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Episode Transcript

(Pat)>> You're watching Powernation.

(Pat)>> They say... time is money. And sometimes, it makes sense to spend a little more money at the start of an engine build, to save some time later.

(Frankie)>> Today on Engine Power, we take a remanufactured LQ9 and give it plenty of extra horsepower. [engine revving] ♪ ♪ Welcome to Engine Power. When you're searching for an engine for your hotrod or project, you always have to start with a used one or find one. And that involves tearing it down, hoping it's good. Having the machine work done and then building it. Or, paying someone else to build it for you. But there is an alternative and that is a remanufactured engine like we got today. We got this one from Power Torque, through O'Reilly Auto Parts.

(Pat)>> Now, inside our crate is a 6-liter LS with a LQ9 designation. Now, that engine was used in Cadillacs and GM trucks. This is a an extremely versatile power plant, either in its stock form or put some go fast parts on it. The key to that, is the quality of the remanufacturing process, which makes this engine a great candidate for mods. To keep up with the demand for high quality remanufactured LS engines, Power Torque has a production line dedicated to building only LS platforms. There are over 150 processes involved during manufacturing. After incoming cores are disassembled, they are heavily cleaned and thoroughly inspected. They are magna fluxed and pressure checked. The gasket surfaces on cylinder heads are refinished to ensure proper sealing. The block is aligned honed to make sure the main housing bores are round and straight. It is rough bored, final honed and resurfaced, using precision c and c equipment. Throughout remanufacturing, everything is continually inspected for quality control. Then the block is final cleaned and painted.

(Frankie)>> The cam shaft is installed and the crank shaft is ground and polished for proper sizing and a like new finish. Then, it's accurately torqued down, using calibrated, automatic torque wrenches. New o-e replacement over-size pistons receive new rings sets and are installed by hand. The cylinder heads are machined with a 3 angle valve job and the head is decked for flatness and surface finish. The heads are assembled with all new components and vacuum tested for a good valve seal. After the engines are assembled, They are run tested to check oil pressure and compression. Power Torque offers a 3-year unlimited mileage warranty on their engines. ♪ ♪ Ready?

(Pat)>> Yep! It's all you. Look at that. It's all cinched down.

(Frankie)>> That's nice. ♪ ♪

(Pat)>> This is the way you should get them that makes it way easier. Pans already on. Valve covers, timing cover, it's got the rear cover. It's got the oil pan. Valley covers on. The reason that's nice, is one... you don't' have to source any of them. Two... they're already clean and it's as ready as ready to go. If you're just using this engine in its stock state, which obviously we're going to do first. This is the advantage of the that. The big deal about this is... on the front end of it, it is a little bit more pricey but you do not worry about sourcing your pans. You don't have to worry about making sure everything fits. One... I hate waiting. Especially when you're tearing something down, you're like... oh my God is this thing good or not. We know at this point everything is ready to rock and roll.

(Frankie)>> Everything's been machined. Everything's been checked. Like you just mentioned. You don't have to wait for it while it's at the machine shop. You can just get it. Put your ancillary parts on it and have a running engine.

(Pat)>> Speaking of ancillary parts, let's get up and I don't even think we should put it on an engine stand. Let's just put it right on the run stand and then we'll put the rest of the stuff on from there. ♪ ♪ To mount this engine on our dyno cart, we'll be using some LS swap engine mount brackets from Holley. This puts the mounts in the same location as a conventional small block chevy.

