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I dropped off my spare LT1 block at the machine shop this afternoon and got to talking to the shop owner about a 110k '01 Camaro SS that had come in for a freshening up of the LS1 engine. As it turns out the aluminum engine block was cracked on almost all of the head bolt bosses on the outside of the castings roughly where the threads start inside the casting. He said that he had spoken to another shop in WI and one in IL who had started seeing the same thing. Their only fix was to recycle the blocks and get a replacement block.

Sorry I didn't have a camera with me. :/

Glad I stuck with a BBC instead of converting to LS in the Camaro.........
 

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I dropped off my spare LT1 block at the machine shop this afternoon and got to talking to the shop owner about a 110k '01 Camaro SS that had come in for a freshening up of the LS1 engine. As it turns out the aluminum engine block was cracked on almost all of the head bolt bosses on the outside of the castings roughly where the threads start inside the casting. He said that he had spoken to another shop in WI and one in IL who had started seeing the same thing. Their only fix was to recycle the blocks and get a replacement block.

Sorry I didn't have a camera with me. :/

Glad I stuck with a BBC instead of converting to LS in the Camaro.........
Did the other machine shops say that all the mileage on those blocks were around 100k?Or did the mileage vary?I ask because im doing an lsx swap over the winter and im thing lq4 now...
 

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Couldnt sum1 have overtorqued studs or bolts, whichever he was usin? Bare blocks are cheap, so who cares:D
too many varribles to just sum up the lsx blocks as being bad., you dont know the build, builder, parts, hp ect..ect..ect...
 

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There is a good chance that these engines have had head swaps at some time in their lives. If at the time of the head swap, the bolt holes were not cleaned out completely (blown out with compressed air)... the hydraulic pressure of the bolts being torqued into the holes partially full of oil/coolant would crack the block. All that pressure has to go somewhere. Seen it before...
 

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Bottom line, factory blocks aren't made to have huge hp pushed through them, I don't care what it is...the godly LS or just a lowly LT1. Guys run big power, and on the net you hear about a lot about the guys that do successfully and not a lot about the guys that break them.

That's why I find it kind of dumb when I hear guys say "this block will take X power". Why? Because you heard it on the internet? Is every engine built the same, is every block as strong as the next, does every application apply the same amount of stress to the block and in the same way?

You try to triple the hp that a block was meant to take and you very well may get problems. They don't make big, bad, aftermarket expensive blocks for nothin!

Edit: and i'm not saying power is what killed these blocks...just sayin as I see this going into another 'what setup to use for 1000hp' debate lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I didn't really ask the mileage on the other cars, just the one that was actually in the shop. If the blocks weren't so plentiful and cheap, I'm sure they could be fixed rather than recycled. This particular car was still stock except for the exhaust but came in for heads, cam and tuning. When they pulled the engine, the cracks were pretty hard to miss.

I wasn't throwing this out there as a way of saying LSx blocks are junk or anything like that. I was just saying to those people who may have converted over to aluminum blocks to maybe take a look and hopefully head off trouble early.
 

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Wow. that sucks. I wounder if the LQ9 iron 6.0 blocks have the same issue.
 

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Wow. that sucks. I wounder if the LQ9 iron 6.0 blocks have the same issue.
From this article...http://www.hotrod.com/howto/113_0504_chevy_ls1_engine_basics/index.html


...if you are making more than 700 hp (900-plus is routine today), the aluminum block starts to become a liability to long-term health. Simply put, the aluminum block was not designed to support the power the rest of the engine has shown itself capable of producing. The iron block, though, has been known to withstand well over 1,400 hp with a few additions/modifications, and it will handle a little over 1,000 hp in factory trim.
 

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My theory on cheap blocks is just the recycled aluminum alloys today. How many times can it be recycled w/o casting flaws. I doubt engine blocks are all 100% new aluminum. I know a bunch of LSX engines had oil weepage problems. The block was just porous!
 

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There is a good chance that these engines have had head swaps at some time in their lives. If at the time of the head swap, the bolt holes were not cleaned out completely (blown out with compressed air)... the hydraulic pressure of the bolts being torqued into the holes partially full of oil/coolant would crack the block. All that pressure has to go somewhere. Seen it before...
This happens on these motors (as mentioned above) if you are not aware of the blind holes in the blocks. When pulling the heads or swapping you really need to make sure the head bolt holes are very clean and dry!!
 
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