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Thread: Soon to be swapping the SBC for a 5.3 out of a 2007 Tahoe

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    Soon to be swapping the SBC for a 5.3 out of a 2007 Tahoe

    My van will be leaving home soon. It will take about a month for the swap guys to take out the old and in with the new. I can hardly wait to get it back. Turn-key swap using my engine/tranny wiring computer etc. They will flash the computer, strip out the wiring harness. Get the exhaust connected to the LS manifold. electronic shifting and gas pedal. Air intake routing. In-tank fuel pump with new fuel lines/supply & return. I am trying to get a good divorced NP205 to swap out the Rockwell T22 transfer case while they are at it. I can hardley wait to drive her home from the shop 25 miles away from home. Any body have any advice for a LS swap into our vans? How about the oil pan, will it hit anything? Does the Tahoe pan need to be replaced?

    None of the wires below were ever needed to drive our Vans
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    If you don't mind us asking, how much does a job like that run in price?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len View Post
    If you don't mind us asking, how much does a job like that run in price?
    $3k. The old man has been swapping and fixing cars since the 1970's. I got quoted from $1500 for labor, I cover parts to $3500.00. I like this guys shop set up and his experience level.
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    That is a good price. There is a lot of work involved. Your lucky to find someone that is competent in doing an involved job like this one.

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    The Donor
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    existing is dysfunctional but pretty.

    Should I paint the LS Chevy orange?
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    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    I dont know about the Hoe oil pan but mine is out of a 1500 PU and the pan is much longer than I want so I will be getting a shallower but longer sump pan. I wont need the very shallow pans everybody needs for swaps into cars but something a couple inches shallower than the truck one will be great.

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    every install is different. I am using a 200R4 trans. The below image has the engine mount adapter installed to the block in the wrong holes. Moving them aft 1" put the engine in the exact right spot.

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    the surp belt was all changed around to fit in the dog house. I got rid of the AC and PS. moved the alternator down and chopped up the big casting to make an idler pulley mount, with a new tension-er pulley also.

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    had to ditch the oil filler neck and put the oil cap directly onto the VC

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    M1D
    Last edited by m1dadio; 03-31-2018 at 03:53 AM.
    Don't ask me!! I'm still stuck on "who am I?" and "What do I want?"

    1965 G10 all window "ChevyVan" with 1988 305 Tuned port injection V8, 700R4, 1980 10 bolt posi.
    1968 G10 "sportVan Custom" under construction.

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    Thank you for sharing things I was not aware I'd have to do, your the Man!

    M1dadio you are my hero! Happy Easter! Paul
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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Vette View Post
    Should I paint the LS Chevy orange?
    Pretty sure In later years the General switched his engine color to black.
    I have not owned a new truck since 2005 so I could be mistaken.
    Midadio's blue looks nice


    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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    Out with the old

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    Found the right person to help me with the LS swap. Today he got the frozen engine out thru the side doors in three hours.
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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    So you are doing this yourself with a buddy's help? Not using the shop originally mentioned?



    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

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    VCVC Member xjamesx's Avatar
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    I’m gearing up for the same swap in my ‘66 Sportvan this fall/winter, especially with the Nats trip in mind for next year. I just swapped a 5.3LS into a ‘36 pickup and I conservatively spent about $2200 for everything (motor/tranny/exhaust/etc) to make the motor swap work.
    I’ll add lots of pics when I start this project.
    1966 Sportvan - 1963 VW Bug

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    Quote Originally Posted by kookykrispy View Post
    So you are doing this yourself with a buddy's help? Not using the shop originally mentioned?
    Yes it appears I will be doing in my driveway with professional help. The mechanic that had it at his shop for two months lost his lease and bailed on my project. Think positive thoughts for me that the project will go smoothly and completely. Thanks again to M1D for his ground breaking pictures. I am inspired.
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    What are the costs

    Quote Originally Posted by xjamesx View Post
    I’m gearing up for the same swap in my ‘66 Sportvan this fall/winter, especially with the Nats trip in mind for next year. I just swapped a 5.3LS into a ‘36 pickup and I conservatively spent about $2200 for everything (motor/tranny/exhaust/etc) to make the motor swap work.
    I’ll add lots of pics when I start this project.
    I hope to come in at near your costs on the '36. Did you install everything yourself? What did you pay for wiring and computer flashing? Which tranny did you go with? Any drive shaft work? I could ask 10 more questions but I'll spare you all.
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    You can do the harness your self I did mine in my living room in a couple evenings as for the computer you can get it flashed for around $100 Check out LT1swap.com lots of info on doing harness and he will flash your computer
    1964 gmc handi vortec ls 5.3 whipple supercharger supter t-10 4 speed 9" ford builder of the first saturn power steering set up

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    Quote Originally Posted by pan58head View Post
    You can do the harness your self I did mine in my living room in a couple evenings as for the computer you can get it flashed for around $100 Check out LT1swap.com lots of info on doing harness and he will flash your computer
    Exactly what he said. I cut the harness myself, had the computer flashed for $100 from a local guy, my buddy swapped the tail housing on the 4L60e to a 2wd and I’m currently getting the driveshaft made for $250. I did all the work on the ‘36 with a buddy of mine and we spent lots of time online reading about drivetrain angles and pinion angles, fuel systems (we went returnless), and so on and so on. I’ve never done a project this big but the internet guided us well. So now that I’ve done it once, I’m diving into the LS swap on my van this fall.
    1966 Sportvan - 1963 VW Bug

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    The tear down has begun

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    Good Ol' Neal tearing 'er down.