(Frankie)>> Our dyno flywheel is an s-f-i approved billet steel unit. Because safety is first. It gets torqued to 85-pound feet. ♪ ♪ Our LS is pretty much complete but there are a few parts we need to go ahead and finish it out. And for those, we turned to O'Reilly Auto Parts, because they have a variety of o-e replacement parts that are high quality and they're going to work great in our application. This includes things like: spark plug wires, coil packs, spark plugs, sensors, harmonic balancers, oil filters, oil and even harder to get things like... oil fill caps, oil dip stick tube and steam vent lines. O'Reilly Auto Parts also has a selection of after-market parts available through them. And we're going to be using some of those on the induction side of our engine. Our application calls for a carburetor and that helps keeps things simple. So, to do that, we're going to be using this Edelbrock intake manifold kit. It comes with a performer r-p-m intake with a 4150 flange and an MSD LS ignition control module. So, we can control timing on the dyno. We also got a set of Holley EFI coil harnesses. And to top it off, we got a Holley EXP 750 c-f-m carburetor. Now this is really convenient, because O'Reilly Auto Parts is pretty much a one stop shop for everything we need. Whether it's a stock component or a high performance one. We'll go ahead and get most of this installed, make a few baseline runs on the dyno and then we have some racier parts that we got from them, that we can put on and see if it picks up any power. ♪ ♪

(Pat)>> Up next... we take care of the top end and make a baseline run on the LQ9. [engine revving]

(Frankie)>> Assembly begins with a Dorman o-e replacement balancer. A stock torque to yield balancer bolt, torques to 37-pound feet and then it's turned 140 degrees. [beep] Just need that little bit of extra angle there.

(Pat)>> You need to eat more Ho-Ho's.

(Frankie)>> We'll install our oil pressure adaptor fitting for the dyno and a new standard ignition cam sensor. ♪ ♪ We'll also drop in a new o-e replacement crank shaft sensor.

(Pat)>> We pre-assembled our induction system on the bench, so it goes on as one easy piece. We use the recommended intake manifold o-ring set. so, it will seal up nice and tight.

(Frankie)>> You know like a... when we calculate compression ratio and find the volume of a cylinder, you use pi r-squared?

(Pat)>> Yeah?

(Frankie)>> No silly! Pie aren't square. Pie are round. A cobbler's square.

(Pat)>> How did I know that was coming? Next, we bolt down a set of Dorman steam vent lines. A necessity on every LS build. ♪ ♪ We'll set our spark plug gap to 40 on our NGK TR 6 plugs. A little bit of anti-seize on the threads keeps them from galling. ♪ ♪

(Frankie)>> We're using o-e-m coil brackets to hold down our new Blue Streak ignition coils. [drill popping] ♪ ♪ We'll go ahead and plug in our Holley coil harness and our MSD sensor harness. ♪ ♪ A set of ARP header studs, holds on the LS dyno headers. ♪ ♪ A Microguard Select oil filter finishes everything out. ♪ ♪

(Pat)>> Plug and play doesn't get much simpler than this. We are completely stock short block. Nice bolt-ons. Because this is a carbureted application, that's why that's on there.

(Frankie)>> And I think that keeps things, like you said simple. But I think that's a huge benefit because these engines are already robust. The short block and the long block is really robust. [hiss] Like a dream! Like a dream!

(Pat)>> Stock engines like this, they're glass smooth.

(Frankie)>> That's that carburetor out of the box. We haven't even touched it yet. That's like... super nice.

(Pat)>> That's an out of the box carburetor that... I haven't even touched the idle yet. It's fun seeing that... power torqued, remanufactured LQ9 completely stock, long block. It doesn't get any more completely stocked than this. This has a 317 cylinder head, which is a good head. I've actually flowed them. They flow about... what an aftermarket, like an aluminum head for a conventional small block, like a 350 chevy. These actually flow as much as one of those. What timing is in that box that has several pre-programmed timing curves, what is it on right now?

(Frankie)>> They give you this handy dandy screwdriver so, I put it on truck. Because it is a truck engine. I put it on truck and we'll see what it makes on the truck tune. I think total timing in that... is somewhere around right above 20, I think. [engine revving]

(Pat)>> Wow! That is not bad right there. 370.8.

(Frankie)>> And 432.6.

(Pat)>> On this, that's 1 horse per cube, basically.

(Frankie)>> Which is really good for a stock engine.

(Pat)>> It's very good.

(Frankie)>> It might be something where we can improve on in a little bit.

