Dad and Brad’s ’95 Chevy LS Swap – RacingJunk News
Brad Pierson says the LS swap on his father's Chevrolet One of his latest builds is his dad's metallic forest green '95 Chevy . used a Novak AC bracket, part number ACG and it mounted up sweetly. The 20 mpg he got on the recent long trip is a fairly hefty improvement of five miles per gallon. The LQ4 and LQ9 are the most common Gen III LS blocks, and are very desirable due to the big bore and durable iron construction. Some have. Regardless if you're at your local car show, rod run, or if your just driving down the highway, the odds of seeing a car that has an LS swap in it is.
Next is the transmission.
Video: Junkyard 5.3 Liter LS Swap Into A ’88-’98 Truck Done Right
The LS engines will work with any older GM transmission with a few things to consider. Using an automatic transmission will work, but they are harder to mount up than an older manual transmission with the proper bell housing that should be easily available at the junkyard. The last things to consider are the fuel system, alternator, and exhaust manifolds. You can pull your factory sending unit and find a way to mount the pump to the sender and install in tank, or search for a vender that makes a sending unit for your application to do just that.
Other options you could go are to weld a sump to the bottom of the tank and feed your pump from there, or to find a fuel cell and install it. A good alternator to use are the GM CS-style alternators that are found on 4.
The exhaust manifolds may be the hard thing to come by, but that is all depending on your application. If your vehicle does not allow you to use the stock LS style manifolds that fit your chassis you may need to search for ones that do or possibly find aftermarket headers.
LS swaps are highly sought after, but a lot of people are discouraged in actually attempting the swap because they think it will really hurt their wallet. These are on the lower end of the pricing scale, as most people are looking for all-aluminum engines.
With our decision made to use the LQ4 engine, the hard part came about when trying to source one. Even if we did find what we were looking for, we would have to pull the engine and hope that it was in decent shape, and not need a rebuild. This saves us hours, if not days,and more importantly-headaches. We were looking for a reliable store with a lot of engines to choose from. We noticed that Just Chevy Trucks had a ton of engines and transmissions for sale along with lots of other Chevy truck parts for sale on their eBay store.
Buying an aftermarket harness and all of the accessories could add up quick and blow our budget. They looked in their inventory and found a great LQ4, with onlymiles on the clock. The best part, was they have a video of it running, before pulling: But we needed a transmission as well.
The 4L80E that was bolted to this engine was picked up after being rebuilt by Dr.
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With the drive train package complete, they put them on a crate and shipped them out to us. When the time came to swap the engine and transmission into our car, there was a list of things that we needed to consider: While they are similar in size, the engine mounts are different.
We went with the top machined pair. These were free, and much smaller than the LS motor mounts that came on the engine.
To make the frame horns we sacrificed a pair of frame mounts from a Chevelle. With a lot of measuring and a little bit of welding we had the engine sitting nicely in the engine compartment. This is one of the most crucial parts when swapping in an LS engine.
You need to check for clearance and fitment with all parts of the engine, the drivetrain, the serpentine system, even hood clearance. Getting the engine in this spot was by far the most time consuming part of the swap, but saved us hours of headaches later.
Cooling System Every radiator is going to be different for every application, but this is something to consider. We could have called up a radiator company and had them custom make one specific for this car. This required us to cut and reweld the factory radiator mounts, but no big deal there. Within an hour, we had the cooling system squared away. The last step was to order some new hoses, which fit nicely. After getting the engine running, one of the plastic tanks on the radiator cracked.
We were forced to buy a new radiator from our local auto parts store.
Video: Junkyard Liter LS Swap Into A ''98 Truck Done Right
The Craigslist set up was still worth it for the cost of the fans alone. We plumbed all of it with extra AN fittings and hose that we had after plumbing the fuel system. Since we are keeping this engine stock, we utilized the stock harness and used the stock computer.
We only had to connect a dozen wires to handle all of the wiring for the swap. The alternator and the battery cable to the starter were the only wires that had to be connected from the converted wiring harness.
These were wires such as: The Lokar column shift linkage. As far as mounting the transmission we used the stock 4L80E rubber mount and fabricated a perch for it to sit on the stock crossmember. This allowed us to use the factory column shift.
This was money well spent as the installation of the Lokar shifter only took about an hour total. If you use your existing transmission, the driveshaft can stay. To make matters worse, the car has a two piece driveshaft. We ponied up, gave the experts at Inland Empire Driveline a call, and had a new driveshaft made.