Move Over LS1, The 5.3L May Be The Next Big Thing In Engine Swaps!

The LS engine family is one of the most talked about engine families in history. No other engine series has been swapped into so many different applications. The LS1 has been the shining super star of the lineup, but it’s little brother might be changing that. We're seeing more and more swaps using 5.3L engines than we’ve seen in the past.

Why are these so popular now? There’s a couple reasons. One is that they have a good compression ratio for supercharged or turbo’ed applications. Also called the LM7, L59, or LM4, the engine is built inside an iron block for extra rigidity.

Another reason is the 5.3L’s availability. LS1s have been snatched up so quickly that they're tough to find. The LS1 was only produced in the Corvette and the 98-02 F-Bodies for a few years. 5.3L engines have been available in nearly every GM SUV or truck made from 1999-2007 in some capacity. People buy them up from salvage yards, throw some GM performance parts in to beef up the internals, and have one heck of an engine for their project car. Still not buying it? Check out these fine examples of 5.3L swaps.

5.3 Engine swap 1

This 3rd gen Camaro is rocking the 5.3L swap.

5.3 Engine swap 2


5.3 Engine swap 2a

How about this 1987 RX8? These swaps aren’t limited to GMs!

5.3 Engine swap 3

Under this classic Chevy C-10 is a 5.3L.

5.3 Engine swap 4

This doesn’t look like an easy job, but this Grand Prix is now 5.3L powered.

5.3 Engine swap 5

The 5.3L engine is going to fit under the hood of this 1989 Trans Am like a glove!

Do you have a 5.3L swapped into to your project car? Show us on our Facebook page here.