So what is one of Chevrolet Performance’s most popular crate engines? Well, none other than the LS3. This 6.2L, naturally aspirated V8 pumps out 430 horsepower and 425 lb.-ft. of torque in crate form. The engine first debuted in the fifth-generation Camaro SS and C6 Corvette. The deep-breathing LS3 6.2L is poised to go down in history as one of Chevrolet’s best and most versatile engines. It’s no surprise that enthusiasts and builders have made it one of the most popular LS swap engines, as we did the same.
Our beloved Bela, a 1956 Bel Air Sports Sedan, was the lucky recipient of a heart transplant, and not just any heart transplant, but a young and powerful one. That’s right, our project hot rod sports a Chevrolet Performance LS3 crate engine. See how much we love the LS3 in our Bela video below and check out our article on the install here.
The LS3 is filled with components designed for high performance and longevity. The aluminum block is filled with a sturdy reciprocating assembly that combines with L92-type rectangular-port heads to deliver a 10.7:1 compression ratio. A high-lift, hydraulic roller camshaft complements the LS3’s tremendous airflow capability and enhances its broad torque curve.
The LS3 crate engine comes complete from the SS-specific oil pan to the ignition system. It also includes the intake manifold assembly with injectors and throttle body, exhaust manifolds, water pump, balancer, 58x reluctor wheel and 14-inch automatic-transmission flexplate. The SS oil pan doesn’t suit all applications. Use the vehicle specific oil pan for original LS-powered vehicles or Chevrolet Performance’s Muscle Car Oil Pan Kit P/N 19212593 for older vehicles.
If you’re looking for a true plug-and-play product to get your vehicle rolling, look no further than Chevrolet Performance’s LS3 Connect & Cruise Powertrain System, which is what we used in Bela. The Chevrolet Performance LS3 Connect & Cruise is a factory-engineered engine and transmission combination that includes the electronic control module, all wiring harnesses and other key components you need to get you up and running in no time. The Chevrolet Performance engineers match the engines and transmissions for optimal performance and durability, so you can wring out all the horsepower from them with total confidence. The specially calibrated controllers are designed to retrofit installation in older vehicles, for easier and quicker installation and operation, without the real need for third-party tuning. Within the package of the LS3 Connect & Cruise, we opted for the 4L65E Chevrolet Performance transmission(pn: 19260380) with the Supermatic converter. Strength and dependability were a must with our transmission, and the 4L65E 4-speed automatic Chevrolet Performance transmission was a perfect match! Modeled after the popular 4L60-E transmission, the 4L65-E is a heavy-duty transmission with enhanced components, including five-pinion gear sets, heat-treated stator shaft splines, induction-hardened turbine shaft and more. We are also using the Chevrolet Performance transmission controller (pn: 19257634), which is a great controller. A lot of time and effort has gone into this controller from the Chevrolet Performance engineers who did a great job packaging up this controller and making it super simple to install. Learn more below.
Ordering was simple. Just call up your local Chevrolet dealer and let them guide you even further on what you need. We’re sure glad we went with the LS3, and it appears so is a lot of other builders and enthusiasts. See all the crate engines, transmissions, parts, accessories and more Chevrolet Performance has to offer on their site here. Who knows, you may find something that better suits your needs.