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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys figured I would just start my own thread to go with my truck build. I am in the process of getting parts collected to ls swap my 99s10 base model with the 4.3 and auto trans.

So far I am starting on the suspension first while I'm in the process of looking for my driveline setup.
I have a new set of zq8 coils, used zq8 leafs, front and rear zq8 sway bars and bracketry.
I placed an order through summit yesterday for my shocks, drop spindles, blocks, tall lower balljoints and all new poly bushings front and rear.

I plan on spending the next couple weekends at the junkyards finding a 6.0, 4l80e, and ford 8.8 with disc brakes and 3.73 locker. I am going to source as many things from the junkyard as possible to keep cost low. Including intrepid fans, jeep xj steering shaft and possibly a stock set of manifolds that I can modify or use in stock form if possible.( still open to suggestions here)

Once these parts are acquired I plan on swapping all of my suspension components and rear end first as I do daily drive this truck.
In the mean time I am also going to purchase the holley terminator x max system, along with there 7" digital gauge cluster. To run the engine and for ease of upgrades later on as I am very green to efi tuning.

As far as engine mounts and trans crossmember I will fabricate these myself. ( fabricate for a living)

A couple basic questions I have starting off is I've heard I can use a factory 5.3 sending unit and pump out of a silverado to fuel this swap with slight modification. Is this worth doing or will my stock 99 pump handle the task for now.( planning on cam, intake, and maybe some porting and polishing down the road). with a hp goal of 450 hp ish which I believe will be more than plenty for this daily/ weekend fun truck. But for now just going to throw it in stock to see if I change my mind on how much power I want

So far my basic cost breakdown down trying to plan as much out as possible.

Junkyard-
Xj shaft-25$
Trans-75$
Engine-169$
Rearend-95$
Entrepid fans-30$
Non ac heater box -36$
5.3 sending unit and pump-30$

Holley-
Terminator x max- 1,400$
Gauge cluster-800$

Summit suspension- 670$
(Some suspension I already had so figure 850$)
Total so far -$3,330

I am aware there will probably be more things I'll run into but I am open to suggestions and critiques.
I also know I could go cheaper on the harness but I'm also trying to help future me out. Let me know what you guys think.

Also what things should I look for when picking the engine or trans I pull. Obviously miles if available and a quick turn of the crank to make sure it's not locked up but what else is there to check when at the yard?
 

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You have a great Picnpull if they're selling decent 6.0's for $169. I thought $800 was a fair price for my LQ9. Same with the trans. 2wd 4L80E's aren't real common. Seems like most HD truck buyers go 4wd.
The little stuff will add up fast. 8qts Dex6 and filter, 6 qts full syn 5w30 and filter, 2gallons of antifreeze is between $1 & 200. Gaskets are getting pricey. Hoses and belts can add up quickly.
I'd go with an 0411 and custom harness from CPW over the Holley setup. It won't run all your body and accessory interfaces.
Either DBC or DBW is going to require some pieces. Then there is the whole rest of the exhaust. My Holley setup was over $700 and I couldn't have had one built for less.
Tires and wheels can cost a bunch. I went with cheap Federal tires because they're sticky and used 17" C5 wheels.
About $900 since I have a tire machine and balancer in my barn.
There is an old saying the home remodeling business, estimate your expenses, then double it. I've found the same to be true for swaps. Your estimate doubled is in the ball park of what my 6.0 4L80E swap is costing in a 99 RCSB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good to know on the budget lol. I'm kind of going back and forth on the holley system. I don't know anything about engine tuning and was willing to learn but have been watching lots of videos the last couple days thinking I may be better off going the stock ecu route and just paying somebody to do a tune once parts are done. Considering I plan on running the motor in a stock configuration when first installed. And at the most doing cam, heads, and intake down the road. With that being said I am probably better off going with current performance wiring harness to maintain communication with the chassis and just paying someone else to do the tuning later on when I decide to do the power adders. It's not like I'm going to be at the dragstrip every weekend trying to get the most out of my vehicle. And honestly the tuning just feels way above my head at the moment lol. I'm a wrench turner not a computer wizard lol.
 

