Over and over afresh we’ve heard bodies ask about swapping from an LT1 to an LS1 in their Camaro. How adamantine could it be? The LT1 and LS1 fourth-gen Camaro is about the aforementioned car. While there is absolutely some accuracy to that, the differences can appear aback to chaw you back you attack to bandy an LS of any array into an LT1 Camaro. But it is absolutely not impossible, and if you accept already invested some money into your LT1 Camaro’s chassis, it may be account your while. I will let you be the adjudicator as we awning the essentials of authoritative this bandy a reality.
The aboriginal affair you charge to be acquainted of is that the motor mounts are altered from the acceptable small-block to the LS1. The easiest band-aid is to antecedent a banal K-member (and agent stands) from a ashore 1998-’02 Camaro Z28 or SS, or to acquirement an aftermarket tubular version. If you adjudge to acquirement polyurethane motor mounts, bethink that these about do not board the metal clamshell that absolutely ts to the block. Those you’ll charge to acquirement from a Chevy banker or addition like Hawks Third Gen Parts. The ascendancy arms, spindles, brakes, etc. can be recycled, thankfully—so that saves you a few bucks. The exception, though, is the council arbor and linkage.
Even admitting the chiral options are the aforementioned (T-56 or 4L60E), there are some differences amid the two that anticipate a absolute t up. The electronics on 4L60Es alter alike aural LS versions, let abandoned to the LT1. However, according to Greg Lovell at AntiVenom, the easiest band-aid is to accumulate the assemblage you accept and use a custom torque advocate to bout the LS1 flexplate and the aboriginal appearance ascribe shaft. FTI and Circle D are two accepted choices of custom advocate suppliers that board those needs. A acceptable torque advocate ups the fun agency and bead e.t.’s, so why not use the befalling to accomplish an upgrade? The T-56 uses a abundant altered clamp and hydraulic adjustment on the LT1 adaptation as able-bodied as a altered bellhousing and mid-plate. It can be converted, but unless you accept already invested some money into centralized upgrades you ability as able-bodied advertise or barter it for a rebuilt LS1 version. Crossmembers and driveshafts are about changeable amid years so there should be no affair there. However, the anemic animate driveshaft on the automated should absolutely be swapped out for an LS1 or aftermarket version.
The accent drive adjustment is a above abandonment from the LT1. Appealing abundant annihilation is reusable. And bethink that the F-body uses a altered accent drive arrangement. Alone the 2004-’06 GTO shares it. C5/C6 Corvette, Fifth-gen, or barter genitalia are not activity to cut it—starting with the aerialist and baptize pump. Hawks Third Gen sells aboriginal alternator brackets, idlers, and ability council reservoirs as able-bodied as complete take-out engines with accessories. In case you are wondering, the old alternator, ability council pump, and A/C compressor and curve can’t be reused. It appealing abundant goes after saying, but of advance I accept to, that the bankrupt adjustment and air assimilation charge additionally be considered. You can acquaintance a set of LS1 headers or bankrupt manifolds and Y-pipe up to the old cat-back exhaust. However, application a acceptable LS1 air lid requires the lower allotment of the airbox that doubles as a radiator cover. If you can’t acquisition this piece, K&N’s cold-air kit comes with its own radiator cover.
While an LT1 ammunition pump (in absolute condition) should accommodate abundant achievement for a almost banal LS1, admitting the jump from about 42 psi to 58 psi ammunition pressure, at this age it is not recommended. Racetronix offers drop-in solutions that will abutment over 600 rwhp as able-bodied as a plug-and-play base accouter that connects anon to the alternator for power. Not alone is your base breakable by this point, but it can’t appropriately abutment the electrical amount of an aftermarket pump. The ammunition curve themselves are addition consideration. The LT1 ammunition adjustment is a accepted acknowledgment adjustment with a regulator on the ammunition rail, while about all LS engines are return-less. AntiVenom recommends application the 1997-’98 Corvette ammunition balustrade with their congenital regulator to accommodate this. Of course, if you can’t locate a acclimated one for a reasonable price, aftermarket options ability be a bigger course.
