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LS engine swap  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 04-16-2014 09:52 pm
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farmbroker
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Gentlemen,

As a member of JHPS for almost 10 years and an owner of two JHs continuosly since 1974 I can make the statement that I have been a loyal follower. Having said that and at the risk of purist wrath I have decided to swap an LS engine into my JH.

I do all my wrenching on this baby and at the age of 64 I no longer have the piss and vinegar to keep these engines running as they should. I yern for the dependability and relaibility  of fuel injection and electronic ignition. I want to just jump into my baby turn the key and know it will start and that when I pull out of the dirveway that there is a better chance that I will return under my own power.

I'm not dissing these cars, I love them, otherwise I would not have driven them for 40 years. In fact I met my bride of almost 30 years through the JH I have now. So we will never sell the car as it is a part of the family. My goal is to make it a more enjoyable member of the family.

I have done much research on this subject and am confident that an LS swap can be done without massive modifications. Motor mounts must be fabricated and the oil pan may need modification, but is should fit. I have decided to go with the 4l60e automatic transmission to be more user friendly particularly for my wife. Still a bit vague on the rear end and I would like to convert to rear dics while I'm at it.

I plan on using the power steering pump to run the hyroboost brake system and wonder if I should keep the oil cooler. Might get a dual system and cool the power steering fluid as well or is that overkill?

I would respect the wealth of knowledge on this forum and would appreciate any positive comments you might want to share.

farmbroker

 

 

 

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 Posted: 04-16-2014 10:16 pm
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Jensen Healey
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Hi Farmbroker,
I saw a Jensen GT with just such a swap at the Dixon, CA British Meet. The gent's name is Rich and he can be contacted through the United British website. http://www.ubscc.org
Kurt

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 Posted: 04-17-2014 12:38 pm
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gmgiltd
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Hi Farmbroker,
I think I had similar sentiments with my GT - the novelty of fettling the car constantly was starting to be a pain. Advances in technology such a fuel injection and all disc brakes has filtered down and is now almost universal.
In the early eighties I built what was then a high spec 2.2 based on the Sunbeam Lotus rally cars - it put out 217 bhp on a chassis dyno and was great fun but it needed to be looked after constantly. Two years ago the car broke down, in the pouring rain, after completing four hundred miles from the UK, fifty miles from my destination in France. Costs for those last fifty miles would bring tears to your eyes. At that point a decision was made to bring the car up to modern standards of braking, drivability and economy.
I now have 285/22mm discs on the front with 4 pot radial calipers. On the rear I have 253/10mm with 2 pot calipers and cable handbrake. Brakes are excellent. On the engine side all the ancient troublemakers like the 45 DHLA's, Mobelec contact less ignition, and distributor have gone replaced with 48mm Jenvey TB's and a crank triggered ignition - I have no idea what the power output is now but it really feels like a good three litre with a much better spread. Economy, starting, idling and drive ability all greatly improved and the previous temperament in varied weather conditions or temperatures has gone.
All I am suggesting here is that a bit of development along these lines may well be a viable alternative to a engine swap. The 907 is what makes the car what it is.
Best of luck
Gordon

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 Posted: 04-17-2014 04:31 pm
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Jensen Healey
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I've seen a number of cars with an engine swap but most of them don't address the brakes, suspension, and safety issues.
I personally believe the JH without the 907 is just a pile of Vauxhall parts. The high rpm 4 banger was a wonder in 1973. It can be reliable if built carefully and driven like a 40 year old car.
But who wants to do that? I'm going out for a 7000 rpm blast up the canyon!
Kurt

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 Posted: 04-17-2014 05:48 pm
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farmbroker
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Thanks for the contact in Dixon, Kurt,

I got in touch with Rich and he was very helpful. He also offered to put me in touch with a gentlemen in the Bay Area that put as LS into a roadster.  Rich swapped an LT1 into the GT and had to install power steering due to the extra weight on the front. I hope to save about 100 pounds with the LS motor.

I agree that safety issues are not always address in these swaps and don't expect to get it perfect, but hope to reduce the risks by upgrading the front disc and going to rear disc brakes. I will install sway bars and beef up the springs. May need to go with power steering. I don't expect to go on any 7 grand runs up the canyon, just fun Sunday drives.

Thank you for your valuable input.

ED

 

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 Posted: 05-16-2014 03:56 pm
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Pat Connor
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I have a '74 JH that I installed a SB 327 Chev. If the width of the LS is same or smaller it should fit. There is a kit available for the LS to convert to earlier Chevrolets. If you intend to use an automatic you may need to widen the tunnel. I installed a TH350 automatic and had to widen the tunnel and construct a new X-member. Also a S10 Chev. pickup rear end is the same width as the Jensen and has the advantage of numerous limited slip differentials.

Good luck.

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