LS Swap guide

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LS Swap guide

Post by Yoshi » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:44 pm

***This is a WIP. I'll be updating as I get more information***

LS E30 Swap Guide

Intro - This guide is for the very basics of swapping an LS into an E30. The tutorial assumes a T56 transmission and a naturally aspirated final install. This tutorial also does not go into choosing an LS engine.

Chassis modifications

Minor drive tunnel “clearancing” (read: hammering) required. (TBD - pictures)


Sikky has a mount kit that includes mounts and an oil pan used to physically mount the engine in the car without contact. (TBD - other mount kits)


Sikky supplies a telescoping single piece driveshaft. This type of driveshaft enables removal without lowering/removing the rear subframe. (TBD - other mount kits)

The factory T56 shifter will line up with the factory E30 shifter hole.

Clutch connections

A master cylinder conversion is required. The stock master cylinder may be retained.



  • Power steering - Minimum fabricating new lines. Assistance may be weak. Upgrade TBD
  • If using the Sikky swap kit, a flex disc removal modification is required to clear the headers. TBD (find other options)
  • E36 rack required to clear headers
Brake System

By default the brake booster will contact the driver’s side head. Sikky has a boosterless setup or a hydroboost conversion that taps into the factory power steering.


The factory LS block has cooling system inlets and outlets on the passenger’s side of the motor. As a result, the factory E30 radiator will not work. A suggested upgrade is a larger radiator allotted by the shorter engine. Depending on the LS motor, there may still be clearance issues.

Fuel system

The LS engine is a returnless system. There are several options to convert. Some GM fuel filters come with the fuel pressure regulator built in. Another option is to buy a special fuel pressure regulator used to convert to a returnless system.

An upgraded fuel pump is also required (walbro 255/aeromotive/etc)


New intake piping will have to be fabricated. There are currently no off the shelf solutions.


Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!
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