    So far we have the following stuff off of the van:
    Engine, transmission, radiator, front and divorced drive shafts, Rear trailer hitch assembly and gas tank.
    There are more hours spent cleaning prepping and painting than there will be installing the LS. The van has surface rust under the floor between the frame rails. I plan to prep and paint with POR15. The trailer hitch is also surface rusted. Man is that assembly built strong. There is a channel frame welded to the rear frame around the fuel tank that supports the trailer hitch front and rear of the gas tank.
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    Trailer hitch pics

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    Trailer hitch removed for access to gas tank and rust removal.
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    Frame welded to van frame around gas tank area.

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    Gas tank has no rust inside so I'll be reusing it. I bought the new gas tank Smiley informed us about I will see if it fits between the rear axle and the transfer case, I believe there used to be an axillary tank there in the past.
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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    I hope you are sending that hitch to the scrap pile ....
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookee View Post
    I hope you are sending that hitch to the scrap pile ....
    Why would I not want to reinstall this monster?


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    Going to find out if a stock gas tank will fit here.
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    just a thought but I used a 3rd gen chevy van tank(87-95 22 gallon) with the sending unit was set up with a fuel pump I just changed the pump to a one that had enought pressure for the 5.3
    1964 gmc handi vortec ls 5.3 whipple supercharger supter t-10 4 speed 9" ford builder of the first saturn power steering set up

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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Vette View Post
    Why would I not want to reinstall this monster?
    Sorry, it just looks wrong.
    In the welding fabrication world if it looks wrong.Nine times out of ten it is wrong.
    Having custom made quite a few hitches in my line of work.If a customer came in with a set up like that.
    Off to the scrap pile it would go...
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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    Figuring out how to lift van 18 higher in the front

    We are about ready to put the engine in and considering options to lift the van up to clear a 34" engine. M1dadio shared pics of how a professional does it. I have a heavy duty cherry picker, floor jack, 4 Jack stands and a motorcycle lift that we are planning to roll the engine on. What's an alternative to my tendancy to stack blocks under the floor Jack and Jack stands?
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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    In through the side doors

    I've probably done a dozen engine swaps in early chevy vans. I always go through the side doors.

    Here is Dan65 helping me install a fresh 327 in Hella Sunshine.
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    fresh 250 into a '67
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    Fresh 230 into the wiki-van
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    Last edited by kookykrispy; 08-19-2018 at 06:34 AM.



    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

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    Was not easy getting the engine in from the bottom up. Had to clear the Dana 44 front axil and not wipe out the manifold on the back of the doghouse. Notice the sacrificial book to keep the pullies front bonding with the U joint
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    The forklift was the right tool
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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    That is why I made the back half of my dog house removable.
    I swapped out the original six with the dog house in place, and thought there has to be a better way.
    I had no way of safely coming up from the bottom.
    You could have taken off all of your pulleys on the front of your engine do give you more room.
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookee View Post
    That is why I made the back half of my dog house removable.
    I swapped out the original six with the dog house in place, and thought there has to be a better way.
    I had no way of safely coming up from the bottom.
    You could have taken off all of your pulleys on the front of your engine do give you more room.
    We could have separated the engine from the tranny also to simplify the install but I wanted to keep everything in-tact. Neal, my mechanic measured everything three times and was sure the geometry would work and it did. My doghouse was cut by the previous owner.
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    After
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    More pics

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    I may lower the engine a inch. Has anyone else fabricated spacers for between the frame and crossmember? If so what size and structure did you use?
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    Last edited by Not a Vette; 08-28-2018 at 11:59 PM. Reason: Tried to get rid of the engine compartment pic because it was before painting a d insulation. It would not go away sa la vie
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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    Every body does things different.
    I personally take as much extras off of an engine before I drop one in.
    That was the way I was taught to do it.Way back when I was training to be a paid wrench.
    It does make for a bit less less weight.Less things to get hung up or snagged when doing an R+R..
    Last edited by Wookee; 08-29-2018 at 07:04 AM.
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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    I put my engines on a engine stand then the van on the lift and just roll it into place then lower the van , add crossmember then lift the van remove the engine stand and install the transmission . Puled and installed a small blockin my buddies 65 in less than two hours
    1964 gmc handi vortec ls 5.3 whipple supercharger supter t-10 4 speed 9" ford builder of the first saturn power steering set up

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    Update

    started the van Saturday for the first time since I’ve owned it. It has been a a lot longer journey than I planned. It’s OK with me because I am in the middle of a relocation and restoring a trailer to live in till our house gets built. Mooses Jeep shop has one month to finish as much as they can and then I will be picking it up. Hope I will be driving it away, not towing. Pray for me please. Click image for larger version. 

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    I drove it a few weeks ago

    I drove my BuggyVan a few weeks ago and it was fun. The 6.2 LS/6L80E from a 2007 Escalade is powerful. The power steering felt just right. The brakes are too sensitive. Should be drivable in a few weeks.
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  34. #34
    New Guy
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    I swapped my LS in inside a garage. No forklift. I'm jealous!

    Anyway on my 2wd I think my Tahoe oil pan hangs too low. I used my stock cradle and a set of $39 ICT billet SBC to LS conversion plates with a set of SBC brakets. Easy peasy on that part.

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