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Help me build the new 418 LS3

 
Old 03-15-2019, 12:41 PM
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Default Help me build the new 418 LS3

Long story short, there were numerous shortcomings noticed upon tear down of my current LS3 block & L92 heads. The the block is still good so I want to build a 4"+ stroker. They'd like the car off the lift and movable by 3/22/19 due to other vehicles that need to be worked on. I've been able to adjust my budget to allow for the more expensive build. Notes:

* My only vehicle
* Factory-style parking lot manners
* Ideally looking for 450rwtq by somewhere between 3500RPM and 4000RPM, with at least 500rwhp by 6000RPM, and the curve carries very well past peak
-- I want the acceleration to be at least equal to a completely stock '18 ZL1 1LE in 2nd-4th gears, from 3500RPM-6500RPM, I think I can get close with weight loss, those dyno numbers, and my desired driveline gearing. I'm just guestimating on what dyno numbers will provide that actual acceleration.
* Needs to be '98 PCM friendly
* As much as possible, I want to install it and forget about it, so no LLSR for example
* No plans to use E85, nitrous or forced induction
* Anything that is heavier than necessary to get the job done is simply dead weight to drag around. I want to reduce weight where possible

My proposed parts list is below; where am I spending money where it's absolutely not needed? What changes would you make?

Short block:
------
GM LS3 cylinder case (used but good; prefer LSNext aluminum but more than I want to pay)
GM F-body oil pan (putting in new pan I had in storage that uses the later model filter)
Improved Racing crank scraper
Improved racing oil pan baffle (move from current block)
GM main bolt kit (so we don't have to line hone with ARP main studs)
Clevite main bearings
K1 4" crank
Clevite rod bearings
K1 6.125" rods (I can re-use from existing block?) & ARP 2000 bolts
SRP Professional or Mahle 4032 pistons for 4" stroke
cam, probably from CamMotion, need to design specs
Johnson ST2126LSR lifters (~.035" preload +/- 0.10", requires ~.190" longer pushrod)
New C7R timing chain (although C5R unit might still be okay)
New timing chain damper (spring-loaded broke, replace with dogbone version)
Katech ported oil pump
ATI damper, not underdriven (re-use current)
ARP crank bolt
NGK TR6
Edelbrock 2-piece front cover
SacCity billet oil galley barbell
SacCity billet oil bypass delete
SacCity reusable front oil galley plug

Top end:
-----
Head gaskets (undecided upon type due to unknown thickness needed), I'd like the quench to be .035-.040
Manton 502 series 11/32" pushrods, .120 wall, .040" orifice, 5/16" tool-steel ends
Cstraub Rocker arm trunnion kit (can I buy this pre-assembled?)
Undecided on assembled heads and not sure how much to mill until I know deck clearance. Heads need to be ready to ship due to tight schedule.
I'd like static compression to be 11-11.5
Dynamic compression needs to be 93 octane friendly
ARP 12-pt head stud kit
Rick Crawford LS3 AirRam intake (re-use current)
Replace current NW 92mm TB with 102mm TB
Re-use TSP 100mm MAF
Replace current 85mm lid with 102mm lid
replace TB <> lid coupler (need PN)
Re-use ARH 1.75" headers for now

I need to get the parts on order ASAP to help the shop meet the 3/22 deadline. Thanks for the help, guys!

Last edited by JimMueller; 03-18-2019 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:27 PM
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I second your choice on the 4032 pistons. FYI, Wiseco also makes 4032 pistons. Many of their LS piston designs are available in both 4032 and 2618.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by stonebreaker View Post
I second your choice on the 4032 pistons. FYI, Wiseco also makes 4032 pistons. Many of their LS piston designs are available in both 4032 and 2618.
Wiseco sales told me their Pro True Street series uses the 4032 alloy, but they are not available for a .927 wrist pin.They pointed me to their sister company JE, who only has 2618.

The shop wants to hone the bores to 4.080 and max safe overbore is advertised as 4.085. Below is what I can find advertised in catalogs for 4032 4.080 flat tops. I'm having difficulty finding the 4032's in stock.Do the Mahle build features supersede the lighter SRP piston?


I inquired with Frankenstein and Tony Mamo on possible heads. Thoughts?
* Chris @ FED recommended their stage 1 LS3 assembled set, $2200. Or step up to their F-310 (starting at $4K, too rich for me)
* Tony recommended the AFR LS3 heads for $2600. For about an extra $1000, he has modified versions with lightweight intake valves and hand finishing and other small tweaks ($3600 probably too rich also).

