By Sebastian Orellana
Updated Sep 06, 2022
One of the best parts about starting a new project is compiling everything you need to start on your car. Like pieces to a puzzle, each component is crucial to the vehicle and seeing it all come together is truly a work of art to be marveled. Driving a car that you basically built with your own two hands is second to none and having the ability to do so gives you a lot to take pride in.
Table of Contents
The best mechanics or gear heads know that having the best quality components to build your car is very important, no matter how small or miniscule it may seem. If you want to run the best car and you want to avoid working on it extensively every time there is an issue, it's always important to do your research to find the best pieces to build your car.
Today we are going to talk about the best LS Standalone Harness and why it's important to find one. So stay tuned and keep reading.
A stand alone harness is an engine management system that is small and features few connections for universal application. It is because it does not entail cruise control and fuel management. Stand alone harnesses are rudimentary, so they have few connections for the engine, including battery, ignition, fuel pump, and ground. Others may include computers, relevant sensors, and data logging.
For this reason, it is smaller compared to the factory wiring harness. The vast majority of LS swaps tend to use stand alone harnesses because they are simple and cost-effective. It is possible to construct one's own, but it would be more of a hassle to do so.
A stand alone harness can either be built or ordered. Each of these options comes with its pros and cons. The great thing about aftermarket harnesses is they are convenient and reduce the time one would have otherwise spent searching for the right materials. Rather than struggling with different wires and cables only to find they are the wrong ones, a complete set makes it possible to worry about other factors concerning the LS harness.
Custom cable manufacturers that perform these services also ensure their clients get the highest quality final products. These services include custom insulating, jacketing, and marking for installation. All kits also have easy-to-follow instructions and color-coded cables for easy installation.
On the other hand, when someone decides to build an LS standalone harness, they will begin with an existing factory unit. These harnesses are used and probably faulty, especially for LS engines. One may encounter such things as melted connectors and rust. Product quality is significant when it comes to the installation process. The installer should be aware of where to source the right wires for the build. One should also be certain that each utilized product is of the finest quality.
With aftermarket producers, the custom wiring and cabling powering is also capable of universal applications. Building the Plug and play wiring harness is difficult as one would like the complete system to be plug and play. LS swap wiring can be problematic to deal with, considering it binds on itself. Taking that into account, one would rather go with aftermarket options than DIY.
LS engines come available in two different throttle bodies. These would be drive-by-wire and drive-by-cable, and they were part of the original model LS engines. In Drive by Cable, it is attached to the pedal to facilitate the opening and closing of the throttle body. Drive-by wire, though, has a motor controlled using a pedal within the electronic control unit in a vehicle. The drive-by cable system is usually found within the Generation III LS engines. Though, there are later generation 3s that use Drive by wire. In the case of Vortec 5300, which is a generation IV, the throttle body is Drive by wire.
The engines drive smoother and respond better. They have specially designed exhaust manifolds to seal in the noise and the heat, so the engine reaches ideal operating temperature faster than previous LS generations.
A built or aftermarket stand alone harness would factor in the throttle body to use, depending on the LS engine generation. Considering the drive-By Wire options are electronic, they would be more common in generation IV and later generation three engines from 2005 to 2008. It also comes with more complexity since it has to be connected to the throttle pedal and the ECU. On the other hand, drive-by Cable will only require hooking up the cables to the linkage.
There are cases when the setting is a drive-by-wire, and there is a desire to run a drive-by-cable instead. It is possible by installing a mechanical throttle body. The problem, in this case, is some of the factory intake manifolds do not have provisions for cable mounts. Preparing a DIY intake manifold or purchasing an aftermarket one for a drive-by cable system is possible.
The best standalone harnesses are drive-by-wire because they utilize an advanced throttle response system where input given to the throttle is channeled to the ECU. These are available through aftermarket outlets rather than through DIY. There may be several how-to videos on the internet, but precision is of utmost importance, so there needs to be an understanding of the schematics and the wiring processes.
Aside from the longevity and quality of installations, aftermarket outlets also offer lengthy warranties for all products. It is at the same level as the warranty gotten with brand new vehicles. The confidence in the product is achieved by using modern manufacturing materials and strategies that are quality approved. Custom aftermarket setups would also entail General Motors' brand-specific color codes for their harnesses.
There is little improvisation in this department, and it is helpful to make sure mechanics can follow through during repairs, so there is no need to rip up everything and begin from scratch during an undiagnosed problem. They also follow the wire sizing specifications from the brand, so there are no under or oversized wires used in the harnesses.
LS standalone harnesses are not the easiest system set up for LS swap wiring. It is possible to do a DIY stand alone harness or an aftermarket setup. The aftermarket option has several advantages like proof of quality sourcing for the wiring, convenience, and less time. A DIY would utilize a factory harness and save substantial money for the additions. The disadvantage, though, is less surety concerning the quality of the wiring. Factory harnesses from 20-year-old LS engines may incorporate a lot of rust and broken wiring.
An LS swap harness might be more problematic than what they are worth. For these reasons and more, it would be advisable to go for the aftermarket setups to ensure quality, and some, like BP Automotive, provide lengthy warranties.
Hopefully this piece helped you understand not only how important a good LS standalone harness is but why it is important to find the best one.