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S-Series: LS-x Based S10 Truck Conversions


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Old 04-07-2009, 02:51 PM   10 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1
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This post is a compilation of parts, suggestions, tips, and practices to successfully swap an LS-based engine into an S10 Truck (2WD, and Blazer variants)

This will not cover every combination, but will primarily cover the installation of a Stock LS engine and either manual or auto trans in these trucks.

With the exception of the oil pan and exhaust system, the 4WD swaps are essentially the same. This swap will require a custom or fabricated oil pan and a fabricated exhaust system. The exhaust may include modified F-Body manifolds or custom headers. Suppliers of shortie and long-tube headers state that their headers are for 2WD applications.

This will be a closed post, which will be updated for new and/or better suggestions/parts/techniques. (send me a PM for suggestions)

Each component of the swap is in a separate section:

Cooling
Harness
A/C
Exhaust
Mounts
Engine components
Front accessories
Fuel
Oil Pans
Suspension/brakes
Emissions
Transmissions


Last edited by Philntx; 04-07-2009 at 06:00 PM..
Old 04-07-2009, 02:52 PM   #2
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Cooling is one of the most important expenses for this swap:

CPW has the following components available:
Radiator
Fans/Shroud
Condenser

Go here for pricing information: http://currentperformance.com/Swap_Parts/Radiator.html

Radiator:
Fans will flow 2780 CFM at 12V:







Front of radiator with CPW A/C condenser mounted





CPW complete kit also comes with a modified hood latch support bracket:


CPW Fans installed on Radiator Core Support:



CPW Fans using Truck Accessories:




08-02 Camaro LS1 Cooling Fans mounted on the back of a stock S10 Radiator in the stock position.





Griffin Radiator: Summit Racing, Part Number GRI-1-25271-X

The inlet/outlets are in non-traditional locations, but it does fit in the core pretty good. Fabrication is required for hoses, mounts,
fans, etc.








Stock S10 Radiator, recessed into the core support with a set of Dodge Intrepid (junkyard) fans:

Carefully trimming of the core support allows the 4.3 radiator to be recessed forward:



Mounting brackets to install the fan/shroud combination need to be fabricated:





LS2 Corvette vs LS1 Waterpump. LS2 Version provides additional clearance for cooling fans.




MISC:

It is recommended that distilled water be used when using an aluminum radiator. Tap water contains minerals which will corrode aluminum.

Use a quality radiator cap that has a rating recommended for your radiator. 14lbs is typical.

Use new high quality hose clamps on all water hoses, (radiator and heater)

Old 04-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #3
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The wiring harness is the nervous system for these swaps. If your intention is to build your own harness or modify and existing harness, you must ensure that your connections are electrically secure. These modifications can be made. It takes a good set of manuals, a talented hand at soldering and re-pinning, as well as a lot of patience.

For most people, a pre-made harness is the best solution. Jared at CPW is a sponsor of this section and offers ready-made solutions for these swaps:



There are other vendors who can provide these harnesses, but CPW builds them specifically for your application. You must provide him with all of the details about your truck and the new engine/trans combo. He also needs to know if your jurisdiction requires emissions testing.

This harness isn't cheap, but it is the best solution for most people.

Refer to his web-site for additional information and to order.

http://www.currentperformance.com/s10wir.html

Misc:

Make sure the battery, engine, transmission, body and frame all have large gauge, clean ground cables to each other. Grind the frame to ensure that there is no paint, coating and/or rust. There must be good continuity between ground cables and grounds.

Old 04-07-2009, 02:54 PM   #4
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A/C systems

There are several solutions to install A/C compressors for these conversions.

1. Use the stock compressor, located in the stock location.
2. Use a High mount relocation bracket that moves a Sanden compressor to the upper passenger side of the engine.
a. Street and Performance style bracket without a tensioner
b. CPW (and others) style bracket with a factory tensioner


A factory style installation requires a notched and boxed passenger side frame:
Note dimensions of notch. As long as the frame is properly and carefully re-welded, no strength will be compromised.
Take the time to grind, prime and paint any welded areas.



