Engine Power Featured Projects

Engine Power Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Summit Racing
ATI Super Damper Harmonic Balancer
Summit Racing
Cometic MLS Head Gaskets
Summit Racing
COMP Cams Valvetrain Assembly Spray
Summit Racing
Summit Racing Pro GPX Gas Ported Piston Rings
Summit Racing
Total Seal Piston RIng Assembly Lube
Earl's Performance Plumbing
Hoses and Fittings
Goodson Shop Supplies
Sunnen Cylinder Honing Supplies
Goodson Shop Supplies
Sunnen Portable Bore Hone Driver, Honing Stones, Truing Sleeve, and Dresser
Jesel Inc.
Jesel Belt Drive Kit
Jones Racing Products
Accessory Drive
K1 Technologies
K1 Technologies Chevrolet 350 Crankshaft
Late Model Engines
Crower Rocker Arms
Late Model Engines
Custom Valve Cover
Late Model Engines
Intake Manifold
Late Model Engines
LME CID LS7 Cylinder Heads
Manley Performance
Manley Pro-Series I-Beam Connecting Rods
Moroso Dry Sump Pump
Shacklett Automotive Machine
Machine Work
Wiseco Performance Products
Wiseco Flat Top Pistons

Episode Transcript

(Pat)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Frankie)>> Our ideal race engine would be rock solid reliable at high r-pm and gives us tons of torque whenever we need it.

(Pat)>> Lucky for us that's exactly what we're building today. [ Music ]

(Pat)>> Hey everyone, welcome to Engine Power. Today we are getting back on our full race 440 cubic inch Motown LS for the guys down in Carcass. This is a true racing engine with big compression, an aggressive cam shaft, high flowing induction, and it's gonna make big power over a wide power band on our dyno. We've done plenty already and we still have a bunch to do, but to get you caught up on where we are right now check this out. The crew from Carcass is building a 1972 split bumper Camaro, and they requested a strong, reliable race bullet with 700 horses or more. The Motown LS with its small block bottom end and LS top end fits the build perfectly! We honed the cylinders to achieve the proper plateau finish on our Sunnen SV-15, and then we balanced the rotating assembly on the CWT Industries Multi-Val 5500. On a high r-p-m race engine a precise balance job is critical. Then we set the ring gap at 26 thousandths on the top ring and 28 thousandths on the second ring.

(Frankie)>> That was a ton of great work but there is a lot more to go before we can actually start bolting parts into our engine. This block comes with bronze lifter bore bushings installed from the factory, but they're not finished to size because that up to the engine builder to correctly set the lifter clearance they need for their application. To do that we needed some specialized tooling. So we reached out to the guys at Goodson because they have a huge engine building catalog and they are a leading supplier of Sunnen honing tools and consumables. They set us up with this portable lifter bore hone. We got the mandrel, the adapter, and this portable driver that we can chuck directly into an electric drill. The correct stones, truing sleeve, and stone dresser. We love working with Goodson because they have a ton of engine building tools like this that make engine building more efficient and accurate for everyone. DIY'ers all the way up to professional engine builders. This portable driver is easily chucked into a half inch drill. So the process can be done just about anywhere. We left our block in the hone so we can take advantage of Sunnen's honing oil. [ mechanical humming ]

(Frankie)>> We're using medium pressure on the stones and turning the drill at a low speed. Will hone a little bit and check our work often. It's always easier to remove material than it to put it back. The abrassive's tension is adjusted with the knob at the top. We stroked the stones to achieve the proper cross hatch pattern, just like a cylinder bore. It takes us about five minutes per lifter bore to get our needed clearance of 15 tenth thousandths. [ mechanical humming ]

(Pat)>> After cleaning the block in the jet washer to remove most of the honing oil we can move on to hand prepping our block. We'll go through and deburr any sharp edges using a hand file on the main cap registers and the main bearing saddles. [ grinder buzzing ]

(Pat)>> After that we'll use a carbide bit on the less critical areas on the block. We are not removing a lot of material. Just breaking any sharp edges. Like we do with all of our bare blocks, we'll port the oil galleries with various carbide bits, smoothing out any sharp edges and turns to improve oil flow. [ grinder buzzing ]

(Pat)>> With all of the block work done, we'll put the engine in the jet washer for about an hour at 150 degrees to knock off the heavy bits and start the final cleaning process.

