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 Best LO5 Engine Swap

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r67northern

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PostSubject: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:16 pm

Hi All, I'm not going to do this right away but I'm thinking that when it's time, since there's nothing to replace a wagon with, I'll probably do an engine swap. It got me thinking about the best swap for a TBI. Is there any limitation because of the large distributor hole that's at the back of the current intake? I suppose any potential replacement intake could be machined, or the original just re-used perhaps.

It's not time yet, I just toy with these ideas sometimes. Thanks
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jayoldschool

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:24 pm

Roller 350, Vortec heads with better springs and rockers, LT1 (or bigger) cam, 9C1 injectors, headers, custom PROM. Or, LSX for way more power/reliability/mileage. The old engines just can't compete with modern tech.
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:41 pm

I'm going to be that guy too. LS swap. Best thing I did to my C10.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:27 am

Put a big LS engine in it, minimum of a 6.0L. If you are going to make it better, make it the best. You can probably get away with the computer from the donor without mods to run it. Splicing the harness is not all that difficult. You only have to splice in about 5-6 things, get proper power to the computer, and a good ground. I used the original harness, found the required wires, and cut the rest. The engine wiring is all in the engine harness, you just need to interface the two harnesses. The coil on plug makes it easy to access the ignition system. You need the trans from the engine donor car, or you need to have a 4L60E built. If you are going to use a 4L60E, you can have it built to the HP you are going to make. The 4L60E will fit the car better than a 4L80E, so you do not have to have a drive shaft made, or do tunnel work.

I put a BBC in my OCC, and it was a chore. It makes good power though. It is also a conversation piece. With port fuel injection, on the BBC, my gas mileage should be comparable with any modern engine of the same displacement, HP rating, and according to driving habits. Modern engines do not have an advantage in gas mileage for a given displacement, HP, and induction system. Head design may make a difference, but with aftermarket heads, that advantage is lost. The coil on plug ignition systems are a lot easier to access, especially with the cowl overhang. You can convert the older engines to coil on plug, and negate that advantage as well.

If you can find a set, the 93 Fleetwood cooling fans are a bolt in for the LO5 cars. It makes electric fans an easy install. A bigger radiator may be more difficult to find, but they are available. You can start accumulating parts now for the install later.
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r67northern

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:30 pm

I've thought about the LS swap, don't know if I'm capable of that level of re-do. Although there's probably not that much more involved compared to going with a vortec setup. I'm sure both need their own special problem solving to make work.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:27 pm

There aren't many issues installing an LS engine. Someone makes a plug and play harness for under $300. The mount adapters are about $50, and there are instructions on ISSF for any quirks.
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Cadet57

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:42 am

Fred Kiehl wrote:
There aren't many issues installing an LS engine. Someone makes a plug and play harness for under $300. The mount adapters are about $50, and there are instructions on ISSF for any quirks.

Plus a transmission, new exhaust, accessory drive, PCM tuning... Gets real expensive real quick.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:39 pm

You can have your trans upgraded, get the accessory drive with the engine from the junk yard, and if you are using the engine stock, you can use the PCM and wiring harness that is on the engine. You can even grab the trans that is hooked to the engine, if you want that type trans. A 4L60E will bolt up, and use the PCM to control it. There may be a few tweaks necessary for gear ratios, tire size, and shift points if you do not use the trans that the engine it came with.

You do need either the manifolds the engine has, or a sset of headers. A small adapter pipe should connect the old exhaust to the engine. You can do this on a budget if you really want the swap, and are on limited funds.

I put a completely rebuilt bored out BBC in my OCC, and the total cost including a rebuilt upgraded trans, new (bought from individual cheap) Holley MPFI system, new headers and exhaust, aluminum water pump, aluminum heads, and new oil pan/pump for under $9K.

