3,500+ HP 427 cid Billet LS Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

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.

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Over the past few years of going to the PRI Show, some of my favorite people to bump into have been Stefan Rossi and Laura Pugh of ACE Racing Engines. PRI 2023 was no different. Stef and Laura are great people, and over the course of these last couple years, a lot has been going well for them. Their 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.

ACE Racing Engines specializes in machining and building extreme drag racing engines, especially turbocharged engines for all forms of drag racing, from 1/8-mile radial tire drag racing to drag-and-drive cars. Stef also specializes in air-cooled engine work, and between those two disciplines, he’s always focused on putting out a quality product.

Several examples of his engine work were on display at the most recent PRI show, so we caught up with Stef at the Jones Racing Products booth to get the rundown on a 3,500-plus horsepower 427 cid billet LS that ACE Racing Engines built. The engine was spec’d for a drag-and-drive application.

“Starting from the bottom, it’s a Williams Manufacturing dry sump pan, and it has an alternator and mechanical pump from Jones Racing Products,” Rossi says. “The block is a billet Noonan block, which is beautiful, and we use this block a lot in maximum effort LS stuff. We used a lot of iron blocks before, as well as cast aluminum blocks like Michael Westberg’s from Sick Week. But, we get a lot of requests now for this block and have had great success with it.

“The block has top fuel hoops and Darton sleeves in it. It’s still a wet deck. We don’t dry deck the drag-and-drive stuff. It has a Winberg billet crankshaft, Carrillo aluminum rods and custom Ross pistons. We also used a set of CID cylinder heads, a solid roller 60mm camshaft, Jesel lifters, custom springs from JHE, a Manton rocker arm system, ARP hardware, and a custom intake from Shaun’s Custom Alloy.”

Aside from the obvious quality components on the inside of the LS engine, Stef didn’t skimp on the external stuff either. To help make this drag-and-drive LS standout, ACE went with injectors from FuelTech.

“We have 16 injectors,” Rossi points out. “The drag-and-drive guys want to make it as simple as possible. Sometimes we do the injectors [under the intake], but they’re a bit of a pain to get to, so we do 16 on the outside. These are the new FuelTech 240-lb./hr. injectors. You can use one set of eight to drive down the street and then you use all 16 when you get to the track and switch to alcohol. We use a low impedance set and then pair them with a high impedance set. We would have a 720 lb./hr. and a 240 lb./hr.”

As mentioned earlier, the billet block comes to ACE from Noonan Race Engineering in Spartanburg, SC, and the block is sleeved prior to getting to ACE. However, Stef does the work for the top fuel hoops.

“We set the sleeves and then after we’ve set them we’ll put the receiver grooves in,” he says. “It’s the same for the cylinder heads – we’ll machine them for a one-piece stainless steel hoop. On the wet stuff, we don’t leave the cylinders proud. We will deck it all flat, so we don’t have any water leaks or any problems and we don’t have customers lifting heads or anything. Then, we also modify the inner stud to be 3/8ths for a little bit extra clamp force.”

The billet LS engine also features an RCD gear drive on it, which Stef says he uses on pretty much every build no matter if it’s a solid roller, hydraulic roller, race set up, drag-and-drive, or street.

“You can’t hear it,” he says. “It doesn’t whine. It’ll last forever. There’s no belt change. They’re awesome.”

To control the LS engine, Stef is utilizing FuelTech engine management, which he says he uses on most of his builds. All-in-all, this is yet another example of a quality engine build from ACE Racing Engines.

“We recommend that on the drag-and-drive stuff you check lash every day,” Rossi suggests. “We don’t normally have to adjust it. The stuff we use, it stays in. You might set it on the Monday and then you might have to adjust a little bit on the Friday morning, but that’s it. It’s a very reliable valvetrain, even though it’s got .280 on the seat and just over .800 over the nose. But, the spring is only a 1.3 OD spring. Everything’s very light. They cool really well on the street. This pump flows amazing. Same as the alternator – it will charge very high amps at low rpm, which is great for people driving down the street because this will get run with a mechanical pump on the track, but driving down the street, it’ll just be an electric pump.

“On the track, this should run very low 6s. We’ve been 6.40 in Westberg’s truck, and this one will be faster than that. This LS will also have twin turbos, and with the low impedance injectors on there, this engine could make 3,500-3,700 crank horsepower and be reliable.”

From oil pan to intake manifold, this billet LS engine is a work of art. But, it doesn’t just look pretty – it’s a race engine that will dominate at the track and provide good street manners as well.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade1Elring – Das Original and NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

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