SEMA 2012: Dart Introduces New LS-based Engine Block

The LS engine block has proven itself time and time again to be one stout piece for making a lot of power. But as any design goes, any company can tweak and test different options with the goal of making something greater and that’s exactly what Dart Machinery is attempting to do with their new LS Next LS-based engine block.

Priority main oiling is something that Dart has carried over to this new LS block design.

“Four years ago we looked at producing an LS-based engine and decided against it, only releasing a billet version,” said Jack McInnis of Dart. “Not until around July did we look at producing this block again, coming up with our redesigned LS Next engine block.”

For those of you that are keen to the LS block’s infrastructure, you will notice that the bottom of the block – near the main caps – is missing a whole section of metal, traditionally called the Y-block design. Dart has decided to eliminate this entire area to enhance the casting quality.

What you see here now resembles what you would find on a Gen I block. “Due to this redesign, you will need a custom oil pan in which many of the popular aftermarket companies will produce,” said McInnis. Also by recessing the pan rails has naturally increased the ability to hold more oil in an overall same, complete package.

Due to this redesign, you will need a custom oil pan in which many of the popular aftermarket companies will produce. – Jack McInnis

The block also features both Gen I and Gen III styles of motor mounts,” says McInnis, which will help facilitate engine swaps into a variety of vehicles. The block also has starter mounts on both sides, again smoothing the way for installation in different applications.”

Dart set the deck height at 9.240 inches with a full 5/8-inch-thick deck. The GM LSX cast-iron block comes in either semi-finished 9.260- or 9.700-inch deck heights. Dart does not offer a tall-deck version and does not currently plan to. This overall package with a proper rod ratio will put cubic inches in the mid to high 400ci range.

For those wondering about price, the iron block will be around the same as the Little M and will be available sometime during the first quarter of 2013.



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About the author

Mark Gearhart

In 1995 Mark started photographing drag races at his once local track, Bradenton Motorsports Park. He became hooked and shot virtually every series at the track until 2007 until he moved to California and began working as a writer for Power Automedia. He was the founding editor for its first online magazines, and transitioned into the role of editorial director role in 2014. Retiring from the company in 2016, Mark continues to expand his career as a car builder, automotive enthusiast, and freelance journalist to provide featured content and technical expertise.
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