What do I need to do for an LSA/ZL1 supercharger swap - Part 1This is a question we get asked all too often. To be honest it's a really hard question to answer since every swap is different. It really depends on what you have to start with.
Some people start with a complete pullout engines with no accessories or all with the original accessories and some people start with just a supercharger. We will do our best here to provide you with as much information we can so you can make your own decisions as to what you needed to run a LSA engine in your muscle car.
Supercharger:Obviously the most important piece of the swap is the supercharger. It can be obtained in a number of ways. One of the most popular sources is eBay. They have a number of sellers with units for sale usually in the $500 to $900 dollar range. This is the route most users go to get a supercharger. Many are warranty pull offs units and some from wrecked cars. We suggest changing the coupler on used units which is about $20.00 to $30.00 and an easy fix. Low mileage units are preferred while some sellers are now selling rebuilt units that don’t need the coupler replaced. Be sure and ask the details before purchasing a unit from a seller. If you are unsure, please feel free to ask us to take a look at the unit online. We will be happy to give a perspective on any used eBay units you may consider.
Intercooler Lid:The LSA/ZL1 requires an intercooler lid, there are two variations currently available. The CTS-V version is colored gray and has water outlets on the backside of the engine. The ZL1 version is black and has the water outlets on the front.
Most users prefer the ZL1 version you may find used on eBay, it has better cooling capabilities. I suggest only using the CTS-V version if you are planning on running a mild performance LSA or are on a tight budget.
The GM ZL1 Intercooler lid, Part Number 12622236, normally runs around $500.00. Shop around and find the best deal. Both Summit and Jegs normally have the lids listed in the 550.00 range and you get free shipping too. Note: A new lid does include all the sensors, bolts, and intercooler brick so you will not have to source those small parts out. You will also need the intercooler seal that sits on the top of the supercharger and seals the intercooler brick to the supercharger. The seal is GM part Number 12612467.
Intercooler heat exchanger and pump:This is where things get tricky especially with a swap into a late model car or a classic muscle car. The stock intercooler parts can be bought for a reasonable price. We have a list of the intercooler parts below for you to consider along with a number of aftermarket solutions as well. Your best bet is to look around and see if someone has already done a similar swap like the one you are doing. See what they used for their intercooler on their project. If you have a lot of room in your project car and plan on making a lot of power, bigger is better in that situation. The factory intercooler is designed to be a closed loop system with coolant cooled in it's own radiator. It is totally separate from the engine coolant system for the engine. Having an ice tank for additional cooling is also an option.
Intercoolers require an electric pump. If you’re really serious about an efficient pump the guys at Ligenfelter did a comparison and provide the results they achieved using a variety of pumps
GM Parts Direct has a nice little diagram of most of the factory intercooler parts
22879421 - ZL1 Factory Heat Exchanger
20945282 – ZL1 Factory Intercooler Pump (no bracket)
22901367 – ZL1 Factory Intercooler Pump with bracket and lower Hose (Left) assembly
22962566 – Upper hose assembly (fill cap not included)
22962566 – Upper hose fill cap (not shown in diagram)
22798189 – Lower Hose (Right)
22789482 – Lower Hose (left)
If you’re going to use stock components shop around. The stock pumps can be from a wrecked car that you can purchase on eBay for a lot less than a new one.
If you decide to use a factory ZL1 intercooler pump in your swap there is a seller on eBay selling a pigtail so you will have the proper electrical connector for the pump. Aftermarket engine harnesses may have the connector already.
if you’re looking for a more direct bolt in for your swap, talk to the guys at C&R Racing. They make a direct bolt in for the 67-69 Camaro and other applications. Look up an article on LSXMag.com. If they don’t have one for your application they can probably build you one.
Fuel Rail:There are currently just a few fuel rail options. GM actually has two different fuel rails that fit the ZL1/LSA engines. One has the inlet on the passenger side part number 12605222. The other option is for the LS9 engine but fits the LSA/ZL1 supercharger as well. It has the fuel inlet on the driver side using part number 12602070. In the aftermarket there are currently two options.
I would recommend aftermarket fuel rails on larger horsepower engines, because they will allow separate fuel lines to attach to each fuel rail. If your running a high fuel demand engine I would use the Radium Engineering LSA Fuel Rails which are available in our store
Injectors:There are many options for injectors. If you running basically a stock engine and not planning on any upgrades you can most likely run the stock injectors from a supercharged engine. If you plan on making more horsepower you going need higher flow injectors. There are a number of companies making high flow injectors. We suggest injectors from http://injectordynamics.com based on past experiences and customer recommendations. If you have another company you like, you should always check and make sure you injectors have enough flow for your application. There are a number of fuel flow calculators out there to determine the proper injector size. If you’re not sure, talk to the injector manufacturer and they should be happy to recommend a properly sized injector for you application.
Engine Harness and Controller:
There are numerous harness options to run your LSA/ZL1 supercharged engine. You can buy a pre-made swap harness or have a factory harness reworked to be a standalone harness. Do your own research and choose the best option for you and your budget.
You will also need several other items to run your LSA such as the DBW (drive by wire) pedal, ECM (computer), 02 Sensors (exhaust), air temp sensor, MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor and MAF(on the air inlet hose) if you running a Mass Air Flow system. Some aftermarket systems don’t use these components so know which system you’re planning on running before you start buying these parts.
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