I can get a used 6.0 LQ4 with a trans, wiring harness, trans, computer and FEAD for under $1000, if I pull it at the local junk yard. I can get the engine from one vehicle, and a 4L60e from another. By using all of the original parts, I can put the engine in a car and have it running for another $1000-1500. So, for under $2500 I can have a running driving car with an LQ4 in it. If I want to upgrade anything, I can, but at additional expense, but that is a choice. You can do it on a budget if you want to.
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:29 pm

I tell people I did my Ls swap for under a grand, they don't believe me. I parted a truck to get my 5.3L, and ended up making $200 outta the deal. Plenty of rotted out Silverados up here in the rust belt. Turned out the engine had new water pump, alternator, starter and tune up done, but that was just luck. Reused as much as possible from the donor truck, I already had sweet dual exhaust on the truck so I made adapter pipes to connect it to the manifolds on the LS. Hot tip for that, the Silverado y pipe is nice mandrel bent 2.5" stainless. Thanks GM.

I still spent about $800 to get it in the truck. However alot of people who complain about the costs of their swap spiraling out of control, usually had issues before starting the swap. Like their radiator is old and junky. Rear end worn out, etc etc. Plus most people get sucked into the mentality of "ohh you need all these shiny expensive aftermarket parts or car won't be cool/fast" FALSE. Stop reading all the magazine builds, those guys have huge budgets and sponsor contracts to fulfill on top of that. Using OEM application parts is a path to success and longevity.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:46 pm

BTW, stay away from 2000 and under LS series engines. They are supposed to have some issues.
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:55 pm

Like? I'm running a 2000 5.3L.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:52 pm

Be careful with it. Read up on the issues, so you know what to look for.
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occ6.6



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:38 pm

why not put a buick 350 or 455 in it you can use the tbi injection still,use a adapter plate for the trans .find a computer controlled v6 dist swap in a v8 dist shaft with the advance plate locked out & a v8 pick up coil & you will have a factory looking f.i. dist .use a 454 truck tbi on the 455 tune the ecm with tuner pro & have a buick powered buick. im putting a olds 403 & 4l80e in my 92 occ ,even adapted the front accessory drive from the chev to the olds motor to make it look more like a factory install.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:20 am

You might be able to put the original distributor on the Olds engine by boring out the hole in the manifold to accept the distributor base. I did that to my 454, and am running the original LO5 style distributor.
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occ6.6



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:37 am

olds distributors go into the block not through intake. they have a short housing.ive used the dist from 307s with c4 carb set up works perfectly , done it about a dozen times.My fleet is the occ ,71 cutlass with a 496 olds & custom made by me 4 barrel tbi with a 4l80 all run by a gm ecm also have a 85 lesabre collectors edition with 307 converted to tbi & my wifes 89 caprice broughm with a 4 barrel tbi injected 455 olds & 4l80 -soon to be port injected & pro charged
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Cadet57

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:29 pm

MalibuSSwagon wrote:
I tell people I did my Ls swap for under a grand, they don't believe me. I parted a truck to get my 5.3L, and ended up making $200 outta the deal. Plenty of rotted out Silverados up here in the rust belt. Turned out the engine had new water pump, alternator, starter and tune up done, but that was just luck. Reused as much as possible from the donor truck, I already had sweet dual exhaust on the truck so I made adapter pipes to connect it to the manifolds on the LS. Hot tip for that, the Silverado y pipe is nice mandrel bent 2.5" stainless. Thanks GM.

I still spent about $800 to get it in the truck. However alot of people who complain about the costs of their swap spiraling out of control, usually had issues before starting the swap. Like their radiator is old and junky. Rear end worn out, etc etc. Plus most people get sucked into the mentality of "ohh you need all these shiny expensive aftermarket parts or car won't be cool/fast" FALSE. Stop reading all the magazine builds, those guys have huge budgets and sponsor contracts to fulfill on top of that. Using OEM application parts is a path to success and longevity.

The part out a truck plan is great. If you have the space, time, and patience to do that. Id wager a lot of guys don't.
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r67northern

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:31 pm

occ6.6 wrote:
olds distributors go into the block not through intake.

