Considering an LS swap - Chevelle Tech
El Caminos El Camino & Sprint

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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old May 24th, 19, 5:29 PM Thread Starter
Dustin
 
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Considering an LS swap

I am new to the forum and am considering attempting an LS swap in my 65 El Camino. The car is not going to be raced so not looking for massive horsepower. I just want a nice reliable swap with decent power, maybe 350 to 400 hp from the motor. Any suggestions on which LS to look for and any other info I can gather is much appreciated. Trying to decide if I want to try and attempt it myself or look for a shop to do it for me.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old May 24th, 19, 5:48 PM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

Got a '02 Silverado 5.3L and L60E trans going into a '67 Camaro right now...

FiTech system, BTR stage II truck cam, Holley oil pan, shorty Ebay stainless headers, Tanks Inc fuel system.

Just plumbing and wiring it all out now....
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1967 Camaro SS-Gen I
2017 Camaro RS-Gen VI
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old May 24th, 19, 9:33 PM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

I have a 5.3 liter / 4L60E trans out of a 1999 GMC Sierra. Your EC will need a different oil pan if your donor engine is out of most trucks. Truck pans hang too low but Holley makes a pan that clears and solves this problem - Holley pn 302-2. I'm also running the Holley forward bias engine mounts which allows the 4L60E to come forward a little and not need floor pan cutting to fit the trans. Holley Hooker Blackheart GM A-body headers work well on my A-body El Camino. Not so sure they work the same for your EC.

Truck motors and transmissions are inexpensive and abundant. I paid $800 for the 150,000 mile motor and 500 for the trans and got the PCM with it. No OBD II codes at that time, 160-170 PSI for compression and 40 PSI cold for oil pressure.

Rick

1970 El Camino under Reconstruction - 5.3L LS VORTEC Engine and 4L60E Transmission
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old May 31st, 19, 8:44 AM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

If you want to see the pains of doing an LS swap on a tight budget, read through my thread. I found used parts on the internet, did some trading with friends, and got it all together for a reasonable cost. I sourced parts from the junkyard and craigslist as well. Link is below in my signature.

Used a silverado wiring harness and fuse box, have my whole electrical system running through it. I don't recommend that as it added a lot of complexity and time to the build, but unfortunately it's the path I took. I did all the wiring and tuning myself.

*Jeff*

Project Salty - 1964 4 door Malibu, beaten, neglected, red headed foster child
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 19, 2:44 PM Thread Starter
Dustin
 
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Re: Considering an LS swap

Hotwire, I have read through your build thread and am amazed at the work you put into you're car. My main question that I can't seem to find an answer to is will the stock truck intake manifold fit under the hood? I want to do this as budget friendly as possible and changing over to a car style intake requires a lot of other changes to the wiring harness and front accessory drive that seem like they would drive up the cost. The price of a 5.3 or 6.0 compared to an LS1 or 2 in the Vegas area is pretty significant as well.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 19, 3:08 PM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

Truck intake (ugly !!) will NOT fit under a Camaro hood.
Assume same for Chevelle & Elky.

1967 Camaro SS-Gen I
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 19, 4:12 PM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

A cowl induction hood does completely close on my 70 EC with a 1999 5.3 liter LS (actually an LM7) truck motor. However, not with a plastic engine cover installed. I would need to snip a little tin from the underside of the hood.

Or change the intake manifold out from the high truck version to a lower car intake. But there would be fuel injector and injector wiring ripple effects here so I'm not going to do that.

Rick

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1970 El Camino under Reconstruction - 5.3L LS VORTEC Engine and 4L60E Transmission
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 19, 5:53 PM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

The truck intake WILL fit under a stock Chevelle hood. I left the truck intake on mine. The looks of it dont bother me all that much, but I will eventually be swapping to a throttle body 4150 style intake just so I can make it look like an old engine.

Heres the lowdown on LS swaps:

You do not need an LS engine to make reliable power. A plain 350 will do that just fine. If you want fuel injection you can always throw a FItech unit on it and call it a day.

Do you already have a decent engine in your El Camino? If you do I would advise you just keep it. If you are in the market for a new engine, then yes, an LS is superior to an old smallblock.

