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LS7 Factory Tour

by Keith Cornett on October 20, 2005

Tony V. (aka Mr. Zippy on DigitalCorvettes.com) recently shared his thoughts with us after visiting GM’s Powertrain Performance Build Center in Wixon, Michigan. The center is where the Corvette Z06 LS7 V-8 engines are assembled. Tony was actually the first 2006 Z06 owner to visit the plant and during the tour he met the technician responsible for his engine assembly. One of the cool things we’ve learned about the LS7 is that one technician is responsible for the entire engine assembly. Following testing, a small plaque with the engine builder’s name is affixed to the LS7. According to Tony, you can find that plaque at the inboard side of the #8 cylinder head closest to the firewall. The plaque is under a hose that runs along side the head. Gently move the hose out of the way to view. A photo of Tony’s tag reads: Performance Build Center
Wixom, MI.
Assembled with Pride by
Dale Swenson During the build process, the technician has a number of sub assemblies ready to bolt on to the engine block. The heads already have valves, springs, etc. as received. The tech installs the head assembly to the block and a special computer controlled tool runs the bolts in and then torques each bolt. This is recorded on a file for quality control. The technician watches a display screen showing “green” when each bolt is correctly installed and torqued. Each engine is run on a test stand to check for leaks. After shipping from the PBC, each engine is “hot tested” at an outside facility to ensure the HP, Torque and again check for leaks. The assembly process has 10 stations. Each completed engine is subjected to a 20 minute loaded hot test. The block is deck plate bored & honed. Fully CNC ported cylinder heads, with titanium intake valves. These heads are a work of art! Here’s a quote from the PBC Site Manager: “We’re all very proud of the fact that the LS7 engine is the first engine in the history of the Performance Build Center. We understand how important the small block engine is to Corvette owners. We want Corvette owners to know we’re just getting started – we expect many more great things ahead.” On a related note, Motor Trend magazine editors Frank Markus and Todd Lassa visited the Performance Build Center and actually assembled an LS7 engine. Click here to view the video at Motor Trend.

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