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1992, S10 Tahoe Regular cab
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon,

I'm beginning my LS swap on a 92 I just picked up, and I'm looking for advice on which engine and manual transmission to purchase. I have searched the inter-webs and this forum multiple times and haven't really seen the answers I'm looking for. Currently, the truck has a 2.8 and a 5-speed manual (I believe it's a T5). I'm leaning towards a 5.3 but, which 5.3? The research I've done tells me there are multiple 5.3's from different vehicles spanning many years. So, one would assume one of those is better for a swap than others. I read a post where a guy here used the L33; however, they seem hard to come by. I'm also not against a 6.0 or 5.7, but once again, which is best? Or is it a non-issue because they all bolt up the same way and can utilize the same harness, accessories, etc...

Second, what are some recommendations on reusing the stock transmission? I assume it's too old and weak to handle any real power? Research points me to the AR5 or T56 unless the stock unit is an option. Perhaps it can be rebuilt?

I am just looking for advice/reassurance from individuals who have done this or those with more knowledge than myself. Thanks for any input, any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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L33 is the 5.3 to get. High Output internals and aluminum block from the factory.

5.7s aren't all that great. There are some weaknesses with the cylinder size from what I've read.

6.0s are the obvious displacement king, but don't come in aluminum until the Gen IV engines. LQ9 is the HO 6.0L.

T56 has been the go to manual, but they're getting expensive to buy and repair. For a similar cost it's worth looking into the Tremec Magnum or adapting an AR5 like you've discovered. There's also the TKO line from Tremec. They're 5 speeds, but can take 500 or 600hp depending on, which you buy.
 

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It is all what fits your needs...
Used can range from $500 - $20,000

Best engine depends on what you want in terms of mileage or power.
5.3's are the most economical & plentiful of them all.
5.7's are getting harder to find
6.0's are everywhere in worn out trucks & aluminum versions in GTO's & Vettes
6.2's have the most power potential in normally aspirated form.

More exotic conbinations like the LSA, LS7 or LS9 are also out there but you will pay a lot more.

Fior transmissions...
T56's are getting expensive
T56 Magnums are very expensive but the best way to go at the moment.
The TKX is a better 5 speed over the TKO if you want less gears.
A factory 5 speed is not that good of a combination behind a V8.
 

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Only difference between a 5.3 and a 5.7 is the bore. The 5.3 bore is 3.780 and the 5.7 bore is 3.898. so you can make any 5.3 into a 5.7 pretty easy just by boring it out. And the other different is the heads the 243 / 799 heads have a 2-in intake valve and the and the other LS heads have a 1.5 in intake valve. But if you seen any of Richard Holdener videos on YouTube about STOCK CATHEDRAL PORT heads there's only like a nine horsepower difference between the 799/243 heads compared to the others.
 

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LS swap ...and I'm looking for advice on which engine and manual transmission to purchase.
The issue is you didnt tell us how you want to drive this thing. What your goals are, what youre endstate is.
For example, if youre not going over 85mph and want to row through the gears every month to the local car show, then you only need 300 hp. and ANY LS base engine you can find that fits your budget will work.
If youre going slalom/track racing, you might want to be in the 500 hp range.
If youre planning on going 250mph and 7s in the quarter mile, you might want to be in the 1500 hp range.
But, until we get more info from you, it's all just guessing.
Also, power steering, ari conditioing, power windows, lifted, lowered, budget swap, endless funds swap, stock parts, race parts, there is so much to discuss.
You can swap an LS for $2500 into an s10, or you can spend $21,000 on the swap. Please be truthful with yourself and tell us what you want.

When i did my swap, i had 3 things i needed to have. 1. Full a/c and creature comforts. 2. Be able to put it in gear and hold the throttle wide open, and bounce it off the rev limiter for 4 hours. 3. be able to drive from new york to california and get 19+ MPGs.
 

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1992, S10 Tahoe Regular cab
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The issue is you didnt tell us how you want to drive this thing. What your goals are, what youre endstate is.
For example, if youre not going over 85mph and want to row through the gears every month to the local car show, then you only need 300 hp. and ANY LS base engine you can find that fits your budget will work.
If youre going slalom/track racing, you might want to be in the 500 hp range.
If youre planning on going 250mph and 7s in the quarter mile, you might want to be in the 1500 hp range.
But, until we get more info from you, it's all just guessing.
Also, power steering, ari conditioing, power windows, lifted, lowered, budget swap, endless funds swap, stock parts, race parts, there is so much to discuss.
You can swap an LS for $2500 into an s10, or you can spend $21,000 on the swap. Please be truthful with yourself and tell us what you want.

