5.3 4l60e swap into my RUSTY '71 C-10 - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

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5.3 4l60e swap into my RUSTY '71 C-10

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Old 09-17-2012, 10:38 PM
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Default 5.3 4l60e swap into my RUSTY '71 C-10

So I've built several of these trucks, and each one started out to just be a driver.Well, I apparently have NO idea when to stop, so they turned out too nice to use as trucks. This time however is going to be different (I know, I know, I've said that before!!), this one isn't getting any bodywork or paint, just an engine/trans swap. I realized that once I paint one, it's done, it'll never be a driver, so this one will remain rusty!

It's not really beat up, but it does have a dent in the driver's door and A pillar from what I would imagine was drunk loosing control of his small SUV and smashing into another truck and car that got shoved into it. It was caught on a surveillance camera, you can see the car hit the yellow '72 long bed, then hit the car that hits my truck. Kind of a cool video!

Here's the truck, with the newly aquired 2003 5.3/4l60e
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Need to put a new piece of plywood in the bed floor, the oil pan started to go through!
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Got some of the harness work done, it's out of a 2000, going back to DBC on this one, just because it seems easier.
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Got the transmission off and will be dropping it off at the trans shop in the morning. It's supposed to be good, but it's from a 4x4, so I'm taking it and an S-10 2wd trans and having the output shaft and tail housing from it swapped to the 4wd trans. Since it has 100k plus miles, going to have them freshen it up so I don't have to worry about it.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:20 AM
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Ill be watching this. You going to use ece mounts or dirtydingo conversion plates?
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:08 AM
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Nice! I just purchased an 02 5.3 for my 69 suburban that I plan on installing over the winter, its currently in the metal shop getting a few panels replaced but I plan on keeping mine as a patina ride and a driver too. Subscribed!
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:22 AM
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I like your truck,it's cool.I am looking for the right truck to do the same thing.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:17 PM
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Same BS line Eric I'm not buying into round 3. My bet is you will paint it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:14 PM
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Smile 1971 c10 6.0/400th

just when i thought my life couldn't get any better, ls1nova71 starts another build thread. life sure is great. i will def. watch this thread closely. please spell out all the details.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:19 AM
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nice!!! I should be getting mine pretty soon
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rockytopper View Post
Same BS line Eric I'm not buying into round 3. My bet is you will paint it.
Aww, come on Rocky. Give a guy a break! I know the last two went a little beyond what they were supposed to, but you've seen my '33, so I know I have it in me to build a beater!

Originally Posted by dec010974 View Post
just when i thought my life couldn't get any better, ls1nova71 starts another build thread. life sure is great. i will def. watch this thread closely. please spell out all the details.
I'm going to try to keep this updated, but it probably won't be as detailed as the last one.

I am however going to fix a few other things while it's apart. The A/C is going to be fixed and i'll put cruise control on it. Also, i have a BCM from a 2002 truck that i plan on integrating into the truck so i'll have the cool features of a newer one, like retained accessory power, automatic headlights and dome light delay, but my real reason for using it is to be able to use the 'tow/haul' feature. I'm going to have the transmission parameters set to stock, but have the 'tow/haul' parameters stepped up a bit. I'll let you all know how it works out.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:22 PM
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Where are you guys finding all these ls engines? Just doesn't seem to be many around my area of western Ky.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by f6john View Post
Where are you guys finding all these ls engines? Just doesn't seem to be many around my area of western Ky.
That makes two of us.I been looking around upstate SC and western NC.It looks like we either accept paying $1500+ for a well worn 5.3 or hope a member or ebay will cough up a good one cheap, that we can afford to have shipped.Right now I am buried in motorcycle builds and can't part with the cash anyway.

Another thing.I have a local LQK or LKQ or what ever. I couldn't get a deal from them but they sell cheap on ebay.How does that work?
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by f6john View Post
Where are you guys finding all these ls engines? Just doesn't seem to be many around my area of western Ky.
Originally Posted by BlueMaxCougar View Post
That makes two of us.I been looking around upstate SC and western NC.It looks like we either accept paying $1500+ for a well worn 5.3 or hope a member or ebay will cough up a good one cheap, that we can afford to have shipped.Right now I am buried in motorcycle builds and can't part with the cash anyway.

