LS Technology sounds like a new concept, but the fact of the matter is that it is over a decade old. GM Truck and SUV owners have been using the engines for years and have not realized it. “LS-Series” is a format that was introduced in the GM Corvette back in 1997, with the hope of modernizing and incorporating a more efficient engine. As GM started developing their technology, they realized that they had hit another homerun, just like they did in 1967 with the introduction of the legendary small block 350. The small block 350 was so successful, that people are still incorporating these engines into modern-day builds.
After perfecting the LS format in 2000, it was made standard on GM’s full-size trucks and SUVs; yes the very same trucks and SUVs that we use to haul our lowriders. The trucks and SUVs had received the LS1, which is a 5.3 V-8 engine that is equivalent to the 327 displacement. While they started mass producing the new generation of small blocks, they had already figured out how to make the engine bigger. General Motors had started boring out pistons and swapping out heads, which led to the creation of the LS2, which was a 6.0 engine/402 c.i.d that delivered massive torque and power. Other displacement LS series that came about were the 293 cid (4.8L), and 346 cid (5.7L). The LS6 was introduced in the 2001 Corvette Z06 option package, and there is even an LS9 that is being introduced in today’s market, which is rumored to be going into mass production for use in the special edition SS Camaro.
With so many Trucks and SUV’s on the road today, these engines have become easier to obtain. There are several avenues that consumers can use to get their hands on one of these modern beauties. They can be easily found through Craigslist, eBay, Penny Saver, or even at your local wrecking yard, the choice is yours. In an attempt to stay away from private party sales, as well as cyber space fraud, we stopped at Dave’s Goldenwest Truck wrecking yard, where they sell these engines for around $1,000. This option is a perfect way to go for those that have more time than money, and we all know that sometimes doing a little legwork can really save on building costs in the end. It can also leave you with money left over that can be used to buy the new harness, and any other parts you’ll need to make your LS engine operate and function properly. Saving money on the engine itself can also leave behind a budget to upgrade to a newer style serpentine kit, performance intake and fuel rails, which are all crucial to building your car in a more economically sound manner.
After our trip to the wrecking yard, we stopped at Ultimate Hydraulics and Accessories of Norco, CA. “V-Max” has been building lowriders as a business since 1998, and the experience shows in every project they attach themselves to. Ultimate Hydraulics has been ahead of the curve in the lowrider engine transplant game, installing these LS series engines into several vehicles for the past couple of years. He has learned several of the do and don’ts involved when building an LS series engine. We spent a full day with “V-Max,” as he showed us several insightful tips on building and installing the LS engines. Follow along, as the Ultimate Hydraulics crew explain how they would dress up a motor from Goldenwest and install it for one of their own current customers.