I had never known that - went and searched out some images, that's a nice way to do it.  I wonder why Chevy didn't do that?
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95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:23 pm

3rd the LS swap. I did a 5.3l swap on my OCC and love it. On paper there's not much more power than the LT1 but ask anyone who's driven it and it puts a smile on their face.
KDS makes direct bolt in motor mounts, you can reuse your existing 700r4 trans if you wish but I went with a 96 4l60e out of a Caprice. You will need to modify the flex plate and need an adapter if you go either route. A truck 4l60e will bolt up.
Truck accessories are used with minor mods.
You'll need an F-body oil pan and ls1/ls6 intake
Wiring is a pain if you want it to look nice. PCM will need to be tuned to get rid of passkey, also needed to get the gear ratio right, and other stuff deleted like emissions and 4wd stuff
Here's my thread on my build:
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:31 pm

I've personally been thinking about "freshening up" my L05, Vortec heads, Camshaft, Exhaust work and maybe a FiTech EFI and crab cap distributor. I've also been tossing around the idea of an iron 6.0 with a 4L60e with many of the same mods done that I have done to my DD Trailblazer. What would bug me the most is figuring out what tuning software/hardware I would need if I had a stock ECM or weather or not to build a Megasquirt setup like some guys have done. The special distributor these cars got seems to be the biggest hangup for me at least.
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r67northern

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:17 am

Hi all - I'm bringing my old thread back from the dead here. I may give this a shot as weather cools down so I'm keeping my eyes open for LS engines and compiling a little cost analysis. The old LO5 is leaking pretty badly now, and I've finished a couple of other big projects on other things.

What's a decent price for a 100k 5.3 and 4L60E from what any of you are seeing out there?

By the time I get a reborn LO5 and new cam, better headers, rebuild the trans (also at 220k) I'm not sure there's a huge difference.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:06 pm

You can get a set of Vortec heads (and get them rebuilt), a decent cam, self contained TBI, intake manifold, and a rebuild kit for the LO5 for about the same as a used 5.3, and rebuilding it. The Vortec heads are the same design as the 5.3. The new self contained TBIs are They should make about the same HP. Heads from a P-N-P yard $50 (rebuild $250), new cam and lifters $250-300, bearings $100, hone $35, crank turning $150, rings $50, clean block $50, intake $175, TBI $700, and gasket set $100. Trans build $800-1200, with a high stall converter $200-500.

The only way you can get the 5.3 for about the same $$$ is to get it from a Pic-N-Pull yard. You will be rebuilding the trans either way. You need the computer and wiring harness for the 5.3 as well. The whole package from a P-N-P yard will probably be about $900-1000. Then you begin refreshing them.

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r67northern

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:02 pm

Here’s my very ball-park cost analysis on the LO5:
$1900 gets a rebuilt long block L31 with vortec heads (if I don’t rebuild the LO5 myself)
$300 on a cam
$500 new intake (with a hole that won’t allow the distributor in/out easily without some boring I guess)
$300 on a chip upgrade
=$3k and something probably about the same or just a bit better than an LT1

then wait for about 5 minutes while the transmission finishes itself off. No matter what, transmission work gets added to the engine rebuild/swap. Plus all the required exhaust work too - that’s also universal cost no matter what approach is taken.

I could probably save some doing the LO5 rebuild myself, cost of new heads gets added back in though.

The LS is going to have some rebuilding costs potentially, but looking at about $500 in brackets added to ball park $2000 engine/trans and we’re talking about the same by the time the dust settles ‘if’ I don’t immediately have the 4L60E gone through.

Am I too far sideways in any of this thinking?


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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:10 pm

If you just throw the LS engine in the car, you may be able to keep a few bucks in your pocket. A new Vortec intake should be about $175 not $500, and enlarging the distributor hole is fairly simple. If you are using Vortec heads, you could even use the intake, computer, wiring harness and injectors from a JY Vortec to save some money. No matter what you do, you will do some wiring. The Vortec wiring should be fairly simple to patch together. You could even use a 94-96 VSS with the reluctor on a 4L60, and the Vortec computer will run a 4L60E.

