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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering/planning a LU3 engine (2002 - 2014) build/swap into my 2002 S10. I am looking for some aluminum heads. Are the Bowtie 14044883 aluminum heads compatible withe the LU3 Vortec engine? Where can I get a pair?
Thanks in advance!
 

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To quote Meatloaf:

"You'll never find your gold on a sandy beach
You'll never drill for oil on a city street
I know you're looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks
But there ain't no Coup de Ville hiding at the bottom
Of a Cracker Jack box"

But you might find a pair of those heads if you look long and hard enough. Hope you have deep pockets.

Could probably have a more driveable and powerful truck by putting a 5.3 in it. Probably cost less and be done sooner. IIRC those were some sort of Nascar heads. Doubt they'd be fun to live with below 5000 rpms.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To quote Meatloaf:

"You'll never find your gold on a sandy beach
You'll never drill for oil on a city street
I know you're looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks
But there ain't no Coup de Ville hiding at the bottom
Of a Cracker Jack box"

But you might find a pair of those heads if you look long and hard enough. Hope you have deep pockets.

Could probably have a more driveable and powerful truck by putting a 5.3 in it. Probably cost less and be done sooner. IIRC those were some sort of Nascar heads. Doubt they'd be fun to live with below 5000 rpms.
I totally agree with the idea of a 4.8 or 5.3 (that would be great) but I live in NC and I am required by the DMV to use an engine of the SAME size unless the vehicle is an antique - 35 years old or older... then I can do whatever I want. The first time I would go for an annual vehicle inspection, I would fail and have to park the vehicle! Yes, with the prices I have seen I can buy a complete used LV3 for the price of a pair of fully assembled heads!

Are the 14044883 heads compatible with the 2002 L35 engine that I have... SCPI fuel injection and all?
 

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No. Intake bolt pattern and port shape is different.
NC, the hub of Nascar racing in the USA doesn't allow bigger engines?
I did a little digging online into NC law and nowhere did I see it said that you can't change the size of the engine. What seems to be the main focus is what most states also do not allow and is actually illegal anywhere in the USA. That is swapping in an older motor.
If you are swapping in a newer cleaner burning engine it's legal as long as you keep all the emission equipment on the engine that it came with. In most cases that would include the trans the engine came with.
A 2003 or 2004 5.3 or 6.0 with the 4L60E or 4L80E it originally had or a same year 2wd trans if it came out of a 4x4 shouldn't be a problem.
Wouldn't make sense to outlaw swapping in a cleaner engine.
What they aren't allowing is the same thing we deal with on the forum. Some yahoo buys a $500 wore out mid 90's S10 and wants to swap in the engine he has laying behind the barn since 1972. And of course wants to put a Double pumper carb on it and get rid of all that computer "garbage".
The industry went to EFI primarily because there's no way to run a carb and have legal emissions.

What I find sad is that Nascar in 2022 is trying to make all brands of cars nearly identical with their new car and rules package. Be like the old IROC series where each car was prepared identically and the only thing different was the drivers names. BORING!
Tony Stewart and his Camping World SRX racing is the same thing. BORING.
Might as well broadcast computer car racing or electric car racing. O yeah, they already do that.
Next they'll be giving out participation trophies after each race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No. Intake bolt pattern and port shape is different.
NC, the hub of Nascar racing in the USA doesn't allow bigger engines?
I did a little digging online into NC law and nowhere did I see it said that you can't change the size of the engine. What seems to be the main focus is what most states also do not allow and is actually illegal anywhere in the USA. That is swapping in an older motor.
If you are swapping in a newer cleaner burning engine it's legal as long as you keep all the emission equipment on the engine that it came with. In most cases that would include the trans the engine came with.
A 2003 or 2004 5.3 or 6.0 with the 4L60E or 4L80E it originally had or a same year 2wd trans if it came out of a 4x4 shouldn't be a problem.
Wouldn't make sense to outlaw swapping in a cleaner engine.
What they aren't allowing is the same thing we deal with on the forum. Some yahoo buys a $500 wore out mid 90's S10 and wants to swap in the engine he has laying behind the barn since 1972. And of course wants to put a Double pumper carb on it and get rid of all that computer "garbage".
The industry went to EFI primarily because there's no way to run a carb and have legal emissions.

