The concept and principle of the combustion engine is the same today as it was upon its inception a century ago. A fuel and air mixture is compressed by a piston and subsequently ignited by the detonation of the spark plug. When the piston is at top-dead-center, the chamber is at its smallest dimension; this is the time when the fuel/air mixture is at its most unstable condition and ready to be ignited. The better the combustion chamber is designed, the better the engine “breathes;” that is, the more efficient the overall flow of air through the engine. While the initial steam engines were actually fairly powerful, they couldn’t overcome the power and convenience of the combustion engines, which have remained the standard in automotive applications since the early 1900s. Today, the principle behind combustion engines is the same as it ever was, save for the obvious modern updates that have happened over time, thanks to technology and engineering which have only improved the concept in terms of efficiency and reliability.

Thanks to these modern technological advances, the concept of “low and slow” has been all but forgotten by the current generation of enthusiasts who seem to prefer an “all show, all go” mentality.” Regrettably, it’s been over ten years since our first engine/SEMA shot graced the cover of Lowrider Magazine, and in those days, very few of us were attempting to build these crossover-styled engines. Thankfully, we educated ourselves with this feature back in 1998 and we’ve never looked back, taking the bull by the horns to educate you guys in the essentials of engine building. We’ve done our best to showcase the finest and latest in engine builds and techniques, bringing our readers everything from the addition of the classic 235 to classic bombs to today’s LS engine transplants. General Motors has taken note to classic auto builder needs and introduced their E-rod engines; which are designed to give enthusiasts maximum performance while complying with the smog laws currently implemented in all of the states.

Other aftermarket manufacturers have also seen the importance and popularity of the LS family of engines and have been working around the clock to bring the consumer all of the product needs that come with these engines. Some of these needs include motor mounts, oil pans, intakes, bolt kits, and even the serpentine systems that are being incorporated into these engine builds. We used to think that dressing up your engine meant sacrificing performance, but thanks to these modern innovations, that isn’t the case. Beyond the conventional accessories that these engines require, builders can also add other tricks like valve train upgrades that feature rolling lifter, cam-and-rockers setups that push these engines to the extreme.

From the proper lube to the latest engine accessories available for your classic, this guide will be sure to touch upon every subject under your hood. Picking the right combination of accessories can really dress up your engine compartment, but should also provide bolt-on power and give your car a little extra go for your money. If you want to look good under the hood or just want to go fast with a few bolt-on performance products, this guide should help you to design the perfect set up for your dream machine.

1. The Tru-Ram design is the result of “Speedy” Bill Smith’s years of hands-on experience, and dyno tests prove that it produces as much horsepower as a conventional tube header. Unlike steel tube headers, however, Tru-Rams do not generate excessive heat or noise, making them ideal for street rods and custom cars. To learn more about Tru-Ram manifolds visit them online at:

2. Hooker Street Rod/Universal SUPER COMPETITION Headers are great for custom car, truck, or street rod where a special fit tuned SUPER COMPETITION header is not available. These Headers come available in chrome, high heat resistant black paint or Hookers Metallic Ceramic Thermal Barrier Coating. To learn more about this and other Hooker Headers log onto:

3. It’s all about character at CFR Performance, and that’s why they are featuring the complete pulley, bracket, and pump kit for Chevy Small Blocks out fitted for long water pumps. Included within the kit are one 100 amp internal alternator, one high volume long water pump, a power steering pump, all three pulleys and one crank pulley, and finally, the necessary alternator and power steering brackets. The complete billet aluminum kit is available in either a tough machined finish, or a mirror-like chrome coating. To learn more visit:

4. CFR Performance direct fit radiators are an exact replacement for 1959-72 Chevy Impala radiators and feature an allaluminum construction with a cross-flow cooling design. The radiator is constructed with an aluminum two-row furnace brazed core with one-inch tubes, comparable to a four-core radiator. The Impala direct fit radiator is also available in a polished finish (HZ-5972-POL), or with built-in automatic transmission cooling lines (HZ-5972-AT). To learn more about this and other CFR radiators, log onto:

5. Proform Performance/ Lose some weight and gain 40-50% more cranking power with this high-torque LS starter (#66273) from Proform® Parts. Designed to fit the LS1, LS2, LS6 and LS7 engines, this 100% new starter is approved by all leading sanctioning organizations for competition. The high-output 12V, 1.4 KW motor spins over faster than stock starters, providing the dependability you need. The starter features 3.75:1 sealed gear-reduction drive and full ball bearing construction. Shims to set the pinion gear engagement (when necessary) are included. Proform Parts has a comprehensive line of internal and external engine parts, dress up kits, engine building tools and more! Preview all their inexpensive products at:

6. Lokar’s Eliminator Floor Mount Throttle Pedal is designed with the Signature Lokar Quality you have come to expect. The pedal eliminates routing cables through the firewall and comes equipped with a billet aluminum splined adjustable shaft and stainless steel “under-the-floor” cable-mounting bracket. Order 48-inch cable for LS1 Ramjet and Vortec applications. To learn more about this and other Lokar products, visit them on the web at:

7. Every Lowrider knows that when it comes to valve covers, appearance is king. When it came to design a custom valve cover for the ultra-bad Edelbrock crate motor, the Victor series valve cover was born. Manufactured of die-cast aluminum, the Edelbrock Victor valve covers are coated with a textured black powder coating. Applications are available for small-block Ford, small-block Chevy (standard and center-bolt), and big-block Chevy. Complimentary black breathers and air-cleaners are also available (sold separately). Log onto: to learn more about this and other Edelbrock products.

8. Lokar has partnered with Williams Controls, the world leader in heavy-duty electronic throttle pedals to introduce the first programmable electronic throttle pedal (Drive- By- Wire) for the automotive aftermarket. These include a programmable Non-Contact (Solid State) halle fiect sensor for most GM, Ford, and Mopar applications. With a splined pedal arm for versatile mounting, and all-metal construction featuring aluminum and stainless steel, these boast 3 times the performance over standard OEM pedals. These are sensor programmed on the pedal to optimize electrical output for quick throttle response (No pedal lag). To learn more about this and other Lokar products, visit them on the web at: