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LS Swap Guide

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  • LS Swap Guide

    There are a lot of variables when it comes to doing any swap, we cannot address them all but we have put together a fairly cohesive list of trusted vendors, parts and ideas that have worked for other members over the years.

    Disclaimer: ISTR does not advocate or dissuade the removal or replacement of the 4.3L which they were originally equip. ISTR does however advocate doing a job correctly, regardless of it's approval rating, therefore we have provided the information below.

    BLOCKS
    If you are contemplating doing a LS swap, you are probably already aware of the engines that are available. The 4.8, 5.3, 5.7, 6.0, 6.2 and 7.0, Iron or Aluminum, are all the same dimension externally, so the only variable on block choice is what your power goals are.


    HEADS & INTAKES
    There are too many head choices to cover here, between the factory options and all of the aftermarket variants, much like the blocks, it comes down to your power goals and of course, your wallet.


    OIL PANS
    There are very few options when it comes to oil pans, especially if you are planning to keep your truck AWD.

    Milodon offers an LS swap pan specifically for the S-Series line (#31083) and it supposedly works with 4x4/AWD platforms as well. Price is reasonable and Milodon lists the capacity as 7 quarts plus filter. Price is $360 + Oil Pickup (#18291) which is an additional $93.

    A modified factory pan is also a popular option. Complete kits including the pan, windage tray, oil pickup tube, gaskets, bolts, even the oil dipstick and tube can be found for under $250 online. Be sure to start with the H3 Hummer pan used on the 5.3, GM Part # 19212593. If you can cut and weld aluminum, the might be a good option for you. Price is approximately $250 + alterations.


    ENGINE MOUNTS
    Since they were previously mentioned, engine mounts are another hot topic when it comes to engine swaps. There are a lot of options out there for S-Series LS swap mounts, but very few for 4x4 applications.

    Dirty Dingo Motorsports offers both 2WD and 4WD LS swap mounts for the S-Series platform. Users state they are easy to install and work with the Milodon pan, includes all necessary installation hardware. It is worth noting that this setup utilizes a rubber mount, not solid like some others, but no complaints so far. $100 price is hard to beat.


    TRANSMISSION CROSSMEMBER
    If you are LS swapping your truck, you should be installing a 4L80E as well or you will soon regret leaving the 4L60 in there.

    JS Machine and Fab offers a very nice tubular crossmember for both 4L60 and 4L80E applications.$220 with black powder coating.


    TORSION BAR CROSSMEMBER
    If you plan on going with coil over front suspension, the torsion bar delete crossmember is a nice weight savings modification to include.

    JS Machine and Fab offers a tubular crossmember that fits both Syclones and Typhoons. $220 with black powder coating.


    DRIVESHAFTS & PROPSHAFTS
    You will need to replace or modify your stock driveshaft and propshaft to accommodate the 4L80E which is approximately 3" longer. The driveshaft will need to be shorter and the propshaft longer.

    Sportmachines has offered both driveshafts and propshafts for the both stock 4L60 and 4L80E applications in the past. They recently announced having 4L60 propshafts in stock with availability 4L80E propshafts in the future. Price is $400. Driveshaft information will be added as it becomes available.

    D&R Driveline has produced both propshafts and driveshafts for members. They apparently have all the specifications on file for SyTys, you must mention if they are for the stock 4L60 setup or for the 4L80E.


    TRANSFER CASE ADAPTERS & INPUT SHAFTS
    Mark Williams Enterprises has manufactured a 32 spline input shaft for the factory transfer case to be used with the 4L80E. Typically sold through group purchases on the forum, you could probably call and order one direct. GP price has been $675. JSM is the originator of this product, SyTy Performance and Speed Inc. have also offered similar products, but Mark Williams currently seems to be the best source to get one at the moment.

    John at K&J Precision has made billet aluminum transfer case adapters for using the stock transfer case behind the 4L80E and recently adding a TH400 adapter as well. Typically offered and sold through forum Group Purchases, prices are typically around $475 shipped.

    SyTy Performance offers a bolt on adapter that allows you to use the stock transfer case with the 4L80E transmission. Price is $250

    JS Machine & Fab offers a transfer case support extension to use with the stock support bar when adding the 4L80E transmission. It is currently not listed in their catalog but they will be back in stock soon.


    RADIATORS
    Griffin offers a wide varitety of radiators for both OEM, Custom and even LS Swap specific radiators. SyTy owner and LS Swapper "eviltwin" has had much success with radiator #1-25271-X, its a large two row radiator that should support 600-800 HP when compared to similar LS offerings from Griffin.


    WIRING / ECM
    The task of wiring up your LS can be handled a few different ways. Running a standalone setup is becoming increasingly popular and easier to tune with some of the software included in today's setups. Another option is to use a factory harness/ECM out of an LS doaner vehicle that you may have started with. Obviously this will require a little more work depending on what you need or don't need out of the existing harness, but can be cheaper if you have the time.

    Holley Dominator EFI is a very popular choice in standalone setups. The self-tuning software will help get your swap up and running faster and with less headaches.

    HP Tuners is a great factory tuning software if you choose to use a factory ECM for your swap.

    EFI Live is another option for factory tuning software if you choose to use a factory ECM for your swap.
    Morgan - ISTR Executive Director

    93 Typhoon #0180 || 93 Typhoon #1579 || 92 Typhoon #1068 || 52 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe
    85 Volvo 745 Turbo Diesel || 06 GMC Sierra 3500 4x4 CCLB SRW LBZ SLT || 07 CGMC Sierra 2500HD 4x4 CCSB LBZ SLT

    WTB : 93 Typhoon #1682

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  • #2
    Great information! Thanks for posting.

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