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Thread: 1997 Suburban 7.4L to 6.0l swap: Looking for some suggestions

  1. #1

    1997 Suburban 7.4L to 6.0l swap: Looking for some suggestions

    Hello All,

    I have a 1997 Chevy Suburban 454 / 7.4L. The 454 is beginning to give me some trouble I think it has a bearing issue. I am either looking to swap a 6.0L into its place, get rid of the suburban and get something else, or fix the 454.

    I am mainly questioning the swap in this thread and looking for suggestions, problems I might encounter during a swap, etc.... I know you guys are very knowledgeable so that is why I am here. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
    Willis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    100
    Last edited by dvdswan; 08-05-2013 at 03:56 PM.
    Dave
    96 HB
    SAS'd, 3-link frt/rear, 35s
    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/261800...n-d21-pick-up/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Quakertown, Pa.
    Posts
    368
    First off, welcome to the site. Lots of guys here with info that can give you an informed decision about your potential swap.

    Since you probably already have a 4L80E trans, you're halfway there. Just need to get a 6.0 with the PCM and all accessories, an aftermarket wiring harness or original harness reworked, and some other incidentals, and you're home free. The hardest part is the wiring, and that is even not that hard. Any problems along the way can be worked out by the guys here on the forum. They've gone through it before and can give a helping hand where it's needed.
    '93 Chevy 1500 4X4 ECLB with a '99 Silverado LQ4 6.0 and '99 Escalade 4L60E. SOLD IT!!

    New toy: 2001 2500 HD 4X4 Extended Cab Long Bed


    John

  4. #4
    Thank You Dave and John for the info,

    Yes I believe I have the 4L80e tranny.

    I think my biggest concerns are:

    Will the small block fit in the same engine mount location as the big block sits?
    Will I be able to keep the stock gauge cluster and all interior items stock? I am guessing this is where the wiring re-work or aftermarket harness comes in. (re-work or harness in engine compartment hooks up to firewall plug to keep interior stock).
    Will I use the radiator from the big block or have to get the 6.0L rad?
    Exhaust... I know it will not bolt up from the big block but how far to I have to modify, from motor to cat...the whole exhaust?

    I know there are more questions I just need to sit and think about this. Thanks for you help this far!
    Willis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    DFW, TEXAS
    Posts
    596
    gather all your parts from the list and start wrenching.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Quakertown, Pa.
    Posts
    368
    1) Yes, the Gen 3 engine will drop right onto the big block mounts, provided you get the 1" setback plates or mounts that adapt the big block clamshell mounts to the Gen 3 engine block. This is very easily done and plates or mounts go from about $35-$80 or more, depending on the brand you choose.

    2) Yes, you will be able to keep the stock gauges and other interior things stock. The gauges can cause some trouble,but others have worked out the bugs to get them to work.

    3)If your existing radiator is in good condition, it should be more than up to the task of cooling the LS engine.

    4)Your exhaust may work. I would certainly try to obtain everything from the donor truck that the LS engine comes from. That will give you the options you need to get something to work. I was lucky and grabbed the entire exhaust for my swap and ended up using the whole thing in my '93 Ext. Cab Long Bed 4X4.
    The exhaust will need at least 2 if not 4 O2 sensors on it, depending on the flash/tune of your PCM.
    '93 Chevy 1500 4X4 ECLB with a '99 Silverado LQ4 6.0 and '99 Escalade 4L60E. SOLD IT!!

    New toy: 2001 2500 HD 4X4 Extended Cab Long Bed


    John

  7. #7
    Great info guys! Thanks! I think I might begin looking for a donor truck...

    Any suggestions on years good or bad for the 6.0L?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Quakertown, Pa.
    Posts
    368
    If you're looking for a 6.0, anything later than '01 or '02 since they have the aluminum heads. '99-'00 have iron heads. My '99 engine runs just fine with the "old iron sides" but I'm sure later engines run better with the aluminum versions.
    Last edited by Mickeymotormount; 08-17-2013 at 04:58 AM.
    '93 Chevy 1500 4X4 ECLB with a '99 Silverado LQ4 6.0 and '99 Escalade 4L60E. SOLD IT!!

    New toy: 2001 2500 HD 4X4 Extended Cab Long Bed


    John

  9. #9
    Thanks everyone I think I have enough info to begin searching and see what I can come up with. Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    2
    this is a little off topic but i want to ask this question, i have a 56 belair that id like to put the 454 tranny combo in,, im looking for any donor trucks suburbans whatever that is cheap for the engine tranny , id like it to have the buckets seats tilt ac rear end id like to be able to use as much parts off of donor as possible. is this a ok way to go or is it a bad idea? thanx any info would be helpful

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