When you’re looking to add strength and save some weight in an engine, there aren’t many parts that can do both unless you’re talking about billet aluminum. One area of a racecar where billet aluminum can really be beneficial is when it’s used as the material for an engine block. Callies now offers the LS world a billet block produced by Energy Manufacturing, and this block allows users to push their engine combinations harder than ever.
When Callies and Energy got together to design a billet LS engine block they wanted to be sure it would have plenty of strength and durability. They looked at the different block designs available for the LS engine platform and began to create something that would incorporate all the best elements each had to offer. This blank slate approach would ensure whatever was created had plenty of options for different high-performance applications.
Ben Mens from Energy Manufacturing provides some interesting details about what makes these billet LS blocks so strong.
“The block is based on the GM LSX racing block architecture. We use billet steel main caps, 1/2-inch main studs that are vertical, and two 7/16-inch side bolts in each side which does mimic the architecture of the LS. The camshaft has also been elevated .00388-inch, on our tall deck model which we offer in a 9.75 deck. We also offer a 9.240-inch standard deck with a standard camshaft position.”
If you’re going to build a strong block you need to start with quality material and prepare it correctly. Energy sourced premium billet 6061 aluminum that has been heat-treated to a T6 level and is cryogenically treated to enhance the block’s strength. Each block starts out as a 490-pound hunk of aluminum before it begins the CNC machining process in-house at Energy. The final product is a block that weighs right around 100 pounds with the sleeves, billet main caps, and studs installed.
Energy just doesn’t make a one-size-fits-all billet block, they offer a healthy list of options for end-users. These blocks can be tailor-made to fit a specific application or power-adder.
“You get your choice of bore size with these blocks — most people go with 4.125 to 4.170. The bore size selected depends on the application: most nitrous applications like to go with the larger bore, while the boosted applications tend to favor the smaller bore sizes. We also offer a variety of camshaft size options, from 55mm Babbitt to 60mm roller cam. The blocks can use both standard and custom bushed lifters that are tie-bar or keyway based,” Mens says.
The blocks are made using the GM LSX-style head bolt pattern and have a set of 1/2-inch studs already installed. You can use any kind of LS-based head you want on the Energy block, depending on what your horsepower goals are. Energy even offers its own canted valve cylinder head that works well for any power-adder application.
If you’re still wondering why billet is better or if this style of engine block is for you, Mens offers some final words.
“You’re going to have added strength at a light weight with a billet block like this. You’ll have serviceability with a billet block that you don’t have with other blocks. Most racers are pushing these engines to their limits, so if you do hurt the block it can be repaired. We also carry the service parts like sleeves, studs, and main caps, so you can make a quick phone call to us to get what you need.”
To learn more about these billet beauties check out the Callies website right here.