When i did my swap, i had 3 things i needed to have. 1. Full a/c and creature comforts. 2. Be able to put it in gear and hold the throttle wide open, and bounce it off the rev limiter for 4 hours. 3. be able to drive from new york to california and get 19+ MPGs.
I was asking more in terms of what will fit the best, regardless of how I may chose to drive it, but I understand what you're saying. To answer your question, I will quote you. I want to have " Full a/c and creature comforts. 2. Be able to put it in gear and hold the throttle wide open, and bounce it off the rev limiter for 4 hours. 3. be able to drive from new york to california and get 19+ MPGs". Essentially, I want my wife to be able to get in the truck and think its nice and comfortable but also be able to scare the crap out of her when I hit the gas! Lol. I am willing to spend around 10K not including a new paint job on this project. I think 5k into the engine and trans, associated accessories, and piece parts will be sufficient. The other 5K can go towards, suspension, brakes, wheels & tires, new interior etc...
So, maybe buying a 6.0 liter engine is better than a 5.3 assuming they both drop in and fit the same and I can use all of the accessories? These are the things I don't know. Does a 6 liter engine fit exactly the same as a 5.3, does a T-56 fit better than an AR5 mated up to a 6.0? Obviously, those of you who have done this know better than I, which is why I seeking guidance. Thanks again!!
 

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1992, S10 Tahoe Regular cab
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Only difference between a 5.3 and a 5.7 is the bore. The 5.3 bore is 3.780 and the 5.7 bore is 3.898. so you can make any 5.3 into a 5.7 pretty easy just by boring it out. And the other different is the heads the 243 / 799 heads have a 2-in intake valve and the and the other LS heads have a 1.5 in intake valve. But if you seen any of Richard Holdener videos on YouTube about STOCK CATHEDRAL PORT heads there's only like a nine horsepower difference between the 799/243 heads compared to the others.
Awesome information. Thank you!!
 

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Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Automotive tire

I'm putting an lm4 5.3 with an AR5 behind it in my 82 s15. Even getting the transmission and engine for about a grand total, 5000 bucks burns away like nothing with all the little things it needs especially if you don't get all the accessories and the harness with the engine. Spend 2-3 grand on a just t56 and you'll probably want to rethink things.
I'd say Lm7 5.3 or the cheapest complete gen3 you can find if you aren't worried about 90lbs vs an aluminum block like mine. With an AR5 you'll need an adapter, fabbot is nice but spendy. I had a hard time finding one that wasn't 4x4, they have different tail housings. Same length as my T5 so my driver shaft still works. The shifter location on my ar5 is further back however.
Hood Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior Gas
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
View attachment 353582
I'm putting an lm4 5.3 with an AR5 behind it in my 82 s15. Even getting the transmission and engine for about a grand total, 5000 bucks burns away like nothing with all the little things it needs especially if you don't get all the accessories and the harness with the engine. Spend 2-3 grand on a just t56 and you'll probably want to rethink things.
I'd say Lm7 5.3 or the cheapest complete gen3 you can find if you aren't worried about 90lbs vs an aluminum block like mine. With an AR5 you'll need an adapter, fabbot is nice but spendy. I had a hard time finding one that wasn't 4x4, they have different tail housings. Same length as my T5 so my driver shaft still works. The shifter location on my ar5 is further back however. View attachment 353584
Thanks for the pics! Seeing where the new shifter hole needs to be really helped. Do you know if the T-56 shifter would located in the same area? It looks like there are a few AR5's in local junk yards from 2-wheel drive trucks so getting one shouldn't be to hard. Honestly? I still haven't decided on the engine or transmission. I am seriously thinking about going with a newer truck engine, something from the 5th gen motors and a Magnum trans. Go big or go home, right!
 

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The new hole location for the T56 will need to be cut in a similar position, but the shifter is longer & requires a larger hole or being installed on the trans before installation.

The T-56 Magnum shifter can be re-positioned on the trans before installation & will line up in the factory 5 speed opening without any cutting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The new hole location for the T56 will need to be cut in a similar position, but the shifter is longer & requires a larger hole or being installed on the trans before installation.

The T-56 Magnum shifter can be re-positioned on the trans before installation & will line up in the factory 5 speed opening without any cutting.
The new hole location for the T56 will need to be cut in a similar position, but the shifter is longer & requires a larger hole or being installed on the trans before installation.

The T-56 Magnum shifter can be re-positioned on the trans before installation & will line up in the factory 5 speed opening without any cutting.
Good info!! Knowing that the Magnum shifter lines up with the original opening makes me want to use a Magnum transmission. I think that's my plan. Now, I just need to decide on an engine. Does the T56 Magnum bolt up to a Gen 5 engine?
 
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