70 LS Swap Help - Chevelle Tech
LSx Engine Discuss the LSx engine & associated components here.

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 20, 9:04 PM Thread Starter
CT
 
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70 LS Swap Help

Those of you who have done an LS swap on your chevelle, what do you wish you knew then what you know now? Do any of you have build sheets or a list of necessary parts? I havent taken the dive on the motor yet but I want to start doing as much research as I can prior to tackling this project.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 20, 9:13 AM
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Rick
 
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

Hello CT,

Holley, Holley, Holley swap parts. I used their forward bias engine mounts, their 302-2 oil pan and their Holley Hooker Blackheart headers. Yes, expensive . . . but zero worries about fabbing up my own and my 4L60E fits under the floor pan with no metal surgery. And my steering hardware did not hit at the front of the oil pan. If you pick a truck LS engine, it has a very low hanging oil pan and you must do something here with an oil pan to work on your vehicle.

Hide your powertrain control module on top of the glove box, under the dash cap. It fits nicely and hides a lot of the wiring harness. My PCM's are all P01 style and they fit perfectly there.

On a used engine, change out the difficult to reach sensors while the motor is still out. Knock sensors and its wiring harness under the intake are a perfect example. You might consider doing the crank sensor.

On a used engine, drain and internally pressure clean the fuel injectors upon acquiring your engine. That corn liquor-laced ethanol gasoline will gum up a fuel injector while waiting for you to install your motor. And brand new AC Delco fuel injectors are expensive.

Figure out clearance on your automatic transmission cooling lines now. I had custom hydraulic hoses made with 45 degree turns at the point leaving the transmission for better floor pan clearance. The use of a REALLY big hammer there against the floor pan can also do the trick.

I went with a Tanks, Inc. fuel pump and Corvette regulator / filter assembly. And a Tanks, Inc. fuel injection fuel tank.

My LM7 LS engine needed a one inch smaller power steering pump pulley off of an S10 to keep from hitting my steering box. Changes in hoses also required here.

You are likely going to need electric radiator fans and you will absolutely need to worry about where to route the steam vent line. My Cold Case radiator solved these problems for me.

Your powertrain control module will need some tune reprogramming before it will allow the engine to start and to avoid many MIL lights. You can pay money to an "HP Tuners" guy like I initially did or . . . do some research on using "Tuner Pro RT" in conjunction with "LS Droid" which is what I'm using now. You Tube and the web in general cover these items very nicely. The only drawback to what I'm doing for programming here now is that these two programs only support engines from 2007 back to about 1999 or so. The later engines will still require HP Tuners or maybe "EFI Live" for tuning.

As for the newer LS engines, I'd avoid any with Displacement On Demand / Active Fuel Management. These have trouble with lifter collapse unless you change out the cam, push rods, lifters and electronically tune out AFM / DOD. And I'd completely avoid the very latest Direct Injection engines from GM.

Rick

1970 El Camino under Reconstruction - 5.3L LS VORTEC Engine and 4L60E Transmission

Last edited by B52bombardier1; Apr 19th, 20 at 9:40 AM.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 20, 9:25 AM
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Andy
 
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

I have installed BTR harnesses on Chevelles and 1st Gen Camaros and they are really nice. The PCM is extended off the rear of the engine and comes with a grommet for the floor. the stock harness can go off the front or one side of the motor and if not extended wont reach where you want to hide it. You can also route your original starter wire to the starter you will have to change the end to match but that way you can use the standard key.
Tanks make good tanks and the vette regulator is the way to go-no return from the motor. we also install aftermarket fuel rails to add to appearance and options for running he fuel lines. dont forget to get a radiator that is set up for an ls motor, they have a steam line from the front of the motor.
e have mainly installed 6 speeds and are now doing an auto trans and i will say the 6 speed is gennerally plug and play-the autois already adding to the cost by adjustments that need to be made and you have another module in an auto trans, looking forward to seeing how it performs compared to a 6 speed.

good luck and do some searches you can find alot of info on builds these days and it might help you determine a fix before you get there. take care Andy

Andy
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 20, 9:53 AM
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Rick
 
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

Hello Again,

I wasted time and money on an EBay engine harness. Ultimately, I went with a new engine harness from PSI Conversions and I've been very happy with it.

