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Is An LS Swap Worth It?

August 16, 2022

What To Look For When LS Swapping Your Truck

When it comes to engine swaps, there are definitely a few different options out there, right? Some of them are a bit easier than others, but one that's been a trusted and proven favorite throughout the years is the good ol' LS swap, based off one of of GM's most popular and iconic engine types. It's like the Bob Ross of engine swaps, which just paints happy little pictures of horsepower, torque, and overall performance and breathes fresh air and fuel injection into an otherwise dated truck build.

Today, we're talking about the LS swap, and all you need to know before doing one. Let's get right into it.

1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with Moto Metal MO962 wheels

How Did Engine Swapping Become Popular?

If you're not familiar with it, swapping engines into pickups is not a new trend by any means. Since the 70s, car and truck guys all over have been yanking engines out of one truck and then dropping them into another, all in an effort to get more horsepower and overall, just more rowdy fun. More burnouts, more racing, more awesome.

While swapping engines has been a common occurrence for over 50 years, it wasn't until the late 90s that the practice really took off, especially in trucks that didn't come with a GM engine in them from the factory. Introduced in 1997, at a time when lava lamps were still popular, the LS engine redefined engine swapping forever.


Read More: Which Chevy Silverado Trim Package Is Best?


What Makes GM's LS Engines So Good?

GM would change what it means to do an engine swap with the announcement of its LS1 engine platform for the C5 Corvette. This iron block, push rodded, V8 beauty would make 345 horsepower and 350 pound feet of torque, remaining relatively untouched from 1997 until 2002, when it would be replaced with another LS engine.

Fun fact for you here: In a time when dual overhead cam engines dominated the market, GM opted to go with an older push rod style engine, which caused a ton of controversy. However, they did it for one simple reason, and that's that it was simply reliable. Swapping a cam in an LS engine is easy; swapping the push rods is easy. And that's why they did it.

1999 Chevrolet Silverado with Gear Alloy 726 wheels

Are LS Swaps Easy To Do?

While there were several changes to the LS engine since it debuted, the important thing to know here is that as soon as the LS engine started popping up in salvage yards and on Craigslist ads, people began to scoop them up. The main advantage of an LS swap is that they're pretty easily accessible - after all, these engines were made over two decades in a ton of different models. Seriously, every GM truck or car produced in the 90s, early 2000s and even 2010s had an LS of some sort in them.

Plus, they're all interchangeable, so you can take a flywheel off an LS1, bolt it to a transmission on an LS6, and they're all just plug and play. On top of that, one of the coolest things about these engines is that if you need parts for them, like an intake gasket, head gasket, or water pump, it's like four bolts and they come right out. Plus, you can go down to your local O'Reilly's and find the exact part you're looking for for like 17 bucks on the shelf. There's not another engine out there that can do what this engine does.

Because of all of this, the choices are plentiful if you're looking to pick up a little horsepower in your build. This, coupled with the fact that there are several companies out there that make bolt-on kits for swapping an LS engine into literally anything you can think of, makes them cheap, easy options to swap.


Read More: Is The Current Gen Chevrolet Silverado Worth Buying?


2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with ARKON Alexander wheels and Nitto NT420V tires

What Tires Should You Get For An LS Swapped Truck?

So let's say an LS swap is in the future for your truck. On top of all the swap parts like brackets and wire harnesses and the like, what other parts are you gonna need? It all starts with tires, and depending on what you're LS swapping into, there's nothing like a nice, modest leveling kit with a set of street tires. And we couldn't talk about street tires without mentioning the one and only Nitto 420V.

This is like the holy grail of street tires - the 420V builds off the success of its predecessor - the 420S - and kicks it up a notch when it comes to what you can expect from a street tire. These bad boys feature an asymmetrical tread design from the left to right sides, and while this helps in a few areas, the biggest benefit is that it allows the tire to have the largest shoulder lugs possible, giving you the grip when you need it.

Additionally, these tires have a massive center tread siping, which helps push water away and keep you planted in the rain. If that's not enough, these tires also come in larger light truck sizes for those of you who are looking to put them on diesel trucks, for example.


Read More: Top 5 Wheels For A Silverado


2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD with TIS 544BM wheels and Nitto NT420V tires

What Wheels Should You Get For An LS Swapped Truck?

Of course, what's a new set of tires for an LS swap without a new set of wheels to put them on? Again, this really depends on the build, but you can't go wrong with a good old set of TIS 544s. Not only does the 544 look good on pretty much every single build, but they also come in every size you could want, from 16 all the way up to 26 inches. Regardless of what you're slapping an LS engine into, TIS has a wheel that has you covered.

Shop Aftermarket Wheels and Tires For Your Truck at Custom Offsets

Best of all, if you don't want to run the risk of the tire shop scratching up your TIS wheels, no sweat - we got you. If you pick up a set of wheels and tires from us, we'll mount them, balance them up, and ship them to your door in as little as 7 to 10 days with quick delivery. Check out our store today and build the wheel and tire package that works best for your truck!

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