(Pat)>> I'm just sitting here letting it idle. We're going to her it down and let's get to her. ♪ ♪

(Frankie)>> Up next... we'll show you a quick and almost foolproof way to change the camshaft on the LQ9.

(Pat)>> And later... it gets put to the test again in our dyno cell.

[drill popping]

(Pat)>> Welcome back to our LQ9 upgrade. The cam shaft swap is relatively easy on the LS platform, due to the o ring gaskets and thoughtful engineering. Dropping the pan is a necessity to remove the oil pump pickup tube before removing the oil pump itself. No big deal. ♪ ♪ To avoid a giant mess, we'll drain the oil pan the easy way. After it comes off. ♪ ♪ While Frankie's working on the front of the engine, I'll start working on removing the valve train. ♪ ♪

(Frankie)>> We're almost ready to pull the old camshaft out of our engine. But, before we do that, we need to keep the lifters out of the way. And we're going to show you how to do that. It's simply... turn the engine over. What that's going to do, the camshaft is going to push the lifters to the top of their travel and then the lifter trays are going to hold them in place. That will give us enough room to slip the stock camshaft out and our new one in. We've already got a bolt in our crankshaft snout, to turn it over. So, we'll give her a few turns... and you see the push rod come up. And it stays up, which is a great way to confirm that the lifter is at the top of its travel still. Now, you have to turn the engine over at least 2 rotations to make sure every cylinder goes through its complete cycle for this to work.

(Pat)>> Now, this is kind of a risky maneuver, because you run the risk of dropping a lifter inside the engine. Sometimes the trays do not have enough tension to hold the lifter up. And when that happens, you can be removing the camshaft, bump one of the lifters and it will fall into the pan. In our case, it will hit the floor and that's ok. But either way, you'll have to pull the cylinder heads to get it back in and we're not going hopefully do that. We're going to see what happens as Frankie does it.

(Frankie)>> Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. ♪ ♪ [drill popping] ♪ ♪

(Pat)>> You got to kind of twist it on your way out. Does it help with me standing here like this? ♪ ♪ Let's have a look-see. Alright! Get the other one in there immediately. ♪ ♪ As Frankie, very carefully, installs the new camshaft. Let's take a look at the specs. This is a catalogue grind by Comp, that has 231 degrees of intake duration and 239 degrees of exhaust duration at 50 thousandths lift. It also has, 617 thousandths of lift on the intake and 624 on the exhaust with a 113 degree lobe separation angle. I think you did it.

(Frankie)>> I think we're good. I didn't hear any clunks.

(Pat)>> Now we're going to test it.

(Frankie)>> To make sure everything went smoothly, we'll push down each lifter with a push rod. For better protection on the camshaft, we'll install a new Comp Cams Bronze camshaft retaining plate. ♪ ♪ As usual, no camshaft gets installed without being degreed. Ours comes in at 109 degrees of intake center line, which is 4 degrees advanced.

(Pat)>> With the new cam installed and degreed, it's time to upgrade the rest of our valve train. With our lift, we need to do something with the rocker arm and we can do that with the stock one. We could replace the trunnion, put a kit in it. Meaning, press the bearing out of here and replace it with a bearing that allows more rocker arm travel that will be safe with our increased lift. But we decided to go the extra mile, and a few extra bucks, and upgrade to a shaft system from Comp. This Comp Cams shaft system utilizes a stock style rocker body, but they are all on a common shaft. And it bolts right down to the stock stand. Not only does it increase rigidity, it increases valve train accuracy. Along with that, we are upgrading the valve springs. We're going to a dual spring. They have a higher seat and open pressure and have a higher rate, that controls valve motion at higher r-p-m's. Along with that, we have new steel retainers, i-d locators and machined locks. And where do we source all of these new spiffy things? Well, you guessed it, through O'Reilly Auto Parts. They can not only provide you with parts for your o-e-m ride, but they can get you hotrod parts as well. And we're going to start by getting our new springs on the engine. To change the valve springs, we need to pressurize the cylinder with air and we'll use our Matco leak down tester. Like the name implies, this on head valve spring compressor, makes it easy to change 2 springs at once with the head still on the engine. ♪ ♪ The old seals have to come out because the id locators are used to accurately locate the double spring. ♪ ♪ Next, we drop in new seals, followed by the springs and retainers. ♪ ♪ [drill popping] New machined locks come next and the compressor is removed. ♪ ♪

