With the C5 Corvette back in 1997 GM introduced the LS series of engines, and the engines have been a huge hit in the automotive world ever since. Because of this, you will find countless LS engine specialists scattered all over the globe. Chris Bland and Bruce McKillop saw an opportunity and decided to take advantage of their 40 years of engine-building experience by starting CBM Motorsports in 2006. Like most businesses, the duo started off with humble beginnings and operated out of a compact, two-car garage building two to four engines per month. Eight years later, CBM Motorsports operates out of a 15,000-square-foot shop in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and builds more than 500 engines a year.
Step foot into the CMB Motorsports shop, and you’ll be instantly amazed at the sheer number of upgrades and engine packages CBM offers for LS engines. Not only that, the shop can accommodate budgets of all shapes and sizes, whether it’s a 50-dollar adapter, or a 50,000-dollar engine. The bottom line, if it’s going to increase the horsepower and performance of your LS or GM motor, CBM Motorsports can help you out. And if you’re avid reader of Dirt Sports + Off-Road, you have likely seen at least one CBM Motorsports rocket ship of a motor planted inside a Masterpiece in Metal, which adds credibility to the CBM name.
Here’s a peek inside the CBM Motorsports Southern Californian shop to give you a better understanding of the products and services offered for the mighty LS.
Located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, CBM Motorsports caters to an array of vehicles in its massive 15,000 square-foot shop. On any given day, you might see a pre-runner, Class 1, chase truck, sand rail, classic car, or even a boat. “We do a wide range of builds, service work, and upgrades in the shop,” explained Brent McKillop, Sales and R&D of CBM Motorsports. “For service work, we can do something as simple as an oil change, CV upgrade, and general maintenance. We also do full engine builds, and can put together anything from a stock LS1 to a twin-turbo, 463 cubic-inch tall deck. We also do superchargers, turbochargers, CNC-ported heads, intake manifolds, and anything else the customer needs.”
When you own a play or race vehicle, there are times when you might be unable to properly maintain your engine. Or, you may lack the proper knowledge to correctly tune and service it. CBM Motorsports understands this, which is why they have a full service department. “If the customer doesn’t have time and they want to find an honest, trustworthy shop to do the work, they can come to us to handle their service needs,” explained Brent. “And if the maintenance is something easy like the replacement of the spark plugs wires or changing the oil, we can usually have the vehicle ready in a day or two. However, a full upgrade can take a couple weeks.”
For those with a wide-open budget, the options for an LS engine at CBM are pretty much limitless. Take this engine, for example. “This is one of our race engines that we built for a client,” said Brent. “It’s a 440-cubic-inch LS7 with a four-liter Whipple supercharger on top of it. We can set up something like this for race or pump gas, depending on the customer’s preference. This particular motor is going to be dropped into a Funco car.”
Before any engine leaves the Southern Californian shop, it is put on a chassis dyno to ensure everything is functioning properly. “We use our in-house chassis dyno as a tuning tool,” said Brent. “It really helps us calibrate the ECMs correctly, so we can measure all of the air fuel. All of this helps us ensure everything is operating correctly with our engines before the vehicle is sent out for testing or a dune ride.”
CBM Motorsports caters to a wide spectrum of vehicles, boats, and sand toys. Basically, if it has an engine, CBM can probably help you make it go a hell of a lot faster. Their engines are also a favorite amongst sand car enthusiasts. If you want to be one of the big dogs out at the Imperial Sand Dunes (Glamis), consider having CBM help you out. This particular sand rail features a custom-built 427-cubic-inch, 7.0-liter LS7.
You can drool and geek out over race engines all day long like the rest of us, however, a full-blown race engine might be far out of your budget. What can you do? Fortunately, CBM offers a laundry list of upgrades to produce more power without breaking the bank. One of these upgrades is a CNC ported cylinder head. With this upgrade, you will unleash the horsepower, torque, and performance of your LS engine. Even better, CBM states that you can install this yourself over a weekend.
From there, CBM uses Manley stainless-steel valves and your choice of either Manley stainless-steel springs or Manley Extreme springs. These heads flow nearly 400 CFMs.
To increase the amount of power your LS engine produces, consider adding an alternator that can keep up with the higher loads. This is why CBM produces a six-phase alternator designed specifically for LS engines. These offer lower RPM output and a lower turn on RPM. “Through our experience, we have seen a few alternator casualties, so we decided to manufacture our own. It’s more durable and produces a higher amp output,” explained Brent.
Intake manifolds are another great way to increase horsepower on your LS engine. Pictured here are stock LS3 intakes, which can be used on any rectangle port engine.
If it’s chrome you’re looking for, check out CBM’s LS series custom sheet metal intake manifold. Not only do these manifolds look trick, they are designed to increase airflow over the stock plastic units, helping you take advantage of your motor’s full potential.