January 2012 Chevy High Performance Garage - L.O.T.M.

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LS Transplant

I just wanted to share my little piece of heaven I finished back in April. I have been building this RX-7 progressively since 2003 and was a huge rotary engine diehard. Unfortunately, after many engines and continued frustration with the turbo rotaries I decided to go to something with a better reputation. I have been reading your publication for about two years now due to a coworker having a subscription (makes for a great read in the John J). I constantly read your technical articles and was so impressed on the LS platform and how well it reacted to bolt-ons.

After some more research I purchased an ’04 LS1 from a rearended GTO, grabbed an ’02 F-body, low-mile T56, and some top end goodies. It took me about a year to finish the project ad thanks to many other Bow Tie fans, I had a great plethora of info on these type of chassis swaps.

I took her to the chassis dyno at PRC in Spokane, Washington, and my setup yielded 401 rear-wheel horsepower and 393 rear-wheel torque at 2,501 feet, and makes 425 rear-wheel horsepower and 417 rear-wheel torque at sea level. The car weighs 2,717 wet. It is a blast to drive!

I wanted to thank you all for your great articles and coverage of the LSX platforms. I am amazed at how receptive the Chevy community is and how many are willing to give expert advise … got to remember I came from a community where rotary engine secrets are rarely “given” out and there lacks actual credible master techs/enthusiasts in the United States.

Here are some quick specs:

Engine:

· ’04 LS1 (LS6 intake and block) 32,574 miles
· TSP 228R 114LSA
· Katech rod bolts
· PAC 1518 springs
· TSP 7.400 hardened pushrods
· 241 cast heads
· custom 4-inch intake and 4-inch SLP MAF with resistor removed
· ported/polished TB
· 13/4-inch long tubes
· 21/2-inch dual exhaust with Flowmonster X-pipe
· MagnaFlow 14616 mufflers

Drivetrain:

·’02 F-body T56
· Ram lightweight aluminum flywheel
· LS7 clutch
· factory Mazda LSD, 4.10:1 ratio

All work was performed by me. Thanks again guys, and keep up the great work!

Sean Murray
Via email

Plug-and-Play

GM Performance Parts’ (GMPP) new LSX454 completion kit (PN 19244481) is the solution for builders looking to get their LSX454 crate engine running with production-style fuel injection, with a GMPP-engineered custom calibration designed specifically for this application. It is on sale now, carrying an MSRP of $1,197.44.

The LSX454 completion kit includes an LS7 intake manifold—preassembled with the fuel rail, injectors, and throttle body—a calibrated engine controller, wiring harness, and throttle pedal assembly for the electronically controlled throttle. This comprehensive system saves builders the time and money of searching for and purchasing the parts individually, while the calibrated controller eliminates the need for third-party tuning.

“We are always looking for ways to make the installation of our crate engines easier, and the new LSX454 completion kit is a great example,” Dr. Jamie Meyer, product integration manager for GM Performance Parts, says. “By ordering the crate engine, the completion kit and a few other simple parts, you have all the basic components required to install the LSX454 in a vintage car, truck, or street rod and get it running without the need for professional tuning.”

The kit’s wiring harness is designed for easy plug-and-play installation with a controller that was specially calibrated for the LSX454’s displacement and performance parameters. When installed per the kit’s instructions, the harness/controller combination doesn’t require additional tuning or other calibration and delivers the startup, idle, and driving characteristics of a production GM vehicle.

With the kit’s LS7 intake manifold, the LSX454 crate engine (PN 19244611) is rated at 580 hp at 6,200 rpm and 590 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. The manifold matches perfectly with the intake ports of the LSX454’s six-bolt cylinder heads, which are based on production 7.0L LS7 heads. It was originally designed for the high-rpm performance of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and is matched with a 90mm-diameter throttle body—the largest production throttle body from GM—that offers great airflow for the larger-displacement 7.4L crate engine.

Inside the LSX454
The LSX454 crate engine has the displacement of Chevrolet’s legendary 454 big-block packaged within the small-block dimensions of GM’s LS engine family. It uses GMPP’s standard-deck LSX Bow Tie block for strength and is filled with an all-forged, rotating assembly—and bore and stroke dimensions of 4.185x4.125 inches. Breathing is handled by GMPP’s exclusive LSX six-bolt cylinder heads, which provide greater clamping strength over production-style four-bolt heads.

On the outside, the engine is dressed with distinctive orange powdercoated valve covers with engraved “LSX454” logos. (The valve covers do not include mounting provisions for ignition coil brackets. Aftermarket or custom relocation brackets must be obtained.)

The LSX454 is manufactured with the same, heavy-duty eight-bolt crankshaft flange used on the supercharged 6.2L LSA engine that’s found in the Cadillac CTS-V series. Like the six-bolt heads, the eight-bolt pattern of the crankshaft flange offers greater clamping power, but requires a flexplate adapter for use with popular automatic transmissions, such as the Hydra-Matic 4L80-E.

Additional installation notes for the LSX454 include:

• The LSX454 is delivered without an oil pan (a temporary dust shield is installed at the factory). GMPP’s Muscle Car Oil Pan Kit (PN 19212593) fits most ’55-95 GM front-engine/rear-drive vehicles.

• One of GMPP’s frontend accessory drive (FEAD) kits is required. They include the alternator, power steering pump, their mounting brackets and pulleys, hardware, and, on some kits, an air-conditioning compressor.  

• Aftermarket engine mount brackets must be used to install an LS engine in a vehicle that wasn’t originally equipped with one.

• GMPP recommends the LS1 Engine Installation Guide (PN 88959384), which illustrates basic procedures and offers helpful tips on installing an LS engine in older vehicles.

Both the new LSX454 completion kit and the LSX454 crate engine have warranties. The completion kit is backed by a 12-month/12,000-mile limited warranty and the LSX454 crate engine carries a 24-month/50,000-mile limited warranty. See complete details at gmperformanceparts.com.

Todd Gartshore’s Life Honored at NMRA/NMCA West Coast Shootout

A moment of silence for Todd Gartshore was held at the NMRA/NMCA West Coast Shootout event on July 9 at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, while the Centerforce Camaro made a lap around the autocross displaying a checkered flag. Gartshore, co-owner of Baer Brake Systems and a major supporter of SEMA and the performance aftermarket for decades, died just prior to this event where he planned to participate in Baer’s Speed-Stop Challenge. Many of Gartshore’s best industry friends were on hand at this event as part of a special Racers Against Street Racing promotion where media and manufacturers raced with street-type racers to promote taking racing off the streets and putting it on the track where it belongs. A special picture of Gartshore was displayed all weekend where friends could write a special message in his memory. The picture was presented to the Baer Brake Systems team at the event and will be on display at their headquarters in Arizona. Present in this photograph are the Baer Brake Systems’ team, the Centerforce team, Doug Dwyer of Power TV Media, Mike Santa Cruz of NMRA/NMCA, and SEMA board members, John Hotchkis and Steve Wolcott. CHP

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