What I find sad is that Nascar in 2022 is trying to make all brands of cars nearly identical with their new car and rules package. Be like the old IROC series where each car was prepared identically and the only thing different was the drivers names. BORING!
Tony Stewart and his Camping World SRX racing is the same thing. BORING.
Might as well broadcast computer car racing or electric car racing. O yeah, they already do that.
Next they'll be giving out participation trophies after each race.
Thanks soooo much for the reply on the heads. Real actual knowledge is almost priceless! I could have spent thousands on head that did not FIT! Thanks again! And you are absolutely correct, you CANNOT put an older engine into a vehicle and pass inspection in NC. You can put a newer, cleaner engine of the SAME size into a vehicle.

I have attached a copy of the EPA Engine Switching Fact Sheet (that NC follows!) that NC DMV sent me about 15 years ago when I wanted to switch an engine. Note particularly page 2 paragraphs 1 and 2... "certified configuration". "Certified configuration" (as I was told via emails with NC DMV and this fact sheet) basically means that if the vehicle was not produced and EPA Certified with the engine that you want to put into the vehicle, then it is illegal in NC and will FAIL the annual vehicle inspection and consequentially you will NOT be able to license and drive the vehicle on the roadways of NC. Now if you want you can pay the $K to have the vehicle "EPA Certified" with the non-production "certified configuration" engine you want to put into the vehicle - you can (and hope it passes). The vehicle cannot emit more emissions than a production "certified configuration". I do know of ONE person in NC that I knew in the mid '90's that had to park his Vega because it had a 350cid engine (instead of the original 4 banger)!

All that said, I am taking a small chance putting a LV3 into my 2002 S-10, but since it is the SAME size, newer, more efficient and will display the correct VIN... (and everything else works) then I say I am taking a very small chance if any. And how many techs would know an L35 from an LU3 or LV3?! IF they actually check the emissions it will be less than the L35!

On another note, I have found NASCAR VERY boring for the last 20+ years! Ever since they no longer had to run ACTUAL STOCK cars and engines from factory configurations! AND... they run stages now, so the slow guys can catch-up. NASCAR is a 40-car demolition derby!!!!!!!!!!!! They should be honest, there is NOTHING STOCK about NASCAR races anymore! And will be even less in the future. We have to be FAIR to everyone and everyone needs to win a trophy for participating!!!!!!!!!!!! I watch Formula 1 now... much more interesting... and honest!
 

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You need to research that LV3 a bit more. The ONLY thing it has in common with the LU3 or L35 is the displacement. It was what engineers call a clean sheet build. They started from scratch. I'm sure it can be made to work, but it's going to be a long expensive road doing it. For all practical purposes you might as well be putting in a KIA engine. The LV3 will have the same amount of nothing bolts to nothing. Not to mention to meet the emission standards you'll need to use the 6 speed trans and CanBus computer system and direct fuel injection. All Major challanges.
Regarding the PDF, that's EPA. I thought you said the problem was with NC laws.
Ignore EPA, they don't inspect peoples cars and don't have the time or money to worry about your engine swap. When was the last time someone was pulled over by the Federal Pollution Patrol?
Get in touch with these guys. They do swaps in NC for a business. I'm sure they'll know the ins and outs what's legal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You need to research that LV3 a bit more. The ONLY thing it has in common with the LU3 or L35 is the displacement. It was what engineers call a clean sheet build. They started from scratch. I'm sure it can be made to work, but it's going to be a long expensive road doing it. For all practical purposes you might as well be putting in a KIA engine. The LV3 will have the same amount of nothing bolts to nothing. Not to mention to meet the emission standards you'll need to use the 6 speed trans and CanBus computer system and direct fuel injection. All Major challanges.
Regarding the PDF, that's EPA. I thought you said the problem was with NC laws.
Ignore EPA, they don't inspect peoples cars and don't have the time or money to worry about your engine swap. When was the last time someone was pulled over by the Federal Pollution Patrol?
Get in touch with these guys. They do swaps in NC for a business. I'm sure they'll know the ins and outs what's legal.
Thanks for your input. I will get in touch with Quarter Mile Muscle. I almost contacted them once before. In NC you MUST have your car inspected annually BEFORE you can renew your license tag, otherwise you will not be authorized to renew your license tag. Of course, there is no NC or Federal Pollution Patrol... but there is the annual inspection that MUST be passed. In my previous contact with the NC DMV they sent me the EPA Engine Switching Fact Sheet and told me that NC adopted and enforces the EPA standards.

