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Indestructible Engine: GM LS3


Since the beginning of hotrodding, there have been such engines that gearheads have loved and praised for their prowess. You had engines from the early skyline’s RB26DETT’s and Supra’s 2JZ-GTE’s to the Chevy small block 350’s. Well, GM has once again engineered another beast, code-named the LS3, with 430 BHP and 424 LB-FT Torque. Regardless of these awesome numbers, the durability and unreal power potential of the factory spec motor are whats really impressive. Unlike older designs with iron blocks and aluminum heads, this motor is actually made out of aluminum from the block to the head. This allows it to cool down faster than most modern engines while also making it lighter. It comes from a lineage of LS engines, closely resembling the LS1 which was an amazing feat when it first entered tuning shops across the country in 1997. With the only notable differences being the bore, stroke, heads, and cam setup, and the LS1 is 5.7 Liters while the LS3 is 6.2.

If you own a car with the LS3 mounted under the hood, you either have a 6spd 2010+ Camaro or a 2008+ Corvette. Something owners know right away, besides the power potential, is that its very responsive and can handle constant beatings. You can literally try to destroy the engine with high rpm downshifts and constant acceleration. If the LS3 was a masochist, constant beatings would be of zero concern; instead, it would beg for more as if you were feeding it food. This is why it has the LS designation; its GM’s way of saying this is our best, try to break it. I personally own a Camaro and I have admittedly tried to kill this thing. Even after doing daily burnouts for an entire two weeks, I saw no hesitation in power delivery. I am actually convinced it gets faster. You can beat on it, drive it like an animal, and how does it respond? It responds by smoothing out the rough idle in addition to running cooler. The best analogy that comes to mind is if you poured in water instead of fuel and continued to drive hard, you would get 10 year aged wine. Yep, I said it, its Christ’s motor.

Fun Fact: When LS engines run cooler they actually get more power, that’s why so many gearheads put 160 thermostats in their cars because it keeps the engine around 180 degrees during normal operation.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy a Camaro or a Corvette, but if you can, you won’t be sorry. What I am trying to do is to tell you if you’re building a project and are in need of an engine, use the LS3 engine. They have reported over 800 WHP on a stock block with a super charger and other goodies. The main point I am emphasizing is the stock block. GM slaps a supercharger on this engine and they put it in the Corvette ZR1. Hmmm…sounds like they aren’t worried if it blows up making over 630 BHP. There is only one set back with this engine, and thats the price. With a price over $8000, it does break the bank. But there’s an old American saying: If it’s expensive, it’s got to be good.

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