$10K Drag Shootout 2: Engine Profile — Enemies Everywhere

The first international team to compete in the Horsepower Wars $10K Drag Shootout, Enemies Everywhere, came all the way from Australia to compete this season. It might seem like they are at a bit of a disadvantage by having to deal with American cars and powerplants. But, thanks to GM’s Australian subsidiary Holden, the Aussies are no strangers to the LS engine.

The way things shook out in the initial challenge rounds, the team was saddled with a 1998 Chevrolet Camaro as a platform with which to work. So it’s absolutely no surprise that with budget constraints in place, an LS engine is their powerplant of choice for the competition.

Not Really Stock Bottom End

Of the three teams who chose LS power for the competition, Enemies Everywhere is the only one to use something other than a 3.78-inch bore (4.8-liter or 5.3-liter) truck block as the basis for their engine. While they did purchase a 5.3-liter short-block as their core (for a whopping $189) they also snagged a 6.0-liter LQ9 iron block for another $100.

Besides having a larger bore than the 5.3-liter block, the LQ9 iron block is renowned for its increased strength in boosted applications and is a solid upgrade for the team’s engine. In addition to being more stout, the LQ9 also accepts most of the components from the 5.3-liter core, saving them some budget in the long run.

The main bearings were scavenged from the core engine, along with the stock 3.622-inch-stroke crankshaft, both of which were a direct swap into the LQ9 block. The mains were upgraded with a set of ARP main studs to make sure the bottom end will reliably hold the power during the competition.

From there, Enemies Everywhere engine builder Robbie Abbott bolted on a set of forged Eagle Specialty Products H-beam rods made from forged 4340 steel. Shot-peened for stress relief, the 6.125-inch rods feature ARP L19 rod bolts with a 265,000psi rating for seriously increased strength.

Enemies Everywhere went with the largest LS in competition, starting with both a 5.3L core for all its parts and a 6.0-liter LQ9 block, for its displacement.

Abbott wasn’t comfortable reusing the rod bearings, so a set of King Engine Bearings XP-series tri-metal rod bearings were ordered from Summit Racing. In addition to all the benefits of King’s pMax Black bearing technology, Abbott chose a narrowed bearing to further reduce friction.

Attached to the rods are a set of MAHLE 4.030-inch PowerPak pistons. Forged from 2618 aluminum to handle boost, the Mahle pistons feature a -10.5cc dish to keep the cylinder pressure in check for the boosted application.

Along with the slipper-skirt design and the Grafal skirt coating to reduce friction in the bore, MAHLE  also hard anodized the top ring-groove to help survive in the extreme environment. Included with the pistons are a set of .927-inch diameter floating wrist pins made from high-strength steel.

In addition to the larger 6.0L block, Enemies Everywhere are also the only team to use LS3 cylinder heads. They brought these with them from Austrailia, originally from a Holden Commodore VE. With the additional porting performed by Robbie Abbott, these heads are the best flowing LS heads in the competition.

For the .043, .043, 3.0mm ring pack, Abbott went with a Total Seal CS Advanced Profiling piston ring set. The set features a classic steel top ring, a cast-iron second ring, and a standard tension (11-pound) oil ring.

The OEM oil pump and oil pan were salvaged from the 5.3-liter donor engine, while Abbott decided on a Summit Racing house-brand SFI-approved harmonic balancer. This particular balancer offers a 25-percent underdrive in order to free up a few extra horsepower.

With the LQ9’s 4.00-inch bore, plus.030-inch overbore, and the 5.3 crank’s 3.622-inch stroke, Enemies Everywhere’s short-block comes to a final displacement of 370 cubic inches (369.61, if you’re being pedantic), making it the largest LS in the competition by 41 cubic inches.

Down Under Top End

For the top end, it was only fitting that the Australian team used a set of Australian cylinder heads, in the form of a used set of Holden Commodore VE heads. For those of us unfamiliar with the Holden lineup, the VE is powered by an LS3, and the heads are standard 821 LS3 castings with 257cc intake ports, 87cc exhaust ports, 70cc chambers, and 2.165-inch/1.590-inch valves.

To attach the heads to the block, the Aussies scored a set of used copper headgaskets and bought a new ARP head-stud kit from Summit Racing. No need to scrimp on the cylinder head fasteners when you plan to cram a bunch of boost down your engine’s gullet.

The team did some free hand-porting of the heads to get them to flow a little more. Abbott then went with a Trick Flow Track Max Pacaloy valvespring and retainer kit from Summit Racing. The kit includes a set of dual valvesprings with a combined rate of 440 lb/in with 150 pounds on the seat. Also included are titanium retainers and steel 7-degree locks.

In addition to the bigger block and heads, Enemies Everywhere were the only ones to install upgraded rocker arms via Summit Racing’s Pro LS rocker arm kit. Additionally, the short intake manifold from FiTech  improves airflow, while fitting under the 4th-gen F-body’s windshield.

For rocker arms, Enemies Everywhere went with a set of Summit Racing’s Pro LS upgraded rocker arms. The brand new, factory-style 1.7:1 rocker arms are complemented by upgraded axles and a heavy-duty trunnion upgrade installed. Covering those rocker arms are a set of Moroso billet-aluminum valve covers, which are tall enough to clear the aftermarket valvetrain, feature a machined O-ring gasket groove to seal, and integrate both an oil-fill port and coil mounting stands.

