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Dirt Sport's LS Engine Performance Guide - Feed Your Power Addiction

Posted in Product Reviews on August 11, 2014
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Photographers: Coutesy of Manufacturers

The Chevrolet’s LS engine has been finding its way into off-road race and play vehicles since first introduced in 1996. With a growing family of LS engines and an abundance of performance parts, horsepower gain has never been easier to create and keep. Modern engine design, technology, and fuel injection have wired a new generation of hot-rod enthusiasts who like the idea of acquiring 400-plus horsepower without breaking the bank. The LS engine has undoubtedly become one of the most sought-after power plants for the Dirt Sports + Off-Road Nation. To keep feeding this LS engine addiction, we set out to find the latest engine performance parts sure to keep throttles wide open on the dirt. From LS engine mods to ready-to-run crate motors, there’s something for anyone looking to unleash LS engine power in their off-road prerunner, race vehicle, or desert truck.

Chevrolet Performance LSX454R
Chevrolet Performance’s LSX crate engines take LS power to the next level, with racing-engineered combinations that deliver power with strength. Based on the high-performance LSX Bowtie block, Chevrolet Performance engineers designed the LSX454R for the unique, high-rpm demands of racing. It consists of a high-compression, solid-roller combination that includes new LSX DR cylinder heads. These 1-degree, six-bolt aluminum heads feature raised ports that provide tremendous airflow. The LSX454R is complemented with an exclusive, high-rise open-plenum intake manifold and a Dominator-type carburetor to complete the assembly. The bottom end includes an LSX Bowtie cylinder block and an all-forged rotating assembly.
Chevrolet Performance

The LSX454R is the biggest, baddest LS engine in Chevrolet Performance’s arsenal, delivering 770 horsepower @ 7,000 and 612 pound-feet @ 5,600.

MSD LS Engine Coils
MSD’s LS engine coils have been completely redesigned from the internal circuitry to the plug terminal. They can deliver up to 30 percent more energy over their OEM coils by using advanced circuitry. The MSD LS coil also performs well at low rpm by creating multiple sparks during cranking and low speeds, which improves starting, idle, and throttle response off the line. For even more off-road performance, the MSD Atomic Wireless EFI system provides greater control of the fuel and ignition, supporting up to 1,000 horsepower. Complete kits are available for LS1/LS6, LS2/LS3, and LS7.
MSD Performance
(915) 857-5200,

MSD LS coils fit in place of the OEM coils, yet are capable of delivering higher spark energy to the plugs and multiple sparks at low and idle rpm.

Mast Motorsports LS7 Aluminum Head
The new Black Label LS7 Medium Bore Cylinder Heads from Mast Motorsports are the company’s most advanced LS cylinder head to date. The fully CNC machined Black Label aluminum cylinder head has a 265cc intake port and deck thickness of .750-inch for added strength in high-cylinder-pressure engines. The six-bolt cylinder design is compatible with any new Gen IV LS engine with 4.000-inch or larger bore. The LS7 Black Label head accepts Gen IV LS3 rocker arms and LS7 intake manifolds without modification. As with all Mast Motorsports hand-built engines, Black Label heads are made in the USA for better quality control and guaranteed performance.
Mast Motorsports
(936) 560-2218,

The Black Label LS7 head uses a 2.165-inch intake and 1.600-inch exhaust valve and 68cc combustion chamber standard for superior flow performance.

Dart LS Next Engine Block
The LS Next engine block design from Dart has revolutionized the LS engine by eliminating the Y-block architecture and using conventional-style main caps and oil pans. This improved design eliminates problems resulting from separated crankcase bays on factory LS engines. In addition to added reliability, the LS Next greatly reduces windage, resulting in increased power and improved lubrication. By deleting the bay-to-bay windows, Dart has significantly strengthened the main web. This modified LS block design allows the cylinder barrels to be extended by .3750 inches into the crankcase, providing greater piston support at the bottom of the stroke. The Dart LS Next engine block is available in cast iron and aluminum, and is compatible with all LS factory and aftermarket components.
Dart Machinery
(248) 362-1188,

Extra-thick Siamese cylinder bores allow larger displacement capacity and a max bore size of 4.220 inches.

CBM Motorsports High-Output LS Alternators
If you have poor alternator charging performance at engine idle speeds, low voltage, or pre-mature alternator failure due to rpm or heat, a CBM high-amp alternator is the solution. CBM Motorsports’ high-output LS alternator offers more low rpm output and a lower turn on rpm. These units feature cutting-edge six-phase hairpin epoxy reinforced vibration-resistant stator technology for incredible durability and high-rpm stability. Instead of a single rectifier assembly, the CBM LS alternator features twin rectifiers and twice as many diodes, which spread out the heat and dramatically increase durability. CBM Motorsports LS alternators are made in the USA and feature oversized charge posts for sturdy cable connections, premium low-drag bearings, and a machined billet finish. Available in 175 and 250 high-amp applications with GM or Toyota regulator.
CBM Motorsports
(909) 291-7550,

The CBM Motorsports LS alternator is precision balanced for 20,000 rpm and 15-percent more efficient than a standard model.

RHS’ Pro Elite Aluminum Cylinder LS7 Heads
RHS new high-performance LS7 head features a raised intake runner designed specifically to accommodate production and aftermarket LS7 intake manifolds and valve train setups. RHS’ Pro Elite Aluminum Cylinder LS7 Heads feature a 12-degree valve angle and unique .220-inch raised intake runners to provide a better line of sight into the cylinders and improved short turn. Custom CNC-machined runners optimize volume, atomization, and velocity. These features and a .750-inch thick deck surface increase integrity in high cylinder pressure applications. Coupled with an improved water jacket design, the RHS’ Pro Elite Heads are ideal for small- and large-cubic-inch hardcore applications.
Racing Head Service (RHS)
(877) 776-4323,

RHS’ new LS7 Heads are made from 355 T6 aerospace aluminum alloy and feature the popular six-bolt LS head design.

