Build Your Own LS7, LS9 Chevrolet V8 Crate Engine

AutoInformed.com

Some assembly and even more cash required.

Chevrolet Performance is now offering customers the chance to build your own LS7 V8 or LS9 V8 crate engine – a unique program that combines a factory-engineered aftermarket engine with hands-on experience for custom car builders and hot rodders.

The new “build your own” do-it-yourself program is a variation of the so called “Corvette Engine Build Experience” that allows Z06 and ZR1 customers to participate in the assembly of the engine destined for their new car. This “Experience” is a $5,800 option when a customer buys a new Corvette. Yes, you pay more to get your hands dirty by helping to assemble your $100,000 Corvette – there’s marketing genius here, along with recognition of the hands-on nature of Chevy performance car owners. (See NASCAR’s Rick Hendrick Builds Own Engine for Corvette Z06)

The new aftermarket program is more expensive, though. It includes part number 19259944 for the LS7 at $22,756 or part number 19259945 for the LS9, which has an MSRP of $32,050.

“For hands-on hot rodders, this program truly enables them to say they did it all when it came to building their project. There’s nothing else like it in the industry,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.

For the price, buyers visit GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., where they will join an engine builder to assist in the start-to-finish assembly of the engine they purchased. This includes everything from installing the crankshaft in the cylinder block, to completing the engine with its intake system. In the case of the LS9, it also means installing the supercharger assembly. Upon completion, a personalized nameplate is added to the engine.

When a customer orders the “build experience,” the Chevrolet dealer – who is free to price it above or below GM’s suggestion – submits the order. A GM “concierge then contacts the customer to verify participation and help coordinate arrangements. Travel arrangements to and from Metro Detroit are the customer’s responsibility – and good luck with Delta airlines on that -the concierge helps schedule the engine build; coordinates the customer’s activities at the Performance Build Center; arranges lodging and meals; and arranges ground transportation.

GM claims that this unique program is possible because of the hand-assembly processes used at the 100,000-square-foot Performance Build Center, a low-volume niche manufacturing plant.

The personally assembled engines carry Chevrolet Performance’s 24-month/50,000-mile limited warranty. (See details at http://gmperformanceparts.com.

 

LS7 specs

  • Displacement: 7.0L (427 cubic inches)
  • Bore x stroke: 4.125 x 4.000 inches
  • Crankshaft: forged steel
  • Connecting rods: forged titanium
  • Cylinder heads: CNC-ported aluminum
  • Valves: 2.20-inch titanium, intake; 1.61-inch sodium-filled, exhaust
    Induction: natural aspirated
  • Compression ratio: 11:1
  • Horsepower: 505 @ 6,300 rpm
  • Torque: 470 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm

 

LS9 specs

  • Displacement: 6.2L (376 cubic inches)
  • Bore x stroke: 4.125 x 3.620 inches
  • Crankshaft: forged steel
  • Connecting rods: forged titanium
  • Cylinder heads: roto-cast aluminum
  • Valves: 2.16-inch titanium, intake; 1.59-inch sodium-filled, exhaust
    Induction: supercharged
  • Compression ratio: 9.1:1
  • Horsepower: 638 @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque: 604 lb.-ft. @ 3,800 rpm

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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