The popularity of Chevy's LS engine can't be denied. That aluminum beauty is one smooth-running powerhouse just waiting to be tapped. You see them transplanted in everything from hot rods to helicopters, sandrails to one-off customs. What's even better is that they are all aluminum, block and heads. What would you have given 25 years ago for an all-aluminum small-block at an affordable price that could be show polished if you wanted?
Installing Chevy's LS engines couldn't be any easier now that Classic Performance has come up with their new adjustable LS engine mounts. These beauties bolt on to the stock four-bolt position and offer the option of moving the rubber/poly mount forward or back. Two mounting plates are offered for the maximum in placement options. Now you can move the mount itself to better line up with a crossmember or tube to make the needed fabbed mount easier, and usually better looking.
With the popularity of the LS engines, these should be big sellers. They will also fit the iron-blocked Vortec LS engines that come in the pickups. Same engine basically, except the blocks are iron instead of the aluminum like the LS ones. They still have the aluminum heads and can run the LS intake manifold kits available or even a stock LS intake. It will need the LS's fuel rail also.
The Vortecs are a bit cheaper too. I know guys who are buying Vortec-equipped pickups at auction, pulling the engine and trans, parting out the rest, and getting their engine and trans for free, and usually making a couple of bucks as well. They're a viable option if you have the room and desire to mess with it. Follow along to see how well Classic Performance Products new LS motor mount kits work.
8. With the engine in the chassis, I start positioning it for the best fit. The oil pan fit the crossmember perfectly. The trans mount ended up an easy install as well.
9. Any time I mount an engine and transmission I always start with the trans mount, then do the motor mounts. It has always made sense to mount the trans first to keep everything where you want it, then come up, double check the engine's position, and make up the required mounts for it. Shown here is the trans crossmember from CPP that I have always used. Part number 4136, it's easy to mount and it doesn't take up a lot of space. It is drilled for a center trans bolt like Fords and GMs and for the two that GM trans mounts have.
10. Here we have the CPP trans crossmember in place. For this install, the back edge of the trans crossmember is right up against the brake booster mount. For the transmission itself, this was just rough placement to see where the engine and trans would fit. When it was finally finished, I had added a 1-inch square tube spacer between the poly trans mount and the transmission to get the pinion angle correct with the rearend and had offset the engine and trans 1 inch to the passenger side for exhaust/steering clearance.
11. I started out with the engine and trans centered at 17 inches, but after some fitting and moving it forward and back, I decided to offset it 1 inch for the clearance I needed at the steering shaft/exhaust.
12. After all the moving around was done and I had the engine where I wanted it, I lined the driver side motor mount with the crossmember and tightened 1⁄2-inch the nuts to secure the mount. Time to fab up some mounts.
13. I cut two pieces of 3⁄4-inch tubing, with a 7⁄16-inch inside diameter, 21⁄2 inches long and secured them to the engine mounts with 31⁄2-inch long 7⁄16-inch bolts. Next I cut up some cardstock into the shape of a motor mount and transferred it to some 3⁄16-inch steel plate to make a top. With the top piece made and tacked in place, I cut up some more cardstock into the shape of a gusset for the underside, again making it out of 3⁄16-inch plate. The passenger side is done the same. With the offset engine, it is a bit shorter.
14. After all the fitting and moving around, this is where I decided it will live. My fabbed mounts are tacked solid and the engine and trans are ready to come out for the final welding.
15. As it happened, I got to mount a Vortec engine a few weeks later using Energy Suspensions LS engine mount kit. These aren't adjustable like CPP's, but they worked quite well and are very beefy. The Vortec mounting holes for the motor mount is the same as the LS engines.