With the parts from ATS the swap was fairly
straight forward. The engine mounts, oil pan
and transmission mounts made the engine and
transmission a bolt in deal with the only
hole needing to be cut was for the shifter
to come up through the floor. The next
problem for the LS7 was the dry sump tank. I
purchased Peterson 2 gallon tank (Part #
08-0005) and mounted it were the battery
used to be. It could not be perfectly
straight up and down due to the sub frame so
I had to tilt it about 5 degrees.
The next big problem was how to make it run.
I used mostly MSD EFI parts to make the
engine work in its non-stock application.
MSD EFI makes a MEFI4 controller and
mechanical throttle body to convert this
engine to work in just about any
application. By converting the engine to the
MSD EFI system you no longer need the
throttle by wire throttle body and the stock
mass air flow meter is not needed. The MSD
EFI InGenius software and wide band oxygen
sensor make the system easy to dial in. Even
thought the system comes with and engine cal
that will start and run the engine each
application needs some customization to
optimize the performance.
The last things to button up in this install
is the exhaust and fuel system. The exhaust
headers were ATS stainless steel tri-y
units. These fit my Camaro great. The rest
of the exhaust system is Stainless Works 3”
system installed by Stenode Performance. The
fuel system consists of a Rick Stainless
fuel tank with an in tank Kinsler EFI pump.
The tank came from Rick’s ready to bolt in.
The LS7 fuel system is a return less system
so the regulator is not on the engine but
back by the tank. Because this is a stock GM
engine why not use a stock GM fuel filter
regulator part. I used a Corvette regulator
(part # 10299146). This delivers 58 psi
filter fuel to the engine.
I have had the engine in the car and driving
for a month now and it works great. It idles
at 700 RPM and pulls like my old roller cam
rumpity rump engines that I’ve had in the
past. I’m getting 11 second ¼ mile passes
and a warranty.
car I started with was a California Black
plate car that still had the original
numbers matching 350 4 barrel engine with a
turbo 350. Pulling the car apart was very
cool because it was all stock. Because it
was a plane Jane Camaro I did care about the
original engine. But drive train went to a
good home because a friend of mine has an SS
small black car that was missing it drive
train so all the cool original parts went
into his car.
quick comparisons on how the LS7 looks in
the redone engine compartment.
first thing I did when I got the engine was test fit the accessory drive,
headers and MSD engine wiring harness. The MSD harness for the MEFI4 engine
controller was a true plug and play harness. It was correctly terminated for all
the stock GM sensors and it included extra sensors and adaptors to read fuel
pressure sensor that connects to the fuel rail (see photo) and oil temperature
headers are made by ATS (American Touring Specialties’) they are made of 304
stainless steel of a tri-y design. They are made to work with the LS engine
mounts to work with a 1st gen f-body. Due to there tri-y design the have great
ground clearance and fit the stock sub-frame great.
other key enabler to get the dry sumped LS7 into a stock 1st gen body is this
trick oil pan made by ATS. The pan is made of steel and is redesigned clear the
sub frame and have inlets and outlet for the dry sump system.
The other part of the dry sump system is the tank. This is shot of the
tank being mocked up prior to the car being painted. The tank that works well
and fits well is a Patterson 2 gallon tank (Part # 08-0005) with a -12 AN
pickup, -12 AN return and -12 AN breather.
The accessory drive I used is a C-5 or C-6 Corvette
accessory drive less the A/C pump. The A/C pump is a Vintage Air compressor
(Part # 04670MTA) spaced forward to clear the stock cross member. To make this
work I had ATI (part # SK286D2) make a custom harmonic balancer pulley which
moved the A/C belt track forward 53.41 mm. While I was at it I had ATI make the
damper 10% smaller. I hade to make a bracket to mount the compressor to line up
with the new A/C belt. Since I did this modification ATS now offers a complete
bolt on accessory drive system.
Because the stock throttle body is throttle by wire and not compatible
with the MEFI4 controller I replaced it with a mechanical unit from MSD EFI. The
new throttle body is a direct bolt on replacement 90 mm unit that incorporates a
IAC and TBS sensor.
For fuel delivery I call Rick Stainless fuel tanks and had the
build me a tank S/S tank with an internal EFI pump sized for the LS7. This was a
direct bolt in part that replaces the stock tank. The tank had fuel feed and
retune line and a fuel level sensor. I used a stock GM fuel filter regulator
from a Corvette (Part # 10299146)
Because the LS7 create engine is set up to be use in a Corvette
the pilot bearing is incorrect for an F-body T-56 transmission. So that needs to
be changed to use the T-56.
Ron Davis makes a very nice bolt in radiator for a 1st gen F-body to
accommodate an LS based engine. I had Ron Davis make the radiator with the inlet
and outlets on the passenger side to allow room for the 4” inch aluminum
induction tube. The inlet tube was made by Stenode Performance out of 4” mandrel
bent tubing. This tube leads over the a 4” I.D. K&N filter that pulls air from
behind the drivers side headlight.
While the car was at Stenode Performance they installed the
Stainless Works 3” inch exhaust out the back of the car. As you can see from
this Photo the ATS headers have great ground clearance and the system looks
The Engine Control Module (ECM) is a MEFI4 unit sold by MSD EFI
calibrated by using there InGenius software. It has a user friendly interface
and come with an LS7 calibration in it the will start and run your engine. With
some small fine tuning for drivability the system work great. The MEFI4
controller is small and water proof so mounting it under hood simplifies the
Race pack dash mounted in Detroit Speed dash.
MSD EFI also sells a digital Racepak dash the work in
conjunction with the MEFI 4 controller. The dash uses a CAN bus data steam out
of the ECM the plugs right into the dash. This allows the driver to read
directly the sensors from the ECM. And doesn’t require redundant sensors in the
engine. The dash is trick because it allows you to program the information you
want to see on different screens that you can scroll through. The dash also
allows you to set warning light for low fuel pressure, high coolant temps, low
oil pressure etc.