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Welcome to Part 2 of the LS-Z saga.  Time to source parts!

(Just a note, my camera phone lens was cracked for the pictures at the start of this project, so bare with me on the glare in a lot of the first pictures. It gets better I promise)


Obviously the most important piece of this puzzle is the motor and transmission.  If you’re not a Chevy LS motor connoisseur, the LS world can be a bit confusing.  LS1, LS2, LS6, L76, LQ9, and on and on it goes.  Lots of choices to choose from.  Thanks, to all these people these days LS-Swapping everything (yeah, I know), even your base LS1, stock motors aren’t the cheapest.  The best part of these motors though, is if you start with any of them, you get to swap parts from all the motors and just keep adding power! (Not always that easy, but you get the idea)  Outgrow your horsepower goals with an LS1, throw in a LS3 and start making more power with the motor bolting right in.

I knew I wanted an aluminum block motor due to weight.  Difference in weight from steel block to aluminum block is somewhere around 80-100 lbs depending on where you look.  That’s a pretty big deal in a time trial/road race car, so that decision was easy to make for me.  Most people that go iron block motors are probably going to be adding some of those funny twirly things at some point, and the iron blocks are known to hold in excessive of 1000+ hp in those applications.  Much more than I want or can afford at this point.

After some searching and looking, an LS1 motor was the only motor that was really in my price range at this time.  I wanted a stock running motor that I knew would be as trouble free as possible, as I didn’t want to be chasing motor problems when the swap itself is an undertaking in itself.  My plan is that once the car is up and running properly to start adding the fun motor parts.  “Stock” the car will be in the 300 rwhp range.  Upper limits of a bolt on LS1 are about 425 rwhp.  These figures more than satisfy my needs at this point.

The motor and T56 6-speed transmission for this project comes from a 1999 Pontiac Trans Am (for the non-LS connoisseurs, an LS1 is from 98-02 Camaros/Firebirds, and 97-04 C5 Corvettes) I was able to find the motor fairly close to home.  An early morning drive down to Milwaukee, WI with Megan on July 4th was all the further I needed to travel.  So one week after purchasing the car I already had the motor and trans at home.  This is exciting!


The next important step was to figure out which complete swap kit I wanted to use for the project.  There are two major players in the LS swap 350Z world.  Sikky Manufacturing ( and Fueled Racing.  Both kits offer all the same components.  The Sikky kit will run you a few hundred dollars less.  There are a few slight differences in the kits, but the main difference is engine placement within the 350Z engine bay.  The Sikky kit requres zero modifications to anything in the engine bay to put the motor in.  The FR kit places the motor back an inch or so further (an advantage of that kit for sure).  Because of this it is almost a requirement to remove the false firewall that the 350Z has.  In the picture below, the false firewall is what houses the Battery and Brake areas that are under those covers on the top left and top right.  I like the look of the hidden compartments, as it helps keep the engine bay “clean” looking and wanted to keep this feature.  I also wasn’t a fan of the idea of having to chop off and remove the false firewall.



After making this decision, I contacted Sikky to just talk about the kit, the process, and just get a feel for the company.  Justin is the main sales guy when you call them up and he was extremely helpful and knowledgeable.  We talked about the swap and the intentions of the car.  We got to talking about GridLife, Optima, and other Time Attack type events.  They immediately expressed interest in a possible sponsorship of 365Racing.  Sikky currently has some drag and drift guys they sponsor (LS swapped drift cars below) and are looking to get more exposure into the Time Attack world.  What better way than to get on board with 365Racing!



We are proud to have Sikky Manufacturing part of the 365Racing family!  Be sure to check out their website and give their Facebook page a Like!


As we worked out details of all the parts I needed for the kit, I pulled the stock motor and trans from the 350Z  (Motor is for sale! Who needs a 350Z motor? 🙂 )



Cleaned the 100k miles worth of dirt and dust off the LS1 and T56 and waited for the Sikky swap kit to arrive.



The wait was worth it.  Check out these beautiful parts!


Custom oil pan

LS billet aluminum motor mounts20150724_213743

Ceramic coated headers!  (test fit)received_bWVzc2FnZV9ibG9iX2F0dGFjaG1lbnQ6MTAxMDA3MzMwNDExNzMyNjI


To be continued…

Coming in a few days:  Part 3 – Motor and Trans Prep


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