Which LS Should You Swap in Your Car?
GM first introduced the LS engine in the 1997 Corvette. They called it the “Gen III small-block” now known as the LS1. The LS1 is a 5.7L engine, and it featured an all-aluminum design. It also featured coil near plug ignition, and various other new engine management features. These new features made it vastly greater than the previous generation small block. In 1998 the LS1 replaced the LT1 found in Camaros and Firebirds. Chevrolet then began producing an iron-block Gen III small block which came in the pick-up trucks and SUVs.
Chevrolet later produced the “Gen IV small-block,” which featured MPG-boosting cylinder deactivation. Gen IV also featured larger displacements compared to Gen III and re-engineered camshaft sensing. These were all great improvements for the LS engine family, making it a word class engine. The Gen IV family includes the LS2, LS3, supercharged LS9, supercharged LSA, and the all-mighty LS7.
LS Engine Swap Options
The world would be an awesome place if everyone could afford to put an LS9 in their car, but that’s not how it works. There are quite a few choices when it comes to which LS you should swap into your car. If you have the money an LS7 or LSA are awesome options. The LS7 produces a ridiculous amount of horsepower naturally aspirated. The LSA produces a ridiculous amount of power with its supercharger.
But on a budget then the truck LS engines are a great option. You can purchase an aluminum or cast iron 5.3L or 4.8L LS for a reasonable amount of bucks. Install a cam and do a little head work and you’ll easily be making 400whp or more. If you’re planning on boosting your project the 4.8L truck engine will be perfect for you. The 4.8L can take insane amounts of boost completely stock and will really perform well.
If you don’t want a barebones 5.3L or 4.8L you could always step up to a 6.2L truck block which is based on the LS3. With the larger displacement and slightly better cylinder heads, you can get your project in the neighbourhood of 500rwhp or more.
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.
Other products to help your LS Swap:
- 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
- Lokar TC-1000LS1 Hi-Tech Throttle Cable
- Lokar DBW-GM02 Drive-By-Wire Electronic Throttle Control
- ARP LS Bolt Sets
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
- 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