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LS1 swap worth it?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Grizz84, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Grizz84

    Grizz84 Registered Member

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    Now that i have someone interested in my '96 S10 LS1 project im going to be left with my motor since they have there own ARE stroker. The turd 305 is about to crap out in the K5 after 180K miles of service, and i've started toying with the idea of putting it in there since it already has the proper accessories and oil pan. The only thing that bothers me is the peak torque of the LS1 being so friggin high in the rpm range and the weight of my truck, im afraid its going to be a dog towing on hills. Granted it can't be any worse than the now carbed TPI 305 camaro engine thats in there now, i just don't know if it will merit up to the trouble of swapping out the tank sending unit, buying a fuel pump, getting a flywheel adapter and new converter for the 700R4 and fabbing some mounts.

    I've already got everything else i need since the S10 was almost completed. '98 ECU for a M6, engine management harness, 1 3/4" weld up header kit, LS6 intake and all the proper corvette accessories. I can get about 3500 out of the engine since it only has 14K miles on it and about 500 for the harness. You guys think i should do this or just sell the beauty and put a '97 up Vortec 5.7 in there? It would help big time if they actually made torque (RV) cams for the Gen III motors, but all of them are geared toward top end hp and leave peak torque in the mid 4K's. I tow light loads with my truck every now and then, and im wheelin 33's on the stock 3.73 gears. I was thinking about maybe using a converter with about a 2k-2200 stall speed made for towing...like a truck thruster to help out some. Fuel is the only thing i'll need to address that i don't already have to work on this truck. I think Peterson's is the only one i've seen or heard of swapping a Gen III motor over into a K5. I know it looks like it would be a walk in the park compared to the space i had to work with on the S10.
     
  2. PeteH

    PeteH 1/2 ton status

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    if you have the resources i dont see why not. i've heard its worth it...I bet ryanb will tell ya it is.
     
  3. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Nice Avitar Pete! :rotfl: Oh yah.

    I've done 2 '04 6.0L GenIII swaps. one in my '72 K5, one in my '84 Flatbed tow rig.
    #1:
    [​IMG]
    #2:
    [​IMG]

    The power is awsome even compared to my healthy old tuned port injected and cam'd 350. Old engine would be choking out at 5K, my 6.0L spins till the rev limit hits at 6200. :laugh:
    I liked the 6.0L in my K5 enough to get one for my tow rig.. Just got that going a few days ago in fact. It feels like it should have plenty of power to tow my k5 a few times a year..
    Lightly modified, low restriction exhaust, performance tune, K&N. They rock. I've got plans for Long tube headers, a cam, and dyno tuning on the blazer eventually. The 6.0 GenIII truck engines put out a bit more torque.
    All aluminum 5.7 LS1's have comparable power numbers to the 6 liter but i think the torque is a little higher in the rpm band. I can't speak from experience on that 5.7 LS1, but i'd still swap it in a blazer in a heartbeat.
    Takes quite a bit of massaging and fabrication, Clearancing the frame and possibly firewall, fabing motor mounts and a crossmember. My friend Kevin at www.pacificfab.net helped me out with a lot of the fabrication part of it.
    ..reworking the harness and computer, fuel system, cooling system, oil cooling system... etc...
    Go for it! ;)
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The only powe curves I've seen for the Lx1 motors have shown them to be EXTREMELY flat across the board, from where they started the graph. (2000RPM IIRC)

    I don't see how you could possibly go wrong with the swap, I wish I would have gone this route. GM knew what they did changing the internal dimensions that they did, the gen1 engine no longer exists for a reason, and the new family of engines exists because the changes they made worked.

    http://www.ttspowersystems.com/headers-vett.htm

    Frustrated that I can't find the dyno charts I know I've seen before on a bone stock LS1. However, even in the (yes, bigger engine) above, you can see how flat that "curve" is. The stock one mimics that, albeit at lower numbers. It looks (and performs) nothing like the earlier engines curve.
     
  5. ProJunkRacing

    ProJunkRacing 1/2 ton status

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    do it and we want pics
     
  6. Grizz84

    Grizz84 Registered Member

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    Hey Ryan B., you mentioned something about clearancing the frame and firewall. What all did you have to do? To me just visualizing it in my truck it doesn't look like it would interfere with the frame or the firewall, you may be using A/C though so i might not be thinking about that. For it to go in my S10, all i had to do was notch the engine crossmember for the truck pan to fit. It looks like i have plenty of clearance for a truck pan on the K5. You might also be talking about the truck exhaust manifolds, i know they stick out a pretty good ways and they could possibly kiss the frame a little.

    Im going to use an adapter flywheel/spacer so i can still use the 700R4/241 combo in my truck now. You can bet i'll take pics as well, i've got about 200 photos of the S10 build step by step. Only thing is i don't know how long it will take me to finish this out. Im about to go on 84hrs/wk and my wifes pregnant with our second child.
     
  7. Grizz84

    Grizz84 Registered Member

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    Oh BTW, how hard was it to get that sm465 on the 6.0? I've thought about doing a 4 speed swap one day and it crossed my mind to use that exact setup. Does the flywheel spacer and adapter flywheel work in that application too?
     
