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My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside

Old 08-24-2005, 11:09 PM
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Thumbs up My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside

If you're reading this, just know one thing: I get a lot of private messages. I answer them once every 12-18 months. In short, if you private message me, I'm probably not going to answer for a year or more. Sorry, project has been on hold after gotting things running, then tearing it all down, so ... glean any info you can from this thread - I've spelled it out as best as I can, with as much info, part numbers, etc.

I started the journey on this swap around the middle of 2005. I started this thread when the engine and tranny was finally sitting on a wooden shipping pallet in my garage. I yanked my old 250 inline 6 and 3spd tranny out after draining the fluids. I purchased the GenIII motor mounts from ECE and eagerly got started!!

I started a gallery to track my progress if anyone is interested:

http://satellitehead.com/gallery/index.php

I planned to post some periodic updates here and to hit folks up for some info every now and then. I've got a good core group of guys who've done a similar swap over at the 67-72chevytrucks.com forum, but they keep telling me everyone here knows their stuff, so I thought I'd give an introduction and start my hybrid thread

JUST A NOTE: I bought my engine/tranny combo on eBay (Item #7991106819) from Charlie "Chuck" Jones, aka LS1Tech member 'm1a2drvr'. I asked him several times after buying my drivetrain from him to provide a title for the engine as promised within my eBay auction. We exchanged at least 35-40 emails after the auction, with the last 5 falling on deaf eyes. I still have not yet received the title. BEWARE when doing business with this person. After the last half dozen attempts to clear this up, I finally gave up. To make matters shadier, he also charged me a 3% fee for paying through Paypal (a violation of eBay policy), he offered no other form of payment and no refund for the charges. I was charged $75 for a truck with a liftgate, and when the delivery truck arrived with no working liftgate to drop the engine off, I had to fight tooth and nail to get a refund. BUYER BEWARE.

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Old 08-25-2005, 01:41 AM
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Thats gonna be awesome.
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:51 AM
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Never seen a 68-72 Pickup with a T56
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Old 08-25-2005, 11:20 AM
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No?

Several members here have one. Member FirstGen is who I was initially inspired by.

Last edited by shifty`; 04-15-2008 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 08-25-2005, 12:21 PM
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for the sake of archiving this stuff, i compiled a list of all of the most recent GenIII buildups I have seen. a lot of people incorrectly refer to it as "LS1 swap", so i'm going to stick to "GenIII" where truck engines are used.

i know i'm going to miss one or two (like the member with the yellow 4x4 truck that i can't think of right now - Bob is his name, i think?), but ... we'll get there, i'll edit it later to add threads.

(For posterity and unity, here is a 5-page thread full of other links and builds at the 67-72chevytrucks.com forum : http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=233302)


The guy who gave me the idea - FirstGen - and his GenIII/T56 swap:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=111137

'68 short step' GenIII buildup thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=195643

'68fleetsidec20' budget buildup thread using stock gas tank, one thread here, one at ls1tech:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=239446
https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversions-hybrids/707811-5-3l-th400-into-67-chevy-pickup.html

69Custom's buildup thread SSR GenIII/4l60e:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=117144

'Hart_Rod' and his 5.3/4l60E buildup:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=200387

'killer71' and his Trailblazer SS engine swap:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=244448

'oscareltemblo' and his GenIII swap:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=196844

'RedAddiction' and his GenIII swap:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=238577

'SavageSpeed' and his tubbed/tricked out LS1/Turbo 400 (carbed?) swap:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=242683

'ST Mike' and his GenIII swap into '67 C10:
http://blogs.sporttruck.com/6205862/...ive/index.html

'Wasted Income' and his GenIII buildup:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s....php?p=2217111

'billyjo' and his GenIII swap:
https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversions-hybrids/412057-my-68-ls1-shortstep.html

'Rogue Willie' swapping an LS1/4l60e into his '69 C10:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=245878

'68GenIII' and his swap (his nickname gives it away):
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=217668

A short thread on header choices for GenIII swaps:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=197347

An article from Petersen's 4-Wheel & Offroad magazin covering the swap, generically, and showing their installation method:
http://www.4wheeloffroad.com/brandpa...ap/photos.html

Finally, Sandemonium's thread about aftermarket A/C kits that i found informative:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=243789

A link back to the original thread these links came from for prosperity and rememberance (in case this gets copied and pasted elsewhere):
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=233302

I also know a couple other 67-72chevytrucks.com members not represented here with swap threads who have the swap in progress right now:

-> lazybra1n
-> hyde
-> gringoloco
-> Sandemonium

Not sure if this will ultimately help anyone, and I haven't finished raiding the LS1tech forums for others out there who've done the swap and have buildup threads, so ... if anyone has something to contribute, please shoot me a PM. I prefer to stick with forum buildup threads rather than personal webpages or photo galleries, because half of the links I have (below) from the past 18 months have been taken offline! The only living threads are from here and the truck forum.

