Starting my S1 XJ6 LS1 swap

pulling the leaky ford 302/AOD out of my S1 and swapping the front subframe with a series 3 that i just rebuilt and then dropping in an LS1/4l60e using Andrews(jag specialties) kit.

anyone have any pointers or suggestions of what else to do when the front end is apart?
looks as if it would be easier to remove and install the engine/subframe from the bottom of the car?

I have always done this from the top… let us know how it works if you use the “bottom method”. Hope you have all the needed steering pieces to hook up to the S1. Andrew has the best steering rack bushings!

Pictures!!! This will be my next upgrade - after winning the Lotto.

Great project. I second the request for pictures. I wish I had made a lot more during my install. But, it was in film camera days. Digital just coming on.

My mind, albeit bound by tradition votes for the engine trans install from above. Mine done with a fairly skilled "helper’ went very well. A leveling bar for the cherry picker would have made it a tad easier. It goes in at a steep angle, then adjusted to a more horizontal position before find it’s resting place.

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starting with this. note how it already sits up too high in the front.
this has an early 80’s carb’d 302 in it,
i have a rebuilt S3 suspension with king springs ready to go in

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Ford engine sits too high and too far forward to clear the double hump oil pan.

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rebuilt ls1 ready to go in


rebuilt S3 front subframe about ready to go in, may hit it with some POR-15 chassis black.


finally got around to pulling the engine. took about 3 hours or so. had to have the wife help with the hood removal. came out easily enough the old fashioned way.

bit of tidying up to be done. hope to get the subframe swapped and engine in place later this week.

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Very nice work. The pictures of the empty engine bay bring back memories.

Removal of the bonnet on mine was a two man job.
Replacing it was a two man and a woman job!!! Big., heavy and clumsy, the bonnett that is,


“Big., heavy and clumsy, the bonnett that is,”

Thanks for the clarification, Carl!

Jay - Tell me about these “King” springs? Weight rating? Overall height vs. anticipated loaded height? BTW, your LS1 looks beautiful!

Roger had recently replaced his original shims between the lower pans with 1/2" spacers. Ride height looked better. Am wondering about a lower rated spring, perhaps 100# less rated spring to compensate for the lighter V8. Hoping to maintain “OEM” Jag velvet smooth ride! An uneven ride height will adversely affect the ride & driveability.

My experience with springs was “by-guess, by golly”. Had 1100# spring in RF, 900 LF, 350# RR & 250# LR, all for throwing a 3000# Malibu into the banked dirt corners. Am quite certain that experience has little application here!

Bushings…I’m torn on this, as I haven’t driven the car with Andrew’s new poly bushings yet. My first impression is that bouncing the front end causes an audible groan. That after thoroughly lubing the bushings with chassis grease. Hopefully that dissipates as they break in? Front end is definitely “stiffer”; partially from the lighter weight engine, & no bonnet. Original Boge shocks still in use.

You will be very pleased with this swap when completed. What transmission will you be using?
Thanks for the photos. Fun to watch a project in progress.

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The king springs i got are 30mm lower and supposed to be “specifically engineered” for the Chevy swap. i likely should have asked if iron or aluminum block? i did not measure the unsprung height before install. Nor did i ask about spring rates. i can shoot them an email and ask if you’d like. They did recommend removing all the shims, i suspect i’ll need to go back in and add a couple back in. time will tell, hopefully soon. I expect the springs to be stiffer the stock jag springs.
I did get the poly bushings from Andrew as well. I am skeptical of them as i put poly bushings all throughout my Merkur Xr4Ti and it squeaks over every little bump and dip in the road. going to be using Bilstein shocks at all 4 corners. I have Andrew’s big sway bar to go in the XJ as well. I seem to recall him talking me out of a rear sway bar, although i can’t remember why.

Trans is a 4l60e, rebuilt with a couple extra clutches, corvette servos, mild shift kit, 2800 stall converter.
i still need to get the ac bits from Andrew and figure out what to do for the fuel system.

LS Fuel system can be done Andrew’s GM parts way in the rear… but you may need later model gas tanks. He knows what works and what to do… just listen to him.

Hope your new King springs work out for you… dropping the springs multiple times is a lot of work. I just added 1/2 inch pan spacers to mine as I had no spring spacers to remove. I have a lot of aluminium in the heads and accessory mounts. I really love my new Boge front shocks…ride is great and I have Andrews front Poly bushings.

one of these isn’t like the other. guess it’s a good thing i’m swapping subframes…

on the ground, SIII subframe in, no engine trans. will be interesting to see where this thing sits with an engine in it. hopefully tomorrow or Saturday

Andrew’s big sway bar. is this upside down, or do i just need the engine trans back in to get this together?


They need to be done at normal ride height - with weight on the suspension.

Lithgow AUS
83 XJS “Carmel”

engine bay before/after