Cadillac CTS-V Forum banner
1 - 14 of 87 Posts

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
I'm getting ready to build my first LS engine and thought I'd look for any words of wisdom from the group since this forum seems to have the most experience with the LSAs. I've built several small block and big block chevys but this is my first LS. I've been reading several posts and am a little concerned about my cam choice for one and need to size the injectors. I'm thinking ID1300s for the injectors. Also I'm trying to decide between a 3" and 3.25" upper pulley for the supercharger. I'd like to be able to run on 93 pump gas but am planning on adding a flex fuel sensor to allow for E85. Also I'm hoping by going to a 3.825" stroke instead of a 4" stroke the stock piston oil squirters will work.

For starters, I looked at the Lingenfelter 900hp crank HP on 93 octane pump gas engine to get ideas and would like to get somewhere in that neighborhood. I've changed things enough that the engine will be a little unique.

-4.065 bore x 3.825 stroke (Same bore and stroke as COPO 396)
-LS9 Block and LS9 CNC Heads
-Callies Magnum 3.825 Stroke 8 CTW crank
-Callies Ultra I beam 6.125 Rods
-JE Pistons 8.9:1 with ceramic coating
-Total Seal Rings (second ring "gapless")
-BTR Stage 3 torque cam
-BTR Shaft Rockers
-Johnson 2110 Lifters
-Katech LS9 Head Studs
-Katech Timing Chain
-LS9 Head Gaskets
-Kong 2650 LSA Superchager
-ZL1 Supercharger Cover
-ATI balancer (8.66 SC Pulley)

FWIW - The rotating assembly arrived today from Callies so now I have most of the parts.
@Rubber Duck

Cams, Cams, Cams - I'm second guessing the recommendation from BTR on their Stage 3 torque cam. I'm trying to decide on a direction and would like to get your thoughts.

My goal is 900chp on 93 octane (was originally going to mimic Lingenfelter's 900chp crate motor)

The cams on the table

BTR Stage 3 Torque (currently have)
223/246 @.050
.610/.600 valve w/1.7
117+6 LSA

Lingenfelter GT22 (used in 900chp crate motor)
228/232 @.050
.588/.595 valve w/1.7
118 LSA

Jones Cams recommendation
244/259 @ .050
.637/.612 valve w/1.7
116 LSA

Hasn't spec'd a cam but didn't like the BTR cam for my application.

Just to refresh

LS9 block/LS9 CNC heads
Callies/JE rotating assembly with center counter weights
3.825 stroke/4.065 bore (397 CI)
6.125 rods
8.9:1 compression
1 7/8 long tube headers
Kong 2650 with Kong 112mm throttle body
T56 Magnum - close ratio
3.42 rear gears

Going in a 3500 lb car used mostly for street with some autocross and drag racing
First just a comment on a Jones (Mike Jones) camshaft; you really
can't compare his cam lobes against other camshaft manufactures
lobes by simply looking at just the typical valve events.

Mike does not generate his lobe profiles, particularly his
open and closing ramp velocities, nor his flank rates the
same way others do.

Did you fill out the spec sheet for a cam online with Mike?
If so, can you cut and paste it with your next post. . . .

Also, are the cylinder heads ported, or stock?

Usually Mike asks you for the cylinder head flow.
If you gave him the flow numbers, what were they?

Also, Mike gives you the ICL. . . What is it?
And how much advance is ground into it?

Your interested in making ~900 rwHP.
At what engine RPM?
What Fuel?

Are you going to have a problem with a rough idle?


Just a couple of parting comments:
With a 3.825 stroke and a 2.165" valve, the cylinder heads
will really have to flow well. Even with a 2.204" valve, you
would be right on the verge of meeting the engine cfm demand.

Finally; this 244/259 @ .050 exhaust duration tells me
that Mike feels there is a problem with the exhaust side
of the cylinder head.

Please understand; Here I am not attempting to be negative
about your build, I am just attempting to point out where you
might desire to focus moving forward..;)


· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
There are many ways, or perspectives various engine builders
look at camshaft versus cylinder head compatibility.

-from my perspective-
I might have more to say if needed, but the Jones lobe fits your
head flow (Engine Supply Side) almost 'Dead On'.

You wrote:
"Your interested in making ~900 rwHP. "Actually crank HP", wheel HP would be a bonus.

900 fwHP will require a minimum of 1350 cfm. Generally speaking, if we divide
that value
by four (4-Cylinders fire per each 360° of crankshaft rotation) we arrive
at a 'General Port
Flow (Supply) of 338 cfm. This should all be 'In' so to speak at
convergence lift with these LSA / LS9 heads, as they tend to go into velocity
choke at higher lifts.

