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Successfull 1970-1 6.0 LQ4 build

28455 Views 71 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  BigOiBoy
When I bought my Chevelle in 2010 it was with the intention of having an LS powered cheap reliable daily driver.
I figured with getting it looking decent and the motor it would be a 3 year project.
Wow, was I naive!
Unfortunately I found a lot more rust then I bargained for and the 307 had a wiped cam, so that came out for a running 350 and 2004R Trans
6 years later the body and paint is done and now the LS is finally in.

I always intended to start an LS build thread, but i don't have patience to keep making updates and I hate going thru other peoples 2 years and 40 pages of build looking for that 1 useful piece of info.

So I'm going to do this in reverse.
Its built.
I've driven about 50 miles in it and I'm now just working out some of the bugs.
Here's how I did it.
I kept a running tally of the Parts and money and lots of Pictures.
Just as with the body and paint, the plan was to keep the LS build Cheap, under $2K if possible.
I Follow'd other builds footprint in keeping this as low buck and DIY as possible and made corrections where i saw places for improvement.
Realizing I was saving in some areas, I splurge in others for the sake of convenience . I did not want to get bogged down in a long build.
Even with that said i made some big mistakes along the way.
My current build total is $1400 and dropping with selling extra parts on Craigslist.

My 1 biggest piece of advice, is to get as much of a full pull out as possible for as cheap as possible. Complete motor/uncut harness/PCM/all accessories, fuse box and associated plugs from the body harness.
Individuality the parts $$$ add up quick.

I hope this helps someone as much as some of the other build threads helped me.
And a big Thanks to Chevello (Keith) For all your help. It would have taken me another year to get this done without it.

Parts list and running Cost tally:

Running total:

*2004 Chevy Express Van 2500 6.0 LQ4 Motor (CL) $900 ( complete pull out w/PCM but harness cut)
*Harness/intake/coils/throttle (Junkyard)$110 For sale and future Use
* 1999 F-Body Exhaust manifolds,stamped (Ebay) $90. Sold it
*Silverado PS Pump/bracket $40 (Junkyard) Used the Pump instead of Van Pump
*Camaro Oil Pan $170 (CL) Sold it
*Hughes Flex-plate Spacer $25 (Ebay) Did not need
*LS wiring harness Book $20 (Ebay)
*Walboro Fuel Pump $90 (Ebay)
*Electric Fan $25 (Junkyard) Did not use
*Electric Fan#2 $25 (Junkyard) Ford Windstar Dual fan. Did use.
*Caddy Fuse box $10 (junkyard) Did not use
*Jeep Fuse box $10 (junkyard) For Future Use
*BMW Power distribution box $10 (Junkyard) For Future Use
*Corvette WIX fuel regulator/filter $30 (Ebay)
*Pontiac fuse box $5 (Junkyard) Did not use
*PS/ALt Relocation Brackets $120 (Ebay) Speed-Enginering, Does not move the PS pully, still needed to use a smaller pully.
*Camaro Long-tube headers $160 (ebay) Pass side fit great, Drivers side fits good, has a kick out at the collectors,
*Stokers LS engine plates $100 (ebay) Worked great. Has 3' back and 3' forward movement
*Holly 302-2 Oil pan $350 (Summit) Worth the price.
*Dakota digital tranny part $50 (summit)
*Throttle Cable GM 15040848 (Ebay) $25
*Cold Air intake (Ebay) $55 Fiter is too big and Tube doesn't fit anywhere.
*Steam line -Dorman 47147 coolant T $5 (ebay)
*PCm reprogram $75 (web:
*PCM-engine harness-various sensors-PCM hold down-belt-engine cover-upper rad hose-Alt bolts $50 ( Junkyard) For sale and future Use
*Gaskets (Manifold/Valve Covers) fuel line/connectors $80 (Advanced Auto)
*Engine Paint $15 (Wallyworld)
*Another PCM and complete Harness various bits $60 (Junkyard)
*Oil Pan Gasket\fuel line fitings\hoses\belt $90 (Advance Auto)
*Energy Suspension Motor Mounts $60 (Advance Auto) Theses pick the motor up half inch
*Bolts\spacers $20 (sears hardware) Used to clear the Zirks
*New Starter $60 (amazon)
*Various Fuel/Power fittings $30 ( PepBoys)
*2005 Express van Harness/intake/coils/throttle/O2's/pully/hoses/clamps/fusebox/pcm/air box/valve covers/ (Junkyard)$80 For sale and future Use

Fix for hole in head water jacket ( Local machine shop $105)
Head bolts\gasket ($60 advance auto)

Total: $3210

-$1200 350Ci engine -SOLD
-$60 350ci A-body headers headers -SOLD
-$225 Camaro Oil Pan - SOLD
-$75 Camaro Exhaust manifold -SOLD
-$100 DBC manifold -SOLD
-$100 Wire Harness -SOLD
-$50 VAN PS pump\reservoir -SOLD

Total: $1400

Sell** Various extra parts(PCM/harness/coils/intake/fusebox/ -$???