(NOTE: If you are doing a buildup thread, for the sake of future reference, PLEASE do not hotlink your images to a personal webpage, upload them to this forum so they stay around - forever - and we never lose em. thanks!)

Here are some older links which may or may not work, because some were posted in odd places that have just been taken down or whatever. All of the links below talk about late model engine/tranny swaps into 67-72 chevy trucks. There are a couple of photo albums (from members here) showing the T56 swaps into these trucks. Very easy upgrade, just cost some money. My entire swap is based on information contained within here:

FirstGen's LS1-T56 into '68 Chevy truck thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=111137

Link to a photo album from LS1tech member covering his swap:
http://www.salj.info/cmine/thumbnails.php?album=1

Project1970's LS1 install thread:
http://forums.livingwithstyle.com/sh...d.php?t=129960

68LSS1's photo album from his LS1-T56 swap:
GALLERY WAS TAKEN OFFLINE

LT1/4L60E swap from jay-dawg, a 67-72chevytrucks.com member:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...ad.php?t=52057

Link to ECE's GenIII motor mount package for 63-72 GM trucks:
http://www.earlyclassic.com/catalog....ry=New%20Items

Example of motor mount adapters for LS1:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=50454

Suggested contact for LS1 wire harness conversion for 67-72 GM trucks:
Jared @ www.currentperformance.com

Here's where Hart_Rob from 67-72chevytrucks.com suggests getting your engine (Ask for Jeremy. Tell him Rob Hartley said to call):
http://stores.ebay.com/Schram-Auto-P...erLinksQQtZkm?

LS1 motor mount info thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=154591

Short thread on the LS1 swap with links to other pages in this list:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=150829

Other general info on late model engine swaps:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...3&page=1&pp=25

FirstGen's aftermarket A/C install:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...75#post1310375

My nickname is almost the same over at the other forum (subtract the `). Some guy who doesn't hang out here anymore already took my typical nickname for this forum.

Last edited by shifty`; 04-15-2008 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 08-25-2005, 12:49 PM
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T-56 would just burn the tires off the truck! Especially bangin through gears with any normal street tire on it. 315's out back with soft suspension don't take much to break loose! I'd sport it though.

-Matt
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by shifty`
Link to a photo album from LS1tech member covering his swap:
http://www.ayocee.com/cmine/thumbnails.php?album=1

Project1970's LS1 install thread:
http://forums.livingwithstyle.com/sh...d.php?t=129960
Those are both of mine.

I'm FINALLY about to crack 2000 miles on it...there were some stupid electrical gremlins here and there, and other annoyances like a cracked oil pan that we didn't catch until way later...but it drives like a dream.

I still haven't hooked up the AC yet, though! Looking at FirstGen's install of that aftermarket kit, though, I've made up my mind - I'm not even going to bother trying to tie in my LS1 compressor to the original setup. That kind of control setup is exactly what I want, and the extra room / better performance would also be nice.

After that...suffice to say, I will also be working on the suspension and brakes again. They're not bad, but with that much power on tap now, it definitely needs some better footing.

Last edited by IOwnCalculus; 10-17-2005 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 08-25-2005, 04:36 PM
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And there he is ^^^
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:06 PM
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Ok, got the original drivetrain and linkage gutted this weekend (~6 hours between 3 days, working alone).

Still need to shave out the stock tranny xmember, remove the pedals and their attachments, take some brake cleaner to everything and scrub it, prep and repaint. Found a lot of rust around my battery box, need to replace it and possibly weld a patch into the front clip. Pictures of the removal are here for reference:

http://satellitehead.com/images/68chevy/ls1/l6_pull/

Before:
Attached Thumbnails My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside-l6_pull01.jpg   My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside-l6_pull02.jpg   My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside-l6_pull03.jpg  
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:07 PM
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After:
Attached Thumbnails My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside-l6_pull04.jpg   My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside-l6_pull05.jpg   My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside-l6_pull06.jpg  
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Old 08-30-2005, 01:38 PM
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Man, those I6's are ridiculously simple engines...engine bay looks at least as clean, if not cleaner than the one my 350 left behind, though! Between all of the fluid leaks over the years (front main seal, power steering, valvecovers, blowby) I had a good quarter to half inch thick crusted coating of old lube to remove from the crossmember alone...oven cleaner is your friend.

