Beast Mode: 1965 Buick Riviera with 2000 Horsepower Arias Hemi Head LSX
ARIAS HEMI HEADS TURN THIS BONNEVILLE BOUND, TURBOCHARGED 427 LSX INTO A REAL BEAST
This 427ci LSX based Arias Hemi was built for Rick Head's Bonneville project. Rick is the owner, fabricator and car builder at Da Rod Shop in Simi Valley, CA. He is also the sergeant at arms for the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA). He chose the classic class for earlier vehicles. "Basically we are building a 1965 Buick Riviera for Land speed Racing in B/CBGC (Classic Blown Gas Coupe). It sports a 427 CID LSX with Arias Hemi Heads, Exile 94MM Large frame turbo, custom intercooler and a Mike's Transmission TH400 direct drive. Because we race on salt and dirt we are building the car as modular as possible so it can be disassembled, body removed and cleaned. Class rules require mechanical fuel delivery, one distributor or magneto hence the use of the blow through carb and front mount distributor."
Both had experience racing at Bonneville so it would not be their first rodeo. But we knew we're going to need a solid plan and some help with the car. Since the car evolved from the engine concept we outline what it takes to assemble a short block capable of withstanding the torture of Land Speed Racing. After consulting with fellow land speed racer Mike LeFever of Mitech Racing Engines regarding camshaft specs and arriving at a 9.5:1 compression ratio 4.125" bore x 4.00" stroke 427 CID, it was time to gather parts.
SHORT BLOCK SETUP
Concerned about the best rod selection to deal with the sustained boost application, they turned to their friend Brian at Pauter Machine. Pauter Machine prides itself on its ability to cater to the "made-to-order" customer, manufacturing everything from normally aspirated moderate horsepower "feather light" rods to extreme duty high-boost exotic fuel applications. Brian provided a set of his unique single rib design 4340 chrome-moly forged rods. The single rib design is essentially an inside-out H-beam. It puts all the strength in the rotational direction with one thick blade verses two smaller blades with thinner cross section common to the standard H-beam. The single rib feature provides better windage and puts the support right where it needs to be.
Nick started with LS-specific 2618 high-tensile forgings. With a 74cc combustion chamber, zero deck and .040" Cometic head gasket, the piston will have a negative 20.3 cc inverted dome to arrive at a 9.5:1 compression ratio. Nick used a deck height (9.240") along with rod length (6.100") and stroke (4.00") to arrive at a compression height of 1.140". The ring groove location and width are a function of compression height and application. He chose a metric ring pack of 1.1 MM top, 1.1 MM second ring and 3.8 MM oil ring. As a result of compression height, the oil ring intersects the wrist pin bore requiring the use of an oil rail support or (ORS). Mondo .927" diameter .225" wall tool steel non-tapered wrist pins keep the pistons connected to the Pauter rods. In most blown gas applications Arias sets the piston to bore clearance between .006" - .007". With this LSR application Nick opted for .009" as the power/heat will be sustained for a longer period.
For rings and bearings, they spoke with Ray at Akerly & Childs. Ray came through with a set of their low-tension Xtreme piston rings and a set of Clevite 77 rod and main bearings. The Xtreme top compression ring is a HTD (High Tensile Ductile) material used in Pro Mod and Top Fuel applications with a cast iron taper-faced second compression ring. Most cast iron and moly rings are porous and hold an oil micro film within the ring. To achieve the best seal with the smooth surface of the HTD top ring, Ray recommended a 280 cylinder wall hone finish, followed by an 820 stone just enough to "plateau" the 280 finish and hold the micro oil film in the cylinder wall. For boosted applications he recommends .007" per inch of bore ring gap for the top ring (.007' x 4.125" = .028) and (.004" x 4.125" = .0165) for the second ring. Ultimately Ray explained that while this is what he found works the best, these numbers will vary from one engine builder to another based on their own experience.
DRY SUMP OILING SYSTEM
According to Schwartz, Land Speed Racing is one of the most taxing forms of racing for the oiling system. With sustained high RPM and power levels, the oil has little chance to breathe. Couple that with the fact that the oil is the most un-contained fluid in the engine, yet it has to be at several specific points to do its job effectively, and you can see how important it is to get it right. The system holds three gallons of oil. John set the pump up with a 60% underdrive. With max RPM between 7500 u2013 7800, the pump speed will stay in the 4500 - 4700 RPM range. If the pump speed is too high, it will reach a point of cavitation and won't pick the oil up. If the pump speed is too low, it may not provide adequate pressure/volume or scavenge.
The low profile Billet pan is a sweet piece, to say the least! Less than 2" in overall height, it allows for low engine mount situations or in this case a way to get the header primaries and collectors under the engine between the pan and cross member up to the turbocharger. Billet construction eliminates cracking and porosity issues common with welded steel or cast pans. Five ports will allow us to use three stages of scavenging from the pan, one for the heads and two ports to use for drain back.
Rick's friend Jon Meyer of Jon Meyer Engineering (JME) assembled the short block. Once all the components had been deburred and thoroughly cleaned Jon lays the main and rod bearings in place, torques to the manufactureru2019s specs, and begins measuring. During this process, Jon will check and document every componentu2019s dimensions. Jon sets the rod and main bearing clearance between .0028" - .0032" which sometimes requires swapping .001" under or over bearings get where he wants to be. Once all the components are qualified, rings are ground, clearances are set, pistons and rods assembled and any other obstacles overcome, it's just a matter of bolting it all together!
IGNITION SYSTEM WITH MODULAR COMPONENTS
Contamination is particularly important with fuel and ignition components. hence the modular component approach. They chose an MSD Grid system as it is the most powerful ignition in terms of voltage and millijoules per spark energy. Perfect for boosted applications, The Power Grid system can control many other features however, the class limitations won't let them take advantage of everything it has to offer other than shear spark energy, tach, shift light, and upper RPM limiter outputs. The LS to MSD trigger converter allows them to use the internal 58 tooth crank trigger wheel and convert it to a four-count square wave that the MSD can recognize. Also, they had to modify the front-drive distributor to make room for the turbocharger boost tube. They made a new mount plate and used a keyed coupler, a hand-made driveshaft to a Snap-On 5/8 socket to drive directly off the upper Jesel belt drive pully left-hand bolt. The driver side of the engine has the starter, headers, dry-sump scavenge lines, and steering in the way of the oil pump, so they modified the pump for counterclockwise rotation, inverted it, and solved another problem of where to put the alternator.
The car is not finished, but they are working hard to make the next Bonneville meet. They chose the car it was available and for the classic styling that is so different. The current class record at Bonneville is 226.243 MPH and 202.618 at El Mirage. That's what they're after! The body is not aerodynamically ideal, but the awesome power of the turbocharged Arias Hemi Head LSX is expected to make the car fully competitive.
MSD Power Grid
GM Performance Parts
Callies Performance Products
Akerly & Childs
Isky Racing Cams
Little People Customs
Jon Meyer Engineering