View Full Version : Starting the Swap

05-28-2006, 09:04 PM
This is my 6.0 going into my '39 Chevy where a 327 was just removed. It's a little snug, but should be okay. More photos later as I get further along. Just trial fitting things now.

Stu Cool
05-28-2006, 09:58 PM
Hey looks like you are off to a good start. Also looks like you might have some exhaust/steering challenges. Glad to see more people putting these motors into older vehicles. I was at a car show yesterday with about 225 cars, there were 3 cars with LSx motors in them, not counting the Vettes and Camaros with stock ones. But then if everyone did it I guess it would not be so special any more :jest:

Keep us posted and good luck with your swap. You made a great choice


05-28-2006, 11:17 PM
looks nice......snug is right!

05-29-2006, 04:23 PM
I've got them! The left side would come really close, but the right side won't fit, even after grinding away some screw bosses and tabs. Worse still, I can't seem to find any block huggers, except Sanderson. They are good, but $$!!
Also, the A/C compressor is hitting the frame on the right side, keeping the motor from settling down into the mount on that side. Frame is notched already for the Mustang rack. Needs another notch for clearance. Should I notch it again, or try another compressor/mount set-up?? Any help or suggestions are appreciated.

Stu Cool
05-29-2006, 11:27 PM
I used Sandersons on my swap. They were great to work with. I bought a set of their plain steel headers knowing I would have to modify them. They have several models for the LS1 and I bought the set that looked like it would fit best. The passenger side was fine, we have to move all the pipes on the driver side, some more than others. Once we had them done I sent them back to Sanderson and they ceramic coated them for me for just $110. They also provided me with a whole box full of scrap pipe bends to use for our mods for $20. I have my header mods well documented in my project journal in my signature.

There are a few options to mount the AC compressor up high, all of them are pricey. If you can reasonably notch the frame I would strongly consider that. Do you have AC in your '39 before? S&P and Vintage air make mounts to put a Sanden compressor in the low position if you think that would fit better.


05-31-2006, 09:54 PM
The top photo shows the polished Sanden style compressor that was on the original 327. I agree that notching the frame is probably the best avenue. By keeping the compressor in its original location, I can still use all the factory belts, etc. making life after the swap much easier.
Hooker makes an LS1 (Gen III) header that looks like it may work as is. I'll have them tomorrow to see for sure. Like you, the right side won't be too tough, but the left side is a little more problematical.
Thanks for all the help and advice. Hope I can return the favor someday.

06-01-2006, 11:46 AM
Looks good keep us posted.

Novas Forever
06-01-2006, 12:12 PM
Very nice. I need some super block huggers for my Chevy II. Keep me posted.

06-01-2006, 01:34 PM
In looking at the photo of the A/C Compressor.. I would also consider how much of the frame will be notched and what will be left. Re-enforceing it might help.. but consider how strong and safe the frame will be after you have notched and re-enforced it.

that compressor appears to be almost extending pass 1/2 way across the width of the frame and give it another 1/2" more.. you many not have much frame left.

06-02-2006, 01:04 AM
I am in the process of making a bracket to mount a 96 camaro compressor high on the passenger head, that looks like it may work in your application. I will post pics/dimensions when I am done.

06-02-2006, 01:43 AM
You might want to try a compressor off a camaro. Should work better, it is smaller.

06-02-2006, 01:52 AM
I thought that the camaro/truck/vette compressors were the same, and they just changed the clutch (to match the accy. drive depth) and the line connections?

06-03-2006, 01:14 AM
I switch a gto compressor to a camaro and it is smaller. A while back there was some one on here that swapped from a truck compressor to a camaro so it would fit better, but not sure who.

06-04-2006, 09:06 PM
Had the frame "notched" with plenty of re-inforcment. Actually there is much more metal in there now than there was originally. Even though it is narrower by nearly half the width, there is so much more metal in the "notch" it must be significantly stronger! At least I hope it is!!
These are Hooker Block huggers and they "almost" clear the steering. I will need to "mash" the pipe a small amount on the # 3 cylinder (2nd pipe from the front). Engine sits level now and after I repaint the firewall, I'll reinstall it for keeps! I'll also grind it smooth prior to repainting the frame there.
Smaller compressor? I think the compressors are all the same, and besides, I'd rather be able to use factory belts and accessories. I could use some fittings for this one. Any ideas there?? Shoulda kept the original ones...GRRR

larrys project
06-04-2006, 09:36 PM
I purchased some "peanut" blocks from "", they will allow the Vintage Air hoses to fit that compressor, but It looks like the exit holes go strait into the frame where you notched it. Could be a tight fit.

