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Is this a Dream or–is that really my LS7?

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CAC Does the Corvette Engine Building Experience - Page 9 of 10

by Hib Halverson
© September 2012
No use without permission, All Rights Reserved

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Click on the images for expanded views – it's much easier on the eyes. 

Mike and I rolled the engine stand to the next station. This was where my LS7 started to look like a real engine. I installed the rocker covers, the coils, spark plugs, the intake manifold–actually, it's an entire sub-assembly of the manifold, injectors, fuel rails and throttle body, put together by a supplier–and the plug wires. This station was also where I got to apply the special "Engine Build Experience" ID plate with my name on it to the passenger side fuel rail and the stickers with the job number, bar code and my name to the ends of the left head. That was pretty damn cool.

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Image:  Mark Kelly/GM Powertrain

Putting your nameplate on the engine: priceless.

The final three major operations were: 1) tighten the harmonic damper bolt, done with another one of those big, overhead-mounted, handle-bar operated, torque-angle-sensing power tools, 2) put the exhaust manifolds in place, 3) install the flywheel and the clutch and 4) weigh the engine. Ladieeees and gentlemen, in this corner, weighing in at 454.2-lbs., we have the highest specific output V8 in the country–THE L-S-sevennnnn.

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Image:  Mark Kelly/GM Powertrain

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Image:  Mark Kelly/GM Powertrain

The exhaust manifolds are common to both LS7 and LS9. They are much like a "tri-Y header" and are the most free-flowing design ever used on a GM V8. They are a two-piece, fabricated, stainless steel part and have very sharp edges. Use your gloves when handing them.
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Image:  Mark Kelly/GM Powertrain

Nearing the end of the day, it was time to go over the final checklist before removing the engine from the rolling cart. With all this record-keeping, if something ever goes wrong with my LS7, they'll just say, "Well, Halverson, you built the darn thing." Just kidding...actually, engines from the Engine Build Experience are covered under the same GM warranty as any other engine.
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Image:  Mark Kelly/GM Powertrain

For the flywheel and clutch installation, the engine has to be removed from the rolling cart and hung on an engine hoist. Flywheel bolts are the final use of one of those big power tools.
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Image:  Mark Kelly/GM Powertrain

Finally! The last part to go on my engine: the Z06's single plate clutch.
All done and ready for 'cold test' and 'hot balance'.

All done and ready for "cold test" and "hot balance".
Image:  Mark Kelly/GM Powertrain

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