Let me start by saying I in no way wrote this article, it can be found at this link and was written by those reference in it at the following link. I simply copied and pasted it here so it could be used as a reference for those such as myself who scour the internet reading about LS swaps, as well as a place to talk about them on here. I do realize the article is from 2012 and there are some newer items and years to add to the list behind some of the motors but if you have anything to add then join in on the discussion! Junkyard LS Engine Builds: Going From Rags To Riches By Bobby Kimbrough on May 13, 2012 How many times have you heard that the days of building a decent engine from the junkyard are over? That may have been true during the 80’s – during the Small Block Chevy days – and prior to the release of GM family of LS engines. Now, due to the fact that the LS is in “everything” – GM’s little lightweight powerplant that could, it has changed the way Chevy guys think about engine building. These LS V8’s are exactly what gear heads have been looking for: lightweight, compact and producing at least 1 horsepower per cubic inch with reliability and durability. And by the way, if you’re looking for good fuel economy and tons of aftermarket support in a basic platform that can rev high and pull hard from low rpm, and do all of that on pump gas without complexity or tons of maintenance, then digging through the junkyard for the right parts to put together a recycled LS engine might be for you. Let’s say you’re a guy with dreams of big horsepower, but a wallet with a four cylinder stroke or maybe you’re a guy that just likes a challenge and likes spending time searching in the local junkyard. Can you build a modern GM engine using junkyard parts that has decent horsepower and longevity? We talked to a couple of the best LS engine builders on the planet to find out what junkyard parts it would take and what pitfalls to avoid in building a junkyard LS engine with muscle. Our Experts: Chad Golen, Golen Engine Service Golen has 20 years of engine building experience with 17 years focused on LS performance engines. Golen Engine Service is operated in a 12,000 squarefoot facility in Hudson, New Hampshire, where a team of hand picked and home grown technicians produce high performance miracles for an elite clientele base. Among these customers, Golen has built custom engines for golf legend Jack Nicklaus and Jerry Onks. Golen’s LS7 engine work powered Onks’ road race Corvette to the 2010 Road America Championship. Golen’s clientele list includes Jerry Onks, whose C6 Corvette Road Race GT3 Racecar is powered by a Golen 427ci LS7 Race Engine. Golen’s engines have also been purchased by D&S American Muscle for Mad and Daring Race Team of the Netherlands for use in their C6 Corvette GT3 Race Car, The crew at Golen’s is specialized in their respective areas which allows for a very high degree of experience in specific systems. Among the specialties, Golen’s Engine Service has a full staff of machinists and their own in-house dyno operator and tuner. Billy Briggs, Briggs Performance Briggs has been involved in building high performance GM engines for over twenty years and claims some of the most impressive accolades that an engine builder can earn. In the past few years, Briggs Performance has focused on building some of the fastest LSX drag racing motors that compete in the National Series. Briggs’ engines have powered winners across the nation, most notably in the LSX shootout in both drag radial and true street classes as well as Milan dragway’s heads-up drag radial and 10.5 outlaw classes. According to owner Billy Briggs, “99 percent of our business is LS engines.” Other accomplishments that Briggs Performance claim include the following: * First LS engine to exceed 2000 hp * First LS engine powered race car to run faster than 7.0 second quarter mile * First LS engine powered race car to exceed 200 mph in the quarter mile Breakdown on GM’s LS Engines: GM’s LS engine platform is often called the new small block Chevy and it’s entry into the marketplace signaled a higher performance era in GM motors with the same interchangeability that GM fans have come to expect. With almost a decade and a half in the market, the popular LS engine platforms have been showing up in the salvage yards in droves which means that cores can be found on the cheap. These engines have been showing up as engine swaps in just about every type of chassis imaginable. If you’re inclined to take on the challenge of building one of these inexpensive powerplants from cores found in a wrecking yard, you should be a little familiar with the evolution of the LS Platform. To help with matters, we worked with Chad Golen and Billy Briggs on a down and dirty guide to LS Engines below, starting with the one that began the evolution, the LS1. LS1 LS1: Showing up first in the 1997 model year C5 Corvette, this aluminum block engine was a departure from the previous small block Chevy engine platforms. Sharing very little in common with the previous SBC platforms, the LS1 created a buzz with automotive enthusiasts and hot rodders alike. Because of their comparatively small bores – 3.89 inches – LS1 blocks can only use LS1, LS6 and LS2 heads. Using heads designed for larger engines will cause valve-to-block interference. Transplanting an LS1 could become touchy because the 1997-2004 Vettes came with throttle by wire throttle bodies and electronics to operate them. You must have the accelerator pedal and TAC module from a 1997-2004 Vette that match the PCM programming to use the stock throttle body. The 1998-2002 LS1 equipped Camaro and Trans Am cars used a pwm VATS system as an anti theft device. A VATS module in the steering column transmits a pwm signal to the ECM if the proper ignition key is inserted into the key switch. If the improper key is inserted, the system disables the injector pulses after 2 seconds of engine run time. When transplanting the engine from one of these vehicles, the VATS system must be defeated. Painless Performance offers a kit that will accomplish this.The 1997-2004 LS1 Corvettes use a serial VATS system. The ECM and BCM use serial communication which is not defeatable by an add on VATS module. * Displacement: 346ci * Block: Cast Aluminum * Heads: Aluminum with 15 degree cathedral port * Compression: 10:1 * Bore & Stroke: 3.900” x 3.622” * Specs: rated at 350 hp and 365 lb·ft used in the Corvette from 97-04. It was also used in GM F-Body cars with a rating of 305HP – 325HP. * Where to look: 1998-2002 GM F-Body Camaro Z28 and SS, Pontiac Formula and Trans Am, 1997-2004 C5 Corvette, 2004 Pontiac GTO. Notes: 1997-1998 LS1 engines had perimeter bolt valve covers. Casting number 12550592 was available in the 1997 Corvette in the first production year. In the 1998 Corvette, Camaro and Firebird model with the 12550592 had casting improvements for added strength. Casting number 12559846 (1998-1999) had an improved cylinder liner design Casting number 12559090 (1998) was a midyear revision with new cam bushing material. Casting number 12559378, 12559846 and 12560626 were released in 2000 with a cored rear cover oil passage design change.