I currently have LS3 fuel injectors; if I estimate 600 flywheel HP and .45 BSFC, it looks like the new motor will need 42lb/[email protected] including the 20% buffer. I'm fine keeping my current injectors?

Last edited by JimMueller; 03-15-2019 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:34 AM
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Use ls3 heads. If you are in a crunch use your stock heads. If you have time send to gwatney for port work. At the very least open up the bosses for 3/8 pushrods. Can always do later. Aim for 12.3:1 compression. 93 safe.

Cam, aim for 50 degrees IVC at 050. Cam motion will know what to do there.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth_V8r View Post
Use ls3 heads. If you are in a crunch use your stock heads. If you have time send to gwatney for port work. At the very least open up the bosses for 3/8 pushrods. Can always do later. Aim for 12.3:1 compression. 93 safe.

Cam, aim for 50 degrees IVC at 050. Cam motion will know what to do there.
To be clear, you're suggesting using ported OEM heads (such as Frankenstein or Reher-Morrison) instead of TFS/AFR/MMS/Mast heads, correct? Frankenstein has them on the shelf ready to ship, although they may not have the chamber size I ultimately desire. Heads need to be disassembled before milling?
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JimMueller
To be clear, you're suggesting using ported OEM heads (such as Frankenstein or Reher-Morrison) instead of TFS/AFR/MMS/Mast heads, correct? Frankenstein has them on the shelf ready to ship, although they may not have the chamber size I ultimately desire. Heads need to be disassembled before milling?
I am thinking mainly of your time crunch. If one of those options is ready to go, do it. I assumed they would not be ready to ship. Yes disassemble to mill.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth_V8r View Post
I am thinking mainly of your time crunch. If one of those options is ready to go, do it. I assumed they would not be ready to ship. Yes disassemble to mill.
What real-world benefits will I get from an aftermarket casting that will specifically benefit my application? I won't know deck clearance until the pistons are installed. So would it be better to order the heads in advance and have the heads disassembled, milled, and reassembled locally, or delay the order and have the vendor perform those tasks?

The old pistons were designed for a 9.240" deck height, but the build sheet says the deck clearance was roughly .008-.011 across all 8 pistons. The block was used, so I can only guess that 1) it's a common scenario with LS pistons on a stock deck height, 2) it had previously been decked or 3) decked without my permission. Is there a method to measure the block deck height to confirm whether it's already been milled while the block is still bare?

I can't find a head gasket near 4.100 which would give me a reasonable quench assuming the deck clearance (.011 above deck) remains similar. The LS9 gasket is .055" and a non-custom Cometic is .040 or .051.. If the surface finishes are adequate, then I could go with the Cometic .051 or a custom thickness but it adds time for custom.

Last edited by JimMueller; 03-16-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:48 AM
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SRP piston #298766?
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:52 AM
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Oops, I see that one in your list, but it does have a .927" pin.
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:50 PM
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I spent some time at the shop today.

* Douched the tranny, bellhousing, front cradle and bare block. They'll send the block to be hot tanked soon
* I've been missing a heat shield between the driver header and the driver floorboard for years, not sure how it was lost. They'll fabricate something so the heels of my shoes stop melting.
* I noticed a crack in the edge of the shifter hole from under the car, they'll try to address that.
* They also damaged my stock shifter ball trying to drop it from the bottom, so I'm looking for another that has the cover on it so it hides temp extremes.
* I need a new tranny mount and I'll continue to stick with OEM rubber, I despise the poly tranny mounts.
* The deck of the block has the factory casting marks on it, it has not been decked.
* Looks like the passenger catalytic converter on the ARH y-pipe is collapsed a bit in the center.
* Dropped off rear end rebuild parts for the rebuild to happen on Monday

Today I ordered:
* All of my GM parts except for head gaskets
* K1 crank w/ 24x reluctor installed.
* Sac City oil improvement parts
* Improved Racing crank scraper
* MS2199H and CB663HN bearings based upon discussion with K1. Those are the same bearings they include with the crank when it's part of a rotating assembly package.
* I cannot locate the correct Clevite cam bearing part number, I may have to have them source it

Tomorrow the general plan is to clean up all the parts we are re-using. I need to make choices on parts that are sort of competing for funds; I'm not sure I can afford all of them. Which should I definitely do while the motor and tranny are out?
* Edelbrock 2-piece timing cover, ($250)
* LS7 vs Johnson lifters ($770)
* CHE trunnion kit ($200)
* RPS clutch ($2400)
* ARH 1 7/8" or 2" primaries (not sure on cost for only primary upgrade)
* Tubular k-member ($760)