I do not see how an LSx install would be any different than the LV3. What does an LSx have in common with my L35? I see all the same problems with an LSx install. Both will have to use the complete engine, computer and transmission from the donor vehicle and an adapter or wire harness will have to be made to mate it into my 2002, etc., etc. Motor mounts will have to be made and "shoe horning" a V8 into the space for a V6 is going to be very tight. I have seen pictures of it done and it is very tight... esp. in length with 2 additional cylinders.
 

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Most low cost LS swaps use the Gen 3 or 4 and their computers. If you get much newer than 06 you run into the CanBus computers which control everything on the vehicle. Problem is if you decide to not use seats w/ memory or similar deletes the later VCM's need reprogramming or they won't be happy. Things are improving relatively quickly as the newer GM's are getting old enough now to be cheap enough to start doing swaps with those drive trains. 3 years ago you couldn't find anyone who knew anything about swapping them.
The biggest advantage to doing LS vs LV3 is that so many LS's have been done there is a whole industry now making whatever you need to make the swap into almost anything. Everything from mounts to modified A/C housings. Resulting in it being more a question of which part to use to over come a problem instead of needing to do all your own fabrication.
I see a market for LV3 swaps and I'm sure there a companies developing the needed components. Just will be a few years till we're there. 300HP and a six speed auto that gets high 20's, at least, for MPG could well be the future of swapping. The dual quad 426 in a Miata days are dwindling as car guys become more familiar with technology.
BTW, I say go for it. You seem to have an overall understanding of what you're getting into. Happy to be able to have a conversation with someone who gets it. Which is rare on here.
Most of time we're trying to explain to new members why they can't get 400 HP out of a 88 TBI 305 they want to put into an 03 4 cylinder S10. Usually with 4.11 gears and a 4 speed or TH350. And lowered 7" with 24 inch by 14 tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Most low cost LS swaps use the Gen 3 or 4 and their computers. If you get much newer than 06 you run into the CanBus computers which control everything on the vehicle. Problem is if you decide to not use seats w/ memory or similar deletes the later VCM's need reprogramming or they won't be happy. Things are improving relatively quickly as the newer GM's are getting old enough now to be cheap enough to start doing swaps with those drive trains. 3 years ago you couldn't find anyone who knew anything about swapping them.
The biggest advantage to doing LS vs LV3 is that so many LS's have been done there is a whole industry now making whatever you need to make the swap into almost anything. Everything from mounts to modified A/C housings. Resulting in it being more a question of which part to use to over come a problem instead of needing to do all your own fabrication.
I see a market for LV3 swaps and I'm sure there a companies developing the needed components. Just will be a few years till we're there. 300HP and a six speed auto that gets high 20's, at least, for MPG could well be the future of swapping. The dual quad 426 in a Miata days are dwindling as car guys become more familiar with technology.
BTW, I say go for it. You seem to have an overall understanding of what you're getting into. Happy to be able to have a conversation with someone who gets it. Which is rare on here.
Most of time we're trying to explain to new members why they can't get 400 HP out of a 88 TBI 305 they want to put into an 03 4 cylinder S10. Usually with 4.11 gears and a 4 speed or TH350. And lowered 7" with 24 inch by 14 tires.
Thanks again for the information... which is priceless. I greatly appreciate and value your input and suggestions!

Yes, I clearly see how a LSx swap would be easier esp. with swap parts available, abundance of info and integration of computer... again priceless! I had forgotten about the CanBus computers that control EVERYTHING... need to remember that. The reprogramming could be intense. On some LSx swaps into different vehicles I have read about getting the instrument panel out of the donor vehicle as well... understood.

Concerning a LS 4.8 or 5.3 (which are VERY abundant!): Is it not a tight fit? From the ones I have seen it is and you have to move the radiator forward to make room for the longer V8. Can you physically put headers on a LS in a 2002 S10?

I just emailed Quarter Mile Muscle and I am IMPATIENTLY waiting for a reply!!!!!!! They are only about 1 to 1.5 hours from me. If the LS is out (and I hope it is not) then all I will have left is the LV3... and a lot of research. Hope springs eternal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
you can most certainly swap in a late model V8/LS motor and be legal in NC
Thanks very much!

I sure hope so! I got my first reply from Quarter Mile Muscle and they said I could as well. I replied with specific questions about it being STREET LEGAL in NC and passing the annual Vehicle Inspections and I am awaiting their reply (fingers crossed!). A 5.3L V8 swap would probably be much easier, less expensive and much easier to integrate the computer and instruments! And many have been done.

