The biggest difference between how you and I assemble an engine and how GM does it is in the use of very specialized tools. The alignment tool makes sure the timing cover is dead center to the crank and the plate ensures that the bottom is flush to the block, providing a leak-free seal to the oil pan.
Cool new part alert! GM’s new LS9 engine is supercharged and the increased pressures involved means that even items as innocuous as the oil filter need to be beefed up. This new AC Delco oil filter’s canister is extra thick to resist bulging. The good news is that it should fit any LS engine. So, if you have a blown LS mill, take note of this part number.
Organization at Wixom extends to the parts as well as the tools. This system makes it easy for the builder to make sure he is supplied with every part needed for a station and to ensure that all of those parts end up on the engine. Note the new LS9 valve covers. They no longer have the ugly racks, and the coils bolt right to the cover for a cleaner look. Also, the color of the rack these parts are sitting on—in this case green—indicates that these are for an LS9.