Measure twice and cut once is the key to making this fit:
This cut can be made with a variety of cut-off tools and/or a plasma cutter.







This version used mounts that placed the engine higher in the engine bay, decreasing the amount needed to be clearanced.




The TBSS Compressor is shorter and may be an alternative:



High Mount systems:

Kwik-Perf (which is the brand carried by CPW) relocates a Sanden style compressor to the upper right of the engine.
This eliminates the requirement to notch and box the passenger side frame rail. Cost of just the bracket is around $200.
Other parts required: Compressor, tensioner and the appropriate engine accessories.

These brackets are made for Truck, F-Body and Corvette accessory belt routing.



CPW system installed:



Oil filler cap is still accessible:




S&P style w/o belt tensioner: A disadvantage of this type of bracket is the elimination of the belt tensioner.
The serpentine belt must be periodically adjusted manually. Cost is in the $350 range.

Note that this engine uses LS1 Corvette Accessories and waterpump.




A/C lines for CPR High mount compressor:



They use a different dryer than factory, but we can supply that also, $20 for the dryer.

The lines are $225

Old 04-07-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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Alternator will hit the P/S gearbox with F-Body Accessories:



Note the location of the alternator.



Corvette is the best application: Belt is closest to engine.



LS2 Corvette engine: Note flat faced water pump.




Truck Pulley vs Corvette Pulley



From the front edge of the timing cover to the outer edge of the pulley

· Corvette: 2 1/8”

· F-Body/GTO: 2 15/16”

· Truck: 3 11/16”

Power Steering Pumps:

Corvette parts have to be a little different. In this case, the shaft diameter of most LS-based Corvette pumps is .66″. All other Type II (or TC) pumps including Camaros, Firebirds, and most other GM passenger cars are .75″ diameter.


There are 6-groove serpentine pulley diameters from about 5.25″ to 6.625″. This difference will change the RPM of the pump relative to the engine RPM but for most street applications, you probably won’t register much difference in actual steering feel.


In the photo below, you'll see one other important difference besides the diameter. Notice that the smaller pulley has access holes, while the larger one does not.



When selecting a pulley, it is recommended using one with the holes. Otherwise, anytime you want to install or remove the pump, you'll have to pull the pulley to get to the bolts that mount the pump. Not a big deal if you have the right puller and right installation tools. But if you don't, this saves a you time. If you change the pulley to a smaller on, this may also affect the diameter of the serpentine belt.

CPW carries the upper A/C relocation and Alternater relocation brackets. For additional fitment illustrations, see below:

http://www.kwikperf.com/lsx_alt_ps.html


Old 04-07-2009, 02:56 PM   #6
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There are several proven solutions for exhaust systems for these conversions:

Shortie Headers:



Carshopinc 1 5/8" shortie headers:



BRP Mid-length headers:





Modified 98-99 F-Body exhaust manifolds:









Clearance to Steering shaft with modified F-Body exhaust manifolds:




Long Tube:

BRP: http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/conver...-brp-pics.html



CPW:







Dyno testing by CPW revealed significant HP increases when Long tube headers replaced modified F-body manifolds:
Some of the increase was found at higher RPM's, where the free flowing headers increased the operating range:



Fabricating headers is another option, if you have the time, patience and experience with a Mig/Tig welder:

Plan on at least 40-60 hours.

Misc:

Stock full size truck manifolds, TBSS manifolds, Corvette manifolds, CTSV, 5.3 Trailblazer manifolds will not fit.
Sell them on PTforums dot com

Manifold Gaskets: The best ones are GM 12617944, factory exhaust manifold gaskets.

Old 04-07-2009, 02:56 PM   #7
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The conversion section if possibly one of the best resources for LSx-based engine swaps into S10's.

If you are new to swapping or just want to see what's being done on other swaps, please read through the swaps in this section.