I would be glad to put a 5.3L V8 into my 2002! Stock dyno numbers are [email protected] (113 more than my current L35) and [email protected] With just a LS6 camshaft change ONLY (ALL the rest stock!) the results are [email protected] (almost 2x my current L35) and [email protected]! A 40hp jump with just a LS6 camshaft! This would be sweet! The engine was pushed to 6,200rpm but the power stayed flat from 5800rpm... needs more breathing... headers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
You need to research that LV3 a bit more. The ONLY thing it has in common with the LU3 or L35 is the displacement. It was what engineers call a clean sheet build. They started from scratch. I'm sure it can be made to work, but it's going to be a long expensive road doing it. For all practical purposes you might as well be putting in a KIA engine. The LV3 will have the same amount of nothing bolts to nothing. Not to mention to meet the emission standards you'll need to use the 6 speed trans and CanBus computer system and direct fuel injection. All Major challanges.
Regarding the PDF, that's EPA. I thought you said the problem was with NC laws.
Ignore EPA, they don't inspect peoples cars and don't have the time or money to worry about your engine swap. When was the last time someone was pulled over by the Federal Pollution Patrol?
Get in touch with these guys. They do swaps in NC for a business. I'm sure they'll know the ins and outs what's legal.
[/QUOTE/]

The first time I contacted Quarter Mile Muscle I asked if it was LEGAL to swap a 5.3L V8 into a 2002 S10 in NC and here was their reply:
"Yes, that is a fairly common swap. It does require some very specific parts though, and prices vary based on engine, transmission, AC or no AC, etc."
Vague enough... right!

Having been around this block a few times before, I got very specific and asked, "I want to be sure, is this a STREET LEGAL vehicle in NC... going from a 4.3L V6 to a 5.3L V8? Will my 2002 S10 with a 5.3L V8 pass the annual NC Vehicle Inspections? I will be licensing and operating this vehicle on the roads of North Carolina, are you saying that it will be legal and pass the annual NC Vehicle Inspections?" Now notice the reply below! Got real legal, protective and threw... a DISCLAIMER! I would bet that they have been sued and had several irate customers when those customers found out that their vehicle would no longer pass the annual NC Vehicle Inspection. In my case, when the VIN states that the vehicle should have a V6 it is not too hard to tell that it has a V8 instead!
Oh yeah... let's find a buddy or "friend" that will pass your vehicle anyway. OK, what do you do when your buddy or "friend" is busted for doing illegal inspections or goes out of business or is getting too much heat to fudge YOUR inspection?! I have seen it happen! Well... what do you do then?!

Quarter Mile Muscle's reply:
Disclaimer, this is not legal advice and I am not a licensed inspector, this is my sole interpretation of the law as I see it from a technical standpoint, I am also not a Lawyer

So, if you wanted it to be legal, you would have to wait another year. Vehicles older than 20 years are not subject to emissions inspections in NC. When the swap was done, the installer would have to go back with any emissions equipment that the car originally came with. (catalytic converters, evaporative emissions equipment, and Exhaust Gas recirculation equipment) These things are typically eliminated when doing the LS swap in older cars.

To pass inspection the car would have to have these items (but they don't have to work) and since the inspector does not need to plug into the factory computer after 20 years, there is no reason that it wouldn't pass inspection.

Furthermore, according to new standards put forth by the EPA, if you use a factory computer on the swap (like from a 2010 truck or something) then the swap has to conform to the 2010 emissions standards and equipment. However, if you use a holley Terminator X there is no associated VIN so it shouldn't be an issue. (there is also no OBDII port to plug into)

The inspector would have to visually see that the truck has the required original Emissions equipment. But even then "technically" it could be in a box in the bed of the truck (since it doesn't have to work).

It might really depend on whether or not the inspector was being a jerk that day.
(So... I am supposed to HOPE that the inspector has not had a bad day, had an argument with his boss/girl friend/wife or whatever.! Yes, and if he puts a TAMPERED flag on my vehicle for the inspection because of the V8, I will NOT be able to get it to pass ANYWHERE in NC again with that configuration!)
_
Names were omitted to protect the guilty!

So... according to this guy, that was NOT truthful the first time, I will have to wait one more year. I will NOT be trusting his OPINION about the 20 years, I will have to investigate that my self and post again. The last time I went through this I was told by NC DMV, "You can ONLY swap in an engine that was originally in the vehicle or offered for that vehicle by the manufacturer" (my paraphrase). I realize laws are changed and updated so I will be investigating that.