Convergence lift for a 2.165" valve is 0.541" of valve lift.

You wrote:

Intake Port Flow
Max Flow @ .xxx"Lift[email protected]

So the above tends to indicate your in the 'Ball Park'
and the Jones Lobe fits the above (as I would expect
of Mike)

You wrote:

At what engine RPM? 6500 <= That might be a bit low regarding 'establishing a
sufficient Piston CFM Demand'. However, you are going to use a good blower
which might overcome the insufficient piston / engine cfm demand.

-let's break the above down-

Your piston speed / piston cfm Demand is not
sufficient to generate the required engine flow.

But your 'Demand Side' could be increased,
if you increase your engine rpm.

Then the 'Supply Side' which is your heads and
cam would be fully used.

Now the blowers task of 'Pushing' air into the engine
would be reduced, as would the associated heat of
the roots style blower.

What Fuel? 93 Octane but planning on running a flex fuel sensor
so I can run E85 to get a little more out of it.

I would highly suggest using E85 not only for the extra RON that
E85 has, but also the high evaporation rate of an oxygenated fuel
which carries away the heat."


· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
Let's see if I'm understanding this correctly. On the demand side in order to get to 338 CFM, I'd need to be around 6965 rpm. The supply side, given the valve diameter/lift/duration, would flow the 338 CFM so then the supply/demand are then matched, Correct?

Now for the dumb question, if the two are matched how does the supercharger come into play or was it required to get to the 338 CFM for the supply side?
Also is the cam is going to play well on the street (i.e. still have descent performance on the lower end) vs being more on the max effort side? I assume the ICL would help determine this.

It's starting to make a little more sense why Lingenfelter uses a Kenne Bell 3.6L on their 900hp, pump gas engine since it's 376 cubic inches and it looks like they use a fair amount less lift and duration on their GT22 cam.
You wrote:
"Let's see if I'm understanding this correctly. On the demand side in order to get to 338 CFM, I'd need to be around 6965 rpm. The supply side, given the valve diameter/lift/duration, would flow the 338 CFM so then the supply/demand are then matched, Correct?"

Pretty much correct; however to generate 338 CFM of Piston Demand,
with an NA Engine, you would have to shift higher than

So then the question is; how much lower can you
shift when using a 'Roots Style Blower', as the blower
needs to fill the gap so to speak, between the piston
cfm demand (Demand Side) by forcing in air from the
'Supply Side."

But little 'Roots Blowers' are limited in what they can do. . .


You also wrote:
"Also is the cam is going to play well on the street (i.e. still have
descent performance on the lower end) vs being more on the
max effort side? I assume the ICL would help determine this."
***You meant LSA not ICL.

Well now, I asked you the following question within my
post number 46. . .
"Are you going to have a problem with a rough idle?"

If your not going to like a rough / choppy idle, then
you might desire to consider a camshaft with a
wider LSA. However, with an exhaust duration
of 259°, widening the LSA is going to generate
some negative issues.


You also wrote:
"It's starting to make a little more sense why Lingenfelter uses a Kenne Bell 3.6L on their 900hp, pump gas engine since it's 376 cubic inches and it looks like they use a fair amount less lift and duration on their GT22 cam.

Those Lingenfelter cams are very old camshaft designs.

They also used closing ramp rates / velocities
that hammered the valve train to death.

And yes, you can run both a lower flowing cylinder head, as
well as a milder camshaft when you use a real Supercharger
such as a Kenne Bell 3.6L "Twin Screw', instead of a
simple 'Roots Blower' which is nothing more than a big
fan which simply blows (hence the term blower) air into
the intake manifold.

So then; if one has a HP Number in mind when they begin
the build, there would be differences in how one would map
out the build when using a 'Twin Screw Supercharger', versus
a simple 'Roots Style Blower'.


A suggestion for you.
Instead of going with the Jones Cam and using pump gas,
go with E85 and contact Matt / GP Tuning for your camshaft
and valve train needs.

Mike Jones is a very smart and very busy man who designs
camshafts for serious engine builders. He is one of only two
people I use to purchase my cams from when I was building
race engines.

Matt has built his reputation on helping the earnest 'Street Iron'
crowd, such as people like yourself.

Finally; E85 has an additional benefit that many don't
recognize. It burns quicker and cleaner than does
a cylinder head chamber filled gasoline.

When one has a low static compression ratio as these
engines do, when you pack more and more gasoline
into that chamber, it takes longer for that fuel to burn.

Static compression ratios, greatly impact an engines
efficiency via the ASE%, as well as the burn angle.

