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LS Drive-By-Wire (DBW) vs Drive-By-Cable (DBC) Setups and Why DBC is Much Easier in a LS Disco Swap

Updated: Apr 1

Why our LS Swap Kits Support Drive-by-Cable Setups

LS Gen 3 drive-by-cable throttle body
A Gen 3 LS drive-by-cable (DBC) throttle body

Because the Discovery 1 and 2 were setup to be drive-by-cable with the old Rover V8, it makes doing an LS swap much easier if you retain and use the cable systems that are already in place. All Gen 3 LS engines, no matter if they were DBC or DBW from the factory, can be used with a DBC system by using the proper throttle body, ECM, and harness. Retrofitting the DBC setup to an originally DBW engine is very simple – just remove the three nuts and slide the new throttle body over the studs and you are good to go.

If you choose to do a drive-by-wire swap things get much more complicated. Using the GM DBW setup require retrofitting the GM gas pedal to the Discovery. The ways to access this area involve either 1. removing the pedal box, which can be done through the engine bay by removing the panel under the brake booster, and modifying the pedal box as necessary or 2. removing the factory pedal and attaching the GM pedal under the dash (this is not really possible to do well without removing the driver’s seat).

Gen 3 LS drive-by-wire (DBW) throttle body
A Gen 3 LS drive-by-wire (DBW) throttle body (not as easy to use with a Discovery LS Swap)

Using the GM DBW also precludes the use of the Land Rover cruise control system. Therefore the cruise control wiring has to be wired to work through the GM computer, which complicates the wiring. We usually go by the adage that as few wiring changes as possible is best for swaps.

These extra complications are the main reason why our Discovery LS swap kits support the GM DBC setups only. Using the GM DBW system adds a lot of extra work and complication for few incentives.

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