What is a Good Engine for an Engine Swap?

Pistons isolated on white

If you have made the decision to swap your engine, you need to know a few things to ensure the swap is successful. One important thing to note during this process is the best engine to do the swap. When it comes to this part, a good engine for an engine swap is truly, what you can afford. You might want the best engine in the market but cannot afford it. However, it is still good to know the best engines for a swap according to your budget. This article looks at exactly that.

The Best Engine for an Engine Swap

Everyone might wish for the new LS crate engine from Chevrolet or the Summit Racing 5.3L long-block. However, when you do the calculations, you realize that you cannot afford such expensive engines. But, you can still get a $15,000 Shafiroff Racing’s race-steady stroker or a $300 used track LS. The idea here is to have fun doing the swap. However, you still need to know the engine you have so you can get the right parts to swap it into your car.

LS 1 Engines

Also referred to as the Gen III small-block, the LS1 engine is a 5.7L and comes with an all-aluminum design. It also comes with different engine management options and a coil near plug ignition. Due to its small bores, the LS1 engine can only use LS1, LS6, and LS2 heads. Other engines’ heads might lead to valve-to-block problems. Transplanting an LS1 engine can be quite hard because 1997-2004 Vettes were operated by throttle by wire throttle bodies and electronics.

LS 2 Engines

The LS2 engine uses a distinct intake manifold and a 90mm throttle body. This engine is compatible with LS1 and LS6 cylinder heads. LS2 engines from cars like the Chevrolet SSR and 2005 Corvettes used 24X crank position sensor reluctor wheels. The LS2 Engine can be operated using the Painless 60520 2005 GM LS2 Harness plus an LS1 Corvette accelerator pedal and TAC module.

LS 3 Engines

The LS3 engine produces 430hp at 5,900rpm and 424lb-ft at 4,600rpm. This engine also has a high flowing intake manifold, offset rocker arms, and a stronger block than the LS2 engine and bigger injectors from the LS7. The LS3 also has an aggressive camshaft and a new valvetrain. It also made use of the highly demanded L92 cylinder heads. The LS3 comes with a 2001 LS6 camshaft, which can be modified to have more intake lobe lift.

LS 4 Engines

Although it was made as an upgrade of the LS3 engine, the LS4 is an engine that you want to avoid because it is designed for transverse front-wheel-drive. You should not consider using it unless you are trying to modify a front-wheel-drive car. This engine is of minimal value for anyone looking for an engine swap because it is hard to use with anything else apart from what it originally came in.

LS 6 Engines

The first LS6 engine was rated at 385bhp and 385lb-ft. However, it was later upgraded to produce 405bhp and 300lb-ft of torque. This engine is a high output of the LS1 engine but with better heads. The L6 offers revised oiling system, higher compression ratio, and sodium-filled hollow stem valves. Since this engine has small bores, it can only use LS1, LS6, and LS2 heads. It is not possible to use heads meant for larger engines since that can cause valve-to-block interference.

LS 7 Engines

The LS7 is an incredibly normally aspirated engine that produces 500hp without using a supercharger or turbocharger. The LS7 has main bearing caps and a crankshaft, which are forged steel to offer strength. The connecting rods are forged titanium with hypereutectic pistons. This engine has a dry-sump oil system and CNC ported 12-degree castings.

LS 9 Engines

The LS9 is supercharged and is based on the LS3 block. It produces 600 horsepower and can last for 100,000 miles. Despite the high power and exceptional performance, LS9 engines can be quite expensive. Therefore, this high power does come at a price.

Most car enthusiasts would love to have heavy engines like the LS9 in their cars. However, this is not usually possible, mostly due to budget constraints. However, if you have money, an LS9 or LS7 are usually great options to consider. These two engines produce immense horsepower but can be quite expensive. This is why you might want to go for lower options – LS1 to LS6 engines. Although not very powerful, these engines still offer great performance.