Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 3:28 PM Thread Starter
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Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

Hello all,

I am new, so please forgive my ingnorance as I am not a mechnical skilled yet and just learning.

Eventually, I would like to purchase a 1970 Chevelle. My goal is for comfortable drive on the weekends and sometimes to work or visit my mom 200 miles away.

I went to a classic shop to speak to owner and he states he Only works on LS engines and does not touch small or big block engines anymore for clients. He resaon is the drive is more smoother for today's driving compare to the 70s driving and many clients are not comfortable with the drive. He mentioned something about transmission rebuild as well for smoother driving. Do owner of the shop told me to only look for LS engines Chevelle during my search as this will be a better drive for me.

Questions:

1. If I want a smooth drive (a bit similar to today's cars drive v8 engines), should I look for 70 Chevelle with LS egines?

2. Why do car owners install LS engines in their car instead of small or big block engines?

Thank you for the help.

Get the simple thing right first.
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post #2 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 3:53 PM
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I suggest a Prius, Volt or Tesla for you.
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post #3 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 4:09 PM
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

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Originally Posted by Reelysalty View Post
I suggest a Prius, Volt or Tesla for you.
Dude, that is just rude. Be nice.

OP: You'll see every possible opinion on LS vs SBC/BBC, Carb vs FI. Stick vs auto. If one setup was perfect we'd all have it.

The LS might have a small edge with durability. The LS might have a small edge on ease of making horsepower. Drivability has a lot to do with engine tune, and suspension -- my BBC drives real easy, but the suspension is a little stiff, resulting in reduced comfort.

I do think your classic car shop owner is leaving a lot of profit in customers' pockets by refusing to deal with the traditional Chevy engines.

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post #4 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 4:40 PM
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

Total myth! While the LS stuff is fantastic, there's still plenty of appeal for the old small and big blocks. It's really about the tune, and there's still plenty hotrodders that can't tune a carb. We also tend to run large and many times, too large of a camshaft. I've got a couple old chevy engines here that pure, some that snarl. None have efi. The beauty of the old stuff, it's what was designed to be in the engine bay and it's literally plug and play if you make smart moves. If you can out think what chevy did, then do your homework and you should be fine. No easy answers here, but imo, guys that install LS engines usually brush over the obstacles for various reasons. Maybe because they didn't actually complete the work, maybe because they copied and pasted various ideas and don't fully understand what they did, whatever the reasons you very seldom find comprehensive tutorials of a LS install. How often have we heard "I'm going to LS that car", and the guy you're talking to is surrounded by unfinished projects?
My point....the LS is a great engine, but you have to address exhaust, cooling fans, wiring, transmission choices, sensors, driveshaft, oil pan, perches, etc before you go buy that LS core motor off craigslist. I see too many guys doing that process in reverse.
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post #5 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 4:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickeyChevelle View Post
Dude, that is just rude. Be nice.

OP: You'll see every possible opinion on LS vs SBC/BBC, Carb vs FI. Stick vs auto. If one setup was perfect we'd all have it.

The LS might have a small edge with durability. The LS might have a small edge on ease of making horsepower. Drivability has a lot to do with engine tune, and suspension -- my BBC drives real easy, but the suspension is a little stiff, resulting in reduced comfort.

I do think your classic car shop owner is leaving a lot of profit in customers' pockets by refusing to deal with the traditional Chevy engines.
Thank you NickeyChevelle for the response.

A few questions please:

1. What does BBC mean?

2. To make your Chevelle a bit comfortable, what would do to the suspension or anything else? I am asking this so I learn the difference while I am searching and researching.

Thanks

Get the simple thing right first.
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post #6 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 4:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

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Originally Posted by cheveslakr View Post
Total myth! While the LS stuff is fantastic, there's still plenty of appeal for the old small and big blocks. It's really about the tune, and there's still plenty hotrodders that can't tune a carb. We also tend to run large and many times, too large of a camshaft. I've got a couple old chevy engines here that pure, some that snarl. None have efi. The beauty of the old stuff, it's what was designed to be in the engine bay and it's literally plug and play if you make smart moves. If you can out think what chevy did, then do your homework and you should be fine. No easy answers here, but imo, guys that install LS engines usually brush over the obstacles for various reasons. Maybe because they didn't actually complete the work, maybe because they copied and pasted various ideas and don't fully understand what they did, whatever the reasons you very seldom find comprehensive tutorials of a LS install. How often have we heard "I'm going to LS that car", and the guy you're talking to is surrounded by unfinished projects?
My point....the LS is a great engine, but you have to address exhaust, cooling fans, wiring, transmission choices, sensors, driveshaft, oil pan, perches, etc before you go buy that LS core motor off craigslist. I see too many guys doing that process in reverse.
Thank you cheveslakr for the response.

Maybe I am confusing myself a bit. What I am more interested in is a smoother drive. For instance, power disc brakes, power steering, (I do not know whatelse is needed for a bit more comfortable drive).

I have driven a 350 engine about 14 years ago from a friend. I would not mind this type of engine again and yes I recall my freind struggling with carb issues.

So during my search of Chevelle, I do not mind a small/big block engine or LS, I just simply do not want to ignore small/big block engine with the mindset of "if I get this 350 engine, then the ride want be smooth".

