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Last Update 8-20-23
Starting it up.......... and good breathing.....



Part 7 - The moment of truth- finally starting up.... and some breathing....

(Go on to Part 8 - A change of direction (Click Here))

(This is the seventh in a series of articles on installing the later Gen4 LS engine packages in our Jaguar cars. Check back from time to time for an update)

How to get started

As you probably know, most modern cars are a myriad of interconnected  electronic modules all talking to each other to do what needs to be done so that the engine will run, the transmission will shift, and all appropriate other subsystems (like the AC controller, instrument cluster, etc.,.) will work. The Pontiac G8 is no different and this car is pure CAN. For those of you not familiar with this term,. CAN stands for Controller Area Network which means that each of the various subsystems in the car has it's own microprocessor. That microprocessor handles control of the system in question but also sends key information out to the other controllers in the car so they can use it too. That communication is done over a network of 2 wires (that snake in a continuous loop all over the car). The different controllers don't actually talk to each other  but instead put their information on the network and then each controller accesses the network when it wants a piece of info. For example, the ECM (engine control module)  posts an engine RPM reading on the network and when the instrument cluster wants an updated value to show on the tachometer, it looks the network And this process goes on and on, many many times per second for every key function.

Another one of those controllers in the car is the BCM (Body Control Module) which handles management of lights, windows, and a large group of other functions including  security. And to get the engine to run, the ECM looks to the BCM to confirm that the correctly programmed ignition key is in the ignition and it's ok to start. Hold that thought. Note- for many of the aftermarket uses of LS engines (as in conversions into other cars), users typically send the ECM out to be reprogrammed as needed for their application and that can include anything from changing tire size and axle ratio, to lowering electric fan temperature set points, and many other variables. In our case here, it is not clear what we might actually want to change and I had a feeling it could be a back and forth process on the programming. That's usually not a major issue but our favorite programmer moved 50 miles away a few years ago, so going to see him is almost an all day affair vs a simple trip across town. So to just get started and get the car moving around, I thought of another way. Since we had the entire G8 here for the project,. why not rig up the original BCM and key to the CAN system just like it was originally. A little monkeying around  and I had a reasonable facsimile of the G8's original security system in place and guess what, it worked. The original G8 transponder key placed into the original key reader (taken from the steering column) and wired to the BCM gave us what we need. In reality, this is not really a kluge but a duplication of how the starting process works every day, every time, in every G8 out there. Now we were able to start the engine, move the car around, and get a better feel for what's next. It's not clear if we'll stay with this system (hide the BCM and hardware somewhere under the dash and leave it at that or actually go for reprogramming. Remember we're in California and have very specific emissions requirements to pass. With the standard programming in the ECM there is no doubt all standard emissions controls are in place. So there is a benefit to staying this way. Below is a pic of the BCM/key set-up on the passenger floor as used in the tests.



And how about breathing???

So this XK8 LS conversion is really very much like all of the others we have done, but with one small exception- the ECM here sits in the right front of the engine compartment. That in itself is not all that interesting except for the fact that the ECM now takes a large amount of the space we have typically used for an air intake system and filter box. Also, just like the other XK8 installs, hood clearance just in front of the throttle body is tight. So we need something very specific to make this all work.  One wrinkle for us here is that as mentioned above, this car has to pass California emissions and the testing agency here is very specific as to what  parts we can use (everything has t be either OE GM or California approved aftermarket, which means the part manufacturer has had a 3rd party test lab certify that the part does not degrade emissions). And that applies to the air intake system, all the way to the air filter. What all this means is that the group of pieces that will be acceptable to use is very small. This part of the project will likely take more than a little work, and it's still in process. For those of you not in California, there are options that will work and the easiest one to use is the K&N FIPK kit for either the 2004  (LS1) or 2005/2006 LS2 GTO. Either of those kits includes a very nice smooth bent ABS plastic intake duct that when flipped around to the right side (instead of how it normally  goes left) will fit the XK8 (it works on XJ8's as well). Here's a pic of the that style duct on the car; with a little trimming it would work nicely feeding either from a cone air cleaner or a remote air box


That's it for now- we're on the mad scramble to get this one ready to drive for summer so stay tuned....

Want an LS-powered Jaguar for yourself??

Click the links below to Jaguar-LS conversion information on our website and a also photos of many different completed cars, most by our customers:

Our Jaguar LS kits and parts:                

Gallery of completed LS-power Jags: