3.6L Four-Cylinder Engine With GM LS Head Makes 500 Lb-Ft Of Torque66
BluePrint Engines has been creating crate engines for over 40 years. With that much experience under its belt, it’s no surprise that the Nebraska-based engine specialist will revel an interesting concept that draws some attention. Well, that’s just what BluePrint did at the recent Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show when it introduced a 3.6L I4 gasoline engine with a GM LS head.
Intended for use in power and forestry equipment, this four-banger has the ability to make around 340 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the proper turbocharger. BluePrint brought his huge I4 to the PRI show to gauge interest and determine its market potential. As it turns out, it seems that market certainly exists for the motor, as the crate engine company has received an overwhelmingly positive response to the concept engine.
For now, there is no price range or plans to put it into production, as the engine is still in the concept phase. However, prospective customers may express interest directly to BluePrint Engines by sending their name, phone and email address to [email protected]
There are a few things that make this 3.6L I4 engine noteworthy. First, it’s relatively large for an inline four-cylinder. Typically, I4 engines displace somewhere in the ballpark of 2.0L, making this concept engine almost twice as large as the average. Secondly, this engine is fitted with a GM LS head, notable because the LS head is designed for a “V” configuration, as opposed to an inline one. Regardless, it would be very interesting to see how this Frankenstein runs.
Though this particular engine is just a concept for now, it can be found with the head from Ford’s 302 (5.0L) V8. That particular gasoline engine is available and EPA-certified, and boasts the ability to run on natural gas, propane or pump gas. This is good news for prospective buyers, as it means it would be less resource-intensive to bring this concept to market, potentially enabling BluePrint to more easily build a business case for it.
BluePrint Engines tell GM Authority that attendees of the PRI show had some interesting ideas about the application of this engine, ranging from Chevy S10 trucks to pontoon boats to early Jeeps. What would you throw this monster of a four-banger in? Sound off in the comments section just below.
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Looks like a solid old-school design. Perfect for equipment where the emissions diesels are still giving everyone fits.
JUST be around in the future for parts and service! Have seen too much otherwise repairable equipment junked, because the original manufacturer had gone through multiple mergers/buyouts, and any parts were long since no longer available.
Try buying a Brake Booster for a 04 GTO!
Looks like a great industrial engine.
Be cool in a rail buggy or a trail rig
Naturally…a standby generator!
That would be a fun engine and something older and lightweight, like a Chevy 2, which turned into Anova of late 60s and early 70s. However those have gotten so expensive for the blue collar guys, how about something frankensteinish, like an AMC Javelin, the 401s are so hard to find, put this engine in it with a manual transmission, oh my goodness it would handle and run like a scalded cat.
Or a Chevette, Vega or the like.
I want to put this in Cherokee crawler this things needs to come to market
I wish they would have shown the pistons. Not sure if this is true, but with that large of a displacement, those pistons could be the size of a coffee can. I also heard years ago that the reason you never really saw a 4 cyl with more than about 2.5 L is because they would become quite rough and not refined enough for autos. Does anyone know that to be true?
4 cylinders are not “naturally balanced”. They use balance shafts to help, but you’ll need a big enough car for the engine mount rubber to dampen those harmonics. V6’s ditto. The 2 engines that are naturally balenced are I6’s and cross plane V8’s. The problem with V8’s and higher cylinder counts is that when you make a 2L V8, the cylinder wall to volume ratio is so high you loose too much energy to cooling.
Ideally all engines would be V8’s-I6’s for harmonics, or large single cylinders for efficiency. Engineers balance both to optimize their vehicle.
Steve: good info. I have a little experience with I-6 (I had two Jags in the past with them) and I found them to be quite smooth and quiet.
So do you know if the larger displacement 4 cyl engine rumors I heard are true? Maybe someone was just feeding me a bunch of bull. That was a very long time ago too.
The Porsche 944 and 968 ended production with 3.0 L turbocharged 8 valve four bangers, and nobody complains about them being too rough.
The Porsche engines used twin counter-rotating balance shafts to smooth them out. I believe the technology was originally developed by Mitsubishi and used in their 2.6L 4 cylinder engine in the late ‘70s. Mitsubishi called it the “Silent Shaft” engine. It also ended up in lots of Gen 1 Chrysler minivans.
The Porsche 3.0 fours (and many other high output fours) came with vertically offset counter-rotating balancer shafts. They are key to broadly acceptable high displacement four cylinder inline engines. Without that, some of the cost savings are eaten up by expensive engine mounts and greater surrounding structural stiffness in the engine bay.
