Building a 650 hp Naturally Aspirated Drift Spec LS3 Part 2

In the first installment of our drift spec LS3 build, we discussed our parts selection and listed the part numbers for building a 650 whp NA monster with parts from Comp Cams, FAST, JE and Eagle among others.  Now in this segment, we will be assembling our LS so check it out!  We also shot a video discussing some of what went into the build as well if you would like to view it.

 

Our nice fresh LS3 block straight from the machine shop.  Since we are using studs with higher torque, we send our blocks, even new ones out to have them aligned bored and honed.  This is because the greater torque causes additional distortion to the top of the bores.  We hard hardly taking any material out, just truing things up.  Another thing to consider is that stronger studs don’t yield and the aluminum block grows 2x faster than them with heat so the clamping force and bore distortion increase with heat. Thus making sure the bores are round with torque really helps leakdown, friction, engine life, and power.

We use a fine diamond hone and plateau hone with a cork bonded hone to assure low friction, quick break-in, and excellent ring seal.  You can really feel the difference plateau honing makes with your hand.  Plateau honing cleanly knocks the sharp peaks off of the honed crosshatch pattern without folding them over.

Our King Bearings and ARP studs are installed next.  We apply some assembly lube to the bearings to make sure they have lubrication when the engine first starts before the oil pressure comes up.

The bearings are applied to the main caps as well and covered in assembly lube.  When selecting the bearings for proper clearance, we have found on the aluminum block LS motors that you should set your clearances to the tight side of the factory recommended specs.  The aluminum block really expands when it heats up and the clearances increase and the hot oil pressures drop.  When using a wet-sump, even with a high volume pump, the oil pressure might be as low as 45 psi at high rpm which is ok but we like to see a little more than that in a hard use engine.

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