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Old 11-17-2018, 11:44 AM
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Talking Engine Builder Recommendations

With the LS craze, there are now endless options when it comes to building a "BadA$$" LS/LSX/LT motor, with some of the BEST choices being vendors here on the Tech. With everyone making the same claims about being the best.. I wanted to come here and hear from guys who are making BIG power and ask who they use and why? I obviously want to spend my money with the right person.. someone who stands behind their work, someone who doesn't say "welp, sorry about your bad luck but it will be XX,XXX to fix" and most importantly someone who knows what combos are killer and will be able to guide me through some of the harder decisions, while providing an excellent product that will be reliable and POWERFUL!

Sooo, what I'm wanting to do is build an LSX 388 for my single cab silverado, that will be reliable at around 1200-1300FWHP. I was on the fence for quite some time on whether to buy the GMPP LSX376 or build a MONSTER 388, I've pretty much decided on building since the GMPP motor will not be reliable around these power levels and would cost thousands to change the weak points (rods, head bolts, and eventually heads) WHILE losing the warranty that has me leaning towards it in the first place.. In a way, I wont deny.. I'm chasing a x,xxx dyno print out (Bucket List LOL) and plan on dialing it back some for street use (around 800-850 whp). But most importantly want to feel confident when I flash over the "KILL MODE" file.. Truck will be a street/strip setup that I drive 10 miles back and fourth to work and play on the weekends.. Doesn't really seem to far out of the question to me.. (JMO)

Down to the DIRTYY>> I've been looking at what all the big vendors offer and comparing apples to oranges and im honestly leaning towards LME or TSP as they are both in about the same ballpark(price wise) and as far as I know have a really good rep.. I mean helllll, one look at TSP social media accounts and I'd say its safe to say they build their fair share or HIGH HP motors on a weekly basis.. but really haven't heard much from the guys who run their stuff at these power levels. So thats why I'm here!! I want to see what all you guys had to say.. maybe I over looked someone? maybe I'm wrong about their rep? basically A LOT of 'maybe" and obviously when spending thousands if not tens-of-thousands I want the best person I can possibly afford who will be there to support me or help if a freak accident were to happen and my brand new motor be hurt or something along those lines.

ALL I ASK.. IS I WANT TO HEAR FROM THE GUYS WITH FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE WITH WHO EVER THEIR SPEAKING ABOUT!! I WOULD REEAALLLYYY LIKE TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE X,XXX WHP BUILDS THAT HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR SOME YEARS WITH MINIMAL ISSUES..

Thanks in advance guys!! Have a GREAT weekend!!
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Old 11-17-2018, 07:34 PM
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What about a BTR bullet in a box 388?
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmyg View Post
What about a BTR bullet in a box 388?
honestly thatís what gave me the idea... and then I started researching and seeing that a 388 was a awesome combo.. only problem is, they donít offer it built. So I would have to find someone local and no one super close specializes in LS/LT or they do but I wonít use them. For about 1,000 bucks more you can get the exact same packaged assembled from TSP. I just donít know what kind of wanrranty if any they give.
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Voluptuous-V View Post
With the LS craze, there are now endless options when it comes to building a "BadA$$" LS/LSX/LT motor, with some of the BEST choices being vendors here on the Tech. With everyone making the same claims about being the best.. I wanted to come here and hear from guys who are making BIG power and ask who they use and why? I obviously want to spend my money with the right person.. someone who stands behind their work, someone who doesn't say "welp, sorry about your bad luck but it will be XX,XXX to fix" and most importantly someone who knows what combos are killer and will be able to guide me through some of the harder decisions, while providing an excellent product that will be reliable and POWERFUL!