While there are no books that specifically detail how to swap an LS-based engine into an S10,
there are several books available on to learn about LS-Engines:

Chevy LS1/LS6 Performance by Christopher Endres
How to build High-Performance Chevy LS1/LS6 V-8's by Will Handzel
How to swap GM LS-Series engines into almost anything by Jefferson Bryant

Each of these books are available through Barnes and Noble

Old 04-07-2009, 02:57 PM   #8
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There are many solutions to fueling an LS motor in an S10, which requires a rail pressure of 58-62 psi:

- Use a stock 2.2 Flex fuel fuel pump
- Walbro 255 in place of the stock 4.3 pump.
- In-line external fuel pump. (least favored solution)

There are two types of fuel rails:

Returnless and Return:

To use the returnless system, you'll need a Fuel filter/FP regulator from a late Vette. AC Delco GF822

FUEL system
  • (Thanks BlackX): For a 2.2L Flex fuel truck, NO MODIFICATIONS are required to the fuel system! The factory flex fuel pump has supported 491RWHP and the filter has a built in regulator. Same as the Corvette. Used (2) Russell part# 640850 fittings and a short section of braided stainless line that was all that was required.
  • 03' 2.2L Flex fuel S-10 filter (GM 15077584) or (Wix 33100). The S-10 has the male quick connect outlet already, so all you have to do is snap on the Russel fitting.
Corvette Filter/Regulator Setup is GM Part#10299146 (or Wix 33737)







Filter Mounting






Fitting for the end of the filter/regulator to adapt it to a quick disconnect fitting. Aeromotive 15104 (available from Jegs or Summit Racing)



This is for the "return-style" fuel rail






Fuel Rail Connection Adapter:

There is an adapter fitting made by Russel Part#640850 that will adapt the GM rail to #6AN fitting. For guys wishing to adapt #6AN to their existing 5/16" return line use part #640860






Double pumper Fuel pump for high horse power applications:



An external regulator can also be used in certain applications:


Old 04-07-2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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Engine mounts are available from a variety of sources.

It would probably be wise to choose a supplier who can provide both mounts and headers. This will provide some assurance
that the parts are compatable and will fit your application.

CPW Mounts:


Other conversion mounts:



Mounts can also be fabricated:


Old 04-07-2009, 02:59 PM   #10
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Maf

For ease of programming, it's best to retain the MAF that came with the engine that you purchased.

If starting from scratch, either purchase the correct unit for your engine/drivetrain combination, or
work with your harness provider/tuner to determine a different application.

There can be a slight gain of power by going to a larger MAF, but it may require specific programming changes that your
tuner would need to know.

It it generally not worth the money to purchase an larger aftermarket MAF for a "mostly" stock engine.

Will Hanzel recommends the Escalade or Corvette 85mm MAF for the best flow.

For 99% of swappers it is generally recommended use a factory screened maf because of the many different intake pipe options people are using. There are factory MAF's that do not have a screen and they are "tuned" for the specific intake (Corvette)

It is highly recommended not to "de-screen" a "screened" MAF. These are a tuning nightmare.

The 03+ MAF 5-Pin Connector




The 5.3 Truck MAF 1998-02 3-Pin connector:




Changes in MAF, from the original application, may require a calibration change to account for the new readings. Keep that in mind.

Old 04-07-2009, 02:59 PM   #11
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For simplicities sake, use the throttle body that is stock on the engine you select.

The F-Body LS1 Engine uses a cable driven 75mm throttle body.

The early LQ4 engines used an 80mm Throttle body. For a stock GM cable throttlebody, this is the best.

Later trucks used an 85mm DBW throttle body.

The Y-Body LS1 used an 85mm DBW throttle body.

The LS2 GTO and Vette used a low profile DBW 90mm Throttle body.



If your swap requires a cable driven throttle body, you will need to find one compatible with your manifold and/or swap intake
manifolds.

Take the time to properly locate the throttle cable bracket on your engine. This is one example:



Lokar LS1 throttle cable bracket:

LS1 Bracket
The billet aluminum bracket mounts to the side of the LS1 manifold and is available with a single stud for throttle only or double stud to add a cruse control cable.




