Cars have taken huge technological leaps in recent years, yet they don’t quite always fulfill all of the needs or desires of the people who drive them. If you are finding that you would like different performance from your vehicle, a custom LS engine swap could be a good choice. Among engine swap options, the LS swap is by far the most popular. An LS engine swap can provide substantial power while staying within a hobbyist’s price range. While you are in the process of swapping your car’s engine for an LS of your choice, it’s a great time to update other components as well. Here are the elements you’ll likely need to update, as well as some others that are worthwhile while you’re working.
Mandatory: Motor Mounts
The traditional “clam shell” variant of motor mounting is a common feature in many cars, and it is possible that your vehicle contains these mounts as well. If you are swapping to an LS, you may need to reconsider the motor mounts that you are using. Not all engines will fit all types of mounts, so be sure to check what you have against what you’ll need. Otherwise, you might find that you’re ready to install an engine but it doesn’t fit as intended.
Be cautious if you’re tackling a swap on your own; the motor mounts may at first appear to work, but you might discover later that you don’t have the room you need. The proper motor mounts will leave room for other important elements, like the headers and intake manifold.
Mandatory: Headers and Exhaust
Headers are one of the most problematic parts of an LS engine swap because the type of car you are using introduces a number of variabile options in terms of what you need. LS engine swap headers come in a variety of lengths so that you can find an option that works no matter your vehicle. And of course, if you’re putting a new engine into the vehicle, you’ll need to tune up the entire exhaust system-ensuring not only that it continues to do its job, but also that it fits.
The main benefit of an LS engine swap is introducing greater power and capability into your vehicle. However, your ability to enjoy those benefits is going to be capped by what your transmission can handle. If your transmission is not set up to cope with the torque being provided by your new LS engine, be sure you plan for a transmission upgrade as well.
If you end up needing a transmission, do not forget that you’ll likely also need a vehicle-specific crossmember as well.
Recommended: Engine Cover
Some parts of an LS engine swap are not mandatory, but they can certainly help you feel great about the final result. One such option is an engine cover. Some types of covers will obscure the intake and other nearby valves so that your new rig looks visually appealing, and many of these covers can also be custom painted. If showing off your new engine is appealing to you, a cover can make your vehicle truly your own and smooth out any rough edges.
Recommended: Air Conditioning System
One of the biggest struggles with an LS engine swap is connecting the new engine to the existing AC system. For this reason, a lot of hobbyist swaps will result in cars that do not produce cool air at all, since the connections are not functional. However, you can choose to upgrade your AC system components so that they continue to work with your new LS engine.
The exact components required will vary depending on the type of vehicle you start with and the specific model of LS engine that you choose for your swap. However, in general, you will need to ensure that you consider the type of flow as well as both the physical components and the wiring. If you need assistance installing an AC with your new engine swap, an expert can help.
Trust the Experts to Help You Swap an LS Engine Flawlessly
If you are considering a custom LS engine swap, or if you have started to work on your own but have run into some challenges along the way, do not hesitate to talk to an expert about the next steps. The professionals at Robs Customs & Restorations would be happy to help you make your new LS engine swap the best that it can be. Reach out to learn more about the types of services that we provide or to get started on an LS engine swap today.