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Discussion Starter #1
I live in a condo in downtown Miami. Here is the view:




I am fortunate enough to have a 1968 Camaro. I purchased the camaro for $2000 in the summer of 2001, when I was in college. It had a blown engine and a powerglide transmission. The upholstery was shot. It had a nice krylon paint job.

I put in a 383 and a TH 350 a couple years back. Also got the car painted. It was equipped with the pro-topline heads, and a 222/232 custom ground cam with .447 lift. I ran it with a rebuild holley carb on an air-gap intake. It had ceramic coated headers and a flow master exahust. I installed the Mark 8 fan and an aluminum 4 core radiator. The car never was really something I could drive every day. The car would stall on hard braking, backfire, stall at idle, and otherwise drive like crap. I'd put a timing light to get it to run well and set the idle speed, and then drive it out for a weekend, but then next time I'd drive it the weather or humidity would be different and it would drive like crap again.

Here is the car as it sits today:



As you can imagine, you can't exactly work on a Camaro in downtown Miami. So the car is located in the warehouse district waaaaay down south, where I can get a smallish warehouse for very, very cheap. Each weekend I drive about a half hour to get to the car where I work on it. I've become sick of having such a fun car but having it be so tempermental. I understand I could proobably tune it and put on a choke and fiddle with it to get it running perfectly, but let's face it: carbs do not even compare with EFI for drivability. I wanted the car to be like my 99 trans am. Turn the key, go. Change oil every 3000 miles and that's about it. Furthermore, the old technology, including different valve angles and hydraulic rollers makes the modern GM V8 pretty much the best engine out there that will pretty much bolt up to a 68 camaro.

So a few weeks ago I bought this:


It is an Lq4 6.0L truck engine from a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado. You can get these shortblocks for $800. This one was $1500 as it came with all accessories, ECU, and harness. I've shipped the ecu to Brenden at lt1swap.com, who is programming it for me. He charges only $75.

Here is the old engine:


Here is me taking the old engine out:


The engine bay needs to be cleaned up:



I've decided I am going to purchase the following items:
Ls3 heads for $660.
Dynatech conversion headers for $400
An autokraft oil pan for clearing the 68 for $400.
I already got an LS3 intake from a 2010 Camaro with the stock 42lb injectors from ebay for $300.


Patrick G over at LS1tech.com offers a service where he will design a camshaft for you for $25. With the LS3/L92 style heads (same thing) and the LS3 intake, Patcik designed a streetable cam that made a dyno proven 460rwhp/440 ft.lbs. of torque, the cam will total $400.

$1500 engine.
$400 cam.
$400 oil pan.
$300 intake.
$660 heads.
$75 programming.
$200 TB
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$3500 or so for an engine that will put down at least 400 rwhp and can be driven every day.

I'm using the upgraded spectra tank: $400
The upgraded walbro pump: $200
The 99 vette regulator: $50
and telfon fuel lines with the fittings were about $100.

So I figure $750 for the fueling system.

Transmission will be a $4l80e, figure about $1000 for rebuilt one from EBAY with a stock converter (I don't care about the weight of the converter with the HP I'll make).
And I figure around $300 for the driveshaft work.

Factor in a $3-400 bucks for the extras (mount plates, gaskets) and I think I can do this swap for around six grand. Not bad for an over-driven 400rwhp street car that will run on pump gas.
 

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Nice ride and nice view. Alot can be said for changing to an LS engine, as you say, drivabilty and the stupid power made from an LS. I wish you Godspeed in the conversion.

My suggestion is to keep an album for pictures and a list of the items bought for the conversion so if you need parts later, you can refer back to the list.
 

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Great thread so far, Ryan. I'm looking forward to following it.
We're doing an LQ4 swap into my buddy's '57 now so after that learning curve is conquered there could be an LS in my old school Camaro one day.
 

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Nice. I am just starting to collect my parts for the 6 litre swap. Your prices are exactly what I was looking at except I think an aftermarket harness. I have the stock harness so maybe that will change. I also am using the 4L80 that I already have. Looks like 2K for a performance rebuild and converter. Now if my 406 would sell...I can pull that one out and get started.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am told that the stock 4l80e will handle 500 ft/lbs of torque. I think I'll be putting that to the test! If it blows up, THEN I'll have a performance rebuild. Why waste 2k?
I just got a bunch of new parts in and I want to take pictures, but my camera phone broke and is in the shop. Jack I highly recommend you check out the LS3 heads/intake combo. You can make 400+ streetable rwhp without blinking an eye. I love these engines.
Also, Brendan from lt1swap has finished my ECM and will be shipping it shortly. Now I'm looking for a tranny and the swap mounts. I think that, aside from gaskets, hoses, and little things, that those will be the last of my big purchases.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got a few things in the mail this week.

