Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: GTA, Ontario, Canada
98Sonosls is offline
Re: Vortec 5.7 vs LS 6.0 swap
Echoing what oldeerslayer said... the hangups in the swap tend to be the finishing items, not so much the mounts and headers. Everyone always worries about those but they cause the least issues.
You've done your homework pretty well. For your DD use, given your time constraint, budget limitation, and goals, I don't think you're really missing out on anything. Both the 6.0 and 5.7 will guzzle more gas than the 4.3 for sure, which is a DD concern of sorts. But relative between them the gas guzzling won't be that much different. At moderate RPM's the efficiency of LS vs L31 isn't all that different, both being computer controlled electronic fuel injected systems.
The LS has more power potential on the cheap, largely because LS heads are superior in many ways to most any SBC head, but in relatively stock trim for DD use the 5.7 is more than adequate.
Your existing 7.625" 10 bolt will hold up fine if you want to save cash and time. Especially if you put 4.10's in it. Numerically higher gears, while thinner, experience less torque shock than numerically lower gears.
If you go 8.8" the explorer is 5" wider overall (59.5" WMS), and typically came in 3.73. The 8.8 did not come with 4.10's from the factory. Aftermarket 4.11's are available. (4.10's aren't numerically possible with an 8.8 anyway...)
Not sure why you'd want to use 4.10/4.11 in a DD with a 4L60. First gear becomes stupidly short and pointless. Your highway cruise RPM will be fairly high as well over 65mph... I recommend 3.73's, not only do the 8.8's come that way stock, its about as much gear as you'll want on the street.
I run a 6.2L w/ built 4L60E, 2400 stall TC, 3.73 8.8". I am considering going to 3.55's this year to lower the highway cruise RPM a bit and stretch 1st out a hair more.