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Discussion Starter #1
The LSx swap into a C3 vette has become very popular in the past few years. So I would like to shed some light for those that are considering doing the swap.

My name is Josh and I have been neck deep with the C3 LSx based swap for the past few years and have done it a few different ways. For those that don't know me, I have an 82 Corvette that I put an LS1 and a 6 speed T56 into. The LS1 had a catastrophic failure so I built an LS3 monster for it. I don't want to get into to many details about my car because that is not the purpose of the thread. I am going to break down the thread into sections than need to be addressed with the swap. I will also post a list of vendors that can supply you with all of the parts necessary for the swap.

If you have any immediate questions before the info in the thread is completed please pm me and I will get you an answer or direct you to the person that can get you an answer. My hope is that this thread can become a sticky when the information is complete.

For those that have completed the swap, please gather your photos and pm them to me for the specific categories I have listed, (yes I will give you credit for your photos and work) I would like to get a conglomerate of different options in each category. After all of the categories are filled in hopefully we can get some good constructive ideas and solutions floating around.

So here we go. :partyon:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Engine

LS based engine options:

these are some of the most popular engines for the swap and most are readily available at the salvage yard. The most cost effective option is to get a complete engine, with accessories, induction, wiring harness and ECM, if you try to buy all of these components separately, it will nickel and dime you to death.

Here is a good website for some LS history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_LS1_engine#LS1


LS Engines:

LS1 Aluminum 346ci 5.7L 1998-2002 Camaro, 305-315hp 1997-2004 Corvette, 2004-2005 GTO 345-350hp

LS6 Aluminum 346ci 5.7L 2001-2004 Z06 Corvette 405hp

LS2 Aluminum 368ci 6.0L 2005-2007 Corvette/ 2006-2007 GTO 400hp

LS3 Aluminum 381ci 6.2L 2008-2009 Corvette 435hp

LS7 Aluminum 427ci 7.0L 2006-2009 Corvette 505hp

LQ4 Cast Iron 368ci 6.0L 2000-UP GM trucks 300-325hp

LQ9 Cast Iron 368ci 6.0L 2000-UP GM trucks 345hp (flat top pistons)

L92 Aluminum 381ci 6.2L 2008-2009 Silverado Maxx, Denali, Escalade 403hp
this engine shares the same block as the LS3


LS Engine Accessories:

These are the basic accessory kits for these motors.
F-body Accessories
Corvette Accessories
Truck Accessories
S&P Accessories
March Accessories

None of these accessories can be mixed and matched due to the locations of the components and the distance between the components and the block.

GM F-body:
The most popular of the accessory systems due to the availability and the easiest to use.




GM Corvette:
I have heard of a few conversions done with these. The Corvette accessories are approximately 3/4" closer to the block. I don't know how the hood clearance is with the Alternator mounted up that high. Also the power steering pump pulley is very close to the control arm.




GM Truck:
At this point in time I do not know of anyone who has used the truck accessories. The truck accessories stick out farther than the F-body accessories. You can use a mechanical fan with the water pump on the truck system. Someone please PM me if you have done the conversion with these accessories.




Street and Performance: http://www.hotrodlane.cc/08 catalog/08onlinecatalogMAIN.html




March: http://www.marchperf.com/ls-1_new.html





Air Conditioning:

At the current time the LS1 Compressor can't be used, it is mounted low on the passenger side and it interferes with the front cross member. I do not know of any company to date that makes a set of brackets that allow you to mount the LS1 compressor high on the passenger side.

If you want air there are a few solutions:

Custom Image Corvettes (yours truly)
For the budget minded swapper I offer a set of brackets that will allow you to use an R4 style compressor, which is the style that would have come on your factory A/C equipped car, only problem is that that one that would have come on your car has a V-belt. The mid 80's-early 90's F-bodies as well as Corvettes and a whole slew of GM vehicles came with the same style compressor but it has the 6 rib serpentine pulley on it. So with one of these compressors and a set of my brackets you can use your stock A/C lines and controls.

I am also currently working on another variation of my A/C brackets that will allow you to mount the LS1 compressor high on the passenger side.

Please PM me for info if you are interested






Street & Performance
This system uses a Vintage Air compressor and polished aluminum brackets. It is spendy but it looks nice.




