Upgrading 'oldies' with GM Performance Parts
GM's E-ROD 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air (above).
It's a new era for American hot-rodders, with 'new' components becoming increasing available.
Additionally, reproduction bodies on a modern day 'chassis' supports this new era for the popular retro look
Image: copyright General Motors
"Blue Angels" Edition
17th July, 2011
Camaro Transformers Edition
17th July, 2011
17th July, 2011
Efficiency isn’t a word typically associated with hot rods, but
when the GM Performance Parts (GMPP) E-ROD 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air hit the road for the USA's summer Hot Rod
Power Tour, it delivered an average of 23 mpg (US gallons) on the drive from Florida to Michigan. That was with
a 430-horsepower LS3 V-8 under the bonnet and emissions performance comparable to a new Camaro SS.
Behind this classic cruiser’s balanced performance was the GMPP-engineered E-ROD 'crate' engine system,
which features emissions equipment designed to make it compliant with increasingly stringent emissions laws. In
fact, the E-ROD LS3 in the GMPP ’55 carries Executive Order (EO) number D-126-30 from California Air Resources
Board (CARB), making it legal for installation in pre-OBD II (1996-and-earlier) vehicles in that state.
It also delivers on the expectations of a new generation of hot rodders and custom car builders, where
greater fuel economy and lower emissions play more important roles in their projects.
“The world of hot rodding is changing, and GMPP is leading the way with engine systems and supporting
components that enable enthusiasts to build a car that complies with the law, satisfies their desire for a
cleaner hot rod and doesn’t sacrifice the performance they want,” said Dr. Jamie Meyer, product integration
manager for GM Performance Parts. “With fuel prices not showing any signs of retreating, greater fuel economy
is definitely a welcome benefit, too.”
The E-ROD 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air features the GMPP 4L65-E electronically controlled automatic transmission
and new GMPP Supermatic transmission controller, which enables a simple plug-in installation to match the
plug-in features of the E-ROD engine control system.
All of the E-ROD engine packages, transmissions and Supermatic transmission controllers are available in the
USA through authorised GM Performance Parts retailers and GM dealership parts departments. The engines are
backed by a two-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.
The Lingenfelter built E-ROD ’55 Chevy truck from America's 2010
SEMA show (above), features a Dynacorn reproduction body with a GM Performance Parts crate engine and the
chassis of a late-model Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS.
Images: copyright Lingenfelter Performance Engineering (Decatur, Indiana, USA)
GMPP engineers are working with CARB for approval to allow E-ROD engines to be installed in “special
construction” vehicles. They would include vehicles with new bodies that come with new vehicle identification
numbers, such as the Lingenfelter E-ROD ’55 truck from the 2010 SEMA show, which features a Dynacorn
reproduction body and the chassis of a late-model TrailBlazer SS.
E-ROD system details
The E-ROD ’55 Chevy is powered by the E-ROD LS3 engine for automatic transmissions (part number 19257230).
It is also available in a manual-transmission package (part number 19257234).
The Lingenfelter E-ROD truck features the E-ROD 5.3L for automatics (part number 19258004), which is rated
at 315 horsepower. It is also available for manual transmissions (part number 19258008).
To make them emissions-compliant, the E-ROD engine packages include:
- A brand-new GM crate engine: LS3 or 5.3L
- GMPP engine wiring harness
- GMPP engine control module
- Exhaust manifolds
- Catalytic converters
- Oxygen sensors and sensor bosses
- Fuel tank evaporative emissions canister
- Mass airflow sensor and sensor boss
- Accelerator pedal (for use with the electronic throttle)
- Air filter
- Instruction manual
In addition to the E-ROD system, the 'project builder' will need to source additional components to complete
the assembly and get the vehicle running. They include:
- Fuel tank
- Fuel lines (re-circulating or returnless)
- Fuel pump
- Fuel tank vent line from the tank to the evaporative emissions canister
- Purge line from the canister to the engine purge solenoid
- Air induction system that incorporates the mass airflow sensor
- Exhaust system behind the catalytic converters
- A “check engine” light (wiring and circuitry is included in the kit)
Additionally, each engine requires a front-end accessory drive system suitable to the vehicle. The
instruction manual includes recommendations for the accessory drive kit, as well as the transmission, gear
ratios and more. GMPP offers two configurations of the accessory drive systems to suit different applications;
and each allows the installer to easily delete air conditioning. They include part numbers 19155066 and
GMPP recommends the LS1 Engine Installation Guide (part number 88959384), which illustrates basic procedures
and offers helpful tips on installing an LS engine into older vehicles.
The 4L65-E transmission used in both vehicles carries part number 19156260 and the new Supermatic
transmission controller carries part number 19257634.
About GM Performance Parts
GM Performance Parts (GMPP) fuels the passions of automotive enthusiasts with factory-engineered and fully
assembled crate engines, engine parts and vehicle accessories, including specialised licensed parts and
accessories. GM Performance Parts is the only source for brand-new classic small-block and big-block crate
engines, which use all-new parts, including the cylinder block, rotating assembly and cylinder heads. GMPP is
also the leader in “LS” performance, with a full range of production-based crate engines and the growing
'family' of LSX maximum performance engines and parts. GMPP’s LS-based E-ROD engine systems include emissions
equipment that meets California requirements for pre-OBD-II vehicles (E-ROD LS3 systems carry CARB EO
D-126-30), delivering high performance with low emissions.