What rear gear are you going to back that T-56 up with?
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by IOwnCalculus
I had a good quarter to half inch thick crusted coating of old lube to remove from the crossmember alone...oven cleaner is your friend.
It's hard to tell, but the tranny xmember held the brunt of it - it had almost an inch (literally) caked on it. I had to take a paint scraper to it before doing anything else and each stroke took a loaf the size of a stick of margerine off of it

Originally Posted by IOwnCalculus
What rear gear are you going to back that T-56 up with?
I'm using the stock 12-bolt rearend with 3.73's (I believe) and a shortened stock driveshaft (for now).

Just getting the engine broke me and I still owe ~$2k on the truck (halfway paid off), so .... I'm basically making my daily driver right now.
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:33 PM
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Actually, check this - this is what the xmember looked like after paint scraper and a little wipedown of mineral spirits:

http://satellitehead.com/images/68ch...nup1%20(2).jpg

It was naaaasty before. compare that to the last picture in my post above. Hella difference.
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by shifty`
It's hard to tell, but the tranny xmember held the brunt of it - it had almost an inch (literally) caked on it. I had to take a paint scraper to it before doing anything else and each stroke took a loaf the size of a stick of margerine off of it

I'm using the stock 12-bolt rearend with 3.73's (I believe) and a shortened stock driveshaft (for now).
Nice...it'll be interesting to see whether first is just the 'smokeshow' gear or if it's actually usuable...and whether sixth is really usable at all or not. I've got 3.73's in mine as well, but a 4L60E instead of a T-56.

If I ever decide that my left foot is getting too bored (not likely, I've got a Miata to feed that need) I think I'd probably swap over to a Tremec TKO, simply because it seems like with the T-56 and the awful aerodynamics of these trucks, you either gear it short enough to use sixth and make first too short to hook at all, or you gear it taller to use first and sixth is unusable below 90mph.

At least reliability isn't an issue with these 12-bolts. It's comical when I go from working under my truck to looking at the 7.5" 10-bolt the fourthgen guys have to deal with.
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Old 09-01-2005, 02:15 PM
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Sounds like an awesome swap. I've got a 69 c-20 with a factory 396 and a 4 speed that was used as a farm truck for several years, and has just sat in the back of a shed since it was parked in '96 or '97. I'm going to restore it after college
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:46 AM
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you wont need that center cross member with the t56 will you? Automatic trucks didn't even have one.

you going to do power disc breaks on your pickup? power steering?
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Old 09-09-2005, 01:07 AM
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Power steering, yes. Power brakes, eventually. Running all drums for now, but will need discs later. Taking it one step at a time.

I'm chiseling off the rivets to remove that xmember right now. I'm told by others that have done the swap that I'll need to have an automatic xmember to use this tranny, but it's going to go farther back. Thankfully, GM provided add'l mounting holes for xmembers all over the frame, so mounting is supposed to be a snap.
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Old 09-09-2005, 03:45 PM
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I am at a stimbling point with mine. Yours looks good so far.

I got mine to turn over, but will not start. Computer already reprogrammed and wiring done by current performance wiring. Today I had a wire get fried in my wiring harness, not sure what it was.
Attached Thumbnails My LS1/T56 swap into '68 Chevy C-10 stepside-engine-update-3i.jpg  
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:33 PM
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I have all signals go to drop the engine in this weekend. Motor mounts are ready, prepping up the tranny xmember today, cut out the old manual xmember a couple days ago and wirebrushed/sanded/painted most of the framerails, suspension and engine bay.

I added a gallery and linked it up in the original post. You can find pictures of the progress here: http://satellitehead.com/gallery/index.php

Last edited by shifty`; 09-15-2005 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 09-28-2005, 05:47 PM
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Ran into problems, had to remove the front clip to get everything married up so I could measure out my mounts. My seller sold out on me with the pedal assembly, so I'm waiting on the hydraulic actuator, resevoir and other stuff from gmotors.com to arrive. I'm also ordering an oil pan for a 99+ truck - fits perfect, but clears the xmember a lot better.

Got the engine in there and it won't fit!! I gotta remove the alternator or the a/c compressor to get it in there. I wanted to keep/add A/C eventually, so I think I might put a delete in there for now and just remove it.

Can't work on the truck this weekend, have a wedding to go to in FL. I found two threads here in the meantime that were really helpful regarding wiring and oil pan swaps for the LS1:

99+ Chevy K/C truck oil pan: GM part #12560393
Hydraulic actuator/clutch linkage/fluid resevoir: GM part #12570277

EDIT: Oops! GM Part #12560393 has been replaced by part #12579273! Just a note for others.

About harness/parts/etc:
https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversions-hybrids/312119-ls1-swap-faqs.html

About pans:
https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversions-hybrids/311659-dimensional-differences-between-lsx-oil-pans.html

Last edited by shifty`; 10-05-2005 at 04:47 PM.
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