A simple hone, rings, new bearings with a turned crank, and a pair of rebuilt Vortec heads is a lot cheaper than the $1900 for a long block.
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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:37 pm

I can attest to the value of doing an LS swap.  Had to do the head gaskets on my truck last winter (LQ9 6.0).  Engine has over 1/4 million miles on it.  I have never seen an engine with that many miles on it look so clean.  

Still had faint hash marks on the cylinder bores, absolutely no ridge and no appreciable wear on any valve train parts (including cam and lifters).  PO must have taken the same care of it that I have.  Clean living pays.  No way any of my previous small blocks would have survived as well.  This thing is probably good for another 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

Pulled 3 thousands off the heads and re-installed. Only issue was a broken exhaust bolt and I stupidly didn't change the water pump thinking it was still good (that cost me close to $800 in South Carolina on my way home).

By the way, in straight stock form, this things pulls like a freight train.

Bill
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RedandBlack

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:58 pm

If you have to rebuild the LS, I'd be shocked - or you bought a bad one.

You can buy a good 5.3/4L60E with computer for $1500 or less. Gasket set ($200 or so), tune ($200), standalone harness ($500), and you're done. You can use the stock truck bracket for the PS pump and alt, buy the AC bracket and use your R4 compressor (bracket is about $200) and slap it in there.

It is not worth paying that much to build/buy an L31 Vortec when you can make 300hp with a bone stock 5.3. Spend $500 for a cam kit and add 50hp to those numbers easily.

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JaySS
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:11 am


r67northern wrote:
The LS is going to have some rebuilding costs potentially, but looking at about $500 in brackets added to ball park $2000 engine/trans and we’re talking about the same by the time the dust settles ‘if’ I don’t immediately have the 4L60E gone through.

Am I too far sideways in any of this thinking?

No, sounds like you are closing in on what the actual costs will be. But to restate the comments above, the idea behind buying a used engine is that it doesn’t need to be rebuilt. The cheapest solution to your situation is to find a low mile used TBI engine, swap it one for one and be done with it.

Once you start rebuilding things the costs rapidly spiral. Comments regarding Vortec & 5.3 heads being the same, and $175.00 TBI Vortec intake manifolds (well, you might, but don’t plan on it) just serve to illustrate the author doesn’t have a real understanding of what they are attempting to talk about. Be aware that many Vortec heads are not drilled for the offset exhaust manifold bolt for the passenger side exhaust manifold, and there is insufficient material to do so, so one will have to get creative or plan for headers as well. Yet another expense to add to your estimate.

I can buy a core 6.0L locally for $350.00, or I can buy one test run and with a warranty for $1100.00. Experience has shown the more expensive initial outlay will result in a lower overall cost. As long as you can handle the myriad of incidentals associated with an LS swap (fuel system upgrades, oil pan, exhaust manifolds, dual exhaust conversion, etc.) and budget appropriately for them, you will end up with a superior result. Be honest with your assessments, as there is a lot of work involved in properly completed swap and the people that have done it successfully deserve more credit than they often get.

There is much written on workarounds that can reduce some of the costs involved. Investigate what people are doing with things like 4.3L truck A/C brackets, Trailblazer exhaust manifolds, using small frame alternators to clear the hood and which oil pans are best suited to the chassis to ensure you optimize your dollars spent.

- J

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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:50 am

The pricing I quoted are the actual prices I paid for said items. I am currently building an LO5/Vortec engine. I am not building for maximum HP, but will have a good strong engine at a reasonable price, that will bolt in without any wiring modifications. I do have an upgraded computer, and a larger TBI.

I have a gen 6 454 installed in my 91, so I know what wiring changes I had to make to install an engine foreign to the stock unit.
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r67northern

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:11 pm

Thanks all for the continued input.  Over the next little while I'm going to keep my eyes on the LS market and see if something good turns up at a reasonable price point.  The right engine/trans showing up would help establish the direction.
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JBLTZ



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:51 pm

This is something I have gone over quite a bit about in my head over the years.

