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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay! My turn at this whole LS engine swap ordeal. I'm starting to get ready to pick up parts and pieces for this build, but before I do, I have some questions! I've done a bunch of research on the LSx engines and looked up swap info and what not. So after doing all my research I still have a few questions to ask. lets start out by stating my goals for this build.

Goals:
1) Decent power
2) Decent fuel economy
3) Reliability (tis my daily!)
4) Retain moderate street manners
5) Keep AC

Engine: 5.3L LM7 with an aftermarket camshaft or 6.0 LQ4 (keeping fuel economy in mind)?

Intake Manifold: With either engine, should I keep the stock truck intake, or try and locate one off of an LS1 or similar engine?

Headers: Shorty headers or long tube? Seems to me like it would be easier to run a set of shorty headers than the longtube headers. What are peoples thoughts on this?

Radiator: Suggestions? Would like to not go out and buy a brand new expensive aluminum radiator.

Oil Pan: Seems like most people run the pan off of an H3 Hummer, opinions? What about an LS2 pan? Or aftermarket pans?

Throttle setup: When looking for an engine I've seen that some engines use an electric throttle body and some are operated by a cable, is one easier or better?

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I'm sure I'll come up with some other questions as I go about this. Also for transmission, it looks like I'm going with a 4L60E as of right now although I really want a T56, but they're to damn expensive!
 

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Okay! My turn at this whole LS engine swap ordeal. I'm starting to get ready to pick up parts and pieces for this build, but before I do, I have some questions! I've done a bunch of research on the LSx engines and looked up swap info and what not. So after doing all my research I still have a few questions to ask. lets start out by stating my goals for this build.

Goals:
1) Decent power
2) Decent fuel economy
3) Reliability (tis my daily!)
4) Retain moderate street manners
5) Keep AC

Engine: 5.3L LM7 with an aftermarket camshaft or 6.0 LQ4 (keeping fuel economy in mind)?

Intake Manifold: With either engine, should I keep the stock truck intake, or try and locate one off of an LS1 or similar engine?

Headers: Shorty headers or long tube? Seems to me like it would be easier to run a set of shorty headers than the longtube headers. What are peoples thoughts on this?

Radiator: Suggestions? Would like to not go out and buy a brand new expensive aluminum radiator.

Oil Pan: Seems like most people run the pan off of an H3 Hummer, opinions? What about an LS2 pan? Or aftermarket pans?

Throttle setup: When looking for an engine I've seen that some engines use an electric throttle body and some are operated by a cable, is one easier or better?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm sure I'll come up with some other questions as I go about this. Also for transmission, it looks like I'm going with a 4L60E as of right now although I really want a T56, but they're to damn expensive!

hey i can only tell you what i know from experiance with the f bodies but im doing this swap pretty soon.

i had an lq9 stock long block and it sucked up some gas in my 98z filled up like once a week. but i also wasnt easy on my cars (was a big differance over my stock ls1 mileage though)

i would swap out intake manifolds im not sure how good the truck ones flow but they are huge. i have a brand new ls6 intake manifold kit sitting around if your intersted.

if your looking for more power go with long tubes if not just shorties will do.

as far as the radiator and oil pan go. i have the h3 lh8 pan kit that i just bought. gives you a little more crossmember clearance but does sit a little lower at the back so you have to watch how low your truck is.
radiator if your not going all out you should be fine going with just a stock ls1 rad w/ cooling fans out of an ls1 f body. they can keep up with some good hp numbers.

throttle body i would say is up to you. i prefer the throttle cable style because i feel like i have a little more control over it and less of a headache when it comes to wiring.
 

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It's a 4. something
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I hate to be "that guy" but just read anything you can find on this forum man. There are sooooo many options that it's dizzying and everyone has a preference or a budget that defines how their project ends up. Sometimes what you run just ends up being what you have available. Most of my setup was dictated by the fact that I got a sweet deal on a running donor silverado.

As for your questions.
Engine: It seams the 6.0 trumps a 5.3 any day on the forums BUT location means a lot. Around here a 5.3 is $500 and a 6.0 is $1500 and hard as hell to find. If everything else is equal it seams the 6.0's are a better base for performance.

Intake: truck intakes are tall and are designed for high torque (from what i understand). I BARELY clear the hood with my truck intake on my s10 but motor mounts make a difference in this area. I'm not 100% sure but from what I've read it seams the LS1 intake is not worth the trouble. LS6 intakes seem to be popular.

Headers: Shorty headers are easier and WAY cheaper but as with any case, long tubes make more power. Jared makes the best long tubes hands down but you just missed the last chance to order a set. Sanderson's are most common shorties and I really don't know who, if anyone has decent long tubes for these trucks.

Radiator: MANY options. Jared makes the perfect setup that is custom designed for LSx S10's but it's $$$$. I run a 4.3 HD rad from JTR but I have a remote trans cooler so that helps.

Oil pan: H3 fits like a glove but hangs about an inch or less below the crossmember. On my truck with a 3/3 drop (4 banger coil springs) the drain plug is the height of a lighter from the ground. LS2 fits and doesn't hang but the crossmember needs to be cut. Truck pans are just huge and can be done but LOTS of cutting.

Throttle body: Cable = less headache. Quite a few people on here run DBW (drive by wire) setups but most prefer a DBC (drive by cable).