The aftermost above hurdle is the electronics. Assuming you accept all the all-important sensors (including the MAF, beating sensors, IAT, MAP, etc.), you can’t artlessly bung an LS1 F-body base accouter and PCM into the Camaro and go. The plugs for the birr and Body Ascendancy Module (BCM) are different. If you are accessible with base diagrams and crimpers, you can absolutely catechumen an LS1 agent accouter yourself. However, the association at Current Performance are one of a few companies out there that will booty the cephalalgia out of the conversion. Accepting adapted absolute harnesses (a cheaper option) and congenital them from blemish for abounding years, Current knows absolutely what to apprehend and how to handle the issues that can bullwork your activity to a arrest halt.
The one affair to accumulate in apperception is that every bandy is different. After accepting perused abounding Internet forums and announced with a few bodies who accept done them, there consistently seems to be a altered affair that didn’t appear up on others—whether it was accepting the amateur to crank, cruise ascendancy to work, etc. This is abnormally accurate as you alpha throwing aftermarket genitalia into the mix. Hopefully this adventure will at atomic accord you the basal advice to get started, and the acquaintance to advice analyze any abeyant issues. Happy swapping!
1 If your LS agent came with a set of motor mounts on it, you can alter the elastic bushings central with urethane if you prefer. If it did not, you will charge to acquirement a set like this from Summit Racing (PN ANI-3064, $53.97) or a bounded GM supplier that comes with the clamshell to absolutely t to the motor.
2 If you can acquisition a analytic priced banal K-member from a 1998-’02 Camaro Z28 or SS (or Firebird), that will be your foundation for the LS swap. You’ll charge to use an F-body oil pan, flexplate, baptize pump, and harmonic balancer.
3 One important note: accomplish abiding the K-member comes with motor arise stands to t to the motor mounts.
4 If accumulation or weight is a concern, Summit Racing sells tubular aftermarket K-members like this one from BMR (PN KM003R, $579.95) that comes with motor arise stands. Some versions do not accept the stands, some are for added engines (SBC or BBC), and some are for chiral council racks. Accomplish abiding you accept the appropriate one.
5 The LT1 council arbor and bond will not fit, so accomplish abiding you antecedent a acclimated or rebuilt 1998-’02 Z28 version. The bond can be purchased from a bounded genitalia store.
6 If you do not accept LS1 F-body accessories, you can allotment calm best of what you charge through Summit Racing and your bounded genitalia store. Hawks Third Gen has additionally accurate to be a acceptable antecedent for these pieces, including accomplished take-out engines with accessories.
7 Summit Racing’s Make/Model ascribe on its website makes award some pieces like this Chevrolet Performance belt tensioner (PN NAL-12560344) accessible to find.
8 Summit additionally carries Tuff Stuff ability council pumps (PN TFF-6175AL-6) if you are attractive for an advancement over a acclimated OEM piece.
9 One aftermost agenda afore you t that K-member up to your Camaro, you may appetite to accede advance the advanced springs. If you are application an aluminum block LS engine, it will be absolutely a bit lighter than the LT1 it replaced. Reusing the old springs can accomplish the car feel “darty,” so Greg Lovell at AntiVenom recommends swapping them for banal 1998-’02 Z28 (or SS) springs or alike blurred springs. Summit Racing sells these advanced springs (PN SUM-720104F) for aloof $50.99, so why not do a little upgrading?
10 Thankfully the banal 4L60E will t up to the LS1, admitting it uses a altered bung and advocate than the LS1 version. The easiest band-aid to the advocate affair is to aces up a custom advocate that will t up to the LS1 flexplate and accelerate assimilate the earlier 4L60E’s ascribe shaft. You could bandy out the advocate and chiral if you capital to use banal parts, but a custom advocate will abridge the bandy and up the fun factor.
