There’s something wrong with people that are interested in performance. It’s a sickness that can’t be cured, and the only way to keep this problem in check is to modify the vehicle to be happy for a short amount of time. When that time is up, more additions will soon follow, in the form of engine parts, power adders, wheels, suspension, or maybe a different toy. Most are not satisfied with their project for very long, if at all. This illness can affect every aspect of your life decisions while draining you mentally, physically, and financially. And while we know this from first-hand experience, we wouldn’t trade it for anything. We get to travel all over the U.S. and meet people just like us. They are always looking for a little more and push the limits of what is possible in our industry.
During LS Fest West 2019, we ran across an individual that suffers from the same ailment that we have, which is the need for speed. Jason Hawk is the President of Hawk Engineering Inc. and has been around the racing scene since the tender age of three, where he was introduced to motorcycles. At the age of 16, Jason got into drag racing. After he got bored with that sport, he moved on to powerboating, then snowmobiles, and finally side-by-sides in 2008, with a particular interest in Polaris RZR’s. A factory turbocharged RZR comes factory with 168 horsepower — While that might be plenty of power for most people, Jason knew it would never be enough for him.
On the grounds of Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, we spotted a blue RZR cruising around. If you have never been to LS Fest, then you might not know that Holley only allows LS-powered vehicles in the show. Knowing this, we got excited when we saw the RZR, knowing that it had to have an LS of some sort pushing the Polaris along. We were correct in our thinking as we saw the 600 horsepower LS3 graphics displayed on the side of the side-by-side with Jason behind the wheel.
The side-by-side, appropriately named Never Enough, started as a new 2019 Polaris RZR. After its purchase, Jason tore the RZR down and started working his magic on the new ride. Obviously, the engine and gearbox were removed to make way for the LS engine. The front axle and all of the 4-wheel drive components were also scrapped, since they would not be used and to lighten up the buggy.
Factory gauges work with a CANbus to monitor the engine vitals via the LS ECU. A tablet was also synced up with the ECU using an app called Torque Pro. This mobile app allows the driver to monitor all of the parameters of the engine, since the RZR dash only shows a few.
The rear section of the Polaris was cut off and rebuilt to accommodate the LS3. Hawk Engineering actually makes a kit that you can purchase for this installation. Jason said, “We developed a fixture that you can weld right in and add a few bars. It’s not a bolt-on piece, so you will need to know how to weld. After you have the part installed, the engine and transmission will bolt directly into the fixture.” This kit is something that can be performed in your garage if you have the proper skills and equipment needed. Jason added, “The kit will come with full instructions for the installation.” While there are other LS-swapped RZRs out there, Jason and Hawk Engineering are the first to offer a swap kit.
The engine in the RZR is an LS3 crate engine that Jason purchased. Jason. The only modification that was performed on this mill was a tune. Jason said, “It’s a crate motor, and I bought it just like it sits. I had a tuner put a tune on it that is a proven 600 horsepower configuration that he writes for GM.” If 600 horsepower is not enough to cure your appetite for speed, just wait –Hawk engineering is looking to build another setup that will produce 1,000 horsepower.
Jason and his crew decided to use an aftermarket LS aluminum radiator for cooling this beast off on a hot day. The unit has been slightly modified, replacing the inlet and outlet with -AN fittings and a set of dual electric fans.
A Weddel transaxle was bolted to the LS3 for shifting duties. A set of 300M 33-spline axles replaced the stock Polaris units to make sure breakage would not be a concern. In fact, Jason says this combination is good for over 1,000 horsepower. The rear trailing arms are also custom-built and are attached to a massive set of ORI struts, guaranteed to smooth out any big bumps and jumps that the RZR may cross.
Hawk Engineering’s website states that this kit will work with the 1,000cc turbo or non-turbo RZR in either a two- or four-seat configuration. All you need is a RZR to start with and an LS engine. The cage is an essential part of the strength of the RZR, and a sturdy aftermarket cage is essential. If you’re interested in the conversion kit from Hawk Engineering, you can either purchase the components that you need or the complete system.
Here is what’s included in the complete Hawk LS conversion:
- Rear engine and transmission cradle frame kit
- Heavy-duty sway bar kit
- Billet shifter with cables and brackets
- Weddle four-speed transmission with heavy-duty clutch
- Clutch pedal installation kit
- 33-spline axles with RCV 934 CVs and boots
- Rear hub kit includes Wilwood brakes
- Custom heavy-duty swing arms
- Rear radius rods with Chromoly Heim ends
- Front and rear ORI Struts
- Cutting brake with brake lines for the rear brakes
- LS radiator, electric fans, electric water pump, braided lines, and AN fittings
- Air filter with aluminum tubing
- +3.5-inch long travel arms, tie rods, longer front brake lines
- RZR front wheel spacer for four to five-lug buggy wheel adapters
- Larger front rotor kit
- HV LS fuel pump kit, braided lines, AN fittings
- Air filter with aluminum tubing and MAF sensor bung
- CANbus module for Polaris gauge integration and power steering.
- LS Stainless headers with muffler and O2 bungs
Other kit options include a new GM LS3 6.2L crate engine tuned to 600 horsepower with engine harness and ECM, throttle pedal, O2 sensors, MAF sensor, and 100 amp alternator kit. Hawk Engineering can also fix you up with the correct oil pan, dipstick, and breather set up and ready to install. Hawk also offers a front battery relocation box if you’re concerned about adding some weight on the nose of the buggy.
The complete kit without an engine or harness will set you back a hefty $39,490 plus freight. If you want the engine package, expect to dish out another $12,125, which will include a battery box. There’s no doubt that this is a lot of money for a toy, but if we had the extra cash, we would build one. This thing looks like a rocket ship when it’s blasting through the sand on the paddle tires while banging gears. We would say that in this case “never enough” might just be enough, but who are we kidding. Can you imagine this beast with a Whipple supercharger mounted on top of the LS3?