In my tenure at GMHTP, I've logged many a mile on I-95 and the good ol' Massachusetts Parkway, but never have I been so eager to make the 4.5-hour trek and brave the New England winter as when Golen Engine Service broke the news that it was releasing several Gen III/IV engine packages. Among them was the 402ci stroked LS2, topped off with Golen-prepped L92 heads. Owner Chad Golen put it together in the hopes of achieving at least 600 hp, unparalleled durability, and one of its most stout packages to date. Not even the lack of heat in my car and the subzero wind chill could dampen my willingness to strap this new package to the dyno and see what it could do.
The Hudson, New Hampshire-based shop was in the process of putting together the first of many LS2-based 402 strokers when I caught up with them last March, with plenty of Gen IIIs already under its belt. Unfortunately, at that time, parts were still being released for the L92 heads, so a few components will vary from the initial build (where noted) to the engines Golen will be shipping out to its customers. In this build, a Callies Dragonslayer 4-inch stroke crankshaft formed the backbone of the stroker motor. The American-made Dragonslayer is constructed with the highest quality 4340-steel available, and provides approximately 3 pounds of weight savings (according to Callies), over the more economical Compstar crank in Golen's base package. The Compstar H-beam rods are more than adequate, though, with high-quality 4340 forging and tuned weight distribution specific to LS1/LS2s. These rods have been used reliably in 1,600-horse motors, and are inspected and finished in-house. While awaiting the arrival of the new L92-specific pistons, Golen is using 4.005-inch versions of the same Mahle coated forged pistons it has used on many LS1 builds. Its durable 4032 low-expansion aluminum alloy carries a topside phosphate coating and Grafal on the skirts, for decreased friction and detonation.
As you'd expect from any Golen engine, each fresh GM LS2 block is put through thorough balancing and machining for maximum efficiency and reliability. The short-block is assembled using ARP main studs, with new GM parts filling in the blanks. A set of GM L92 heads are affixed to the block by ARP head bolts once they are prepped and assembled by Paul Rinaldi, Golen's new crack technician. Rinaldi does a slick five-angle valve job before bowl-blending and light polishing, to get rid of the factory casting imperfections. The heads are further machined for proper clearance and a combustion chamber conducive to an 11.0:1 compression ratio, then assembled with Manley NexTek beehive valvesprings, stainless steel valves, titanium retainers, spring seats, and locks. Golen chose these Manley components, since they have proved reliable pieces; however, the stock 2.16 intake and 1.59 exhaust valves will be swapped for additional performance gains in the coming months, when larger versions become available. When paired with the L76 intake and a streetable COMP Cams hydraulic roller selected by Golen (measuring 236/242 duration at .050, .602/.610-inch lift, 112LSA), this long-block is sure to far exceed the capabilities of any stock LS7-and for several thousand dollars less.