Much like our test on the EFI intake shootout, we need to point out a few facts before we get to the results. For this test, we compared all of the intakes to the factory LS3 EFI intake. As we know, the factory LS3 intake was an impressive performer. The combination of average and peak power makes the stock manifold difficult to beat. If you don’t believe us, just check out the result of Part 1. Knowing that an intake should be chosen for the intended combination, and no test engine will offer the right combination for all intakes, we decided to throw in a twist for Part 2. Rather than use the cammed LS3 crate engine in Part 1, we stepped up and built a 415 stroker using components from Wiseco, K1 and AFR. Using an LS3 block from Gandrud Chevrolet, we assembled a powerful combination that we hoped would better favor the power potential of some of the single-plane intakes from Edelbrock, Mast and TFS. Of course, this wilder combination was less well suited to the dual-plane intakes, but such was the trade-off inherent in testing them all on one engine.
The various LS groups might gravitate toward the big peak numbers, but as always, there is much more to any given combination than simple peak power and torque. A comparison between the least powerful dual plane and the most powerful single plane revealed a difference of 54 hp, but that hardly tells the whole story of the comparison between these two extremes. Though the single plane offered as much as 63 hp at 7,000 rpm over the dual plane, the dual plane offered an additional 62 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. For any kind of acceleration contest, the single plane would be the clear winner, but not every LS3 owner is looking for low elapsed times and high trap speeds. The dual plane even offered more low-speed torque than the factory (long runner) LS3 intake, which is no easy feat!
Knowing there are endless reasons behind choosing an intake, we included not only peak power numbers, but also things like average power production from 3,500 rpm to 7,000 rpm, as well as torque production at 4,000 rpm. As indicated in Part 1, if you are looking for the most powerful manifold ever made, you are looking in the wrong place. It simply doesn’t exist. However, the information provided here should help you choose one to suit your carbureted application. Be sure to check out our video to hear them run!
Stock LS3 eBay Price $299 Construction Composite Throttle Opening 3.698 Throttle Body Size Tested FAST 92mm Fuel Rail Stock LS3 Injectors FAST 89 lb Peak Power 627 hp at 6,400 rpm Peak Torque 568 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 532.0 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 534.3 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 528 lb-ft We Like Impressive average horsepower and torque We Don’t Like Not much of a visual statement and not carbureted
It came as little surprise that the factory LS3 performed so well on the previous test with the cammed LS3 crate engine; but it was more of a surprise that it continued to do well on this larger 415 stroker. Despite being designed for a smaller, milder, stock 6.2L, the LS3 intake showed its versatility by offering an impressive combination of power and torque. Equipped with the factory LS3 intake and FAST 92mm throttle body, the 415 stroker produced peak numbers of 627 hp at 6,400 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm. Though this intake was run with electronic fuel injection, we used it to serve as the baseline for all the carbureted combinations.
Edelbrock Performer RPM Summit Price $359 Intake Type Dual plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4150 Carb Size Used Holley 950 Ultra XP Peak Power 615 hp at 6,500 rpm Peak Torque 548 lb-ft at 5,400 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 521.6 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 524.4 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 533 lb-ft We Like Impressive torque at lower engine speeds We Don’t Like Peak power fell off at the top compared to single planes
The Performer RPM intake might be better suited to a milder combination, but the dual plane did manage to post some impressive torque numbers. Not even the long-runner factory intake could match the torque production of the dual plane at 4,000 rpm (and below). For a 6.2L, or a 415 with a milder cam, this intake would be a good choice for producing tire-turning torque. Equipped with the Edelbrock Performer RPM, the LS3 stroker produced just 615 hp and 548 lb-ft of torque.
Holley Dual Plane Summit Price $271 Intake Type Dual plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4150 Carb Size Used Holley 950 Ultra XP Peak Power 615 hp at 6,600 rpm Peak Torque 551 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 524.0 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 527.3 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 536 lb-ft We Like Torquey and responsive We Don’t Like Better suited to smaller-displacement LS3
The Holley dual-plane intake offered identical peak power numbers as the Edelbrock but managed to edge out the Performer RPM in torque production. Like the Edelbrock, the dual-plane Holley offered exceptional low-speed torque but lacked the top-end charge of the single planes. Run on a smaller LS3-headed combination, the dual-plane Holley would be excellent for a street car or truck. Equipped with the Holley dual plane, the 415 LS3 stroker produced 615 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque. Measured at 4,000 rpm, the Holley topped all of the intakes tested by producing 536 lb-ft of torque.
Holley Single Plane Summit Price $271 Intake Type Single plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4150 Carb Size Used Holley 950 Ultra XP Peak Power 636 hp at 6,900 rpm Peak Torque 557 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 520.2 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 519.8 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 499 lb-ft We Like Stronger on the top end compared to dual plane We Don’t Like Big drop in torque down low
The Holley was the first of the single-plane intakes to be tested. Like those that would follow, the Holley version demonstrated the inherent nature of the design by offering sizable gains in peak power production. In fact, the single-plane Holley offered improvements in peak power and torque compared to the dual-plane intakes, with peaks of 636 hp at 6,900 rpm and 557 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. Note that the peak power came higher in the rev range, but the peak torque actually occurred earlier than the dual plane. Despite offering more peak power and torque, torque production suffered down low with the single plane, as the 415 produced 499 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.
