A successful engine build begins with the right components. K1 Technology’s rotating assemblies give you a head start with high-quality internals that are perfectly matched, with no guesswork.
There are guys out there who know it all by heart. Roll a freshly-machined block into their garage and they’ll order up the right engine internals with part numbers taken straight from memory. Want to bump the compression ratio? They know the correct combination of rods, pistons, and crankshaft to make it happen off the top of their heads. Are you looking to throw a little more displacement at the build? They’ll pull the appropriate part numbers for the slugs to match your overbore and a stroker crank out of thin air.
The rest of us? Not so much.
We’ll spend hours on the computer trying to figure out what mix of different parts will accomplish what we’re trying to do, and then second-guess that decision until it all comes together and (hopefully) works right. Your buddy says “use this piston,” the magazine article you read, tore out to save, then promptly lost in the stack of notes on your workbench recommended another brand’s rod, and all the bathrobe-clad keyboard wizards on your favorite car forum can’t agree on which crankshaft you should use.
It’s nerve-wracking, and another bead of sweat forms on your brow with each credit card digit you enter while you punch in the order for your mixed bag of parts. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s an alternative that removes all the stress and guesswork for sourcing internal parts - a matched rotating assembly kit from K1 Technology.
A Sum Greater Than The Parts
K1 built their reputation around crankshafts and rods that deliver quality at an affordable price, offering value that your average imported parts can’t match. For K1 Technologies, it made sense to combine efforts with Wiseco pistons to provide complete rotating assembly kits that pair professionally-matched components into a single part number to make ordering simple.
“We currently offer Chevy LS applications as an off the shelf rotating assemblies,” K1’s Nick DiBlasi explains. “However, many of our customers make their own combinations with our pistons, rods, and cranks daily. We found it easy for our customers to pick and choose any combination they wanted and we could suit their needs.”
It’s no surprise that the LS engine family would be the first target on K1’s radar for complete kits; factory blocks are so ubiquitous and cheap that they’ve become the hands-down favorite for racers and hot rodders looking for a solid foundation for a high-horsepower build. Though the stock LS components can definitely take a beating, upgrading the internals is a sure-fire way to create a durable, powerful race or high performance street engine.
Crank it Up
K1’s LS rotating assemblies start with a high-quality crankshaft, with a number of options. Both 58 and 24 tooth reluctors are available, and customers have a wide selection of crank throws from stock to stroker. Per DiBlasi, “The K1 LS cranks are all forged 4340 steel and are designed for the latest demands of our customers. We offer strokes from factory 3.622 all the way up to 4.250, in 3.622, 3.900, 4.000, 4.100, 4.125, and 4.250 throws.”
A nitrided finish improves crank strength and bearing life, and the large-radius fillets remove potential areas of stress concentration and potential failure. K1 employs a straight hole oiling system for superior bearing lubrication, and tolerances are held to plus or minus one ten thousandth of an inch.
The second ingredient in the successful recipe is a robust connecting rod, and K1 has that covered as well. “We offer our K1 H-beam 4340 forged rods with our kits,” DiBlasi explains. “They are designed specifically to be matched with our crankshafts and clear all the stroker applications. They feature ARP2000 bolts and have seen over 1,500 horsepower on many of our customers’ race cars.”
Many racers will debate the relative benefits of an H-beam versus an I-beam design in terms of ultimate strength, but for applications where shaving grams isn’t absolutely critical, the H-beam delivers additional rigidity and better load distribution than a comparable I-beam connecting rod, and makes perfect sense for K1’s rotating assembly kits. Dual reinforced ribs add strength on the big end, while radiused sides maximize clearance. A shot peened finish is the finishing touch, placing the outer surface in compression and removing any potential locations for stress riser formation.
Slugging it Out
When it comes to pistons, Wiseco offers a wide selection, no matter what bore or compression ratio you’re shooting for. Per DiBlasi, “Our main rotating assemblies come packaged with Wiseco pistons. We offer various popular compression ratios based off the combinations we know work best.” Depending on combustion chamber volume, the shelf stock LS rotating assemblies range from 9.3:1 to 13.0:1, suitable for boosted or naturally aspirated builds.
Wiseco’s Professional Series forged pistons also utilize their proprietary ArmorGlide skirt coating that reduces friction, increases horsepower, and improves wear resistance. “If you are looking for a compression ratio that we do not offer [in a stocking part number], we can gladly build a rotating assembly with the same components and another piston combination that we offer,” DiBlasi adds.
When you order up a rotating assembly from K1, you’re getting all the other matched components you need to round out the engine internals as well. “They come with pistons, pins, locks, and rings,” DiBlasi explains. The goal is to provide everything you need under a single part number, so that you can order with confidence, knowing that there won’t be any bits and pieces that you need to figure out before you start putting everything together. “All of our kits come with rod and main bearings,” he adds.
“Our kits are designed to go together and have been tested on our in-house dyno,” DiBlasi says. “We have an in-house engine dyno just for LS-based engine testing. Everything was designed to work together. We take the work out of ordering parts from different places, and do the testing for you.”
So what about other engines? Creating rotating assembly kits for the LS family is a no-brainer, considering how popular that platform has become, but K1 makes components for everything from four-cylinder sport compacts to Vipers. Never fear - while their pre-packaged rotating kits only cover LS applications, more pre-configured combinations are on the way, and custom kits are always an option as well.
“We will be expanding [our stock rotating assembly part numbers] to some sport compact and modern HEMIs very soon,” DiBlasi says. “But we still offer the option for the customer to pick and choose any combination they would like.”
No matter what you’re building, the right mix of internal components doesn’t have to be a crapshoot - the professionals at K1 are eager to set you up with the correct crank, rods, pistons, and other pieces to make your project a success. DiBlasi concludes, “We can custom build any combination kit the customer would like. Just give us a call and we can walk you through all of the various options.”