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Discussion Starter #1
seems pretty much everyone wants to swap to an LS engine. When I am reading these threads about putting in an LS it seems like there's a lot of extra things that need to be wired in. Do you have to add a computer to the car for all the upgrades that come with an LS? Is there somewhere that a person can go to get an idea of all the mods to expect when going to an LS? I'll be putting a CPP Mustang II IFS system on my car when I am read to put the front end back together, will an LS engine drop right in with that front end?
 

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You will need the computer to run the LS. You can get the stock one or use another company's (like Holly). For the most part the LSs are about the same size as a sbc, but with that being said you might have to do a bit of tweaking to get it to fit, but that goes with anything.

https://www.gmperformancemotor.com/CTUS.html

you could try here to get some help.
 

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Great questions, I am getting ready to switch to an LS next year also so I'm looking forward to any advice given as well. What I do understand is that if you don't want to run a computer you don't have to but you would have to run a stand alone fuel injection like the Fitech or Holley throttle bodies. Or run a carburetor with the appropriate intake. In addition, you would need to run a 700r4 tranny because the 4l60 is computer controlled.

Now, I'm not sure how much cost difference there is by going with a carb/throttle body vs the factory FI, but I believe you might see better fuel efficiency with factory FI.

Also, I have heard of some guys having trouble with some of the aftermarket FI, and of course a carb can be finicky depending on the weather.

Wish I had more definate answers for you but I've been studying into the swap for a few months now and these are just a couple of things I've found. I'm sure the more experienced will chime in soon.

Keep us posted though.
 

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Best thing to do is find TomM here on this site, he has several build threads and some amazing information. I did my LS swap using all of his threads and info
 

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Check out the FAQ in the LSX section...lotsa good info. We can help you with any of the details or more specific questions for sure...
 

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There is so much aftermarket support, you can choose to replace everything necessary with aftermarket n go nuts. Or cheap way out n buy a complete running donor vehicle n swap 95% of what you need directly from it.
I see alot of decent donor vehicles come up for sale all the time...even ls1 camaros, 6.0l iron block vans, etc etc
 

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I literally read just about the entire LSX section in a few wks...from start to finish, almost every thread including builds. Its all there. Im often to lazy to go back n look up info, so i post a new thread with questions...these guys on here are so knowledgeable n quick to respond, its just as easy!
 

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Great questions, I am getting ready to switch to an LS next year also so I'm looking forward to any advice given as well. What I do understand is that if you don't want to run a computer you don't have to but you would have to run a stand alone fuel injection like the Fitech or Holley throttle bodies. Or run a carburetor with the appropriate intake. In addition, you would need to run a 700r4 tranny because the 4l60 is computer controlled.


Keep us posted though.
I guess that depends what you mean by computer. I believe even the carbed conversion still requires something to trigger the spark since the LS engines don't have a distributor. You're pretty much going to have a computer of some sort regardless. The aftermarket FI stuff or carb conversions get you away from having to use a factory computer that needs flashed / unlocked but there's always going to be more wiring than an old school small block.

That said there's a ton of resources out there about conversions (and you don't need to look at just Nova specific sites since the basics of the conversions apply to every single application) and there are plenty of companies that offer stripped down wiring harnesses specifically for conversions.

Like rkupon1 said, it can range from mild to wild but I'd say that the most attractive option to me (and the one I'm planning on pursuing when the time comes) is buying a crashed / totaled donor vehicle and pulling it myself. That gets you so many of the little "gotcha" pieces that you'll end up needing and gives you the chance to sell bits you don't need (like the donor vehicle's rear end or body panels) to soften the blow of the conversion. Also, if that donor vehicle has a 4L60E or similar and that's what you want to run, volia, you have one and the computer that's needed to run it too.

I'm not ready for the swap yet but have been researching this pretty thoroughly for a few months, it's sure going to be nice to start clicking ratchets rather than url's... haha
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I like the idea of the donor car. It's going to be a while before I will be ready to even think about putting the powerplant back into my '64 Moredoor so I have plenty of time to keep my eyes and ears open. I Hate to ask a stupid question but is there a list somewhere that tells what vehicles came with LS engines?
 

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I like the idea of the donor car. It's going to be a while before I will be ready to even think about putting the powerplant back into my '64 Moredoor so I have plenty of time to keep my eyes and ears open. I Hate to ask a stupid question but is there a list somewhere that tells what vehicles came with LS engines?
Honestly, wikipedia is a great source on that. The question is more "which LS engine" not just "does it have an LS."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LS_based_GM_small-block_engine#Generation_III_(1997%E2%80%932007)

The 4.8L's are everywhere. Basically any fullsize chevy or GMC truck, van, or big SUV is going to have a 4.8L, 5.3L, or (more rare) the 6.0L. I would say trucks are probably the most common donor vehicle because the cars that came with the V8's tend to be more "special" than Joe Everybody's Silverado.

