Cur­ing LS Engine-Swap Probs

Cur­ing LS Engine-Swap Headaches with Hol­ley’s Mid-Mount Com­plete Ac­ces­sory Sys­tem

Hot Rod - - Contents - Wes Duenkel

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.

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