The spring-loaded version of the timing chain dampener I used on the old motor broke and I'm replacing it with the black dog bone version. How do I know if I can continue trusting the C5R chain I currently have, or should I replace it to be safe?
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:17 PM
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I would suggest tubular K and Johnson lifters first and foremost. Anything else is simple to redo. As to heads, hard to say on real world results. Never seen comparisons between stock and AM ls3 heads with no changes. Ls3 stock castings are pretty good. If you go aftermarket, get something with an 11 or lower valve angle. Otherwise, get the car running and swap heads later if you are not happy.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:35 PM
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Should I consider the Tella Terra Ultralites from Tony instead of the stock or CHE trunnioned stock rockers? I'm not crazy about having my valve lift much above .620, simply due to rumors about reliability when beating on it for 20 minutes at a time.

I have stock LS3 injectors. If I need to upgrade, I need something that includes the exact tables to be imported into HPTuners.

Last edited by JimMueller; 03-17-2019 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:25 AM
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Jim, I think contacting Reher-Morrison and talking with Darin Morgan would be worthwhile. Getting your LS3 heads CNC'd and set up for you goals for about $1k is is probably doable. Darin can also spec a cam to for your goals. My 416 made 400 wtq at 2,800 rpm, with one of Darin's heads & cam packages. With​​ one of Darin's set ups you'll make the torque & hp where you want it.

Likewise, Land Speed Cylinder Heads does a lot of road racing heads. Brett was part of the key cylinder head development group at Katech during the C5R glory years. Brett does some amazing work and is well worth contacting too to discuss your engine build and cam choices. Land Speed has a lot of road race customers and is specializes in road race heads with durability. Brett just did a set of LS6's for me that I can't wait to build an engine around.

On fuel injectors the LS2 FAST Precision-Flow 57# Fuel Injectors (30572-8) were at 73% duty cycle with 517 whp on my 416. They've worked very well. Mike Norris was happy with the choice for tuning.

Last edited by 99 Black Bird T/A; 03-17-2019 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:58 AM
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I can check with RM and LS, but unless they have assembled heads on the shelf ready to ship, I think it'll take too long for my schedule.

What do you guys think of FED LS3 S1 vs AFR LS3 (presumably untouched by Tony, the $2600 version)? The S1 is pretty pricey for a ported stock casting, how would the AFRs benefit me?
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:08 PM
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Currently outstanding questions:

Johnson ST2126LSR lifters:
* Recommended oil viscosity ranges for compatibility with internal lifter clearances. Can they be used with thicker oil such as desired for HPDE use (15-50)? If not, I need recommendations for a similar high quality lifter that does support oil that could be used on HPDE days.
* What is the desired lifter-to-bore clearance? Do they have the same OD as LS7 lifters? Does a change in lifter bore clearance affect oil pressure?
* Does the axle oiling feature affect oil pressure?

Timing Chain:
* Should I worry about the C5R chain status after the timing chain damper fell apart under the front cover? Nothing else physically failed in the motor.

Katech ported oil pump:
Waiting for them to reply to help me decide on the classic Gen3/4 oil pump (KAT-A2390) vs their high capacity oil pump (KAT-6390). The only difference seems to be the latter has 23% more oil capacity, unsure of the benefit. Same price.

Head gaskets:
It looks like my only choices for a 4.100 gasket is GM (.055 thickness) or Cometic (.045 or .051 thickness, unless I wait for custom). Are there any other gaskets out there I'm missing?

I'm 90% sure I'm getting the AFR LS3 heads (the base version, not his $1000 upgraded version), YT rockers, Johnson lifters, and possibly cam from Tony. Just awaiting a few answers to set my mind at ease.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:22 PM
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I like ported LS3 heads... pretty much any of them add 30HP over stock. So it's worth the $1k.

I would then look at the 1.85:1 YT Rockers. Getting lift up over .670 makes a lot more power with LS3 heads vs cathedrals. They flow very well up there and the added lift is a good way to increase power without getting into stupid durations.

You just need to match the lobe, rocker, and spring together. Having lightweight LS3 valves helps. PAC 1207X and the YT Pro Rocker (the 480lbs rated one) match up well and provides .700 lift capability. I think the 10mm bolt might be worth the machine cost on the head. (Rocker is the same price). Then I think you want a pretty mild lobe to pair with it. Something like the 362 or 365 lobes from Cam Motion or TSP or something less aggressive than LSL from Comp.

