Holley 1967 pickup with an LS3 installed using Holley products

TMCP Podcast #166 – Shane Weckerly, Five Steps to Swap an LS engine! Holley Performance

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Holley 1967 pickup with an LS3 installed using Holley products
Holley 1967 pickup with an LS3 installed using Holley products

This weeks long awaited interview is with Shane Weckerly, Vice President of Product Management and Engineering with Holley, and during our interview he described the five steps you need to take to swap a modern General Motors LS engine into nearly any muscle car you wish! Holley has engineered several parts to make the swap a little more seamless, and they even have similar packages and products for Ford and Mopar products as well.

For simplicity’s sake we’ll list Shane’s “5 Magic Steps” here as follows:

1) Identify the objective of the swap and how it is going to affect performance.

2) Create a list of parts that need to be in the project.

3) Lots and lots of research! (Identify who has the parts you need, determine whether the quality of those parts are they actually going to do what your require, etc.)

4) Purchase the parts.

5) Installation and implementation (the fun part)!

1974 Chevelle station wagon by Holley
1974 Chevelle station wagon. Image: Holley

As you may have guessed, Holley has a parts and product line that can help you bolt in an LS engine into your pride and joy easily with engineered headers, oil pans, and engine mounts, and even transmission mounts that work together for a great fit.

Their engine mount plates in particular offer the ability to move the engine forward to clear the firewall and heater box, and since LS engines do not have the same 2 inch bell housing overhang that the old small blocks did so the ability to move the engine forward becomes critical if you decide you like to keep your original transmission in the same place (and again, this is where the engineered package of it all become helpful).

74 Chevelle LS engine bay Holley
74 Chevelle LS engine with a carb setup. Image: Holley

In addition to engine mounts, oil pans, and headers, another critical item for an engine swap is in that of the front accessory drive. Specifically, items like A/C compressors, alternators, water pumps, etc. don’t always directly translate from donor vehicles (like a Silverado) to old muscle cars, and finding a solution is critical to finishing the job.

Holley has recently created three new and relatively inexpensive bracket sets to allow use of existing truck-style water pumps and balancers as well as OEM accessorys. These cost savings alone could make or break a lot of projects and can help to avoid the dreaded “Corvette tax” that happens when people are forced to use expensive ‘Vette components to make their swaps work out . You can check out Holley.com for the different fitments of brackets or their whole line of LS swap parts.

Holley is constantly working to improve their packages and are always designing new ones. Some of the platforms they currently support including Chevelles, Camaros, Fox body Mustangs and even some import vehicles (think Nissan 240’s). They are also revisiting the first generation F-body (Camaro/Firebird) line specifically to improve it further and make swaps there even simpler!

Thanks for the interview Shane!

-Rob Kibbe


The Final “Mat & Rob Mustang Flip” Update

Our little green ’66 Mustang, on the trailer, headed for Australia. So long little guy!

Also included in this show is the FINAL Mustang Flipping update, brought to you by our pals at Steele Rubber. Why is this the final one? Well, because we have the cash in the bank, and the car is on it’s way to Australia as we speak!

During the show I gave the full breakdown on the process of it all, and disclosed how much we actually made. I’ll put it this way though, when all is said and done we likely could have made the same hourly wage by working a few nights at the local burger shop…but it wouldn’t have been as much fun!



The Prize Segment sponsored by the COMP Performance Group is back, and it’s back BIG!  Entrants can enter to win a HUGE $750 gift certificate that will be awarded quarterly, and there are two ways to enter:

  1. Go to www.themusclecarplace.com/contest and fill out the details there to enter the contest. Be sure to use the links in the contest to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and your own websites. For everyone that joins the contest because of your referral, YOU GET MORE ENTRIES!
  2. Answer the bonus question given out in this podcast show. E-mail your answer to bonus@themusclecarplace.com for an additional 20 points!

The next winner will be chosen on March 1, 2013!

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