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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm kind of remote but there's lots wrecked parts trucks around. Are early 2000s Chevy trucks and suvs good for engine swaps? Is there a specific year or model? I've looked over the SBC engine pages on wiki and it was still all pretty confusing. Any pro/expert advice?

On another note many have front seats with built in shoulder belts. They seem like they might be too big, but has anyone ever put them in a first gen? What are the options for shoulder belts out there?

Thanks.
 

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The cool thing about the vorteck engines of the early 2000s is if you transplant the complete engine with harness and computer almost any mild cam or stroker crank option will be self tuned. :yes::yes:
 

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1999 and 2000 were mostly cast iron heads and had a longer crank snout.
These cast iron heads were on the 6.0 99 an 2000. All other 4.8 5.3 and 6.0 99 to 2006(2007) got aluminum heads.

If your power goals are for just a simple swap for reliability with none to minor power adders, than any 99 to 07 (generation 3) LS iron block will to the trick. Basically find a 4.8,5.3 or 6.0 for a price you seem is fair( which usually is around 500 to 1000 depending on miles and who it is bought from). If you find a complete engine with harness with 150k miles or less for under 500, your doing really well. Most people are just pulling them out of running vehicles and swaping them in and not changing anything or doing anything to them such as bearings or gaskets ect.. you'll have to find out if your going to want to do a drive by wire or drive by cable throttle body, as some of the SUV came as early as 2002 or 2003. They are really all over the place when it comes to that, but that can be changed easily, but would be better to get as most parts on 1 motor. The 2004 and 2005 and 2006 2007 motors are a little better because they came with stronger rods from factory. Doesnt mean you need any of those particular years, but those may be a little more money but not much. There is an aluminum 5.3(L33 engine code) that is pretty unique and the hardest to find out of them all. They came in 2005-2007 years. They about double the price of a regular iron block
but they do weigh 100 pounds less. These gen 3 LS motors can take a pounding and take power adders really well and they are the most sought out motors for swaps right now for how many were produced and for how cheap and dependable they are. Continue to research and I would buy a book(s) on swapping LS motors as it is sometimes nice to refer to that than trying to look it up on internet all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These cast iron heads were on the 6.0 99 an 2000. All other 4.8 5.3 and 6.0 99 to 2006(2007) got aluminum heads.

If your power goals are for just a simple swap for reliability with none to minor power adders, than any 99 to 07 (generation 3) LS iron block will to the trick. Basically find a 4.8,5.3 or 6.0 for a price you seem is fair( which usually is around 500 to 1000 depending on miles and who it is bought from). If you find a complete engine with harness with 150k miles or less for under 500, your doing really well. Most people are just pulling them out of running vehicles and swaping them in and not changing anything or doing anything to them such as bearings or gaskets ect.. you'll have to find out if your going to want to do a drive by wire or drive by cable throttle body, as some of the SUV came as early as 2002 or 2003. They are really all over the place when it comes to that, but that can be changed easily, but would be better to get as most parts on 1 motor. The 2004 and 2005 and 2006 2007 motors are a little better because they came with stronger rods from factory. Doesnt mean you need any of those particular years, but those may be a little more money but not much. There is an aluminum 5.3(L33 engine code) that is pretty unique and the hardest to find out of them all. They came in 2005-2007 years. They about double the price of a regular iron block
but they do weigh 100 pounds less. These gen 3 LS motors can take a pounding and take power adders really well and they are the most sought out motors for swaps right now for how many were produced and for how cheap and dependable they are. Continue to research and I would buy a book(s) on swapping LS motors as it is sometimes nice to refer to that than trying to look it up on internet all the time.
Thanks for the detailed response.

I'm just looking for respectable driver, 300-400hp. I've always felt that any V8 the hp should be close to equal to the cubes, 1 to 1. I also like the appeal of the engine management for freeway driving. I'd love to be able to drive it 300 miles to holidays gatherings and not have to pay $200 in gas. That's said I'm on a budget, blah blah. It's pretty far down on the to-do list right now. I would just like to start keeping an eye out for any deals and prices that my pop up in my small town.
 

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01 Tahoe 5.3L engine right there in my 66 Nova. $500 engine, cam/springs $400, $400 turbo....im sure i missed a couple items, lol.
oh and runs the stock truck ECU (see it tucked under the brake master). really there is nothing fancy here.

i did an aftermarket front for a bit more room and to ditch the stock suspension. but others have done the swap with the stock front end, and some even squeezed a turbo or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·


01 Tahoe 5.3L engine right there in my 66 Nova. $500 engine, cam/springs $400, $400 turbo....im sure i missed a couple items, lol.
oh and runs the stock truck ECU (see it tucked under the brake master). really there is nothing fancy here.

i did an aftermarket front for a bit more room and to ditch the stock suspension. but others have done the swap with the stock front end, and some even squeezed a turbo or two.
I plan on doing Church Boys arms, sway bar, up front. If I am putting a modern engine I guess I'll do power steering, but I don't need AC were I live. So not sure how all that works out. But if i can get a turbo 5.3 for $2,000 I'll take it.
 