I love the LSx but its not a bolt in affair. I believe that there are a lot of hidden expenses that don't get talked about enough... and while they can be remedied... with an LSx swap... there's usually an additional cost involved when compared to a Gen 1 style SBC.

I'd say the #1 reason anyone would want to swap an LSx engine into ANY vehicle is power potential. Bar none there is no more better reason to use an LSx for an engine swap. Also... the dependability aspect... and tuning is also easier as well. But some draw backs include certain special made parts that are specific for an LSx going into a certain car. Wiring is a huge headache for most people. While some guys are more savvy in this department... the wiring aspect can be daunting.

Aside from the LSx engine... there is still the venerable Gen 1 SBC. The Vortec 4 bolt main blocks is a tried and true foundation for good power. For most guys not looking for the highest HP possible.. these engines are plentiful in salvage yards throughout the country... and can still make a lot of power where its needed most. I think a budget 383 engine based on a Vortec 4 bolt main block would be a bolt in for the most part but the headache will reside in getting the engine tuned properly to use the TBI injection. Of course now there are ready to run FI solutions like Holley and FITech. They can each be used to run the engine and then the stock ECM EPROM can have all the CEL's disabled to clear the lights on the dash.

Anyway.. these are just things I have thought about in the past. I don't really think either is going to be cheap but I think the Gen 1 SBC might be better suited for someone on a budget. For me personally.. I'd be pretty happy with a 315hp/385lb-ft TBI stoker engine. While it may not be a drag strip rocket ship.. it would have plenty of power over the original 180hp/280lb-ft TBI 350. And products like Mega Squirt or Dynamic EFI could both be a cost effective solutions to take care of the tuning aspect.

Bottom line is.. for any engine swap... come up with a plan and stick to it. It's easy to get confused by unrealistic goals or chasing horsepower. In my opinion... The important thing is to get a good reliable engine that is fun and dependable.

I look forward to participating in this conversation further.  

Thank you for listening.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:43 pm

The wiring is actually really easy if you approach it from the proper direction. Once I found the best way to do the wiring, it took me about an hour to figure it out. I used a Holley MPFI on my 454 with its computer, and the old computer is completely removed from the car. The idiot lights no longer function, and I use the gauges for everything.

BTW, be careful trying to make a 383 stroker with a Vortec block. The cylinders may be a bit too short to keep the piston properly aligned at the bottom of the stroke. The Vortec blocks may not be happy with more than a .040 overbore as well. An LO5 block will be a better candidate for a stroker, and you can use the Vortec heads on it. You just can not use the OEM manifold for the TBI with the Vortec heads.
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JBLTZ



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:21 am

Fred Kiehl wrote:
The wiring is actually really easy if you approach it from the proper direction. Once I found the best way to do the wiring, it took me about an hour to figure it out. I used a Holley MPFI on my 454 with its computer, and the old computer is completely removed from the car. The idiot lights no longer function, and I use the gauges for everything.

BTW, be careful trying to make a 383 stroker with a Vortec block. The cylinders may be a bit too short to keep the piston properly aligned at the bottom of the stroke. The Vortec blocks may not be happy with more than a .040 overbore as well. An LO5 block will be a better candidate for a stroker, and you can use the Vortec heads on it. You just can not use the OEM manifold for the TBI with the Vortec heads.

Its nice to see that a TBI person out there knows how to merge the two. I'd be interesting in knowing the details of how to modify the wiring harnesses so that the two computers work together! I had looked into a couple of different harness building/tuning places over the years and they all seem to either not know how or they flat out just don't want to do a TBI harness with LSx.

I never heard that there were problems with the Vortec block and 383's. I have several friends who have built them. They were the reason I jumped back on the Gen 1 block Vortec headed engines bandwagon. For the longest time I didn't think there were even exhaust manifolds that would work with the Vortec head exhaust port AND fit the engine bay of a B Body properly. Now I have read that there are several TBI Caprices running around with Vortec headed engines and headers that fit.

Here is one that got me interested....

474HP @ 5500RPM and 493 ft-lbs of tq @ 4800RPM

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Build thread:
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I would have no problem using the L05 block and splaying the main caps. That isn't a big deal at all during a rebuild.

