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Thread: The "help save my marriage" LSx swap!

  1. #1

    The "help save my marriage" LSx swap! 99 Tahoe 4WD 2dr LQ9

    Well, not really. But my wife is legitimately tired of being a garage/car widow. I'll spare you some of the details, but I've done some earlier upgrades where the time and $$ were far greater than anticipated. Such as this one w/my Cutlass (which I'm still working out a few bugs):
    http://ls1tech.com/forums/conversion...dayton-oh.html
    My current saga started when my daughter totaled our 2004 minivan Christmas Eve last year (best Christmas present was she and other driver unhurt--thank God). So I started thinking about a replacement utility vehicle and my wife was beyond the minivan stage of life, and I always liked the full size 2-door Tahoes, so I bought a rust free tahoe from California. I liked it as is, except I wanted a bit more power and fuel economy, so I upgraded the exhaust and went w/Mark VIII fans and 0411 ECM. The day after I got it home from dyno tuning new PCM, I was pretty happy--nice pep, great drivability and efans work properly. But that night driving home I get a "check gauges" light and have low oil pressure and then an engine noise. I don't know what, but something internal is messed up. Long story short--if vortec motor has to come out for any reason, an LSx motor has to go in!

    So I bought a 54k mile 2002 LQ9, and have been gathering parts and info to make this the quickest, easiest swap ever. Major goal is for wife to be amazed at how little time this takes: I want the actual swap of the engine to be over one weekend and some time before and after to button things up.

    So in pursuit of that I'm slowly getting everything I need, here is what I've done so far:
    Bought Beertester mounts to keep engine exactly in stock location WRT tranny
    Bought Lextech's accessory brackets
    Will send Lextech both my stock tahoe harness and the LQ9 harness for integration
    I'm picking up a complete 2003 LQ4 "core" that apparently won't run $200 today that has all the little things my LQ9 longblock didn't (starter, passenger exhaust manifold w/o EGR, downpipes, truck D535 coilpacks)--it was in an express van that rolled and the engine was not hit at all.

    Since LQ9 is out, I've been getting "must do" upgrades now, and I decided to get both a TBSS manifold and an LS6 valley cover. Anything else I should do prior to engine going in? For the manifold, I made a small bracket to mount the corvette fuel filter to the fuel line, and welded a bracket to convert the DBW to DBC and got a Ballistic Speed TB, and swapped my TBSS injectors for the stock LQ9 injectors so no changes to wiring harness needed. Only issue is the TPS doesn't tighten fully on the TB; I just unbolted from the stock TB and put it on--does it need a new gasket or something when swapping that will give me that little extra so its secure and tight?
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Goldhawg; 05-31-2014 at 06:25 AM.

  2. #2
    How do you say score?! Pick up a $200 LQ4 for core parts that is frozen up, and the engine isn't frozen at all! Also very good is that the 150k mile Express Van it came out of didn't originally come with an orange painted 6.0; at some point the engine was replaced. So I have a $200 low mileage LQ4 to backup the LQ9! Pretty stoked. I have it sitting on a harbor freight wheel dolly for cars that is rated @ 1000lb; with the pan in the dip of it and a 4X4 wood block on the front part it rolls around great.
    Attached Images

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Las Cruces NM
    Posts
    209
    That is not fair
    97 RCSB . 2WD . 5.3 . 4l60E . E-FANS . PNP 706s . TSP 228R . 3600 STALL . HD2 . VETTE SERVO . 3.73s . 2" DROP
    TURBO IN THE WORKS

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Chevydillan View Post
    That is not fair
    I agree...but if it makes you feel any better I way overpaid for the low mileage LQ9 (especially when I ended up needing some parts--working w/business several hours away puts you at a significant disadvantage)--so maybe this is just averaging out things a bit. But assuming the LQ9 does great I'll sell this one and recoup some of the swap costs.

  5. #5
    Any comment on the TPS issue? I think I'll just put a lock washer in between the sensor and the small bolt to get it to snug up. Next issue is the fuel hookup. I'm thinking about buying the dorman fuel line kit:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846
    this will connect to the fuel filter on the rail easy enough, but not sure how to connect down to the fuel lines. Since I haven't taken those off yet, any suggestions as to how to connect nylon lines into those?

  6. #6
    You guys are falling down on the job! I guess saving my marriage is up to me--but I guess that's the way it's supposed to be. :-)

    Well, the swap is well in play now--had a friend from church that's retired w/plenty of time on his hands say he'd love to help me, so we've been busy. Vortec motor out, complete stock wiring harness out, LQ9 in. Had a few hiccups, but on my way now. First removing the entire harness was a bear. I didn't know there would be so much down on the tranny. Fortunately their is a lot of room (at least w/4WD) to get to the connectors, although several were hard to pull. I'll never remember the way the stock routing was, but as long as I can put it back in and connect everything, wire ties will keep it working, even if not as neatly routed as the factory. After quite a while pulling wires I began thinking I should have just integrated the LSx harness wires myself with the engine out of the bay, but its done now and both harnesses are in the mail to Lextech for integration. I think this is definitely harder than just adding another aftermarket harness in addition to the stock harness, but in the end it should look much cleaner. We'll see. Filled a large box, and cost $45 to ship to Lextech via UPS
    Not pictured but also done is I cleaned the rust off of my 03 LQ4 manifolds (w/EGR blocked off) and painted w/Eastwoods silver hi-temp manifold paint. I've had good luck with it in the past.
    I read on some other posts that people have pulled vortec motors in an hour. Wow. I'm basically 2 full days in at this point, plus internet time scouring for parts and such.
    Attached Images

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    24
    So you removed the complete original engine/ trans harness? What is the gain? Will everything be integrated like gauges, cruise, etc? Just curious didn't know that this route was available. Sounds great if it isn't cost prohibitive?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    warwick ny
    Posts
    247
    I used the nylon fuel lines just a different brand. I have a 1992 so i put the fuel filter on the frame and ran all new lines. my kit came with connectors that screwed right into the fuel pump assembly and the nylon lines crimped on. As clean as that truck is you should be able to use as much as your original fuel lines as possible.

  9. #9
    AArgh! I should've removed the oil dipstick tube before I got the engine back in the car. I tried wiggling the thing out and PB Blaster, but it broke off inside the block. Can this oil pan come off without taking the engine out in a 4WD? Any other suggestions to remove? Any definite "Don't do this" admonitions?
    Attached Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Las Cruces NM
    Posts
    209
    Try an easy out. It may work, be worth a shot
    97 RCSB . 2WD . 5.3 . 4l60E . E-FANS . PNP 706s . TSP 228R . 3600 STALL . HD2 . VETTE SERVO . 3.73s . 2" DROP
    TURBO IN THE WORKS

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