But now that I have been around LS swaps longer, I think I could do my own harness swap from the junk yard.

Try to hear your engine run before buying it. At least check cylinder compression and oil pressure. Mine turned out well but there have been horror stories. At the very least, buy your engine out of a wrecked vehicle . . . presumably, it was running at the moment of the crash.

Rick

1970 El Camino under Reconstruction - 5.3L LS VORTEC Engine and 4L60E Transmission
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 20, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
CT
 
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How difficult is it to convert to a manual transmission? My car currently has auto with the shifter on the column. I'm thinking in terms of adding a clutch pedal and cutting a hole in the floor for a shifter.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 20, 12:51 PM
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Eddie
 
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

When I started my swap I knew there would be nothing "budget" about it. Every time I tried doing things cheap way ended up paying for things 2x. There are many ways from junkyard builds to all out, I wanted to be somewhere in the middle. These are the things that I have done.

For my 6.0/4l80 swap I've used Holley forward mount brackets, Holley Transmission crossmember, F body engine mounts, Holley headers, 302-3 oil pan etc.
To control my LQ9 that had a harness chopped, I'm using Terminator X which has wiring harness and PCM. It controls my 6.0 and 4l80e. Terminator X is very user friendly and you can enter the basic parameters your self to get it going. No need for a tuner.

My injectors were gummed up, ended up buying AcDelco flex fuel injectors for $250ish from RockAuto.

For fuel supply I'm using Aeromotive Stealth II (340lph pump) which IMO is much better design than Tanks Inc. tank. No fuel starvation even when tank is almost empty. -6an PTFE lines and Holley Filter/Regulator (same as Corvette filter but better cause it flows more).
I've had problems with Tanks Inc. tank on another car (new design, notched corners) sucking in air during acceleration, when fuel level is below half tank.

ICT billet accessory brackets are inexpensive and they will place the PS pump (pulley) closer to the engine to clear the steering gear. I didn't like the idea of using smaller pulley that would make the pump spin faster, wasn't sure how would that affect the hydroboost brakes.

I wanted to utilize Drive By Wire, for this I am using LS3 throttle body with CTS pedal. Again not necessary.

I know some people run junkyard engines with success. I did not want to take a chance so I had my local machine shop go through it. Hone and re-ring, new bearings, polish the crank, ARP head bolts, ARP on rods etc.
Cam motion camshafts are excellent choice for LS platform. They are easy on valve train.
I am running their Titan 4 cam with BTR platinum springs, also changed the trunnion on rocker arms to CHE. All sensors got replaced with OEM.
This stuff is not necessary, it's just what I did.

I have a excel spreadsheet with parts and part numbers that I've used for the swap. It's extensive since I didn't just do a swap but also upgraded the engine, transmission and car. If you need a part number for something let me know.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 20, 1:36 PM
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Rick
 
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_70_Malibu View Post
How difficult is it to convert to a manual transmission? My car currently has auto with the shifter on the column. I'm thinking in terms of adding a clutch pedal and cutting a hole in the floor for a shifter.

It is certainly achievable. You will also need a new steering column but hey, this gives you a chance to buy a tilt column at the same time - from "Flaming River" or "Ididit". A change for going to a manual transmission inside your PCM operating system (OS) will also be required but this is easy once you are inside the OS doing other things. The neutral safety switch will also need to change but all of this has been done before and generally speaking, parts are available.


Rick

1970 El Camino under Reconstruction - 5.3L LS VORTEC Engine and 4L60E Transmission
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 20, 5:46 PM Thread Starter
CT
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B52bombardier1 View Post
Hello CT,

Holley, Holley, Holley swap parts. I used their forward bias engine mounts, their 302-2 oil pan and their Holley Hooker Blackheart headers. Yes, expensive . . . but zero worries about fabbing up my own and my 4L60E fits under the floor pan with no metal surgery. And my steering hardware did not hit at the front of the oil pan. If you pick a truck LS engine, it has a very low hanging oil pan and you must do something here with an oil pan to work on your vehicle.