Controlling the valvetrain is a custom-ground COMP Cams hydraulic roller race camshaft with COMP’s latest and greatest lobe shapes. The final specs come in at .638-inch of lift, duration in the neighborhood of 251/260 degrees, and a 117-degree lobe separation angle.

The custom cam is paired with a set of new Chevrolet Performance hydraulic roller lifters. The Chevrolet Performance lifters are more than just stock-replacement pieces, as they feature improved internal valving to allow for more RPM to be run safely. Connecting the lifters and the rocker arms are a set of used Lunati 5/16-inch, 7.350-inch-long pushrods the team scored for $60.

A Summit Racing True Roller timing set finishes off the valvetrain combination. Made from billet steel, the single-roller timing set offers a maximum of four degrees of camshaft advance or retard via multiple keyways.

Topping off the long-block is a FiTech LS3 short aluminum intake. The low-profile design was a must due to the clearance issues encountered with a fourth-gen F-body, and the Holley Sniper EFI 92mm billet throttle body will allow copious amounts of boost to be crammed into the engine.

On the fuel side, teams were able to choose from VP Racing Fuels C16 or X85. Opting for the oxygenated ethanol fuel, the team sourced a trio of Summit Racing 320lph in-tank pumps, which are E85 compatible. The pumps feed a set of unknown-make injectors, which are copies of Bosch 1000cc injectors, and should be able to provide enough VP X85 fuel to reach their power goals.

On the ignition side, a set of E3 Spark Plugs coil packs, 8.5mm spiral-core plug wires, and E3-109 spark plugs keep the spark lit. A MegaSquirt MS3 ECU will handle all the fuel and spark control and tuning chores for the Australian team.

By opting for a MegaSquirt MS3 engine management system, the team gains the familiarity of the system they use back home, but was saddled with quite a bit of wiring to do, as the system’s harness is universal. Also notice the billet-aluminum valve covers provided by Moroso, which the ignition coils will reside on. 

For the forced induction, the team opted for a brand new BorgWarner AirWerks SX400 80mm turbocharger. The T6-frame turbo features an 80mm cast-aluminum compressor wheel, with a 96mm turbine wheel, and a 1.32 A/R ratio. The team opted against an intercooler, instead relying on the cooling properties of the X85, and are just running straight 4-inch cold-side tubing with no blow-off valve.

On the exhaust side, the team fabricated a turbo kit using the factory 5.3L manifolds, assorted Spectre Performance aluminum tubing (yes, you read that right), and a Precision Turbo and Engineering 40mm mechanical wastegate fitted directly to the turbine housing to manage the boost.

With the largest-displacement LS engine and arguably the most “built” LS in the competition, it will be interesting to see how the engine of Team Enemies Everywhere stacks up, power-wise. With all of the LS entries running the same size turbo, it’ll take some down-under ingenuity to set them apart.

Enemies Everywhere opted for a brand new Borg Warner AirWerx SX400 80mm turbocharger and all the boost it can make. To control that boost, the Aussies mounted the wastegate directly to the exhaust housing of the turbocharger itself, rather than the more conventional hot-side piping location.

Enemies Everywhere Spec Sheet

Team: Enemies Everywhere
Engine:  Chevrolet LS
Total Displacement: 370 cubic inches
Bore x Stroke: 4.030 inches x 3.622 inches
Block: 6.0L LQ9
Crankshaft: OEM cast 5.3L
Main Bearings: OEM
Rod Bearings: King Engine Bearings XP-Series, narrowed
Rods: Eagle Specialty Products Forged 4340 H-Beam
Pistons: MAHLE 2618 Forged 4.030-inch, -10.5cc dish
Rings): Total Seal CS AP .043, .043, 3.0mm set
Oil Pump: OEM 5.3L
Oil Pan: OEM 5.3L
Timing Set: Summit Racing True Roller billet-steel single-roller
Cylinder Heads: Holden Commodore 821 casting (LS3)
Port Work: Hand-ported
Head Gaskets: Ridgecrest copper (used)
Cylinder Head Fasteners: ARP head stud kit
Valves: Factory 2.165 intake, 1.590 exhaust
Valvesprings: Trick Flow dual 440 lb/in
Locks/Retainers: Trick Flow steel 7-degree locks and titanium retainers
Camshaft: COMP Cams custom hydraulic-roller grind
Lifters: Chevrolet Performance hydraulic roller
Rockers: Summit Racing Pro LS kit
Pushrods: Lunati 5/16, 7.350-inch (used)
EFI System: MegaSquirt MS3
Injectors: Chinese 1000cc (Bosch 1000 copies)
Throttle Body: Holley Sniper EFI 92mm billet
Intake Manifold: FiTech short LS3 fabricated aluminum
Headers: OEM 5.3 manifolds
Power Adder: BorgWarner AirWerks SX400 80mm, 1.32 A/R
Coil Packs: E3 LS coils
Spark Plugs: E3-109
Plug Wires: E3 8.5mm spiral-core
Fuel Pump:: Summit Racing 320lph in-tank (3x)

About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent fifteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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