LS Engine Identification.
LS engine type or Engine Prefix Codes are used here daily at VCM and knowing which engine you have an the details of that engine help decide on performance modifications and servicing.
In Australia we get 8 different variants of the LS engine. LS1, LS2, L98, L76, L77, LS3, LSA & LS9.
The best way to determine what engine you have is by reading your build plate. Which is located in the engine bay. On the passenger strut tower in VE & VF and for VT-VZ we can find this plate on the radiator support bracket at the front of the engine bay.
The LS1 was first found in the VT series 2 Commodore. Commonly called the Gen3 V8 in Australia. This engine was fitted in Commodores from VT-VZ - with the VZ having an electronic throttle body. LS1's had cathedral port heads, with two different variants of head bolts. (Short & Long outer bolts.) LS1's found in VT-VZ with the P01 Controller used a half moon cam gear and a 24x reluctor wheel on the crank.
The LS2 family of engine was only fitted to our HSV's from VZ to very early VE Commodore. LS2's are known for their great ability to make power, cathedral port heads. Be very careful when working with the LS2, because there are two controllers (PCM's) used with this engine. Firstly, the E40 was used in the VZ HSV - this ECU used a half moon cam gear with a 24x reluctor. The VE used the E38 ECU which uses a 4-point cam gear with a 58x reluctor wheel.
The L98 was the pre-AFM engine used in all VE SS and V8 variants used by Holden up until the addition of AFM (Active Fuel Management). The L98 was a square port headed 6.0 that takes very well to modifications. This engine used a 4-point cam gear with a 58x crank wheel. The L98 is even found in late model VZ's with the E38 ECU.
L76/L77 6.0L DOD/AFM
The first of its kind for a V8 in Australia. Sporting Active Fuel management or Displacement On Demand (as the USA liked calling it). Fitted in all SS and Australian V8 variants of the Commodore including the manual version. Both Automatic and Manual vehicles have the AFM fitted, just not activated in the M6 fitted Commodores. The AFM/DOD is controlled by the ECU and modifies the oil pressure to certain lifters in the engine to close the valves. (Injectors are also shut off) The engine then basically turns into a 4 cylinder to save fuel.
Be very mindful when ordering or considering upgrading the valve-train on these engines. The heads have to come off to replace the DOD lifters - as these lifters do not take well to hi-lift camshafts.
The LS3 is found in most late model HSV's and even the last of the VF Commodores sport the mighty LS3. Easily the easiest N/A engine from GM to produce good power levels. No funky lifters or badly designed fuel management. Fitted with the 4 point cam gear and 58x crank wheel. This engine takes well to an intake/exhaust/tune combo with outstanding results without opening the engine. But, don't be afraid to add a camshaft or supercharger - as you wont be disappointed.
LSA 6.2L S/C
The LSA was first delivered from HSV in the VF GTS model. Basically a 6.2L engine fitted with a 1900 supercharger from factory. With lower compression ratio - this is the base for amazing amounts of power, The LSA has proven itself and makes for a great base for a lot of power. With simple upgrades to the supercharger drive system and a small blower style camshaft, power figures soar to over 400 rwkW with ease and reliability.
LS9 6.2L S/C
HSV goes out with a bang. The LS9 is GM's highest performing engine to date. Only fitted to the VF GTS-R W1. The LS9 is an LSA on steroids, capable of high RPM and fitted with a 2300 supercharger. Race ready with a dry sump, titanium intake valves, higher flow cylinder heads. This setup will go down in history and be sure to put a smile on our face. Add a simple camshaft and boost upgrade and you have yourself a 750-800 horsepower engine.