Work with the harness provider and/or programmer to ensure that the DBW controls are deleted from the PCM and replaced with
appropriate tables for a cable driven throttle body.

Conversly, swapping in a DBW throttle bodied engine will require a little more work. An appropriate DBW pedal and TAC module (for some motors) is required. Discuss this portion of the swap with the harness supplier.

For example, CPW can provide a DBW harness, pedal, modules and PCM in a complete "plug-n-play" package.

Note pedal in upper right hand corner:


Old 04-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #12
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A conversion project needs a budget plan before you begin. It will be difficult to determine any kind of a standard budget because of the nature of acquiring parts for these conversions.

Some people will scrounge and beg for the cheapest possible solution, while others will purchase new parts and pay for installations.

It is recommended that you at least try to document what you might need to spend before you begin this project by making a list.

Start with:

Engine/Transmission
Engine mounts (sometimes best to get headers and mounts as a matched set to ensure fitment)
Oil pan
Harness (New harness, converted harness, home-built harness)
Exhaust system (manifolds, headers, catalytic converters, pipes, mufflers to tailpipes)
Most people need a shop to install the exhaust from the headers back.
A/C vacuum, leak test and charge
Cooling system (radiator, fans, shroud, condensor, radiator mounts)
Front Accessories (waterpump, P/S, Alternator, A/C system)
Frame modifications (notching and boxing for A/C and/or Oil pan)
Transmission crossmember modifications.
Fuel system (from the pump to filter/regulator to fuel lines)
Driveshaft modifications
Positraction
PCM and tuning (critical parts)
Emissions legality
Where are you going to work on your truck?
Service Manuals for torque specs and references
Tools
Plugs, wires, vacuum lines, hoses, clamps, soldering tools and supplies, heat shrink.
Thermostat (always use a new one)
Fluids: Antifreeze, P/S fluid, Brake Fluid, trans fluid, rear differential fluid, wiper fluid.

Is this your primary source of transportation. Keep in mind that you'll need, at a minimum, of 2-3 weeks if you are doing this by yourself.
Experienced builders, and builders who have all parts necessary for the swap, will require less time.

Old 04-07-2009, 03:01 PM   #13
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Coils

The truck coils and brackets seem to fit better for S10 Conversions. However, you won't be able to use the popular Corvette Fuel rail covers.

(insert Pictures)

There are several options. You can mount the coils remotely and/or you may need to relocate the rear coils or modify the brackets for fitment.


Old 04-07-2009, 03:01 PM   #14
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Oil pan information

The oil pan is one of the critical fitment components of this swap.

You'll need the matching oil pickup, windage tray, dipstick tube and dipstick for the pan you determine best for your swap.

There are several options:

LS2 Corvette oil pan:



H3 Alpha Oil Pan:



Dimensions:



Modified Truck oil pan:




The Corvette LS2 pan provides the greatest ground clearance of any stock pan, but will require a notched and
boxed front crossmember on a 2WD truck. The notch provides access to remove the pan, if required, once the engine is
installed.

A 2WD Blazer uses mounts which mount the engine slightly higher. A notch may not be required:

The Hummer H3 Alpha pan provides the greatest crossmember clearance in 2WD truck, but it may hang below the crossmember in 2WD trucks.

In a Blazer, it is about even with the crossmember: (disregard the wires hanging under the pan. This was still test fitting:



This is where a crossmember notch might be usefull if you ever needed to pull the motor.
It might also help to slightly lower the brake line that's attached to the front crossmember.



Something like this:







The modified truck oil pan will work. It's best to begin with a pan that has never had oil in it. It is difficult to obtain a secure
weld if the aluminum has previously been oil soaked. It is possible to clean a pan, but for the cost, go for the new pan.

Typically, the pan will need to be modified in two areas; front sump for crossmember clearance and bottom of sump for ground clearance.

Another "hot-rodder" modified pan. It worked fine in his application. Note clean welds!



However, whatever oil pan used, you are responsible to ensure that it fits properly.

