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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1985 vette convert to lsx build with pics

I am taking a iron block salvage yard 2002 truck 5.3L boring it to 3.898 (std bore for 5.7l LS1). I will be using the ever popular ECU ID#12200411 which are very plentiful. I nabbed 2 off fleabay for $35 ea. Found a salvage yard on fleabay that had a make offer and haggled with them. Alot of them are $50 or more with a buy it now.

5.3L has the same stroke as a LS1 5.7L so the rods and crank can be reused which saves money that can be put toward new 5.7L std pistons. I am not building my engine to go over the top with turbo or supercharger so forged crank/piston costs will not be in the equation. My target is a very reliable engine with great gas mileage but will turn some heads when i pull up to a stoplight with a lil naughty cam in it.
Yeah sure i could have gone with a 6.0L with more $$ but im not going to be on the track or racing for pinks. I have never had this car on the road since i bought it in feb. 2008 when it had no tranny, engine or even a hood!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here is the 2002 (on left) and the 2004 (on right) 5.3L that i picked up a few weeks ago at a salvage yard in Ada, OK while i was down in Oklahoma City for training. 2002 came out of a tahoe and the 2004 came out of a Silverado. The 2004 was a burn! I asked the salvage yard guy why i was hearing about and seeing so many 5.3L burns. I was of course wondering if there was a defect in the fuel injection system that was causing all of this. The guy stated "You see here is what happens.. The title gets too close to the insurance paper and then there is friction".... :rolling:
So a little insurance fraud from some people and abracadabra and we now have a endless supply of LSX engines to choose from.
 

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DC Pit Crew Boss
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Nice another build thread! Looking forward to seeing the progress with your build.

What else do you have to do to the '85 besides the engine swap before she is on the road again?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am installing new carpet, recovering seats, paint job, converting to solid state control of the headlights like the newer 4th gens have, probably eventually have to go through the suspension bushings an what not and new tires.
I installed 92 front and rear clips so no more round tail lights. I have a hood installed now and i had bought a tpi 350 with tranny out of a 85 vette and installed it in 2008.
Then i moved from illinois to indiana and bought a fixer upper house with 5 acres. So i have alot of pokers in the fire!

This is what it looked like back in 2008 with no engine/tranny/hood.
 

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DC Pit Crew Boss
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Wow!!! That is quite the project! Are you painting it yourself? What color interior/exterior are you going with?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Carpet black. Seats are going to be black leather with undecided color accents. The exterior will be the same blue you see on a bud light beer can only metallic. The wide racing stripes will be in metallic silver in a pattern similar to the Grand Sport. I haven't decided on painting it myself or not. I am leaning toward having a friend near chicago that owns his own body shop doing the paint job.
 

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HELL YA thinking about doing one myself on my 86.. this will be badass to follow..:thumbsup: I have learned that you only need new motor mounts to be able to drop her in..:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is true. You need the motor mount plates that adapt to the ls1 and they bolt to your lsx block. Then i think there are 2 styles. One style your original tpi mount on the block bolts to this lasx adaptor and the other style has a ear that the orginal thru bolt goes into utilizing your original frame mount. But both styles use the original frame mount.
 

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looking forward to see how everything goes!!

keep us updated!

i might be following you with a thread of my own here soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Words of wisdom.... If you cant find a Iron 5.3L complete with big honking truck intake out there for $400 or less then you aren't looking in the right places. PM me for a link to search salvage yards all over the U.S. You may need to drive a hour or 2 from your neighborhood but they are out there!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well i finally was able to put a little work into tearing down the 2002 5.3L. Took truck intake manifold off, removed valve covers, truck accessory bracket remnants, water pump and motor mounts off. I got left head all unbolted and need to locate a mallet. That head is not budging.

Looking at these truck exhaust manifolds i am wondering if i can use them in the vette. :D Id rather spend my $$ on purdy stuff like a dakota digital dash instead of new manifolds.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Engine Teardown

Can you believe this engine had 255K miles on it? Look at the crosshatch pattern! Still there crisp and clean.




Cam definitely shows some major wear down the middle of the lobes from contact with the roller lifters but it sure still looks usable.


The block minus the heads now. Next is harmonic balancer, timing cover, rear cover. Ill take a ridge reamer to the bore tops so the pistons will come right out after i unbolt the bottom end.


Shortcuts for you all.
8mm or 5/16" works too on intake bolts
15mm on 10 of the head bolts
10mm on 5 head bolts on intake side of head
10mm on valey cover bolts
10mm all exhaust manifold bolts
10mm on oil crossover pipe and rear plugs on heads.
15/16" harmonic balancer bolt
10mm oil pan bolts
10mm on timing cover (dont forget the 2 that come up through the bottom through the oil pan!)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok i got the oil pan drained fully and took it off. Found your typical metal sheen in the oil at the bottom of the pan. No chunks or slivers which is a good sign.
Bought a LSX engine lift plate. It bolts to the center 6 (3 on each side) valley cover bolts. Its very well made and has 3 eyelets in the top piece of steel that is welded to the flat part to hook your hoist to. I took a chance with a smaller type shop and it worked out very well to the tune of $46.29 shipped. I'll be putting that thing to use this year with 2 LSX engine swaps (Truck and Corvette).
I removed the rear cover off the engine and nothing too entertaining there. Simple 5 minute job.
I tried to break the harmonic balancer loose with a long handled 1/2" ratchet but it wont budge. Gonna have to dig the generator out for the air compressor and break out the air impact gun. (dont have power ran to my garage)....yet! :D

I gotta say that this block sure has a substantial amount of casting flash. If you look back at the pics that show the lifter bore areas and look down the drain/vent window towards the camshaft you will see what i mean. The rear window near the back of the block for even cylinders actually has pieces of cast iron crack and almost ready to break off. I coud probably tap a big screwdriver at them and break them off! There are some smaller casting flash in the coolant passageways around the cylinders too. Nothing huge or anything to worry about though.
I am considering getting a L33 Aluminum block 5.3L engine for my truck swap though because of the flashing issues and fear of fatal cracks later though. Seems kinda porous to me.

Ill get pics up soon of the Engine Lift Plate, Casting flash "issues" and the motor mounts that i got for the vette swap. They were $29.99 shipped and came powder coated! 3/8" steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Got some parts delivered. (2) head bolt kits by Fel-pro, Valve cover gaskets, Platinum plugs, Oil pump and cam bearings.



Here is the Engine lift plate that i bought for $46.29 shipped.





Here are the motor mount adaptor plates with bolts that i got for $29.99 shipped!



 

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DC Pit Crew Boss
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That engine lift plate is nice! That would have made my life so much easier if I had that, oh well:laughing:

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
TEASER TEASER TEASER


You guys won't believe what i landed for my engine build super cheap and brand new never used.

Give you a clue......

799
 
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