Engine & Exhaust / Tech / Tech Articles

4.8L LS Engine Guide: Block Specs, Swap Resources & Build Info

With the help of some forced induction, OnAllCylinders contributor Richard Holdener was able to get 800+ hp out of a 4.8L LS engine. Read how he did it here. (Image/Richard Holdener)

For well over two decades, GM put LS engines in everything from sports cars to cargo vans. That means the factory produced the LS in a range of displacements, starting at 4.8L and topping out at 7.0L. So if you’re thinking about an LS engine swap, LS engine build, or LS engine upgrade, the first number you’ll probably look at is displacement.

This handy LS resource page is a good one to bookmark if you’re considering an LS crate engine for a swap, or looking for a 4.8L LS short block to start a project.

Learn more about each LS engine displacement:
* 4.8L LS Engine Guide: Block Specs, Swap Resources & Build Info
* 5.3L LS Engine Guide: Block Specs, Swap Resources & Build Info
* 5.7L LS Engine Guide: Block Specs, Swap Resources & Build Info
* 6.0L LS Engine Guide: Block Specs, Swap Resources & Build Info
6.2L LS Engine Guide: Block Specs, Swap Resources & Build Info
* 7.0L LS Engine Guide: Block Specs, Swap Resources & Build Info

The 4.8L LS Engine Family

With the smallest displacement of all the engines in the LS lineage, the 4.8L is probably the closest you’ll get to an “under-the-radar” LS. But that’s good news for you, because they’re often easy to come by in junkyards and relatively cheap. Yet thanks to an iron block, the 4.8L LS can support big horsepower, particularly if you’re adding forced induction like a turbo or supercharger.

You may also want to check out our Definitive Guide to LS Engine Specs and LS Engine Upgrades.

4.8L LS Engine Specs

Regardless of what your engine plans are, knowing the distinction between the specific 4.8L LS motors is important. You can see all of the different 4.8L GM LS engines in the chart below, then click on each specific LS engine name (LR4, L20, LY2) to get other vital engine data like general performance, bore & stroke, cylinder head design, cam specs, and more.

4.8L LS & Vortec Engine Spec Guide

YearsLiterCodeVehicleCam BoltsReluctorVVTAFMFlex FuelVIN (8th Digit)BlockHead
1999-20064.8LR4Truck/SUV324XNoNoNoVIronCathedral
2010-174.8L20Truck/Van158x/4xYesNoYesAIronCathedral
2007-094.8LY2Truck158x/4xNoNoNoCIronCathedral
Sloppy Mechanics stuffed a turbo 4.8L LS into an SN95 Mustang with the goal of running 8s in the quarter. Want to see if the “8 for 8” project was a success? Click here. (Image/Sloppy Mechanics)

Looking for a 4.8L LS Engine?

We put together a pair of LS Engine Spotter’s Guides to help you find one.

LS Engine Swap Parts Guide

The tech pros over at Summit Racing created a handy page that’ll give you an idea of some of the parts you’ll need to complete your LS engine swap—including specific LS swap requirements for exact vehicle models. You can check it out here:

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3 Comments

  1. Dan Moberg says:

    2002 Lr4 4.8 from GMC SIERRA. SWAPPING TO 1969 FIREBIRD..HAVE SWAP KIT FOR MOUNTING.
    NEED STAND ALONE WIRE HARNESS USING 4L60E TRANSMISSION. BUT WOULD LIKE LS6 INTAKE SYSTEM

    • The easiest way to get where you want to go is to use the Holley Terminator-X Max EFI system for your 24x LS engine. Use the Terminator-X Max that allows transmission control and the software will control both spark, fuel, and the transmission. It’s simple and you only need to use a handheld instead of using a laptop although you can use a laptop if you want to. The injector harness may need to be adapted to the stock truck injectors. It’s pretty simple. Or, you could go the carbureted route with an MSD spark controller and then use the Compu-Shift Pro controller as a separate controller for the 4L60E. Either way, it’s easy. I’ve done both.

  2. Pingback: Block Specs, Swap Resources & Build Info – Lansing Supports

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