LS Oil Pans:

F-body pan:
The most popular pan and will clear the 80-82 steering dampener, Steeroids rack-n-pinion and I believe the Flaming River rack-n-pinion. Vette Brake Products is now offering the Rack Attack and I believe that it is very similar to the Steeroids rack, so the F-body pan should clear that too. With the Vetteworks plates the rack and the dampener are very close to the pan but clear, there is plenty of room with the Speed hound plates.





C5 pan:
This pan has wings on the sides, it will with work with a rack but not the stock steering.




C6 LS2/LS3 pan:
This pan looks like it will fit but not if you have the steering dampener or a rack.




LS7 pan:
This pan looks like it will fit with the steering dampener and a rack but it will be very close with the Vetteworks mount plates, shouldn't be a problem with the Speedhound mount plates.





Cadillac pan:
I think that this is the car pan. Like the LS7 pan it is gonna be close but it should fit with the steering dampener and a rack but it will be very close with the Vetteworks mount plates.




Truck pan:
I have no measurements for this pan, it looks like it will fit with the steering dampener and a rack but they might rub on the horizontal area of the pan because it looks deeper. The sump also looks pretty deep also.




GTO pan:
looks like the front of the pan will hit the steering center link. Nuff said.





H3 pan:
Looks to be the smallest pan as far as capacity and will fit with the steering dampener and a rack with either set of mount plates, however the sump is deep like the truck pan. If your car is lowered, it may not be the best option.




Here is the H3 pan compared to the F-body pan.





LS Motor Mount Plates:

This is the first style:
In most C3 applications the bottom of the alternator will have to be slightly clearanced when using this style of plates because it hits the lower control arm mount.

Vetteworks. http://www.vetteworksonline.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=94&products_id=125
This is the most common design as far as mounting location is concerned, and I have seen them used for LS conversions in just about everything, Camaro, Nova, Chevelle, GM trucks, street rods etc. The adapter plates position the LSx engine so the OE transmissions can still be used. Note: These adapter plates may require you to move your transmission mount forward in some applications. They utilize the early 3-bolt style engine mounts.
I used these on my 82 corvette with a T56 and my stock drive shaft fit, remember that the 82 has a different length drive shaft because of the stock 700R4.





Street and Performace
http://www.hotrodlane.cc/08 catalog/page 98.pdf
This is same style of plates, but they are billet aluminum.




eBay http://www.ebay.com/
Again the same style of plates.




Trans Dapt Performance Products http://www.tdperformance.com/products/?id=3286&iset=7702&rsku=




This is the second style:
The alternator will not have to be clearanced on the bottom if you use this style of plates.


Speedhound Performance http://www.speedhound.com/LSX swap/C3plates.html
These plates move the motor back about 1" farther than the above style. They were designed so that the stock "Z" bar could be used if you want to use a 4 speed and the Speedhound headers. They also provide clearance for the steering linkage on a Steeroids rack if you use the Speedhound headers.
I used these on my 82 corvette with a T56 and a Cast iron diff and the stock 82 drive shaft fit. If I had my aluminum diff in there the stock 82 drive shaft would have been too long.




Street and Performace http://www.hotrodlane.cc/08 catalog/page 98.pdf
This is same style of plates, but they are billet aluminum.




This is the third style:

BRP Hotrods http://www.brphotrods.com/Truck LS1.html
This style of plates is adjustable and allows you to place the engine in the same location as the first style of plates and also allows you to move the engine 1 3/4" forward. If you choose to move your engine forward. That will require modification of the inner lower control arm mount if you are running the F-Body accessories. The bonus is if you are running a T56 it will put the shifter right in the middle of the stock console. I cannot verify hood clearance. You also wont be able to use an 80-82 steering dampener and you wont be able to use a rack, unless you want to modify the oil pan.

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Transmission

Transmission options:

4L60E

4L70E

700R4

2004R

TH350

TH400

Muncy 4 speed (Z-bar)

Borg Warner 5 speed

T56 6 Speed

Crossmembers:

I have a tubular crossmember that allows more room for under car exhaust.



http://www.customimagecorvettes.com/?page_id=129&category=1&product_id=1

Master Cylinder Options:

I make a very simple and robust master cylinder setup that has great pedal travel and feel. Lets you engage the clutch smoothly vs. some that give you an or or off feeling. Bolts right up to the firewall. If you are swapping a manual trans into your car, there is a hole with a plate behind it on your firewall. Drill out the hole and you are ready to go. This master cylinder has the correct angle for the car.





http://www.customimagecorvettes.com/?page_id=129&category=1&product_id=6


Also you will need to offset the handle if you want it to come out through the stock hole in your console. I suggest you do this modification at the end when you are done fitting the trans.





