Combining The GM LS Engine with a Nissan 350z
The 350z LS Swap has been around for a long time. It involves putting a General Motors (GM) LS engine into a Nissan 350z, also known as Z33. The LS is a family of GM engines that debuted in 1997. GM originally called it the Gen-III Small-Block for cars. The truck version was known as the iron-block, while they introduced the lighter weight, all-aluminum LS1 for the new C5 Corvette.
These engines were produced between 1997 and 2004 in the US. In addition to the C5 Corvette, they came factory installed in the Chevy Camaro as well as Pontiac’s Firebird and GTO. Although GM referred to this V8 family of engines as Gen III and Gen IV, enthusiasts quickly saw the potential from their tremendous performance. They nicknamed the group of engines LS.
Why the 350z?
While the engine is a workhorse and extremely popular, the car choices they came in left a lot to be desired for some enthusiasts. Racers and serious drivers wanted lighter cars with stable handling. The engine’s versatility and power quickly became a standard choice for aftermarket swaps or engine conversions. In particular, drifters and other racers favored the 350z LS Swap.
Nissan began production of the 350z/Z33 in 2002 and continued making it until 2009. It was their return to the sports car arena after a 6-year break that started when production of the Z32 ended in 1996. Even though the 370z replaced the 350z in 2009, the Z33 remains common among enthusiasts today. Many find it the more affordable alternative. Plus, it’s available in the used marketplace.
350z LS swap aftermarket
Because of its popularity, the automotive aftermarket offers a variety of off-the-shelf products to make the 350z ls swap easier. The range of components required for a successful swap made it worthwhile to develop replacement parts. Some of the assemblages include
- Exhaust systems
- Fuel components
- Cooling system components
Plus, other parts such as
- Transmission crossmembers
- Oil pans
- Motor mounts
- Transmission mounts
- Water pumps
- AC Compressors
- And more
350z LS swap compatibility
A great feature of the LS series is the compatibility between different LS engine generations. That flexibility creates opportunities for devising less expensive but advantageous upgrades. For example, fitting an LS2 head on an LS1 engine adds more horsepower. Therefore, interchanging the parts is an easy way to maximize the potential of the swap. Also, having the choice between the lightweight all-aluminum or the heavier cast iron engine makes this platform desirable in a wide variety of projects.
LS 350z swap transmission options
The LS series of engines provides transmission options as well. Here, the CD009 – 350z transmission is worth considering. Many believe it is the best transmission in its price range, making it a good choice for the budget-conscious. Initially found in the 2005-2006 350z, it is available new for about $1,700 and used for around $850.
To complete the 350z LS swap, bolt-on adapter plates like the one from G Force Performance Products make connecting the CD009 transmission to a LS motor a breeze. G Force is an established aftermarket resource known for the strength, durability, and reliability of the parts we manufacture. We offer an array of transmission and suspension parts engineered to make complex projects such as the 350z LS swap easier to complete.
Adapter Kits make things easier
For example, our Z33 LS V8 adapter kit mates a Gen III or Gen IV LS Chevy small block engine to a Nissan 350z 6-speed transmission. Specifically, G Force designed the kit for transmissions found in 350Zs made from 2003 to 2006. This kit is popular with enthusiasts who want a transmission that can easily handle the LS engine’s power. The Z33 adapter kit simplifies the conversion by including
- Custom flywheel
- Pilot bushing adapter
- Hi-torque starter adapter
- 3/8” steel powder coated adapter plate
- Mounting hardware
More 350z LS swap kit information
- The flywheel is bolted on and needs no spacer bushings or adapters.
- Made of billet steel, the flywheel weighs about 30 pounds. It’s best for 90% of builds. Plus, it is compatible with both the aftermarket and OEM clutch assembly.
- No transmission modifications needed. However, some heavy wall bellhousing may require a minor clearance trim for the flywheel ring gear, which involves polishing away 0.06″ over a tiny area.
- LS block requires small casting boss removal to create clearance for the hi-torque starter. Easily done with a hand grinder, the kit includes instructions for this minor modification.
- Includes stock 350z pilot bushing with a machined steel adapter
Even though this is a popular conversion, every project is different. G Force also offers other suspension and transmission parts for the 350z LS swap and other conversions. You may want to consider our transmission mounts, motor mounts, crossmembers, and more.
Our dedicated team of experts is available to answer your questions. You may reach out to us on Chat or call 330-753-5300.