I like this Kit... it seems like a good price... I'd just have to get some good heads and an intake...
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:28 pm

I am in the process of building an LO5 with Vortec heads. I am using a Vortec compatible intake for a 4 bbl, and a TBI to 4 bbl adapter. It is one inch thick, and I am using one inch steel spacers from Lowes, and a homemade brace to raise the cable bracket. The cables will all fit.

When I installed the 454 in my wagon, I kept all the wiring from the original harness that I needed for gauges, their corresponding sensors, and the AC system. Almost everything else is removable. Make sure you keep a couple of extra red and black wires to power any key on circuits, including the donor computer. The majority of the wires you need to keep will go to the non computer connectors under the dash. Hook up all of the wires from the computer to the engine sensors. Make sure you have a ground wire for sensors and the computer. My installation required that I hook the computer up to the battery directly, and the red and black wire turned the computer "on". Each type of computer has a few quirks, so you need a wiring pinout for that computer. Since you do not have an "E" trans, you can eliminate the connections, or get an "E" trans, and use the harness to the trans. There are not many connections between the computer and the accessories/gauges. You can eliminate the idiot lights if you have gauges (and use them). The tach hooks to the low side of the coil. There are some other variables, but it is about that easy.
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JBLTZ



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:46 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
I am in the process of building an LO5 with Vortec heads.


What headers would you use on a Vortec headed SBC in a B Body?

Also... as far as the LSx swap... would it be ANY easier to use a carb'd LSx instead? That is something I have always wondered about. Sometimes I think I would like to run a carb for a while... even on a Gen 1 Vortec v8. Can the Idiot lights be easily disabled for a straight carb'd engine? I have someone locally that can tune out the CEL's I think... so that is something else I have considered.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:58 pm

I am using the original wiring for my LO5/Vortec build. I believe the lights ground, or power through a box under the dash. Removing it or power to it should eliminate the lights. I forget exactly how I did it, but I have a lot fewer wires going into the passenger compartment. I took the idiot light bulbs out as well.

A carbed engine will not have the gas mileage of an injected engine. If the engine is carbed, you can remove the computer. If the lights come on, find the box that works them, and disconnect that as well. Just leave the gauge sensors hooked up.
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RedandBlack

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:15 pm

You can run a carb'd LS pretty easily with an MSD 6LS box... but why would you? FI isn't that bad to do and it'll make it a much better driver.
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JBLTZ



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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:10 am

Fred Kiehl wrote:
I am using the original wiring for my LO5/Vortec build. I believe the lights ground, or power through a box under the dash. Removing it or power to it should eliminate the lights. I forget exactly how I did it, but I have a lot fewer wires going into the passenger compartment. I took the idiot light bulbs out as well.

A carbed engine will not have the gas mileage of an injected engine. If the engine is carbed, you can remove the computer. If the lights come on, find the box that works them, and disconnect that as well. Just leave the gauge sensors hooked up.


Thanks....


JBLTZ wrote:
Fred Kiehl wrote:
I am in the process of building an LO5 with Vortec heads.


What headers would you use on a Vortec headed SBC in a B Body?



Also... Still curious about the header you would chose to run on a Vortec engine in a B Body... I have been told the LT1 cars would fit.. but that there was also some SBC headers on earlier large cars that will fit the Vortec port. If I go to a Vortec... I'd like tyo use the best fitting highest quality pair. I contacted Clear Image about their Tri Y's and they couldn't tell me one way or another...

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:18 am

RedandBlack wrote:
You can run a carb'd LS pretty easily with an MSD 6LS box... but why would you? FI isn't that bad to do and it'll make it a much better driver.

I just think a carb'd LSx is cool... I realize it wouldn't be efficient but a carb still has its appeal to me... not just on the LSx but on a Gen 1 Vortec heads SBC as well. I used that Vortec 383 in my previous post as an example. Carb's will make a lot of power on either engine platform... even more on the LSx.

