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1965 El camino. Originally regal red with a 283 and rear air ride suspension
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any of you guys running early model A body Elkos with late model LS engine and transmission swaps? If so what do you have?
 

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How late of an LS engine? Quite a few LS3 engines around here, much less the Gen 4 and Gen 5 stuff. I think the AFM / DOD technology unsettles people and the difficulty of tuning the Gen 5 PCM devices gets harder all the time.

I'm a Gen 3 swap guy running an engine and trans out of a 1999 GMC Sierra truck - a very early LS engine of no interest to you.

Rick
 

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Rick did you modify a truck harness or use an aftermarket? I tried to modify and I think I've made a mess of it. Mine is the next series up from you I think. It's an 05 5.3 I converted back to drive by cable so I could keep the 200R4. It runs and sometimes well. But I keep getting a TPS code. Hotwire Jeff has helped me a couple of times he is very knowledgeable.
 

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I absolutely love my 6.0. Just took it on a 265 mile trip today up to northern Michigan. (Lower peninsula) I will fill up tomorrow and expect low 20’s mpg. It’s just built to drive.
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How late of an LS engine? Quite a few LS3 engines around here, much less the Gen 4 and Gen 5 stuff. I think the AFM / DOD technology unsettles people and the difficulty of tuning the Gen 5 PCM devices gets harder all the time.

I'm a Gen 3 swap guy running an engine and trans out of a 1999 GMC Sierra truck - a very early LS engine of no interest to you.

Rick
Gen 3 is the best platform for swaps IMO.

I have a 2002 6.0 LQ9 out of a cadillac escalade. She runs a 13.8 quarter mile bone stock, untuned, with a governor lol. Looking for high 11s with my new yank converter, cam, and 4150 style intake and throttle body.

Easy money.
 

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Hello Wing,

I fooled around and wasted a little money trying to get an E-bay harness to work. I also tried to depin and repin one myself that didn't work but I could probably manage that effort better now. In the end, I bought a perfect red/blue connector P01 PCM harness from PSI Conversions that is running well.

On one or two of the fuel injection web sites, I'm hearing that even the GM dealerships struggle to prevent hard bricking a Gen 5 PCM. Supposedly, not even their "SPS" tool can revive one that has had some kinds of operating system or calibration update done to it. I might go find that discussion and post a link here - its either on the PCM Hacking site or the Gearhead EFI site.

Rick
 
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Screw all that. Just get a holley terminator x. Complete new plug and play engine harness with new ecu and fuel pump relay for $1k. Then you can tune it yourself for modifications. Or just leave the learning on and it will tune it’s self. Plus you’d be getting all the extra features that come with the holley vs stock ecu.
 

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I have a gen3 engine in my 66 chevelle and abosolutely love it.I kept it as simple as I could and went with a drive by cable setup and used the factory wire harness which I modified myself. The tune eith VATS delete was done by Howell engine developements and has been working flawlessly for 5+years I've even incorporated a factory cruise control unit along with nss and backup light function. If you are looking for a reliable well running setup, keep the cam on the small side so that your power booster is happy. If you want to build more power, go with more cubic inches vs. more cam. Can easily build a 450hp 6.0 ls with very little effort and minimal expense and still get 18-20 mpg depending on your trans selection and rear gear ratio.
 

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Seven years ago I built a 6.2L Gen IV E-Force supercharged LS from scratch using an aluminum LSA block and heads, GM accessory drive and a GMPP 430 HP crate engine ECU and harness. I enjoyed tuning it and it runs so sweet now. This in a '66 Malibu, not an Elco, but that shouldn't matter. If I was doing this today, I might use all Holley EFI and swap hardware, which wasn't around when I built mine, instead of the GM stuff.
 

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Screw all that. Just get a holley terminator x. Complete new plug and play engine harness with new ecu and fuel pump relay for $1k. Then you can tune it yourself for modifications. Or just leave the learning on and it will tune it’s self. Plus you’d be getting all the extra features that come with the holley vs stock ecu.
This is the way to do it.
 

