engines, Stefan Rossi’s and Laura Pugh’s hard work has been paying off in the form of increased awareness and business, a new shop space out in California, and best of all, success on the track from numerous customers. Check out this excellent example of a maximum effort, billet LS engine for a drag-and-drive application.

Supercharged 388 cid LS Engine

Hoping to reach new heights in the mile, this Cadillac customer brought his car and engine in for the School of Automotive Machinists & Technology to work their magic on. See what went into the supercharged LS engine platform.

Cadillac Supercharged LS engine
Supercharged 521 cid Brad Anderson Hemi Engine

Amanda Hoover and Eddie Rogers have been campaigning their Chevelle from Hell for nearly a decade. Helping give the car its name is a screw-blown 521 cubic inch Hemi engine. Check out the details of this build done by Chris Duncan Race Cars!

Other Posts

Matt Stutzman’s 540 cid Supercharged Big Block Chevy Engine

We got a chance to spend significant time with Matt Stutzman during the 2023 PRI Show. He’s a Paralympic archer born without arms who’s now setting his sights on Top Sportsman drag racing. We caught up with him in the PennGrade1/DA Lubricants booth to get the details of his 540 cid big block Chevy engine,

Compound Turbocharged 6.0L Powerstroke Engine

Eric McMichael of McMichael’s Diesel Performance is a Ford guy through and through. His passion for the Blue Oval shines bright in his 2004 F-250, which features a compound-turbo 6.0L Powerstroke engine. Check it oit!

Wagler’s New Billet Duramax for Drag-and-Drive

Jeremy Wagler and his team at Wagler Competition Products have become well-known for their diesel work, and specifically the shop’s enhancements for Duramax engines. Well, Jeremy and his team have taken another step forward by introducing an all-billet Duramax geared for drag-and-drive competition. We caught up with Jeremy at PRI 2023 to get the full

LS Engine Flatout Gaskets

Flatout Gaskets LS valve cover gaskets are available in paper/silicone in 0.60″ or 0.120″ thicknesses or steel/silicone laminate in 0.50″ or 0.100″ thicknesses.