2000 5.3 LS into 71, my progress/ lessons learned

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by AlexSpinn, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. AlexSpinn

    AlexSpinn New Member

    Jan 31, 2017
    **Updated 12/20/2017

    **Updated 12/6/2017
    Not sure if this should be in the Project progress section or not but I figure I could help clarify things being asked here.

    So my project summed up:
    5.3 LM7 from 2000 Yukon to be put in 71 Camaro
    4l80e to back it up

    Some things I wanted to accomplish:
    Replace intake with aftermarket intake for LS1.
    Keep stock truck accessories (almost possible)
    Install vintage Air A/C
    Retrofit stock truck harness myself
    Back it up with 4L80E
    Motor only has 60k on it so I'm keeping stock internals... for now.

    Some things that went well:
    -After market intake clears hood and allows for an extremely clean harness setup. The intake sits about an inch and a half above the valley cover and provides a route for 90% of the wires (MAP, Knocks, Cam sensor, injectors, coils, IAC, TPS, Alternator, coolant temp) ----Intake also allowed me to keep the stock truck steam lines. (impossible with stock LS1 intake I believe)
    -My intakes fuel rails can accept both truck and LS1 injectors.
    -F-Body Oil pan from Dirty Dingo worked great. Tight clearance to subframe crossmember but thats because of my motor mounts. (gm part #12628771 ~$350)
    -LS Swap mounts from speedway worked fine but I'd recommend going with the same brand headers and trans xmember that you buy. (part # 9167081 $134.99 shipped)

    -Wiring was/is a breeze with LT1swap.com. Keep in mind it takes some time though. This was my first harness I've reworked for an LS swap and I have atleast 20 hours of work into the wiring. (Including retrofitting harness and PCM, making fuse block, laying out and measuring, cutting and soldering, wiring fans and troubleshooting.

    -I shelled out the Money for a Tanks Inc. EFI tank. It was pretty easy to install but I wish they had supplied the wiring for the fuel pump.

    -I bought a 2000 corvette fuel filter/regulator and installed it about halfway to the engine. (return line feeds directly from fuel filter back to tank.)

    Some things that did NOT go well
    -Stock Truck Accessories didn't fit. BUT, it was because of the alternator.. not the idler pulley. (There's a write up on LS1Tech about relocating the idler pulley by cutting the bracket and using the magic number of washers.) Turns out the alternator sits about 2-3 inches too high. Apparently the alternator from an s10 would correct this but that depends on your engines mounts. So I bought the corvette accessory setup.

    -Corvette accessories fit great! PS pump is close but it clears with well enough room. Consider buying new hydraulic lines for an easier fit. I bent the stock ones but it's not as clean looking as it could be.

    -Vintage Air partners with Kwik Performance to supply a high mount bracket for the compressor if you don't feel like notching the subframe. BUT, it requires an LS1 tensioner pulley. ($70-$120) and I had to cut out a 2x6 inch section of the passenger fenderwell.

    -If I could go back, I'd have just bought a new radiator for an ls swap, or at least a newer f body rad.

    Where I'm at (Updated)
    The car just passed Texas vehicle inspection is now registered. I've been driving it for a few days and everything is going well, tweaking things here and there and waiting for now hood hinges so I can put my hood back on... but part of me wants to leave it off ;)

    - Running great.
    Fuel- Tanks Inc system seems to be working great, no issues.
    Wiring- Finished, minus a few cosmetic issues.
    Gauges- I'm saving up to buy a dakota digital dash but until then I'm using an "Ultragauge EM Plus" it was $90 shipped with the windshield mount and it plugs directly into the OBD port and can read any gauge/information coming from the computer. Its been working great for me so far, I've got my RPMs, MPH, Temp, and Trip mileage set up to be displayed right now. For what it can do and the price you can't go wrong. I had to wait like a month on a restock list so keep that in mind if you're needing one.
    Transmission- 4L80E is installed. Lokar shifter works pretty well, a little stiff on some shifts but it seems to be getting better.
    Cooling system- Electric fans wired and installed. Transmission cooler mounted and plumbed. Radiator is plumbed but I'll probably end up buying a new one after driving it for a few months.

    Thats everything I can think of for now. This is my first LS swap and I've spent alot of time researching but I am no expert. I just hope this post helps others.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    71RSLS likes this.
  2. AlexSpinn

    AlexSpinn New Member

    Jan 31, 2017
  3. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    May 4, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    Looks good, you def found out the hard way that a car engine is better to start with. The water pump, the alternator, the accessories and the intake manifold can nickel and dime you quick. You will also need an updated tune. It's funny how different perspectives are, "shelled out" for the Tank Inc, try $1800 for a vaporworks tank lol.
    BtW I have a brand new LS3 water pump I can cut a deal on.

    Can't wait to get it up and running and have that "so worth it" moment
  4. Goat

    Goat Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    moncure, NC
    Nice job. Thanks for sharing.
  5. mrfleet12

    mrfleet12 Member

    Aug 8, 2014
    West of Chicago IL
    Looks great, you and I are about in the same spot, planning to drop my engine in next weekend and get everything plumbed..
    Good luck, I'll be paying attention to your post.

  6. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    North Bay, CA
    Very nice wright up and photos of what you have experienced with the swap. Good job.
  7. rustorbust

    rustorbust Veteran Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    San Diego
    Keep the updates rolling. I have a 79 that I'm about to start doing with all the same swap parts you are using.
  8. 1slow70LS

    1slow70LS New Member

    Oct 18, 2017
    nice job, Im doing the same swap. Im running an S10 alternator its alot smaller and clears my factory hood, you will also need a smaller power steering pump pulley if you where to keep the truck accesories. I was able to clear the water pump neck by re-clocking it, even with my Ls1 intake.

    Attached Files:

    71RSLS likes this.
  9. rustorbust

    rustorbust Veteran Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    San Diego
    Curious about the S10 alternator. Do you have it bolted in the truck accessory bracket. I want to stick with the truck accessories and also want to try and get it to clear the stock flat hood.
  10. 1slow70LS

    1slow70LS New Member

    Oct 18, 2017
    yes it bolted right up the the truck bracket
    house67 likes this.

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