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Balancing the Internals

This is a discussion on Balancing the Internals within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I did a search, but could not find an answer to my question. I have looked online for some local ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Balancing the Internals

    I did a search, but could not find an answer to my question. I have looked online for some local machine shops and found a few prices for balance and blueprint work.

    But, before I get into that, let me explain my long term "vision" for my Z.

    It seems that there are three aspects of a car to consider when shopping the aftermarket. Reliability, (Low) Cost, and Performance. You can usually get any two at the expense of the third. But assuming money is no object, I would like to make my car faster (straight line and otherwise) by eliminating parasitic, frictional and mechanical losses, as well as shedding weight (especially unsprung weight). I see balancing the pistons and rotating assembly as a component of that vision.

    Has anyone had their daily driver balanced or blueprinted? I would expect that the motor would run much smoother and more freely if I understand the benefits of balancing and blueprinting. I imagine it should improve power from idle all the way to the redline. I have also heard of having the journals polished, which, according to my friend, increased the power on a 350 motor (I think it was otherwise stock) by 16 whp along the entire power band.

    Now, let's return from fantasy land, and recognize that money is an object...
    If I drive my car up to the machine shop and say: "balance/blueprint/polish the pistons and rotating assembly," how much should it cost to be done properly (including removal and tear-down)?

  2. #2
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Feb 2009

    2008 Hummer H3

    Alot assuming you can even reuse your ls1 block..

    Perspective: I had a steel crank balanced for my TT v6 project and was @ 1k just for the machine work not including the crank itself..

    Head and valve train work and so on..

    I've got prolly 10k++ in an essentially stock/printed engine still sitting on my stand..

    Real performance does'nt come cheap..

    As far as the handling goes yeah you can make it better but you're limited by having a live axle rear..

    Just my.02
    Last edited by Smittro; 02-25-2011 at 02:49 PM.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Well, I realize that each car has limits inherant in it's design. I just want my car to be the best that a Camaro can be without altering the "nature" of the car. Essentially, it would look like a mild bolt-ons car, but I want to see more power at the wheels than what the apparent mods would suggest.

    Supposing I was to do a cam swap, might it be better to just buy aftermarket internals and have them installed when the cam goes in?

    I'm also enrolling into school once I finish my term in the military. I figure I can take a few semesters of auto shop, learn to tear-down and reassemble myself. Just take the parts out and bring them to the machine shop, have the work done and reassemble myself.

    So that being the case, based on what you're saying, the balancing of the crank is about $1000, the pistons and conrods would be another couple hundred a piece?

    The more I think about it, by the time I'm even ready for the balancing I should have enough know-how to gain access to the internals and just pay for the parts and machining....

  4. #4
    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    mercersburg pa

    hugger orange

    From my understanding all the ls engines are pretty much balanced and blueprinted at the factory...if you want to make more power, the best route would be a cam swap...but you will also need better valve springs and I'd get hardened pushrods at the least. Then if you or a friend are pretty good at porting, pull your stock heads off, port and polish them, et a reat valve job and have them milled to bump your compression up some.

    Doing your own heads your self won't make as much power as high dollar aftermarket heads, but you will definately notice a difference

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