Sooo, what I'm wanting to do is build an LSX 388 for my single cab silverado, that will be reliable at around 1200-1300FWHP. I was on the fence for quite some time on whether to buy the GMPP LSX376 or build a MONSTER 388, I've pretty much decided on building since the GMPP motor will not be reliable around these power levels and would cost thousands to change the weak points (rods, head bolts, and eventually heads) WHILE losing the warranty that has me leaning towards it in the first place.. In a way, I wont deny.. I'm chasing a x,xxx dyno print out (Bucket List LOL) and plan on dialing it back some for street use (around 800-850 whp). But most importantly want to feel confident when I flash over the "KILL MODE" file.. Truck will be a street/strip setup that I drive 10 miles back and fourth to work and play on the weekends.. Doesn't really seem to far out of the question to me.. (JMO)

Down to the DIRTYY>> I've been looking at what all the big vendors offer and comparing apples to oranges and im honestly leaning towards LME or TSP as they are both in about the same ballpark(price wise) and as far as I know have a really good rep.. I mean helllll, one look at TSP social media accounts and I'd say its safe to say they build their fair share or HIGH HP motors on a weekly basis.. but really haven't heard much from the guys who run their stuff at these power levels. So thats why I'm here!! I want to see what all you guys had to say.. maybe I over looked someone? maybe I'm wrong about their rep? basically A LOT of 'maybe" and obviously when spending thousands if not tens-of-thousands I want the best person I can possibly afford who will be there to support me or help if a freak accident were to happen and my brand new motor be hurt or something along those lines.

ALL I ASK.. IS I WANT TO HEAR FROM THE GUYS WITH FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE WITH WHO EVER THEIR SPEAKING ABOUT!! I WOULD REEAALLLYYY LIKE TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE X,XXX WHP BUILDS THAT HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR SOME YEARS WITH MINIMAL ISSUES..

Thanks in advance guys!! Have a GREAT weekend!!
Where do you live in SW FL....?

Perhaps the best LS engine builder to ever exist is in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Builds the highest HP LS engines I've ever seen, bar none. Including 6-7 second Grand Nationals and single turbo LS competition drag engines. Guys/Gals have hundreds of his engines running around all over S.E. FL and elsewhere. Literally, never heard of an engine failure of one of his engines. I've known him for 15 years now.

PM me if interested. TONS of members here have his engines. He's retiring soon. I'm having a 408ci LSX iron block built by him soon. He specializes in building BIG POWER boosted engines. I remember being at his shop when he was building a 430ci LS engine with a single turbo that was around the 1,400 RWHP range. It was going into a Grand National drag car.

.

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Old 11-18-2018, 05:46 PM
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Cool project, hope you get a really goon motor that serves you well.

Reliable and durable is relative depending on quality of build and parts and the abuse it is subject to, including how long it spends at 1400rwhp.

Let's run some numbers and see where it leads: Other things being equal - for long life you want the boost to be as low as you can on a daily driven basis because more boost = more pressure on everything. That normally means build the largest motor you can, that rpms lower (less stress), makes more power on less boost. 850rwhp is your upper target for daily use. Assuming you will run an auto trans assume at least 15% drivetrain loss - so at 850rwhp you need 1000hp at the crank. Even a 4.8 fully built can make that, certainly a 5.3 let alone a 6.2/6.4 or 7L + motor.... but each will have it's own character.

Take the 388 - presumably a sleeved LS3 with a 4.125" bore and stock stroke. Great combo that will rpm hard and make a really good motor you could run hard all day at rpms at lesser power levels. 1000hp? All day? Maybe with a high end build RHS/Dart Ls Next or billet block (like Noonan) with top shelf parts. It's in a truck so you want torque more than 7500rpm hp... let's say a good reliable power level NA for a built 388 is around 550hp with turbo compression and plumbing etc. Yes you could build more but at the cost of durability. 1000/550 = 1.82. 1.82 x 14.7 = 26.75 - 14.7 = 12. So you only need around 12lb boost on a 550hp motor to get your 1000 daily hp goal assuming everything is matched to suit. Do-able and 12lb is low enough it could last a long time, but the motor will likely see 7000rpm often because it will want to go there with a decent cam/heads to make an honest 550hp at low c.r. through turbo plumbing (It'd be like a true 600hp NA motor unrestricted).... that's a lot if you want a long life.