(Frankie)>> Coming up, the Motown power plant gets a bulletproof bottom end, high flowing LS induction, an the ultimate racing e-f-i system.

(Pat)>> On today's Summit Tech Tip we're gonna talk about getting the right connecting rod for your project, and I have NHRA Top Fuel driver Clay Millican here to help us out. Tell us about connecting rods and what they're good for.

(Clay)>> What we've got in front of us right here, we've got a standard stock rod, GM variety. Then we've got an LS rod. The o-e-ms have really stepped up their game. A little bit better material, and then as we move on across here we're getting to rods that you can really start to turn the power up. For me I'm always wanting more power. The rods that we run in the Top Fuel car are giant aluminum rods, but I have a lot of projects at home. I get into this area and I end up talking to the experts at Summit to find out what it is I really need for the power level I'm trying to achieve.

(Pat)>> Whether it's an H-beam, an I-beam, what material it's made out of, it's all important on the power level and the r-p-m you're gonna turn.

(Clay)>> 100 percent because what will happen if you don't put enough rod in there it'll end up either shortening the rod, burning up the rod bearing, or actually twisting the rod from an overboost situation. You can immediately ruin a rod in one stomp of the loud pedal.

(Pat)>> There's a lot to learn in rods and if you want to consult the experts at Summit Racing they'll definitely steer you in the right direction.

(Clay)>> They will help you right out.

(Pat)>> Our Motown LS 440 cubic inch race engine is ready for some new cam bearings. We built this special fixer to pull the bearings in place. This works better than hammering them in, and it makes it easy to locate them precisely in the cam tunnel. Next we put in the new bearings to check main bearing and vertical oil clearance. [ Music ] The ARP fasteners are torqued to World Product spec of 70 pound feet. Then we measure with the dial bore gauge to get our readings. We used a combination of standard and extra clearance bearings on housing number five. Housings one through four got a full set of extra clearance bearings to give us the clearances we wanted. After that we'll check the rods the same way. Our clearance is between 26 and 29 ten thousandths, which is what we're looking for. Now we'll lube up our bearings and install the rear main seal slightly offset from the mating surfaces. The K-1 Technology's 43-40 forged crankshaft is permanently laid into place. [ Music ] A few love taps to center the thrust bearing, and we wedged the crank into its forward thrust position. Next we torque down the main caps for good. End play checks out at five thousandths, which is well within our spec. The Wiseco forged pistons and Manley rods are joined by heavy duty wrist pins and double spiral locks. Continuing on we'll install our Summit Racing gas ported piston ring set, starting with the oil rings, followed by the second ring, and finally the aforementioned gas ported top ring. We'll coat the bores and pistons with Total Seal assembly lube and gently tap them into place. [ Music ] [ hammer tapping ] [ Music ] [ ratchet clicking ]

(Pat)>> The rod bolt is loosened, the rod bolt stretch gauge is zeroed out, and the bolt is torqued to 95-pound feet. This yields 53 ten thousandths stretch, which is the spec for this ARP fastener. We check each bolt for correct stretch. We need to restrict the oil to the top of the engine. So we have an eighth inch pipe plug with a 60 thousandths hole. To finish out the rest of the oil passages are sealed up with quarter inch n-p-t pipe plugs.

(Frankie)>> If you remember, we recently went to Comp Cams to see how a custom camshaft is built from start to finish, and we also went there to get one made for our Motown LS, and this is the finished product. This is a custom cam that's pretty unique to match our unique application. It is a solid chunk of 86-20 steel, and it uses a small block Chevy timing gear on the front, a small block Chevy distributor gear on the rear, but it's set on 55 millimeter journals. The lobes are set using LS lifter bore spacing, and they are set on an LS firing order. They are also sized for an 800 thousandths roller wheel diameter. We worked really closely with the valvetrain products manager at Comp cams, Chris Potter, to spec out a series of lobes that's gonna work great in our application, and they come from the RC Roller family. The intake has 254 degrees of duration at 50 thousandths lift, and the exhaust has 268 degrees of duration at 50 thousandths lift. They are set on a 114-degree lobe separation angle, and we have four degrees of advance ground into the cam. Lift at the valve will be 765 thousandths on the intake and 783 thousandths on the exhaust with our 1.8 ratio rockers. This is a beautiful piece of custom cam shaft. We'll get it oiled up and slid in.

