The GM LS-Series cylinder heads are undoubtedly the most popular in the aftermarket currently. They have proven their power potential and are readily available in the market. One can get LS series engines in both new and used condition depending on their choice and budget.
Whether you are a budget enthusiast car lover, someone looking to swap the engine of their vintage muscle car, or an auto racer looking for the best engine swap, you will find this cylinder head guide very helpful.
What is a Cylinder Head?
Cylinder heads are the upper part of a car engine; the lower part is called an engine block. It is responsible for closing the combustion chamber of an engine. It is called a cylinder head because it sits over the cylinders in an internal combustion engine and forms the head portion of the combustion chamber.
What’s Special about LS Series Cylinder Heads?
The LS series engines introduced by General Motors in 1997 had the most powerful and advanced cylinder heads that are popular to date. These LS heads meant for bolting up LS engines were lightweight, compact yet powerful. Despite being an economically viable option LS heads provide maximum output and hence are popular in 2023 as well.
General Motors manufactured several versions of LS engines. The LS series engines by General Motors are third and fourth-generation small-block engines. Each of these engines was much better than their existing counterparts. Let us have a brief introduction to all these.
One of the most popular LS engines and LS cylinder heads is the LS1. It has a cathedral-shaped intake port with 67cc combustion chambers. The valve diameter of the intake runner is 2.00 inches and the volume is 200cc. And, the valve runner diameter of the exhaust runner is 1.55 inches and the volume is 70cc. 241 is its unique identification number that is stamped next to the valve cover.
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LS2 Cylinder Heads
LS2 is a 4th gen, small-block engine with an aluminum body. This was one of the only two engines that the company brought in cars as well as trucks. So, the specifications of LS2 engines vary depending on the vehicle for which it was made. For the LS2 engine used in cars, the combustion chamber volume is 65cc with a cathedral-shaped intake port and an intake runner volume of 210cc. It has a D-shaped exhaust port with a runner volume of 75cc.
LS3 is a generation 4, 6.2 L small block engine that was used in GM performance cars between 2009 and 2017. These engines are very strong and respond very well to engine upgrades like turbos, superchargers, etc. These engine heads with aluminum bodies came with casting number 821. They have a rectangle-shaped intake port with an intake runner volume of 87cc and a combustion chamber volume of 68cc. The exhaust port is D shaped with an exhaust runner volume of 87cc.
Related Products of LS3 Cylinder Heads:
LS4 Cylinder Heads
The LS4 is a 4th gen, 5.3 l aluminum small block engine that was used in GM cars between 2005 and 2009. They had cathedral port cylinder heads and used Active Fuel Management (AFM). The LS4 cylinder heads came with two casting series numbers – 799 and 243. The combustion chamber volume is 65cc. The intake port is cathedral shaped and the intake runner volume is 210cc. The exhaust port is D-shaped with an exhaust runner volume is 75cc.
LS5 Cylinder Heads
The LS5 was a stroked version of an earlier 427 ci big-block that featured a displacement of 454 cubic inches as LS5 cylinder heads. This was a standard cast-iron block with a forged-steel crankshaft. LS5 was a powerful engine that served only 5 years before being discontinued due to the emission standards of the era.
LS6 Cylinder Heads
LS6 is the most powerful generation 3 small block engine. This 5.7 l engine is an improved version of the original LS1 engines. The LS6 cylinder heads have an aluminum body. It has a cathedral-shaped intake port with an intake runner volume of 210cc. The exhaust port is D-shaped with an exhaust runner volume of 75cc.
Related Products of LS6 Cylinder Heads:
LS7 Cylinder Heads
LS7 is a 4th generation 7 l aluminum small block engine. It was part of General Motors’ high-performance cars between 2006 and 2015. It is the largest displacement engine in the entire LS series. This engine was purposefully built for high performance. The LS7 cylinder heads are made of 356-T6 Aluminum. The intake port is a CNC-ported or raised square port with an intake runner volume of 259cc. The exhaust port is CNC-ported or D-shaped with an exhaust runner volume of 86cc.
Related Products of LS7 Cylinder Heads:
LS9 Cylinder Heads
LS9 is a generation 4 small-block engine used in GM cars between 2009 and 2013. The cylinder heads of LS9 engines came with the casting number 1771. The engine head is made of 356-T6 Rotocast Aluminum. The intake port is rectangular shaped with an intake runner volume of 259cc. The exhaust port is D-shaped with an 89cc runner volume.
LS engines are one of the most popular choices for an engine swap to improve the power and quality of a vehicle. Hope the specific details about various LS engines helped you make a choice.
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