1400rw = est 1650hp at crank.... 1650/550 = 3. 3 x 14.7 = 44.1 - 14.7 = 29.4lb.... motor will need around 30psi boost assuming intercooler etc maintains efficiency up there. That's a lot, way more than a long life OEM block will want. I know folk have made that on factory blocks - but for every unicorn there's 1000 that didn't make it. Factory blocks move around a lot under power - ask any engine builder that builds LS motors and wins endurance races.... you need a race block period or forget durability/reliability goals and take the risk and see if you get a unicorn... with rainbows.

For interest sake - if you ran a 700hp NA 441 or even bigger, say a 7.6 combo - you'd only need 20psi boost to make 1650hp. A motor will live longer at 20psi than at 30, what is more, you'll only need around 6psi boost to make 1000hp lolz.... a well built 700hp NA could live at 6psi for a very long time. It will not need to rev to 7000, it could peak under 6500rpm and could be shifted at 6000 every day.

Reliability - everyone will tell you stories about their success, most of them deserved I am sure. But 850rw/1000crank up to 1650hp for a short giggle and be reliable/durable.... the best place to look is the guys building those for sand rails. You can't abuse a street car like those Arbs can abuse a sand rail or desert race truck - the only thing harder on them would be in a boat that actually races offshore. CBM Motorsports build LS motors with many options that can take the abuse. Anything that can last in a middle eastern desert driven by guys who routinely just bounce off the rev limiter because they **** money out their asses and don't care.... is as good as you'll find. At the max power level you want they use RHS blocks, though some race champions in Trophy trucks go to billet.... but then they are trying to win. Not sure if the link will work here but here's the link CBM Twin Turbo LS Motors

Not first had experience with them as I am not in the market yet but I have done research and they are the only one I have found that routinely build endurance engines at 1600hp, though Steve Morris Engines and Boroskwi Race Engines may also do endurance motors at that level - not sure, they certainly build that power level often. I mention CBM because they for a fact build endurance motors up there and have refined their combos to survive their incredibly motor abusive clients in the Middle East.... if they survive that you'd have to do something quite stupid to break one.

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Old 11-18-2018, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bazman View Post
Cool project, hope you get a really goon motor that serves you well.

Reliable and durable is relative depending on quality of build and parts and the abuse it is subject to, including how long it spends at 1400rwhp.

Let's run some numbers and see where it leads: Other things being equal - for long life you want the boost to be as low as you can on a daily driven basis because more boost = more pressure on everything. That normally means build the largest motor you can, that rpms lower (less stress), makes more power on less boost. 850rwhp is your upper target for daily use. Assuming you will run an auto trans assume at least 15% drivetrain loss - so at 850rwhp you need 1000hp at the crank. Even a 4.8 fully built can make that, certainly a 5.3 let alone a 6.2/6.4 or 7L + motor.... but each will have it's own character.

Take the 388 - presumably a sleeved LS3 with a 4.125" bore and stock stroke. Great combo that will rpm hard and make a really good motor you could run hard all day at rpms at lesser power levels. 1000hp? All day? Maybe with a high end build RHS/Dart Ls Next or billet block (like Noonan) with top shelf parts. It's in a truck so you want torque more than 7500rpm hp... let's say a good reliable power level NA for a built 388 is around 550hp with turbo compression and plumbing etc. Yes you could build more but at the cost of durability. 1000/550 = 1.82. 1.82 x 14.7 = 26.75 - 14.7 = 12. So you only need around 12lb boost on a 550hp motor to get your 1000 daily hp goal assuming everything is matched to suit. Do-able and 12lb is low enough it could last a long time, but the motor will likely see 7000rpm often because it will want to go there with a decent cam/heads to make an honest 550hp at low c.r. through turbo plumbing (It'd be like a true 600hp NA motor unrestricted).... that's a lot if you want a long life.

