I know someone that has a LS1 in their firebird. How bullet proof are
these engines ? He uses the rev limiter as a shift point. I told him it
won't last too long driving it like that but he said he read on the web you
can't kill them they are "bullet proof" He smokes the tires bouncing on the
limiter for blocks at a time... Poor car I feel bad for it.
Ya know? It always defies conventional wisdom. Thicker webbing, splayed
mains, everything made in outer space with forged vanadium/titanium alloys
and alien technology; it'll break. Heck, it's DESIGNED to break! What's it
called again? "Finite analysis"? So, I guess "bullet-proof" is a relative
term depending on the size/quantity of the bullets, huh? Kinda like takin'
a .50cal to a bulletproof vest:) Here's one for ya to ask him.
"Hey Mr. Owl. How many licks does it take to get to the center of an LS1
engine?" Hint: automotive engineers contend that, statistically, the answer
has to be a real number... :)
P.S. "Hmmm. Let's find out! HaOoone! HaTwoooo!..."
Well, in my experience, it won't be long before he SHOOTS a pushrod
straight through a head, or even worse the side of the block. People
have died that way, you know. Shot in the stomach with a 1000 degree
pushrod. Tell him to stop it and to be nice to his torque
converter/clutch, whatever he has; either way, his transmission is most
likely crying out in pain right now.
First stop the flow of shit.
1.If a push rod got above 600 or so degrees it would self destruct.
Push rods are thin wall tubes with pivot balls welded to each end. When
a valve train component binds in place, the push rod will bend, shatter
or snap. The rocker arms and lifters are 10 times stronger then the push
rod between them.
2.For a push rod to escape thru the Block, it would have to get
past the lifters, down thru the lifter galley, past the cam, bounce
off the crank shaft, and have the strength to punch thru at least 1/4
inch thick cast iron.
3.While in a High RPM Stock Car or Drag Car engine a push rod has
occasionally escaped, I have never seen or heard of a reported push rod
injury. I do own a valve cover off a E-mod 383 SBC that a push rod broke
thru. That steel is less then 1/32 of a inch thick. The only reason this
happened is the Racer who previously owned the valve covers used pressed
in studs. On any high RPM Chevy engine, you should use Screw in studs
for the rocker arms. Pressed studs tend to lift out of the head at 7000
RPM's, which most Street Driven SBCs hand grenade at.
4.If your internal engine tempitures reach over 900 degrees (ohh say
the oil pan area), not only will the oil in the engine combust, the
water & coolant in the jackets go to steam then blow out of every
pressure seal, you will not just lock up the motor, but have slag where
the barrings were.
About the only human injurys I know of from exploding engine parts or
engine accessories are from people that were working over a engine when
something failed (IE Water pump shaft with fan attached) or someone in
the danger zone when a top fuel dragster blew the engine or sneezed the
blower at the line. This is why VERY FEW people are allowed in the
Starters Box at a Drag Strip standing between two cars ready to leave
lifters, down thru >the lifter galley, past the cam, bounce off the >crank
shaft, and have the strength to punch thru >at least 1/4 inch thick cast
Actually it would have to go through Aluminum.. as the LS1s have an
Don't forget grain of the bullet, jacket type, tail type, and powder
load. Plus are we talking long rifle, assault/short barrel, pistol, shot
I know this from using a few cars as targets (cars I own, where I am
legal to fire), a Mossberg with a 18&1/2 inch barrel firing a sabot slug
will go almost thru the brake booster on a Pontiac sunbird.
Goes in, takes out the rod in the booster, deforms the other side. The
Sabot Slugs I use are 12 gauger 2&3/4 1OZ Magnum load 1450 feet per
second with a copper jacket (Copper Solids). For those not in to
hunting, a Sabot slug is a Hollow point Deer Slug that (or in the case
of what I fire) expands 2 times the original size on impact. That means
it's losing energy with twice the frontal area from the moment of first
If I was firing a Non-sabot slug, with a copper jacket, I think it
would penetrate a LS1's block.
Sorry about that charles, didn't mean to make truth out of an old
wives' tale. But I do have a friend who did shoot a pushrod straight
through his hood on his firebird. Poor guy, he liked that car too...
So I guess they built them to really scream...
I've built a lot of engines (used to work in a garage and rebuilt 100's)
also built a lot of race engines... Never had anything but a few spark plugs
that blew the porcelain out of them. (that sounds nasty when you are just
driving along and that happens)
I just wondered if these engines are built to take that much or not. I know
the ones I put together were made to handle high rpm's but only for short
times and we went over them frequently. Some of my small blocks I took to
8,000 and shifted my 454 at 7,500 .
Nascar can crank 9,000 for 500 miles but not much more than that and
sometimes not even that long.
The Chevy 302 always comes to mind when I think of a engine built to
rev. Stock they could handle 7,000 to 7,500. They can be built to take
9,000 and be streetable.
Blown spark plugs don't sound as scary as when a water pump shaft
fails. Had that happen Spring 06, on the highway in my S-10 Blazer. The
shaft broke at the barrings, fan, clutch, pulley, & shaft remains hit
the radiator destroying it, then bounced around off every pulley.
I was cruising along, decided to open her up, and bang! next thing I
know I got steam out of the front, see a trail of debris in the door
mirror, and a trail of liquid. Wasn't till I was on the shoulder that I
realized it wasn't the engine it self, it was the cooling system.
Years ago I saw the same thing happen. A guy I knew put a engine in his
monte carlo, didn't bother to change the water pump. Just dropped in the
dresses junk yard jewel. He fires it up and is trying to set his idle
speed, and choke. Wings the throttle, bang! Water pump shaft fails, fan
clutch comes apart when it his the radiator. No hood on, we both missed
getting hurt by inches.
My worse was the lower pulley ripped off the balancer on my 454. One bolt
sheared off the other two ripped thru the pulley never figured out why...
but it went up destroyed the rad. People got a little mad at me because it
was on the starting line and I left a little antifreeze there... I launched
at 7,200 and the front end came down quick and turned hard, I know something
happened, I ran over my own antifreeze. Coasted to the side immediately and
pushed it back out but not before making a very big mess on the track.
My thought is that maybe the two that ripped thru might have worked loose
then sheared the third which then left it rip the two thru... Which would
have been my fault for not checking especially after the run before the belt
came off going thru the traps at about 7500 which also scared the shit out
of me because all I seen was red light in my face (alt idiot light) I seen
red "thought oil pressure" turned off the ignition switch which at that time
was still the key... that I turned all the way back to lock position and
then had to turn it back in a panic to steer all at 130 + mph What a dumb
P.S. the 302 was an awesome engine... also the early 327 small journal with
a 283 or 265 crank gave them 302 before they came out with them. I knew a
few racers that told me a lot of stories of running 302's before Chevy built
Im pretty serious about using old parts cars for targets before I take
them to the crusher. Less messy then paper targets at times. I put over
250 rounds in a 91 eagle . .22LR, different days, let a few buddies fire
off a few rounds at it. All in the name of fun.
I have taken my shot gun to work for the same reason, different car. At
work Im in a Rural area, where I can shoot. My home is in the city, so
unless I take it to work, I have to pay to go to a range.
As for a engine block, Never know I might try one someday. Get me some
regular slugs first.
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