The Car: 2004 Pontiac GTO
The Goal: Test the latest supercar GM small block, the LS7 with GM Powertrain E67 Production Controller, production drive-by-wire throttlebody, and calibrator soon to be released by GM Performance Parts.
GM Performance Parts has combined the legendary muscle of the GTO with the outrageous performance of the Corvette ZO6-spec LS7 crate engine. The latest edition of the Pontiac GTO brings refined musclecar performance to a whole new level. And, with 505 horsepower, the new LS7 crate engine offers you what is truly the ultimate in small block GM power.
In stock form, the GTO offers a modern suspension with nimble handling, passenger appointments that rival most luxury cars, and styling that is a subtle blend of state-of-the-art designing and classic good looks. How do you improve on that? GM Performance Parts has used this GTO as the test bed for something truly special adapting the ZO6 Corvette LS7 crate engine into the GTO. Along the way, they had to overcome the challenges of integrating the dry-sump oiling system, custom fabricating the wiring harness, and developing a custom calibration based on the stock E67 production controller.
The E67 controller will soon be released as a dedicated GM Performance Parts part number to support the installation of all LS Family small block, push rod V8s into any application. Soon, you'll be able to buy an LS crate engine, a validated GM controller, and put it in your car without the hassle of chasing down a third-party fuel management system. Through the testing on the GTO, we've been able to address all the issues that our customers might run into.
Once the GMPP LS7 crate engine was installed, additional modifications had to be made: a BMR cradle was used to locate the LS7 in the engine compartment; the dry-sump oiling system also dictated a custom oil tank; and a wiring harness had to be fabricated to adapt the LS7 to its new surroundings. In addition, the drivetrain had to be upgraded to support the 505-horse crate engine. The independent rear suspension (IRS) that came standard in the GTO had never been designed to handle this type of power.
So, our engineers worked with BMR to develop additional braces and IRS support pieces to ensure that the rear end could withstand the testing. BMR also supplied us with frame connectors, a strut tower brace, rear cradle polyurethane bushings, severe-duty rear half-shafts, billet axle studs, a set of drag bags for rear springs to control wheel hop, and a Harrop Rear differential cover.
The payoff is an engineering exercise that allowed GM Performance Parts to develop a calibration strategy for the LS7 when it's placed into a different GM vehicle. Plus, we think we've got the coolest GTO in town - it starts, idles, runs, and performs like a production car. But, no production GTO ever came with an LS7!
Engine: GM Performance Parts 505-horsepower LS7
crate engine (17802397)
Engine Calibrations: GM Powertrain E67 Production
Controller with custom spark and fuel tables by GM Performance Parts (The E67 controller is scheduled to arrive for SEMA 2006!)
Throttle Control: Electronic "Drive by Wire": requires
accelerator pedal with position sensor
Oiling System: custom adaptation of the LS7
Exhaust: Stock exhaust manifolds, custom mid-pipes,
and Stainless Works cat-back
Transmission: 6-speed Tremec T-56 manual
Clutch: ZO6 Corvette clutch
Additional Driveline Parts: BMR Fabrication
Rims: Stock Pontiac GTO
Paint: Bright Yellow
Hood: Custom by Roush Racing
This list of modifications is in no way intended to be a guide of "how to fit an LS7 into your GTO." It simply serves as a minimal suggested list of parts that you should consider before taking on this project yourself.