1400rw = est 1650hp at crank.... 1650/550 = 3. 3 x 14.7 = 44.1 - 14.7 = 29.4lb.... motor will need around 30psi boost assuming intercooler etc maintains efficiency up there. That's a lot, way more than a long life OEM block will want. I know folk have made that on factory blocks - but for every unicorn there's 1000 that didn't make it. Factory blocks move around a lot under power - ask any engine builder that builds LS motors and wins endurance races.... you need a race block period or forget durability/reliability goals and take the risk and see if you get a unicorn... with rainbows.

For interest sake - if you ran a 700hp NA 441 or even bigger, say a 7.6 combo - you'd only need 20psi boost to make 1650hp. A motor will live longer at 20psi than at 30, what is more, you'll only need around 6psi boost to make 1000hp lolz.... a well built 700hp NA could live at 6psi for a very long time. It will not need to rev to 7000, it could peak under 6500rpm and could be shifted at 6000 every day.

Reliability - everyone will tell you stories about their success, most of them deserved I am sure. But 850rw/1000crank up to 1650hp for a short giggle and be reliable/durable.... the best place to look is the guys building those for sand rails. You can't abuse a street car like those Arbs can abuse a sand rail or desert race truck - the only thing harder on them would be in a boat that actually races offshore. CBM Motorsports build LS motors with many options that can take the abuse. Anything that can last in a middle eastern desert driven by guys who routinely just bounce off the rev limiter because they **** money out their asses and don't care.... is as good as you'll find. At the max power level you want they use RHS blocks, though some race champions in Trophy trucks go to billet.... but then they are trying to win. Not sure if the link will work here but here's the link CBM Twin Turbo LS Motors

Not first had experience with them as I am not in the market yet but I have done research and they are the only one I have found that routinely build endurance engines at 1600hp, though Steve Morris Engines and Boroskwi Race Engines may also do endurance motors at that level - not sure, they certainly build that power level often. I mention CBM because they for a fact build endurance motors up there and have refined their combos to survive their incredibly motor abusive clients in the Middle East.... if they survive that you'd have to do something quite stupid to break one.

thanks for the awesome response!! if you look in the start of the thread I said I want to use the LSX block so I know these can handle wayyyy more power than I want to make, I now ENOUGH to know that a factory block is out of the question.. I should have been more clear with me power numbers, as when I said 800-850 daily I was talking about WHP but when I was talking about 1400+ I was talking about FWHP! I figured "over building" the motor would def. not be a BAD thing lol I plan on using Callies Ultra I Beams and Diamond "Gas Ported" pistons.. I'm undecided on LSA crank or Callies DS or Magnum. heads are still up in the air a lil but will def be aftermarket., as far as a big cube motor.. I know a lot of people run them and swear by them but all the research I've done, I feel more comfortable with a smaller bore and shorter stroke without how much pressure I want to throw at it... I know there are a lot of 427 LSXs out there running high boost but it makes more sense to me to use the smaller crank and let it spin up a lil faster and higher. I know a smaller stroke is really just a personal choice as I could get away with running as big of a bore as the LSX block will allow.. but once again I'm thinking for the long haul and if I stick to the proven 388 that literally everyone that has one says they LOVE, it would leave A LOT of room for problems in the future. If I messed up the walls and needed to punch it out I would have plenty of material to do it most likely more than once.. I NEVER understood why someone would build a 15k-20k motor and punch it out to the limits the first time out.. I might be young.. but I've been around Lon`g enough to know that S#!% happens and you just might need a 2nd or even 3rd chance.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bazman View Post
Cool project, hope you get a really goon motor that serves you well.

Reliable and durable is relative depending on quality of build and parts and the abuse it is subject to, including how long it spends at 1400rwhp.

