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Old 10-02-2009, 11:59 AM   #101
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i think the cam issue is what may be holding these engines from progressing.
on this forum, i have not seen any completed, work in progress or document builds with this block. in theory it would let u run a dist. and the superior sbc oiling system, along with the ease of the sbc mounting and accesories and even mech fuel pump. if the vehicle was previoulsy a sbc, the engine would be direct bolt in and no need for ls style mounts and accesories. all the sbc external parts could be reused. if the block was priced lower, i think many would take the time to invest in it.

i for one would, since i would rather run a dist. and mech fuel pump. my own sbc has gone 10.8 on motor and thats with out of the box e-brock heads and basic sbc parts. i would think it would definitely improve with the better flowing oe heads such as a l92 or worked over 243.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:20 PM   #102
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i think the cam issue is what may be holding these engines from progressing.
on this forum, i have not seen any completed, work in progress or document builds with this block. in theory it would let u run a dist. and the superior sbc oiling system, along with the ease of the sbc mounting and accesories and even mech fuel pump. if the vehicle was previoulsy a sbc, the engine would be direct bolt in and no need for ls style mounts and accesories. all the sbc external parts could be reused. if the block was priced lower, i think many would take the time to invest in it.

i for one would, since i would rather run a dist. and mech fuel pump. my own sbc has gone 10.8 on motor and thats with out of the box e-brock heads and basic sbc parts. i would think it would definitely improve with the better flowing oe heads such as a l92 or worked over 243.
Call Steve at LSM Engineering. He will make you a cam for anything whether it is an airplane engine or a diesel. I don't see that as an issue unless people are looking for off the shelf stuff. But there is a link on the Motown site to Comp Cams where I am assuming there are going to "shelf" cams that are available.

Stock SBC head versus stock LS heads isn't much of a comparison you are right about that. The LS heads are much, much better. Your point about the block being expensive, I think is the major drawback. The guy that is concerned about an easy SBC installation will get it with the short block but when it comes to the heads and valve train...? I really think the type of person that will shell out $2100 for one of these blocks is also the one who will be buying some decent heads for the engine. Once you start talking about good aftermarket heads both engines are in the same ballpark.

As a side note, the LS installed in my '68 Camaro was extremely EASY. I had zero complications with anything whether it was mechanical, electrical, mounting, plumbing, etc... I guess because it was so easy, I just don't understand why a hybrid bastard block is necessary. I tell people all the time how easy it is, and I think most are just intimidated by the thought of it. For example, the mouting plate adapters bolt to LS block and the stock engine mounts bolt to the plate- very simple. I even used stock replacement '67-68 Camaro upper and lower radiator hoses. Since the nimple sizes are smaller on the LS water pump, I went to Tractor Supply and bought some coupling hoses which slid inside the radiator hoses and over the LS pump. A lot of people make this out to be more difficult than it is. Or maybe I am very lucky, but I don't think so.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:35 PM   #103
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Call Steve at LSM Engineering. He will make you a cam for anything whether it is an airplane engine or a diesel. I don't see that as an issue unless people are looking for off the shelf stuff. But there is a link on the Motown site to Comp Cams where I am assuming there are going to "shelf" cams that are available.

Stock SBC head versus stock LS heads isn't much of a comparison you are right about that. The LS heads are much, much better. Your point about the block being expensive, I think is the major drawback. The guy that is concerned about an easy SBC installation will get it with the short block but when it comes to the heads and valve train...? I really think the type of person that will shell out $2100 for one of these blocks is also the one who will be buying some decent heads for the engine. Once you start talking about good aftermarket heads both engines are in the same ballpark.

As a side note, the LS installed in my '68 Camaro was extremely EASY. I had zero complications with anything whether it was mechanical, electrical, mounting, plumbing, etc... I guess because it was so easy, I just don't understand why a hybrid bastard block is necessary. I tell people all the time how easy it is, and I think most are just intimidated by the thought of it. For example, the mouting plate adapters bolt to LS block and the stock engine mounts bolt to the plate- very simple. I even used stock replacement '67-68 Camaro upper and lower radiator hoses. Since the nimple sizes are smaller on the LS water pump, I went to Tractor Supply and bought some coupling hoses which slid inside the radiator hoses and over the LS pump. A lot of people make this out to be more difficult than it is. Or maybe I am very lucky, but I don't think so.
i agree, i have done the ls swap many time now and have even designed my own front drive serpentine system based on some sbc parts. for ease of swap. it sounds appealing with the motown block. im not against it, since it has the potential. but in reality, an enthusiast could build a 6.0 ls based engine and not have to worry about mix and matching engine parts. and parts like cams are available off the shelf for conventional ls engines.

i really like the ability to run a distributor and mech. pump, since im a bit more biased to carb engines. for max effort. but thats just me. ive had success with carbs, and have sufficient exp. to tune them enough to run well.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:17 PM   #104
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i agree, i have done the ls swap many time now and have even designed my own front drive serpentine system based on some sbc parts. for ease of swap. it sounds appealing with the motown block. im not against it, since it has the potential. but in reality, an enthusiast could build a 6.0 ls based engine and not have to worry about mix and matching engine parts. and parts like cams are available off the shelf for conventional ls engines.

i really like the ability to run a distributor and mech. pump, since im a bit more biased to carb engines. for max effort. but thats just me. ive had success with carbs, and have sufficient exp. to tune them enough to run well.

