Building an LS-powered 1979 Chevrolet Camaro for less than $5,000 is quite an achievement, but Hot Rod Garage isn’t stopping there. You see, the “Bonemaro” is their latest low-buck drag project, and what better (read: cheaper) way to increase the power output than to throw some boost at it via an eBay-found turbocharger?
Of course it would be great if the guys could just bolt the turbo to the LM7 V8 and call it a day, but it’s not that easy. First, some of the internal components of the engine are upgraded so that the V8 is stout enough to handle the boost. This includes stiffer valve springs, new head gaskets, head bolts, an LS6 camshaft, and a GM Performance oil pan kit to give the engine a bit more clearance, as it sits pretty low under the hood of the 1979 Camaro.
After upgrading the essential internal components of the engine, it was time to install the turbo kit from CX Racing. Some of you may be familiar with this company, known for the cheap solution it offers to those who desire forced induction. We’re sure that some of you are wide-eyed with surprise upon seeing this, and rightfully so, as there are many horror stories behind these cheap, Chinese-built eBay turbos. But fret not, Tony says that these turbochargers have greatly improved, and should work just fine for the Bonemaro.
As one might expect, the Chevrolet Silverado turbo kit from CX Racing required quite a bit of fabrication to get all the components to fit into the engine bay properly. After hours and hours of labor, the Bonemaro is finally strapped to the dyno, and as one might imagine, a few issues arose. One problem was the ECU’s limitations, but a 2 bar MAP sensor from a Cobalt SS and a little bit of magic solved that. A manual boost controller was also implemented as the waste-gate that came with the kit wasn’t working very well.
When all is said and done, the Bonemaro put down 530 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s mighty impressive when you consider the cost of the entire project. What’s more is that the guys even managed to find time to lend a helping hand to a youngster who was trying to breathe life back into his family-owned 1964 Chevrolet C10 truck. Hit play to see it all unfold in the 21-minute video.