Let's run some numbers and see where it leads: Other things being equal - for long life you want the boost to be as low as you can on a daily driven basis because more boost = more pressure on everything. That normally means build the largest motor you can, that rpms lower (less stress), makes more power on less boost. 850rwhp is your upper target for daily use. Assuming you will run an auto trans assume at least 15% drivetrain loss - so at 850rwhp you need 1000hp at the crank. Even a 4.8 fully built can make that, certainly a 5.3 let alone a 6.2/6.4 or 7L + motor.... but each will have it's own character.

Take the 388 - presumably a sleeved LS3 with a 4.125" bore and stock stroke. Great combo that will rpm hard and make a really good motor you could run hard all day at rpms at lesser power levels. 1000hp? All day? Maybe with a high end build RHS/Dart Ls Next or billet block (like Noonan) with top shelf parts. It's in a truck so you want torque more than 7500rpm hp... let's say a good reliable power level NA for a built 388 is around 550hp with turbo compression and plumbing etc. Yes you could build more but at the cost of durability. 1000/550 = 1.82. 1.82 x 14.7 = 26.75 - 14.7 = 12. So you only need around 12lb boost on a 550hp motor to get your 1000 daily hp goal assuming everything is matched to suit. Do-able and 12lb is low enough it could last a long time, but the motor will likely see 7000rpm often because it will want to go there with a decent cam/heads to make an honest 550hp at low c.r. through turbo plumbing (It'd be like a true 600hp NA motor unrestricted).... that's a lot if you want a long life.

1400rw = est 1650hp at crank.... 1650/550 = 3. 3 x 14.7 = 44.1 - 14.7 = 29.4lb.... motor will need around 30psi boost assuming intercooler etc maintains efficiency up there. That's a lot, way more than a long life OEM block will want. I know folk have made that on factory blocks - but for every unicorn there's 1000 that didn't make it. Factory blocks move around a lot under power - ask any engine builder that builds LS motors and wins endurance races.... you need a race block period or forget durability/reliability goals and take the risk and see if you get a unicorn... with rainbows.

For interest sake - if you ran a 700hp NA 441 or even bigger, say a 7.6 combo - you'd only need 20psi boost to make 1650hp. A motor will live longer at 20psi than at 30, what is more, you'll only need around 6psi boost to make 1000hp lolz.... a well built 700hp NA could live at 6psi for a very long time. It will not need to rev to 7000, it could peak under 6500rpm and could be shifted at 6000 every day.

Reliability - everyone will tell you stories about their success, most of them deserved I am sure. But 850rw/1000crank up to 1650hp for a short giggle and be reliable/durable.... the best place to look is the guys building those for sand rails. You can't abuse a street car like those Arbs can abuse a sand rail or desert race truck - the only thing harder on them would be in a boat that actually races offshore. CBM Motorsports build LS motors with many options that can take the abuse. Anything that can last in a middle eastern desert driven by guys who routinely just bounce off the rev limiter because they **** money out their asses and don't care.... is as good as you'll find. At the max power level you want they use RHS blocks, though some race champions in Trophy trucks go to billet.... but then they are trying to win. Not sure if the link will work here but here's the link CBM Twin Turbo LS Motors

Not first had experience with them as I am not in the market yet but I have done research and they are the only one I have found that routinely build endurance engines at 1600hp, though Steve Morris Engines and Boroskwi Race Engines may also do endurance motors at that level - not sure, they certainly build that power level often. I mention CBM because they for a fact build endurance motors up there and have refined their combos to survive their incredibly motor abusive clients in the Middle East.... if they survive that you'd have to do something quite stupid to break one.

Thanks for the awesome response!!
If you look in the start of the thread.. I said I want to use the LSX block so I know these can handle wayyyy more power than I want to make, I know ENOUGH to know that a factory block is out of the question..

