2CarPros 5.3L GM LS Engine Build Parts Combos Now Available at Summit Racing
Ryan Lavacot and his father Ken run the 2CarPros YouTube channel and website. If you want to learn how to replace the brake light switch in your Kia Sportage, remove a stubborn exhaust manifold bolt, or figure out why your clutch is slipping, these guys have you covered.
They also know how to have some automotive fun. For example, Ryan likes to build high performance engines and show folks the right way to build them. For example, he pulled a grungy 260,000-mile 5.3L LS from a 2001 Chevy Silverado, tore it down, and rebuilt it into a powerhouse that puts out 493 horsepower and 412 lbs.-ft. of torque. He documented the entire build from soup to nuts in this 2CarPros video series, and you can duplicate it using our 2CarPro 5.3L GM LS Engine Parts Combos.
Short Block Parts Combo
The salvage yard tag on the LM7 said the engine ‘runs good.’ Judging from the water and rust in the cylinders, crud in the oil pan, the sloppy timing chain, and the bent connecting rod in #3 cylinder that Ryan found during teardown, we kind of doubt that claim.
The block was fine, though, so Ryan sent it to the machine shop to be cleaned, align-honed, bored .030 inch over, and have new cam bearings installed. He also had the shop polish the journals on the stock crankshaft, weight-match the Summit Racing Pro LS forged H-beam connecting rods, and balance the entire rotating assembly.
Ryan chose a set of Summit Racing Pro LS forged pistons with a 2cc dome and two valve reliefs. He figures the static compression ratio with these pistons is around 11:1, the piston ring set is also from our Pro LS line and features a plasma-moly coated steel top ring, a ductile iron secondary ring, and a 13mm low-tension oil ring.
The camshaft is a Summit Racing Pro LS Stage 3 hydraulic roller rated at 232°/242° duration @.050 inch and .600″ lift. It’s a good street performance cam with a lopey idle and plays nicely with boost or nitrous.
Oiling System Parts Combo
Ryan had the 5.3L’s factory oil pan hot tanked, but too much crud remained and he couldn’t be sure the oil filter adapter passages were clean either. He wisely tossed the pan aside and got a Summit Racing LS oil pan. Designed for an LS swap in a 1967-69 Camaro, the seven-quart, low-profile pan is baffled for better oil control and has kickouts on each side. It comes with the oil pump pickup tube and a billet aluminum filter adapter. Ryan fit the pan with the appropriate Chevrolet Performance windage tray, and used an ARP bolt kit and Chevrolet Performance gasket to secure the pan to the block. The oil pump is a Summit Racing standard pressure/standard volume OEM replacement. Simple, but effective.
Valvetrain Parts Combo
Ryan sent the stock aluminum cylinder heads out to be renewed. The shop resurfaced the decks, ported and polished the intake and exhaust ports, polished the combustion chambers, and did a three-angle valve job. The heads got new stainless steel valves and upgraded PAC Racing valve springs with steel retainers. The beehive springs are rated to .625 inch of valve lift so they are a perfect match to the Pro LS Stage 3 camshaft. Ryan mated the heads to the short block with Chevrolet Performance head bolts and MLS head gaskets.
Ryan dropped in a set of Summit Racing roller lifters with new lifter guides and a set of Summit Racing .080 inch wall chromoly pushrods to better handle high RPM use. The Summit Racing 1.7 ratio roller rocker arms are a full-roller design with needle-bearing fulcrums for smooth operation with less friction.
LS engines use a steam line system to purge air from the coolant and prevent hot spots that can lead to overheating and detonation. Early LS engines like the LM7 used a four-port steam line, so Ryan used a Summit Racing Pro LS four-port kit to replace the corroded factory system.
Since the engine is going into a pre-emissions vehicle, the factory knock sensors are not required. Ryan replaced the stock valley cover with an ICT Billet cover that eliminates the wells for the knock sensors.
Intake, Ignition, and Exhaust Parts Combo
Since the goal of the build was making horsepower, Ryan chucked the factory truck intake manifold for a Summit Racing fabricated intake manifold. The manifold flows enough air to build power in the 1,800 to 6,000 RPM range—perfect for street performance. The manifold is designed for use with a 92mm throttle body; Ryan selected a Summit Racing throttle body CNC-machined from billet aluminum and set up for cable-style throttle linkage.
With airflow taken care of, Ryan turned his attention to fuel. He installed a set of DeatschWerks 44 lb.-hr. fuel injectors. The stock 25 lb.-hr. injectors can’t support more than 380 horsepower; the DeatschWerks injectors can easily support 500-plus horsepower without causing idle and low-range tuning issues like bigger injectors can.
Spark is handled by a set of Summit Racing High Output coil packs. They’re rated at 40,000 volts and have low-resistance windings so they won’t break up or misfire at high RPM. Summit Racing 8mm ignition wires connect the coils to NGK V-Power spark plugs.
The headers are Summit Racing shorties made for 2007-12 GM half-ton pickups. They have
1 5/8 inch primary tubes and are a good compromise between exhaust flow and fit in tight engine compartments.
Sensor and Accessories Parts Combo
This combo includes the basic sensors a non-emissions LS engine requires—ACDelco cam and crank sensors, throttle position sensor, and coolant temperature sensor, and a Standard Motor Products oil pressure sensor. The Summit Racing throttle body did not come with an idle air control motor, so our combo includes an Edelbrock motor.
Rounding out the combo is an stock replacement ACDelco water pump for a 1998-2002 F-body, a Summit Racing thermostat with aluminum housing, and a Summit Racing 140 amp OEM replacement alternator for a GM truck with a 5.3L.
Completer Parts Combo
Ryan painted the LM7 all black, so it only made sense to use a pair of Summit Racing Pro LS cast aluminum valve covers with a black crinkle finish. He used Fel-Pro gaskets and ARP valve cover bolts to secure the covers to the cylinder heads. Ryan cleaned and repainted the stock timing cover, fit a new ACDelco seal, and secured it to the engine with a Chevrolet Performance gasket and ARP bolts.