Mine is carb'd with using the Super Victor Manifold. Another thing that was very straight forward was throwing the carb manifold on there with the MSD ignition controller. It was a piece of cake to setup on the computer- then plug it in and you are done. It is actually cheaper than buying a 6AL box, pro-billet distributor and coil like you would for an SBC. I think there may be some limitations to the LS cam/crank sensors when you reach high RPM. But I have no experience with that, just read about it.

Big positive for the LS would be the 55mm cam journals. The profiles which are being cut for 55mm cores are far better then what you can use on the very small SBC cores.

The Motown hybrid is fairly light for an iron block which is a positive. But that is just about the only thing I can see.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:33 PM   #105
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Mine is carb'd with using the Super Victor Manifold. Another thing that was very straight forward was throwing the carb manifold on there with the MSD ignition controller. It was a piece of cake to setup on the computer- then plug it in and you are done. It is actually cheaper than buying a 6AL box, pro-billet distributor and coil like you would for an SBC. I think there may be some limitations to the LS cam/crank sensors when you reach high RPM. But I have no experience with that, just read about it.

Big positive for the LS would be the 55mm cam journals. The profiles which are being cut for 55mm cores are far better then what you can use on the very small SBC cores.

The Motown hybrid is fairly light for an iron block which is a positive. But that is just about the only thing I can see.
It really depends on your application. In our situation with dirt track racing, EVERYTHING is built for SB chevy. Sure I could build a good LS engine, maybe even cheaper than a high power SB, but the trans, mounts, etc, all the little differences add up to a lot of $$. Plus you HAVE to use a distributor.

Whereas with the Motown, the only real difference is headers, still end up with about the same cost in heads, intake, cam, etc, with a lot better flow/power than an SB build. Plus we can move our good high $$ rotating assembly into the Motown, just changing pistons. Block cost is really not an issue, the Dart Iron Eagle that we have now runs about 3-3500, so roughly the same as the Motown LS. From my rough figures, to upgrade to the Motown and gain 100-150hp, will cost us about 2k, selling our extra parts at used market price.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:54 PM   #106
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It really depends on your application. In our situation with dirt track racing, EVERYTHING is built for SB chevy. Sure I could build a good LS engine, maybe even cheaper than a high power SB, but the trans, mounts, etc, all the little differences add up to a lot of $$. Plus you HAVE to use a distributor.

Whereas with the Motown, the only real difference is headers, still end up with about the same cost in heads, intake, cam, etc, with a lot better flow/power than an SB build. Plus we can move our good high $$ rotating assembly into the Motown, just changing pistons. Block cost is really not an issue, the Dart Iron Eagle that we have now runs about 3-3500, so roughly the same as the Motown LS. From my rough figures, to upgrade to the Motown and gain 100-150hp, will cost us about 2k, selling our extra parts at used market price.
i would like to see a buildup, it sounds like your program could use one of these engines.
what are the rules, what is the cid limit?

since the motown block uses 400 mains crank. and ls deck height.
in reality sbc blank flat top pistons could be used and machine the valve relieves in house for the ls 15* angle and ls valve orientation
. using conventional sbc parts that are off the shelf. it is possible to build a 435ci sbc bottom end with this block.
4.00 crank, 6.125 rod, 1.125 compression height pistons.if the pistons are flat tops, the relieves can be machined in house. for ls valve orientation and angle. do not necessarily have to use custom pistons. with a bit of ingenuity
standard 23* sbc pistons should work, as long as there completely flat.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:11 PM   #107
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It really depends on your application. In our situation with dirt track racing, EVERYTHING is built for SB chevy. Sure I could build a good LS engine, maybe even cheaper than a high power SB, but the trans, mounts, etc, all the little differences add up to a lot of $$. Plus you HAVE to use a distributor.

