Written By Steve Baur
Photography Courtesy of Energy Manufacturing and Callies Performance Products
There is a certain level of engine building where custom parts are required, and the unfortunate side effect of “custom” is lengthy delivery times. Energy Manufacturing, working with its sister company Callies Performance Products, set out to greatly reduce the time racers and engine builders need to wait, even when they need an LS-based engine package capable of 3,000 horsepower.
The basis for Energy’s LS-based powerplant is the company’s billet aluminum engine block. Next to custom crankshafts, billet engine block delivery times can typically be lengthy, but Energy reduced turnaround time considerably for its products.
“In the engine-building world, it used to be you based your delivery off the crankshaft delivery, but with everyone wanting one-off stuff, it is more like 16 weeks — it can be frustrating for someone building their own engine,” explained Energy Manufacturing’s technical sales rep Ben Mens. “We have a saying around here, which is ‘Winning isn’t waiting.’ We like to say it’s on the shelf and ready to go. Some guys do want specific options, and we might have those on the shelf, but if not, we can usually deliver in 30 days or less.”
And speaking of the LS block, Energy Manufacturing runs batches of 10-plus blocks at a time to increase the production efficiency, and invests time in making sure each block is precision finished and clearanced for quicker assembly.
“It’s designated as a high-end race piece,” Mens said. “It’s a 3,000-horsepower-capable block, that mimics GM LSX house architecture, but it has a raised cam location and we offer tall-deck options that have a raised cam location. The 9.240 deck height is standard LS, and we offer up to a 9.750-inch deck height with raised .380-plus cam, which seems to be the popular version. With the tall deck, you can put more stroke and a long rod in it and give it more boost, or build a big-cube naturally aspirated motor if you want.
The Energy LS billet block is currently only offered in a solid option, with no provision for water cooling. It’s made from T6061 aluminum that is heat and cryogenically treated, and it was designed with a true priority-main oiling system. It comes equipped standard with 4140 steel billet main caps (7075 aluminum caps are optional), ½-inch main studs, ½-inch head bolts, and 7/16-inch cross bolts. Tie bar lifter bushings are also standard, with other options available. Bore sizes range from 4.125 to 4.170 inches and there is clearance for 4.5 inches of stroke. The cam bores are 55 to 60mm roller sizes.
Noted engine builders such as Tony Bischoff of BES Racing Engines and Billy Briggs have worked with the Energy Manufacturing LS blocks, with racers such as Ray Litz, Wally Farbaky, FTR Performance, and Steve Roden putting them into use.
As the block is just one component on a long list of high-performance parts, Energy Manufacturing can also provide induction components, as the company has a working agreement with Visner Engine Development on the cylinder heads, intake manifolds, and other induction components.
“We offer our complete top-end package for Outlaw, Radial vs. the World, or Grudge cars, but a lot of sanctioning bodies only allow one or the other in billet,” Mens told us. “Our blocks are set up that you can work both ways and use either billet or cast cylinder heads.”
With the engine block and induction components ready to go, Energy Manufacturing has worked with its sister company, Callies Performance Products, to offer rotating assembly components, and Callies sales manager Brook Piper explained that the company offers a myriad of options.
“In the LS world, we have everything from our Comp Star entry level crankshafts all the way up to our Ultra Billet, which is what most guys using that block go to—we cover the whole gamut. In connecting rods, we have our Comp Star up to the Ultra Enforcer, with several steps in between depending on what the customer wants to do or what their application is.” Other “off-the-shelf” parts that Callies stocks that can help expedite the custom engine-building process include six different cam grinds for naturally aspirated, nitrous, and turbo applications.
One area of the engine that Callies works with outside vendors on is the pistons, as each individual engine builder often chooses their design and options.
“We deal with Wiseco, Diamond, and JE Pistons if people want to order from one place,” Piper explained. “We can pretty much gather everything up for the lower end and work with Jesel on valvetrain parts like lifters, pushrods, and rocker arms.”
Between Energy Manufacturing and Callies, most people can call up and have a complete package delivered quickly.
“You can get our billet block in about the time it takes to get a set of custom pistons for it, Piper told us. “There are combinations that we can deliver in as quickly as two weeks, with the worst-case scenario being around six weeks depending on pistons and crankshaft availability — unique setups become more challenging.
Energy Manufacturing isn’t stopping at LS engines, either, as big-block Chevy, small-block Ford are also on the company’s radar when it comes to off-the-shelf packages.
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