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I hurt the bottom end, who's your preferred short block builder?

 
Old 03-12-2019, 09:55 PM
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Default I hurt the bottom end, who's your preferred short block builder?

The noise is definitely coming from the bottom end although it's not been opened up yet. The parts will surely be less expensive if I re-use the same block, but I've not been impressed by the local machine shops in the past (they didn't use torque plates, for example) and as much as possible I'd rather have everything blueprinted and assembled in a clean room by a LS specialist that measures & torques everything to spec and includes a build sheet with all measurements. Application is daily driver, limited autocross and HPDE (timed laps on road racing courses with controlled passing), no visits to drag strips. The top end is presumably good at this point so I want a bottom end that mates nicely with the current LS3 top end components. I'll need to revisit the top end in the future to optimize it.

I'm not completely against going back to a LS1/cathedral setup, but it's probably more expensive than just repairing/replacing the current short block. If I go with a new LS3/LS2/L76-based aluminum assembled short block (I don't want the iron block weight penalty) in lieu of a local machine shop, are there any specific considerations I need to keep in mind from certain vendors such as warranty? How did you select your builder?

A few I've found a few options so far, in no particular order:
Katech, PN KAT-A7000-58, $6000, 416 LS3, doesn't seem to be any warranty unless they install the engine in-house and also calibrate it, uses 4032 alloy pistons (I prefer 4032 for longevity)
Scoggin Dickey, PN 342707MLSIMA, $5200, 427 LS3, it appears they have a 90 day parts warranty , unknown crank, scat rods, manley 2618 alloy pistons
Texas Speed, PN #25-402LS2SB, $5300, 402 LS2, unable to locate warranty on website, they seem to only offer 2618 alloy pistons
Texas Speed, PN #25-376LS3SB, $5300, 376 LS3, ""
Texas Speed, PN #25-418LS3SB, $5900, 41x LS3, ""
Texas Speed, PN #25-429LS3SB, $6000, 42x LS3, "
CNC Motorsports, multiple 41x options $4900-5000, Eagle or Compstar cranks/rods, Mahle/Diamond/JE/SRP pistons
Tony Mamo, waiting for a reply
Hawk Motorsports, PN TMS-LS3SBSTG3 (aka Thompson Motorsports), $5500, 1 year warranty from TMS when bought with Melling oil pump
Lingenfelter, ~$7000+, more than I want to pay
Mast, ~$7000+, more than I want to pay
Livernois, $5000-6000, leery of their Powerstorm branded components, warranty period not listed on website
Late Model Engines, LS3 416 NA, $7000-8000 but they offer a core exchange on the block to help offset cost, warranty period not listed
TPiS, warranty not listed
Hinson, warranty period not listed
Schwanke, they only list 2618 alloy pistons in their short blocks
BES Racing

Thanks.

Last edited by JimMueller; 03-15-2019 at 12:43 AM. Reason: added vendors
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:59 PM
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Open it up and take a look before you spend anything. Are you against doing this yourself? Might be a simple crank polish and bearing/put it back together after good cleaning type of deal...maybe not.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:23 PM
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Dibs on your old / damaged shorty!
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Che70velle View Post
Open it up and take a look before you spend anything. Are you against doing this yourself? Might be a simple crank polish and bearing/put it back together after good cleaning type of deal...maybe not.
I did help rebuild one of my prior LS1 engines, but it's been over a decade ago.I'd be fine doing it with assistance from another experienced LS engine builder and/or my factory service manual; I'd have to depend on the shop to ensure I had all the correct tools, get the correct clearances, etc. I haven't inquired how the shop would feel about me working on it... liability and what not. The car is at a performance shop that includes building motors but they farm out the engine machining tasks and don't have a clean room for assembly... it's just out in the open area with the rest of the lifts and equipment. If the price is right for the repair, I'd like to increase the displacement, but then we need to completely disassemble the rotating assembly to have it balanced if memory serves. That's added cost (yet surely less than a new short block) and more concerns about keeping the build clean.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:25 AM
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Look into schwanke. Not a typo or a joke name. They are up in Minnesota. Built hammers 388 fwiw and that thing sees 8500 all the time
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:48 AM
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Bischoff Engine Service aka BES

Very popular with road racers.
BES can do pretty much anything you want.
Sleeved 440 you name it.

Tony Bischoff has an excellent track record in engine masters and so on.



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Old 03-13-2019, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth_V8r View Post
Look into schwanke. Not a typo or a joke name. They are up in Minnesota. Built hammers 388 fwiw and that thing sees 8500 all the time
I'll second that. They built me a ls3 about 8 years ago. Got a custom ls3 406 sitting here now...waiting to get installed. They don't mind at all about being on the phone with you, talking engines.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:39 AM
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Was very satisfied with Schwanke
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:38 AM
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I gave the shop permission to drop the motor and start looking for problems.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JimMueller View Post
The noise is definitely coming from the bottom end although it's not been opened up yet. The parts will surely be less expensive if I re-use the same block, but I've not been impressed by the local machine shops in the past (they didn't use torque plates, for example) and as much as possible I'd rather have everything blueprinted and assembled in a clean room by a LS specialist that measures & torques everything to spec and includes a build sheet with all measurements. Application is daily driver, limited autocross and HPDE (timed laps on road racing courses with controlled passing), no visits to drag strips. The top end is presumably good at this point so I want a bottom end that mates nicely with the current LS3 top end components. I'll need to revisit the top end in the future to optimize it.

