6.0L 365 cid LQ4 Engine

6.0L 365 cid LQ4 Engine

Olivia Scaffidi is one example of the younger generation looking to do more engine building. Being into muscle cars, LS engines and an old-school style, she recently rescued a 6.0L LQ4 engine from a junkyard and rebuilt it for her 1971 El Camino. Check it out!

Engine of the Week is presented by

We often talk about the lack of young people getting into the automotive industry, and specifically the engine building niche. However, Olivia Scaffidi is one example of the younger generation looking to do more engine building as she continues to learn the craft. It’s the challenge of building horsepower that she loves the most.

“I like how challenging it is,” Olivia Scaffidi says, who resides in Southern Ontario. “It’s both math and science. Just when I feel like I kind of know what I’m doing, I found out there’s just so much more to learn. I really enjoy that aspect of it. I love working with my hands.”

Olivia, along with her boyfriend Travis, have aspirations of engine building and racing and they share their experience through social media channels such as Instagram and YouTube. Olivia in particular has always been into cars, engines and all things fast.

“I don’t have any family into cars at all,” Scaffidi admits. “My passion has all come from self interest. What really sparked my interest specifically in engines was watching the Motor Trend show Engine Masters and just a real interest in learning how it all works. I love the V8 engine, so I’ve been learning everything I can.

Olivia’s 1971 El Camino

“I have always been into muscle cars and old cars, and I really love late-model engines. I love LS engines quite a bit and my boyfriend and I started getting into the hobby of going to the junkyard every weekend and seeing what they have. From there, it sparked an engine project.

We wanted to see how budget conscious we could be in putting together a really cool combination or my El Camino.”

Olivia’s 1971 El Camino, which is being built-up as a stick shift drag car, will remain naturally aspirated with the end goal being to compete in endurance events.

6.0L 365 cid LQ4 engine

“The goal is to do an endurance-style event such as Hot Rod Drag Week or Rocky Mountain Race Week, where you have to do lots of driving and lots of racing,” she says. “We’re going to be swapping in a 6.0L that we put together and after that it just needs the cage and its ready to go.”

Olivia and Travis love a good junkyard find, and they often visit a yard located in Sun Valley, CA where they seem to come out with a few gems more often than not.

“We get pretty excited when we find LS engines [at the junkyard],” she says. “We’re usually not very optimistic about finding something good. The fact we’ve found three LQ4s and they’ve all been good for projects is awesome. I have other friends that go to that same yard and they walk away with nothing every time, so I feel pretty lucky.”

One of those 6.0L LQ4s is what Olivia is rebuilding for her El Camino project.

“The El Camino was always a muscle car that I knew I wanted,” Scaffidi says. “Having a bed makes the car just so much more functional for us because we’re always going to junkyards getting engines and other parts. It’s been a really useful vehicle.”

Originally, the El Camino had a 350 small block Chevy under the hood with a COMP Cams camshaft in it, a pair of BluePrint aluminum cylinder heads, a newer intake and a Holley carb on top.

“It’s not completely stock and it’s pretty fun, but I’m so drawn to drag racing that I knew I wanted to step it up quite a bit,” Scaffidi admits.

One of those junkyard LQ4s was just the thing Olivia needed to make the horsepower she was looking for in her El Camino.

“I really love LS engines as a platform because they just make horsepower and I love that you could go to the junkyard and still get a usable block at the very least, or a usable short block, and make a ton of power with them – even naturally aspirated,” she says. “We went to a local junkyard and we found the LQ4 in a three-quarter ton van that we plucked out.”

The engine was in pretty good shape, but it did have a chipped piston, which fortunately didn’t actually damage the cylinder walls at all. Olivia got the engine machined, honed .050˝ over, checked for overall integrity and was even able to keep the crank that was in it.

“It’s 365 cubic inches with a 4.005˝ bore and a 3.622˝ stroke,” she says. “From there, we used Gen IV LS rods, CP Carrillo flattop pistons and AFR Enforcer heads. It’s essentially an LS2. The CP Carrillo flattop pistons have a -2.7cc valve relief on them. The Tick Performance Polluter V2 cam is 239/244 duration at 50 with .635˝/.610˝ lift and that’s on a 111 +2 lobe separation angle. The AFR Enforcer heads feature 210cc runners with 64cc chambers and they flow 268 cfm.

