Chevy Camaro Z28 LS3 Engine Swap - Fourth-Gen Gen IV

Part I: Pulling The LS1 And Dressing GMPP's Awesome LS376/480 Crate Engine

Rick Jensen Feb 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
0902gmhtp_01_z Chevy_camaro_z28_ls3_engine_swap Chevy_camaro_with_new_engine 1/31

So here's the deal with 1SC-YA: it's making 411 horses/382 foot-pounds at the wheels, SAE. The big S60 takes wicked-hard launches no problem on the Mickey Thompson drag radials, but a persistent clutch problem is preventing power shifts. It has gone a 12.33 at 111.57 mph, but the baseline drag run-with 317 rear-wheel horses and a 109-mph trap speed-shows how much is being left on the table here.

Ever since the big LS3 debuted in the Corvette in 430 and 436-horse forms, late-model F-body owners have been salivating at the idea of bolting it into their rides. I was no different, and to add fuel to my fire, the GM Performance Parts crew informed me that they'd created a spiced-up version of the LS3, dubbed the LS376/480. That nomenclature is pretty straightforward: 376 cubic inches and 480 horsepower, with the extra 50 ponies coming from a bigger camshaft. Everything else is pure LS3-including the 58x reluctor wheel.

You don't do a GMPP crate swap without certain factory and aftermarket parts, which is why I immediately called Scoggin-Dickey. SD provides all of the original GM parts needed, while stocking some of the best performance parts-from balancer bolts to signature crate engines! Scoggin shipped out all of the little parts needed, a couple of the custom, swap-specific goodies, and even an OEM M6 wiring harness, as mine was in bad shape.

Finally, I turned to Matt Sorian and his crew at TT Performance Parts to see if they'd be interested in doing the swap. Matt and his staff give off a friendly vibe and are quick to joke around with you when you visit their shop, but don't let it fool you: these guys are specialists in LS performance and tuning. And a recent expansion into road race builds and suspension setups has lots of very serious Corvettes and hybrids rolling into the shop! They had the experience with motor swaps, and the skills to troubleshoot any problems that might arise, so when they happily accepted, I was thrilled.

For part I, I'll be covering the removal of the LS1 and the transfer of parts-both new and the used LS1 pieces-onto the LS376/480. Future installments will show the installation of a new dual-disc clutch, the LS376/480 crate, and the new wiring harness. And I'll showcase some amazing new technology that makes this Gen IV swap a breeze-without having to tear apart the engine!

0902gmhtp_05_z Chevy_camaro_z28_ls3_engine_swap Hardware_parts_for_engine_swap 5/31

Scoggin-Dickey is assisting me in making this monster GMPP engine work with my fourth-gen Camaro. Here are the parts for this installment: as the crate's electronic throttle will be coming off, SD's cable 90mm throttle body (PN SD90MM, $359) and cable throttle bracket (PN SD90BRKT, $29) will replace it. A new crank balancer bolt (PN SD6621, $10) will enable the balancer swap, two new water pump gaskets (PN 12588372, $8) will do the same for the LS1's water pump, and a new oil pan gasket (PN 12558760, $34) and pickup tube O-ring (PN 12557752, $4) will facilitate the swap of the LS1's oil pan and its accoutrements. Finally, two new motor mounts (PN 22179268, $146) will provide the strength to hold the torquey LS376/480 in place.

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