February 2018


I spent a number of months deliberating what engine to use for my Ultima. In the end, I had to choose between a used Toyota / Lexus 1UZ V8 motor and a new Chevy LS3 V8 crate motor.

The Lexus V8 has lots of potential and is a very strong motor, but lack of after market parts and costs for upgrade parts can easily run away, while still struggling to get to the same power levels of a standard LS3 Chevy motor.

In the end, I ordered a LS376/525 Chevy V8 motor through Summit Racing in the US. This new crate motor has the LSA performance Cam lifting the LS3 power figures from 430HP to 525HP (320KW to 391KW).

I was very impressed with the speed of shipment from Order to Delivery. They sent the engine with DB Schenker to South Africa (Door to Port). All I needed to arrange was local customs clearing and delivery to my home. This complete process took less than 10 days.

Here is a picture of the crate motor delivered in my Garage.

My next challenge was to get this engine off the crate and move it to my workshop. For this, I needed to buy two additional tools. The 1st being an Engine Stand, the 2nd being an Engine Hoist so I can get the engine onto the stand.

I also did some research to find the best locations for lifting the engine on the hoist. I really didn’t want to damage the brand new engine when lifting it from the crate.

From what I could find, there were many people just lifting the engine using bolts on the sides of the heads. A better way would be to buy or manufacture some brackets to fit over the valley cover. Either way, it is best to unplug and remove the fuel rail inlet system to have access to the valley cover and ensure the plastics don’t get damaged when lifting the engine.