HRR Tech Editor Mike Mavrigian has started a new engine build that will be documented in detail on HRR’s sister site, PrecisionEngineTech.com. Mavrigian will be building a carbureted 327-cid LS engine that features custom touches reminiscent of an early 1960s small-block Chevy. He'll be doing the engine build on a strict budget. “The goal of this build is to create an LS engine that produces around 400 horsepower, on a tight budget, and with a decidedly ‘retro’ appearance,” Mavrigian said on PrecisionEngineTech.com. “Basically, we’re taking a 5.3L (cid) LS engine, and overboring to a final 327 cid, making a new 327 Chevy that takes advantage of current technology, while stepping back in time to achieve a decidedly old-school appearance.” Instead of running fuel injection, Mavrigian will be using a four-barrel carburetor. “The block is painted good ‘ol Chevy orange, with a few additional appearance touches that take you back to the old classic glory days of the small-block Chevy,” he said on the site.
Mavrigian started with a 2000 GM LS 5.3 L (Vortec) iron block. To keep the build within budget, he reused the block, crank, heads, front and rear covers, top valley cover, and valve covers. While he did replace some of the old components, and opt for a few dress-up upgrades (such as a retro Olds/Caddy twin-snorkel air cleaner from Speedway Motors), Mavrigian strived to keep the build as retro and affordable as possible. To read Part 1 of Mavrigian’s Retro LS Engine Build series, click here.