This is the first in a series of blogs discussing the Gen V Engine platform and swaps. As an early adopter of the LS engines, and now a business owner specializing in development of new solutions based products, it was only natural that Motion Raceworks jump head first into the newest Gen V platform.
Our goal with this series is to share our trials and tribulations with friends, colleagues, customers, and hopefully make this uncharted territory easier for the next guy (or gal) who wants to tackle this new technology!
Our particular setup was in a 72 Nova. The bullet was a Gen V LT1. Our original goal was to run the GM LT4 crate motor, however, after a few conversations with our friends at AES Racing Engines in Elk Grove Village, Illinois we decided we would take things one step further. If you have not heard of AES, they are a state of the art engine shop run by Tony Schroeder. AES Engines currently have the record for the fastest LSX block engine in the world held by 3 time NMCA champion Anthony Manna, as well as multiple Ford Coyote and 5.8 records among others.
Our goal with AES is to build the most powerful Gen V motor on the planet and simply go out and set records as well as beta test this combo to learn, improve, and refine along the way. Ending up at 388 cubic inches and topped with a set of CID Cylinder heads, this engine is one stout piece. We will get more into engine details in a later blog, for now we will talk more on the packaging of this new engine.
The Gen V platform, though looking the same on the outward appearance, shares only a few similarities to the Gen 3 and 4 predecessors.
Motor mounts on the Gen V are a new bolt pattern in comparison to the LS family, you will not be reusing LS engine mounts for this one. The same can be said for accessories.
In terms of bellhousings, this engine shares the same classic GM pattern as the LS. This means that any Powerglide, 400, etc will bolt right up. While we are back there, the flexplate offered an interesting issue to us. To date we have not found a company that makes a Gen V LT specific flexplate, however, out of necessity and desparateness we went ahead and ordered an LSA flexplate from TCI to give it a try out. The crank bolt pattern, spacing, and starter ring carried over from the LS series to this (SCORE, we got lucky for once). In fact, we also used an LS1 part number Powermaster 9509 starter as well. Lastly, these engines will take the same converter as an LS engine (I believe), but this is an interesting topic as I have had multiple spacing issues with LS engines and midplates over the years with manufacturers missing the measurements. Please also note, like the LS, the Gen V engines require the use of a pilot adaptor when using a standard snout pilot size.
For the Nova, we decided to run a motor plate and midplate combo to mount the engine. I will note the Gen V engine is exact same dimensions from bellhousing bolt surface to waterpump gasket surface as the LS engine (read front to back dimensions are the same as a Gen 3 and 4 LS). This comes in handy should your swap have an LS1 previously. Also, the dimensions relation etc to the three bolts on each water pump port are identical on the Gen V in comparison to the LS, however, the water ports are in different locations in relation to those bolts. That being said, for quick mockup purposes, you can bolt a Gen V right up to a Gen 3 or 4 motor plate car using the LS motor plate, however, a new motor plate will need to be used if you intend to run water through the engine as we mentioned previously the water ports are located differently.
In regards to oil pans, we have found the LT oil pans to be pretty on par with fitment in terms of how the LS engines are laid out and clearance. Though we haven't tried the stock pans in a multitude of chassis, their configuration, shape and size is right on par with the LS truck pans, fbody pan etc. We used the LT4 Corvette dry sump pan for this particular build as we decided the dry sump would delineate any oil starvation and wet sump pan design issues with launching etc. The LT4 drysump appeared to be quite similar to an Fbody pan with the exception of the dry sump lines coming off the side.
Other overall physical dimensions of the engine seem to be quite similar to an LS, so generally speaking any vehicle equipped with an LS will also accept an LT.
While overall the Gen V LT largely is a very universal bolt in unit in place of a previous LS engine, the fun is just getting started!
Stay tuned for my next blog tomorrow where we will dive deeper into the ins and outs of the LT engine including fuel, sensors and more!
Go fast. Be safe.