O-Ring

One small area of attention is the O-ring between the pickup tube and the oil pump.
You'll want to lube the pickup tube when you insert it. If the O-Ring "rolls-up" when you insert
the tube, the pump will cavitate and not provide sufficient oil pressure.




O-Ring:

GM Part number: 12584922 for the red o-ring



Pick-up tube:

If the pickup tube is being re-used from another application, make sure that the screen in the pickup
is not clogged with debris. Flush until it's clean.


Old 04-07-2009, 03:03 PM   #15
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Suspension/Brakes

An aluminum LS1, 5.3, or 6.0 is approximately the same weight as a 4.3 engine. (approximately 450-480 lbs) This greatly simplifies what is needed to keep the suspension geometry correct. However, if starting with a 4-cylinder engine, you might consider upgrading to 6-cylinder springs.

Steering:

Verify that your steering components are in good condition.

Flaming River U-Joint replacement for steering column "rag-joint": http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f178/h...ng-mod-395639/

Steering Gearbox:

The best factory S10 gearbox is the unit from option code ZQ8. This box will provide the quickest steering ratio.
It is a direct bolt on component. You'll need the ZQ8 steering gearbox and the pitman arm that is attached to it.

This box provides a constant 12.7-to-1 ratio, whereas the Blazer box is a 17-to-1 ratio. The extended cab has a variable ratio gearbox.

There are numerous options to increasing the performance of the steering.

Here is a link to a thread where the owner swapped in an '88 Monte Carlo SS box: http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f178/s...d-pics-378011/

It is always recommended to ensure that the suspension and brakes are in good operating condition. However, when swapping in a higher horsepower engine combination, your driving demands will change.

In order to accomodate these changes, conduct a thorough inspection of the suspension of the truck. This would include shocks, sway bars, bushings, ball joints, hubs, brakes and brake lines.

If your truck has single piston front calipers, from a pure safety concern, you should consider at a minimum, "resurfacing" the rotors and upgrading brake pad to a high performance pad, such as Hawk HPS or comparable pad.

Stock single Piston Front Brakes: Too small for an LS-based swap



Stock Dual Piston Front Brakes:

The next step would be to consider a dual piston/rotor/spindle combination from a 98+ Blazer. This is a popular swap and with a high performance pad, will increase the stopping power of the truck.






There are several other options, which include C5 Corvette or LS1 Camaro rotors/calipers, which can be installed with custom brackets. This option will require a larger diameter wheel to clear the larger brake calipers. Keep in mind that the C5 Corvette rear disk conversion doesn't accomodate the emergency brake system. This feature will be lost. (this may not impact owners with automatic transmissions)

C5 Z06 Brakes:



C6 Z06 Brakes

There a couple of S10 Trucks/Blazers which the owners have installed C6 Z06 Brakes, front and rear. This is at least a $2,000 conversion plus the expense for the larger diameter, Corvette specific, wheels.







There are also aftermarket solutions from Baer, Kore, and SSSB (and others).

Install new brake lines if the hoses on the truck are damaged, nicked, or are "spongy" feeling. Stainless braided lines are not too expensive and are a good addition.

A conversion to a Hydroboost system will provide the greatest braking pedal pressure for LS conversions, however, actual braking distance will be limited by tire selection. This conversion also provides more room in the engine compartment, by eliminating the vaccuum booster on the firewall. This conversion is discussed in great detail in the braking forum.

Rear Brakes:

All trucks have drum rear brakes, which aren't bad, considering that the front brakes provide the majority of the stopping force.

There are several options:

1. Rebuild the rear brakes with quality parts and HP pads. Resurface the drums.

2. Swap the rear drums for disks from a Blazer and/or swap the entire rear axle assembly.

3. C5/C6 Z06 Brakes







Misc:

Always use the appropriate brake fluid for the vehicle, follow proper procedures to bleed and maintain brakes.

Although it may be common sense, increased power will greatly increase accelleration and potentially top speed. If brakes are in the stock condition, the truck will not be able to stop safely.