“The AFR Enforcer heads have the cathedral port and they’re AFR’s new budget cylinder head. We wanted to use those to keep the build pretty relatable. Not everybody has $3,000 just for cylinder heads. We wanted to focus on the budget aspect.”

In addition to doing a lot of the engine build, Olivia is also learning to rebuild carburetors, so naturally, the LQ4 got a carburetor setup.

“We get a bunch of flack for being carburetor people, but I really do like that combo, so I’m using a Holley high rise, single-plane manifold with a QFT 750 mechanical secondary carb to top off the whole combination,” she says. “Granatelli Motorsports also sent us the coil packs and valve covers for it to dress it up in an old-school look the way we wanted.”

With some 5w30 oil running inside it, the 6.0L 365 cid LQ4 engine made 570 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque on the dyno, which Olivia was more than happy with. If you want to follow along with Olivia and her projects, check her out on Instagram and YouTube at @livscaffidi.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – Das Original and Scat Crankshafts. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor, Greg Jones at [email protected].

You May Also Like

Turbocharged Billet K24 Honda Engine

Noonan Race Engineering is well-known for its V8 engine platforms, but the shop has now dipped its toe into the 4-cylinder world with a billet K24 Honda engine. The objective – huge horsepower, while keeping factory creature comforts. Check it out!

In 2023, we got the chance to showcase a lot of what Noonan Race Engineering has going on inside its state-of-the-art engine and machine shop located in Spartanburg, SC. The shop was named our 2023 America’s Best Engine Shop in the Race category, and we gave people a full shop tour video of the facility, as well as showcased Noonan’s popular V8 Hemi platforms in a couple Engine of the Week features.

ProCharged 5.000” Bore Space Billet Big Block Chevy Engine

One of the first 5.000″ bore space big block Chevy engines that Visner Engine Development has come out with in this new design, this billet engine was built by Nick Bacalis of Bullet Racing Engines for a 1971 C10 belonging to Michael Rieck. Check out what 4,000-plus horsepower looks like!

billet big block Chevy engine
3,500+ HP 427 cid Billet LS Engine

At ACE Racing Engines, Stefan Rossi’s and Laura Pugh’s hard work has been paying off in the form of increased awareness and business, a new shop space out in California, and best of all, success on the track from numerous customers. Check out this excellent example of a maximum effort, billet LS engine for a drag-and-drive application.

Supercharged 388 cid LS Engine

Hoping to reach new heights in the mile, this Cadillac customer brought his car and engine in for the School of Automotive Machinists & Technology to work their magic on. See what went into the supercharged LS engine platform.

Cadillac Supercharged LS engine
Supercharged 521 cid Brad Anderson Hemi Engine

Amanda Hoover and Eddie Rogers have been campaigning their Chevelle from Hell for nearly a decade. Helping give the car its name is a screw-blown 521 cubic inch Hemi engine. Check out the details of this build done by Chris Duncan Race Cars!

Other Posts

LS Engine Flatout Gaskets

Flatout Gaskets LS valve cover gaskets are available in paper/silicone in 0.60″ or 0.120″ thicknesses or steel/silicone laminate in 0.50″ or 0.100″ thicknesses.

Demon Motorsports’ Turbocharged Toyota 2JZ Engine

It was hard not to noticed Damon Elff’s Toyota Supra and its turbocharged 2JZ engine during Sick Week 2024 as it was basically the only Supra there, and the 2JZ made some wicked sounds at the start line. We got a chance to speak with Damon, who owns Demon Motorsports, about his Supra/2JZ combo and

LSX Oil Pump Mounting Brackets from Peterson Fluid Systems

Kits include all necessary hardware for mounting oil pumps to the engine block.

Turbocharged 5.0L Coyote Engine in a 50th Anniversary Mustang Cobra Jet

For the last couple years of the PRI Show, Frankenstein Engine Dynamics has had an impressive booth space filled with cool product and cool cars. Case in point, during the 2023 show we stumbled upon a 50th anniversary Mustang Cobra Jet owned by Martin Martinez of Junior Performance. Martin has already made this a seriously