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LS Engine Swap in 03 ZR2

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Just completed a 4.8 swap into my s-10 and thought I'd share...

 

Since I am a broke ass just finishing university I opted for the more budget-friendly approach.

 

As I decided to build or modify the wiring harness that came with the engine instead of buying a prefabed one. Don't think it was that difficult.

 

The stock truck accessories did fit but once I slapped the LS2 intake on it, it was next to impossible to route an air intake.

 

Modifications so far include:

LS2 intake

complete stainless header back exhaust (shorties)

Transmission reprogramming kit

performaced tuned ecm

 

I am planning to supercharge, does anyone have an info or experinence on how much torque can be put to a 4L60e??

Also curious, once i ripped the engine out I noticed the lower control arm mounts to the frame were cracked. Has anyone ever encountered this?

 

 

 

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The 4L60 wont take too much over stock, but with just a 4.8 you wont make much. Increasing the line pressure may help, but if you can't afford to build it than I'd leave it alone.

 

And the frame cracks are pretty common it seems.

 

 

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nice work, welcome to the site, bring up some videos when u finish

 

how much did this all run u if i may ask

 

well its all finished now. blows stock 5.3 silverados out of the water

 

Well I haven't really tallied it all up yet.

$600 for the engine, harness and computer

$300 for the intake and fuel rails

$600 for all of the stainless fittings (then i had to fit and weld ot together)

$1500 in misc fittings, filters, hoses, tubing and other parts

$500 for the ecu tuning software

 

thats mostly the big stuff but i fabbed most of the parts myself whiched saved some money

probably around $4000 all said and done. Canadian prices by the way not llike it makes a difference

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That was an expensive 60hp and 25tq.

 

I guess at least it's ready for a 6.0.

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What mounts did you use?

Move the motor forward or back from stock?

How are you cooling it?

etc...

 

I used modified stock mounts and wherever the stock bell housing of the tranny mounted to the engine is where i mounted. More or less it was in the stock position. I didn't need to incorporate a body lift or anything.

 

Also for the a/c compresser. I had this engine mocked up in a blazer first and found that the front sections of the frame for ZR2s are actually lower than regular s-series. this meant that the engine sits higher relative to the frame but the same relative to the body. Because of this the oil pan didn't have to be notched out as much and the frame only had to be dimpled instead of heavily notched seen elsewhere. This is my experience anyway.

 

Most builds i have came across switch out the truck accessory bracket for an F-body or corvette which allows for much more room in between the accessories and the rad. I stuck with truck accessories which doesn't leave much room and I can't fit extremely high flow fans. Right now i am using the stock rad with two puller fans and not overheating. In the summer with A/c i definitely will over heat. As you may know the stock rads are single core, single pass which is shit. To solve this problem I intend to take two stock rads and weld them together and fab some aluminum tanks and make a duel core 2 pass rad and not have any loss in space between the rad and accessories.

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Wow seems expensive seeing how i just finished putting a 5.3l into my little brothers 79 Chevy k10 for like half that price including the engine and we kept it all factory fuel injected.

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That was an expensive 60hp and 25tq.

 

I guess at least it's ready for a 6.0.

 

 

well right now I have roughly calculated it to be around 300hp and 290tq with the high flow exhaust, intake and performace tune. but yes expensive. more or less to see if i could do it. but at the time it was the only engine available and the 6.0L were running over $1200. and the fuel economy was another factor. 6.0L would be outragious but i get better economy with the 4.8 than i ever did with the 4.3. I did just buy a complete 6.0L 2 weeks ago for a steal and was considering dropping that in but decided that a supercharger would be cooler which is why I was wondering about the tranmission. They say they can take up to 400ft.tq. which is what i plan to put to it. May have to invest in building one

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Those mounts are probably going to separate, they do that with just a stock 4.3.

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Wow seems expensive seeing how i just finished putting a 5.3l into my little brothers 79 Chevy k10 for like half that price including the engine and we kept it all factory fuel injected.

 

everthing is much more expensive in Canada... i could have cut the costs in half if i forwent the intake, tuning software and fancy exhaust.

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ill take that 6.0 off your hands and do a 408 stroker out of it.

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That was an expensive 60hp and 25tq.

 

I guess at least it's ready for a 6.0.

 

 

well right now I have roughly calculated it to be around 300hp and 290tq with the high flow exhaust, intake and performace tune. but yes expensive. more or less to see if i could do it. but at the time it was the only engine available and the 6.0L were running over $1200. and the fuel economy was another factor. 6.0L would be outragious but i get better economy with the 4.8 than i ever did with the 4.3. I did just buy a complete 6.0L 2 weeks ago for a steal and was considering dropping that in but decided that a supercharger would be cooler which is why I was wondering about the tranmission. They say they can take up to 400ft.tq. which is what i plan to put to it. May have to invest in building one

Drop in the 6.0 then supercharge it. If you are going for more power you're better off with more displacement.

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Congrats on completing the swap. I would definitely find a different setup for motor mounts though, I have a feeling you're going to run into issues using "modified stock".

 

Good work.

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So the modified stock mounts are shit. Any suggestions??

 

JW got some nice looking mounts for his swap, I don't think he fab'd them in yet though.

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I got mounts that are designed to fit a regular 4x4 S-10, which uses different motor mounts than our Zr2's. I will be doing some custom fabbing to make them work though.

 

There's absolutely nothing out there for our trucks, as far as LSx Swap mounts. You're going to have to do some fab work. Take a look at my swap thread, I've listed the mounts I used - it's in my sig, the "Heart Transplant".

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Or get some energy suspension poly mounts and modify them like you did the stockers, in your case that is what id do.

 

Still wouldn't last near as long as the interlocking style I posted.

 

If you're able to modify it, do so.

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So the modified stock mounts are shit. Any suggestions??

 

do exactly what you did, but on the preload plate that comes with the Energy suspension replacement mounts. the ES mounts are a LOT stronger.

 

or mod the frame and go back to a 2.8 style mount.

Edited by 6speedblazer

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Thanks for the suggestions. ultimately I think JW's solution and going for pinned bushings would be the best. it would also allow me to drop the engine slightly like i wanted to. I still have some rear suspension bushings left over from when i changed all my suspension bushings.

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Nice build! Unique, what you wanted and works...and that really matters!

 

Did you have any issues with getting the headers to fit? Which ones are they, and would they just fit on a 5.7 swap?

 

Thanks!

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Nice build! Unique, what you wanted and works...and that really matters!

 

Did you have any issues with getting the headers to fit? Which ones are they, and would they just fit on a 5.7 swap?

 

Thanks!

 

Thanks. Nope no issues with the headers. Since it was nearly imposible to find stainless headers for the 4x4 LS swap, I just bought the bends and custom fabed them up myself. the Passenger was pretty easy to fit but the drivers was a little tricky. the bolt pattern for the LS engines are staggered and are the same for all LS based engines but the older 5.7 have a straight bolt pattern which is not the same.

 

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