This would be cool in a 70’s Opel. I would like to get a look at the valve train. The LS head is designed for push rods and typical I4’s are overhead cam. This engine has neither, I am guessing it has solenoid actuated valves or some sort of pneumatics? Either way, this is definitely an odd top end.
It’s a pushrod. You can see the corner of the timing belt cover in the first picture. Cam sits directly starboard and above the crank. Very remincent of the stovebolt chevy
In the 90’s and early 00’s the base 4 cyl in the Cavalier/Sunfire, S10/Sonoma and I believe a few other GM vehicles were all OHV pushrod engines, 2.2 Liter displacement if I remember correctly. Everything was internal in the block and you couldn’t tell without tearing it down, this engine could be of the same architecture
Might be a good boat engine? They have been using the latest version of what started as the old “Iron Duke” for years. Not to forget the 4.3 V6. This would add grunt to the I4 line-up.
nice engine for a Model A or a hot rod …a dual fuel type, propane and gas…would be economical to run…way to go GM…keep ’em coming
This sounds reminiscent of the old ICE tractor engines from pre-1960’s when most went to diesel power. I had a1951 Minneapolis Moline Model U farm tractor that had a 283 cubic in. 4-cyl gas engine with two separate heads. Maximum rpm was about 1800. It was a beast with a hand clutch and manual steering. It was rated for 4-14 inch plows and could pull a house. I sold it to a guy in the 80’s to pull logs up out of ravines.
Might be cool in a T-bucket rod with tall chrome straight pipes!
Mercruiser used the concept of an 8 cyl head on their 4 cylinder 170 marine engines;A 460 Ford head was used on a Mercruiser specific block…displacement was 3.7L.It was replaced by the 4.3 V6 as boats got bigger.
NVH has entered the chat.
Would like to put it a 1979 MG Midget I am working on. Torque is king! What are the options for in line manual transmissions?
This engine block looks like it is early 60’s Stovebolt design, intake and exhaust on same side. Identical design as the 250 inline 6, minus 2 cylinders. Completely different than the Iron Duke which came later. Both use pushrods.
The Stovebolt was a very durable engine with poor head design , they could run forever but performance was very limited.
That engine with the LS head would no doubt be popular.
Look again! It’s LS head has intake and exhaust on opposite sides.
Yes, but the original Stovebolt head did not. The block used for this engine is based on the stovebolt, it also has Chevrolet bolt pattern for the bellhousing, Iron Duke does not.
I have a small tire mini rod pulling tractor that this would be amazing in. With a big turbo of course. Please bring this into production and have a great lineup of performance parts!
Looks tailor made for a vintage M-37 3/4 ton Army pickup or a vintage Dodge Power Wagon.
No mention of any balance shafts or other vibration-quelling componentry. Without, this must shake like a paint mixer and make the old Ford 2.3L and GM 2.5L’s feel like a sewing machine in comparison. Industrial equipment would not care but unless mounted in a rubber cradle, I’d think this would be too rough for even a consumer marine application.
Need one of these for my 88 S-10 , time to retire the ole iron duke !
In responce to JM Crawler did you forget about the iron duke? 4 cylinder cast iron push rod OHV. They were used in right hand drive post office jeeps. We couldn”t never get them to idle worth a hill of beans. They would chirp rubber when you put them in gear.They were also used in first gen Fieros
There was a race variant of that motor called the super Duty 4. It came with a respectable forged crank, forged rods, forged pistons, and a cylinder head that could breathe quite well. It was capable of 10,000 rpm and used a 4 barrel carburetor. It was available through the chevy performance catalog and could be configured in various displacements ranging from 2.0-3.3 liter. It performed well in the racing circuits across a variety of racing disciplines. Late variants could accommodate a SBC head. Design characteristics of this 3.6 are much like those of the Super Duty 4. This updated platform has huge potential.
This looks like a modern version of the Pontiac Super Duty 4 which could be configured a variety of ways with the largest displacement at 3.3 liters. I would love to use this motor in some of my Fiero’s
4″ stroke way to large to turn any decent gas engine rpms, they would need to cut it down which is going to reduce displacement since the bore is maxed out. It would be like building a 7.2l small block chevy with terrible vibration. The short block is similar to, but not the same as, a chevy II. Blueprints LS head isn’t that great either, ls3 or l92 are much better. Dan Binks, retired Pratt Miller corvette team crew chief has built a few USAC midget motors that are LS Corvette racing blocks with one cylinder bank machined off, an LS head, and mechanical fuel injection. Sort of like the concept of the old Fontana midget motors that were based on half an sbc. I’d be more interested in a Binks engine than this.