EDIT:

This is a pretty great resource too: https://www.jegs.com/s/tech-articles/junkyard-ls-engine-builds.html
 

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Best thing to do is find TomM here on this site, he has several build threads and some amazing information. I did my LS swap using all of his threads and info
krash

you want one of "TomM" LS write-up : look here; in the
"Heating and Cooling section" click on that section , check at the top;
'STICKY @ TomM LXs info'

I think one of several ….
 

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I also recommend a donor vehicle. Most trucks still sell higher than an SUV unless its totaled. I picked up a pretty nice 2001 Yukon Denali XL with a LQ4 for $1500.00 and had the tranny tail shaft changed to two wheel drive. By the time I sold parts from the donor and then scrapped it I had less than 800.00 in my engine, tranny, harness and computer. That way you have most everything you need except mounts and small stuff. I stayed with factory EFI and think its cheaper than going carb once you add up the intake, carb and ignition for a carb set up. If you mod the engine much with different heads, big cam and different injectors you will need a dyno tune and that can get $$$. If you keep the engine stock then you can just send your PCM off and have it unlocked and turn off the unnecessary stuff for less than $100.00

If you get a donor don't scrap it out until you are positive you have everything you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Started doing some research. Found a listing for which vehicles came with the LS engines and the size. Are all of them small blocks?
 

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You ll wanna stick with anything thats gen 3(ls1,ls6) or gen 4(ls2, ls3, ls7). All gen 5 stuff is direct injection, n not cheap. Nor does it have the swap support of the whole world behind it like the gen 3 n gen 4 stuff. Keep in mind, the most desirable LSx stuff is called LS because it denotes aluminum blocks, typically sports cars or high end vehicals like suv s etc. There are a ton of iron block 4.8l, 5.3l, and 6.0l set ups available in everything from trucks, vans, suvs, etc...they will have different names like LQ4, LQ9, LM7, etc, etc. the only difference will be the 100+ lb. wieght penalty of iron vs. aluminum. If price is right, you can overcome that 100 lb difference with xtra money for some cyl head work. All still ls based power plants. 95% of everything is interchangeable n can swap back n forth. Having said that you ll pay a premium for stuff in higher demand, ie corvette motors, accessories, etc. Vs. the old silverado water pump n alternator so to speak. Dont get 6.0l envy, all these cubes can n will make good power with a decent head n cam package n other supporting bolt on mods. I wouldnt hesitate to swap in a $500 5.3l n pit a killer top end on it. The more you learn, the more you ll find yourself up at 2am chasing leads on a 6.2l ls3 in Alaska for half price... logistics n alil luck go a long way.

Best bet, find a ls1 fbody for $8500 that has tons of bolt ons already. You ll use it all n scrap the car when done. Things like bucket seats n radiator may even find thier way into your nova...
 

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You ll wanna stick with anything thats gen 3(ls1,ls6) or gen 4(ls2, ls3, ls7). All gen 5 stuff is direct injection, n not cheap. Nor does it have the swap support of the whole world behind it like the gen 3 n gen 4 stuff. Keep in mind, the most desirable LSx stuff is called LS because it denotes aluminum blocks, typically sports cars or high end vehicals like suv s etc. There are a ton of iron block 4.8l, 5.3l, and 6.0l set ups available in everything from trucks, vans, suvs, etc...they will have different names like LQ4, LQ9, LM7, etc, etc. the only difference will be the 100+ lb. wieght penalty of iron vs. aluminum. If price is right, you can overcome that 100 lb difference with xtra money for some cyl head work. All still ls based power plants. 95% of everything is interchangeable n can swap back n forth. Having said that you ll pay a premium for stuff in higher demand, ie corvette motors, accessories, etc. Vs. the old silverado water pump n alternator so to speak. Dont get 6.0l envy, all these cubes can n will make good power with a decent head n cam package n other supporting bolt on mods. I wouldnt hesitate to swap in a $500 5.3l n pit a killer top end on it. The more you learn, the more you ll find yourself up at 2am chasing leads on a 6.2l ls3 in Alaska for half price... logistics n alil luck go a long way.

Best bet, find a ls1 fbody for $8500 that has tons of bolt ons already. You ll use it all n scrap the car when done. Things like bucket seats n radiator may even find thier way into your nova...
$8500.00 for a donor car to scrap out later?:no:
 
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