The LS engine. It’s kind of the final destination isn’t it. I see it a lot in my sick & twisted line of work: If you keep any one car long enough… and you keep kicking that can down the road far enough… eventually it bumps up against an LS swap & comes to rest. And you go, “Saaaay now, what’s this thing??

The LS is the auto-aftermarket’s Roman Empire, and all roads lead to Rome if you stay on ‘em long enough.

Long story short, THAT’s why we’re sitting here looking at a turbocharged LS in Eric Englert’s 3000GT. It’s the result of being deeeeeeep in a labyrinth of 3000GT riddles & obstacles. You come up for air, and then all the sudden, the air’s full of tiny microscopic LS particles.

Backstory

So here’s the backstory – a 3000GT has been in Eric’s life for 20 years now. He met his wife in those earlier years with a ’91 model… and that car played a huge supporting role in their early relationship. He sold that first car so they could buy a house & build a family.

…Sold it for love how sweet.

But the 3000GT always had that sentimental value to Eric and his wife. So as the Englert family got planted & settled, Eric was able to pick this one up in 2010. A clean example of a pop-up headlight 3000GT. It was a 100% garaged & unmolested Arizona car, with original paint & a stock 6g72 engine.

Eric made the purchase, and then with open arms, Mitsubishi welcomed him back to the Mitsu-family & the car spun a bearing within the first month.

Eric built the 6g72 with bigger turbos & AEM management. He spun a bearing again.

He stuck a 3.5 6g74 in its place, made 500hp!! …And then shot a rod.

DSM Swap

After taking a bunch more hits with a bunch more 6g motors… Eric decided to pioneer a 4g63 (DSM) swap. A lot of people questioned why you’d go through the headache & torment of putting a 4g63 engine in a car that’s heavier than the Eclipse/Talon. But the 4G63 is a decimate-all engine with a lot of aftermarket support. And the 3000 is heavier, because it has heavier components – like a larger diff & CV axles. You can get a lot of the ‘dumb’ weight out of a 3000GT by removing all the complicated & overly-sophisticated technology of the time period. For example, swapping to a 4g63 with manual transmission takes 100-pounds off the nose… right off the bat. Then if you go through the car, and remove/replace heavy, burdensome suspension components, steering components, exhaust components, sound deadening, etc… you can get the weight about down to around DSM specs.

The 3000GT is actually very close to the 1G DSM chassis in design. It’s slightly wider, but it has the exact same wheelbase. You can literally use the 3000GT shifter & cables with the 4g swap. And a lot of your plugs & sensors (as well as your alternator) all plug right up.

So in short – Eric was running the DSM engine & transmission, with 3000GT axles & rear diff, and a modified 3000GT driveshaft. Eric engineered his own motor mounts for the 3000-to-4g63 swap… and he still makes them, in case anyone needs them for their own project.

With the 4g63-swapped version of this car, Eric was running 9.65 quarter-miles at 37-pounds of boost… WITH a full dash, carpet, and rear seats. BUT – on the street, Eric was running 50-pounds of boost and nitrous! So it was a low 9-second car… he just doesn’t have the time-slip to prove it.

Despite the impressive numbers on the 4g, he was breaking transfer cases at the track. And all the downtime in-between fixes waiting for custom parts, was causing Eric some impatience.

…So he decided to try the LS thing.

The LS Thing

The LS is not an easy swap in this car. It took waaaay more hours than expected, in terms of planning, cutting, and welding. Eric had to cut a new trans tunnel & firewall. So since he was eyeball-deep in it anyway, he said ‘screw it’ & made the hole bigger to move the engine further back towards the center of the car. He built a tube/chromoly subframe rather than hacking-up the original one… with the goal of functionally tucking 275 tires under the front.

The front brakes are off an SN95 Mustang. Eric’s also using Racecraft drop spindles for an SN95. Coilovers are Fortune Auto from an Evo 9. The power steering rack is courtesy of a schweet ’88 Thunderbird. And Eric’s using an electric hydraulic power steering pump off a Toyota MR Spyder.

The car just ‘debuted’ this past summer before LS Fest, where I bumped into him at a random gas station. It recently ran a 9.70 at 20psi… and that was limited to just rolling off the starting line, because he can’t launch it on stock axles.

With the Xona Rota XR400 84mm turbo + PTC Powerglide transmission, the car shifts so hard that it breaks axles literally every time at WOT… even on street tires. Eric carries extras in the trunk, and can often be seen replacing them on the side of the road. He’s running out of spares, so next up, Eric bought a Ford 8.8 rear-end & is buying super expensive built axles.

Family Affair

In hindsight, Eric would probably NOT do the LS swap again, simply because it was such a ton of work to get this engine into this chassis… referencing that he spent a year & a lot of dollars basically building a Japanese C5 lol. But having said that – Eric is 100% DEFINITELY glad he did it. He doesn’t regret the turnout… it was just a lot of work to get there. But for the Englert family, 3000GTs are kind of a family affair. They’re worth the hassle. And this car is equal parts crazy, clean, and unique. I mean shoot – you don’t see nice 3000GTs much anymore period… so to see one with an LS like this is pretty cool.

Eric has 4 kids – 18, 14, 13, and 6. Back when the 6-year-old was 4, he saw dad’s 3000GT with the front bumper off and said, “Don’t put the bumper back on, you’ll save weight.” Keep in mind… this kid is only 4 years old! Eric tried to explain aerodynamics the best he could. The next day, the kid (obviously having thought about it a good bit), came back and said, “Dad you should take the mirrors off… you’ll save weight annnd be more aerodynamic.”

Can’t argue with that!

Back when Eric’s 18-year old was just a baby, she left a froggy toy in his first 3000GT. That frog still sits in this car today, and has become Eric’s good-luck safety charm.

