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 Best LO5 Engine Swap

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

Posts : 5087
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Best LO5 Engine Swap - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Dec 13, 2018 12:31 pm

If I had used my original block, and crank, it would have cost me about $300 less (dumb mistakes). I know exactly what is in my engine, as well.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

Posts : 5087
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Best LO5 Engine Swap - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 11, 2019 10:56 pm

I found another small quirk...the Vortec heads have a higher exhaust port, and the headers I used were designed for the stock LO5 heads. So, the headers moved up a little (about an inch), which is just enough to make the spark plugs a PITA to install. I can only get a socket on 4 of them, and the others must be tightened with an open end or box end wrench. #7 and 8 must be tightened from under the car, and #8 is just above the starter, so I have to reach in from the back.
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r67northern

r67northern

Posts : 114
Join date : 2010-09-05
Location : North Louisiana

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Best LO5 Engine Swap - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed May 01, 2019 3:34 pm

Found that Jegs is running a bit of a sale on its L31 vortecs right now ($1500 shipped)...

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I know there are some needed changes vs. the LO5 but they seem doable (new intake manifold for one, exhaust manifolds too..) but still, someone tell me this is an awful idea....
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

Posts : 5087
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Best LO5 Engine Swap - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed May 01, 2019 10:36 pm

Be careful installing a Vortec engine. I would suggest that you do NOT use a carb plate to lift the engine into the car. Find another lift point(s). The intake manifold gaskets are subject to leaking if disturbed. The best gasket recommended is the FP 980000. Others are subject to leaking initially or in the future.  You can also warp the intake manifold by lifting the engine with it.

I put small block shorty headers on an engine with Vortec heads, and had to remove the starter to tighten the #8 plug (installed plugs after installing headers). The 4 rear plugs were a PITA. Make sure you get headers/manifolds that allow clearance for the plugs.

You will have to rig a mount for the linkage unless you use the $400 GM intake manifold for the TBI. If you choose a 4 barrel TBI system the bracket will need modification. Make sure you get it right, or you can have major issues with other parts, like the trans.

The stock Vortec water pump is shorter than the LO5 water pump, and if you choose the Vortec pump, you need a 1/4 to 3/8 inch spacer behind the pump, if you want to use the LO5 FEAD. The Stock Vortec water pump pulley is a larger diameter than the LO5 pulley, and the belt must be 1 inch longer. The pulleys are not interchangeable between the pumps. You can use the LO5 pump, pulley,  and the LO5 FEAD.

The flex plate is the same for both engines.

If you have any other issues, feel free to contact me.
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r67northern

r67northern

Posts : 114
Join date : 2010-09-05
Location : North Louisiana

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Best LO5 Engine Swap - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri May 03, 2019 10:19 am

Thanks Fred - I looked around the garage last night and decided I should land a couple of planes before I pull the wagon apart, but this seems like a good way forward. I suppose in 'ideal land' the performance of the vortec 350 is pretty close to the LT1.

There was a suggestion on another forum that the LT1 exhaust manifolds would be a good match to the Vortec, with one additional hole drilled. Sound plausible or even desirable to anyone?

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RedandBlack

RedandBlack

Posts : 499
Join date : 2016-01-19

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Best LO5 Engine Swap - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri May 03, 2019 10:33 am

Waste. Better off just getting real headers.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

Posts : 5087
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Best LO5 Engine Swap - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri May 03, 2019 12:40 pm

I thought of real headers, but $$$ stood in the way, and I had the shorties on hand with the rest of the exhaust system.
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PostSubject: Re: Best LO5 Engine Swap   Best LO5 Engine Swap - Page 2 Icon_minitime

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