Fuel System detail break down:
Total Price $212.00

How to get nylon line on brass nylon fittings with out special tool
Use a Caulk gun! Read here how:
How To: Nylon fuel line without $$expensive$$ tool. -


Starting from the intake manifold and working our way back... (*** remember i have the return-less manifold so you'll need to change this up some if you have the return model ***)

From the rail
-Caddy Northstar 3/8 90 degree press on fitting to nylon line to metal line . $1 at the Junkyard.
This runs over the motor and drops down the pass-Side


-Needa PartsFuel Line Adapter - 3/8 Inch Steel to 3/8 Inch(10mm) Nylon Tubing
Part No 800-035
$12 (its a 2 pack)


Needa PartsNylon Fuel Line 3/8 Inch x 10 Ft
Part No 800-075
Product Price $13.99 (used less then half)


-Needa PartsFuel Line Adapter - 3/8 Inch Steel to 3/8 Inch(10mm) Nylon Tubing
Part No 800-035
From the 2 pack


Dorman Fuel Lines DOR-800-155 Dorman Fuel Line Connectors, Retainers & Repair Kit 12"x3/8 1 $12.99
(cut it in half)


WIX 33737 corvette fuel filter\pressure regulator (which you don't need if you have the return style manifold) $35

The Wix filter needs two fittings on the back side.. 1 for the Intake and 1 for the return

Dorman Fuel Lines DOR-800-121 Dorman Fuel Line Connectors, Retainers & Repair Kit For 3/8 hose and line 1 $9.99
Dorman Fuel Lines DOR-800-120 Dorman Fuel Line Connectors, Retainers & Repair Kit For 5/16 hose and line 1 $9.99

2 rubber hoses...
---one 5/16 to the fuel tank. ( the chevelle tank has return ports built in that i had cap'd off )

---one 3/8 fuel injection hose (using fuel injection hose clamps)
AutoCraft3/8" Automotive Fuel Injection Hose Clamp (4-Pack)
Part No AC52F16V $2.99


Walbro GSL392-400-939 With Install Kit Fuel Pumps $90

Regular 3/8 rubber hose


"Pre-filter" I used one for a 1982 'vett
Part # AC Delco GF482 -$10 (advance auto)
It has the built in 3/8 fittings


Rubber 3/8 fuel line to the Chevelle tank.

That's it... Now for the pic's
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Here's what i started with.
In January of 2015, off of craigslist, I picked up this 6.0 LQ4. Its out of a 2004 6.0 Chevy 2500 Express van, with 75K miles
I was still in the middle of getting the second quarter panel on so it went straight into storage.

Finished the body and Paint in November of 2015.

In and outside the Vo-Tech School I did the painting at.

Cut and Buff'd. Not fun to do in the winter.

It only took took me 5 years to go from this to this:

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Started cleaning up the motor in January, but it quickly got too cold, so things were put on hold till I had some time in May.

The Engine mount plates from Stokers and the Alt/PS bracket from Speed Engineering.

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Manifold and Headers on. You can see the Kick out of the Camaro headers on the Driver side.

Truck pulley on the left(7in). 1994 Camaro v6 pulley on the Right(5.5in).

It got too cold at this point and things were put on hold.
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Started working on the interior during the interm.
Picked up a set of both BMW E46 Coupe and Convertible seats.
The Coupe seats are in now, but after the Convertible seats are dye'd there going in so that I have the built in shoulder belts.

Had the rear glass put back in and had the Front windshield taken out and resealed.
This one of the only things on the car that i did not directly do, and i was very glad I let professionals do it.
$125 for each. Well worth it.

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Memorial day, May 2016 ...Out with the old...

...In with the new.

It took 3 different times to get it right. I never unbolted the rear trans mount, all the issues where with the PS pulley and zirk fittings.

Very Close.

The Holley 302 pan is tucked up nice.
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The 2004 VAN LQ4 did not need the flex plate adapter because it already has it built in. Only needed to elongate the Holes in the flex plate to match up with the TH2004R Converter.