Shock Absorbers:

The stock shock absorbers on the truck will probably near their "end-of-life". Replace them with a quality, high performance shock. Brand name isn't important and is usually a personal preference.

Sway bars from a Blazer are slightly larger in diameter and will bolt to the truck without modification.

Urethane bushings on the front sway bar will help to improve the "feel" of the truck by marginally reducing flex within the mounting bracket.

Driveshaft:

When getting a new driveshaft made or getting yours shortened, install solid universal joints (right) as they offer a significant strength advantage over greaseable hollow joints (left). If you are installing greaseable U-joints, index them so the grease fitting is under compression as they transfer driveshaft torque. This makes them much less of a liability in high-power applications

S10's use a Saganaw 3R U-Joint



Do not re-use the U-bolts that attach the driveshaft to the rear pinion. Again, cheap insurance against failure. (About $10.00)

Always have the driveshaft balanced before installing it. This is cheap insurance against vibration.

Sway Bars:

The ZQ8 option package uses a front sway bar that is 1.3" or 33mm thick.
This bar will work on all 2WD 82-03 S10 Trucks and Blazers.
It's a direct bolt-on upgrade.



The rear ZQ8 bar is also a direct bolt-on for 82-03 S10 Trucks.



The Blazer ZQ8 bar is different. Mounting points are in different locations.
Blazer rear sway bar:



When scavenged from a salvage yard, make sure you get all of the end links/brackets/bolts, bushings, etc.

Old 04-07-2009, 03:03 PM   #16
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Emissions

It is your responsibility to conduct the necessary research to determine whether your location requires vehicle inspections and emissions testing. This is going to become increasingly more prevalent in the future.

It is very easy for a swap to be emissions compliant!

Aftermarket High Performance Converters:



While these will not make a vehicle legal without all of the other hardware, parts are available to support power and clean air.

California has well-published standards on how to properly swap and certify a vehicle. This excerpt from JTR illustrates this:

http://www.jagsthatrun.com/Pages/Che..._V-8_Smog.html

At least one swapper in Arizona, who is on this forum, illustrated the difficulty that he had with his swap and getting it through emissions testing. He used a GTO engine instead of a Truck based engine. (This is an area that must be researched before starting the swap.) By programming the engine as a "truck" instead of a car, the risk of failing an inspection can possibly be mitigated.

Many locations do not inspect vehicles for emissions and it becomes a personal decision on what should be done.

DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST!

Go to Google and type in: Emissions testing (insert your state)

Old 04-07-2009, 03:04 PM   #17
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Transmission

LS-based 4.8 and 5.3 truck engines are available with either a 4L60E, 4L65E or 4L70E transmissions.

The LQ4 and LQ9 engines are available with either a 4L65E or 4L80E transmission. For S10 conversions, the 4L60-70 series transmissions are the easiest. The 6-liter TBSS engine comes with the 4L70E transmission.

F-Body engines have the 4L60E trans.

These transmissions have a torque rating of approximately 350-400 ftlbs. Keep this in mind once performance modifications
begin with the engine.

These transmissions require a transmission fluid cooler. This can range from an in-radiator (simplest) to an external aftermarket unit.
Some swappers use a cooler with a built-in electric fan, controlled by a temperature switch.

Remember, temperature is the killer of automatic transmissions. A cooler is manditory.

Common and prudent modifications to these transmissions include mild shift kits and Corvette servos.
Performance modifications to the engine may require high performance build-ups and/or a performance transmission.

(Phoenix transmissions in Weatherford TX, Monster transmissions, FLT Transmissions, and many others. Research this independantly)

For a stock drivetrain, it's easiest and most cost effective to retain the stock torque converter.

For performance applications, a higher stall converter may be appropriate for your drivetrain/useage combination. Research this independantly also.

New Torque Converter installation:

1. Flush out transmission oil cooler and lines. Add a quart of new transmission fluid to the torque converter. Using the aid of a helper, stand the transmission on the tail shaft and carefully install the torque converter onto the transmission. Spin the torque converter and listen for 3 distinct clicks as it drops into the transmission. The following are measurements you can make to insure the torque converter is all the way in the transmission:

4L60E = 1.125" from bellhousing to converter pads.

