What is a Standalone Harness? LS Swap Harnesses
What is a Standalone Harness? LS Swap Conversion Harness Basics
Standalone is a term that’s thrown around a lot in the aftermarket wiring and Engine Conversion world. Let’s dive into what the term actually means, how it applies to LS Swap wiring and if a standalone harness or loom is right for you.
The definition of “Standalone” is, “able to operate independently of other hardware or software”. Which is a pretty accurate description of what a standalone harness actually does. Standalone harnesses refer to either modified factory harnesses or brand new aftermarket harnesses like those available from Haltech & Others. Converting your harness means the engine can run independently of whatever is going on with the body side of the vehicle. This means the engine can be used in ANY application, from Patrols and Landcruisers, VB-VS Commodore LS swaps, Burnout Cars and Hot rods to Lawnmowers (yes, that’s correct, Lawnmowers).
So what’s involved in making a factory harness into a standalone LS Swap harness?
Obviously, with the LS engines in Australia, these came in Commodores, Statesmen and a handful of other oddball vehicles. When they are originally designed and wired in these vehicles, the engine communicates with several other sub-systems such as the ABS, BCM, Traction Control, Dash Cluster and other modules. If you were to simply remove the harness and computer and try to power them up in another vehicle without the chain of communication to other modules present, the main ECU (ECM or PCM in GM terms) will be completely confused and not allow the vehicle to run. When we modify a harness to standalone, this involves completely removing anything un-essential and simplifying the wiring to only have the basic inputs and outputs. On top of this, it’s necessary to have the VATS (Vehicle Anti Theft Software) removed from the PCM/ECM and other parameters like the Fan on/off temperatures changes to suit vehicle conversions. There is no physical way to bypass the VATS system without a software change to work in LS Swaps.
How do I know if a factory modified standalone harness is right for me?
Well, this depends on several factors. Often, if the vehicle is a street car and is going to be street legal, the relevant authorities in your state will want to see the Factory computer, with the original emissions equipment intact (It’s best to speak to a local engineer about the particulars of your swap). Additionally, a modified factory harness is often a fraction of the cost of a new, aftermarket system. The factory computers for the LS1-LS3 and L98, L77, L76 vehicles are completely tuneable and modifiable, in some applications, we have used the factory ECU in vehicles producing over 1000hp. Where we start to recommend aftermarket Haltech solutions is for dedicated and hardworking race/serious street applications where engine protection and monitoring is absolutely vital.
Will this harness work in my **Insert Vehicle Here**??
Yes, it will. As mentioned earlier, standalone harnesses are universal, they will work in ANY vehicle. The engine functions and accessories will all work as factory. All our standalone harnesses come with outputs for tachometer, speedometer, reverse lights, park/neutral safety switch, A/C, thermos fans, fuel pumps and our top level harnesses even include outputs for shift lights and engine malfunction lights. The integration can go as far as you want to take it and the tach and speed signals and completely modifiable within the software to suit most of the factory and aftermarket dash solutions out there. We also offer some “Plug and Play” harnesses, currently for GU Patrol & VN-VS Commodore.
Can I modify my harness myself?
Absolutely! We all start somewhere and if your budget doesn’t allow, or you’re just curious we encourage people to explore the idea of modifying their harness themselves. You’ll need a basic understanding of EFI systems, a multimeter, basic electrical tools and some good diagrams and pinouts. You can find our pinout for the LS1 here.
In summary, a standalone harness is a great option for any LS Swap. You can view our full range of LS Standalone Harnesses HERE.