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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm new to engine swaps entirely and have a few questions. I've seen questions about 4x4 and 5 speeds but not many 4x4 5 speeds. I am really wanting to drop a 5.3 lm7 in my truck. I'm curious as to what all I need to keep the 4x4 and manual transmission. If its at all possible, I'd like to keep my current tranny but if I need a new one to keep standard shift, I can do it.

Also, I know I need to relocate the oil filter but are there any other problems I could run into while dropping in a 5.3?

Do I need a new computer or anything else as well?
 

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B4U Task Force Admin
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Moved to LSx Discussion.

You need to read everything in this section...then read it again. Look at the Members Project threads also.
 

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Been there Done it
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An LS 4wd 5 speed swap primarily requires one thing. Lots of money.
 

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B4U Task Force Admin
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....and a big parts cannon.
 

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The NV3500 in your 1999 will bolt up to the 5.3. For the flywheel/clutch purchase a flywheel/clutch kit for a 5.3 or 4.8 manual Silverado.

@greencactus3 put a 5.3 in his 5 Speed ZR2. It's a bit different being a ZR2, but some of the same concepts apply. He made a custom oil pan and used Trailblazer manifolds to clear everything. I've not checked clearance on a non ZR2 myself, but I suggested it as an option to a couple of other people and they didn't find the same success as Cactus did.

Computer for the 5.3 will work with your truck, but your 99 computer won't work with the 5.3.
 

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He made a custom oil pan
That's going to stop most people. Not too many guys have the access to the needed welding equipment or ability to weld cast aluminum.
 

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There's always the Milodon or Canton 4x4 pans. $3-400 isn't toooo bad if fabrication isn't possible.
 

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It's generally much easier to buy a Silverado with a 4.8 or 5.3L. I picked up a 4.8L 4x4 2000 Silverado a few weeks ago for under $1500 needing a clutch. It's pretty hard to justify a custom oil pan, complete LM7 (99-02 to retain the Drive-by-cable operation) with wiring harness and ECU and sufficient cooling into an S10 when a complete truck that's serviceable by any mechanic is about the same money.

I mean, if you want to try it for something to do, then that's great, but if you're considering cost-benefit, then you really should spend a bunch of time comparing the project cost with the cost of just purchasing a 4x4 Silverado or Sierra.
 

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In your opening post you state that you are new to swaps.
I've done a number of them with everything from a 305 to a 454. On both 2 and 4wd S10s. Gen 1 SBC to Gen 3 LS. By no stretch of my imagination do I think I know it all. Never will. But I do know that putting an LS engine into a 4wd S10 with a manual trans mission is equivalent to jumping overboard in the middle of the Pacific to learn how to swim. You might succeed, but the odds aren't in your favor and it will take a monumental effort to accomplish.
Not trying to discourage you from doing something you want to do as much as trying to make you aware of what you will be getting yourself into.
I also wouldn't spend all the time and money needed to do it with an LM7. It only makes 5 more HP in stock trim than the previous years L31 Gen 1 5.7. The cost of the actual engine will be such a small portion of the final cost at least go with an L33. Because of the additional weight of 4wd an LQ4 or 9 - 6.0L might be even better. An LQ4 (Do not get a 99 or 00) can be had for only a few hundred more than an LM7.
As Harley pointed out above. The oil pan is going to cost you about what an LM7 goes for.
 

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2004 Blazer ZR2 w/ nv3500, 5.3 LM4 swap
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find someone who can weld aluminum. modding the pan is not the hardest thing in the world. you are after all going to be doing a v8 swap.
if the oil pan mod is what is going to be the breaking point in your v8 swap, you probably wouldn't finish a v8 swap without an oil pan mod.
swapping a motor is inherently hard and requires creativity.

Don't let a known "harder-to-do" task on a swap make you rethink your plans. the unknown problems that you don't account for is what's going to kill 99% of failed swaps.

pic of my pan for reference

 
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