If I do only have to wait one more year that is not a problem since I am not ready at this time anyway. I will continue to investigate and accumulate information and may even buy a 5.3 V8 while I wait... provided I am able to determine conclusively that it is STREET LEGAL in NC!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Names were omitted to protect the guilty!

So... according to this guy, that was NOT truthful the first time, I will have to wait one more year. I will NOT be trusting his OPINION about the 20 years, I will have to investigate that my self and post again. The last time I went through this I was told by NC DMV, "You can ONLY swap in an engine that was originally in the vehicle or offered for that vehicle by the manufacturer" (my paraphrase). I realize laws are changed and updated so I will be investigating that.

If I do only have to wait one more year that is not a problem since I am not ready at this time anyway. I will continue to investigate and accumulate information and may even buy a 5.3 V8 while I wait... provided I am able to determine conclusively that it is STREET LEGAL in NC!
I just found the below at the NC Environmental Quality website. V6 to V8 does not appear to be legal in NC and yet many shops are doing them?!

I need to replace the engine in my vehicle; can I replace it with any engine I want? [Back to Top]
No, Federal law only allows engine switches as long as the resulting vehicle matches exactly to any certified configuration of the same or newer model year for the chassis. For additional information, click here for EPA's Engine Switching Fact Sheet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got the below information here: Official NCDMV: Vehicle Emission Inspection
Seems Quarter Mile Muscle was correct about the 20 year old thing. I am going to have to think and check about vehicles 20 years old or older. Seems I COULD be green lighted to go! I want/need to know for sure!

Exemptions

Vehicles are exempt from emissions inspections under the following conditions:
Antique Vehicles
Vehicles 30 years old or older may qualify for an antique automobile license plate. Those vehicles with an antique automobile license plate are exempt from both annual safety and emissions inspections. Antique plates should be used for vehicles primarily used for exhibitions, club activities, parades and other public interest events.
 

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Look up Hotwire on here. He is in NC and did a 5.3 swap. Kept the emissions and passed no problem. He is not on here now because he sold the blazer. I'm in NC also and had planned to do the same especially since I am now emissions exempt. My only worry was making the vin match in the pcm. Not a problem now. Now if you swap in an old SBC with a carb, they will probably flag you for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Look up Hotwire on here. He is in NC and did a 5.3 swap. Kept the emissions and passed no problem. He is not on here now because he sold the blazer. I'm in NC also and had planned to do the same especially since I am now emissions exempt. My only worry was making the vin match in the pcm. Not a problem now. Now if you swap in an old SBC with a carb, they will probably flag you for that.
Thanks much! I will try to contact him. I appreciate all the help.

Here is the bottom line for me. I live in one of the 22 counties out of 100 in NC that requires an emissions inspection. Next year my S10 will be 20 years old and will be exempt from the emissions inspection and only get a safety inspection from then on. However..., until my 2002 is 30 years old, I COULD STILL get a tamper flag if some anal, dedicated, or disgruntled safety inspector notices I have a V8 instead of a V6. And really that is NOT hard to notice! ANY half dedicated gear head can tell a running V8 from a V6 without ever raising the hood! Remember from above, "Federal law only allows engine switches as long as the resulting vehicle matches exactly to any certified configuration of the same or newer model year for the chassis." A V8 was NEVER part of a S10 chassis.

Now all that said, over the next year I will be checking everything out very thoroughly and pursuing putting a 5.3L in my S10. However, I am not interested in spends $K and a lot of time just to get busted! Yes, it will be ABSOLUTELY necessary that the VIN in the computer matches the VIN of the truck chassis or that will be an automatic tamper. I will be checking with some inspection stations (ones that I will NEVER take my truck to) to see what their policies are. I do not want to depend on a "guy" or "friend" to look the other way. That is a costly recipe for disaster!

In case someone has not seen it, below is a great link for putting a LSx into a S10! LSx Conversion Information
 

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Here's one of the build threads I did on the blazer, I had a more in depth one on s-seriesforum but that site went down a while back.


As you've stated, don't rely on what anyone says, find out first hand if you're going to invest the time and money into this swap. It's worthwhile, wish I'd put a little more effort into my exhaust, it was choking the engine a tad, but it was pretty much a sleeper and got plenty of smiles per mile out of it. Look up hotwire454 on YouTube.
 
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