(Pat)>> Up next, a belt drive, race proven accessory drive, and a hard driving valvetrain give this engine the power to perform.

(Pat)>> Our 440 cubic inch Motown LS is getting some really high tech race pieces, including this Jesel belt drive. This is the ultimate setup for adjustability, accuracy, and durability. It allows us to move the cam's intake centerline wherever we want for the best balance of horsepower and torque, and it dampens valvetrain harmonics for better stability. The included shims allow us to setup the cam shaft's end play between 10 and 15 thousandths, which is Jesel's specification. Because all the components are external it's easy to service and easier to change a cam shaft. [ Music ]

(Frankie)>> Ahhh! What happened here? Hold on!

(Pat)>> Once Frankie finally gets everything aligned the left hand thread center bolt is torqued to 70-pound feet. The cam is degreed and we put the intake center line at 110 degrees, which is four degrees advanced. The ATI super damper is SFI approved and built to withstand the abuse of racing. [ drill humming ]

(Pat)>> An adjustable billet timing pointer is installed and adjusted to read true t-d-c. Because it's a dry sump system a conventional oil pump is not used. This block off plate seals up the passage. The ARP bolt is torqued to 50-pound feet. We hate to cover up all of these beautiful parts, but the final step is to install a one piece gasket and Moroso circle track dry sump pan. Extreme care is taken when tightening the three bolts that are accessed through the bottom of the pan.

(Frankie)>> The lifters are unique for this application and were specially built for us by Comp Cams. They feature a 904 small block Chevy body but use LS link bars. Another unique piece is the valley cover, which is sealed up with a thin bead of silicone. Because the cylinder heads bolt to it, it was installed when the block was decked by Shacklett Automotive Machine. Before tightening it down we use a straight edge to align it to the deck surface.

(Pat)>> The cylinder heads are a c-i-d LS-7 casting machined by our friends at Late Model Engines. The intake valves are made of titanium and have a 2.250 diameter. The exhaust are 1.610. They're housed in a 58cc combustion chamber and controlled by a set of Pak-12-38-X dual valve springs. With over 400 c-f-m of flow these heads will be plenty to support our power levels. These Cometic m-l-s head gaskets have a 4.185 bore and a 40 thousandths compressed thickness, which gives us a measured compression ratio of 13.9 to one. This ARP head bolt kit is specifically designed for our Motown LS, and it's torqued in three stages to a final value of 70-pound feet.

(Frankie)>> A Holley 36 minus one crank trigger wheel will give us accurate crank timing and is installed with the drive mandrel for Jones Racing Products accessory drive. It was designed for small block Chevys, but Jones Racing adapted it to work with our hybrid engine. This is a race proven drive that has all the accessories Jeremy and Jimmy will need in the car. It also comes setup to run our Moroso five stage dry sump pump. The push rods are from Comp with a three-eighths diameter, and they are 9-100 long. LME also provided this matching Crower shaft rocker setup. They have a 1.8 to 1 ratio and are installed in the firing order. The titanium intake valves receive a lash cap before the rockers are installed. Cold lash is set at ten thousandths on the intake and exhaust. After a generous spritzing of Comp Cams' assembly lube the custom engraved LME valve covers seal up the valvetrain. To connect the cylinder head steam ports we're using this Earl's hard line kit. This is the matching LS-7 intake from LME. It's made of billet aluminum and it looks awesome. You've seen us use a ton of ARP fasteners in this build and in a lot of our builds, and that is because we love working with ARP. They have a like minded attention to detail that we really appreciate. From using high quality materials to a really high quality manufacturing process they produce a ton of fasteners that are strong, durable, dimensionally accurate, and as a bonus look really good. Everything from important fasteners like main bolts and heat bolts, to flywheel bolts, to even more the accessory side of things like header bolts, valve cover bolts, coil pack bolts, and they even make full accessory kits for engines so that you can get an entire kit with all the accessory fasteners in the finish that you want. And even for unique applications like our 440 cubic inch Motown LS they make fasteners that are specific to that build. If you can't find the fasteners that you're looking for you can call up ARP and they will make the fastener that you need. Speaking of fasteners that we need I need these header bolts right now. They'll be holding on these stainless Hooker headers that have a two inch primary and a three inch merge collector. We were originally going to use a Holley HP e-f-i system on this engine, but after talking with the experts at Holley and talking about the application they actually recommended that we upgrade to their Ultimate e-f-i system, the Dominator e-c-u, and this was pure bred for racing. It has all the same features as the HP system but also a ton more. Now it will control the e-f-i system just like normal but it also has transmission control and a ton of extra inputs and outputs. Between the e-f-i system and the software there is a ton of functionality. Everything from up to 24 low or high impedance injectors, dual wide band oxygen sensors. This thing will do nitrous control, boost control, water/meth injection, even traction control if you want it to. It will run everything in the car from a 2,500 horsepower twin turbo charged engine in the front to the electric door windows if you need it to. We also got a universal main harness because we have a unique application, and the matching injector harness for our Holley e-f-i 66 pound an hour injectors that we've already installed in the engine. We got all the sensors we need from Holley, and there's gonna be a lot of them. Because this is a true race engine we want to be able to monitor everything on the engine to make sure it stays safe and happy. We're also gonna be running coil-near-plug on this engine. So we're using a set of Holley e-f-i Smart Coils, and those are gonna power the spark plugs through a set of MSD wires. This is one of the last bits we need to install on the engine before we can actually start it, and we're getting really excited. So let's get started. We'll meter the air flow with this Holley 102 millimeter billet throttle body. We'll wire the e-f-i system temporarily for the dyno so Carcass can route it however they need to once it's in the race car. Up next, the Carcass crew sees what their race bullet can do!

