The Chevy Impala nameplate has quite the history attached to it, dating all the way back to the late ‘50s. The final tenth-generation Impala launched for the 2014 model year as a four-door, front-wheel-drive sedan with either a four-cylinder or V6 under the hood. Naturally, for some folks, this just wouldn’t do, and the solution is obvious – LS swap!
At least, that seems to be the thought process for YouTube user Travis Smith (@travissmith4546), per a series of videos documenting Smith’s at-home conversion that transformed this tenth-generation, 2017 Chevy Impala into a rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered fun machine.
“I’ve started a little journey here, 2017 Impala,” Smith states in the first conversion video. “Essentially, broke a valve spring, dropped a valve, motor’s toast. And I weighed my options, and I thought, ‘you know, it’s time to LS-swap this thing.’”
In the same video, we see the factory rear end on the Impala removed. “Looks like plenty of room for a Ford 8.8 to me,” Smith says.
After installing the new rear end, Smith turned his attention to the front end of the vehicle, replacing the factory motor and transmission with a fresh 5.3L LS V8. Naturally, a swap like this requires quite a bit of cutting, welding, and reconfiguring to get it all to fit, but Smith seems up to the task. The engine sits decently in the bay, albeit a bit tight, while the transmission required a little bit of extra cutting in the cabin, although the center console was kept intact. The new headers also needed some adjusting. Eventually, though, everything gets bolted in and Smith takes it for a drive.
First impressions show a good deal of promise, although there are still a few issues left to work out. The most recent video shows the Impala getting new rear end, specifically 4.11 gearing with posi. Put it all together, and this tenth-gen Impala is looking (and sounding) like a true enthusiast machine.