Also, Advanced Induction probably has the best stock LS3 port program as well. Probably close to 40HP gain over stock.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:44 PM
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That a whole lotta build for only 500whp these days.

btw your drivability is gonna mostly come down to your tune and your acceleration is not directly related to your power out put.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:33 AM
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On lifters, they match ls7 lifters regarding the lifter bore and diameter. I ran them with 5W30 no issues. When I replaced my motor, they went to a guy with an LS3 and they dropped right in other than needing longer pushrods.

I am sure that are fine with thicker oils. I ran 10w40 once to try to reduce oil consumption but mpg suffered so I went back

Edit -- axle oiling feature did not affect pressure that I remember. I run the milling high pressure standard volume pump anyway though. I do not remember if the new owner mentioned oil pressure on his. Since install. He has been daily driving since he got them.

They make great power. I feel they were worth a good 20-25 vs stock lifters by being closer to solid.

Last edited by Darth_V8r; 03-18-2019 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:10 AM
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I certainly expect more than 500rwhp, I'll have to admit I have a bad taste in my mouth from tuners over the years, off the top of my head:
* Remote tuner #1 used LS1Edit back in 1999 with limited gains
* Local tuner #2 who said they could tune everything I needed with LS1Edit to get it perfect and couldn't do ****. I wasn't happy with the tune they gave me and they refunded my money and returned my calibration to stock, completely losing the #1 tune.
* Local tuner #3 (on a Dynojet dyno, former vendor here) who had a shop but barely knew how to tune WOT
* Remote tuner #4 (on a Dynojet, I believe he was a former vendor here) who could tune WOT well but din't know **** about part throttle tuning
* Mail order tuner #5 gave up on the PT tuning, blamed it on PCM limitations
* Remote tuner #6 (on a Mustang dyno, helped with PT but left WOT a mess)

When the tuners can't get it right, they blame mechanical or PCM restrictions. When the vehicle is not behaving correctly, the staff providing the parts blame the tuning. Rinse and repeat.

I just think 500rwhp is the minimum I need for my goals, more within reason is fine.. I need traction with competition tires. I'm going to call Randy about the lifters today.

The LS1/LS6 head gasket design will work with the LS3 with the correct bore, right? Will the FelPro 1161-041 and 1161-041R 4.100 x .041 work with the LS3? Or they also offer the same measurements in a LSX design.
https://www.felpro.com/content/dam/m...-Line-Card.pdf
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:03 AM
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* Mahle piston is in stock, but they said I should plan to mill the deck for 0 deck clearance.
* SRP piston is custom order and 3 weeks out, so it is off the table. The 3.622" version of this piston was out of the deck about .008-.011 on the same block.
* Wiseco said whether it is 0 clearance will be dependent upon how true the deck surface is to 9.240" height. The catch 22 is that although the deck looks unmilled, I'm told we can't tell how true it is to that spec until the rotating assembly is installed.
* Provided piston vendors contact info to my shop, waiting on their feedback

* AFR said their LS3 head only supports a 5/16" diameter pushrod without additional machine work. Tony said that they come with normal steel intake valves, not lightweight. That's disappointing for an aftermarket head, now I'm second guessing the AFR's. It's also a 70cc chamber that would need to be milled to be optimal.
* Waiting on a return call from Joe @ Johnson Lifters
* Katech advised to use the normal pump (KAT-A2390), not the high capacity version (KAT-A6390), with a stock pan. Using the high capacity pump could possibly run the pan dry at high RPMs.
* Waiting for a callback from Darin Morgan.
* Spoke with Martin at Frankenstein. Stock chamber is 70cc, stock intake volume is 288cc, supports straight 3/8" pushrods, the lowest chamber size they'll support without a signed request is 64cc. Smaller than 64cc chambers may cause physical fitment issues. Cost to disassemble, mill, reassemble is $425 on top of the $2199, and will add an estimated 4-5 days to ship time. He said they slightly prefer OEM rockers with bushing upgrade over YT's but wasn't allowed to elaborate on the reasons. He claimed the large intake volume actually helped air speed more than a smaller volume?
* E-mailed Advanced Induction, auto responder says their LSx backlog is 3-4 weeks.

I don't want the 1.85 rockers because I'm nervous about reliability. Maybe I should just punt on the heads and freshen up the ones I had taken off, then revisit them later when I'm not under a time crunch. I'm not going to be happy if I pay a lot of money for heads and it's not physically optimal. I don't want to pay $2600 for ported OEM castings (much less $2200, honestly)...hmmm...

Last edited by JimMueller; 03-18-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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