  8. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    As dyeager said the LS1s torque curve is very flat even though peak is higher I don't think you can go wrong with this
     
  9. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    2K+ converter + towing = no no
     
  10. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    My 72 i had to bash the firewall, and i still don't think the valve cover will come off now. :crazy: Both trucks required clearancing the frame for exhaust, I put a camaro manifold on one side to gain some clearance.. The motor mounts are totally different so some sort of crossmember and engine mount needs to fab'd to get them to work. and it will probably require relocating or building a new crossmember was easier.
    You must consider, the engine is shorter in length, wider, and set back more than a normal GenI/II smallblock.
    I got a set of headman torque step full length headers for the k5 i'm going to be trial fitting in another weekend or so here Those look like they'll be even worse as far as clearance... Probably gonna end up voiding the warranty on these headers! :wink1: :hack:
    The 465 won't work with a f body flywheel. tried it. Had to order the advance adapters thicker flywheel. You'll also need a crank pilot bearing spacer. You should probably get an adjustable ball stud and you might be able to use your stock bellhousing and throwout bearing. Mine just barely worked out.
    I already had my hydro clutch setup working and bled, which uses a late 80's clutch master cylinder and an 80 toyota slave cylinder on a custom bracket, with about 5' of line between the two. That made it easy to see if the clutch was going to work or not, bolted it up just dangling the engine on the cherry picker, without even having to install it.
     
  11. Grizz84

    Grizz84 Registered Member

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    Yeah, i had to "gently" massage the firewall of the s10 with a 4lb ball peen. They make steel plates that bolt to the engine that moves the mounting pad to where it is on a normal V8, its really easy to make them yourself as well. I made the engine mounts to fit up the LS1 in the S10 using the stock 2.8 rubber frame mounts and put the motor basically wherever i wanted it. I had to clearance the firewall because the engine could only move so far forward before i had to cut too much out of the engine crossmember. I'll have to see if the electric fans i have from a '01 T/A will be enough to keep the truck cool. I can't put a mechanical fan on unless i swap out the water pump with a truck pump, i have a LS2 pump on there now.

    My weld up header kit was 8 tight radius j-bends so i know getting them between the frame rails isn't going to be a big deal. If they'll fit between the rails of a S10, the K5 wont be a big deal. With all the stuff i already have, i think i can do this for less than a grand including all the little odd and end parts that get you in the end. I guess im going to have to manually shift my 700R4 unless i can find some kind of creative way to hook up the TV cable to the throttle body using the cruise control slot.
     
  12. Grizz84

    Grizz84 Registered Member

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    The converter i was referring to was a torque master 12" converter, has a higher multiplication rate than standard racing converters for heavy vehicles and towing. I believe even the stock f-body converter for the 4L60E has a stall speed of 2200 and the trucks are 1800-2000. I'll just have to get the biggest tranny cooler i can fit on the truck to keep things in check.
     
  13. y5mgisi

    y5mgisi 1 ton status

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    RyanB Not to hijack but this will probably benift Grizz84 also, I am deffinly going to be doing the 6.0 swap in my 90 burb here sometime in the not tooo distent future, is it ok if i harass you with questions? and where is a good place with info on doing this swap? have you done any sort of a write up?
     
  14. Grizz84

    Grizz84 Registered Member

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    No problem man, were all out to accomplish the same thing.
     
  15. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'd be glad to try and help you guys with any questions you have.
    LS1tech.com is the main place i've spent probably a hundred hours researching 6.0L and 8.1L stuff. I've also found 2004 wiring diagrams at the college library that helped me figure everything out. Especially with keeping the drive by wire on my 2nd 6.0 swap.
    LS1Truck.com is cool quite a bit of info on 5.3 and 6.0L engines but not as much tech as LS1tech.com. :bow:
    There was something really motivating about seeing guys on that site running 9's on a stock bottom end 6.0L in their f bodys, and their sig pics showing the front end 2 feet in the air. :D
     
  16. Grizz84

    Grizz84 Registered Member

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    What did you use as far as a fuel pump and sending unit? I was kinda hoping that i could use a 87-up sending unit with the intank pump and just swap the pump out with a high performance walboro. Or did you use a fuel cell and a inline?
     
  17. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Low pressure pump, to a surge canister, to a hi pressure walboro inline pump.
     
  18. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    So Ryan B.,

    Would you swap out your TPI again to 6.0L LS1 knowing what you know now.... What ever happened to your TPI?
     
  19. Grizz84

    Grizz84 Registered Member

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    So theres no way to just swap the pump out on a Fuel Injected sending unit with a high pressure? To tell you the truth i don't even know if the FI k5's even had intank pumps....but im guessing they do.
     
  20. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Yah i think you can do that.. The only question is at what fuel level will surging start to occur? My tank its around 1/3 tank and below it would surge for fuel on acceleration and cornering. Its not a problem with low pressures for a carb, but for efi theres a lot more of a fuel demand.
    Thats why i did the surge canister method. When it runs out of gas its completely out.

    Cmoe- Hell yah.
    I figured if i blew up my tpi engine i'd be doing a 383 bottom end, full roller, and AFR heads... BOOM. Way over the 6.0L budget. and thats after i already had the TPI setup. :crazy: I love engines that rev. This thing doesn't stop flowing at 5K like a tuned port, it'll go to 6200 no prob.
    I was thinking about slamming the tuned port 350 in my tow rig, it would have been a hell of a lot easier.. but the 6.0L rocks.
    Yup. I had a "free" TPI 350 that needs a balancer and gasket kit sitting on my engine stand, but instead i went and bought another 6.0L. Tell ya anything? :wink1:
     

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