06-05-2006, 02:22 PM
Thanks Larry,
Actually the hoses will be fine, they exit above the frame and into the clear. Will have to modify my inner fender, more than likely, but that's a small price to pay for Gen III performance and reliability. Appreciate the info.

06-13-2006, 08:34 AM
What kind of sub frame does it have?

06-13-2006, 12:11 PM
i think some custom headers flowing over the the fraim rail and then back would look pretty sweet.

06-13-2006, 12:20 PM
heyyyyy what are those shorty headers doing on there

06-17-2006, 11:52 AM
After a few false starts, I finally massaged the Hooker shorties enough to get them on. The drivers side had to have the # 3 cylinder (2nd pipe) flatened, just a tad. The passenger side, that I thought was going to "drop" on....didn't! Had to cut the motor mount "web" to allow the header on and then had to trim the Corvette motor mount "tab" to allow them to sit "down" into position. After all of that, I still had to flatten the collector just above the flange to give adequate frame clearance. NOW I can at least have a starting point for the exhaust bends, etc.
The long tubes "free flowing over/under the frame were out of the question. Not near enough room or fabrication skills to pull that off and still close the hood and steer the car. Nice thought though. Shorties were the only logical choice.
The car has a stock '39 Chevy frame and a Mustang II rack and pinion setup. Now if I can get the corrected radiator in here and on, I can start the plumbing, wiring process. The new harness has lotsa stuff on it (made from the original harness) that doesn't seem to be in the right place. I'm sure it'll all come together, but this part is more of a challenge that I thought it would be.
Header pictures....
Thanks for all the help and support! :cheers:

06-17-2006, 06:59 PM
very cool swap.

06-24-2006, 04:53 PM
Thinking the radiator was a done deal, I installed it today in preparation for A/C condensor and electric fan installation/fitment. Imagine my surprise when I installed it and found out the lower outlet runs smack into the A/C compressor! Thought I had clearance, but must have miscalculated someplace, see photo. I think I can remove this outlet and install a 90 degree elbow pointed up about 10 o'clock (as viewed from the front). The inner fenders will need additional trimming to clear the A/C compressor, freon lines, and possibly heater hoses. Is there a way to modify the heater hose outlets from straight ends to 90's? Seems like I remember seeing a thermostat housing that was either moveable or pointed differently than the stock units. Anybody else remember that? Making slow but sure progress. All help is appreciated.

06-24-2006, 08:23 PM
Yeah.. you should be able to pull the heater outlet out/off and tap them for pipe threads and use some combination of fittings to angle 90 deg or what you need. AN fitting will work too !

Man, what a tight fitting swap you got going, glad I don't have to deal with that space problem like you do.

Good luck.

07-09-2006, 08:38 PM
Doc's blocks is making me a special fitting for the small A/C line, hope we can get it hookued up then. Also have a 90* fitting for the lower radiator hose, but it will still be very, very close there!!! Need to find a good aluminum welder. We're coming along though. Need to find a place under the dash or front seat for the computer.......

Stu Cool
07-09-2006, 11:45 PM
Looks like youare making decent progress! Here is an idea if it helps, I put my ECU up inside the driver side fender. They are pretty weather resistant and that keeps it close to the motor. I still have to make a defelctor to keep serious road debris away, but so far so good after about 500 miles. You can see how I mouinted mine in my journal linked in my signature


07-10-2006, 04:48 PM
Thanks Pat,
I already have some wires and a loom outside the fenders (in the fenderwell) on one side (L) and heater hoses on the other (R). Not much more room to mount stuff and still have room to move the wheel/tire about and not hit anything. Mine has relatively small wheel wells. I'm leaning towrds under the seat, but since I don't have the seats, yet, that I plan to keep, it would be a little premature, probably. Still, nothing is etched in stone.....
Thanks for the input and kind words.