Complete engine swaps can become a daunting task.] Well, with some planning, patience and proper components, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, we just did a crate engine swap on our Project BluePrint Chevelle and in one fell-swoop, we took the classic GM A-Body from an old-school big block to a modern performance LS thanks to BluePrint Engines. Check out the install and some handy tips if you’re taking on a similar project of your own in the video above.
Although we love our old-school muscle cars around here, we wanted modern performance, less weight and increased reliability for our BluePrint Chevelle. So we contacted BluePrint Engines and they sent us over one of their 427 LS ProSeries crate engines. Not only does the classic displacement hold a dear place in any Chevy owner’s heart, this particular engine provides us with everything we wanted for our latest project car.
The BluePrint 427 LS ProSeries engine is something that anyone can order from the company’s website. It comes with a GM LS block, L92 cylinder heads, a forged 4.125 stroke crankshaft, forged 6.125-inch rods, Mahle 11:1 forged pistons, hydraulic roller camshaft with 0.625-inch lift, universal fit oil pan and an AED 850cfm carburetor. This engine is pretty much plug and play with a few additional components needed like headers and engine mounts, which we got from Hedmen, a pulley assembly, which we got from Billet Specialties, and an ignition box, which we got from MSD.
Each BluePrint engine that’s sold is dyno-tested before it leaves the company, with the 427 LS ProSeries producing a dyno-proven 605hp. All of BluePrint’s engines also come with a 50,000/30-month warranty that gives you the piece of mind for such a large purchase. Obviously the BluePrint engine is a step up from our factory big block in power and performance so we needed a couple things to back it up.
The first was a brand new transmission we got from Gearstar. The Level-4 4L60E transmission is a complete system and offers our BluePrint engine the perfect partner in crime. The second was a performance drop in radiator from Afco. We’ll be making more power with our Chevelle now so it’s important to keep everything cool for smooth running.
To install our new crate engine, we worked backwards from our big block engine pull, starting first with bolting the new BluePrint engine to the new Gearstar transmission. From there, it was a matter of bolting on the engine mounts, attaching the new Headman headers to our Flowmaster exhaust, and attaching all of our plumbing and wiring to get everything working properly.
A crate engine swap isn’t complete until the break-in period is done so after topping off our fluids and checking for leaks, we hit the street for some break-in miles. Of course, we couldn’t resist getting the car up on our chassis dyno as well to see just how much power and torque we had gained with our new set up. Prior to the swap, our factory big block was making a little shy of 385hp but now that’s a thing of the past. Bolted down and tuned, our BluePrint Chevelle is producing 485hp to the rear wheels and 428ft-lbs of torque. That’s a considerable amount of power but still fully streetable.
Our BluePrint engine swap was a great project and not as daunting as some may seem. Be sure to stay tuned for more updates on our Project BluePrint Chevelle as we dive even deeper into the engine and transmission upgrades soon.