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Engineer Spotlight: Rocko Parker on the LSX454R's Bowtie Block

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Engineer Spotlight: Rocko Parker on the LSX454R's Bowtie Block

Looking to cross the quarter-mile marker in 9 seconds or less? Then the Chevrolet Performance LSX454R is for you.

Designed specifically for drag racing vehicles, the LSX454R is the track-specific variant of the LSX454. Chevrolet Performance’s engineers designed the LSX454R to withstand the high-rpm demands of drag racing and packed it with the most power of any engine in Chevrolet Performance’s portfolio. The LSX454R may very well be the ultimate LSX crate engine – and Chevrolet Performance can offer you its individual components in addition to the full crate engine.

And that’s why The BLOCK team sat down with Rocko Parker, drag-racing enthusiast and Chevrolet Performance Engineer. When Rocko’s not busy running ¼ mile passes in his drag cars he’s hard at work designing and testing Chevrolet Performance products. One project closest to him is the LSX454R, and that’s why we’ll be breaking down a few components of this monster engine with Mr. Parker.

First up: The LSX Bowtie Block.

Rocko Parker

The LS7 was used as the starting point. Being cast iron it’s a much stronger than a standard production block. We’ve increased the tensile strength to about 400mPa as opposed to 250mPa used for a production cast iron block. The increase in strength was necessary due to the higher cylinder pressures associated with supercharging or really just power-adders in general. Another big, and recent change, is that we’ve added additional supports around the perimeter to accept more cylinder pressure than an original gen IV block that this was based on. The trade off on that though is the Siamese-bore, which isn’t recommended for any endurance based applications because it’s hard to dissipate heat in a cast iron Siamese block. So it makes a good street engine or drag-racing engine, but we really wouldn’t recommend it for an extended use implementation such as a marine application.

This engine was built with for drag racers or anybody trying to make +700hp. This block is guaranteed up to 2,000hp, so if you’re trying to make a lot of power this is the block for you. Any applications with short endurance requirements are where it will shine. It can definitely take hours of use, but not something like a boat, needing 300 hours at wide open throttle. You really need to allow the engine to cool down. So ideally, it’s for drag racing or street racing. Whenever high horsepower and high RPMs are needed. It’s really just a great engine for hard core drag racers that want to go out and win some drag races. We designed that engine around drag racing and that’s where it shines.

And finally, we wanted to find out how Mr. Parker would use a 454R himself...

Rocko Parker

How would I use the LSX454R? Personally, I’d like to put a 454R in something like a ’69 Camaro. Make it around 3,000lbs or lighter and head to the track!

The LSX Bowtie Block features:

  • 4.185" bore
  • Fully CNC machined
  • Deck plate honed
  • Align-honed main bearings
  • Deck height 9.240 (production)
  • Billet-steel main caps
  • Includes all hardware

Interested in using an LSX Bowtie Block as the base of your engine project? Or looking to up your ¼ mile time with an LSX454R crate engine? Head to ChevroletPerformance.com to find a dealer!