For a while now, we have been preaching the virtues of using the LS1 engines in our build features. Obviously a modern engine will have its advantages, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay and arm and a leg for a brand new one to get the job done. Believe it or not, affordable, pre-owned versions are out there on resale websites like Craigslist; so you don’t have to break the bank to build your dream power plant. Skeptics still believe that they are expensive, even used, and we decided to use this tech section to prove them all wrong. A few days ago, we decided to see how hard it would be to build an engine using our local resources, and we jumped on the good old worldwide web and started hunting.
Since these engines are more common and more readily available these days, we had no trouble finding what we needed. In fact, we found two LS1 bare blocks for around the same price. After looking at the options, we shot to Los Angeles to pick up our ’98 Camaro LS1 engine block, which we picked up for a cool two hundred bucks! For this price, we had a safe investment; if the engine worked for us, it was only two bills, if it was no good, we could still scrap it and get our money back.
Once our adventure of buying an engine was over, the fun part began in seeing if the engine was any good. We visited our friends at Eddings Engine Rebuilding Inc., where they gladly did us the favor and checked our engine block to see if it was useable. We confirmed some of the things that we knew about the engine block, but learned new things about the search process; namely, you should try to look for an engine block that is as complete as possible. Also, on LS style blocks, the bearing end caps are usually married to each individual engine; so no interchanging is allowed on these blocks. Tips aside, let’s see how our engine buy turns out. Was it to good to be true or was it really a deal?