SLC - Engine Choice

#1
Hey everyone, I thought I would throw this out there and get some feedback. My SLC kit will be delivered this fall and trying to narrow down my engine choice and looking for opinions. At some point I need to let Fran know which engine plate I require. One major constraint is that if I go with a post 1969 engine it needs to be emissions legal to register in the State of NJ.

Considering the emissions requirement I am thinking about going with an GM E-ROD engine which has all the emissions equipment except for the Evap Tank Pressure test. It still should pass ODB emissions and would work in NJ. You can pass emissions if one of the ready flags are unset, and this would be the EVAP system in the E-Rod case. I believe all other emissions flags are set and active.

In the E-Rod world I have the following choices:

1)LS3 E-rod - 430 HP and 425 lb-ft of torque
2)LS3 E-rod & Edelbrock E-Rod emissions legal Supercharger - 599HP and 550lb-ft of torque
3)LT1 E-rod - 455 HP and 465 lb-ft of torque, pretty flat torque curve, deliver 400 lb-ft at 2000 RPM
4)LT4 E-rod - not yet available and is in the works but no delivery available.

As a point of reference, I own a Challenger Hellcat(700HP and 4400 Pounds) and have owned Gen II(450 HP and 3100 pounds) and Gen 3 Vipers(505 HP and 3100 pounds) so not new to high horsepower cars. My SLC will be primarily a street driven car and just looking to have a blast driving it around. i love the supercharge whine and power in the Hellcat.

My original thinking was to go with the LS-3 and Edelbrock supercharger since that would for sure be a thrilling experience and I think the packaging into the SLC is very do-able. But now I'm thinking going with the LT1 E-Rod since it is probably a 100 pounds lighter and has a nice flat torque curve which would work very well in an SLC and save myself the install issues of getting the Edelbrock Supercharger installed(pin crank, upload the emissions legal tune, and install a separate inter-cooler radiator and pump etc.).

I also don't really don't know if the LT 1 will have any packaging issues. Both engines would come with a wet sump and I'd have to convert to the shallower Corvette Oil Pan. which is an easy mode. They also have low mounted AC Compressor and Alternator brackets available so I am thinking both LT1 and LS3 should fit pretty easily.

Anyway, your input is welcomed and appreciated.
 

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Steven Lobel

Member
GT40s Supporter
#2
Most HP for fewest bucks from reputable builder. You are overthinking this. I paid 2x more than I needed to get the engine I wanted. It will not make much of a difference, but I felt it was worth it for me. 630hp is too much for these cars. 500 is probably just about right. You cannot go wrong with any of your choices.
 

Will Campbell

Member
GT40s Supporter
#3
I've always wondered how careful inspectors are with the whole E-Rod thing. Does the fact that you reverse the intake manifold invalidate the cert since it wasn't as delivered? Are you supposed to use the factory intake? And I thought the package had a specific exhaust that had to be used, making it impossible to use in the SLC. Exactly how much can you vary from the standard package and be in compliance?

Here in VA, inspectors check for cats, and just plug in an OBD2 cable to check for readiness. You don't need an E-Rod, just have the engine ECU say it's ready, which seems reasonable. Perhaps that's the case in NJ as well, in which case you don't need an E-Rod engine, as any modern LS with the right controller and tune will pass.

I'd check very carefully with an actual inspector to see how he viewed such changes from the standard in any case.

As far as power is concerned, my SLC has just over 550HP at the crank, and that is more than enough to get into big trouble real fast. Less power might actually make it more enjoyable. If I were re-powering my car, I'd give serious thought to the 480HP LS3 as it's so cheap, and makes good power for the car weight- assuming it would be OK with the AHJ.
 
#6
I've always wondered how careful inspectors are with the whole E-Rod thing. Does the fact that you reverse the intake manifold invalidate the cert since it wasn't as delivered? Are you supposed to use the factory intake? And I thought the package had a specific exhaust that had to be used, making it impossible to use in the SLC. Exactly how much can you vary from the standard package and be in compliance?

Here in VA, inspectors check for cats, and just plug in an OBD2 cable to check for readiness. You don't need an E-Rod, just have the engine ECU say it's ready, which seems reasonable. Perhaps that's the case in NJ as well, in which case you don't need an E-Rod engine, as any modern LS with the right controller and tune will pass.

I'd check very carefully with an actual inspector to see how he viewed such changes from the standard in any case.

As far as power is concerned, my SLC has just over 550HP at the crank, and that is more than enough to get into big trouble real fast. Less power might actually make it more enjoyable. If I were re-powering my car, I'd give serious thought to the 480HP LS3 as it's so cheap, and makes good power for the car weight- assuming it would be OK with the AHJ.
Thanks Will, there certainly is some grey area even after speaking to the state inspector. Based on my understanding if you want to use a modern engine it needs to pass ODBII and having a Carb number is also required. I was also told the car needs cats but they do not have to be original equipment. Lastly, was also told a standard crate engine without a carb number could not be used so I think my choice is an E-Rod or take an engine out of another car with it’s computer and use that. I think trying to use the existing engine, ECU, and wire harness may be a lot of work, but do not really understand what is involved.
 