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 (5300GT VR2)

 

Engine

5.3l aluminum gen3 LS

Stock gen4 rods and pistons (ring gap opened up for boost)

Stock 5.3 heads with TSP dual springs and pushrods

LJMS Stage2 turbo cam

LS6 intake

MSD plug wires

Drivetrain

PTC powerglide, reid case, and pro trans-brake

PTC torque converter

TCI Outlaw shifter

3 buttons (line lock, trans-brake, and bump)

Power Adder

Xona Rota XR400 84mm turbo from Robert at Forced Performance

Tial BOV

Tial 40mm wastegates (2)

NOS dry nitrous kit (fueling added by MS3Pro ecu)

Engine Management

MS3Pro-Evo ECU w/LS Swap harness

 

Fuel

210lb Bosch injectors

Bosch 044 fuel pumps (2)

10-gallon fuel cell (modified to use the stock gas cap & fill tube)

ProMeth Volute Injection meth kit with 3-gal tank (triggered by MS3Pro ecu above 10psi)

FlexFuel using GM sensor and tuned in MS3Pro ecu

 

Wheels

18×9.5 +35 ESR front with Nitto NT05 275/35/18

19×9.5 +40 ESM rear with Nitto NT05 275/35/19

17×9+35 XXR rear with M/T ET Street R (DOT slick) 28×11.50-17LT

Steering/Brakes/Suspension

Racecraft SN95 Mustang 2″ drop spindles

SN95 brake calipers & rotors

Hawk pads

Aerospace brake master on stock booster

-Vacuum pump and reservoir to maintain adequate vacuum

Hydraulic handbrake for rear brakes

Thunderbird PS rack

MR-S electric PS pump

Modified stock steering rack

Exterior

RetroSpec front lip and side splitters

Carbon Fiber hood & fiberglass hatch painted body color “snake eyes”

QuikLatch for hood, hatch, and front bumper

Carbon fiber covers for removed side mirrors

OEM foglights!!

Interior

10pt chromoly cage

Kirkey Pro Street drag seats

Perfect Tuning CANBus gauge

AEM Trim Pot (boost dial)

XS Power 14v battery in hatch

-GM truck alternator tricked with diodes to output 16volts

3000GT speedo & tach functional  😉

Fabrication – Owner Built

Recessed firewall (steel wheel barrow tub!)

Fabricated trans tunnel

Chromoly front subframe

Chromoly adjustable control arms

-QA1 heim joints, double adjusters and adjustable ball joints

Turbo kit with 4″ electric cutout to side-exit, or 3″ full aluminum exhaust

(switch on center console)

Chromoly strut tower brace

Self built & self tuned. (except for the roll cage)

 

Results….

4Gswap: 2.0l, 9.65 @ 143, 37psi and ran up to 50psi on the street and a 100shot up to 45psi

LSswap: 5.3l, 9.70 @ 146 20psi and just rolling out, no launch on stock axles.

Best trap of 148mph. (sprayed nitrous on the street but not at track yet)

Does wicked burnouts!

Engine Progression….

  1. 6g72. 135k mi 100% stock. Engine died by spun rod bearing within a month of ownership.
  2. 6g72. Bought a built used engine and went nuts doing the build I always dreamed of. (twin billet td05 turbos, AEM, custom FMIC to keep foglights, etc). After getting it driving, had low compression in one cyl.
  3. 6g72. Tore down used built engine for a full refresh, and also bought new aftermarket billet oil pump gears (mistake!). This engine died by spun rod bearing at only 400whp. Later discovered that the oil pump gears were not machined correctly causing oil pressure issues at higher rpm.
  4. 6g74. Parted out built 3.0l engine and ran a stock 3.5l 6g74 on the billet turbos. Lasted for a short while at 500whp & ended in carnage with a busted rod.
  5. 6g72. Stock replacement… sold billet turbos for used 14Bs. Had a lot of fun with this engine around 500whp for quite awhile, and eventually bent a rod.
  6. 6g72. decided on built engine again with big mofo cams to rev. Also bought a TIG welder to try fabbing. Modified my td05 kit for open wastegate dumps, and downpipe to expand to 4-inches, for a 4″ aluminum exhaust. Also swapped in an AWD auto (trans available in EU and Japan for the non-turbo awd 3000/GTO). LOVED the auto! Totally hooked on the instant & aggressive shifts, combined with zero boost lag between shifts. Engine died an early death due to crank balance issue that wiped out the mains. Demoralized yet motivated.
  7. 4g64. 4GSwap was born! Stock 2.4l with dohc head and a single 14B turbo paired with AWD auto for proof of concept. Engine didn’t die!!
  8. 4g64. built 2.4LR and HX40 turbo. Ran 10.7 on street tires. Died due to oil filter backing off & losing oil
  9. 4g63. 2.0 built, Forced Performance Super 99 turbo! Ran 9’s. Lots of fun. Engine didn’t die!! Parted out to go even crazier.
  10. 4g63. 2.0 long rod. Billet crank, aluminum rods, gas-ported pistons. Also ran 9’s, but ended up running a lot more boost on the street. Engine didn’t die!!! Sold & parted to fund LS Swap
  11. 5.3l iron block. Proof of concept engine. Issues with imported turbo so only ran 10.9. Engine didn’t die!! Swapped to aluminum block for 100lb weight savings. Sold iron block.
  12. 5.3l Aluminum block. Still kickin! 9’s at 20psi and no nitrous. A lot more of both to come. It may die. 😀
  13. Already have a K1 forged stroker crank and K1 rods on the shelf. Plan to get Wiseco pistons to build a 5.95l stroker in a spare aluminum 5.3l junkyard longblock I picked up 😉

Text by Wooley   Photos by Ty Cobb