Another thing.I have a local LQK or LKQ or what ever. I couldn't get a deal from them but they sell cheap on ebay.How does that work?
All I can say is keep looking. These things are up to 13 years old now. If you can't find a wrecked Chevy truck, you're not looking hard enough, these trucks are everywhere, you just have to keep looking to get the good deals.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:47 PM
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Well, today was 'de-construction day'! Got a bunch of rusty bolts out, some easier than others, but all in all it went pretty smoothly. But was it ever greasy! Got real dirty, but got the old engine out. Now I just wish somebody would come and buy it so I'm not tripping over it!

Got the bumper off, took WAY longer than it should have. I need to invest in a set of torches.
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Radiator out, going to take it in and have it cleaned out, and have a fitting for the steam line added to it.
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Front clip off. It's at this point I start wondering why I tore apart my running truck.....
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Pulling the old out.
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Got hung up on a battery cable bolted to the frame. No matter how many of these I do, I always forget something!
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Pretty much the point of no return. No way I'm putting this thing back in now!
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Now comes the fun part, putting the new one in. Still have to pick up my trans from the trans shop, but as soon as I get it, I'll bolt it to the engine, put it in the truck and get to fabbing up some engine stands.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:31 PM
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Go Eric, go!!! Third time is the charm, right?

I need to find a cheap truck that isn't too rusty next summer. Don't care if it runs for the obvious reasons... ...but it needs to be complete.

I still don't have torches, but a plasma cutter makes short work of most stubborn bolts.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:03 AM
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Sweet....I'm doing something similar in my 78...
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:37 PM
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Not much in the way of progress, but did get 41 years worth of grease and crap pressure washed off the frame. The down side is that now there's 41 years worth of crap all over me! Pressure washing sucks!

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And then I noticed this, all three bolts for the bottom of the frame to the crossmember are missing. It appears they were never put in. no marks what so ever!? The other side has them, truck must have been built either late on a friday, or monday.

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Old 09-26-2012, 12:46 AM
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good to see another one being redone
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:57 PM
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Better man than I.I would have already started a resto mod on that truck.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueMaxCougar View Post
Better man than I.I would have already started a resto mod on that truck.
Been there, done that. And will probably do one again, but just not this one. Call me crazy, but I actually like the way this one is. These are my last two.

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Old 09-27-2012, 03:11 PM
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Both of those trucks are perfect.Did you tuck the bumpers in closer to the body?
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueMaxCougar View Post
Both of those trucks are perfect.Did you tuck the bumpers in closer to the body?
No, the exteriors are all stock.



I'm thinking about doing something I haven't done in the past, keeping a running total of what everything cost so that I can scare the **** out of myself when I'm done! In the past, I've always had a rough Idea of what I spent, but figured if I post prices on here, I'll remember them all and can add them up at the end.

So far, the engine and trans was free, a buddy gave it to me for helping him wire his car. the second transmission I used for parts I got when I worked at the JY 12 years ago, also free! Yes I'm kind of a packrat!!

Transmission rebuild.....$550
2000 wiring harness and PCM from u-pick-it....$75
TBSS manifolds....$80
New trans mount...$6

That's all I've spent so far....

Got a little more done, stripped the engine down to make it a little more managable. Pulled a valve cover, not too bad, but you can definitely tell it has some miles on it. Gotta love the way some salvage yards, or just clueless individuals remove an engine.



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Picked the transmission up from the trans shop, and bolted it back to the engine for test fitting.

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Dropped the engine/trans in for the first time

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Trailblazer SS manifolds. Everyone says these fit the best, figured I'd find out for myself.

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Well, all the hype about them is correct, probably won't have to notch the frame at all for them!

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Then threw the A/C compressor on it to check out line access. Will be alright.

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Tomorrow I'll make some mounts to get the engine mounted.

Dug this out of the garage, thinking about using it since I have it, and they work way better than the old stock booster, and the last two had them...

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