I used these spacers to raise the motor to clear the steerign box and zirks.
Again, it was a some trial and error.
I ended up using Energy Suspension "wide and fat" SBC engine mounts since I don't want to use the old style rubber block mounts that can just rip off.
-(P/N 3.1114G $38 each)
-Also used Steel 3/8 bolt spacers 1/4in Spacer (Sears hardware $2x6 P/N 58593-b)

After the 1/4 spacer
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Motor in, checking the camaro exhaust header fit in the engine bay and against the existing 350 SBC Flowmaster american thunder exhaust system.
(its going to take some work to connect these new headers up)

Pass side fit is great.

Drivers side clears the Steering shaft.

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The course Fuel filter, The Fuel pump and the Vette fuel filter/pressure regulator.

Some parts from the Junkyard. Caddy Northstar Fuel lines, Injectors, LS truck fuel tube, ODB2 Plug, Oil filer and truck fuse box cover thing

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The Motor mounts that i tried, I have an original 307 motor with the 307 frame perches. I tried the Standard 307 SBC, the interlocking SBC mounts, the ES wide\fat and the ES tall\narrow.
I ended up using the ES short fat mounts.

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Cleaning and testing all the injectors on the bench.
Used injector cleaner and a 12v power supply to get them to activate. I had to replace 2 of them.

For the 2004R TV cable I used the old Spector SBC bracket and just flipped and tac welded the cruise control mount.

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I had 5 broken studs on my LQ4. Four of them i was able to get out while it was on the stand using a MIG. The 5th was the first on the Pass side. It was broken off just under the head, and i couldn't get a nut to stay on. (I wish i try'd harder) I figured I 'd get too it eventually. The motor was then in and I then tried to drill it out.
Trying to drill straight with it in the car is impossible (at least for me). The drill is going to constantly wonder and want to go into the much softer aluminum. Eventually I had a hole to put a helicoil in, but couldn't tap it because of left over pieces of bolt so i tried some more drilling... and then in a split second I punched thru the head and into the water jacket.

A week and $165 later had this.

All i can say is, i wish i tried harder with the MIG.
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Back together...

Back to dealing with the wiring. All of the harnesses I have, had some part cut off, mostly the rear line for the trans connector, but that also has the driver side O2 sensor and VSS wires.
Its all online, just need to be patient with it.

On one of the many junkyard trips , I found a mostly untouched 2005 express van with a 5.3 so i pulled everything i could for spares or for sale or for the next swap. I like the DBC throttles and return-less rails.
Plus the van's are easier to pull the harness out of since there is full access to the rear of the motor.

Almost there...
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At this point I was ready to start it for the first time. But for a week I was dumb struck at what was wrong. It would crank, i had power to all the coils and injectors.
But the Fuel pump wouldn't prime like it should and even if I jumped the FP and got pressure to the rails, nothing. :angry:
I used the stock truck fuse box so that would could keep it simple and get it running as quickly and easily as possible.
But working on it for 2-3 hours a night, after work, i missed hooking up the 1 wire that comes from the C1 A9 pin to the ignition wire and the fuse box was not getting power.
Started right up after putting a jumper on it. :beers:

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Here it was for the first few test drives. But with the cowl hood the Vortec cover wont fit. Also switched to a specter air tube and ran a bigger air-filter rich down past the fans.

Washed it for the first time for a ride. Notice the mufflers attached directly to the manifolds.

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This is a great little toy. UtraGauge. It'll display any and all ODB2 readings and diplay and clear codes. I'm using it as the Tach, Temp and Volts here.

Had a local exhaust shop weld on the ball and socket header connectors and mate it all up to the existing exhaust.
They Had to bend up some new pipes to make it all fit. And swaped out the Flowmaster 40's for a pair of Thrush turbo mufflers, in the hope of quieting it all down.

Right now I'm just dealing with O2 and Misfire codes. But other wise its driving surprising well. I love the way it starts up.
Feel free to ask any questions.
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The Plan right now is to get everything 100%.
Then over the winter to do improvements and clean things up.
I'm going to consolidate all of the fuses and relays to this '95 Jeep GC fuse box.

7 Relays and 16 fuses
Plus it's all powered from a single feed with extra taps.

So when your out in the junkyard pulling a JGC Steering box, get the fuse box too. Its well worth the $10 bucks. '

Same goes for the rear Power junction box in the trunk of any 2000's BMW 5 or 7 series. It's held in with one 10mm bolt so it comes out super easy.

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Nice thread, D

Keep up the good work!
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