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not getting mine lol.

engine on the cheap is 350-1000 depending on how complete/miles (up to like 20k for a mast motorsports LS7 ;) )
you will need some churchboys headers, and those are 1000bucks
tanks inc EFI tank/pump is $550 if i remember right.

thats easily your budget already. your always going to need misc stuff. plus depending on your level of DIY, you might wanna budget in ECU wiring...
 

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I'm kind of remote but there's lots wrecked parts trucks around. Are early 2000s Chevy trucks and suvs good for engine swaps? Is there a specific year or model? I've looked over the SBC engine pages on wiki and it was still all pretty confusing. Any pro/expert advice?

On another note many have front seats with built in shoulder belts. They seem like they might be too big, but has anyone ever put them in a first gen? What are the options for shoulder belts out there?

Thanks.
Have you decided your setup? Are you just swapping or will you be doing some upgrades at a later date. For example, if you want to stay NA then shoot for a motor that came with high compression pistons. If you plan on any boost application, then you want a motor that came with lower compression pistons. I have always liked the aluminum blocks for boost and iron for all motor but that is just my preference. You can identify LS engines by 8th digit in the V.I.N. and then review the specs of said engines you find. I pulled a list of 3rd and 4th gen LS engines and researched them prior to looking for my motor and ended up finding an LS LM4 for $300, which is an aluminum longblock with low comp pistons for my application. It is confusing because there are a lot of options in the LS engine family. Feel free to message if you need any help. I'm sure others can add to what I have. Hope this helps you some!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Have you decided your setup? Are you just swapping or will you be doing some upgrades at a later date. For example, if you want to stay NA then shoot for a motor that came with high compression pistons. If you plan on any boost application, then you want a motor that came with lower compression pistons. I have always liked the aluminum blocks for boost and iron for all motor but that is just my preference. You can identify LS engines by 8th digit in the V.I.N. and then review the specs of said engines you find. I pulled a list of 3rd and 4th gen LS engines and researched them prior to looking for my motor and ended up finding an LS LM4 for $300, which is an aluminum longblock with low comp pistons for my application. It is confusing because there are a lot of options in the LS engine family. Feel free to message if you need any help. I'm sure others can add to what I have. Hope this helps you some!
Thanks for the input.

So i don't have to dig into the engine, as long as the engine is original, the VIN will tell me?

Just a respectable, reliable, driver. Freeway trips for holidays. I don't really need AC, nothing out of the hood. No nitrous, no mini tub, cbr arms front, haven't decided on the back. I think there's a s10 rear end I can look for, haven't looked into that as deep.
 

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I've always felt that any V8 the hp should be close to equal to the cubes, 1 to 1.
Well, the LS engine family won't disappoint!

Any 2000+ engine will be fine for a swap. And don't sweat the Gen III rods. Unless you're going for single digit 1/4 mile ET's I don't think you have to worry too much about bottom end strength. Research is free, do lots of it, and enjoy the journey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, the LS engine family won't disappoint!

Any 2000+ engine will be fine for a swap. And don't sweat the Gen III rods. Unless you're going for single digit 1/4 mile ET's I don't think you have to worry too much about bottom end strength. Research is free, do lots of it, and enjoy the journey.
For the record I meant that as a minimum. Some stock V8s I've seen advertised don't come with that much. I just wanted to be clear that I wanted a little something more than stock.
 

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Isn't the crank in the 99-00 models different, requiring an adapter? Just trying to recall from memory.
just 6.0 LQ4 engines... and you just knock the spacer off the flex plate, and your good to go. or just run a different flex plate... really isnt a big deal.

or sell it to me instead, for cheap.
 

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LS engines

I have a 2000 Chevy Tahoe with the 5.3 218,000 miles on the clock have changed the oil at every 3k since new and BG 44K at every oil change. spark plugs and water pump that's it!! bullet proof engines!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a 2000 Chevy Tahoe with the 5.3 218,000 miles on the clock have changed the oil at every 3k since new and BG 44K at every oil change. spark plugs and water pump that's it!! bullet proof engines!!
Towed it home with a 2003 Tahoe with 220k. Northern CA mountains no problem with my Nova out back ??
 

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Isn't the crank in the 99-00 models different, requiring an adapter? Just trying to recall from memory.
The '99-00 crank in the 6.0 has a thicker flange where the flexplate bolts up than the smaller displacement and 2001+ 6.0 engines. The thinner flange is the "standard" for the LSx engines.

This latter group of engines originally used a dished flexplate when mated to their factory 4L60e, or a spacer + flat flexplate when mated to a 4L80e. Whereas, the '99-00 6.0 simply used the flat flexplate w/o spacer, and never came with a 4L60e.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Can't beat the reliability/millage with the LS. Have a 2000 GMC 5.3 in my Canso. Only thing I touched was cam and springs..bit of a tune and around 420 HP. She also got 28 mpg on a 4000 mile trip. Stock front sheet metal with CPP uppers and lowers. Even kept the truck fan!
28mpg freeway is great, better than my V6 1998 2wd Toyota.

Ill be doing CBR front, probably the whole setup rack, coil overs, arms, sway bar, as my first upgrade. Probably CBR everything just to keep it simple.
 
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