-with e85-
Now you can use a high duration exhaust lobe to offset
the poor flowing exhaust ports we have on our heads,
and if required to maintain low engine rpm manners, we
can also spread the lobe centers (LSA / LCA) as might
be needed, and not lose energy still burning during the
blow-down event..;)

  • Like
Reactions: random84 and jcs003

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
@Rubber Duck

Thanks for the insights and bearing with me on the learning curve (i.e. asking dumb questions). Mike did come back and said "you would need to degree the cam in on a 112 ICL"

Matt reached out and explained a bit of what his thinking is. It looks like I'll put the BTR cam up for sale and go with Matt or possibly Mike's cam. I don't mind the choppy idle but I do want to make sure I'm still good for a road trip or two. That's one of the main reason I want to be able to run on pump gas and not have to find an E85 station. With my gearing I should be at 2K rpms at 70mph so I want to make sure it will cruise without issues at that rpm.
None of your questions were dumb, and your pretty smart to reach out for help.

Just a final comment; these engine platforms really require
E85 to reach 900 fwHP, even with your 396 cid build.

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
E85 is the miracle drug!
Yes, but remember; only the RON Value, along with
the ability to keep internal engine temps down from
the high cooling / evaporative effects are the miracle.

The MON Value, which is more meaningful for people who
push the accelerator pedal down and hold it there, will find
that to much heat can be generated within the cylinder versus
time, resulting in a 'Big Bang' which can cause big problems for
your engine..:eek:


· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
Just a quick update. I sold the BTR cam and ordered a new custom cam from Matt yesterday. Went ahead and popped for the 8620 core.

Thanks again Duck for the guidance.
Cam Motion or Comp?

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
Haven’t ground any LS stuff with Comp for many years
I had thought you had moved away from Comp.
Good to know for sure. . . .


Discussion Starter · #56 · 57 m ago

Just a quick update. I sold the BTR cam and ordered a new custom cam from Matt yesterday.
Went ahead and popped for the 8620 core.

Thanks again Duck for the guidance.


Between Matt and Cam Motion your in good hands now..:)

For this 'Crowd' Cam Motions Technologies are very suitable
and Matt's knowledge of this engine platform can't be beat. . . .

Again, for this crowd the 8620 is a good choice,
as spring pressures are above the norm used
for the likes of a 5150 core, but not high enough
to require tool steel. . . .

Finally; last time I looked, the polishing of the lobes
on the Cam Motion camshafts were much better than
on the Comp.


Don't feel like getting in trouble today.. . . .
So not going to say much regarding lifters here. ;)

There is a reason that when we install higher spring
pressures, use cheap lifters and then find later that
the lifter turned sideways. . . .

But paying attention to both lifter diameters, as well
as the polishing of the lifters roller is something that
we all should not just take for granted.


· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
If the lifters are not polished correctly, the lifter (when used
with the tray) can rotate and take out the cam.

If the lifters are not polished correctly when the link bars
are used, the cam will still have a short life / shorter than

The Johnson 2110 lifters are far better than anything from GM.

Anything more than that and I will get into trouble with
  • Like
Reactions: Blades1_99

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
Well my saga with the JE pistons continues. I'm not sure whether it's Callies or JE but somewhere they seem to be struggling with getting it correct. My specs haven't changed since the original order which was placed 1 year ago October. Needless to say my patience is wearing thin.

I finally received received the pistons with the pins relocated correctly for the 3.825 stroke that is the good news. The bad news is they forgot the ceramic coating on the crowns and the new pistons weigh 9 grams more than the original set that was used for balancing the rotating assembly.

A couple of questions.

  • What are your thoughts on the value of the ceramic coating for a boosted application. My understanding was it would help with detonation and I was looking to run primarily on pump gas. The pistons are forged 2618 aluminum. I have an email into Callies and JE to see what the turnaround time is to get the pistons they sent coated.
  • If I use the wrist pins that came with the new pistons they're 1 gram heavier than the balance weight for the pistons vs if I use the wrist pins that came with the original set of pistons I'm 9 grams heavier than the balance weight for the pistons. The difference is the original wrist pins have a .2" wall thickness vs the new wrist pins have a .18" wall thickness. Am I correct in assuming being closer to the balance weight is more important than having the thicker wall wrist pins?
Coating the piston is preferable.
I would do it if your not in a rush to put the engine together.

If they state the lighter pin is adequate for your HP Requirements,
I would go with the lighter pin.

If they recommend the thicker / heavier pin, then re balance the engine.