Aside from that... I have yet to find any harness builder that can build plug and play LSx harnesses for a TBI car. I really am not that good with that kind of stuff and I doubt my own personal ability to get it accomplished without some sort of professional doing it instead. That's just me... I am only DYI hands on to a certain extent... and I openly admit to not having the know how.. or the desire... to learn. I just want to drive the car. In my younger years I might have cared more but I no longer want to spend hours toiling over something I am not good at. Plus I have seen the horror stories... in some cases.. where guys get frustrated and give up on the project for the lack of support when they are doing something custom. I never want to put myself in the position that one of my cars won't be running due to not being good enough to finish the job... so its best to just try to find a place that can assist with the things I can't or won't personally do.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:36 am

I was planning to use a set of shorty headers that I already have, but have not test fit them at this point.

If the ones for a Chevelle fit the heads, they will also fit in the car.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:54 am

I suggest that you get a 92-93 B-body engine harness, an LS harness, and the wiring diagrams for both, so that you can figure out what fits where. You only need to meld the two for a minimum of circuits. Routing the wires is more of an issue than the actual hookup. The engine wiring will be 95% LS, and the gauge circuit will be the other 5%. You do not have to change much of the engine wiring, because it will all be the same when you transplant the engine. I think I only connected 4-5 wires from the B-body harness to my engine harness. Some of the B-body harness wires travel a circuitous route to get to the part, so you will eliminate a lot of wire. Most, if not all gauges have unique wires to sensors. You do not have to change them. There is probably a tach output from the computer, and that corresponding wire is easy to find in the B-body harness. The tune in the computer will probably run the engine without much modification, unless you modify the engine.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:27 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
I was planning to use a set of shorty headers that I already have, but have not test fit them at this point.

If the ones for a Chevelle fit the heads, they will also fit in the car.

I'd be interested in knowing if they fit... I have been wondering what headers to use when a Vortec head is used on Gen. 1 SBC in the engine bay of a B Body.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:53 pm

If they fit the heads, they are the same ones I had in my 91, so they will also fit in the car. They are Heddmans for a Chevelle.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:44 am

Fred Kiehl wrote:
If they fit the heads, they are the same ones I had in my 91, so they will also fit in the car. They are Heddmans for a Chevelle.

OK well.. I had a friend back in the day who tried to do a Vortec headed 383 SBC into an TBI 350 Olds Cruiser Wagon and he could not find a set of exhaust manifolds that would fit the B Body engine bay and the Vortec exhaust port configuration. The stock truck vortec manifolds fit the ports but were not the right fit in the B Body engine bay. His stock TBI exhaust manifolds wouldn't fit the Vortec heads and neither would OEM Imp SS LT1 exhaust manifolds. If I remember correctly... there was some difference in the position of the mounting hole. To the naked eye they look identical in terms of distance to the port but the main difference between the two was that the 193's had two bolt holes and the Vortecs only had one. Although I have read on several different forums that it comes down to the TBI head can utilize one bolt hold or the other depending on what header is used but that is not the case with the Vortec head. Now maybe the Hedmans you have will work but if I remember correctly.... there is some small difference in how some Gen. 1 headers bolt up to the Vortec head. I think my friend found that the Vortec bolt hole was almost right in between the two holes on the TBI head. It was many years ago when he encountered this and I never knew what he did.... he moved away and I don't know what happened to the project. I know it was stalled because of this problem.

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:38 am

Anyone ever consider these heads for a Gen 1 SBC build?

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Hot Rod Budget Sledgehammer build:

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:18 am

Cool video from the Roadkill guys on Motor Trend On Demand. (Sorry about the annoying commercials!)

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All new L05 flat tappet (mostly) OEM truck engine... total cost $2250 in parts for first version... and it was dyno'd at 235hp/334lb-ft.

The 2nd version with Vortec heads and a bigger Comp Cam... it dyno'd at 365hp/397lb-ft and was built for $3550.00.

These engines used a carb... the same results would NOT be reached with a stock TBI system... at least without modification and tuning.