Edelbrock 90mm TB:


An LS3 intake, complete with injectors and rails:


LS3 HEADS!!!


I love the beehive springs:


Big valves, 2.165. And you thought 2.02s were big!


260 cc intake runners. Unlike Gen I SBC heads, you can still have a great idle and great street manners with big intake ports:


My god these heads are beautiful.
 

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Don't forget about headers. Also make sure the headers and mounts will work together and clear your steering. Headman makes a matched set. Will the mounts give enough clearance for the autokraft pan? I would bet the pan would work with anything. Are you stabbing the cam in yourself? Is the 4l80 the same dimensions as the 4l60 or will it require tunnel surgery or perhaps just a slight massage with a BFH? I ask because I just purchased a C6 LS2. I have some suspension work to do so I think I'll wait on heads but if the cam is easy to install I may have to do that now. Keep the photos coming.
 

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It should be a good build. I made 363, 392 with my 98. Mods were ported maf, tb, ls6 intake, hooker LT's, off road y. SLP lid box, free mods, and a tune. I was really shocked at how much power you can get out of just basic mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes I will be putting in the cam myself. The cam will be a custom cam made per Patrick Guerra over at ls1tech. The headers will be dynatech. There seem to be three types of mounting plates, 1" forward, 1" back, and stock. I am getting one that will allow you to adjust the mounting plates between all three. I expect this build to make over 400rwhp, and to still be drivable every day. I've read that the 4l80e WILL fit without any tunnel mods. I can only work on the car one day out of the week so it will take a while, but hopefully not too long. I'm hoping to have the engine and tranny in within three weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So far, nothing new with the actual car, but a lot of parts are coming in. There is really no point in driving down south until I get my cam and transmission. Cam is being ground.
Regarding the transmission, I'm in contact with a few places out of state, as everyone here wants > $2k for a rebuilt one.
In the meantime, I'm modding the harness. It's really not that hard, just time consuming. I recommended everyone who does this swap mod their own harness. Brendan has all the info you need at lt1swap.com. You learn so much more this way.

I'm really glad I don't have a wife, as I can only imagine the bitching I'd get over having a wiring harness spread out in my living room.
 

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"I'm really glad I don't have a wife, as I can only imagine the bitching I'd get over having a wiring harness spread out in my living room. "

LOL!
 

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On the harness...I am almost certain to go with the HPtuners software to be able to tune the stock system myself. Has anyone used this program?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've never used tuning software. I have a guy local with a dyno who gave my 99 ta with headers and no other mods 297 rwhp. I can only imagine what he will do with this. HP tuners is great but I don't have the patience to mess with it. I want to do it once and forget about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm getting close to putting the lq4 together and in the engine. I have all of the parts except I'm waiting on my custom cam from Geoff at EPS.
Today I got this:



Hopefully I can get the cam before next weekend. Should make for some good pictures.
 

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I finished pulling my 406 yesterday. Going to start on my LS3 mods to the engine after I finish some work travel in a few weeks. Your engine/trans is/will be same as mine. I understand the the 4L80 fits nice except for the cooling line fittings (if using non stock lines) so the tunnel needs a very minor clearancing just to not rub the line fittings. I will have to get in contact with the LS1 tech guy about a cam, that seems like a wise thing rather than an off the shelf cam. Have you bought the tranny/engine mounts yet?
 

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I will be following the progress of this thread. Nice. :thumbsup:
 

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I finished pulling my 406 yesterday. Going to start on my LS3 mods to the engine after I finish some work travel in a few weeks. Your engine/trans is/will be same as mine. I understand the the 4L80 fits nice except for the cooling line fittings (if using non stock lines) so the tunnel needs a very minor clearancing just to not rub the line fittings. I will have to get in contact with the LS1 tech guy about a cam, that seems like a wise thing rather than an off the shelf cam. Have you bought the tranny/engine mounts yet?
Hot Rod Magazine just did an article with a 4l80 install where they used some 90 degree fittings that really helped.
 
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