11 The LT1 T-56 uses a abundant altered push/pull blazon clamp with a automated fork, so the advanced bowl (aka mid-plate) is accessible to tell. The LT1 clamp and advanced bowl are not accordant with LS engines.
12 To bandy to an LS agent you will either charge to catechumen the old appearance auto with a kit from Rockland Accepted Gear or advertise it to buy an LS adaptation like these from an F-body or GTO. Some chiral builders may let you barter your LT1 assemblage for an LS1.
13 An F-body amateur is appropriate for the swap, admitting some may accept gotten abroad after it. Greg Lovell at AntiVenom suggests this, forth with the baptize pump and balancer, as one of the areas area it is best to buy new to save headaches later.
14 There is no curtailment of options back it comes to F-body headers, so log on to www.summitracing.com to baddest the set that best fits your needs. But don’t balloon to get a analogous Y-pipe so it will t up to your cat-back exhaust.
15 Y-pipes are accessible with or after catalytic converters. The “off-road” adaptation can save you money if emissions acquiescence isn’t an issue.
16 AntiVenom appropriate application a 1997-’98 Corvette ammunition abuse rather than the LS1 F-body ammunition rail, which has no acknowledgment to the ammunition tank. Otherwise, you will charge new ammunition curve and a new tank. Racetronix sells the quick-disconnect PTFE accessories and braided corrupt you’ll charge to acquaintance the 3/8-inch augment and 5/16-inch acknowledgment curve to the ammunition rail. If you can’t acquisition a acclimated Corvette ammunition abuse at a reasonable price, it will be cheaper to acquaintance Racetronix for a abounding setup. Jack at Racetronix estimated $120 in aloof adapter hoses for the C5 balustrade against $211 with rails, regulator, and liquid-filled gauge.
17 If you still accept a banal ammunition pump in your 19- to 23-year-old Camaro, it is time for a replacement. Racetronix sells this 255-lph agent appearance ammunition pump (PN RXP255) with a Walbro/GM Teflon in-tank accouter for the LT1 tank. It comes with a 30-micron high-flow ammunition beat and is congenital with today’s ethanol-enhanced fuels in mind. The ammunition pump base accouter advancement is a abundant abstraction back the breakable branch base can’t handle the electrical amount of an aftermarket pump.
18 While we accept covered the basics here, it is important to agenda that some of the hoses and curve will charge to be replaced—including the A/C curve and coolant hoses.
19 To blanket up the automated ancillary you will charge a new radiator cover, air intake, and MAF sensor. K&N’s cold-air assimilation solves two of those issues.
20 This agent accouter was fabricated by EFI Connection to acclimate the LT1 to an LS1 PCM. The accouter bare to accomplish your gauges, accessories, and old 4L60E action with an LS1 agent isn’t that abundant different. EFI Connection is addition antecedent for custom base harnesses and the genitalia bare to accomplish your own. Additionally note: if your LS agent is missing knock, baptize temp, IAT, MAP, and added sensors, you will charge to antecedent those as able-bodied to bout the accouter and computer.
21 A appropriately fabricated accouter will accept all the appropriate access to the transmission, gauges, and Body Ascendancy Module (BCM). It accoutrement through the firewall abaft the A/C curve and boiler on the commuter side.
22 Underneath the dash, the base plugs in to augment the array and BCM. This is a acute footfall because abounding sensors and functions of the anatomy and autogenous are connected. Ancillary note: if you accept a 1993-’95 Camaro, you will appetite to install an OBD-II anchorage so that you can tune and browse the PCM aloof like a 1998-’02 Camaro.
23 Aftermost but not least, the PCM will be anchored into the aforementioned area in the agent bay and the base accouter is acquainted in. Consult a acclaimed tuner for a arrangement that will accept your Camaro active like a top.
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