LS Swaps are becoming the “popular” new engine upgrade for classic and antique cars and for a good reason! Here we will explore some reasons why this is the most popular engine swap and what some of the terms mean.
LS Swap definition in layman terms :
“Swap is the same as “change.” So its when you put something from some car to another car, usually to make it better. and LS is a type of the engine by GM, usually used in Corvettes, Camaros and stuff. there’s many types of LS engines…”
So when is it a good time to have your classic car engine swapped with an GM LS engine? Well.. That depends on what you want to do with your car. Is it a trailer queen? A cruiser? A street/strip car? Do you want to leave it all original or make a true hotrod out of it? These are a few of the first questions you can ask yourself to guide you to the right engine for your classic car. If you want a cruiser, street/strip, or hotrod, then an LS engine is the right play for you to make! You can get one from a local junkyard or on craigslist and get a local shop to mount it in your ride.
What to look for?
When buying an LS series engine, you must do your research. LS series engines came in millions of vehicles in varying forms, from aluminum to iron blocks, from 4.8 liters to monster 6.2 liters. How much you have to spend will largely dictate which LS engine you should pickup. Keep in mind though, the least expensive, baby 4.8 liter iron LS is still a mean beast that can be modded and beat to heck on the track. So even if you don’t have much to spend, you can have power and convenience of a baby LS series 4.8 liter, and it would knock the socks off most carbureted SBC 350s any day of the week. Remember, LS engines are fuel injected!
Where to look?
You should always consult a local shop and have them advice about what parts you will need for your LS swap before buying anything. Modern LS engines are more difficult to swap over some of the earlier generations and some models have cylinder deactivation which can make programming and tuning the car’s computer (ECM) more difficult. You will need to hire a techie to “flash” the car’s computer before the engine will even start! A good, local shop that has performed these swaps before can guide you in the right direction or flash the computer themselves. They are normally familiar with everything that goes into a swap.
What to ask for?
Finding a reputable shop is your biggest challenge. Depending on urgency and time constraints, you also want to find a shop that will not take years to swap the engine into your classic car. Inquire about how long each step will take and ask for price estimation. Make sure your car is not stored outside! You will also want to periodically check up on your car. Showing up unannounced is a good idea to ensure your car is inside at all times, not just when you are driving to the garage. You can also do the LS swap in stages and take it home after different phases are complete.
We will be developing this webpage as we collect more information about this process and about this great engine that we have started swapping into our hot rods and classic cars. Youtube is a great resource for those interested in LS swaps. Read and watch as much as you can and then find a local shop to LS swap your ride!