If you’ve been following along with our page for any length of time, then you know that we love building project cars. BlownZ Camaro, Swinger Nova, and Blueprint Chevelle – all top notch builds using the latest aftermarket components that were available. Oh, and of course, they’re all powered by our favorite engine platform – the LS Series!
Be that as it may, we’re currently cooking up a ’69 Camaro project car that we’re going to call “Blank Slate.” Basically, it’s going to be a no BS, hardcore, badass pro-touring car – and we’re not going to cut any corners for this girl. For power, we’ll be using a 502 cubic inch LS engine, based on an RHS block, and built by our good friends over at LME.
Brian Neelan, of Late Model Engines (LME), discusses some of the key features of the tall deck, aluminum RHS LS block.
Recently, we had the opportunity to take a tour of the LME facility, and have learned more about the heart of the motor that we’ll be installing into ‘Slate. So not only did LME co-owner Brian Neelan give us a guided tour of their facility and the block we’ll be utilizing for our build, but he broke down the benefits of using the RHS block into seven categories for us. To benefit our readers, we fired up our video camera to document the details!
1. The Basics
- Utilizes 6-bolt head design, and will work with 4-bolt heads as well.
- Full water jacket design – similar to LS7 (better cooling, especially for street cars)
- Compatible with factory components like the valve covers, valley cover, oil pan, etc.
2. Block Materials
- Extra long cylinder length that’s utilized to reduce “piston rock” and oil consumption
- Standard deck RHS block uses a 5.87-inch length cylinder liner, and the tall deck RHS block uses a 6.38-inch cylinder liner
- Designed from heavy duty A357-T6 aluminum w/billet steel main cap
- Uses siamese-cast bore walls, giving you a solid structure between cylinders
3. Block Options
- Tall version has a 9.750-inch deck height
- Standard version has a 9.240-inch deck height
4. How Large Can You Go With an RHS Block?
- 502 cubic inches (tall deck)
Literally every inch of the RHS LS block has been designed to handle the abuse of high horsepower, racing applications.
5. Valvetrain Upgrades
- 55 mm babbitt bearings, 60mm roller cam bearings (optional)
- Standard .842-inch lifter bore, accepts 1.060 keyed lifter bushings for high output applications
- The block can accept 1.062-inch bronze bushings
- Maximum pushrod angularity is less than 2 degrees (standard deck block)
- Comes with a priority main oiling circuit
- Standard LS block utilizes two oil galleys as well as the main oil galley
- Extra provision for oil inlet to the engine
- RHS incorporated oil squirters into the block to help cool the pistons during operation
7. Two Cool Things You Didn’t Know
- Each block goes under a CT scan during final quality control, which helps detect weak spots or porosity in the castings
- Bay to bay breathing equalizes any crankcase pressure that may be present in the block
We believe that the RHS block used for our the Blank Slate build will be perfect for what we have in store for it. It’s designed to be lightweight, but very durable to handle high horsepower racing applications. What’s even cooler is that it’s designed to bolt right into any existing LS vehicle platform, or any that has already be converted – from LS1 to LS9! So follow along with Blank Slate, our up and coming project car…