One of the most impressive factory engines available to the masses has to be GM’s LS7 engine. The short-block was filled with a forged crank and lightweight titanium rods, along with a factory dry-sump oiling system. Up top were amazing cylinder heads along with a valvetrain capable of engine speeds usually saved for overhead-cam engines, and an 11.0:1 compression ratio.
The engine itself looked a lot like something you’d find in a high-end race car, but was available in a factory street car. While extremely impressive in factory form, of course, the aftermarket had ways to make it better. Enter Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. Having been in the performance game for coming up on half a century, the firm knows what it takes to make power and go fast.
The Eliminator Series is a line of performance parts combined into proven combinations across Lingenfelter’s application lineup, which takes the guesswork out of the equation for the end-user. When the Eliminator-series formula was applied to the LS7, Lingenfelter’s Eliminator Series LS7 was born.
“The engine was designed around the grueling and high-stress conditions associated with competitive road course, autocross, speed-stop, or endurance racing,” says Mark Rapson, Lingenfelter’s COO and vice-president of operations. “However, the engine was developed so it can be used in all forms of performance applications — street, drag racing, offroad, etc. — but we would change the cam used to optimize performance in those segments.”
The Heart of the Matter
At the core of the Eliminator LS7 is Lingenfelter’s in-house prepped LS7 block. The Lingenfelter CNC process perfectly aligns the bore centers to the crank journals while preparing the block for LPE’s proprietary Eliminator HD sleeves. “Our sleeves are made from a stronger, dimensionally thicker material to create better ring seal and add overall rigidity to the engine for higher horsepower potential,” Rapson explains.
Once the sleeves are installed into the block, the surface is decked and the cylinders are bored and finish-honed to a final 4.130-inch bore size. From there, the block is flipped over and a Callies forged 4340-steel, 4.00-inch stroke crankshaft with the extended front snout for the dry-sump oiling system is bolted in place, making for 429 total cubes
From there, Lingenfelter bolts a set of their newly designed LPE forged H-Beam connecting rods. Designed to optimize the balance of strength to weight, the LPE rods were designed specifically to work with LPE’s new forged piston. Not only designed to hold up under hard use, the 4.130-inch-diameter piston has a new skirt profile, designed to not only optimize ring seal but also run quieter in the engine.
Clevite bearings are used throughout the rotating assembly, while the ring package used isn’t an off-the-shelf product. LPE has designed a set of rings specifically for this engine under the Eliminator-Series name, measuring 1.2mm thick for the top and second rings, with a 3.0mm oil ring.
While the LS7 is a factory dry-sump engine, the LPE Eliminator LS7 doesn’t use a factory dry-sump system. Instead, Lingenfelter opted to go with the slick Dailey Engineering dry-sump system, which has the multi-stage pump assembly integrated into the pan, for a very clean, high-performance piece.
Topping Off the Eliminator
LS7 cylinder heads are some of the best to ever roll off of the General Motors assembly line. However, LPE has further improved on the cylinder heads with its CNC porting program. After working over the intake and exhaust ports, the LS7 castings flow 396cfm at .690 inch of lift on the intake, and 242cfm at the same lift on the exhaust side.
The heads retain the factory LS7 intake and exhaust valves but have upgraded LPE Eliminator series valvesprings. An Eliminator series XPR-1 camshaft with confidential specs works with the custom Trend Performance pushrods and COMP Cams rockers. “We developed the cam profile for a broad power curve which comes on very early and holds strongly across the entire RPM band,” explains Rapson. “This offers great drivability for the intended forms of racing.”
In addition to the proprietary sleeving, the LPE machining process also tackles the lifter bores, preparing them for LPE’s lifter bushings. When paired with the OEM LS7 lifters, LPE’s bushings improve oil pressure and overall valvetrain performance.
Topping off the long-block is an MSD Atomic AirForce intake manifold, fitted with a 102mm throttle body to maximize the intakes 103mm throttle bore. Fueling the fire are a set of Injector Dynamics 850cc/min injectors.
Using a set of in-house dyno headers and 100-octane race gas, the engine made a stout 764 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 628 lb-ft of torque at 5,900 rpm — with more than 500 lb-ft from 2,900 rpm all the way to rev-limit.
“[The Eliminator LS7] could be used on the street, but in the configuration shown requires 100-plus octane gasoline or E85 fuel,” Rapson says. With the availability of E85 in most locales, that’s not a huge stretch for a street car, these days.
This engine was controlled on the dyno with a tuned factory ECU but would have no problems using one of the numerous ECU systems on the market. “When applicable we prefer using the GM controller. However we have used Holley, FAST, and other controllers with the engine as required,” says Rapson. If you happen to prefer forced-induction, there is also a boosted Eliminator configuration as well, but you’ll have to talk to Lingenfelter directly about that.