When they say “LS Swap The World!” they really aren’t talking figuratively. Nope, they quite literally want to swap every motorized whatever on the planet, and nowhere is that more evident than at the Holley LS Fest. Of course, they have just about any type of LS-swapped vehicle at the event, but what about lawn mowers?
Well, yeah, why wouldn’t you LS-swap a riding lawn mower? After all, lawn care is tedious work so if you can get it done faster—much faster—why wouldn’t you? We’re not sure it’s still used to mow the lawn, but we can bet it mows down the boredom and makes for one hell of a ride. The early-’80s mower had been in the owner’s family for decades, and he had mowed a lot of lawns on it. The Murray went from his grandma to his aunt, to his uncle, and back to his grandma before finally wearing out, breaking down, and being parked out back.
He had thought about putting a four-stroke motor in it, but one day when hunting parts at a salvage yard he came across a 5.3-liter Vortec in a 1999 Silverado truck. They were having a half-price sale, so he scored the complete LS for just 120 bucks. To cool the LS, he found an aluminum Mustang radiator, complete with fan and shroud, for just $130! Feeding the LS is left to a small eBay fuel cell and a budget pump and regulator from Speedway, which also supplied the throttle assembly. The engine was fitted with a low-mount ICT billet alternator bracket and an LS1 intake manifold, all of it controlled by a Summit LS-swap ECU. The headers are Schoenfeld pieces designed for dirt track cars.
A straight axle found on Facebook was chopped down and set-up with brackets from Speedway to handle the trailer leaf spring. Simple front disc brakes actuated by a Wilwood pedal and master setup is all the brakes, for now, that the mower has.
Backing up the 5.3-liter Vortec is a TH350 three-speed automatic trans that feeds power through a very short driveshaft to the 1978 Malibu rearend. He states the Murray V-8 is a handful if you don’t know how to drive it, but it was a fun year-long project he tackled with the help of his dad. All we know is that we love being continuously surprised by the crazy ways people find to LS swap the world! If you want a complete rundown on how to build yourself a V-8 mower, be sure to check out his project video on YouTube: Review on the LS V8 Mower Build.
Watch! The Origin Story of a Street Freak 1969 Chevy Nova
On episode 4 of The House of Muscle, host Mike Musto gets the full story about Mike Cosculluela’s 1969 Chevy Nova, which left quite an impression more than 40 years ago. First there was the sound, then the black paint, then the five-spoke Cragar S/S wheels. From the moment Cosculluela saw the Nova, he knew there would be one in his future. Sign up for a free trial to MotorTrend+ and start watching every episode of The House of Muscle, plus shows like Roadkill and HOT ROD Garage!