Project V8 RX-7: Part 2 – Inside the GM LS3 E-ROD Crate Engine
By Mike Kojima
Hybrid, noun- the offspring of two animals or plants of different breeds, varieties, species, or genera, esp. as produced through human manipulation for specific genetic characteristics.
In what was nearly a generation ago, a fire was started in the Sport Compact performance market. Some guys on the west coast started dropping Acura Integra DOHC B series engines and Prelude H series engines into the smaller and lighter Civic chassis. Getting rid of the stock SOHC D series econo motor really woke up the Civic. The creation was called a Hybrid and the bigger engine's amazing performance launched a huge industry that dominated the modification scene creating a lifestyle, Import Performance. Fans of this scene were firmly rooted against anything domestic. Domestic offerings were considered unrefined, unreliable, unsophisticated and redneck.
|The GM LS3 engine was introduced as the base engine for the 2008 Corvette. It makes 430 hp and 428 lb ft of torque over a wide powerband. It is only slightly heavier than a Nissan SR20DET and actually lighter than a KA24DE with a turbo kit. It is only slightly heavier than the rotary turbo it is going to replace in our FD. The power is made with all day stock reliability on pump gas and with the E-ROD kit, 100% street legality.|
Fast forward 15 years to today. When toying around with the idea of putting a domestic V8 engine in his FD RX-7 Jeff asked me my opinion and I laughed. Why put in some lump of pushrod, 2-valve small block Chevy iron that was designed 40 years ago in your car when you have Eric, the master of making the cantankerous rotary turbo live on staff? You could also make a choice of any number of other good engine offerings mostly from Nissan that could make lots of power reliably.
|Sure it still has pushrods and only 2 valves per cylinder but the LS3 is not your daddy's small block Chevy. The LS series of engines share only the bore spacing with the older generation of engines and feature state of the art engineering making them much stronger with greater power density. We will be explaining all of this in this and future segments.|