Edelbrock E-Force Supercharged LS Crate Engine
Edelbrock’s new E-Force Supercharged GM LS 416 Crate Engine combines the dependability and convenience of GM’s legendary LS series engine with the power of Edelbrock’s E-Force Supercharger. Edelbrock starts with a new GM aluminum LS3 block paired with forged Manley internals, topped off with Edelbrock’s E-Force supercharger. The end result is a 416 cubic inch with 4.065-inch bore and 4-inch stroke that produces 720 horsepower and 695 foot-pounds of torque on 91-octane pump gas. The inverted supercharger is designed to maximize low-end torque. Available in four packages, ranging from one with the LS engine only up to a complete package with electronics and drive accessories.
(310) 781-2222,

At the core of each Edelbrock E-Force Supercharger is the Eaton Gen VI 2300 TVS rotating assembly with four-lobe design and 160 degrees of twist for maximum flow.

Holley LS Single Plane Mid-Rise Intake Manifold
High-performance LS engines can take advantage of the optimized runner layout and broad torque curve created by Holley’s LS Single Plane Intake Manifold. The Single Plane Mid-Rise intake has a power band ranging from 2,500 through 7,000 rpm with a square-bore mounting flange that can be used with either a four-barrel carburetor or EFI throttle body with throttle bores measuring up to 1.75 inches in diameter. The intake’s runner layout and cross-sectional area provides a broad torque curve. It is cast from high-quality aluminum with consistent wall thickness for balanced performance and sealing strength. Available for LS engines with rectangular or cathedral port cylinder head configurations. The intake includes mounting bolts, washers, mounting flange gasket kit, and pipe plugs to install the manifold vacuum and MAP sensors.
Holley Performance
(866) 464-6553,

The Holley LS Single Plane Intake Manifold is lightweight and offers a low mounting flange height to accommodate carburetor or port fuel-injection EFI systems.

Turn Key LS 490 Engine
Turn Key Powertrain adds a new powerhouse to their lineup--the LS 490-cubic-inch small block. This Turn Key LS engine whips out 820 horsepower and 740 foot-pounds of torque. It all starts with a RHS tall deck all-aluminum LS block paired with All Pro LSW -12 Hurricane heads and two-piece Hurricane intake manifolds. Key internals include Lunati forged rotating assembly with 12.5:1 compression, Jessel shaft mount rockers, and Dailey five-stage dry sump system to keep things lubricated. Additional components mated to the Turn Key LS 490 are Meziere billet flex plate and starter, with the choice of Holley dominator or Kinsler EFI. The Turn Key LS 490 small block can easily fit into any chassis on the market and is available with a variety of options to suit driver needs.
Turn Key
(760) 966-2663,

Lace up the Turn Key LS 490 with their new Race Spec Electronics Package for a reliable and durable setup designed to conquer the dirt.

COMP Cams’ LS Conical Valve Spring Kits
The latest valve spring kit from COMP Cams lets you install revolutionary Conical Valve Springs on nearly any GM LS engine. Each kit features Conical Valve Springs, valve locks, valve seals, spring seats and either chromoly steel or high-strength tool steel retainers. Each spring’s conical design features a smaller diameter in the upper half to reduce active mass, making them smaller and lighter than otherwise possible for similar loads and lifts. The result is a lowering of parasitic horsepower losses, more power, an increased rpm limit, improved stability, and the ability to run more aggressive camshafts. Top that off with COMP’s Superfinish surface processing to increase lift capability and spring life.
(800) 999-0853,

COMP Cams’ LS springs feature a conical design that improves power possibilities while naturally controlling oscillations and low-rpm resonance.

FAST EZ-EFI 2.0 LS Self Tuning Engine Control Kit
The FAST EZ-EFI 2.0 LS Self Tuning Engine Control Kit gets your LS up and running without all the complex PCM flashing and harness reworking required with the stock unit. This kit has all the advantages of the award-winning EZ-EFI 2.0 system, and also includes the EZ-LS Ignition Controller. It uses stock or aftermarket LS injectors, sensors, and coils. Each FAST EZ-EFI 2.0 system offers an easy-to-use interface on the included touchscreen hand-held that requires no expertise, laptop, or tuning experience. After initial setup, the hand-held can be used as a digital dash. The EZ-EFI 2.0 system actually tunes itself as the user drives and keeps tuning, as a result, future engine upgrades are a breeze. A purpose-built, OEM quality wiring harness is included, featuring a clean, mesh wrapping that dramatically improves engine aesthetics over the factory harness.
(877) 334-8355,

Using plug-and-play technology, the new multi-port FAST EZ-EFI 2.0 LS Self Tuning Engine Control Kit replaces the stock PCM on all LS engines.

Scat 470ci LS Rotating Assembly
Scat’s new 470ci LS series rotating assembly provides the displacement required to use Dart or RHS’s new LS Next block. Built with the solid machining and precision Scat is known for, these LS engine assemblies take the guesswork out of putting moving components together. The kit includes Scat’s 4340 forged standard-weight stroker crankshaft, Pro Sport H-beam connecting rods, premium forged pistons, rings, and bearings. Scat builds their engine performance parts with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and only the finest castings, forgings, and billet materials. LS rotating assemblies can be matched to engines with 3.810 to 4.155 bore and 4.000 to 4.250 stroke.
SCAT Enterprises Inc.
(310) 370-5501,

Scat cranks are machined from solid 4340-forged aluminum, precision ground, heat treated, shot peened, and Nitrade hardened for superior performance.

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