Whereas with the Motown, the only real difference is headers, still end up with about the same cost in heads, intake, cam, etc, with a lot better flow/power than an SB build. Plus we can move our good high $$ rotating assembly into the Motown, just changing pistons. Block cost is really not an issue, the Dart Iron Eagle that we have now runs about 3-3500, so roughly the same as the Motown LS. From my rough figures, to upgrade to the Motown and gain 100-150hp, will cost us about 2k, selling our extra parts at used market price.
I am curious as to what class you run? You sort of implied you can run cylinder heads other than the stock 23 degree in saying the LS hybrid block would be a good idea for you. If that is the case, then there are excellent choices out there which will out-run many LS heads without a problem. Unlimited and Super classes have since switched from 18 degree Chevy heads to the SB2.2 because you can expect 75-100 more HP from an SB2.2 head. If you are running stock classes, they will not allow aftermarket blocks in most cases anyway. An unlimited class may allow your Iron Eagle style block due to raised cam, spread pan rails, etc...

My Iron Eagle that I used on an 18 Degree 421cid only cost me $2400. Do you mean $3-3500 as prepped? My 421cid dyno'd 701hp at 6800 rpm on pump gas with a moderate camshaft. If you can do that with a stock style SBC block and run heads other than 23 degree, there is no point to switch to the hybrid block.

The factory LS engine block will accept any transmission bellhousing used from a prior SBC/BBC...so you lost me there. The engine mounts are no problem because you can use an adapter plate which bolts to the block and the stock style SBC/BBC mounts bolt to the plate. Those plates cost me $35 for my the LS which I have in my '68 Camaro.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:21 PM   #108
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i would like to see a buildup, it sounds like your program could use one of these engines.
what are the rules, what is the cid limit?

since the motown block uses 400 mains crank. and ls deck height.
in reality sbc blank flat top pistons could be used and machine the valve relieves in house for the ls 15* angle and ls valve orientation
. using conventional sbc parts that are off the shelf. it is possible to build a 435ci sbc bottom end with this block.
4.00 crank, 6.125 rod, 1.125 compression height pistons.if the pistons are flat tops, the relieves can be machined in house. for ls valve orientation and angle. do not necessarily have to use custom pistons. with a bit of ingenuity
standard 23* sbc pistons should work, as long as there completely flat.
All sounds good except a 4.000 stroke in a stock cam height SBC causes somewhat significant cam to rod clearance issues. On stock large journal rods you will need to clearance the rods/bolts and run a small base circle camshaft. I am personally not a fan of either option. You will also have to clearance the pan rails and bottoms of the cylinders rather heavily. I would use small journal 2.000 rods or even 1.880 Honda journal rods to start and try not to use a small base circle cam, but I am not sure how much that would gain for you.

I would think you could use any LS piston just so long as your compression height is where you want it. Most aftermarket LS pistons use the SBC wrist pin size at .927
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:22 PM   #109
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Thanks for the reply.

We're still evaluating our options, this build may not happen, but I'm hopeful it'll work out. The rules are very simple:

A,) Only conventional type V-8 engines with the cam in the block will be permitted. There will be no limit on the cubic inch displacement.

B.) All engines must be based on a manufactured, factory design.

C.) Aluminum or steel blocks will be permitted.

D.) All engines must be normally aspirated with a single conventional-type four (4) barrel carburetor.

E.) The engine must have an operating self-starting mechanism. Vehicles that require a ‘push start’ will not be permitted.

F.) Only a single distributor and magneto will be permitted. Coil pack and/or engines that have individual ignition systems, electronic or mechanical for each cylinder will not be permitted.

G.) A maximum of 25 ˝”-inches from the center of the ball joint to the front of the motor plate/engine bell housing flange will be permitted.

H.) Only two (2) valves and one (1) spark plug will be permitted per cylinder.


The only part I'm uncertain on is rule B), as this is based off of a factory design, but considerably changed. I have emailed the sanctioning body for clarification.

Thanks for the suggestion on the pistons. We're actually looking at 12 degree heads, so would probably be even less machining necessary. However there are several companies out there that produce pistons that should work for our application, and are resonably priced.

Ideally we'd just build up an all aluminum SB2 like the big boys do, unfortunately our whole budget last year was less than what these guys have in one motor, and we still finished in the top 10. For a budget racer, the opportunities this represents are worth the gamble to see if it produces, and gives that extra little bit we need.

And I've also heard of problems using the SB2 heads on standard SB blocks, due to the extreme valve angles, not sure if that's just rumors or truth to be had there.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:29 PM   #110
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Yes Mel was referring to prepped, as the block we have now will be prepped (has 25 nights on it). Even looking at base cost, you're spending 600 more for the hybrid when you add in the adapter kits.

We turn 8200-8300rpm on the motor we have now, pushing roughly 700hp, running Brodix 18 degree heads. I don't doubt we could get more power out of the SB2.2 heads, but again there are plenty of rumors around of bent pushrods etc, due to standard SB lifter angles not matching well to the 2.2 stuff. Anyone in our class that's running SB2 heads, has an SB2 block. I'm looking for a better, cheap option to get down to 11,12 degree heads, better port design and flow.