#7
Ken’s done a lot of work pulling over an engine and related computers from a car and importing it into his SLC. He would be a good source on what all is involved in doing so.
 

Will Campbell

Member
GT40s Supporter
#8
Is the CARB number valid when you change the engine config, as with reversing the intake, for example? That's the kind of detail I would want to be resolved before using my water-cooled credit card for a new engine.
 
#9
Register it in Montana using an LLC. No sales tax and no smog requirements.
I spoke with Fran and a couple friends who have looked into this. As a last resort I would consider it but my first choice is to pass inspection and have it registered in state.

I will say, the state inspector has been very accessible and very helpful and I believe I should be ok.

There have been a few gotchas some factory five guys had to deal with when registering their vehicles and I went through the list with him as well as some other areas I thought could be a problem for th SLC and he was very helpful.
 
#10
I don't know about NJ but here in Arizona a few years ago I registered a Manta Mirage that I had rebuilt and then had a state inspector come to my shop to do his inspection. The fellow obviously had no idea of what to do or what he was looking at so I pointed out a few things that I knew that AZ required for a street vehicle. He nodded and mumbled agreement, fumbled around to look official and signed off the approval.
 

Roger Reid

Newbie
GT40s Supporter
#11
I spoke with Fran and a couple friends who have looked into this. As a last resort I would consider it but my first choice is to pass inspection and have it registered in state.

I will say, the state inspector has been very accessible and very helpful and I believe I should be ok.

There have been a few gotchas some factory five guys had to deal with when registering their vehicles and I went through the list with him as well as some other areas I thought could be a problem for th SLC and he was very helpful.
I registered my Factory Five GTM in Idaho without issue. In Idaho you can register a home built as a replica of something pre emmissions. I registered mine as a Ford GT40 replica and I am smog exempt. If I tried to register it as its own brand or replica of something post emmissions, air bag, etc, then I would have to have them installed.
When the inspector came to see my GTM, the car was finished and show car ready. He never questioned if the lights even worked. He then looked at the receipts and told me how much state sales tax I owed;)
The SLC (on order since October) doesn't resemble any pre emmissions (mid 60's) cars that I know of. Possibly a Porsche 906 but I don't know of any registered in the USA. Porsche 906.jpg
 
#12
I registered my Factory Five GTM in Idaho without issue. In Idaho you can register a home built as a replica of something pre emmissions. I registered mine as a Ford GT40 replica and I am smog exempt. If I tried to register it as its own brand or replica of something post emmissions, air bag, etc, then I would have to have them installed.
When the inspector came to see my GTM, the car was finished and show car ready. He never questioned if the lights even worked. He then looked at the receipts and told me how much state sales tax I owed;)
The SLC (on order since October) doesn't resemble any pre emmissions (mid 60's) cars that I know of. Possibly a Porsche 906 but I don't know of any registered in the USA. View attachment 93684

Hi Roger, sounds like Idaho makes it a bit easier than Jersey, I guess the SLC could pass for a 906 if they are not too picky. In Jersey a replica has to follow specific build rules which are very straight forward and it is registered as a current model year after you pay sales tax and get it safety inspected. As part of the inspection they assign the year of emissions requirements the car needs to pass.

Thus, the tricky part is emissions, basically they say that the date of the engine block dictates the emissions requirements. So an actual 1969 block which originally had no emissions requirement is the easy way to go. It also need to be equivalent in how it was built, carborated, etc. A new block with fancy EFI would be rejected.

For a modern engine, it needs to pass ODB2 and they would need to see all the emissions equiptment. I think pulling an actual engine from an existing car would work, but I’d prefer to buy something new so I think E-Rod will do it and be classified something like a 2010 for LS3 and 2015 for an LT1. They have an Evap System and two sets of O2 Sensors and cats and are certified to pass low emissions tailpipe test if necessary. But, in reality I’m probably three years away from having to get it inspected and maybe the laws change for the better in the meantime like California SB100 rule.

When do you anticipate getting your SLC?
 
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Roger Reid

Newbie
GT40s Supporter
#13
I likely will go the Montana registration route so I can register it as a Superlite SLC. Have patience Joel. Yours and mine will be ready when they are ready. I would rather have it done right than rushed through.
 
#14
You can't go wrong with any of those engines. If you want something that can be easily bumped in power, likely the supercharged version is your best bet.

Consider clearances in your engine bay, but otherwise lots of power to be made. You can always re-write/upload the tune if you require an emissions test and swap a pulley (or two) if needed!
 
#15
Just to close this thread out for now. After a lengthy discussion with the NJ specialty vehicle inspector looks like the E-Rod is not going to work. Specifically because it does not have the full Evap diagnostics available so will continue my homework.

There are a couple other options out there which I’ll explore and document once I know more, Thanks everyone for your input.
 
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