When I first launched this site, I wrote a couple of articles about my tour of the Flint Engine Operations plant and the GM Powertrain Global. After a long delay, I’ve decided it’s time to continue the tour articles with the Performance Build Center. The GM Performance Build Center is where a small team of engine builders hand-assembles each of the Corvette engines. Commence drooling.
The GM Performance Build Center
This is where the engines that are later fitted into Corvettes are hand-assembled, from the Grand Sport to the ZR1, including the LS7 (fitted into the Z06) and LS9. Instead of boring you with text, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking in this article.
Proud to be American!
LS9 piston with titanium Pankl connecting rods:
Station where they install connecting rod bearings:
Fitting the timing cover with a specially made jig:
See that torque wrench? The builder scans a barcode for each bolt that is installed, which then automatically sets the torque on the torque wrench. Once the desired torque has been achieved, a green light lights up on the torque wrench and the next bolt is scanned.
This machine tightens down the cylinder head bolts simultaneously. This is something one person cannot possibly do as effectively as this machine can.
Rockers and pushrods:
Here’s a neat bit. Each engine builder has his own plaque with his name on it, which he affixes to each engine he builds. If you pay $5,800 upon purchase of your Z06 or ZR1, you can build your own engine, and you get your own plaque made to fit on your engine. Taking the American dream car to a whole new level!
Cold dyno, just like we saw at the flint plant:
Rotating and reciprocating cranktrain balancer. Here’s where they balance everything attached to the crankshaft by adding weights to the flywheel and damper.
Weights pressed into the crankshaft for balancing:
Empty weight holes for balancing the flywheel (to the left of the bolt):
Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Feel free to like and share this article!