Tough times have forced many to pinch pennies, and enthusiasts have not been immune. But a new awareness of the value of a dollar doesn't dictate a death sentence for the hobby we know and love; it just means one must be all the more mindful of prices when shopping for go-fast goodies.
For example, when you're looking at shelling out a lot of dough for a hi-po engine, you want to be darn sure you'll get a good return on your investment. Fortunately, many respectable engine builders offer good deals on assembled LS mills, and this trend has clearly been helped by the falling prices of some of the parts that go into them. But with smart component shopping and some know-how, the motivated DIYer can put together his or her own motor and save even more-and, hopefully, have a fun and rewarding engine build experience in the process.
Last issue, the School of...
Last issue, the School of Automotive Machinists (Houston, TX) machined our 6.0L LQ9 iron block, honing the bore out to 4.030-in. as well as line honing the main bores and resurfacing the decks. We then stuffed in our all-forged rotating assembly, which consists of 2618 aluminum Wiseco pistons pinned to 4340 steel connecting rods from K1 Technologies. The steel crankshaft, also K1, delivers a 4.000-inch throw to allow this mill to squeeze out 408 cubes of LS fury. With the short-block completed, the next area to address is the valvetrain.
In this issue, we continue our quest for all-out LS horsepower for minimum investment. We're not cheating the bottom line by incorporating any used components, either-everything down to the engine block is all-new. An N/A build has been chosen in order to forego additional monies spent for power adders, not to mention the unrealistic factor of simply turning up the juice or boost for a high horsepower number. And while factory bottom ends are sturdy enough to reliably supply plenty of tire-shredding torque, extra cubic inches over what a stock-stroke crank can supply opens up the potential for many more ponies, so a stroker it is.
Having put together our short-block in our August installment, it's time to finish off the assembly, so follow along in the photo captions to get the gist of how it's done.
Editor's Note: In the interest of saving space, some details were skipped over during this build. For a more step-by-step breakdown, see Werner's "My First Stroker" series in GMHTP August, September, and November '06. You may also consult his book, "How to Rebuild GM LS-Series Engines" available from www.cartechbooks.com as well as your local book retailer or GM dealer.
Dollars And Dyno Graphs
Stroker Parts And Price Breakdown
Short-Block Parts Subtotal:
Long-Block Parts Total (Includes Short-Block Parts):
Total Additional Parts To Complete "Crate Engine":
Tools & Miscellaneous Total:
Before getting to our results, an analysis of how much it took to put together our 408 is in order. Check out the accompanying table for a full breakdown, noting that when possible, all prices quoted here and elsewhere in this story are those of major retailers and have been rounded to the nearest dollar. Some prices of new-to-the-market components were quoted from the manufacturer so are a tad high, and a few-notably, rotating assembly components-have been adjusted to reflect prices you can find on the web (as opposed to MSRP) so may differ from what you saw in Part 1. Finally, prices not directly available are estimated, as is the case with machine shop labor. Since readers attempting to duplicate this build may already have a donor LS to reuse parts from, we've done our best to classify all parts into "long-block" (minimum for build) and "crate engine" (soup to nuts) distinctions. Even so, the category breakdowns are not exact-for example, you could not get away with reusing a stock F-body intake with rectangular-port heads, making the L76 mandatory for an F-car application-but we feel this breakdown best matches how engine builders market their assemblies.
Comp provided its PN 54-473-11...
Comp provided its PN 54-473-11 camshaft ($397) along with its PN 850-16 hydraulic roller lifters ($198) and PN 7153 billet timing set ($116). At far right is one item you won't see used this issue: it's PN 54021 belt tensioner, which goes for around $148 and we felt would be appropriate once this engine finds its way into an engine bay. Not shown but also included were Comp's PN 511-16 valve seals ($25).
The cam is cleaned, lubed,...
The cam is cleaned, lubed, and inserted. Its part number probably looks unfamiliar to you: it's one of the company's brand-new "LSR" cams. This camshaft series features aggressive profiles specifically tailored to take advantage of the latest high-flow LS cylinder head designs, and Comp says they offer the broadest powerband and most top-end power of any LS cams the company has ever created! Our particular grind specs out with 247/263 duration at 0.050 and 0.624/0.624 lift on a 114 LSA. It's a member of a quartet of cams Comp designed for all-out power in 6.2-7.4L LS engines using rectangular port cylinder heads. As this particular bumpstick's recommended use involved a minimum of 400 cubes, it fill the bill of our build perfectly.
Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center...
Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center deserves our thanks for providing mass quantities of items for this build, including a bunch of GM components. These included: 6.0/6.2L MLS head gaskets, windage tray, oil pump pickup tube, coolant crossover pipe and caps, crank bolt, front and rear engine covers, high-output GMPP oil pump, cam retainer plate, an array of sensors, knock sensor wiring harness, LS6-style valley cover, lifter trays, and LS3 valve covers, plus a bunch of other items not shown here and some coming up shortly (see table for a full rundown with pricing). If it's a GM part you need for your LS, SDPC has it!
The cam retainer plate is...
The cam retainer plate is secured with newer-style Torx bolts tightened to 11 ft-lb. Comp's crank sprocket slides onto the snout with the "zero" keyway lined up; there are a total of nine keyways that can be used in order to advance or retard cam timing up to eight degrees, as desired. (In our case, we're just going to go "straight up" and ensure our installation matches with Comp's cam card.)
The timing chain is soaked...
The timing chain is soaked in oil and hung on the cam sprocket, which incorporates a nice Torrington bearing on its backside (factory timing sets just slide metal-on-metal between the cam sprocket and retainer plate). The sprocket is secured with a set of ARP cam bolts (PN 134-1003, $9) torqued to 26 ft-lb. Why a double roller, you ask? Because we're on a budget, and it's actually less expensive than a Comp single-row chain!
A universal degree wheel kit...
A universal degree wheel kit is necessary to check cam timing. First, the TDC stop is used to help determine true top dead center for cylinder #1 and align the degree wheel properly. You may not be able to tell from this photo, but we had to chop up the TDC stop a bit to fit the wide head bolt spacing of an LS-calling all manufacturers, we want an LS-specific degree wheel kit!