I am beginning a build up using a 6.0 liter iron block. I bought a “core” short block that is in excellent condition, the block and shaft are usable as is. However, I do not know what power level the OE rod will accept. Also, I expect to install a forged, flat top piston. So, let me explain the performance I need, that will help you answer my question.

This engine is for a 1990 Firebird, a dedicated drag race car with carburetor. With driver it will weigh about 3100 pounds, I want low 10’s ¼ mile ET. For purposes of focusing on the engine buildup, please understand the chassis, trans, [powerglide] converter, gearing, etc will be optimized.

To attain that performance, I think about 550 – 575 horsepower will be required. Also, I expect the usable RPM range to be about 5400 – 7200 RPM.

In the past, I have built fast, conventional small blocks. Those engines used solid rollers, stud girdles, and ported heads. Now, with the LS engine, I am looking for a new recipe.

So, considering the above note, what valve train, and cylinder head will provide my desired power?