Again I'm not saying this is the best option or the only way to go. Just at this time it seems very reasonable if it can perform. The theory is sound, and the pricing is pretty competitive.
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:20 PM   #111
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Yes Mel was referring to prepped, as the block we have now will be prepped (has 25 nights on it). Even looking at base cost, you're spending 600 more for the hybrid when you add in the adapter kits.

We turn 8200-8300rpm on the motor we have now, pushing roughly 700hp, running Brodix 18 degree heads. I don't doubt we could get more power out of the SB2.2 heads, but again there are plenty of rumors around of bent pushrods etc, due to standard SB lifter angles not matching well to the 2.2 stuff. Anyone in our class that's running SB2 heads, has an SB2 block. I'm looking for a better, cheap option to get down to 11,12 degree heads, better port design and flow.

Again I'm not saying this is the best option or the only way to go. Just at this time it seems very reasonable if it can perform. The theory is sound, and the pricing is pretty competitive.


Dirt track or asphalt?

What cubic inch are you? An unlimited 18 degree motor should be pushing 750-775hp. You may consider an upgrade on your heads. My 18 degree engine used CFE heads with a much more recent program. Many porters out there will go back through older ones (maybe like yours) to really get them working. And as tough as it may sound, flow numbers are not what make the power- it is how efficiently each cfm is used. They can flow big, but if the air isn't used or can't be used effectively, they are NOT working.

Hey if you want to talk to a guy about an SB2.2, talk to Bill Hendrens. He will answer all your questions about building an SB2.2 engine on a standard SBC style block. You should run single offset lifter just like you run in your 18 degree engine. The double offsets many say you are supposed to run on SB2.2 in standard block will break the tie-bar in the overlap cycle- which is bad news. Other than that, I believe they have been pretty reliable for many guys I know about running a class like yours. Most guys who go SB2.2 from 18 Deg never look back because the HP and TQ increase is so great. A lot of these guys are even using Cup take-off heads (after careful selection) which are re-programmed or fixed up for a larger engine. I built my 400cid SB2.2 using brand new heads finished by HRD in Idaho. It was more for drag race but we are talking over 900hp with a single carb- seriously. I am sure you can do it man- it has been very well documented these days.

Check out speedtalk.com and 4m.net for some very good information. And check out Bill Hendrens. He is reknowned for SB2.2 engines in Super and Unlimited classes and is a very nice guy. A lot can be learned from him.

http://www.hendrensracingengines.com/
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:25 PM   #112
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All sounds good except a 4.000 stroke in a stock cam height SBC causes somewhat significant cam to rod clearance issues. On stock large journal rods you will need to clearance the rods/bolts and run a small base circle camshaft. I am personally not a fan of either option. You will also have to clearance the pan rails and bottoms of the cylinders rather heavily. I would use small journal 2.000 rods or even 1.880 Honda journal rods to start and try not to use a small base circle cam, but I am not sure how much that would gain for you.

I would think you could use any LS piston just so long as your compression height is where you want it. Most aftermarket LS pistons use the SBC wrist pin size at .927
most all the aftemarket ls pistons use the .927 wrist pin.
the motown advertises up to a 4.00 stroke with clearancing. i would imagine it would have be checked for any crank used really.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:12 PM   #113
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Thanks again Mel, appreciate all the info. I'm definately aware of matching flow to the engine and components, was more getting at the fact of having higher flow heads gives you more options on other components to really tune it in.

We run dirt, and I've done a little looking around 4m already. Will definately check with Bill, as I said we're looking for all options and would absolutely consider SB2.2 heads if the price was right. A big advantage to the LS stuff though is that my dad, who does most of our assembly, works at a GM dealership, so can get any GMPP heads at cost. Of course that also depends on if they ever get the LSX-CT heads out to sales

Again really appreciate the help. Just trying to research and get us as much info as possible so we can find the best option for our budget, that will make us the best power.

Sorry to kinda skew the thread...
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:18 PM   #114
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On a completely different tact, I see a use for this block. I have a 93 chevy P/U with a 4.3 in it. Over the last couple years I have been looking into an lsx/t56 swap. Im never going to run more than 3-350hp (OK, maybe 400) as its a daily driver. But now, I can pick up this block, which will bolt up to the truck, slap on the LS goods and have a truck that sounds good, runs strong, and gets 25+ mpg. Oh, and it looks trick too. And I dont have to do a bunch of wiring.......
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:05 PM   #115
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This is the block I am going to use!
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:47 PM   #116
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Bolt the heads onto a Small block Ford, get a sheet metal intake, custom cam, and call it a day.

I saw a guy throw the heads on a 302 on another forum. The valves are backwards so the ports are backwards for a SBF intake and cam, but like I said, with that, you whould be good ta go.

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