CLOSING THE GAP
When your passion is your job, you can’t help but get excited about certain things.
In today’s world of Hybrid electric vehicles and near four-digit horsepower numbers from factory production vehicles, you can really do just about anything with an automobile.
At the recent PRI show in Indianapolis, I was incredibly pleased to see the number of manufacturers who continue to push the boundaries of what was thought to be impossible before today. Complete engine management systems and wiring made more user-friendly by companies like AEM Electronics. Safer solutions for fuel cell applications by Fuel Safe, with a complete line of ultra-lightweight cells and custom in-house build to your specification solutions. There was a ton of safety products, tooling equipment, and thousands of horsepower. I had the opportunity to meet some great people and establish relationships that will continue to grow as my career in motorsport and the automotive industry progresses. Coming back to Toronto having been kicked into high gear, I was anxious to get back wrenching on my own cars.
Driving a car that does exactly what you want it to do, when you want it to do it, and consistently, was my ultimate goal for this car. I originally purchased my Genesis Coupe new in 2012 and had already solidified my modification plans even before picking it up. I wanted a car that behaved like a new vehicle with all the tech and comfort, but could still throw down at the track.
With the drivetrain permanently installed and the suspension sorted from previous years, I was ready to upgrade my fuel delivery and get a bit more power out of the new 500hp LS3 crate engine. I decided AEM’s new CD-7 display and Infinity ECU would handle that job with ease. Utilizing AEM’s transducer pressure sensors for both fuel and nitrous oxide, monitoring the additional 200-shot will be a breeze with programable nitrous control and real-time bottle pressure displayed on the CD-7. An automatic bottle heater set to 950psi will keep the bottle at just the right temperature and reduce the risk of any catastrophic failures.
“We are literally in the heyday of horsepower” — Mike Bennett
With the additional nitrous oxide, I needed a better, safer way to get more fuel into the engine where there was no risk of starvation or overheating while at track or spirited driving. I opted for a Fuel Safe 10 gallon Spectra-Lite cell which is the lightest in their fleet and of the highest quality. Mounted in an exoskeleton between the rear strut towers for better weight distribution with twin Bosch 044 pumps feeding the LS engine, there should be no shortage of fuel pressure.
To handle the additional torque, a twin-plate McLeod Racing clutch and flywheel were added to a built T56 transmission, a reinforced differential and a custom one-piece aluminium driveshaft built by Ottawa Driveshaft and Steering in Ottawa, good for around 1,000hp. The service from these guys was incredible, delivering the driveshaft in person on Easter weekend to meet my deadline. The morning of my attempted install, I realized I had ordered the wrong yoke, called ODS and had a Sonax chromoly yoke flown in and was able to get it to me that very same day.
With the rear-end complete, fuel cell mounted, and basic engine accessories in place, I am now plumbing the entire fuel and cooling system, nitrous lines, and getting the wiring situation figured out. The plug and play 58x harness from AEM is as straightforward as they come. A power distribution centre with five fuse-protected relays, flying leads for fuel pump, fans, and accessory power are included to make this harness especially swap friendly.
For the fuel, oil, and coolant system plumbing, there was no better solution than Vibrant Performance. Vibrant has been offering leading fabrication components, consistently growing their selection of fittings, hoses and clamping solutions since as far back as I can remember.
Working with larger AN fittings, it’s always a challenge to keep the hose ends from being scratched or damaged when securing the line. A proper-sized AN wrench and appropriate Vise jaw grips, plus a little painters tape should ensure a clean and tidy seal. Still to be completed are the feed and return fuel lines under the car, the remote oil filter lines and to pick a permanent placement for the Infinity and power distribution centre.
With high hopes for big gains and smooth power delivery, I am excited to get on the dyno and see how all of this will turn out.
I could not have gotten this far without the help of the team at Performance Improvements and the front counter staff in Etobicoke. They have consistently been my go to resource for the specialty tools and, of course, the parts needed to get the job done. A super knowledgeable group of guys who are all well invested in the performance automotive trade. If they don’t have what you need in stock, chances are they can get it in a timely fashion and handle all the logistics.
LS Engines - Summary
Here’s the bottom line; the LS is cheap, light, compact, and makes a ton of horsepower. It can fit into nearly anything you want, and it can be done on a tight budget. From the average Joe to a professional racer, the LS engine is perfect for nearly anything.
Products to help your LS Swap:
Without a doubt swapping an LS motor into pretty much anything with wheels has become the largest hot rodding trend we have seen in a long time. Performance Improvements has some of the top LS swap components that you are looking for to make it easy to get your motor running.
- LS Power - Top LS Swap performance parts
- LS Swap Cooling
- LS Swap Exhaust
- LS Swap Ignition
- AutoMeter 5284 LS Gauge Adapters
- HOLLEY 22-101 LS Swap Water Pump
- HOOKER LS Cast Iron Exhaust Manifolds
- HOLLEY 302-1 - LS Retro-fit Oil Pan
- HOOKER LS Swap Engine Mount Brackets
- HOOKER LS Swap Engine Mount Brackets 78-88 GM A/G-Body
- HOOKER LS Swap Engine Mount Brackets 68-69 F / 68-74 X-Body
- Muscle Car LS Conversion Radiator
- Painless 64024 Vehicle Anti-Theft (VATS) defeat module
- Painless 60520 2005 GM LS2 Harness
- Painless Performance 60524 2006-08 GM LS2/3/7 Throttle By Wire Harness
- ARP LS Bolt Sets
- Lokar TC-1000LS1 Hi-Tech Throttle Cable
- Lokar DBW-GM02 Drive-By-Wire Electronic Throttle Control
Books to read before an LS Swap:
- LS Swaps: How to Swap GM LS Engines into Almost Anything
- How to Rebuild GM LS-Series Engines
- Swap LS Engines into Camaros & Firebirds: 1967-1981
- How to Build High-Performance Chevy LS1/LS6 V-8s
LS Swap Articles and Tech Tips:
- Junkyard LS Engine Builds: Breakdown on GM’s LS Engines
- Details and Tips to Make Your LS Engine Conversion Easy
- A True Budget Junkyard LS Swap
- LS Engine Swap Tips - Heart Transplant
- LS based GM small-block engine - Wikipedia
- Chevrolet.com LS CRATE ENGINES
- Junkyard LS Engine Builds: Going From Rags To Riches
- Putting FiTech’s New Wallet-Friendly LS Induction System to the Test
- FiTech Reinvents EFI! How They Do It Better & Cheaper
- We Dig Deep Into The Latest EFI Systems on the Market Today
- FiTech Fuel Injection -Home of the most advanced EFI systems
- Here's 10 Things to Help You When Converting to EFI
- Fuel Injection vs Carburetors
- CARBURETOR VS FUEL INJECTION – A SHORT HISTORY AND PROS & CONS
- Carburetor to Fuel Injection | Hagerty Articles