Squarebody LS Swap Proves To Be More Difficult Than Anticipated

Jan 26, 2022 2 min read
Squarebody LS Swap Proves To Be More Difficult Than Anticipated

While this may seem like an easy swap, this LS adventure proved to be quite difficult for an unexpected reason.


Chevy square body pickup trucks have been among the most popular vehicles within the truck and automotive enthusiast community for their incredible utility and style. You can fit nearly anything in that gigantic engine bay, making it perfect for a crazy resto-mod and the suspension kits you can find for these trucks are endlessly diverse. One obvious choice for powerhouse swapping is the famous LS platform, perfect for GM vehicles who need a bit more power and meat under the hood. However, there is an issue when it comes to cost. The famously expensive engine swap can be a financial hole for even the most experienced builder. A perfect solution to that problem seems to be getting the drivetrain from a junkyard, but that opens up a new swarm of issues, as shown with one particular builder tasked with creating a beastly custom square body on a tight budget.

Mikey Rolls, owner of Salvage To Savage, has been challenged to turn a mostly stock 1987 Chevy Squarebody into a street demon without blowing the bank. Along with an engine swap, the truck will be receiving the complete S2S treatment on the interior, exterior, and suspension, but we're going to focus on the massive powerhouse. The team decided to grab a 6.0-liter LS block from a local junkyard at the cost of just $1,300. At first glance, it would appear that the guys had struck gold when scavenging for parts, but things are not always how they seem.

After opening up that abandoned LS2, the engine specialist found several concerning issues that would make it nearly impossible to use in its current form. Some of these problems include several bearings whose state had worn heavily over the years, the camshaft was toast, and half of the lifters were missing. It's not difficult to imagine why this engine got scrapped in the first place, and the whole build should come up to about $8,350 in total. While the project may have started a bit rough, we're sure that this will be a sick build and hope that no other problems will interfere with the truck.

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