Development for the 3rd Generation engines by Chevy began after the short-lived LT1/LT4 engines which in the year 1992 to 1997 that failed to meet GM’s expectation.
General Motors then created Generation 3rd V-8 engine that has replaced a small-block LT1/LT4 platform.
After that Generation 3rd LS1 engines designed by GM showcased modern engine technology retaining traditional valve mechanical system. This engine was first appeared in Corvette 1997. After that whole series of high performance engines followed it.
In the last 10 years,
The LS engine exploded the market and we see them nestled between all show cars to all racing cars.
There are some reasons for this!
Their downward price and the market continued to make their transplants into all variety of vehicles with the fact that they are not simply going away.
Whether you are planning to drop this magical engine into your legendary ride or you are buying a car for your college going child. I want to give a small introduction about them, focusing on the part that why LS engines are called GREAT in hot road culture!
What is an Engine??
It is just an air pump.
Air goes in, fuel added, mixture blows up and horsepower happens. Vroom-Vroom…
We all have heard some shorts about this technology on how engine works. But, the process is not quite easy as I have explained in one sentence. There are lots of processes undergoes inside the engine. And these
LS engines add quite more to advance these processes.
The pistons are made up of alloys that are more stronger and more thermally stable than the cast iron pistons used in Generation 1 engines. These pistons are fitted with a thinner metal ring packs that reduces friction and also helps bore sealing.
Coming to the connecting rods, LS platforms use powder-forged design. They have cracked cap providing irregular mating surface allowing rod to align precisely with a large end, helping equalize bearing wear. They are very much stronger than production rods used earlier.
LS crankshafts are tough pieces with relocated thrust bearings have been proven to quadruple horsepower outputs.
So till now, I have established that the bottom end to this engine has got few things which are different from traditional small blocks. So, why to change SBC engine combo for few things when bottom end is less than $1000? It doesn’t make sense.
Now, here comes the master piece of LS engines…
The master piece of LS family engines is the cylinder head and valve mechanics components. This is what makes LS engines to deliver outstanding performance with few changes made.
The head of the engine is designed with a 15 degrees valve angle.
Research about a 15 degree small block head and you’ll come to know about the biggest win for the LS engines. In addition to improved geometrical valve design, the LS engines have replicated ports. Something different from Gen 1’s mirrored port configuration that have different runner sizing for cylinders 3 & 5, 4 & 6.
The new LS engine style allows every runner to be more symmetrical and gives every cylinder equal opportunity for airflow. The ported LS heads have proven to move over 300cfm of air.
The valve mechanism design for LS engines retains the pushroads. No more pinning rocker studs, or adding rocker girdles. The LS valvetrain is 7000 rpm capable right out. Engineers also integrated beehive springs which reduces overall valvetrain mass.
One more thing!
With LS, there’s no need to spend $1,000 on a retrofit kit.
I can go more on and on LS engines but till now you probably get the point that why LS engine are great stuff. But you are still hanging on Gen I small block death grip.
Not yet ready???
Just fine. Knowing that there is some better options available in the market can’t reduce the things we love.