1000HP LS Engine Built For Street, Strip, & Track

The Best Engine Oil For Your LS Engine

By Ron Ceridono

Without mentioning anyone by name (mostly to keep from hurting Brennan’s feelings), there are those on the Modern Rodding staff who are old enough to remember when 1 hp/ci was a big deal. Chrysler did it in 1956 with the 355hp 354ci Hemi engine. Chevrolet’s 1957 Ramjet-injected 283 made 283 hp in 1957 and horsepower numbers kept growing from there. But back then no one would have believed it would be possible to produce the horsepower numbers that are common today, and do it reliably.

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02 Chris Orr assembling the 415ci LSX for dyno testing with machine work by Line Performance
Chris Orr was responsible for assembling the 415ci LSX and subsequent dyno testing. Machine work was handled by Line Performance.

To prove that very point a team at AMSOIL, made up of Len Groom, senior product marketing manager of powersports/power equipment; Chris Orr, mechanical lab manager; and Garret Gibeau, product development engineer, set about building an engine that would make 1,000 hp with readily available parts. But there was more to their plan than just big dyno numbers. Their objectives were to emphasize the benefits and durability of AMSOIL products as well as prove an engine could be tractable enough to be in a daily driver and still perform as expected on a dragstrip or autocross course—and do it all on 91-octane pump gas.

03 High performance Chevrolet Performance LSX block with billet steel six bolt dowel located main bearing caps
The Chevrolet Performance LSX block is designed for high-horsepower applications. It comes with billet-steel six-bolt dowel-located main bearing caps and a
priority main oiling system.

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Orr, who has an extensive background in building race engines, was responsible for assembling the AMSOIL effort. He based this creation on a Chevrolet Performance LSX 376 iron block based on GM’s production LS7 block, the LSX designed with more material in critical areas–including a thicker deck and cylinder bores–to support displacement of 454 ci or more. A unique six-bolt cylinder head bolt pattern provides the clamping capability for power-adder combinations greater than 1,000 hp. According to Chevrolet Performance, “Although designed with racing in mind, each LSX block is machined to stock LS dimensions to accept stock LS components as well.”

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04 Molnar 4 inch stroke crankshaft equipped with a 58 tooth reluctor and Clevite bearings
Molnar supplied the 4-inch stroke crankshaft. It’s equipped with a 58-tooth reluctor and rides in Clevite bearings, as do the rods.

To increase displacement Orr increased the stroke from the LSX norm of 3.622 to 4 inches with a billet Molnar crankshaft. Coupled with the stock bore of 4.065 that brought the total up to 415 ci. The pistons are of particular interest. They’re from JE Pistons and feature lateral gas ports, small slots that are machined into the top ring land to permit combustion pressure to enter the ring land area to help them seal. These pistons also feature accumulator grooves, spaces machined into the land between the two rings that help to promote ring seal and provide additional volume where the combustion gasses can collect to reduce the chance of ring flutter. Molnar connecting rods complete the rotating assembly.

05 Molnar 4340 steel billet H beam connecting rods designed for supercharged and nitrous applications
Connecting rods are 6.125-inch-long, 4340 steel billet H-beams from Molnar. Their PWR-ADR series are designed for supercharged and nitrous applications.

Because LS engines can suffer from oiling limitations with the standard gerotor pump, Orr opted to install a Dailey Engineering dry-sump system. Compared to conventional systems, dry-sump systems offer several advantages, such as the design of the oil tank typically eliminates aeration of the oil returned to the engine, dry sumps prevent oil starvation under hard cornering, and the shallow pan allows the engine to be mounted lower in the chassis for better handling.

06 JE Pistons forged Ultra Series pistons with optimized piston pin oiling to reduce friction and wear
Pistons are forged Ultra Series from JE Pistons. The skirts are coated to reduce friction and wear and piston pin oiling has been optimized to reduce friction and wear.

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Bolted to the block is a pair of “six-bolt” Air Flow Research 12-degree Mongoose aluminum cylinder heads. They came out of the box CNC ported and were equipped with Manley stainless steel intake valves. The camshaft is a Bullet Racing Cams solid roller that is combined with Trend Performance pushrods to operate the Jesel rocker arms.

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07 Bullet solid roller camshaft with 0 700 inch lift and durations of 263 degrees on the intake
The Bullet solid roller camshaft has a healthy 0.700-inch lift with durations of 263 degrees on the intake and 276 on the exhaust at 0.050-inch lift.

Sitting on top of the engine is a Whipple 3.0L, twin-screw supercharger. These mechanically driven superchargers are extremely efficient. Unlike Roots superchargers, (think GMC 6-71 as an example) that have a pair of rotors that push air to the outside of the case, and to create pressure in the manifold the rotors in the twin-screw style mesh and compress the air between them, making them more efficient. Like a Roots supercharger, the boost numbers of the Whipple twin-screw design can be altered by changing pulleys. In this case the boost was 17 psi at maximum horsepower.

08 Jesel GM LS1 style rollers with 0 937 inch bodies working with Trend pushrods and Jesel LS3 rocker arms
Lifters Jesel GM LS1-style rollers with 0.937-inch bodies. They work with Trend 3/8-inch-diameter, 1.35-inch wall pushrods, and Jesel LS3 rocker arms with the factory 1.70:1 rocker ratio.