I'm not completely against going back to a LS1/cathedral setup, but it's probably more expensive than just repairing/replacing the current short block. If I go with a new LS3/LS2/L76-based aluminum assembled short block (I don't want the iron block weight penalty) in lieu of a local machine shop, are there any specific considerations I need to keep in mind from certain vendors such as warranty? How did you select your builder?

A few I've found a few options so far, in no particular order:
Katech, PN KAT-A7000-58, $6000, 416 LS3, doesn't seem to be any warranty unless they install the engine in-house and also calibrate it, uses 4032 alloy pistons (I prefer 4032 for longevity)
Scoggin Dickey, PN 342707MLSIMA, $5200, 427 LS3, it appears they have a 90 day parts warranty , unknown crank, scat rods, manley 2618 alloy pistons
Texas Speed, PN #25-402LS2SB, $5300, 402 LS2, unable to locate warranty on website, they seem to only offer 2618 alloy pistons
Texas Speed, PN #25-376LS3SB, $5300, 376 LS3, ""
Texas Speed, PN #25-418LS3SB, $5900, 41x LS3, ""
Texas Speed, PN #25-429LS3SB, $6000, 42x LS3, "
CNC Motorsports, multiple 41x options $4900-5000, Eagle or Compstar cranks/rods, Mahle/Diamond/JE/SRP pistons
Tony Mamo, waiting for a reply
Hawk Motorsports, PN TMS-LS3SBSTG3 (aka Thompson Motorsports), $5500, 1 year warranty from TMS when bought with Melling oil pump
Lingenfelter, ~$7000+, more than I want to pay
Mast, ~$7000+, more than I want to pay
Livernois, $5000-6000, leery of their Powerstorm branded components, warranty period not listed on website
Late Model Engines, LS3 416 NA, $7000-8000 but they offer a core exchange on the block to help offset cost, warranty period not listed
TPiS, warranty not listed
Hinson, warranty period not listed

Thanks.
I would be more than happy to run over a few packages that would work great for your application,
Feel free to give us a shout any time.

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Thompson Motorsports
972-853-2450
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:53 AM
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I don't think a new short block is in the cards. The block's out of the car, diagnosis expected by noon. A few questions:

1) If the stars align, I'd like to upgrade to a 4" crank. That means I'd need to buy a new piston kit (pistons, locks, pins, ring packs, etc) because of the stroke change and require the rotating assembly to be re-balanced, correct? Any other hard parts I'd need for this upgrade?
2) Is there a preference on main & rod bearing brands and options? Narrowed, coated, etc? I've generally used Clevite in my prior LS1 blocks but I think the current motor uses ACL and King(?)
3) What RA does the block and head surfaces need to be if the heads need to come off and I choose to use Cometic gaskets?
4) Are the SacCity oil valley barbell & oil bypass kit worthwhile?
* Barbell
* Bypass
5) I've always ran a Katech oil pump due to the companies reputation, but the cost has doubled since the last time I bought one in 2010. During road course sessions, the LS3 block is notorious for pooling oil in the passenger side head, so I don't need to add risk of oil starvation.
6) We're going to test the PAC 1218(?) springs, that are the originals from the 2010 build. I'd estimate they have 60K miles on them. I'd feel better about replacing them, though, and might stick with the same model.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JimMueller View Post
I don't think a new short block is in the cards. The block's out of the car, diagnosis expected by noon. A few questions:

1) If the stars align, I'd like to upgrade to a 4" crank. That means I'd need to buy a new piston kit (pistons, locks, pins, ring packs, etc) because of the stroke change and require the rotating assembly to be re-balanced, correct? Any other hard parts I'd need for this upgrade?
2) Is there a preference on main & rod bearing brands and options? Narrowed, coated, etc? I've generally used Clevite in my prior LS1 blocks but I think the current motor uses ACL and King(?)
3) What RA does the block and head surfaces need to be if the heads need to come off and I choose to use Cometic gaskets?
4) Are the SacCity oil valley barbell & oil bypass kit worthwhile?
* Barbell
* Bypass
5) I've always ran a Katech oil pump due to the companies reputation, but the cost has doubled since the last time I bought one in 2010. During road course sessions, the LS3 block is notorious for pooling oil in the passenger side head, so I don't need to add risk of oil starvation.
6) We're going to test the PAC 1218(?) springs, that are the originals from the 2010 build. I'd estimate they have 60K miles on them. I'd feel better about replacing them, though, and might stick with the same model.
1) Most of the pistons for a 4" stroke crank are for a .927" pin and a 6.125" rod length, which means you won't be able to use stock rods. Callies and K1 offer options to use a small journal chevy rod, which is not a bad thing to consider in an NA application.
2) I like ACL or Federal Mogul/Speed Pro bearings. The aftermarket cranks have a radius on the journals so you would need the narrowed bearings to clear.
3) I would ask Cometic, but a profilometer isn't really common among automotive machine shops.
4) No comment
5) I have never had a problem with any OEM or aftermarket oil pump, but I usually run Melling pumps. I use the high volume pumps when the bearings clearances are loose.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:05 PM
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We're rebuilding the short block as a 416, started a different thread:

https://ls1tech.com/forums/generatio...w-416-ls3.html
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:47 AM
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I just got my Dart LSNext 388" turbo motor from CNC Motorsports and am very happy. They blew everyone else out of the water on pricing and custom spec'd a few things for me. Chris was great to deal with and they have a good reputation. I've spoken to several people local to me who have motors from them and they have good things to say. Just my personal experience. There are multiple other good builders on your list as well though.
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