Dart’s SHP LS Next Pro Takes SHP Block Lineup To The Next Level

The Special High Performance line of engine blocks from Dart Machinery was developed with a singular purpose—to offer aftermarket-style block strength and combine it with the capability to accept stock-style components, and perhaps nowhere is that need more apparent than in the LS community, where it seems to be the norm to stretch stock components as far as possible before replacing them with capable aftermarket pieces.

Enter Dart’s all-new SHP LS Next Pro block, which offers features not found anywhere else in the Dart lineup until you get to the big-dog standard LS Next components.

“The development of the SHP LS Next Pro was prompted by the need for a high-tensile strong block, capable of handling high horsepower and with the ability to fit stock LS components,” says Michael Sanders, sales manager at Dart.

The SHP LS Next Pro block utilizes the same architecture as the standard SHP LS Next. All of your factory components will bolt on.

The standard SHP LS Next and SHP LS Next Pro share many features, but there are a couple of key differences—chief among them the material used in the block’s manufacture.

“The PRO features a high-strength 220 BHN cast iron material which has a higher tensile strength over the original class 30 cast iron block. This high strength material helps with block stability and better ring seal under extreme heat and pressure,” says Sanders.

In addition to this new material, the main cap fasteners have been upgraded from the Grade 8 bolts found in the standard SHP LS Next to a Grade 9 ARP main studs, which helps to increase clamping force on the main caps to help reduce cap walk.

With many LS engines living a long, tortured life with some form of boosted aspiration, the inclusion of the new material into the mixture means that the SHP LS Next Pro is perfectly positioned to help the enthusiast take full advantage of the vaunted LS engine platform.

SHP LS Next Pro Features

  • Superior strength 220 BHN Cast Iron
  • Steel 4-bolt main caps with upgraded ARP main studs
  • Lifter oil crossover with restrictor provision
  • 6-bolt per cylinder capability
  • 4.000-inch up to 4.185-inch bore
  • Factory oil filter provision
  • 8-counterweight machining
  • Full skirt design
  • Priority main oiling
  • Siamese cylinder bores
  • Thick decks ensure reliable head gasket seal
  • Parts kit included (PN: 32000018)
  • Block PN 31867112 – 9.240-inch x 4.000-inch x LS Main
  • Block PN 31867212 – 9.240-inch x 4.125-inch x LS Main
One of the advantages to using the SHP LS Next platform over, say, a stock block, is the ability to use an eight-counterweight crankshaft. A production V8 crankshaft typically has six counterweights, three at each end of the crankshaft, but an eight-weight crank boasts the center-counterweight design, which adds two more counterweights adjacent to the middle main bearing journal. These additional counterweights help to simplify the balancing process and reduce the torsional loads on the crankshaft.

“These crankshafts are certainly becoming more prevalent in the engine builder community as we continue to educate them on the dynamics between the block and eight-counterweight crankshafts during operation. The advantage to the end user is that they get a block that already has this clearance upgrade incorporated into the casting so it’s more cost-effective,” says Sanders.

As an aside, look for an upcoming article right here on EngineLabs on the center counterweight concept soon—we’re currently working on it.

Billet steel main caps, priority main oiling, and Dart’s engineering and quality are all baked into the brand-new SHP LS Next Pro.

According to Sanders, there are no special machining requirements for the SHP LS Next Pro engine blocks for the engine builder to be concerned with; it machines just as any other in the company’s lineup. He did offer up that the block can be ordered with most of not all of the relevant machining operations already completed, which may make it even easier to incorporate one of these into a build.

“You want to concentrate on keeping the decks square, cylinders round and use the correct hone for your application. We do offer upgrades to the LS Next SHP Pro which include half-inch head bolt machining, 55 mm roller cam and 60mm babbit cam, .904-inch and .937-inch lifters, standard and keyed lifter bushings along with full block prep,” he says.

Lifter bores can be configured with your choice of .904-inch or .937-inch diameters, and with or without lifter bushings.

So there you have it: the SHP LS Next Pro offers strength capabilities above and beyond what the standard SHP LS Next block offers, and gives LS enthusiasts another solid choice for a performance engine foundation.

 

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About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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