Chevy Chevelle LS Engine Swap - Swaptastic!

Dropping An LS Engine Into Your Vintage Chevy Can Be A Painless Process If You're In The Know.

Michael Copeland Jun 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0906_18_z Chevy_chevelle_ls_engine_swap Intake_manifolds 2/18

Another area where you can spend a lot or a little is in the area of intake manifolds. GM units can be had for a few hundred bucks or, if you want some extra power, FAST offers high-flowing versions. If EFI isn't your thing, then GM Performance Parts and other companies, like Edelbrock, offer manifolds for topping off your LS engine with a carburetor.

Intake Manifolds
There are a number of production-based intake manifolds, as well as a number of aftermarket units. LS1, LS6, and truck manifolds (excluding the 6.2L) interchange. These engines share a common intake gasket design. The LS6 intake is a popular upgrade for LS1 engines and adds 10 to 15 horsepower. The truck intake makes more torque at low rpm, but in modified applications they don't make as much horsepower at high rpm. They can be an advantage on a heavy vehicle, but hood clearance can be an issue. The LS2 intake can be used as well, but the MAP sensor was moved from the back to the front of the intake, so an adaptor harness is required.

The 6.2 L76 intake manifold can be used if you are running L92 cylinder heads. These are the same heads and intake used on GM's new LS3 variant. This intake was designed for use on Holden vehicles equipped with the L76 engine which is common with the L92 truck engine.

The LS7 intake is a stand-alone component, and should only be used with LS7 heads due to the unique intake port configuration.

As a side note, all LS-based intake manifolds can be installed in either direction. The bolt pattern, and port design allows the intake be rotated. This can be important for some kit car, or front wheel drive swaps.

Sucp_0906_23_z Chevy_chevelle_ls_engine_swap Engine_controller_kits 3/18

GM Performance Parts has also been busy expanding its catalog of LS swap aids. These new engine controller kits are just the ticket if you're looking to drop an LS2, LS3, or LS7 engine into your ride. They let you easily run the factory throttle-by-wire system and control everything from the fuel pump to the cooling fans.

In addition to the wide array of GM intakes, there are also a few aftermarket intakes from companies like FAST and Weiand that have been shown to add extra power to any LS engine.

ElectronicsWe could write an entire story on all the differences with electronics used to make an LS-based engine run, and if there is enough interest we will. For now, there are multiple sources for wiring harnesses and engine controllers. Everything exists, from a kit to install a traditional distributor and carburetor to full racing electronic control systems. You can use modified factory components, or purchase one of the many kits designed for your specific engine.

For the best all around performance, and ease of installation, purchasing a complete kit is a good choice. These kits come with all the components required to make your LS engine run, and can be hooked up with as few as four wires. Many of the advertisers in this magazine offer simple to install systems that will get your LS-powered vehicle on the road. The old days of an LS swap being rocket science are long gone and today it's easier than ever.


Turn Key Powertrain
Oceanside, CA 92056
Energy Suspension
San Clemente, 92673
Billet Specialties
La Grange, 60526
Vintage Air
San Antonio, TX 78266
Concept One
American Touring Specialties/ATS
Chevrolet Performance Parts
Detroit, MI 48232
Rock Auto
Madison, WI 53719
Racing Head Service
Memphis, TN 38118
Stainless Works
Chargrin Falls, OH 44023
Pace Performance
Speartech Fuel Injection Systems
Memphis, TN 38118
Detroit Speed
Mooresville, NC 28115


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