GM 4L80E = 1.030" from bellhousing to converter pads.

Distance may vary +/- .050".

2. Remove any debris in the crankshaft pilot hole and lubricate. Clean and lubricate the dowel pins. Check to see that dowel pins will be in the transmission bellhousing by more than .250".

3. Mount transmission to the back of the engine block making sure the bellhousing fits squarely against the block. If it does not, find out why! Is there something between the bellhousing and block or has the torque converter slipped out of the transmission? DO NOT PULL UP THE
BELLHOUSING TO THE BLOCK USING THE BELLHOUSING BOLTS!!!!

4. After the transmission bellhousing bolts are tightened, check to see if the torque converter will turn by hand. Push the torque converter back into the transmission as far as it will go. Using feeler gauges or calipers measure the gap between the flexplate converter mounting pad and the torque converter mounting pad. If gap distance is between .060" and .187" it is OK to bolt up the torque converter using RED Loctite on the bolts. If the gap is greater than .187" install a .060" flat washer between the torque converter and flexplate.

5. Finish installing the cross member, exhaust, driveshaft, etc. Add 5 quarts of good quality transmission fluid. Start the engine and immediately add 2 more quarts. Check the fluid and finish filling the transmission to proper level.

4L80/4L80E Transmissions

The 4L80e Transmission is another option, but it does require additional modifications to fit.

T-56 6-Speed

There are a couple of variants of this transmission.

The LS Camaro
The CTSv
The Viper


T-56 Installation:

When installing the engine/tranny be sure to either trim or massage the lip from the firewall to the tunnel. It clears fine without trimming but makes clutch changes nearly impossible. You cannot access the top bell housing bolts with the lip in place.

A speed bleeder is also a must IMO. If you do a clutch change or have the typical loss of pedal pressure that is common in the T-56 hydraulics, it is nearly impossible to bleed the system without this. The bleeder bolt has very little clearance to get a wrench on it.

Also a great idea to replace the hydraulic fluid with a non-synthetic racing brake fluid to help keep the fluid from boiling during with spirited driving. (yes this even happens on the new C6Z06

The stock S-10 hydraulics are sufficient. This includes the master cylinder, line, fittings, and pedal. (I know some have used the stock 4.3 slave cylinder). I recommend changing the slave cylinder since this was an OEM issue and still is.

You can use the stock 4.3 5-speed tranny crossmember (modified), stock auto crossmember (modified) and/or BRP makes a T-56 crossmember.

It may be necessary to patch the existing shifter hole in the transmission tunnel and make a new one aprox. 4" to 6" back.

It's possible to use the stock F-body shifter, boot, knob.

A stock Blazer '95 to '97 console, that was originally a column shift truck, can be used. Cut out the the bottom of the cup holder and the insert. Wrap the stock F-body shifter boot around the insert and glue (or rivits and/glue.) This works really well and makes for easy access to the shifter mounting bolts.

On an extended cab truck, the 2-piece driveshaft will need to be shortened approximately 1.5" (measure twice and cut once!) Always install new joints, new carrier bearing, and have the shaft balanced.

T-56 with a GTO shifter knob in a '95-'97 Blazer console:



T-56 with a F-body shifter in a '98-'05 Blazer Console

(Nice Gen 3 Firebird seats!)


(Thanks for the pics Petro)

6L80/6L90E transmissions

The newer 6L80e/6L90e transmissions have a larger physical casing and will not fit in the transmission tunnel without modification. In addition, only a couple of harness suppliers (Street & Performance, MAST, Speartech, etc) have products which will operate these transmissions. From a practical standpoint, these transmissions are not good solutions for S10 Conversions yet.

The Pontiac G8 with the 6L80E transmission uses a transmission fluid pan which is 3/4" shorter than the Cadillac version. This will help with ground clearance.

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