What Makes LS Engines So Great?

When it’s time for an engine swap, the LS is a popular choice. It fits just about any vehicle and can generate lots of horsepower. Whether you’re upgrading an older GM vehicle or building something special, an LS engine might be just what you need.

Here, we’ll share some information about the LS, explain what makes it so popular, and maybe help you decide which is the best LS engine for your project.

Some LS History

GM is excellent at building small block V8s — after all, it’s been doing it a long time. The LS series appeared in 1997 as the Gen III small block. First, there was the LS1, then in 1999 came the more powerful LS6.

In 2004, GM unveiled the Gen IV LS2. This featured AFM, VVT and a 58-tooth reluctor wheel for improved ignition timing. A little later came the LS4, LS7 and LS3 (in that order). Then there was the LS9 — a supercharged version of the 6.2-liter (376 cu in) LS3, and the LSA variant that went into the Cadillac CTS-V.

What about LS engine horsepower? For the stock LS2, numbers are 400 hp and 400 lb-ft. A stock LS9 however, churns out 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque.

Strengths of the LS Engine

LS engines have many great features, from high-flow heads to low-down torque.

Here are four reasons why LS engines are a popular replacement choice:

  1. Pushrods! – It’s not the pushrods themselves that are so good, but what they do to the overall engine size. Not using overhead cams reduces total height, and that makes the LS more compact than many smaller displacement engines.
  2. Aluminum castings – Aluminum is incredibly strong for its weight. That results in a lightweight block and heads. It’s another reason LS engines go into a host of vehicles, from classic Camaros to Miatas.
  3. 6-bolt main bearing caps – Four bolts go in vertically, two horizontally. Together, they create a rigid bottom end. That helps the LS handle big increases in output.
  4. Generous cam-to-crank spacing – This leaves room to fit a longer throw crank or, in other words, stroke the engine. That results in greater swept volume and hence more power and torque.

Bottom line, the LS engine is compact, lightweight and very strong. Best of all, specialists like us who know it inside and out can extract a lot more power while keeping it reliable.

Golen LSx Engines

LSx once referred to a performance LS crate engine intended for racing. Today, it’s applied more generally to engines of the LS design. An LS engine is a great way to upgrade any classic car or hot rod. Regardless, what if a stock motor doesn’t deliver the power and torque your ride deserves? You don’t want to do an engine swap and then be disappointed, which is why you should look at Golen LSx engines.

We custom-build every engine. Our well-equipped machine shop bores and hones, we blueprint and balance, and we build engines that last as well as perform. That’s why we put a three-year unlimited mileage warranty on every motor, and it’s why you should buy from us.

Call or email Golen Engine to learn more.