(Frankie)>> So we have our 440 cubic inch Motown LS on the dyno. We've got it primed, and we already started it and started making some adjustments to the fuel map and the timing map, but now we're ready to make some real dyno pulls. So we went down to Carcass and grabbed Jimmy and Jeremy cause this is their engine and we know they're gonna want to see it.

(Jeremy)>> Pat you're putting in some numbers here. I'm seeing 7,000, 35, what is that?

(Pat)>> We've already one a lot of preliminary stuff. So we're gonna start this pull to make some actual power pulls, starting at 3,500 and going to 7,000. See where it is there. Look at the fuel and look at the timing, and then we're gonna step it up a little bit higher. This engine has a high ceiling. So we're just gonna see where it is. I think it's gonna be good. I always make fun of Frankie minorly because he has to do all the wiring and everything like that. The end result is it just starts up. Here we go! [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> It's just that easy. It drags out a little bit. That's more indicative of what it will see in the car. That's like a high gear pull on a big straightaway. Look at this right here!

(Jeremy)>> Just flat!

(Jimmy)>> 500 pound feet.

(Pat)>> 683 horse, 551-pound feet.

(Frankie)>> Over 500 from 3,700 and on.

(Jeremy)>> You're gonna go for it!

(Frankie)>> 4,500 to 8,000, which we built the engine to turn 8,000 if you needed it to. We gave it a really flat torque curve so you guys could grab gears wherever you want, but if you need it to, running down the straight and you want to pull eight it's built to do it.

(Jeremy)>> 75 is fine with me!

(Frankie)>> You're gonna find out here in a second.

(Pat)>> Man or mouse! [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> No problem! Did that look good?

(Frankie)>> Now we got it to peak over there.

(Jeremy)>> 721!

(Frankie)>> 721.7 at 7,700!

(Pat)>> We knew we were gonna find it somewhere in there. 560.4-pound feet of torque.

(Frankie)>> It carries over 500-pound feet all the way to 7,600.

(Jeremy)>> That's unbelievable!

(Pat)>> This is one of those things where there's a lot that this engine is capable of. We have the cam spec'ed specifically so it has that big broad torque curve. I've said it a million times. If you can split the difference and extend the distance between peak torque and peak horsepower the car just drives that much better. For you guys because it's a four speed transmission and if you feel the need you can just turn it 8,000 if you want to because at 8,000 it's still making 713.

(Jimmy)>> Any where on track we'll be able to stick our foot in it.

(Jeremy)>> We'll get it set in the Camaro, come back, and do a little more tuning on the chassis dyno.

(Pat)>> That's important because we can do wide open here but all the transitional stuff. We have to spend some time with the engine to get the tune-up right.

(Frankie)>> You guys might spend some more time at it looks like.

(Pat)>> She's yours!

(Jimmy)>> Awesome job guys.

(Pat)>> If you want to see more racy builds like this one check out Engine Power on Powernation.
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