(Frankie)>> The new Comp chromoly stock length push rods receive extreme pressure lube and slide into place. ♪ ♪ When installing shaft systems, it's important to go slow and to tighten evenly, to avoid stripping the threads or binding the shaft. ♪ ♪ With all the bolts drawn down, they are torqued to 22-pound feet. And we'll apply some valve train assembly spray. ♪ ♪ Up next... we get our powerplant dialed in to perfection. And find out just what it can do in the dyno cell. [engine revving]

(Frankie)>> We're almost ready to dyno. With just a few components left to install, starting with our oil pump. It's shimmed with 3, 1 and ½ thousandths fueler gauges to assure correct gear alignment during assembly. ♪ ♪ After sealing up the bottom end, we'll reinstall our new coils we got from O'Reilly Auto Parts. ♪ ♪

(Pat)>> Here's a couple of tips. Number 1... always use a balancer installer not a hammer. Number 2... never reuse a torqued yield fastener, it's made for one use only. So we are installing a new Dorman bolt. Even though our engine only has a few dyno runs on it, we'll put in 5 quarts of fresh Syntec 10W-30. ♪ ♪ We're doing exact same thing for right now. This is a straight comparison.

(Frankie)>> Timing is still the same.

(Pat)>> The only thing we have actually changed.... What have we changed?

(Frankie)>> Camshaft. Push rods. Rockers. Springs. [engine revving]

(Pat)>> We're going to have to turn it higher now.

(Frankie)>> It was still going up. That's very nice.

(Pat)>> 435 horse at 55 hundreds. 450 pound feet at 44 hundreds.

(Frankie)>> It's making more torque everywhere, so that's a huge improvement.

(Pat)>> Cams are amazing right? They seem to have the biggest gain for the most part. Let's move the entire range up. So, let's go like 3,000 to 6,000. [engine revving] I like it. Now we're right at 450.

(Frankie)>> Right at 6,000.

(Pat)>> We're at 122 per cube on power and 121 on torque. What does it have a different timing?

(Frankie)>> I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I put it on the truck tune because we had a stock truck engine. I'm sure it's something around 22-ish.

(Pat)>> This sounds like a big jump. Go put like 26 degrees of timing.

(Frankie)>> There's some custom tunes on there so I can put it on 26.

(Pat)>> Do custom at 26. [engine revving]

(Frankie)>> I it we snuck a little more in there.

(Pat)>> 457.9 at 6 thousandths. Still going up. 449.8 pound feet. I'm going to go ahead and call that 450. I'm just going to bump this up 500. So, we're going to 6500. [engine revving] Look how it carries. 456.5. 451 pound feet.

(Frankie)>> And still at 6500, it's still making 454 horsepower.

(Pat)>> Let's put 2 more in it. If it kills it... it kills it. If not... not killing it like it's going to vaporize. It will stop gaining power evenly. You time for torque and you jet for horsepower. [engine revving] Wow! Look at that.

(Frankie)>> I wasn't expecting that big of a jump. That's pretty cool.

(Pat)>> 464 for horsepower. 457 for torque. Now, noticeably cresting over now, right? Not much, but that's about the end of it. Everything sourced from O'Reilly. The great thing is that O'Reilly is like a one stop shop. If you don't want to mess around with a nasty core, getting a machine. Hopefully it's good. And then sourcing parts with a whole bunch of other places, you can literally go to O'Reilly Auto Parts, get this long block, get that manifold kit, get that camshaft. Build this exact combination. This is a dyno verified 464/457. For more cool content like this... go check out Powernation t-v dot com.
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