LQ/ LS Swap Guide: 47-54 Chevy Trucks - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

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LQ/ LS Swap Guide: 47-54 Chevy Trucks

Old 07-28-2011, 07:50 AM
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Default LQ/ LS Swap Guide: 47-54 Chevy Trucks

Looking to put together a thead on these trucks since they are a popular vehicle these days and I know there have been a number of swaps done into them.

On the truck engines:
I have read that the factory AC compressor location wont clear the frame? What are guys doing about this? No AC, Car front drive setup? Building their own brackets?

What headers fit well?

Where do people put the ECU (engine computer)? I want mine in the cab, have heard about using a LS1 or Van harness to do it, but would need to work with the sensors on the engine and a computer to run it.

What radiators do guys run? Electric Fan?

What transmission? I saw one swap were a trans tunnel was needed for the 80E, but it was not super tall. Does the 60E fit without a tunnel?

Any other tips, tricks, suggestions?
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:38 AM
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I was looking into one of these before I bought my El Camino...the S10 frame swap seems to be very popular. I'm still considering it, the S10 updated suspension, steering, etc will be nice, and the LS power will be great!

A 5.3l with a cam and some head work would be perfect with a 5-6 speed for the fun driver aspect. Not much for Automatics in my builders.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:35 PM
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Default 47-54 truck swap

A/C compressor has to be moved to front of right cylinder head.
I don't believe anyone makes a bracket that will work with the truck front accessories. I had a friend fab one for me. Looks good and uses factory idler pulley.

C-5 Corvette manifolds will work. They are stainless steel. Cut off that huge flange and weld exhaust tubing on......then they look and fit like block hugger headers.

I put the ECU under the dash, above the transmission. You can use the
bottom half of the ECU "mounting box" from the donor truck. Hold it up to
the firewall and you'll see what changes you have to make to the mounting
"legs" to make it work. You can leave off the weatherproof cover.

5.3's have the reputation of running cool. I had the stock rad re-cored to 4 row. I'm using dual electric fans.....computer controlled like the F-body cars.

The 4l60e trans fits awfully close to the floor....I used a 4" tunnel to be sure there was enough clearance. I did use the truck oil pan and placed the motor a little high in the chassis......two reasons for this 1) I didn't want to buy an oil pan, 2) I didn't want the motor to be so low in the engine bay that you had to look over the fender to see it (like most "front clip" installations).

The 67-69 Camaro transmission cross-member has clearance for dual exhaust and is the right width. These are available after market.

Probably lots of other things I could tell you and I'll be glad to share.

I can post some pic's (and would like to) if someone can give me some simple instructions for doing so.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:55 PM
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So you need the LS1 accessories to work with the LS1 brackets and drive setup? Any idea if everything would clear with the LS1 setup? Camaro or Vette?

To get the ECU under the dash did you have to lengthen the harness/ buy a custom made one?


What have others done for oil pans for these trucks? Want to keep things low if possible on mine.

To post pictures, you need to upload them externally on like photobucket.com and then put the links in your post.

I'm using a stock frame with C4 corvette suspension using Flat Out Engineering install kits.

I have a 6.0L 02 LQ9 I'm thinking of putting in the truck, dont have a tranny as of now.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:23 PM
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I used a Ford Explorer rear axle. 3.73 Trac-Loc is standard for 4.0L Explorers...disc brakes after 1996 year model.
Two inches shorter than the standard axle in the old truck. spring perches are correctly located. I used the Explorer springs, sway bar, etc. Easy install.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:28 PM
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the F-body or corvette accesories will fit the 5.3 but, you have to use them all to get the belt to align. Corvette is shortest (from the front of the block),
F-body is next, with the trucks being the longest. Thus, the truck stuff will leave the least clearance to the radiator.

I had a wiring harness built (Fuel Injection Specialities in San Antonio). Got some extra length on the main cable so I could exit the engine compartment down by the starter into the cab and leave less of a wiring mess showing under the hood.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:35 PM
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I was able to get some pictures uploaded into my Public Profile. They are not in any particular order, but do let you see what I was trying to say.
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:29 AM
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I've been contemplating on whether I should put my rebuilt 5.3 turbo in my 53 GMC or 86 C10. Since I'm using all front accessories off a truck I might just put this setup in my 86 since it has more frame space for the setup. I need to have ac down here in south Florida. I did notice on my fit up on the 53 gmc that exhaust and ac might be a problem but I've seen these motors in this type of truck before
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:05 AM
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Anyone else have any info on swapping into these trucks? Any other solutions for A/C?
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:50 PM
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What kind of A/C are you running? Kwik Performance makes a set of brackets to mount a Sanden compressor up high on the right side. I have a set on my 5.3. http://www.kwikperf.com/lsx_ac.html
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:21 PM
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Was hoping to run the factory compressor for cost reasons. What does a Sanden run?

Not a huge fan of that thing sitting way up top, want to make the engine compartment "clean" but if thats what it takes then that might be the only option.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:29 PM
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Anyone else have insite on installing engines in these trucks?
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:42 PM
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Check out my build thread. I have a 52 with a lq4 6.0 and T56 six speed tranny.

https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversio...k-project.html
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Reid View Post
I used a Ford Explorer rear axle. 3.73 Trac-Loc is standard for 4.0L Explorers...disc brakes after 1996 year model.
Two inches shorter than the standard axle in the old truck. spring perches are correctly located. I used the Explorer springs, sway bar, etc. Easy install.
Go one step further. I'm using a complete 96+ 2wd Ford Explorer frame and chassis under mine. 4 wheel disc brakes, factory traction bars and panhard shock, IFS, had a V8 factory so it's pretty easy to fit another one in it's place, and the frame also matches the factory one's "A" shape. I'm going to be sticking with a 283 SBC in this one but I think fitting an LS engine may be easier with this setup.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:05 PM
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I pu the lq9 in my 52, I'm using the lq9. Wiring harness, and the fuse panel with a obd2 hook up, 4l80e trans, with my long tube headers, I used a95 ext cab s10 frame, steering column, heating and cooling out of the s10 with 4.3l bolts right up to my lq9, With the big trans I had to have a longer single drive shaft made, will try posting pictures again
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Layitout View Post
I pu the lq9 in my 52, I'm using the lq9. Wiring harness, and the fuse panel with a obd2 hook up, 4l80e trans, with my long tube headers, I used a95 ext cab s10 frame, steering column, heating and cooling out of the s10 with 4.3l bolts right up to my lq9, With the big trans I had to have a longer single drive shaft made, will try posting pictures again
Which long tube headers did you use with the S10 chassis??
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:20 PM
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Robert, the guy posted last 4-1/2 years ago. He MIGHT answer...
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by G Atsma View Post
Robert, the guy posted last 4-1/2 years ago. He MIGHT answer...
Well, you raised a good point:-)) I guess I should look at the dates on the post. Thanks for the pointer.
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