I gotta say... for $3500 bucks... that's not too shabby at all... at least for a budget 350 build.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:02 pm

In this video the owner used LT1 exhaust manifolds on an L05 by drilling out a hole on the exhaust manifold flange so they would bolt up to the L05 swirl Port head.

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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:46 am

I trial mated the Heddman shorty headers I had on my LO5, and the bolt holes line up perfectly with the Vortec heads. I do not know what the model number of the headers is.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:45 am

I am in the process of installing the mutt engine I built. I am finding a few quirks. The headers sit a little higher on the Vortec heads. It makes alignment with the exhaust pipes (duals) a little trickier, but they will fit. The heads have a raised exhaust port. It is about an inch higher than the LO5 heads. I had to move the shift linkage around a little, and I can now use the O2 bung that was installed on the side of the collector.

The most annoying issue, (it can be avoided with a $477 manifold for the TBI to Vortec heads), TBI installation on a Weiand Street Warrior manifold. Finding an adapter for the 46mm TBI is a PITA, and making it work is also a PITA. I needed 2 separate adapters. The adapters had to be shaped to give a smooth flow into the plenum (no steps to trip the flow). I also had to make a plate to mount a modified linkage bracket about an inch further back for proper cable lengths. The total cost was about $220.

The coil had different mounting pads, and I had to drill and reverse the mounting plates on the coil itself.

Some other mods; the temp sensor is further from the wiring bundle, and an additional length of wire is needed to reach it, water port for the heater is at the front, enlarged the distributor hole, you must remove the distributor clamp to pull the distributor (because the clamp does not slide far enough to clear the distributor base), The manifold does not have an EGR port (I am using the solenoid to avoid a code), fuel lines modified for 1-2 inch rearward mounted TBI (93 FW lines for a pressure tap).

One other piece of info...use the LO3/5 water pump. I used a Vortec unit, and had to put 3/8 inch spacers behind it to get the pulley aligned. The Vortec pump has a couple of ports that are different from the LO3/5 pump, and one is for the heat, and the other goes to the front of the intake manifold. I do not know if blocking them is an issue, but did it anyway, and took my heater hose from the top. GM made a line to route the coolant to the heater, but I though it was complicated, and decided to make it simple. The Vortec uses a huge nut to hold the fan on, and I do not know if the fan will work with the setup. I am using electric fans so it is not an issue.

If you are going to use 94-96 fans, get a 94-96 radiator to simplify installation. I am using the 93 FW fans, and a heavy duty radiator. I must make some mods to the mounts for the upgraded radiator. If you are modifying the mounts for the 93 FW fans, make sure the radiator can not slip out of the mounts, and hit the fans. A clamping strip on both sides between the top and bottom mounts would work, just make sure no screws can hit the radiator.

On the good side, the manifold has a sensor hole tapped in the front (for a line to the water pump), in case you want to run a switched sensor for electric fans.


Last edited by Fred Kiehl on Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:21 am

Upgrading my 92 OCC. Wanted a little more than 200 sucky hp but nothing crazy. 400 hp is nice but not necessary for a summer daily cruiser. I have a 500 hp car. Don't need another. Wanted to keep it fairly simple and reliable. Opted for GM's 330hp crate motor. Pretty much a true bolt in. Under 3 grand for the base engine, all new parts and a 2 yr warranty. Tough to rebuild one for that kind of money. It comes with Vortec heads. I got GM's performance intake for the TBI and the Vortec heads. Edelbrocks intake does not work with Vortec heads. Machined out the distributor hole and ready to go. It should run fairly well with the stock tune but I will get the pcm redone. Probably put on a modified TBI as well. Stock tranny should hold up if you don't get stupid but I have a rebuilt 700R4 good for 450 hp. I will also be converting to electric fans. Headers and true dual exhaust. I should be able to go Magnum hunting with this setup. We'll see
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:10 pm

I built mine for about $1400 including a couple of sets of cracked heads that I had to toss.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:14 pm

I keep forgetting things are a lot cheaper in the US. In Canada it is about a sawoff except for the better warranty
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