Upgrading the technology and performance of your car doesn’t have to be a difficult or complex task. There used to be a time when it was expensive, tedious, complicated, and unreliable, but the times have changed and thanks to companies like MSD it’s become that much easier.

So in this DIY installment, we’re exploring just how easy it is to upgrade the performance of your junkyard LS (Gen III) swap. By now, plenty of you have weighed out the pricing and options for doing an LS swap and it’s a feasible upgrade with a few downfalls-integrating the motor into your factory wiring harness and having to deal with the factory ECM.

Now with MSD’s new Atomic EFI kit, the conversion not only saves you time, but a whole lot of downtime and gas money. This kit doesn’t require a laptop, and leaves owners more time spent enjoying their ride versus working on it.

An included Power Module is connected to a controller, which removes the need for a computer, and after answering a short series of questions in regards to your motor you’re all set to run. These kits are designed to be engine specific, and it comes with just about everything you need. Inside the box, the kit comes with rail assemblies, handheld controller, power module and harness, wideband 02 sensor and bung, -6 fittings for the fuel rails, and hose for the crossover. Specifically, we are using the LS2/3 Master Kit, PN 2950.

How Easy Is It To Install?

It’s easy even if you have just a little bit of technical prowess and the right tools. To be honest, it’s as easy as removing and replacing the items listed below. The install should take about a day, depending on your level of experience, but once all items have been replaced, you just plug-and-play-literally.

Here’s a List of Parts That Will Need to be Replaced:

Wideband O2 Sensor

A Wideband 02 sensor is supplied in the Atomic LS Master Kit. This sensor is responsible for constantly monitoring the exhaust gases and relaying that information to the ECU where adjustments are constantly made to the fuel delivery in order to meet the air/fuel targets. Only one sensor is required.

The O2 sensor requires that you weld the receiving bolt into the head pipe no more than 10 inches away from the collector, and not on a bend. Also make sure there are no exhaust leaks, as air leaks will affect the performance.

Once complete, install your fuel pump, fuel filter, and run all the appropriate lines, making sure to run the included clamps.

Fuel Rails

Begin by installing the four fuel rail brackets-two per bank. The fasteners have to be torqued down to 89 in/lb. Remember that the driver- and passenger-side fuel rails are different. The driver side has alternator, camshaft, and cooling temperature sensor receivers. Once the fuel rails are on, be sure to install the fuel rail by pass line, snap on the covers, and then start snapping the connectors to the appropriate receptacles. Please read below to see a list of the sensors.

Crank Sensor

The LS engine platform has used two different crank position sensors through the years. There is a 24-tooth wheel or a 58-tooth wheel on the crankshaft. The sensor has always been located behind the starter. The 24-tooth sensor has a black connector whereas the 58-tooth sensor has a gray connector. The Master Kits are supplied with connectors for both the 24x and 58x trigger sensors.

Cam Sensor

The Cam Sensors for LS engines have changed throughout the years. Not only its location, but its wiring as well. Early models have the cam sensor located at the back of the block near the deck surface. During 2005, as a running change, the location changed to the front of the block between the cam and crankshaft. The Atomic LS system can function with both designs.

Throttle Body And Sensors

The Atomic LS requires a mechanically operated throttle body. In the future throttle by wire applications will be covered. The Atomic has all of the OE connections for the throttle body, including Throttle Position (TPS) and Idle Air Control Solenoid (IAC).

Intake Air Temperature (IAT) Sensor

This sensor is supplied and it is recommended to install it in the air intake duct before the throttle body. A 3/4-inch hole is required for the sensor.

Rev Limiter

There are two settings for a rev limiter: one through fuel, one through ignition. There is an optional 2-Step Rev Limiter that can be used on the starting line for a low-rpm limit. This is temporarily activated through the Dark Blue wire of the Power Module to produce consistent launch rpm.

Aftermarket Auxiliary Settings

The Atomic LS system can support aftermarket performance parts or power adders that carry a CARB Executive Order number. There are accessory controls to properly adjust the timing and fuel delivery to meet the requirements of these auxiliary components.

Final Step

Once complete, install and wire up your power module inside the cabin or on the firewall of your car, plug in your handheld controller, answer all the appropriate questions in regards to your motor. Once complete, fire up the car, double check for leaks, and enjoy!

What to Do About Your Fuel Pump

All fuel injection systems need a high-pressure fuel pump system and the Atomic LS fuel injection system is no different. The reason why a fuel system is not included in this kit is because of the large variety of applications. Depending on your engine combination, the Atomic LS requires a minimum of 58-62 psi to operate. When selecting a pump, regulator, and lines, be sure each component is designed to perform at high pressure. MSD offers fuel pumps, hose, and accessories to complete your installation.

Here Are a Few Tips to Keep in Mind When Selecting a System:

The Atomic is capable of operating with a return or return-less style system. For best results with either system, MSD strongly recommends an in-tank pump. Installing the fuel pump in the tank results in quieter operation, less chance of cavitation, and a reduction in pump temperature.

Before programming the computer, turn on the ignition to accessory and make sure there are no fuel leaks.

When running a return-less fuel system (Pulse Width Modulated) the fuel pump must be mounted in the tank. It is recommended to use an MSD Atomic Fuel Pump, PN 2925 or PN 2926.

MSD supplies -6 AN Push-Lock style fittings for the fuel rails. These fittings must be used with MSD’s high-pressure EFI hose.

If mounting the pump in the tank is not an option, install the pump as close as possible to the tank. Within 2 feet of the sending unit is recommended.

Do not use hard line when plumbing the fuel system. When using a PWM fuel system, pulsations and harmonics could cause unstable fuel pressure resulting in pump cavitation or poor engine performance.

Axalta Monthly Tech Tip

by Axalta Coating Systems

axalta logo

See the Light

As most painters know, proper lighting conditions are essential for an entire paint process. Axalta Coating Systems has harnessed the power of light by developing a light source that may forever change the way body shops achieve refinish perfection. Known as Speed Light, this handheld device allows even the finest imperfections to be seen.

The right lighting conditions are essential to every stage of the paint repair process. Speed Light’s diode bulbs, more commonly known as LEDs, save energy, last up to 60,000 hours, and are cool to the touch. This technology offers clean, pure white light that is ideal for viewing and matching colors and helps body shop professionals detect imperfections.

Speed Light can be used throughout the refinish process to help identify pre-paint defects like pinholes and sand scratches, compare color samples, check color matches, and identify flake coarseness. It can also help refinishers spot post-repair issues, like coverage and hiding.

axalta speed light

Body shops know the importance of the paint process. It is the final step in the vehicle repair workflow. Axalta is committed to helping body shops optimize this process by providing the latest technologies. Speed Light is another example of this commitment.

So what are you waiting for painters! Go out there and get your hands on the new Axalta speed light as soon as possible and make your painting life a whole lot easier.

For more technical advice please feel free to contact Axalta’s product specialist Steven Chaparro at steven.c.chaparro@axaltacs.com.