LS Swap Help: Engine and Transmission

Our swap kit parts are compatible with many different years of engines and transmissions. Knowing the generation and original vehicle of your engine as well as the model of your transmission are the key pieces of information when selecting the correct version of our components. 

Most of our engines and transmissions we find from trusted local salvage yards. When asking around for these parts make sure to ask for a "complete pull out". This helps ensure that the engine includes the following: A/C compressor, alternator, power steering pump, computer, fan, accelerator pedal, throttle control module, MAF sensor and the Vortec™ intake cover. If possible, it's nice to get an engine and transmission together, and keep mind that it's also usually cheaper too. 

What you should know first about LS engines:

Pulley Set-up: Depending on what vehicle your LS engine came out of, the power steering, alternator and general pulley setup may differ. So if you are parting your LS engine together from a few different vehicle sources, you'll want to make sure everything will work together.

Engine Refresh: We recommend, after a thorough cleaning, an engine refresh kit if the LS engine has over 100,000 miles. This includes replacing the water pump and thermostat, intake gaskets, valve cover gaskets, oil pan gaskets, belts and spark plugs. Now, while not all of this is completely necessary, you'll want to keep in mind that the history of the motor is not always completely known. So taking these steps creates a reliable start and adds some peace of mind. These tasks are also much easier to accomplish while the engine is not yet installed in the truck.

Air Conditioning: Replacing the A/C compressor is also an item that is becoming more common to change when acquiring an LS engine. We have experienced, with a small number of these LS swaps that we left the original compressor in, that a few months down the road they are in dire need of being replaced. At that point we have to clean the entire system and replace most of the A/C components. So if your looking for preventative maintenance, this is a highly recommended step.

    General information for 3rd Gen (2000 – 2007) Trucks & SUVs:

    • Power ratings starting around 295 hp.
    • They have a fairly simple wiring setup.
    • The engine ECM will need to be reprogrammed.
    • Optional drive-by-wire or drive-by-cable. 
      We prefer drive-by-wire, although this does add cost due to the throttle control module.
    • These engines are getting harder to find with low miles (< 100,000), but have been known to last 300,000 miles.
    • Available with an iron or aluminum block.
    • Be aware that fuel injector styles vary across engines – see below: 

      General information for 4th Gen (2007 – 2014) Trucks & SUVs:

      • Power ratings starting around 310 hp.
      • These engines have active fuel management for increased fuel economy
      • The engine ECM and transmission TCM will need to be reprogrammed
      • Optional drive-by-wire or drive-by-cable.
        We prefer drive-by-wire, although this does add cost due to the throttle control module.
      • Available with an iron or aluminum block

       What to know about transmissions:

      • 4L60/65/e = 4 speed Automatic
      • 4L80 = 4 speed Automatic (heavy duty)
      • 6L80 = 6 speed Automatic

      BEWARE: While it is possible to start with a 2 wheel drive transmission and swap it to a 4 wheel drive configuration, we do not recommend doing this due to the time and cost involved. In our experience and opinion, if you're planning on having 4 wheel drive, you're better off just starting your project with a 4 wheel drive transmission.