BTW Jared = Current Performance Wiring in case you haven't seen on here yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No it's okay man, trust me I've been reading up big time. These were just some other questions I had that weren't answered from what I read.

As for the engine, I found a 5.3 LM7 out of a 2002 tahoe with 90k on it with all accessories and wiring harness for $575. In comparison I found a 6.0 with all accessories and wiring harness for $1150 with 92k on it. So I'm probably going to snag up that 5.3, I'm a college student so money is on the low side.

Now what would people recommend for a cam for the 5.3? Something again that will return decent fuel economy and decent power.

I have seen Jared posting on here, I'll be contacting him at some point to make me a wiring harness.

You said that you barely clear the hood, what motor mounts are you using? I was looking at buying the Sanderson headers and engine mount package right from CPW.
 

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I've got the CPW 2.8 mounts with lsx adapters and sanderson shorties. Everyones trucks are different though. I had most of the fitting issues that a person could have but some people don't have any. I think removing the hood lining would give me just the right clearance.
 

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Word, I wish I hadn't bought em. They sag like an old womans titties lol
 

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Another option to the LH8 (H3A) Hummer oil pan is the LHX pan. I have asked about it, but I don't think that there is anyone that has direct experience with it. I could be wrong and maybe they will chime in here. I know it is based on the LH8 pan. Just 2" shorter on the sump. It wouldn't hang below the frame! That is what I plan on using when the time comes. Seems to be a perfect combination to the BRP Swap kit. I know they have mid-length headers as well. That is going to be my starting point.

The oil pan is one of the options on the stickies in this forum. Check it out. As with all the stickies! I learned a couple things that I hadn't thought of before. This forum is a great source and friendly community when you come along headaches from what I have seen.

philntx (LS engine oil pans - all of them) said:
RetroLSx Pan: 5.5" deep sump with a 5qt capacity. This pan comes with a new custom pick up tube and a baffling plate (not shown) that controls oil in the pan. The stock LH8 windage tray is to be used with this unit but is not included. It uses a stock GM filter. This pan has the same thick 3/8 flange that’s on GM units for a pan that will add block rigidity unlike stamped swap pans. In comparison, the LH8 pan has a sump that is 7.5" deep.







 

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hmmm. If no cutting is required i'd pay the price for that bad boy eventually. My 4 banger 3" springs got their ass kicked by the LSx V8. The lowest point on my truck is the drain plug on the H3 pan and it's only 3" from the ground...
 

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hmmm. If no cutting is required i'd pay the price for that bad boy eventually. My 4 banger 3" springs got their ass kicked by the LSx V8. The lowest point on my truck is the drain plug on the H3 pan and it's only 3" from the ground...
The cutting for the LS2 pan is not difficult at all, and if you have a welder or access to one, to plate the frame back in is a simple task. You will be able to find a used LS2 pan much cheaper than the swap pan and it gives you all sorts of ground clearance!
 

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That looks like a good option for an oil pan...cause my trucks a little low. And only going to go lower with a bigger motor. Thanks for pointing that out.

The Iron blocks don't way much more than the 4.3's only like 50lbs IIRC...not sure how much more than the 2.2s though.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I got a 2.2 so it it should bring the front down a little bit more.

And that's a valid point about the LS2 pan, I was looking at that one as well, some people just aren't crazy about cutting into their frame, but it doesn't bother me, so LS2 pan will probably be what I go with.

Anyone have cam suggestions for a 5.3?
 

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i have the LH8 oil pan and it hangs below the crossmember so a skid plate is needed. my truck is bagged with the LS6 motor, so it could cause alot of damage if not protected. Depending on the cost of that oil pan it might be a good alternate option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bringing this thread back from the depths as I have some more questions and a different aim now. If all goes as plan the swap will be happening this summer!!!! Depends on whether or not I get offered an RA position next year, should know in about a months time!

So I've stranded away from the iron block motors and going with an aluminum block and cylinder head motor now.

So my options are the L33 5.3L or an LS1.

What do you guys think would be better a cammed L33 with an LS6 Intake or a stock LS1(one from a 2000-02 camaro that came with the LS6 intake)?

I'm kinda leaning towards an LS1, and then I'm also trying to figure out do I want to go T56 or a 4L60e with a paddle shift kit.
 

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So my options are the L33 5.3L or an LS1.

What do you guys think would be better a cammed L33 with an LS6 Intake or a stock LS1(one from a 2000-02 camaro that came with the LS6 intake)?

I'm kinda leaning towards an LS1, and then I'm also trying to figure out do I want to go T56 or a 4L60e with a paddle shift kit.
You don't have to get the LS6 intake, unless you find one cheap enough to make it worth it (For me, the looks alone makes it worth it!). Don't forget about all the pertinent mods that come along with a car manifold swap. Power-wise, it only outperforms the truck intake in the upper RPMs. As far as cammed 5.3 or LS1- it depends on your budget and engine availability. I'd say the L33 could be bought and mildy modded to make stock LS1 power, but at a cheaper price. But, if you find a good LS1 for what a modded L33 would cost, jump on it. Later on, if your finances get better, you could always swap the 5.3 for a bigger and more powerful engine if you wanna get more into the performance side of things. Physically, it would be an easy swap because you will already have your truck set up for an LS engine. The T56 would allow for shorter gears for better acceleration, but still have a nice overdrive to help with cruising fuel economy.
 
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