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Old 06-23-2009, 09:13 PM   #1
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LS-Series Swap Discussion

Having become a site that represents nothing short of product expertise, I have to pose some major questions, not just about the V8 Camaro, but rather about what we are going to do to it.

A lot of us are seriously considering the kits from such performance powerhouses as Lingenfelter, Hennessey, and the other companies that have already contributed so much to the Camaro's aftermarket development. The most significant changes being made so far seem to be the implementation of other LS-series engines into the Camaro engine bay. This begs a lot of questions that I would like to discuss.

How direct a swap is any LS-series engine? A lot of people are wondering what it takes to stick the LS7 or LS9 into the engine bay of what used to be the LS3 or L99. While I'm sure that there is little replacement for the skill of Hennessey or Lingenfelter employees, some people would rather tune their own cars to their own specifications. For that reason, I feel that it is very important to ask how easy the swap will be. Photographs would really help in answering this question.

What performance parts will fit the new engine? Let's say I get the basic bolt-on parts. Will I need to scrap them all for my new motor? If you think that they will fit, photographs or part numbers will really help in proving that parts will attach to the same spot.

Which internal components are interchangeable? There has been some discussion of taking components from other LS-series engines. Which parts will fit which engines? How much modification is necessary?

What physical changes are necessary to accommodate a new engine? This question applies to any engine swap, but I want to discuss LS-series swaps. The most likely swaps involve LSX, LS9, and LS7 swaps, so let's try to figure out how much effort will go into these swaps as far as bodywork and the placement of mounts.

What sort of supporting changes will have to be made to the transmission? Now that we've figured out the basic needs of engine swaps in the previous questions, we need to figure out if the transmission will be able to handle the more powerful engine. What can we do to make them work together? Do we need a new one?

What sort of work will be necessary for the electronics? Modern cars are heavily dependent on the array of electronics that manage various numbers and ratios that keep the car running smoothly. With that in mind, it is hard to imagine that a computer designed to work with a particular car and a particular motor will agree with another engine. Can this be fixed with a tune, is it necessary to piggyback some other electronics, or will a full replacement be necessary?

What will it take to be legal for street performance? If it is supposed to be a legal swap, how much extra will be required to make the newly replaced heart of the beast legal? This answer should consider national emissions standards.

Any additional commentary that I did not request is welcome. If I am missing any points of consideration, I think that those who would benefit the most from this discussion will be happy to learn from your posts.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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Blur, what is up with these epic threads lately?

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Old 06-23-2009, 10:12 PM   #3

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For The_blur got this on GM Hi-Tech Performance.

The 427 Camaro Back With Its Version Of THE 2010 Camaro

Just as the COPO option gave enthusiasts a back door to performance in 1969 with its factory 427cid engine, GM Performance Parts carries on this legacy with its hopped-up version of the 2010 Camaro SS. Starting, of course, by supplanting the LS3 for an LS7, GMPP was intent on creating the wildest fifth-gen to date while staying true to the Camaro's historic roots. Lucky for us, achieving extraordinary performance is possible while making so few deviations from the factory equipment, or in this case, GM products-albeit from the pages of the GMPP catalogue

The GMPP Camaro was originally part of an early run, and is actually not a production version so-to-speak, but "all of the components are production design," says GM Performance Division Project Manager Mike Copeland. It was originally black, and was repainted a more eye-catching red aside from the hood and rear panel, which were painted flat black in an ode to old school hot rodding. That of course is balanced nicely with the very new school Brembo 6-piston front and 4-piston rear brake upgrade to fill up the one-off 20-inch hoops. Meaty Pirelli P Zero 255/40R20 and 305/65R20 rubber accompanies them.

2010 Chevy Camaro Ss Closeup Of The Flat Black Hood

Aside from these showy pieces, GMPP also took the opportunity to install several of its new parts developed for the '10 Camaro including a high-performance exhaust and (of course) a Hurst shifter for the Tremec TR6060 manual trans. GMPP was also quick to have the motor partially disassembled to install one of its new Hot Cams before shoehorning it comfortably into the fifth-gen's engine compartment. Though there was little to no increase in lift or duration with the GMPP-spec cam (p/n 12480033), it uses a tighter 112LSA to up the ante to 556 hp. The LS7 would also be breathing easier through a GMPP cold air induction kit and tubular shorty headers. It's safe to say the factory-designed and street legal components were taken as far as they could go.

2010 Chevy Camro Front Wheel Front Wheel Closeup

Swapping the two Gen IV motors turned out to be a fairly easy process given the large amount of common components and overall compatibility. For the sake of simplicity the dry sump oiling system was dropped, and a stock LS3 oil pan was used. Since the LS7 throttle body wiring connector and pin-out are different, an LS3 unit replaced that as well. Last, the MAP sensor connector had to be changed, and the ECM was reprogrammed. And aside from an '08 ZO6 clutch and pressure plate, that was all it took to bolt the LS7 right up. Since both cars have factory ECT, there was no need for a gas pedal sensor and both ECM's run off the 58x crank signal. Aside from what was mentioned, everything plugged right into the LS3's wiring harness, according to Mike Copeland.

With the fifth-gen Camaro it seems we will finally be done with the knock sensor, crank reluctor wheel, and cam sensor conundrums that have plagued our fourth-gens, GTOs and C5s. And it appears we can finally use this new technology to our advantage and not consider it a hindrance. It seems we are finally entering a golden age when achieving great performance is not only easy, but accessible, thanks to GM and GMPP. Say goodbye to legal entanglements and "bolt-on" parts, and hello to OEM refinement.

And some pics at
<img src=images/smilies/thumbdown.gif border=0 alt= title=Thumbdown class=inlineimg />
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:38 PM   #4
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isn't it no longer possible to swap engines on new cars unless the engine your swapping in is from the same class and manufacture to remain street legal. or is that just certain states
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:02 AM   #5
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Why does it matter if it's "street legal"? it's a new car that wont have emissions for awhile and even then, keep the cats when it is time for emissions. No one will know the motor was swapped, how would you get caught if it was "illegal"?

An Ls7 would be a cool swap but the Ls3 is a bad motor aswell! The camaro is an enthusiast's dream!
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:25 PM   #6
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The external appearance of most LS blocks is virtually identical. With the right tune and your legal emission stuff in place, a smog tech would not notice the extra cubes.
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