How to Build an LS79 Engine - A Modern Classic

We take a classic displacement combo and modernize it with LS technology

Patrick Hill Mar 28, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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Arp Head Studs 2/41

12. Up top, we went with ARP head studs for the same reasons we went with studs on the main caps. Besides offering superior clamping power and sealing, going with head studs will make any future head changes we think of a snap, and also put less wear on the block threads.

Comp Cams Hydraulic Roller 3/41

13. For the cam, we went to the valvetrain experts at Comp Cams for a custom-ground hydraulic roller similar to an LS9 cam. Our cam has a 122.5-degree lobe-separation angle with lift of 0.557 intake/0.572 exhaust, duration at 0.050 of 212/230, ground on a three-bolt LS1 cam core with the rear reluctor so we could use the rear-mounted cam sensor on the 6.0L block.

Cam Nose Bolt 4/41

14. Early LS engines used a three-bolt cam nose to retain the cam sprocket, similar to the Gen I engines. Later, GM went to a single-bolt configuration on some applications.

Cam Retainer Plate 12589016 5/41

15. LS motors use this cam retainer plate to keep the cam from walking in the block. We ordered a factory GM plate for our build, PN 12589016.

Ls Valley Cover Summit 12577927 6/41

16. The only source for an LS valley cover is either the junkyard or Chevrolet Performance. We ordered a new one through Summit, PN 12577927.

Chevrolet Roller Lifters 7/41

17. We also ordered from Chevrolet Performance a set of factory roller lifters (PN 12499225) and lifter guides, PN 12551162 (sold as a set of four). When buying a bare LS block, there are certain factory-only components you’ll need to get, like we did. Page 258 of the 2013 Chevrolet Performance catalog lists all the part numbers necessary for this under “Block Completion Components” so you won’t miss anything.

Lifter 8/41

18. The lifter guides not only keep the lifters from rotating while the engine is running, but they also hold up the lifters for easy camshaft removal without having to take off the heads and remove the lifters.

Arp Valley Cover Bolts 134 8002 9/41

19. We hit up the ARP catalog for all the best fasteners for our LS79, including a set of valley cover bolts, PN 134-8002.

Comp Cams Adjustable Timing Set Chain 3158kt 10/41

20. For the timing chain, we went with Comp’s adjustable timing set, PN 3158KT.

Arp Bolts Studs 11/41

21. Like we said before, we hit up the ARP catalog for just about all the fasteners to build our LS79. ARP has an extensive line of bolts and studs for LS engines in both stainless and black-oxide finish.

Melling Oil Pump 10296 12/41

22. To supply our motor with plenty of oil, we got a Melling high-volume oil pump, PN 10296, that features a CNC-machined body and hardened steel gears.

Chevrolet Performance Front Cover 12561243 13/41

23. For the front cover, we went with the early-style (no cam sensor) from Chevrolet Performance, PN 12561243. To install the cover properly, you need a special alignment tool (seen in photo). If you just try to guess at it, you’ll probably end up with the crank seal leaking.

Chevrolet Performance Rear Cover 12639250 14/41

24. The rear cover is also a Chevrolet Performance–only unit, PN 12639250, but it’s available for ordering through Summit Racing, just like the rest of the Chevrolet Performance parts used in this build.

Mast Motorsports Ls Conversion Pan 401 111 Top 15/41

25 & 26. For an oil pan that would be compatible with whatever classic Chevy we decide to install the LS79 in, we went to Mast Motorsports for its LS conversion pan, PN 401-111.

Mast Motorsports Ls Conversion Pan 401 111 Bottom 16/41

26.

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