Chevy Stroker LS Engine Questions - CHP Garage

More Vette Tech!
I'm a longtime reader of CHP and would love to see more Vette articles or at least handling articles. It's fun to accelerate in the X and Y directions! My next project will be a C5 Vette, especially with prices dropping below $10K. I would like to know more about the stroker LS engines, such as a 440ci, which is what I plan to attempt. Darton has an elaborate sleeving process ($1,800), and better yet I understand that TPIS now has a sleeving process for as little as $1,250. What do you know about different sleeving methods, reliability, and the cost comparison of the different options? What heads would you use: CNC LS1, LS2, L92, or LS7? I know that port velocity is very important for cylinder filling after BDC via inertia. I hear that the L92 heads have great flow numbers, but I also hear that the huge volume actually ends up hurting bottom-end power. I'm looking for a 650hp street machine with about 11:1 compression and a cam as mild as possible, in the neighborhood of 235 duration at 0.050-inch. Which rotating assemblies do you like, and what are the costs? Any clearance issues?

Also, for what it's worth, when I told other people about writing in, they loved the idea of modifying Corvettes. The Corvette is Chevy's signature car, and even if you cannot afford a new one, people still like to hear about mods. Seriously, you can pick up C4s for as little as $4,000, and C5s are staring at $9,500. Don't get me wrong, I like the magazine, but something different would be a nice. Maybe just one article per month?

Don't be afraid to showcase lateral g's, big brakes, sway bars, coilover conversions, lowering, and rollcages. If nothing else, it will introduce other vendors to the magazine and new products. In this economy, divulging a series of "how to" porting, big bore machining with sleeves would be great. Let's see edit on oil galley porting and so on. Come on, let's whip a different General.
Stephen Booth
via email

How can we argue with that? I should mention that we almost got our hands on a C5 outfitted with a cage, but it ended up slipping through our fingers. Still, I like the way you think. We're definitely going to follow through with this. Sometimes, it just takes a reader like you to voice his opinion, and in this case we're going to listen!

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Winter Projects
You asked for winter projects, so here is mine. It was originally a numbers-matching '70 SS 396, but I was scared of hurting the engine and never ended up driving it. To fix that, I pulled the motor and transmission out, dropping in an all aluminum Merlin 540 big-block with a manual shift Turbo 400. On the dyno the 540 put out 608 hp and 635 lb-ft at just 3,700 rpm! The good news is that we just completed the install and are starting to work out all the little bugs. And in case you were wondering, the numbers-matching trans and engine will no doubt wind up in my living room-ready if needed! Also, I'm planning to keep the air conditioning functional. With that, I should probably quit writing and go wax it.
Rick Koch
Conroe, TX

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Insured Muscle
You've spent countless hours behind the wrench and countless dollars restoring your muscle car. However, how much does this peace of mind cost? It's one of those things that some overlook, but when you think about it, acquiring insurance for your muscle cannot be set aside. Heacock Insurance ( is all about enthusiast-based vehicles, whereas most traditional auto insurers don't fully comprehend the value of our muscle cars or the hobby.


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