Re: source for 5.3's
You need to go to a bigger city. Can get them anywhere in Dallas or Houston. Surprised your having trouble around New Orleans.
You should be able to get complete engine, top to bottom and wiring harness and ECM for $850. Don't let the cheapness of the engine fool you. It can get expensive retrofitting one into an older car. Ask me how I know!
1969 Camaro - Intense Blue Pearlcoat/white (Baldwin-Motion paint scheme), stock 6.2 liter L92 with VVT, LS3 intake, Doug's Headers; Tremec TKO, 3.73 12-bolt posi.