The other option is to use a factory 4th gen Camaro style master cylinder with a firewall bracket to get the angle correct. This one is from DSE.

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Cooling

Radiator options:

Dewitts has a customized C3 radiator with matching LS hose connections, including the steam line connection. Simply use the stock C6 hoses and you're done!

http://www.dewitts.com/pages/categoryresults.asp?catID=26

Fan options:

Water pump modification:

The waterpump wont work in stock form, it will need to be modified. A straight waterneck will need to be used. You can get it at Summit. CSI-911LS1C

Next issue is that the heater hose outlets run right into the upper control arm. I have seen this taken care of many ways.

Here is how I do it. These are performance stainless fittings. 1/2" npt x 5/8" and 1/2" npt x 3/4" and a 1/2" npt plug and a 3/8" npt plug. You can get them at summit. PRS-1037, 1049, 1022, 1023





 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Electrical

Wiring Harness:

Modified Stock harness

GMPP Harness

Throttle by wire vs. throttle by cable

Gauges:

Stock gauges

After market gauges

Details coming soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
sweet, how about the crate 572?
this thread is focused on LSx swaps only. The 572 is a gen 1 engine.

Awesome thread Josh. If you think any of my pics would be useful let me know.
Thanks, I will do that, I haven't had time to add any info lately. Please let me know if there area any subjects that I am missing.
 

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on the wiring harness turnkey also makes one that uses all the stock plugs and a delphi computer that they can flash to whatever parameters needed im using one of theirs for my lq9 in a ford ranger. this is a good option for all the smog exempt guys and pre 74 cause its a simple straight forward harness super clean all plug and play. :thumbsup:
 

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Josh, I used the C5 "batwing" oil pan. It will work with Steeroids, but not with stock steering. No other clearance issues other then the steering.

Also, I tried to use the C5 accessories, but the power steering pump was all over where the A-arm bolts to the frame. I could not figure a way around this, and in that picture you have you can see how close it is. Definitely think people are better off with the Camaro accessories.

Here is a pic with the Camaro pan and Steeroids if anyone is interested. This is with Transdapt adapters. I'll take one with the Vette pan also.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Josh, I used the C5 "batwing" oil pan. It will work with Steeroids, but not with stock steering. No other clearance issues other then the steering.

Also, I tried to use the C5 accessories, but the power steering pump was all over where the A-arm bolts to the frame. I could not figure a way around this, and in that picture you have you can see how close it is. Definitely think people are better off with the Camaro accessories.

Here is a pic with the Camaro pan and Steeroids if anyone is interested. This is with Transdapt adapters. I'll take one with the Vette pan also.

James, thanks for the info, I will incorporate that into the mount plate catagory. I hope all of the rest of the C3 LS swappers chime like you so we can keep this thread current.
What adapters did you use with the vette pan? Can you get me a part # for transdapt for the adapters?

thanks again,
Josh
 

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FYI, was doing some digging on the LS swap and found a place that sells brackets to mount a Sanden AC compressor off the passenger side of the engine. Looks like a pretty nice setup. They have kits for F-body and Corvette accessory drives.

Info below:
http://www.kwikperf.com/lsx_ac.html
 

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Discussion Starter #19
FYI, was doing some digging on the LS swap and found a place that sells brackets to mount a Sanden AC compressor off the passenger side of the engine. Looks like a pretty nice setup. They have kits for F-body and Corvette accessory drives.
That is kind of like what I am currently making for the LS1 compressor. But I am basically revising my brackets that utilize the R4 compressor.

Somethings that I don't like about that kit is that the Sanden compressor is $235, you don't get the pulley or belt and you can't use your stock AC lines.

Am I biased, HELL yea I am. But never the less I will incorporate this information into the appropriate thread category.

Thanks for the info. :thumbsup:
 

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That is kind of like what I am currently making for the LS1 compressor. But I am basically revising my brackets that utilize the R4 compressor.

Somethings that I don't like about that kit is that the Sanden compressor is $235, you don't get the pulley or belt and you can't use your stock AC lines.

Am I biased, HELL yea I am. But never the less I will incorporate this information into the appropriate thread category.

Thanks for the info. :thumbsup:
This bracket set would probably be good for those of us that are retrofitting AC to our cars. Mine has no AC right now so I am looking at the Hot Rod Air or Vintage Air kits. Pretty much all of those kits use the Sanden compressor so all we would need then is the right pulley.
 
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