I hope I make some sense

Get the simple thing right first.
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post #7 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 4:59 PM
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

Your friend is right. LS engines are slowly replacing small and big block engines, like it or not. They make SBC (small block chevrolet) and BBC (big block Chevrolet) engines look like boat anchors. They're more durable, make power with fewer cubic inches, run smoother, etc… I have a big block now in my Chevelle but believe me, if something really bad ever happens to it, I'm replacing it with a LS!

Claude.

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1987 Buick Grand National 9.48 @ 142 mph
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post #8 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 5:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheveslakr View Post
My point....the LS is a great engine, but you have to address exhaust, cooling fans, wiring, transmission choices, sensors, driveshaft, oil pan, perches, etc before you go buy that LS core motor off craigslist. I see too many guys doing that process in reverse.
Thanks cheveslakr for the response.

This is great point, I rather buy my Chevelle with LS engine already installed per my liking.

Get the simple thing right first.
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post #9 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 5:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

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Originally Posted by toofastforyou View Post
I have a big block now in my Chevelle but believe me, if something really bad ever happens to it, I'm replacing it with a LS!

Claude.
Thank you Claude for the response.

Questions

1. Why would you replace your BBC with LS?

2. Did you do any upgrade to your Chevelle on the supension, brakes, and steering for a more smoother ride?

Thank you

Get the simple thing right first.
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post #10 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 5:10 PM
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

Keep in mind that if you buy a Chevelle with an LS engine already installed you're at the mercy of the last owner's work. They could have done it right, or the swap is hold together with bubble gum and wire nuts. Make sure to have it looked over by somebody who knows cars.

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post #11 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 5:22 PM
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by just_a_goodoboy View Post
Thank you Claude for the response.

Questions

1. Why would you replace your BBC with LS?

2. Did you do any upgrade to your Chevelle on the supension, brakes, and steering for a more smoother ride?

Thank you
I was just saying that IF something major goes bad with my BBC, then I'd replace it with an LS, but I don't have any plans on doing that soon because it's running ok. As for the suspension, it's mostly stock, just a bigger front saw bar, stock one in the rear and tubular front control arms.

Claude.

1971 Chevelle SS
1987 Buick Grand National 9.48 @ 142 mph
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post #12 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 7:14 PM
 
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

I have owned several Chevy and Pontiac muscle cars with both big and small blocks over the years. I installed an LS1/4L60E in a 64 Tempest a few years ago. Being old school it was a learning experience. I love the drivability/reliability and performance of the car. I drive it everywhere, way more than I drove my other cars. I have since built 2 more LS powered cars. I recently sold my 70 El Camino SS 396 4 speed car that I have owned and loved for 25 years. I am building a 69 El Camino with LS1/4L65E. Can't wait to get it done. Still driving the 64 Tempest. Absolutely love them!!!!
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post #13 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 7:18 PM
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

There are 2 reasons why I wouldn't change to an LS engine -- The first reason is personal preference: My car is a COPO (Central Office Production Order) tribute and thus "requires" a BBC (Big Block Chevrolet) engine to look authentic. The second reason is purely practical: As an old fart I don't have the interest in fully learning a new "technology" -- like what works and what doesn't, what vendor makes the best conversion kit, are any of the conversion kits worth the big bucks, plug and play wiring, computer interface, etc. This old dog is not interested in learning any new tricks.

That said, feel free to do it. IT'S YOUR CAR.

https://www.chevydiy.com/how-to-swap...-step-by-step/

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post #14 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 7:44 PM
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

The main thing about an LS swap is it assumes that the advanced engine and transmission features are used. This makes the car as bulletproof as a new one.

On the old engines, you typically have ignition points, or maybe an electronic ignition trigger but the timing is all mechanical. Same for the induction. The LS has a highly efficient fuel injection system that is computer controlled. There's no fuel smell, no choke problems. It's all instant reliability. Dollar for dollar, the LS will make more HP per cubic inch than a comparable old school configuration.

There's a lot of us out there that take great joy in refining ignition curves, timing settings, secondary opening rates, jet changes etc. There's a pride in getting an old car to act like a new car and not everyone has the knowledge, time or tools to do it.

That's probably why the shop you went to doesn't want to deal with old school. It takes more dialing in.

There's some guys taking LS motors out of late model GM trucks, slapping single turbocharger on it and running outrageously quick quarter mile times. It really shames some well built naturally aspirated old school combinations.

I just love the look of a nicely dressed big block Chevrolet under the hood of an A body!

I don’t like being manipulated!
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post #15 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 20, 7:59 PM
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Re: Why Install LS Engine in Chevelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgregg51 View Post
I have owned several Chevy and Pontiac muscle cars with both big and small blocks over the years. I installed an LS1/4L60E in a 64 Tempest a few years ago. Being old school it was a learning experience. I love the drivability/reliability and performance of the car. I drive it everywhere, way more than I drove my other cars. I have since built 2 more LS powered cars. I recently sold my 70 El Camino SS 396 4 speed car that I have owned and loved for 25 years. I am building a 69 El Camino with LS1/4L65E. Can't wait to get it done. Still driving the 64 Tempest. Absolutely love them!!!!
Steve was an HUGE help for me when I installed my LS1-4L60e combo into MY 1964 Tempest. Thanks Steve and I aggree totally. I have a 625 HP 1966 Chevelle that I drove 2x all year last year. I drive the LS1 Tempest nearly daily and really look foward to driving it. The BBC in the Chevelle has NO choke and is cold blooded in the initial startups
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