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1965 El camino. Originally regal red with a 283 and rear air ride suspension
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I absolutely love my 6.0. Just took it on a 265 mile trip today up to northern Michigan. (Lower peninsula) I will fill up tomorrow and expect low 20’s mpg. It’s just built to drive.
View attachment 722667
What do you want to know about LS swaps?
Well, I was an off-road fanatic. I built a sandrail from the ground up completely. I powered it with a 2.2 ecotec with a blower on it. I ran a mefi 4 B computer that I could have flashed for any gm engine unfortunately I sold it. I was just curious what folks were running. Any fitment issues, what harnesses folks are using, etc. Looking for a cheap way to make a turn key package. I inherited a 65 Elko that has been in the family from factory. It is bone stock with a 283, th350, and 10 bolt rear end with extremely high gear ratio. Probably a 3.08. haven't confirmed it yet though. Should have counted the teeth when I had the diff cover off. It's a gutless car. I want some power but still a daily driver type car. I just don't want to spend a fortune for motor, tranny, rear end etc. While thinking about the HP increase I want my mind wandered to I am going to have to swap out all the OG stuff. The car is almost 100 percent numbers matching with the exception of the tranny. Ditched the Saginaw 3 on the tree because it ground in every gear anyways. I like the idea of fuel injection and computerized shift points etc. That stuff is easy to manage in my opinion.

Cheers,
Vic
 

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I put 490 miles on my 6.0 sat & sun. Mixed 55-60 mph and about 50 miles of 75-80 expressway. 22.8mpg. Nice power when I need it and good mpg. Here is a picture of my 67 and my buddies new Scat Pack.
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If you want LS, a Gen 3 motor from about 1999 up to maybe 2007 or so is the way to go - avoid the Displacement On Demand / Active Fuel Management engines.

On the other hand, you have a near bone stock family heirloom. I wouldn't harm a hair on its steel rooftop head and keep it as is.

Rick
 
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1965 El camino. Originally regal red with a 283 and rear air ride suspension
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you want LS, a Gen 3 motor from about 1999 up to maybe 2007 or so is the way to go - avoid the Displacement On Demand / Active Fuel Management engines.

On the other hand, you have a near bone stock family heirloom. I wouldn't harm a hair on its steel rooftop head and keep it as is.

Rick
Trust me Rick, my mind goes back and forth. It's going to one of my son's eventually. I figure they can paint it etc. I was thinking of swapping out the early model drive train with later model for me and grandpa to drive and keep the Original drivetrain to swap back in for the boys. I'm not afraid of the work of swapping back and forth. I definitely won't get rid of any of the numbers matching items. I was thinking an LS3 from the gen 3 like you said. Just don't know what issues I'll have with fitment of engine and tranny. Don't want to cut the car up to make it fit.

Vic
 

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No cutting involved with my LS swap. Stick with all Holley swap parts for the least difficulty - forward bias engine mounts, Holley 302-2 or -3 oil pan and the Holley / Hooker Blackheart headers.

Rick
 

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1965 El camino. Originally regal red with a 283 and rear air ride suspension
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Has anybody here put a th400 behind an LS swap? Holley sells a swap kit for it. How would this work? Does the trans bolt right up to the block? I can't imagine it does. I have a couple of th400 transmissions that would save me some money.
 

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Has anybody here put a th400 behind an LS swap? Holley sells a swap kit for it. How would this work? Does the trans bolt right up to the block? I can't imagine it does. I have a couple of th400 transmissions that would save me some money.
I havent done it, but I do know that a lot of people run old transmissions with LS engines.

www.ls1tech.com in the conversions and hybrid section is where all this knowledge is at.
 

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Has anybody here put a th400 behind an LS swap? Holley sells a swap kit for it. How would this work? Does the trans bolt right up to the block? I can't imagine it does. I have a couple of th400 transmissions that would save me some money.
The th-350, 400 and 700r4 are a direct bolt up to an LS. You will however need a flexplate adapter kit. This flexplate kit will differ depending on what year and model LS so make sure you look at the specs and get the right one.
 
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