Some guys are very crafty and resourceful and can do the swap for cheap. Its not going to be cheap if you pay someone else to do it or have to buy kits to make it work. If you arent used to electrical then the wiring is going to blow your mind.

Honestly, the best place to learn about LS swaps is ls1tech.com. Read some builds on there and you will get an idea of what you are working with.
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Mike Smith
72 Chevelle, LS 6.0 LQ9 4l80e
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 19, 12:11 PM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 65elcoguy View Post
Hotwire, I have read through your build thread and am amazed at the work you put into you're car. My main question that I can't seem to find an answer to is will the stock truck intake manifold fit under the hood? I want to do this as budget friendly as possible and changing over to a car style intake requires a lot of other changes to the wiring harness and front accessory drive that seem like they would drive up the cost. The price of a 5.3 or 6.0 compared to an LS1 or 2 in the Vegas area is pretty significant as well.
I'm using an f-body oil pan and have too much clearance between oil pan and tie rod ends. If I ran a holley 302-2 oil pan and lowered the engine it might fit?

Don't recommend the f-body pan as you have to notch the frame and will have pinion angle concerns w/ clearing the tie rods.

*Jeff*

Project Salty - 1964 4 door Malibu, beaten, neglected, red headed foster child
LQ4 / T56 Swap
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 19, 1:28 PM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

TONS of room with the Holley 302-2.
Fit my Camaro chassis perfect. The factory 3" deep 4L60E truck trans pan actually hangs slightly lower.
See picture above...

1967 Camaro SS-Gen I
2017 Camaro RS-Gen VI
2019 Cadillac XT5 AWD
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 8:53 AM
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Jeff
 
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Re: Considering an LS swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsCamino View Post
TONS of room with the Holley 302-2.
Fit my Camaro chassis perfect. The factory 3" deep 4L60E truck trans pan actually hangs slightly lower.
See picture above...
You have to keep in mind the 64/65 chevelles have a very flat hood, not sure if there's the same amount of height between crossmember/tierods and hood bottom as there is in a camaro??

I know this isn't the best shot, but you can see alternator, throttle body, and top of truck intake above the fender lip on my 64. This is with f-body pan and ~2.5 finger widths between inner tie rod and bottom of oil pan. (I know, really scientific..)


*Jeff*

Project Salty - 1964 4 door Malibu, beaten, neglected, red headed foster child
LQ4 / T56 Swap
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 10:09 AM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

If you manage to overcome the handful of obstacles listed above, I would suggest you look into one of the aluminum block LS engines. An aluminum block is about equal to removing the weight of two full sized batteries from the nose of your car compared to an iron block LS.

Re-purposing a GM harness can be difficult and it has a lot of stuff in it you won't need, plus you'll need to buy expensive software to tune the factory PCM.

Look into the offerings from Fitech or Holley for LS systems. Fitech offers basic harness & ECM kits to kits that include an intake, throttle body, rails, injectors, etc. Holley offers systems for drive by cable and drive by wire throttle control. Both companies include free software to tune everything and support 4L60e/4L80e control.

Fuel supply is very important, don't even consider any of the "pump in a tank up front" systems, get a real fuel injection designed setup. While an in-tank GM fuel module is the best setup, it's costly and needs a PWM controller. From what I'm seeing, the Aeromotive Phantom system is the next best thing. Or talk to Rick at Rick's Tanks.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 11:28 AM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

OK, I did the 6.0 swap into my malibu and it was pretty simple. Other than little things like the oil pan and engine mounts, it slipped right in. I got the harness from PST and everything plugged right up. The only difficulty I had was mounting the procharger. slapped a LS2 or 3 intake on it and called it a day.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 19, 8:27 AM
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Re: Considering an LS swap

I have a 1978, low compression 454 in my 69 el Camino. It has a th400 and 2.87. Sounds boring, right.. I am amazed at what this combo runs like in the light el camino..
At any rate, this set up is super simple! The Quadrajet is so precise and easy to fix, the single points distributor make this car almost a joy to troubleshoot if anything should come up..
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Last edited by hydro462; Jul 12th, 19 at 8:44 AM.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 19, 2:44 PM
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You have any track times? Everyone's butt dyno isn't calibrated the same. 😉

*Jeff*

Project Salty - 1964 4 door Malibu, beaten, neglected, red headed foster child
LQ4 / T56 Swap
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