GM Single Plane Summit Price $447 Intake Type Single plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4150 Carb Size Used Holley 950 Ultra XP Peak Power 644 hp at 7,000 rpm Peak Torque 546 lb-ft at 5,200 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 515.7 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 514.0 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 483 lb-ft We Like Likes to rev We Don’t Like Has to rev
Next up on our list of single-plane intakes was the unit from Chevrolet Performance. Like the Holley single plane, the GM version featured a common plenum fed by eight individual runners. Unlike a tunnel ram, where the runners are all similar lengths, the single-plane design features four longer (outer) runners and four shorter (inner) runners. This means the runners are tuned to produce power at different engine speeds, with the shorter runners making power higher in the rev range. Run on the 415 stroker, Chevrolet’s single-plane intake offered peak numbers of 644 hp at 7,000 rpm and 546 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. Torque production at 4,000 rpm checked in at 483 lb-ft.
Mast Single Plane Price $1,472 Intake Type Single plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4150 Carb Size Used Holley 950 Ultra XP Peak Power 650 hp at 6,700 rpm Peak Torque 555 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 520.5 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 517.7 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 475 lb-ft We Like Amazing fit and finish—especially the CNC porting inside We Don’t Like: Expensive price
The Mast intake was an impressive unit, with two-piece construction that allowed full CNC porting. The porting looked so nice that we hated to run it, but run it we did. Like the previous intakes, the Mast was run with the same Holley 950 Ultra XP carburetor. The carburetor was jetted to provide the optimal air/fuel ratio to maximize power production, and we employed timing sweeps to do likewise. Though we ran it in carbureted from, the Mast intake was also configured for EFI use. We simply plugged the holes with injectors and fed the combination with the Holley carburetor. Run on the 415 stroker, the Mast intake produced peak numbers of 650 hp at 6,700 rpm and 555 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm.
Edelbrock Victor Jr. Summit Price $425 Intake Type Single plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4150 Carb Size Used Holley 950 Ultra XP Peak Power 651 hp at 6,800 rpm Peak Torque 564 lb-ft at 5,200 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 528.5 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 527.0 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 500 lb-ft We Like Plenty of peak power and better torque at 4,000 than bigger Super Vics We Don’t Like Not quite the top-end charge of the Super Victor
Like the Mast intake, the Edelbrock Victor Jr. was designed to run in injected form as well. Luckily, Edelbrock supplied the necessary fuel rail and injectors that allowed us to plug the injector holes while running with the carburetor. Equipped with the Holley 950 Ultra XP carb, the LS3 stroker produced 651 hp at 6,800 rpm and 564 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. Note that the Victor Jr. produced higher peak numbers than its dual-plane brother, the Performer RPM, but the 500 lb-ft of torque produced at 4,000 rpm couldn’t match the dual plane’s 533 lb-ft. The single-plane Victor Jr. did offer higher average power and torque numbers than the dual plane, a sure indication that acceleration (at a drag strip) would be better with the single plane.
Trick Flow Specialties Single Plane Summit Price $355 Intake Type Single plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4150 Carb Size Used Holley 950 Ultra XP Peak Power 652 hp at 6,900 rpm Peak Torque 557 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 525.3 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 523.6 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 496 lb-ft We Like Good fit and finish; plenty of peak power We Don’t Like: Would like to see a 4500 flange version
Having never tested the single-plane intake from Trick Flow Specialties, we were excited about getting this one on our test engine. The TFS intake offered solid performance, with peak numbers of 652 hp at 6,900 rpm and 557 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm. Unlike some of the others, this TFS manifold was designed specifically for carbureted LS3 applications, though injector bungs were present. As with many of the intakes, we would like to see TFS offer a version with a 4500 carburetor flange, as this 415-inch stroker certainly responded to additional airflow. The TFS intake offered good average power production and 496 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Edelbrock Super Victor Summit Price $491 Intake Type Single plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4500 Carb Size Used Holley 950 Ultra XP Peak Power 656 hp at 6,900 rpm Peak Torque 557 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 524.3 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 521.9 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 489 lb-ft We Like Ability to run the smaller 4150 carb on the 4500 flange We Don’t Like The intake liked the larger Dominator carburetor much better
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To finish off the testing on carbureted intakes for the LS3, we ran an Edelbrock Super Victor equipped with a 4500 (Dominator) flange with two different carburetors. For this test, we installed the same Holley 950 Ultra XP carburetor used on all the previous intakes, as it also featured the Dominator bolt pattern. The idea was to find out if the intake responded to the increased airflow offered by the larger throttle opening. Equipped with the Holley 950 Ultra XP carburetor, the Super Victor produced 556 hp at 6,900 rpm and 557 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm. Despite the big-boy carb flange, torque production down at 4,000 rpm was a respectable 489 lb-ft.
Edelbrock Super Victor Summit Price $491 Intake Type Single plane Construction Aluminum Carb Flange 4500 Carb Size Used Holley 1050 Ultra Dominator Peak Power 669 hp at 6,900 rpm Peak Torque 563 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm Ave HP (3,500–7,000) 531.6 hp Ave TQ (3,500–7,000) 528.9 lb-ft TQ at 4,000 RPM 491 lb-ft We Like Looks amazing with massive Dominator carb and big peak power We Don’t Like Dominator carburetor might not be ideal for street use
After running the Super Victor with the smaller 950 Ultra XP carburetor, we replaced it with the larger 1050 Ultra Dominator. After all, why neck down a 4500 carb flange with a smaller 950 carburetor, right? Obviously, the 415 stroker (and the Super Victor intake) liked the larger carburetor, as the combination produced 669 hp at 6,900 rpm and 563 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm. The larger carburetor offered more peak power and torque than the smaller 950 carb, as well as improving torque at 4,000 rpm by 2 lb-ft (from 489 lb-ft to 491 lb-ft). When you have a stroker LS3 and need an intake, it looks like bigger really is better!
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