Time to get serious... LS/T56 into my 48 Plymouth - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

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Time to get serious... LS/T56 into my 48 Plymouth

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Old 01-12-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default Time to get serious... LS/T56 into my 48 Plymouth

Hello guys, I'm a noob so I've just put on my Nomex suit to ask you guys some questions about a LS swap into a 1948 Plymouth Special Deluxe.
I've run this car the last couple of years with the original flathead 6 and three on the tree, but she is getting a little long in the tooth and she looks too good to be this slow. Here is my plan, please pick it apart if you see anything that doesn't jive.
I'm on the hunt for an F-body with the LS/T56 combo because I want to keep this car a manual shift. I plan on trying to find a complete wrecked vehicle so I can use as much as possible including brake booster and MC, AC, wiring, etc. I have more skills than I have money so I'm going to be building the engine/trans mounts using what I can off the original car and either using the original manifolds or fabbing up some headers if the manifolds won't fit. The rear end has already been replaced with an 8.8 from an Exploder with disk brakes and I'm converting to disks on the front while I've got it off the road. The 48 is still a 6 volt positive ground system so I'll be wiring the whole car with the F-body wiring harness headlights to taillights. If it will fit I'll even use the F-body underdash AC/Heater box and all associated parts. Basically I'll have a 48 Plymouthbird or Camaroth.
My main concern at the moment is if it will physically fit between the framerails. These cars are fairly narrow in the front and it has a rear steer setup from factory. I can get a kit that bolts in a mid 80s to 90s cavalier rack and pinion steering setup and that's what I'll probably do anyway but I'm still concerned that the rear steer will try to occupy the same real estate as the oilpan. If it does then I'll have to stub the front end with a Dodge Dakota or S-10 front end.

So what say ye ladies and gentlemen? Any holes in my plans? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:27 PM   #2
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I have no idea if it'll work for you but the '04-'06 GTO oil pan has a front sump.


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Old 01-12-2014, 06:39 PM   #3
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I have an LS1 out of a 2001 Camaro in my '33 Ford, and the frames don't get much tighter than those, so I would suspect it will fit better than you think. On this old of a car, the engines are usually not as far forward over the front axle, so that helps. I also was able to use the stock exhaust manifolds since they're pretty tightly tucked in at the back as opposed to other manifolds. I even have the compressor in the factory location, but as been moved forward to run on only one belt. Good luck with your project, look forward to some progress pics.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:53 PM   #4
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I just found out from a poster on another forum that indeed an LS motor fits without modification in the frame of a 48 Plymouth. So with the fitment question answered, I now pose another. What if any of the wiring would I need to discard if I used the entire harness? I'm talking headlight to taillight. I'm suspecting the anti-theft and if present the power window/locks and other accessories could be chucked but since I'm not presently familiar with the systems would it be feasible to just leave those unhooked and not affect the computers programming or functioning of the drivetrain or throw codes and lights at the dashboard? Thanks again.
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