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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.

By Michael Copeland, Photography by From The Super Chevy Archives

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.

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.

GM Performance Parts
AFCO / Dynatech
Hooker Headers / Holley
American Touring Specialties/ATS
Pace Performance
Billet Specialties
500 Shawmut Ave., Dept. SC
La Grange
IL  60526
Racing Head Service
Canton Racing
Rick's Hot Rods
Concept One
Rock Auto
Detroit Speed
185 McKenzie Rd., Dept. CHP
NC  28115
Stainless Works
Chagrin Falls
Doug's Headers
Speartech Fuel Injection Systems
Dept. 5.0
2700 California St.
CA  90503
Turn Key Engine Supply
Energy Suspension
1131 Via Callejon
San Clemente
CA  92673
Vintage Air
10305 I.H. 35 North
San Antonio
TX  78233
151 Industrial Dr.
MS  38603
By Michael Copeland
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