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Good prices.
Look for an 02-04 Caddy Escalade 6.0. It's the LQ9 and has flat top pistons which produce a bit more (15) HP then the LQ4 in the trucks. Which have dished pistons. Don't go too new or you end up with a newer computer system that's 58x as opposed to the 3rd gen 24x reluctor wheel on the crank. Just makes the wiring more difficult.

Avoid the early 99 or 00 LQ4. They had iron heads and different crank length. Heavier, 30 less HP, and difficult to find the right transmission adapters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just checking to make sure my head is wrapped around the tuning aspect correctly? Once the swap is done using a current performance harness. And I would assume I need to send them my ecu for a reflash to work with said harness. But as long as I leave the motor stock aside from headers exhaust and intake the engine should start and run and drive with no issues? And theoretically I could daily it in that configuration safely? I know if I take it to get it tuned I'll gain hp and it will run even better. But it would be nice to know I could drive the truck for a week or two before doing that without destroying anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good prices.
Look for an 02-04 Caddy Escalade 6.0. It's the LQ9 and has flat top pistons which produce a bit more (15) HP then the LQ4 in the trucks. Which have dished pistons. Don't go too new or you end up with a newer computer system that's 58x as opposed to the 3rd gen 24x reluctor wheel on the crank. Just makes the wiring more difficult.

Avoid the early 99 or 00 LQ4. They had iron heads and different crank length. Heavier, 30 less HP, and difficult to find the right transmission adapters.
Solid information there thankyou 👌
 

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I'm running a stock 04 Escalade program in a 04 van PCM in my project truck since the engine is stock. The 6243 PCM works with the S10 and the LQ9. Still finishing building my own harness. Unless you enjoy doing electrical I'd recommend the CPW harness. There are literally 100's of wires to deal with, one at a time. I like the challenge, having built my own harnesses in the past. This is the most complicated and integrated one to date. It's coming along. If life wold stay out of the way for a week or so it would go faster because I have to reorient myself if I'm off it for a few days. Once I get everything connected then I'll go back and adjust lengths to clean it up. Hoping to hide some of it under the Cadillac covers I bought. I don't have the one over the air intake. Just the main 3.
350531
 

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under 800 hp there is no reason to use the holley computer..0411 will easily support that power level.
what are your goals? if you can find a 6.0 go for it, but its just as easy to make a 4.8/5.3 have plenty of power as well.
your pricing seems pretty legit, the only thing id add is a walrboro or similar fuel pump to your stock sending unit. no need to worry about using a factory piece, but that's just me.
I'll be following your build..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
under 800 hp there is no reason to use the holley computer..0411 will easily support that power level.
what are your goals? if you can find a 6.0 go for it, but its just as easy to make a 4.8/5.3 have plenty of power as well.
your pricing seems pretty legit, the only thing id add is a walrboro or similar fuel pump to your stock sending unit. no need to worry about using a factory piece, but that's just me.
I'll be following your build..
The 6.0 is the goal but im not married to it. 6.0 just has more power to start with. I don't have a real idea on hp goals yet. I'm thinking 450 as of now because really after that how much can you actually get to the ground without slicks on these trucks lol. But I think im going to go gm ecm route instead of holley because just watching videos how to even use it my head was spinning. Ill be better off running it stock, deciding on power adders, and paying for the tune.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
350581
part of my summit order showed up today, belltech shocks, and drop spindles. Pro forged lbj, and some poly stuff. Noticed my one cab mount took a crap so I got those ordered aswell. I have a couple busy weekends ahead of me friends and family type stuff won't be making much progress so just trying to collect all the parts I can so the suspension and rearend can go in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm curious on people's thoughts. My plan is to use a 4l80e because everyone claims there strong and will outlast a 4l60e with no modification. But if I can't find a 4l80 in a 2wd variant how long would a 4l60 last without getting some work done. Also is the 4l60e that is in my truck now different from a 4l60 that would come in a full-size truck?
 

