I think it’s safe to say that the majority of parents out there are not LS-swap enthusiasts. Sure, stuffing a rowdy V8 engine between the fenders of your car might sound like a dream to you, but most people could care less if their commuter car had more power or the rumble of an American powerplant under the hood. However, that didn’t stop Adam LZ, the vlogger, and Formula Drifter from swapping an LS into his mom’s Pontiac Solstice. The funny thing is, she had no idea that this event was taking place.
A few months back, we ran across one of Adam’s videos where he added a turbocharger to his mother’s beloved Solstice. And while this was a vast improvement on the EcoTech engine, he didn’t get the response he wanted. Instead of being surprised, Adam’s mom was very gracious and appreciated the new addition to the Pontiac. To get a good reaction from her and more YouTube views, Adam went back to the drawing board to develop a new scheme. And, if you want to get a good reaction out of someone and scare the pants off of them in the process, then stuffing an overpowered LS3 engine out of a Camaro is a great idea. Not only did Adam and his team do this, but they also added a rowdy stage 2 camshaft from Texas Speed & Performance (TSP) to enhance his efforts.
With the TSP cam in place along with the upgraded trunnion rockers, the guys replaced the seals, gaskets and bolted the engine back together. The next step was to mount the transmission to the LS3, but Adam didn’t utilize the GM six-speed. Instead, he used a transmission adapter from Fabbot to adapt the factory AR5 to the LS engine. They also replace the bell housing and the clutch to hold the additional power.
One of the more interesting parts of this build was the wiring harness. Adam didn’t use the factory LS3 computer; instead, he used the E-67 ECM in conjunction with a Werks Kappa LSX V8 engine harness. This unit allows the engine’s operation while still connecting to the car’s gauges, making it a true plug-in-play system. The guys also used an LS swap kit from Performance Autowerks, including an aluminum radiator, motor, transmission mounts, steel engine mounting brackets, radiator hoses, and clamps.
After only 3.5 days, the crew fired up the Solstice and took it for its first test drive, surprisingly with zero mechanical issues other than the fuel gauge going crazy. With everything checked and double-checked, Adam delivered the car to his mom. Right off the bat, she noticed the new wheels, wider rear tires, and dual exhaust mounted on the Solstice. It’s hard to tell if she suspected anything else until she starts the car as the LS3 roars to life. The two then take a cruise around the block before Adam reveals that he had swapped a V8 into the tiny sports car. Adam then takes her for a spin and lets the car fly, and like the video title states, her reaction was priceless.