Engine bay limitations
Once beyond the issue of whether the engine actually fits into the engine bay (and the Chevy LS3 does fit), fitment research must expand to the so-called front drive accessory system, a pulley array that rotates the water pump, alternator, power steering, and air conditioning accessories.
The overall dimensions of the XJ6 chassis depart significantly from American cars of the same era, so Ford and Chevy swap specifications can’t be used. The Jaguar engine bay we have to work with is roughly 19 x 34 x 44″ as shown below.
The engine bay shapes are complex and difficult to visualize (and measure!). A reasonably accurate CAD drawing with a Chevy LS3 engine block shows some of the clearances.
Front drive options
Front drive systems come in integrated packages with components and brackets that are designed to work together; in addition, individual accessories can be selected to mimic now out-of-date configurations. It is also possible to engineer a custom system from scratch (this may require the fabrication of special brackets). The custom approach is really a last resort if none of the integrated packages can be made to fit.
There are five basic integrated options:
- Chevrolet Performance (CP) Corvette LS3 front drive (~$850)
- Vintage Air Front Runner (~$2800)
- March Performance narrow mount front drive requires new water pump and special mounting bolts (~$1500)
- Holley high mount (~$1300) and new mid-mount front drive (~1800)
- Vintage Camaro/Firebird 1998-2002 (similar to 2004-06 GTO) – no package available so must be assembled from individual parts, but system itself is an integrated design
CP CORVETTE LS3
VINTAGE AIR FRONT RUNNER
Costs and components
|Corvette LS3||19155067||$830||150||water pump P/N 89018052 not included – damper P/N 12620556 recommended|
|Camaro/Firebird||various||$2025||105||assembled from individual parts|
|Vintage Air||174011||$2780||170||includes water pump and balancer|
|March Performance||19925-08||$1350||140||includes water pump but no balancer|
|Holley||20-138||$1290||130||high mount may require bracket kit|
|Holley||20-185||$1800||150||mid-mount includes all components including belt|
If it fits, the Corvette LS3 from Chevy Performance is the most cost-effective solution.