- Written by webmin
The rise of GM’s LS-series Gen III and Gen IV V-8s as the preferred high-performance engine for hot rodders and racers has really gained steam in the last several years; it’s no longer just for guys running late-model street performance cars. Now, in addition to the swapping that has become rampant with street rods and vintage muscle cars, serious racers are also pushing to find the limits of this engine’s potential.
To meet those demands, the aftermarket has stepped up to offer extreme-duty engine blocks, among them Racing Head Service, perhaps better known as RHS. The RHS LS Race Block was designed to incorporate numerous features that increase durability and facilitate race use. The block is produced from A357-T6 aluminum using RHS’s “Clean Cast Technology” and is available in either standard deck height (9.240-inch) or raised (9.750-inch), and features six-bolt cylinder-head mounting (like an LS7). The LS Race Block also has billet main caps, held in place with ARP mains studs.
Now, to support the use of the Race Block and other RHS Gen-III/IV parts, RHS is introducing a line of accessory parts and tools. Among the items that will appeal to engine builders are the RHS Torque Plates. Torque plates are intended to be bolted to the cylinder-block deck using the cylinder-head mounting holes as a means of simulating the stresses normally imparted on the block by the heads, which can cause some alteration of the bore dimensions. By using torque plates, the machinist can finish the bores while the block is under the same load that the heads would create. Torque plates must be designed and manufactured for specific applications, which typically have been limited to popular performance engines like small- and big-block Chevy and Ford engines; the RHS plates for LS engines are also made from aluminum, which is recommended for use with the aluminum block, rather than the more typical steel or iron deck plates.
Another item that will appeal to racers are the RHS MLS head gaskets for LS series V-8s. MLS stands for multi-layered steel, and these types of head gaskets have become quite popular recently as their sealing capability is able to withstand tremendous cylinder pressure and heat, as commonly found in extreme forced-induction applications. RHS is also offering billet intake manifold spacer plates, to allow standard Gen-III/IV intakes to be used with tall-deck applications. These are CNC-machined and include gaskets and fasteners.
There are also tools to facilitate LS-engine building, including a main-cap puller that alleviates the need to beat or pry the caps out of place, which can lead to damage.