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Silent Assassin Update #2 The Engines

December 27, 2011
By Doug Johnson of The Thunder Road Show

First of all Merry Christmas to everyone who is reading this. It's December 26th and Santa forgot to drop off our go fast parts so I thought I would write another (short) update to let everyone know where we are with this project. Seeing that its almost 2012, if we intend to go for the "stock short block" world record at the Stock Short block drag race in April we will need some help with parts in the form of sponsorship. Here is the website for the upcoming race if your interested. http://www.stockshortblockshootout.com/home.

 This is the first race ever held for ONLY LS series motors that use stock short blocks. There will be people from all over the country trying for the world record and I expect to see some low 8 second quarter mile times by then. Right now on LS1tech.com, Skinnies has the fastest stock short block in the country with an e.t. of 8.65 at 169 mph in a back halved 1st generation RX7. The web forums  and youtube will be buzzing with chat and videos after this race, trust me on this. Also I hear a lot of people who confuse the term short block with small block. The short block is a term that refers to an engines rotating assembly and the block or the lower half of the engine, less the cylinder heads. Small block refers to a smaller size and displacement engine.

This is what we found all through this motor since it was not stored correctly. This is the low millage engine that is also being rebuilt

We were hoping to have the engine in the car and running over the Christmas/New Years holiday in naturally aspirated form, but there were some problems with the engine we were oringinally purchasing. Oh yeah, I haven't told you about the motor we found yet. A good friend of mine had what was supposed to be an LQ9 6.0 liter engine 

(high compression 6.0 Liter) with under 200 miles on it. Yeah I said under 200 MILES.  The motor had been purchased off e-bay in 2004 from an Escalade that was totaled on a test drive. We knew that the motor might need to be gone through because it had been sitting for a while. I had been doing some work for this friend and putting some of the pay on each project towards the engine, but when we got it off the shelf and pulled the intake and valve covers we discovered that not all the openings had been taped closed when it was put on the shelf so many years ago. Well in Texas, if you leave a pipe or hole open, dirt daubers will get in and make homes. Not only had they made homes in the intake and exhaust manifolds, water had got into the engine and rusted some of the cylinder walls. When we discovered that this motor was going to take more than a simple honing and rebuild to get running, I decided to get the money I had put toward the motor back from my good friend and in exchange would help him get this motor in running condition if he paid for the machine work so he could either use it or put it up for sale. 

This is the second motor I purchased that was supposed to have been running when taken out

I found what I thought was a killer deal in an '05 LQ4

(lower compression 6.0 Liter) out of an HD truck that came with a wiring harness, computer, starter, alternator and engine stand for $1,400 bucks. Next step was to get a pan that would not drag the ground in this little car because the stock truck pan is too deep. My good buddy over at Vettetech (Terry) who had a brand new Cadillac SV-T pan with a pick up that we talked out of for $75 bucks. When Tim and I went to put this pan on we discovered that the motor would not turn over. At this point I was ed!  We popped the heads off to see what damage was done. Not only was the motor dirty, like it missed a few oil changes, but had water in the cylinders as well. The reason this motor wouldn't turn over was because the flywheel had been pushed into the back of the motor putting it in a bind against the back of the block. That was good news, meaning there were no broken parts in the motor.

New CT-V oil pan. I drilled and tapped it for the turbo oil return fitting. I had two fittings so we put one on both sides of the pan incase we go with twin turbos.

I took both motors to Westside Performance, a local machine shop in Houston that I have used for 15 years or so. We found out that both blocks had to be bored as honing would not get the pitting out of the cylinder walls. Well that is not allowed in the rules of the Stock Short block Shootout so we decided to have the block sleeved and to reuse the stock pistons, rods and crank. The cylinder heads were rebuilt with new seals and a three angle valve job. We are also balancing the crank and rotating assembly to make sure that there is no un-needed power robbing vibrations. The laymen's description of balancing is like this: The machine shop employee will weigh the rods and pistons and make sure they are all the same weight and material will be removed from the rod and or pistons in order to match the lightest set. Then they (machinist) will put the crank on a spinning machine and add a "bob weight" that is the same weight as the rods and pistons and then will add or remove material from the crank until it balances out. When they are required to add weight, the machinist will drill a hole in the crank counter weight and add a same sized rod of mallory metal that is heavier than what the crank material weighs. I know it seems like a lot of work, but this process can really extend the life of the engine and increase horse power especially at higher rpm's. 

The broken part of the LS6 intake before I fixed it

This is the LS6 intake after the repair. I painted it to look like its cast aluminum.

I did order new head studs to replace the OEM head bolts that are torque to yield from the factory and can not be reused. This and the unexpected machine work that was required to get this project running set me back almost another $800 and we still have to buy head gaskets and other miscellaneous parts like the "big ass" turbo we plan on running on this project. That and the fact that the car will have to be tested and have a roll cage installed and certified to make an attempt at the world record in front of the entire LS world in April. Seeing that I have a build thread on LS1tech.com and there is some good interest in this build we can gain a lot of exposure for any potential sponsors. 

I smoothed the top of the valve covers off and painted the exhaust manifolds with hi-temp ceremic paint and heat cycled them twice between coats. Things are starting to look nice.

In the mean time in the Thunder Road Show theme of scoring as many good parts for as cheap as possible, I went yard again. This time I got an LS6 intake manifold with a throttle body and all eight 30lb per hour injectors and a stock fuel rail for only $50. These intakes go for $250 to $300 by themselves on the interwebs every day. The catch is, the intake was cracked in the back like it had been dropped. These intakes are made of ABS plastic, so I cut out all the damaged area and then made a template and cut a section of pvc plastic out of a septic drain cover. I then used some two part epoxy, also know as plastic weld, and bonded the two together. I then covered the entire mess with body filler and when it dried, smoothed it out. I water and pressure tested the repair and it looks like it will hold and in the picture above you can see the intake looks better than new.

New $20 4th gen camaro shifter. The stock manual shifter is still in the car sticking up through the floor. I am going to make a nice center console coving this shifter up.

I was looking for a shifter and found this stock 4th generation Camero shifter for $20! All we need now is a shifter cable. I also have used the down time to clean and paint all the covers and parts that didn't go to the machine shop. If you aare or have a potential sponsor for our project called the Silent Assassin, then please email Doug Johnson at sportsrepoter.tx@gmail.com.

Here is a video of Skinnies world record 8.60 stock short block pass. This was done with a smaller 5.3 Liter engine, smaller turbo and heavier tires than we plan on using in a car with similar weight and aerodynamic front area as our 300zx.

Thanks in advance for any assistance with securing sponsors for the TRS Race Team.  Go Big, Go Fast or Go Home!

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