Curing LS Engine-Swap Probs
Curing LS Engine-Swap Headaches with Holley’s Mid-Mount Complete Accessory System
Unless you’ve been sealed inside your garage tweaking your pro-street Vega’s dual-quad, tunnel-ram setup for the past 15 years, you’ve noticed GM’s LS engines stuffed under the sheetmetal of practically every type of vintage vehicle—from Aspens to Zephyrs. Looking to give your project some modern muscle? Compact and relatively lightweight, the pushrod Gen III mill is tempting. After all, how hard can it be? Well, things can get complicated after an LS long-block is plunked between the shock towers.
If your project needs power steering, air conditioning, or an alternator, you’ll have to plunder salvage yards for a front-accessory solution. If you’re lucky, an existing setup from a factory-equipped LS car or truck will fit. Otherwise, fitting a power-steering pump, alternator, and air-conditioning compressor (if you’re crafty) leads to cussing, cutting, and compromises.
Boost Addicts in Madison, Tennessee, has been LS-swapping all types of cars and trucks for a couple years. When the company agreed to tackle an LSswap Mustang project, the crew quickly ran into a series of accessory-packaging issues. None of the OEM-style brackets they tried worked (see photo 1). Fortunately, the octane junkies at Holley have been swapping LS engines into classic muscle for several years, so they’ve felt the pain of their fellow wrenchers when struggling with front-accessory issues. Holley had just the thing to help the team at Boost Addicts with their LS-swapped Mustang.
Holley calls it the Premium Mid-Mount Accessory Drive System. They can call it whatever they want, but we humbly suggest calling it the “all-in-one, LS engine-swap problem-solver.” After unboxing the Holley kit, the folks at Boost Addicts were giddy about how the Holley system solved multiple LS engine-swap problems.
The Holley Premium Mid-Mount Accessory Drive System fits all wet-sump, naturally aspirated LS engines and comes in two versions: PN 20-185 includes an OEM-style crankshaft damper, and PN 20-180 adds some billet pulley covers and an SFIapproved harmonic damper.
Surprisingly, there are no brackets used with the Holley Premium Mid-Mount Accessory Drive System. Instead, everything (including the alternator, powersteering pump, air-conditioning compressor, and belt tensioner) bolts to a sophisticated water-pump casting.
Speaking of the water pump, the Holley kit uses a cartridge-style water pump common with LT1equipped C7 Corvettes. Two heater hose options are included (side and bottom) to accommodate virtually any engine-swap situation. It even works with swivel thermostat necks for tight applications.
The proprietary alternator features the latest “hairpin, square-wire” six-phase technology from the C7 Corvette and includes the necessary alternator wiring harness. Not only does the kit include a Type II power-steering pump but Holley designed a hard line that adapts the banjo fitting to a -6 AN coupling to ease plumbing.
The compact SD7 air-conditioning compressor and serpentine-belt tensioner bolt to the right side of the water-pump casting, leaving plenty of room down low for our Mustang’s front sway bar. There’s even a steam port tapped into the back of the water-pump casting, and the upper radiator-hose nipple is short for hood and intake clearance. It’s pretty clear: Holley thought of everything.
Because all the accessories are fully in front of the cylinder heads, the Holley Premium Mid-Mount Accessory Drive System adds about 3/4 inch to the front of the engine—a small price to pay for this elegant and compact solution.
When it comes to LS engine-swap headaches, Holley’s Premium Mid-Mount Accessory Drive System is just what the doctor ordered.