1985 Jimmy LS Swap build- Resurrecting the War Pig

  • Well, I am starting a LS swap on my 85 Jimmy Sierra Classic. Along with that I am tearing out the interior (because what is left is ruined). Going to go ahead and do noise and heat liner along with some new carpet, side panels (will make my own because I have done it before on a 77 Jimmy I had back in the 90's). Probably going to go with some good quality junkyard seats since I have access to a bunch of pick-n-pulls aroud DFW. I already started gutting the engine bay and am starting to pull out the wiring and A/C box. I already have the 5.3 LM7, Flex plate spacer kit, motor mount adapters, new baffled TBI tank, sending unit and high pressure pump along with some F-body LS swap headers. I got the motor complete with the harness and ECU which I know I am going to have to have modified and slimmed down (the harness at least). I think I am going to go ahead and start with the 700R4 just because I'd rather not spend too much time focusing on the drive train to start with (aside from normal PM on brakes and gear oil, etc etc). I know it's a downhill run once you mod one thing but I'm doing it on a budget which can be spread out over time. so first step is getting the motor in and everything up to a point where it will move under it's own power so I can get it the heck out of the garage and road legal it. I'm sure a 4l60E will get swapped over at some point jus tbecause the 700R4 is an unknown factor (as far as how long it will hold up) so I think what I am going to do is just leave the plug for the harness and have it disabled in the ECU for the time being, and somewhere down the road I can have the function re-enabled and hook the harness. I'll probably just tied it up out of the way or maybe add an additional disconnect plug closer to the ECU down the road.

    Right now I am not planning on lifting it but I also don't have the urge to move beyond 33 inch tires so even if I do find the springs to be sprung probably the most I will do is a 2 inch spring lift, front and rear. i'm looking at axle options, and I know right now its got 3.08's in it. With 33's I was thinking 3.73's would have it in the power band for daily driver duty but from what I'm reading on some other builds it seems like 4.10's might be a little more appropriate, and I think if that is the case I can later on swap a 14 bolt and D60 in with a locker in the rear and pretty much be right in the gearing sweat spot.

    As I mentioned earlier the inside is a mess, and that includes the wiring, so I am yanking all the wiring, and I already have one of the EZ-21 harnesses sitting in the parts pile. I think once I get the motor installed I'll be a little more question heavy because I'll need a little coaching as to what is needed to connect to what to make the old ignition talk to the new motor but it seems like folks here are pretty helpful so I'm sure someone can help teach me. I'm mechanically sound in my ability to wrench, weld, even paint, but wiring anything beyond stereo's and amps is beyond my feeble abilities, lol.
    I'll update more in future posts as I get some steps done but for now, photos!!!! and one with a question regarding some frame/suspension parts.

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