I should have been more clear with me power numbers, as when I said 800-850 daily I was talking about WHP but when I was talking about 1400+ I was talking about FWHP! I figured "over building" the motor would def. not be a BAD thing lol I plan on using Callies Ultra I Beams and Diamond "Gas Ported" pistons.. I'm undecided on LSA crank or Callies DS or Magnum. heads are still up in the air a lil but will def be aftermarket.,

As far as a big cube motor.. I know a lot of people run them and swear by them but all the research I've done, I feel more comfortable with a smaller bore and shorter stroke without how much pressure I want to throw at it... I know there are a lot of 427 LSXs out there running high boost but it makes more sense to me to use the smaller crank and let it spin up a lil faster and higher. I know a smaller bore is really just a personal choice as I could get away with running as big of a bore as the LSX block will allow.. but once again I'm thinking for the long haul and if I stick to the proven 388 that literally everyone that has one says they LOVE, it would leave A LOT of room for problems in the future. If I messed up the walls and needed to punch it out I would have plenty of material to do it most likely more than once.. I NEVER understood why someone would build a 15k-20k motor and punch it out to the limits the first time out.. I might be young.. but I've been around long enough to know that S#!% happens and you just might need a 2nd or even 3rd chance.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:31 PM
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Sorry, missed the mention of LSX block - yep, that'll do it ;-) I never considered them in my builds because I track and road race so need lightweight. In a truck - the LSX is the best value way to go for sure. Lot's of options re parts that can handle the power. Personally I will go with CP-Carillo pistons and rods because they can match the 2 and I've had great experience with CP (1000hp twin turbo viper built in 2003 still running strong).
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:47 PM
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A 388 is the same bore as a 427, difference is in the stroke.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:20 AM
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I would recommend looking at Thompson Motorsports out of Nevada, Tx. I recently had them build me a 408 that I plan on procharging. I'm also chasing that X,XXX RWHP number. I can tell you their customer service is second to none and they definitely stand behind their builds. One of the reason I chose them for my build is because they seem like they spend extra time ensuring everything is built right and correctly and don't focus on just getting them out the door.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:18 AM
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I believe the lower the ET and higher the power the more work it is period. In other words...donít just consider the initial build, but also the up keep. I know you mentioned turning it down to 850 rwhp for daily driving which helps, but a 1400 horse street driven car is going to need a lot of up keep.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:26 AM
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We would love the opportunity to help with this build. Let us know if we can do anything!

Thank you for the recommendation 406chevycamaro. We also appreciate that you trusted us with your build and the opportunity to work with you.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by BCNUL8R View Post
I believe the lower the ET and higher the power the more work it is period. In other words...donít just consider the initial build, but also the up keep. I know you mentioned turning it down to 850 rwhp for daily driving which helps, but a 1400 horse street driven car is going to need a lot of up keep.

ohh for sure!! And I def don't want to get over my head.. I just asked my tuner last night if I was crazy for wanting 1,xxx and then dialing it back for the street and his response was "A little bit." So I may have to sit down and have a "come to Jesus" meeting with myself! LOL and truthfully I just want to break into the 1,xxx range spa I wouldn't exactly need 1400fwhp to do that but I wanted to build the engine overkill as I don't like pushing anything to its limits.. especially when you just forked over half of your kids college fund to get there!
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by thompson View Post
We would love the opportunity to help with this build. Let us know if we can do anything!

Thank you for the recommendation 406chevycamaro. We also appreciate that you trusted us with your build and the opportunity to work with you.

I've looked ay your guys site a few times to compare.. but if you want to shoot me a price in PM that would be great! I'd pretty much be looking for your LSX long block in stg 2.5* LOL the stage 2 but with Callies crank and rods.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:09 AM
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Contact Chad at Golen Engines. He provides a more personal approach than most and does great work.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:44 PM
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Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:10 PM
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Location: New Zealand
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Pure motor ****.... and proven to hold up under sustained abuse in the harshest environment.
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