Building a Drift Spec LS3

We used ARP for all of the engine fasteners. ARP bolts and studs are super high quality and greatly exceed the strength of the OEM fasteners.

We used ARP for the critical head, part number 234-4317 and main studs, part number 234-5608 as well. We chose ARP studs over the stock Chevy torque to yield bolts because studs are easier on the block threads and the caps and girdle are held in better alignment.  Studs also provide more accurate torque readings because they don’t twist into the block when being tightened.  ARP studs are made of 8740 chrome moly steel. 8740 has a very high tensile strength of around 200,000 psi.  The ARP studs also have several design features like rolled (superior to cut threads due to good grain formation in the thread root) asymmetrical J-form threads with more engagement area on the stressed tighten side and a reduced center diameter to reduce stress risers. ARP studs also have high quality forged nuts and precision ground and hardened washers for accurate torque and positive retention.

Good engine life depends on good oil control.  A windage tray is important because it strips the cloud of oil flung off the crank and rods and returns it quickly to the oil pan.  A windage tray not only helps assure that more oil ends up in the pan but also frees up as much as 12 hp and reduces oil burning and temperature as well. Since our engine is stroked we used a windage tray with enough clearance for a stroker crank from Mast Motorsport part number 401-015

To help ensure that our engine’s guts have a good supply of oil, we are using this Melling 10296 high pressure and volume oil pump.  This pump has an increase of 18% over the stock oil pump and a 10% increase in pressure. The housing is CNC machined for the larger pump gears then hard anodized for long life. The pressure relief valve has a removable plug and the standard 75 psi spring can be interchanged for an optional lower pressure one that is supplied with the pump.

LS engines have a reputation for oiling issues in serious drift cars and there was no budget for a dry sump, we put a lot of effort into doing the best-wet sump oil system possible that would fit in a Z33 chassis. The z33 Chassis requires a front sump and most LS engines with the exception of the GTO LS2 pan are rear sump.  We found an oil pan that Sikky makes just for LS swaps into a Z33 Chassis part number OP003Z.


  1. Mike, great information! I was wondering to build this engine as you did on your channel but running off regular premium gas, what modifications would I need to make? How much power loss could I expect as a result? I’m eager to get similar horsepower at the rear wheels. But I’m sure the current setup wouldn’t allow for premium gas.

    1. Price out all the parts including the block and every peice needed to have a plug and play motor. Multiply that number by 2.5 and it will be actual cost.

      1. Actually, it’s a lot less than that. The parts are expensive. Labor and machining are about $4000, WPC of most parts is about $2700

        1. Price out all the parts including the block and every peice needed to have a plug and play motor. Multiply that number by 2.5 and it will be actual cost.

          Mike has $4000 plus $2700 parts = $6700

          Pete’s rule of thumb parts [$2700] x 2.5 = $6750
          Not too far off .
          then there’s all the other stuff needed to have a runnin motor….Like Fuel ,Ign systems , ETC

          1. There is no way the parts on this motor are only $2700! That is just the cost to WPC treat them.

  2. hi mike, love your videos and information. can you please tell me the make and part # of the wrist pins you used in this build. thank you for your time.

    1. Mike said the labor, machining and WPC of most parts was $6700. That doesn’t include the cost of any of the parts. I would bet another $15000 in parts, my guess is $22000 to make it plug and play.

      1. We notice some blocks are very thin on one side due to this. Some blocks are OK. Its just a cuation for people buying new blocks to do builds like this.

  3. hello mike i am from holland and i want to build this engine for my volvo amazon 1966 project car
    can i run this engine with 98 octane pump gas without race gas
    or do i need to use another compresion ratio for that
    i am planing to use it for street and strip use
    hope you can help me

  4. Hi Mike. Love the content just one simple Question, Did you have the 6.2 Ls Bored over to a 6.8 liter for The Stroker kit or the stroker kit gave it the displacement to a 414 cubic inch?

    1. It’s done with stroke, aluminum LS blocks can’t be bored out much, we said exactly what we are doing in the third paragraph, don’t be lazy, read!

  5. Hi Mike. What oil weight do you recommend for drift ls3 with tight bearing clearances. Is 15w50 will be good choice or its too heavy ?
    Thank you

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