These engine are not known for using lightweight NA-Type
engine internals, as these engines are not spun hard,

So the heavier pin might be better, but these engines
do need to be balanced accurately. The torque forces
associated with even just 1/2 Gram at even 6,000 rpm
become huge.

  • Like
Reactions: random84

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
And somehow I thought buying a whole balanced rotating assembly through Callies would be better than piecing it together. There I go thinking again....
Hot Rodding is not all fun and games.

It's a lot of hard work and many things
can go wrong, and commonly do.

But if the car runs fast and is competitive,
it seems to overcome


· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
@Rubber Duck

Can someone (hopefully rubber duck) help me understand bob weight for balancing? My understanding is the classic formula is 1/2 reciprocating weight + rotating weight but the shop that align bored my block says sometimes they change the % of reciprocating weight based on the build to create an "overbalance". I think maybe Callies is doing this since I come up with 1806g and they had the bob weight at 1830g when I first received the rotating assembly.

If I do the calcs I come out at 1806g and for the new pistons it would be 10g more due to them being 10g heavier if I'm understanding this correctly.

Here's the calc based on my understanding.

From Callies rod documentation
They range from 406g - 409g
Ring set
Support Ring
Pin Keepers
Rod Bearing
Bob Weight
(Rotating weight + 1/2 reciprocating weight)x2
Sorry to hear about all of your bad luck. . . .Bummer..:(
And sorry again, as I never did engine balancing myself. .:(:(


We had everything we needed in our machine shop to produce
remanufactured engines, including our own crankshaft grinder,
as we usually rebuilt 8 - 13 engines a day.

Whereas we required two boring bars, three large engine
cleaning tanks, three valve refacing centers etc., we never
purchased an engine balancer, as we did not require one
for the Production Engine Rebuilding, or (PER) side of
the business.

Most of our performance engine work surrounded refreshing,
and / or upgrading race engines for our customers. We only
built around three new Performance Engines a month, and
never found it necessary for us to purchase an engine balancer.

A friend of ours, about 30-Minutes from our shop decided to
purchase one, as he was really into lightening internal engine
components for his customers. His customers were not drag
racing oriented, and ran low powered engines compared to
the drag engines we produced. So he was really into lightening
the engine reciprocating mass, and everything

He did a very good job for us, and it also helped him pay for

I am thinking that there must be a YouTube Video on this though, that might help you.

Good Luck!

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
LOL... You can find anything on the net... For what it is worth, I've balanced a few hundred assemblies. I hate to disagree with the duck, but I would not get bent over 0.5 gram. However, there is no reason for your pistons to vary 3 grams. I have never under balanced a shaft, but have over balanced up to 3%. And know of it being done up to 5%.

The only problem I see with your calculations is that you left out oil consideration. I assume you figured out that your difference in piston weight only counts once. Reciprocating once plus 2X rotating. If your piston is 417g, then I get a bob of 1827g.
And where did I state that I would get bent over 0.5 gram??

Also, many of us were overbalancing engines as far back as the 1960's for drag applications, whereby the engine worked within a narrow high engine rpm band.

And others, who were building engines for automotive racing, where the car might need to slow down for a corner, and then accelerate hard out of the corner, would lighten the internal components of the engine, and underbalance the engine.
  • Like
Reactions: Blades1_99

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
Nowhere. I never said you "stated" it. It was merely how I interpreted:

If I have sorely mischaracterized your statement, my apology.

OK. I was only speaking from "my" limited experience. I have not balanced a crank in over 20 years. However, I did balance a couple of hundred in the 4 full-time and 7 part-time years I worked at an automotive machine shop. I only posted in an effort to affirm the OP's situation. I assume that those that find it crap, or at the very least not helpful, would just disregard.
Apology accepted. . . No Big Deal..;)

Regarding the highlighted text above:
Just a comment from me to you. . . .

This is supposed to be a technical forum.
Therefore, all of us that post technical information, should assume that
anyone reading our post(s) will take that post as an accurate post.

How would anyone that knows less than you do, know to disregard any post made by you?
So, if the post is not technically worthy, then simply do not post

  • Like
Reactions: Blades1_99 and drj

· Premium Member
6,127 Posts
lol... It would be great if these forums worked that way. Especially in my field of expertise, but that has not been my experience. I see plenty of folks, with much less experience and knowledge than yourself, disregard and/or question your advice. I also see plenty of folks posting speculation at best...
No argument from me regarding the above.
Knowledge gains in this field, only will come from 'Hands On Experience'.

But all one can do who has the experience, is to hand the 'Correct' information out.
Then, it is up to the reader to determine which way they desire to

  • Like
Reactions: drj
1 - 14 of 87 Posts