Hide your powertrain control module on top of the glove box, under the dash cap. It fits nicely and hides a lot of the wiring harness. My PCM's are all P01 style and they fit perfectly there.

On a used engine, change out the difficult to reach sensors while the motor is still out. Knock sensors and its wiring harness under the intake are a perfect example. You might consider doing the crank sensor.

On a used engine, drain and internally pressure clean the fuel injectors upon acquiring your engine. That corn liquor-laced ethanol gasoline will gum up a fuel injector while waiting for you to install your motor. And brand new AC Delco fuel injectors are expensive.

Figure out clearance on your automatic transmission cooling lines now. I had custom hydraulic hoses made with 45 degree turns at the point leaving the transmission for better floor pan clearance. The use of a REALLY big hammer there against the floor pan can also do the trick.

I went with a Tanks, Inc. fuel pump and Corvette regulator / filter assembly. And a Tanks, Inc. fuel injection fuel tank.

My LM7 LS engine needed a one inch smaller power steering pump pulley off of an S10 to keep from hitting my steering box. Changes in hoses also required here.

You are likely going to need electric radiator fans and you will absolutely need to worry about where to route the steam vent line. My Cold Case radiator solved these problems for me.

Your powertrain control module will need some tune reprogramming before it will allow the engine to start and to avoid many MIL lights. You can pay money to an "HP Tuners" guy like I initially did or . . . do some research on using "Tuner Pro RT" in conjunction with "LS Droid" which is what I'm using now. You Tube and the web in general cover these items very nicely. The only drawback to what I'm doing for programming here now is that these two programs only support engines from 2007 back to about 1999 or so. The later engines will still require HP Tuners or maybe "EFI Live" for tuning.

As for the newer LS engines, I'd avoid any with Displacement On Demand / Active Fuel Management. These have trouble with lifter collapse unless you change out the cam, push rods, lifters and electronically tune out AFM / DOD. And I'd completely avoid the very latest Direct Injection engines from GM.

Rick
Why avoid the very latest GM engines?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 20, 9:48 PM
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Rick
 
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

Hello,

Direct injection will need occasional cleaning of the back sides of the intake valves due to no cleansing fuel being sprayed there. Oil gets cooked onto the valve and they need to be cleaned. Run a Google search for "GM Direct Injection Cleaning". Lots to read.

IMHO, the 6.2 liter Gen 3 "LS3" engine of about 2013 was the pinnacle of LS engine development. It had no AFM / DOD and no Direct Injection that began in 2014, if I remember correctly. Such a great and expensive engine. Would love to have one in my EC but too rich for me. However, my 2013 SS Camaro absolutely rocks with that engine.

Rick

1970 El Camino under Reconstruction - 5.3L LS VORTEC Engine and 4L60E Transmission
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 20, 1:20 AM
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Justin
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B52bombardier1 View Post
Hello,

Direct injection will need occasional cleaning of the back sides of the intake valves due to no cleansing fuel being sprayed there. Oil gets cooked onto the valve and they need to be cleaned. Run a Google search for "GM Direct Injection Cleaning". Lots to read.

IMHO, the 6.2 liter Gen 3 "LS3" engine of about 2013 was the pinnacle of LS engine development. It had no AFM / DOD and no Direct Injection that began in 2014, if I remember correctly. Such a great and expensive engine. Would love to have one in my EC but too rich for me. However, my 2013 SS Camaro absolutely rocks with that engine.

