Since 2008, GM Powertrain Defiance Casting Operations in Defiance, Ohio, has produced more than 45,000 nodular-iron LS3 crankshafts, the bulletproof backbones of the engine rotating assemblies in all base and many Grand Sport Corvettes.
Last month we showed you the first step in the crankshaft-manufacturing process: green-sand casting, which creates the recyclable molds from which the cranks are born.
“Defiance has decades of experience casting small-block cranks,” says Tom Read, GM’s Technology Communications Powertrain spokesperson. “Its quality procedures and checks ensure the cranks last virtually forever, while handling the LS3’s 424 lb-ft of twisting force and 430 horsepower.”
Defiance pumps out approximately 1,000 cranks an hour. It casts LS3 cranks in batches as needed for Corvette production demands.
How does the facility transform iron ore into a molten liquid, transfer it into green-sand molds, and perform the other tasks necessary to produce a ready-to-be-machined LS3 crank? Follow along as we show you some highlights of how it’s done.