It’s no secret the LS swap has taken the performance aftermarket by storm. LS-swap components are marketed by seemingly more high performance manufacturers than don’t, and sales continue to be strong. It matters not the platform — if there’s a will, an LS is going in it.
We see LS swaps into Chevy S10s, early muscle cars, street rods, and it’s even a popular swap in Mustangs. However, one market where the LS isn’t as popular is with the Mopar and AMC crowd. The Mopar and AMC faithful are a little more particular about what goes under the hoods of their cars, and many choose to remain brand-specific.
One AMC owner that made the switch is Kenny Laflower, with his 1970 AMC Javelin. This is Laflower’s first car that he bought at 16 years old. It didn’t last long, because he sold it when he was 17. However, realizing his mistake, he bought the car back when he was 20.
“The first time I ran it, the car had a 304 with a 904 transmission, and it ran 17s,” he says. After building the engine and adding nitrous oxide, he was able to get the Javelin down into the 10s, with a best of 10.74.
Well, you know what they say about peer pressure. When everyone’s doing it, especially your friends, resistance is futile. Sooner or later, you give in. When Laflower’s buddy Adam Hodson LS-swapped his 1973 Camaro, Kenny wasn’t too far behind, swapping in an LS engine to his Javelin, featuring a Lil John Motorsport Solutions Stage 2 cam and a Holley intake with a Matt Rodgers-built Turbo 400 transmission featuring a Precision Industries 4,000 rpm stall converter. Another buddy, Chris Bishir, fabricated a turbo kit using a BorgWarner S475 turbocharger. Chris also tunes the combination using a Holley HP EFI system with 120 lb/hr injectors.
This year is the Javelin’s first year out with the new combination, and already the car has been 9.98 at 136 mph. Unfortunately, the factory Model 20 rear end wasn’t ready for the increased power, and exited stage left. Therefore, Kenny is getting the car ready for a 9-inch rear swap and a deeper run into the 9s.