At the time of it’s production the LS9 engine was touted as the most powerful production engine ever produced by GM. Supercharged from the factory the ZR1 Corvette featured the Eaton R2300 supercharger. This supercharged setup was set to a fairly high boost level of 10 PSI, cooled through a water to air intercooler. This innovative water intercooler setup dispelled a lot of the negatives around the forced induction technology of supercharging.
Chevy supercharged the ZR1 C6 Corvette after taking some heat for the LS7 “only” producing 505 horsepower in stock form. While the addition of forced induction complicated matters slightly, it saved GM from going with highly modified cylinder heads and an aggressive cam profile. These modifications would have undoubtedly affected the driveability of the ZR1, whereas the supercharged Eaton gave the ZR1 better street manners.
As far as the wide range of GEN III and GEN IV GM engines are concerned, the LS9 is fairly exotic. There are many budget engines out there that are terrific bases for your LS engine swap, but the LS9 is definitely the cream of the crop.
The LS9 main caps are also forged steel instead of powder metal, which gives the LS9 engine an extreme advantage. If you are planning a LS swap and want to consider the LS9, the best way about it is going with a crate engine.
The GM crate LS9 engine you want is the one that carries a part number of 19201990. This is LS9 engine comes with a dry sump system that uses an external oil pump and remote oil reservoir. This remote oil system locates a oil reservoir that’s driven by a gerotor style oil pump. The remote oil reservoir allows you to run more oil as well as a remote pressure pump that gives you the ability to prime your LS9 engine before starting it.
The oil pump assembly is driven by the crankshaft sprocket. The primary pump draws oil from the oil tank, filtered through a tank screen. The oil is pressurized as it passes
through the primary pump and sent through the engine block lower oil gallery.
Dry sump oil systems keep your LS9 engine with the right positive amount of oil pressure. This eliminates problems with traditional oil pans and “sloshing” which can occur during high speed turns and competition usage.
LS9 Engine Specifications
Displacement: 6.2L (376 cid)
Horsepower: 638 hp @ 6500 rpm Torque: 604 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm
Bore x stroke: 4.065″ x 3.62″ Balance: Internal
Compression: 9.1:1 Supercharger boost ratio: 10.5:1
Block type: Cast aluminum, six-bolt cross-bolted main caps
Main caps: Forged steel
Cylinder head: Cast aluminum, rectangle port
Valve diameter: 2.16″ int; 1.59″ exh (titanium int & hollow stem, sodium-filled exh)
Chamber volume: 68cc
Crankshaft: Forged chromoly steel, internally balanced Connecting rods: Titanium
Pistons: Forged aluminum Camshaft: Hydraulic roller tappet
Valve lift: 0.562″ int; 0.558″ exhaust Camshaft duration @0.050″: 211 deg int/230
Rocker arm ratio: 1.7:1
Connecting rod length: 6.067
Max engine speed: 6600 rpm