Turbocharged and Nitrous-Boosted 429 cid LSX Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Turbocharged and Nitrous-Boosted 429 cid LSX Engine

It's tough to beat the lines and looks of a Chevy Nova. Jason Sack's 1969 Nova is certainly up there in terms of coolest-looking, and it doesn't hurt that it has 2,200+ horsepower under the hood courtesy of a turbocharged and nitrous-boosted 429 cid LSX engine! See for yourself!

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By the time we got to Gainesville Raceway for day four of Sick Week, we had already spoken to a number of competitors about their awesome drag-and-drive cars and engine setups. However, there were still a ton more to discover of the more than 300 competitors, and the cars continued to get better and better. Case in point, Jason Sack’s orange and white 1969 Nova named Cowboy Up, which features a 429 cubic inch LSX engine. Jason was checking lash and doing some routine maintenance when we came by his pit area, but he set down the tools a minute to tell us all about the details of his powerful LSX.

Jason Sack at Gainesville Raceway doping some maintenance work on his 1969 Nova.

Of course, the best thing about drag-and-drive events is that you find a mix of competition veterans and newbies. Jason fell into the veteran category, but that doesn’t make the task at hand – finishing the event – any easier. He was at Sick Week competing in the tough Unlimited Iron class against the likes of Steve Morris, Alex Taylor, Tina Pierce, and Bryant Goldstone, among others.

“We got here and tested in Bradenton a couple days before the event started,” Jason Sack says. “However, I was on the struggle bus. The car ran at my house, but when we brought it here it took us six hours with three of us to get it to fire. All we did was switch the fuel. Then, I went all through testing four days and I never made it past 400 feet. Then, the first day in Orlando, I think we went 7.54 at 177 mph or something. Then, the next day, I did a personal mph best of 202 mph. At South Georgia Motorsports Park I did a personal best ET of 7.08. That was a good lick, and it was only on seven cylinders.”

If everything had gone smooth with no issues, Jason expects the Nova could see ETs as low as 6.80s. That’s a far cry from where his Nova initially started.

“The car started out as a small tire 275 with a stock floor and stock frame, a bolt-on front end and then it went to the chassis shop and it just snowballed into a double frame rail,” Sack says. “Skinny Kid Race Cars built the chassis. The engine has a Dart block, All Pro LS7 heads, Jesel shaft rockers, a solid roller camshaft, a BS Racing 106mm turbo, and a Turbosmart wastegate. We also run an intercooler with ice and a six-stage dry sump oiling system from Dailey.

“We just switched to the dry sump for this event. We were having some oil pump cavitation, so we switched to the dry sump and those issues were solved. We start in the morning at 93 psi. I do my burnout at 93 psi and make my hit at 93 psi all the way out the end. It’s just rock solid.

“The engine also has a Callies Magnum crank and R&R aluminum rods, which we just switched to for this event. I leaned on it pretty hard and bent some rods from water getting in the cylinders. I put 50 psi in the radiators and blew them all up, so these are all brand new. I also have custom-made Diamond pistons, a Holley intake and Holley Dominator EFI.”

106mm turbo

Jason’s LSX typically runs on C16 race fuel, but for Sick Week he switched to VP X98, which he says has been awesome. He also added a 10-gpm brushless pump and Injector Clinic 2600 injectors to keep up with the ethanol.

“We also run a Rossler 400 transmission and a Skinny Kid 9” rear with 4.10 gears,” he notes.

In addition to the 106mm turbo, Jason’s Nova gets boost from a 150-hp shot of nitrous that he sprays only on the two step.

“We shut it off at 8-lbs,” he says. “It takes about 7 seconds for this motor to spool that up and when I use the nitrous it cuts it to 2.5 seconds, so it’s just easy. With some tuning, we can probably fix it where we didn’t need it, but once I did it once and it just gets on the chip, I was pretty much sold. I’ll take the weight.”

The BS Racing turbo typically sees no more than 32-lbs. of boost, and Jason told us he was utilizing 31.6-lbs during most of Sick Week.

“We leave on about 18-lbs. at 5,500 rpm and there is no boost ramp,” Sack says. “It’s just whatever that’ll make to get to 31-lbs. as fast as it’ll go, which is usually under half a second.”

With the turbo and nitrous, Jason’s LSX engine makes a safe 2,200 horsepower! However, it can make more power than that, but Jason has seen issues arise at 2,400 horsepower, so he likes to stay under that mark.

The track performance is one thing, but the drives from track to track can be another, and Jason says the Nova does pretty well on the street, but can get quite warm in the car without AC.

“It works absolutely perfect on the drives,” he says. “I changed shocks and put a heavier spring in. However, it gets hot in the car – I mean so hot you get thermal shut down on your phone and your iPad when you’re traveling. You’ve got to hold it out the window to cool it down. It’s probably like 150-160 degrees F in the car while you’re driving. You feel cooked.”

Outside of a personal best 202 mph on one pass and a personal best 7.08 ET on another, Jason’s Sick Week ultimately didn’t go according to plan. Unfortunately, Gainesville was the end of the road for Jason during this year’s Sick Week, so we were glad we got the chance to speak with him. He ultimately turned in ETs of 7.42 at 202 mph, 7.56 at 177 mph and 7.08 at 196 mph. Hopefully, we will see him back next year!

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – Das Original and 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].

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