LS Engine Swap Tips - Heart Transplant

Here are the latest products to help you swap an LS motor into your vintage Chevy.

The Super Chevy Archives Jun 16, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Wiring/ Computers

There are multiple sources for wiring harnesses and engine controllers. 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 two wires.

Dominator EFI Vehicle Management Systems are intended for all engine applications, from street to unlimited high-end racing applications. Dominator systems have nearly unlimited capabilities to control any power adder, input or output you can throw at them. How about control a 4L60E transmission as well as the fuel and spark? No problem. There are also enough inputs and outputs to allow the Dominator VMS units to serve as their own data acquisition and control modules. The Dominator VMS will eliminate the need for additional controllers as they are all contained in this one unit.

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GM Performance Parts has a controller kit complete with computer and all the components to fire up their crate engines. In the kit you’ll find the accelerator pedal and fuse panel, and each kit comes with all the sensors, cables and connectors you need--and it’s pre-wired and pre-labeled.

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The 120-pin hardware is the newest addition to Mast’s lineup of ECMs for Gen-IV LS engines. The M-120 ECM features bank-to-bank active wideband feedback control. This allows for easier application tuning. All of Mast’s M-90 ECM's advanced functions are retained including wide-band knock, VVT control, full sequential fuel injection and drive-by-wire throttle control. The ECM also adds active boost solenoid control for GM LSA and LS9 engine applications. The M-120 ECM is available with pre-programmed calibrations in both Calibrated and Performance packages.

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If you go with a drive-by-wire throttle body, then you will need the proper pedal to drive it. You can snag these from the salvage yard or companies like Lokar or GMPP. If you go with a cable system, you'll need the correct throttle cable to attach to the throttle body, which Lokar makes as well.

Lokar has partnered with Williams Controls, the world leader in heavy-duty electronic throttle pedals. The unit is a programmable non-contact (solid state) hall effect sensor for most GM applications. The pedal features a splined pedal arm for versatile mounting, and the sensor is programmed on pedal to optimize electrical output for quick throttle response. The company’s billet aluminum LS1 throttle-cable bracket mounts to the stock location on the vehicle. It is designed to keep the throttle cable down low and close to the manifold. The bracket is available with a single hole or a double hole for a cruise-control cable.


All LS-series engines have the exact same mounting bosses for the engine mounts. There are many aftermarket companies—Trans Dapt, Holley and Chris Alston’s Chassisworks—making adapter mounts to install an LS into almost any vehicle made. Having the engine sit in the correct position will make installing other components like headers or oil pans much easier. Also note that some iron LS blocks have undrilled bosses and need to be drilled to mount some accessories.

Chassisworks billet-aluminum motor mounts and steel frame adapters enable direct bolt-in installation of Chevrolet LS engines in '67-69 Camaros and '68-74 Novas with stock subframes. The mounts feature durable polyurethane bushings and maintain correct engine position and drivetrain angle.

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