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Not sure if you are going to this level BUT, Texas Speed has a sweet cam that would be sweet with your 6.0
TSP 224🤫
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not sure if you are going to this level BUT, Texas Speed has a sweet cam that would be sweet with your 6.0
TSP 224🤫
I like your thinking. Im going to put everything together stock and get a feel for how much power I need. Also trying to keep the initial budget low. but after its in and all the hardwork is done I plan on driving it for a year or so and then either cam, heads, and intake... Or just build a turbo setup. but neither of these will be happening any time soon
 

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I like your thinking. Im going to put everything together stock and get a feel for how much power I need. Also trying to keep the initial budget low. but after its in and all the hardwork is done I plan on driving it for a year or so and then either cam, heads, and intake... Or just build a turbo setup. but neither of these will be happening any time soon
Colton, let me make this easy for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well little update for everyone. I have finally gotten all the parts to do the suspension and am going to start installing it this weekend. A couple changes in the original plan though. I am going to be using an nv3500 instead of the 4l80e. I absolutely despise automatics and was going to use one because of the power it could take but for a daily/ weekend hotrod I would rather have the 5 speed. I am well aware I will be at the limit of the poor little 5 speed with a stock motor "allegedly" but From what reading and research I have done I would agree that on the strip or banging gears 350 tq is the limit but for a street/ autox car I think I should be fine... and If it's not they can be had at the local junk yard 7 days a week for 75 bucks. I know of a couple different guys running them in drift cars behind a 5.3 and they beat on them so ill be interested to see how it holds up in my application considering I plan on leaving the motor stock for a while and I will be able to answer the next guy who has the same questions that I have had looking into this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another update. Really regretting not taking more progress pictures and am trying to get better with that in the future. But after 3 days of working on the truck after work (ohio winters and salt makes working on anything a major p.i.t.a.) I got all of the suspension components on and got the truck aligned.
Went with a more performance oriented spec on the alignment
-.5 camber
5.5 caster
1/16 toe in
Truck rides and handles amazing.
Next things on the list are going to be getting a full-size spare mounted, putting a hitch on, and throwing some air helper bags on the back as I'm still going to daily this truck and want to still be able to use it for anything. The body is rough yet but I have plans for that after the motor swap. Going to start hitting the scrap yards in search of a motor. And start getting parts together for the corvette brakes up front. Still on the hunt for a 8.8 aswell.
Wheel Car Tire Automotive side marker light Automotive parking light
 

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I totally understand you. I rarely take pics while I am working.....Main thing is you are making progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well another progress update,
Got done with the xj steering shaft mod to complement all the new steering, should have done it before my alignment. Steering wheel is off now, but it made the truck incredibly responsive compared to the rag joint. So going to have to fix that. Tightened the steering box up a bit while I was at it.

Got the full size spare in place, mainly wanted it to help get some more weight over the rear. And for the warm and fuzzy on long trips I suppose.

Also apperently amongst switching all of the suspension out I lost/ tossed the lca bumpstops and have found compressing the suspension fully the tires like to eat the inner fender. So new belltech bumps have been put on order. Will probably end up removing inners at some point to get more travel if I feel I need it. But this will work for now.

Going to go get corvette brakes tomorrow since my driver side seems to be hanging up slightly anyways. Found a full setup for 250$ just have to make the brackets and turn my rotors down.

Havnt had a full day to head to a junkyard yet but im hoping for next weekend. Would like to get a motor and trans bought soon to get started cleaning them up and collecting parts. Not in a huge rush and just doing a couple smaller projects in the mean time. This suspension was a huge upgrade alone. Amazing how well this truck handles.
 
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