PRI 2014: World’s Motown LS Hybrid Block, New SBF Casting Upgrades


It’s no secret that any engine platform has their short comings. But what if you could take the best of two blocks and merge them together? Well, that’s exactly what World Products did with the Motown II LS block. The block itself looks mostly like a traditional small-block Chevy until you look at the deck. There, World molded the block to accept Chevy’s better breathing LS cylinder heads, all without having to worry about the windage issues associated with the LS’s short skirt.

We have seen about a 30 horsepower gain just from windage. – Jack McInnis

“The deck height has been raised to 9.240-inch to accept the LS style intakes and cylinder heads,” said Jack McInnis. “The camshaft has been raised .134-inch so it can also use an LS style 55mm cam core while being able to accept a 4.000-inch stroke, though custom lobes are required for this application.”

They offer valley plates that allow builders to use either a distributor or coil-on-plug ignition system, though a cut down version of a distributor is needed to power the oil pump – like a conventional small-block Chevy. The reverse flow cooling system is also utilized on this block and uses an external thermostat housing that can be mounted remotely.

Updated Ford Small-Block

Another announcement from the World camp are several updates to their small-block Ford iron blocks. “We will start first with the 9.500-inch deck blocks and then update the 8.200-inch deck blocks early next year,” said McInnis. The main differences found in the Ford block is further strengthening in the webs to keep the crank in place along with a higher tensile strength casting.

  • 40,000 psi tensile strength alloy, compared to the previous 35,000 psi
  • Front mains thickened by .080-inch, middle mains thickened by .030-inch
  • 1/2-inch main bolts reduced to 7/16-inch to increase strength in the main webs
  • Nodular iron or billet steel main caps
  • Revised priority main oiling system to reduce restriction
  • 6-bolt head pattern for extreme racing engine combinations

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About the author

Mark Gearhart

In 1995 Mark started photographing drag races at his once local track, Bradenton Motorsports Park. He became hooked and shot virtually every series at the track until 2007 until he moved to California and began working as a writer for Power Automedia. He was the founding editor for its first online magazines, and transitioned into the role of editorial director role in 2014. Retiring from the company in 2016, Mark continues to expand his career as a car builder, automotive enthusiast, and freelance journalist to provide featured content and technical expertise.
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