Rick
You can build a “LS3” relatively cheap by going with an Iron block 6.0 punch it to 4.065 and run truck rectangular port heads and a better cam with either a LS3 intake or rectangular port truck intake. Dyno tests show they provide the same power.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old May 27th, 20, 8:47 PM
 
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_70_Malibu View Post
Those of you who have done an LS swap on your chevelle, what do you wish you knew then what you know now? Do any of you have build sheets or a list of necessary parts? I havent taken the dive on the motor yet but I want to start doing as much research as I can prior to tackling this project.
I wish I knew that the Dorman 615-901 intake manifold did not like ev1 injectors or LS1/LS6 fuel rails...Go LS2 for both.

I wish I knew how important it was to get the right swap plates...get LSX Innovations and use the 1 3/4" forward bias to run a 4l60e without cutting and using stock 350 cross member in the stock location

I wish I listened to all the advice I read about staying away from those awesome looking sheet metal intakes....Just don't do it, they really are junk (and dangerous).

I wish someone would have told me to take my time and measure, check measure when installing the power steering pump. In order to get things to line up using aftermarket brackets, sometimes you have to shim the pumps back a bit and press the pulley on a little farther than stock. I went through two water pumps and three pulleys trying to get this right on my first swap....Measure and take your time.

I wish I didn't spend the money one braided steel an 6 lines.. They are a nightmare to work with. The black mesh type are fine.

I wish I had a Holley Terminator Max system for my first swap....I went with the ebay reworked harness and the mail order tune. Harness was fine but the mail man special tune (aka basic car spec and VATS delete) was not good. Terminator Max is amazing! I've never tuned a car before and I'm able to dial in my Chevelle to perform to my liking with ease.

I wish I changed the rear main seal when I was doing the cam swap and everything else.....I haven't had any issues with it yet, but I think about it all the time.

Last, I wish I would have established a realistic budget and timeline for my most recent build. Even though its my second, I forgot about all of those little $20 and $30 parts and pieces that you need to make stuff work sometimes....As the saying goes, it comes down to Good, fast, and cheap and you only get to choose two of the 3...I chose Good and fast, and it damn sure wasn't cheap! .....Good luck!
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old May 28th, 20, 1:45 AM
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

All great info. Another thing is to do your research and plan your build according to how clean you want the install, budget, and new important parts like ECU, harness etc. I planned a budget build but it changed quickly because of an old cut down harness and stock ECU. I didn't want to chase issues with a cut down harness or be at a tuners mercy anytime I wanted to change something as I'm planning twin turbos once my bank account recovers! Also consider the amount of work it is and tools you may have to purchase. Good luck!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 20, 5:27 PM
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

Getting started on planning my build now. I have a 72 wagon and plan on a ls1 and t56 that I have for it. My question is about putting the AC compressor down low and what motor mounts to use. I have a 2001 camaro ls1.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 20, 7:18 PM
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Rick
 
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

The LS truck front engine accessory drive and water pump allows the AC compressor low on the passenger side inside the frame rail. Fits very nicely with the Holley forward bias engine mounts and the Holley 302-2 oil pan. You will need a slightly smaller power steering pump pulley from an S10 truck to avoid scraping the drivers side frame rail. I can get you this part number if you need it.

My engine is an LS "LM7" out of a 1999 GMC Sierra truck with a 4L60E trans.

Rick

1970 El Camino under Reconstruction - 5.3L LS VORTEC Engine and 4L60E Transmission
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 20, 7:33 PM
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Re: 70 LS Swap Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by B52bombardier1 View Post
The LS truck front engine accessory drive and water pump allows the AC compressor low on the passenger side inside the frame rail. Fits very nicely with the Holley forward bias engine mounts and the Holley 302-2 oil pan. You will need a slightly smaller power steering pump pulley from an S10 truck to avoid scraping the drivers side frame rail. I can get you this part number if you need it.

My engine is an LS "LM7" out of a 1999 GMC Sierra truck with a 4L60E trans.

Rick
The smaller pulley clears The steering box not the frame rail. I used a doorman on mine. I can get you the number if needed.

If you are using the plate adapters that use the original 3-bolt mounts I dont believe a truck AC compressor will fit.
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Tighten it till it strips and back it off a quarter turn.
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