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?

<strong>1</strong>. We showed up with our LS1 aluminum engine block to Eddings Engine Rebuilding, out in San Fernando.<strong>2</strong>. GM has always stamped their block with the model number. In this case, it's a 5.7 liter block assuring us that it is an LS1. When searching for a used engine, this is a good way to see what type of engine block you are looking at.<strong>3</strong>. The first thing done to the engine block was to visually inspect the walls to make sure that there was no scaring. Once that was done, we needed to check to see how much could be honed out. In our case, this block could be punched 30 over which would be the last cut before having to re-sleeve the piston walls.<strong>4</strong>. The cam bearings were all knocked out to allow new ones to be added. This will also assure that the bearings aren't scarred and will not damage the new cam when installed.<strong>5</strong>. This engine was ready to be degreased and hot tanked.<strong>6</strong>. Before hot tanking, any silicone residue was removed using a wire brush.<strong>7</strong>. Since this block was made of aluminum, it was going to be hot tanked in a dedicated washer, which has chemicals that do not harm the aluminum.<strong>8</strong>. After a 15 minute washing, the block was rinsed of any chemical residue.<strong>9</strong>. All of the water needed to be removed from the block as the magnafluxing was going to be done next.<strong>10</strong>. Each cylinder is checked to make sure that there are no cracks.<strong>11</strong>. Here is a look at how the magnetized engine block attracts the magnetic powder.<strong>12</strong>. After visually inspecting each cylinder, we determined that there was no damage to the walls of the engine.<strong>13</strong>. After Eddings did a thorough check on this block, it was ready to be worked on and built.