Since one of the purposes of this project was to highlight the reliability and versatility of AMSOIL products they were used exclusively during testing. As Groom explains, “Journal bearings rely on a film of pressurized oil between moving parts. This is called hydrodynamic lubrication. There are several factors that contribute to maintaining this state of lubrication throughout the entire range of operating conditions. Bearing clearance, oil viscosity, speed of the crank and rods, and surface finish. Upon start-up, the oil pump supplies pressure to the rotating assembly. Essentially it floats the crank and rods in a film of oil. The movement of the assembly along with the factors above create a wedge of oil that supports the moving parts. Oil plays a critical role in making sure the surfaces never touch and create wear.” Be aware that while modern production engines use tight clearances and light viscosity oil, the internal stresses in highly modified engines often require greater clearances and as a result heavier, higher viscosity oil to prevent metal-to-metal contact.

09 Dailey Engineering dry sump pump supplying lubrication to the engine’s internals
Lubrication is supplied to the engine’s internals by a Dailey Engineering dry-sump pump. It eliminates the potential issues that can occur with a stock oil pump.

Groom adds, “During dyno testing sessions of the LSX, AMSOIL Dominator 15W-50 racing oil was used, however it’s not something you’ll want to use in your daily driver. This oil is built for the track with a formulation designed for ultimate protection in high-performance engines. It has boosted levels of ZDDP for protection in high pressure areas, such as cam and lifter interface and rocker arm to push rod tip, but is not designed for extended drain intervals.” Keep in mind, most professional racers change the oil every couple of races, if not after every race. For that reason racing oils are formulated with a lower total base number (TBN) than passenger car motor oils. TBN is a measure of the oil’s detergency properties and its ability to neutralize acidic by-products. Oils with higher TBNs provide longer drain intervals. AMSOIL Signature series features a TBN of 12.5 to enable its 25,000-mile/one-year drain interval. In contrast, Dominator racing oil has a TBN of 8 and is recommended to be changed more often. As great as it performs on the track, Dominator is not what you want in your engine when you’re driving thousands of miles and several months between oil changes; Signature Series is a better choice.

10 Dailey Engineering’s dry sump pan collecting used oil and returning it to the oil tank
Dailey Engineering’s dry-sump pan collects the oil that has done its job and then the scavenge section of the pump returns it to the oil tank.

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With the engine assembled it was time to put it on the AMSOIL SuperFlow 902S dyno. As Groom explains, for this project not only was the engine dyno used to get power numbers but also to simulate an entire year’s worth of use in all the different applications. He added, “We looked at how many passes the average person might make on a track night at the dragstrip, multiplied that by how many trips might be made in a season, and came up with 40 hits for the drag racing portion. Then we looked at how often someone with an autocross car might take it out, and how much track time that would equal, and we came up with 8 hours of autocross simulation. Then we went around the office and averaged out how many street miles we all put on our fun cars in the summer, it averaged out to 25 hours on the engine in a season.”

11 Dailey Engineering’s dry sump pump bolted directly to the oil pan driven by the crankshaft
Dailey Engineering’s dry-sump pump bolts directly to their oil pan, eliminating additional plumbing. The pump is belt driven off the crankshaft.

After hours of testing in various scenarios the AMSOIL triple threat LSX performed flawlessly. The final horsepower and torque numbers for were 1,036.8 hp STPPwr at 6,984 rpm and 876.2 lb-ft STPTrq at 4,449 rpm, and it was all done with over-the-counter parts on 91-octane pump gas—we’d say all the team’s objectives were met and a little more. MR

12 Air Flow Research heads on the LSX made from A356 aluminum with CNC ported intake and exhaust port volume
The heads on the LSX are from Air Flow Research. Made from A356 aluminum, they came CNC ported. Intake port volume is 260 cc, exhaust port volume is 95 cc.
13 Intake valves in the AFR heads measuring 2 165 and 1 600 inches for the exhaust
Intake valves in the AFR heads measure 2.165 and 1.600 inches for the exhaust. Note the provisions for the additional bolts that protruded from the head.
14 Whipple 3 0 supercharger working with a Holley Dominator EFI system and Wegner Automotive drive system
The Whipple 3.0 supercharger works in concert with a Holley Dominator EFI system with 127-pound injectors. The drive system is from Wegner Automotive.
15 109mm Whipple throttle body controlling airflow with fuel delivery by an Aeromotive variable speed pump
Controlling airflow is a 109mm Whipple throttle body. Fuel delivery is handled by an Aeromotive variable speed pump. Ignition is provided by a Holley “Big Coil” system.
16 Dyno testing sessions simulating various uses of the engine without any issues
Many dyno testing sessions simulated street, strip, and track use and the engine never skipped a beat.
17 AMSOIL Engine Assembly Lube providing exceptional wear protection and preventing deposit formation
Proper lubrication of fresh engine is critical, AMSOIL Engine Assembly Lube (EAL) is formulated to cling to engine parts and provide exceptional wear protection and is designed to dissolve in oil, helping to eliminate deposit formation.
18 AMSOIL Break In oil seating piston rings and protecting piston pins and valvetrain components
Break-In oil isn’t just for flat tappet engines. AMSOIL Break-In oil quickly seats piston rings and protects piston pins and valvetrain components with zinc and phosphorus.
19 Dominator Racing Oil providing antiwear additives for extra protection and maximizing horsepower and torque
Dominator Racing Oil is specifically for racing and high-performance engines that receive frequent oil changes. Fortified with antiwear additives for extra protection proprietary friction modifiers maximize horsepower and torque.
20 AMSOIL Signature series providing extended engine protection and cleaning power versus AMSOIL OE Motor Oil
The AMSOIL Signature series is for extended drain intervals. It provides 75 percent more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear and 50 percent more cleaning power versus AMSOIL OE Motor Oil.



(800) 777-7094


Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of 1000HP LS Engine Built For Street, Strip, & Track.

mr january 2024

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