Supercharged 588 cid Hemi Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Supercharged 588 cid Hemi Engine

Ken Lazzeri, head engine builder for Indy Cylinder Head, has helped build over 5,000 Hemi engines during the life of the Mopar component manufacturer's business. We were pumped to get time with him to discuss the details of this 588 cid supercharged Hemi engine for bracket racing. Check it out!

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We’ve been following Indy Cylinder Head and the engine work of Ken Lazzeri for a long while now. The company, which specializes in performance components such as intake manifolds, cylinder heads, and engine blocks, does so specifically for the Mopar crowd, and Ken’s engine work follows right behind with some amazing examples of Hemi horsepower.

Recently, at the 2023 PRI Show, we stopped by the Indy Cylinder Head booth and got a few minutes to speak with Ken about the engines on display. One in particular he was happy to showcase was a supercharged 588 cubic inch Hemi built for bracket racing. Due to the capabilities of both Ken and Indy Cylinder Head, the combo can be customized in a number of different ways. Here’s what went into this specific engine.

“It’s a 588 cubic inch bracket engine, but this one’s also hopped up a little bit,” Lazzeri told us. “Normally, this is a single four barrel, 1,000-horsepower bracket engine, and we make a series of manifolds to be able to add a small baby blower or 250 blower with a single alcohol carburetor, and it’s now a 1,400-horsepower bracket engine. We make the block, the heads, the intakes, rocker arms, and valve covers all in-house.”

According to Ken, this Hemi build got a brand-new aluminum block, which Indy Cylinder Head has manufactured for over 20 years, but this particular block is an upgraded version.

“It’s got 9/16th mains and can come as a solid block or allow for water,” Lazzeri says. “It also has a reinforced deck mainly for boosted applications, since everybody’s got boost nowadays. It’s just a stronger piece.”

Just as with the block, Indy also manufactured the cylinder heads on this build, which also feature a number of upgrades.

“Our heads on this engine we’ve made for years,” he says. “They have a raised valve and flow 500 cfm. Like with any Hemi, a little sniff of boost and it takes off.”

While some of the larger components like the block, heads and intake come right from Indy Cylinder Head, the internal components, aside from rockers, come from other quality aftermarket suppliers.

“This engine’s got good stuff,” Lazzeri confirms. “It’s got GRP rods, a Callies crank, Diamond pistons, and a high compression of 14:1. This blower only produces about 6-9 psi. We make our own rocker arms that are on this. I’ve got Manton pushrods, a COMP Cams 48-degree roller camshaft with .800 lift, BAM roller lifters, and just quality parts throughout.”

While the supercharger isn’t set up for any crazy amounts of boost, Lazzeri told us it’s a Blower Shop 250 blower, which is the latest craze of bracket racing, and can deliver an extra 200-400 horsepower.

“It runs an 8mm belt, not the slip tension,” he says. “It runs on alcohol or E85 because it spins so hard gasoline won’t cut it.”

On top of the 250 blower, the 588 cid Hemi has an enormous carburetor from the folks at Get’M Performance.

“Get’M has really come up with some slick stuff and new technology,” he says. “We’re pushing a limit. This is a 2,000 cfm carburetor, and we’re trying a 2,500 cfm carburetor, almost to where they hardly will fit on the top.”

To help this Hemi run well and keep cool, Lazzeri has the Hemi outfitted with a wet-sump oiling system and a custom oil pan from Shorty’s Performance Fabrication.

“The oiling system is made to our spec,” he says. “We’ve built over 5,000 Hemis since we’ve been in business, so we know what works and what doesn’t. We run a single-line system, 20w-50 oil, 12 quarts, and just let it rip. There’s a turning point where it has to be a dry sump, like with big boost or a lot of mph, or short shutdowns. That’s when the dry sump comes into play, but this is a high-end wet sump setup.”

Due to Indy Cylinder Head’s component options and manufacturing everything in-house, Ken can build this Hemi combo in a number of ways, such as with a wedge head, a predator head, or with a small block.

“We make these manifolds for all the Chrysler products, so any of these engines are available to this technology,” he says. “This 588 cid Hemi runs a Mod Man intake, which is a single-plane open base. We have it for the Hemi Gen II and Gen III, the 440 Wedge, small block and AMC. It’s the same intake, same base and can be a six pack, two four barrels, one four barrel, two EFIs, or a 250 supercharger or 8-71 supercharger. It wears a lot of hats and it does a lot of things. You can go from a four barrel to a supercharged engine in about 20 minutes.”

This Hemi bracket engine makes 1,400 horsepower and is open for further customization depending on customer preference.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade1Elring – 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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