Articles written by: Mike Mavrigian

Mike Mavrigian has been building and writing about engines almost as long as there has been internal combustion. He has written well over 1,000 technical articles and seven books, and is editor of Precision Engine Magazine. Mike’s shop, Birchwood Automotive, specializes in street performance and racing engines and vehicle restoration. As you’ll see in this article series, he includes a wealth of information on his engine builds.

Each valve cover adapter has four standoffs to space the adapters off the heads. Installing loose spacers is very difficult once the rocker arms are in place, so I simply glued the spacers to the adapters.
Tech / Tech Projects

Best of Both Worlds: Building a Gen 1/LS Hybrid with World Products’ Motown II LS Block (Part 2)

Editor’s Note: Mike Mavrigian must do nothing but build engines and write stories about them. We have visions of his shop, Birchwood Automotive, set deep in the woods with Mavrigian keeping little […]

(Image/Mike Mavrigian)
Tech / Tech Projects

Best of Both Worlds: Building a Gen 1/LS Hybrid with World Products’ Motown II LS Block (Part 1)

Editor’s Note: Mike Mavrigian must do nothing but build engines and write stories about them. We have visions of his shop, Birchwood Automotive, set deep in the woods with Mavrigian […]

The completed engine, ready for dyno testing
Tech / Tech Projects

Project LS Next (Part 3): We Dyno Test the 440 Cubic-Inch “LS Next” Project

In this episode of Project LS Next, we find out what Mike Mavrigian’s 440 cubic-inch LS engine made on the dyno—after he installed the induction system, ignition, and a pair […]

We followed Dart’s specific torque sequence and step values to the letter. We used high pressure lubricant on stud threads and under-nut surfaces.
Tech / Tech Projects

Project LS Next (Part 2): Installing the Oil System and Valvetrain on Our 665-Horse LS Build

Editor’s Note: We’re back with Part Two of Project LS Next, a 440 cubic inch LS engine based on Dart’s LS Next iron block and built by Mike Mavrigian at […]

Project LS Next (Part 1): The Short Block for our 665-Horse 440 LS Build
Tech / Tech Projects

Project LS Next (Part 1): The Short Block for our 665-Horse 440 LS Build

Editor’s Note: Mike Mavrigian of Birchwood Automotive is back with another cool engine build. This one is a 440 cubic inch LS engine based on Dart’s LS Next iron block. […]

Our Nighthawk LS on Gressman Powersports’ Superflow engine dyno.
Tech / Tech Projects

Back in Black Nighthawk LS (Part 3): 629 Horsepower from a 408 LS Engine!

Editor’s Note: Mike Mavrigian’s shop, Birchwood Automotive, specializes in street performance and racing engines as well as vehicle restoration. We covered his last build, a 499 cubic inch Mopar 400 […]

Our custom valley plate was machined from .250” thick 6061 billet stock. Unlike the OEM cover, the plate runs flush front and rear. The casting depressions at the front top of the block were filled with All-Metal body filler to create a flush-front block area.
Tech / Tech Projects

Back in Black Nighthawk LS (Part 2): Heads, Valvetrain, Oiling System & More

Editor’s Note: Mike Mavrigian’s shop, Birchwood Automotive, specializes in street performance and racing engines as well as vehicle restoration. We covered his last build, a 499 cubic inch Mopar 400 big […]

Back in Black Nighthawk LS Engine Build (Part 1): The Short Block
Tech / Tech Projects

Back in Black Nighthawk LS Engine Build (Part 1): The Short Block

Editor’s Note: Mike Mavrigian’s shop, Birchwood Automotive, specializes in street performance and racing engines as well as vehicle restoration. We covered his last build, a 499 cubic inch Mopar 400 […]

Mopar 499 Street Hero (Part Four): The Dyno Results and an EFI Surprise
Tech / Tech Projects

Mopar 499 Street Hero (Part Four): The Dyno Results and an EFI Surprise

Editor’s Note: Mike Mavrigian has been building and writing about engines almost as long as there has been internal combustion. Mike’s shop, Birchwood Automotive, specializes in street performance and racing […]

We had choice of either Edelbrock Performer RPM or Mopar Performance aluminum cylinder heads. Both feature 84cc combustion chambers, 210cc intake/70cc exhaust ports, 2.140 inch intake/1.810 inch exhaust valves, and valve springs that support up to .600 inch of valve lift. Since we only had time to dyno one set of heads, we opted for the Edelbrocks.  The heads were test fitted and checked for both piston-to-chamber quench and piston-to-valve clearance. Piston to quench (factoring in the MLS head gaskets) checked at 0.075 inch. Valve clearance was 0.250 inch intake and 0.270 inch exhaust.
Tech / Tech Projects

Mopar 499 Street Hero (Part 3): Cylinder Heads, Valvetrain & External Parts

Editor’s Note: Mike Mavrigian has been building and writing about engines almost as long as there has been internal combustion. Mike’s shop, Birchwood Automotive, specializes in street performance and racing […]