An engine swap is an effective way to boost the power and performance of your vehicle. Because LS engines are flexible in their use, anyone considering an LS engine swap has a number of options available to choose from based upon their budget, desires, and the vehicle they are working on. Regardless of which LS engine you select, some of the equipment required will be the same for any engine swap project. Be sure to have the parts you will need on hand so that you can complete your swap smoothly.
What Is An LS Engine Swap?
An LS engine is an engine made by GM; it is the main V-8 small-block engine used in General Motors’ cars and trucks. Because LS engines are all made by GM, they are fairly interchangeable. If you would like a significant boost in power, you can select a higher-end option like the LS5, which often appears in Corvettes. For more affordable options, LS3 engines and others are available.
Parts You’ll Need For Any LS Engine Swap
LS engine swaps involve removing the engine currently being used by a vehicle and inserting an LS option from GM in its place. Because LS engines are so similar, and because any engine swap requires the same type of work, many of the parts that you will need for an LS engine swap will remain the same no matter which LS engine you select.
While some vehicle parts are safe and reliable no matter which brand you choose, others benefit from being name brand only. Be sure to speak with an expert in LS engine swaps and other car restorations to ensure that you are selecting the highest quality parts for your build.
One of the primary pieces of equipment that you will need during an engine swap is the motor mounts that hold the machinery in place within the engine bay. This requires both engine-mount plates and the engine mounts themselves. It is important that you install the motor mounts according to the vehicle’s driveline angles and the position of the engine; if the angles are incorrect, you will experience potentially severe rattling and bumpiness as you bring the car up to speed.
Many engines are designed to run at an angle. Typically, the front of the engine will sit three to four degrees higher than the back. However, this will depend upon the manufacturer’s intent for the LS engine that you decide to use.
Another critical piece of an LS engine swap is the accessory drive. Certain accessory drives do not work with certain types of engines, so it is important that you do your research or speak with a car restoration expert about compatible drives and motors. The accessory drive powers some of the most vital features of the vehicle, such as the alternator, power steering pump, and water pump.
In order to function, an LS engine will require an intake manifold that is compatible. The intake manifold supplies a mixture of fuel and air to the cylinders, which powers the car. However, many manifolds are too bulky for some LS engine swaps into sleeker cars like Camaros and hot rods1`2, and selecting a low-profile unit will be critical to ensure that it fits cleanly. The FAST LSXR manifold is one option that blends a low profile with powerful performance.
During an LS engine swap, the headers and exhaust may be the most challenging parts to select and fit correctly into the project. Which engine mounts you are using and how they are installed may not leave sufficient room for an exhaust manifold.
This is why many LS engine swap experts opt for headers instead. Generally, the parts of choice are long-tube headers with a three-inch collector and a primary tube of no more than 1.75 inches. Particular brands for consideration due to the quality of their parts include Hooker and Flowmaster.
Work With The LS Swap Experts
Whether you would like to complete an LS engine swap on your own or you would like assistance during the process or even a shop to perform the entire swap for you, keeping a reliable car restoration expert on standby is a wise choice. At Robs Customs & Restorations, we believe that working on a vehicle is a labor of love, not just a project. Reach out to speak with an experienced LS engine swap expert so that you can ensure your new vehicle operates efficiently, safely, and with the power and performance that you are hoping to achieve.