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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started my build this past spring and will post a few times to get caught up where I am now so if this a bit long winded my apologies as I should of started this earlier.

My small block served me well for numerous years of spirited driving but it was time for a change.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Hood

The Purists might want to move to the next thread or stick around and quite possibly learn a few things as I have from talking to a few members here on TC. Also PT.com has been helpful as well as LS1tech for engine info.
The engine started to leak and needed some attention so rather than remove and refurbish I decided a few years ago that a LS conversion plan was put in place. LT-1 style engine and M20 was sold this past year to help finance the build.

After educating myself on the various LS engine platforms I decided on a Gen III LQ4 as a base. They're plentiful from various GM pickups, vans, Escalades LQ9's. I didn't want to worry about sleeving an aluminum block and another reason was that they can only be bored over I believe to .005 safely.
Automotive fuel system Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Car

A deal was struck with a yard for the complete 2003 6.0L engine, wiring harness, ECU and even exhaust manifolds for 700.00 delivered to their closer yard. I sold off everything that I wasn't going to use which netted me 400.00 off my original purchase price. Iron short block, front and rear covers for 300.00. Someone bought the exhaust manifolds for $60.00!
Some might say I would've been better off buying a complete LS3.......maybe but this way I get to choose the quality internal parts I'll use plus here in the Toronto area there are numerous engine builders that have good reputations.

Automotive tire Bumper Automotive engine gasket Motor vehicle Gas

Block dropped off at the machine shop for the build.

That's it for tonight more to come.
 

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1968 Camaro LS swap, TH350 FMFVB, 5000 stall, 12 bolt w/ 35 spline and spooled 4.10's
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Pretty much how I started, 2005 LQ4 short block that was pulled for no oil pressure (#3 cam bearing gone).
Everything looked perfect except the cam and bearing (100K mile motor). I dropped it off at the machine shop along with the LS3 heads, and all new gaskets, rings, etc.

Basically a new motor for half the price of a GM crate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, these seem to keep going for quite a few miles. I completely rebuilt it with a slight increase in the compression and Gen IV rods. hopefully last me a few years. Weighs a few more pounds compared to the aluminum longblock version but probably weighs less than a original long small block. Gm now offers this same setup as a longblock for around 4500.00 if you can find one.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Next phase was building the engine. Some on here talk about body shop jail, I was in engine jail from Dec./20- May/21, my engine guy was so busy with all kinds of engines, small blocks, big blocks, LS, LS7, even a motorcycle motor. Anyways it all turned out exactly the way I had envisioned it.
Here are some of the parts that were used. Its been a collection of 3 years worth to ease the financial burden of getting shock all at once.
From this:
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive wheel system Rim Gas
Gas Composite material Engineering Auto part Machine
Hood Automotive exterior Gas Auto part Automotive design
Kitchen appliance Audio equipment Home appliance Gas Camera lens
Tool Kitchen utensil Auto part Metal Circle
Automotive tire Window Wood Audio equipment Shipping box
Brown Material property Font Rectangle Eyewear


To this.
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Holley 302-2 oil pan used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My engine builder has a few guys working for him that were supposed to install things but was he so busy I'd have to wait longer which didn't sit well for me. My brand new TKX warranty was being used up while the car sat idle. I had to resort to plan 'B'.
One of my buddies, Rick helped with the transporting the new engine to another acquaintance, Randy who has BMW race shop that took on the swap for me. Good thing is his main mechanic has a turbo LS pickup truck which solidified things for me.
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Late Christmas present in March.

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Good old reliable

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Its finally gonna happen!
 

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1969 Camaro ss, 396 big block, 4 speed munice
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Pretty much how I started, 2005 LQ4 short block that was pulled for no oil pressure (#3 cam bearing gone). Everything looked perfect except the cam and bearing (100K mile motor). I dropped it off at the machine shop along with the LS3 heads, and all new gaskets, rings, etc. Basically a new motor for half the price of a GM crate.
hi, what transmission did you use for your LQ4? how has it been performing ever since you installed it? i might consider going this route as well due to an LS3 being a little expensive for me atleast.
 

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1969 Camaro ss, 396 big block, 4 speed munice
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33 Posts
I started my build this past spring and will post a few times to get caught up where I am now so if this a bit long winded my apologies as I should of started this earlier.

My small block served me well for numerous years of spirited driving but it was time for a change.
View attachment 281220
The Purists might want to move to the next thread or stick around and quite possibly learn a few things as I have from talking to a few members here on TC. Also PT.com has been helpful as well as LS1tech for engine info.
The engine started to leak and needed some attention so rather than remove and refurbish I decided a few years ago that a LS conversion plan was put in place. LT-1 style engine and M20 was sold this past year to help finance the build.

After educating myself on the various LS engine platforms I decided on a Gen III LQ4 as a base. They're plentiful from various GM pickups, vans, Escalades LQ9's. I didn't want to worry about sleeving an aluminum block and another reason was that they can only be bored over I believe to .005 safely.
View attachment 281221
A deal was struck with a yard for the complete 2003 6.0L engine, wiring harness, ECU and even exhaust manifolds for 700.00 delivered to their closer yard. I sold off everything that I wasn't going to use which netted me 400.00 off my original purchase price. Iron short block, front and rear covers for 300.00. Someone bought the exhaust manifolds for $60.00!
Some might say I would've been better off buying a complete LS3.......maybe but this way I get to choose the quality internal parts I'll use plus here in the Toronto area there are numerous engine builders that have good reputations.

View attachment 281222
Block dropped off at the machine shop for the build.

That's it for tonight more to come.
Great to hear about your build. Im really excited for you. Hope everything works out well. Im might consider doing the same thing as well. BTW, what kind of wheels do you have?
 

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1968 Camaro LS swap, TH350 FMFVB, 5000 stall, 12 bolt w/ 35 spline and spooled 4.10's
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21,229 Posts
hi, what transmission did you use for your LQ4? how has it been performing ever since you installed it? i might consider going this route as well due to an LS3 being a little expensive for me atleast.
TH350 and 10.9's so far NA ....Not as radical as my old 406" SBC solid roller motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great to hear about your build. Im really excited for you. Hope everything works out well. Im might consider doing the same thing as well. BTW, what kind of wheels do you have?
Thanks, they are from company called US mags. One piece cast not terribly expensive but provided the look I was looking for the time being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
As the build progresses it came time to put the engine in. Before it went in a few things had to be done like notching the frame because I'm using the LS1 2002 Camaro accessory spacing. I personally don't like the alternator up high in the engine bay. So the frame had to be notched just in case the alternator posed a problem of hitting the frame.
Bumper Automotive tire Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system Gas


I wanted to help with dialing in the bellhousing as this has to be accurate in order to avoid input shaft problems as well as any warranty claims.......hopefully not. This part took quite a bit of time to get to acceptable results, its better to spend the time now rather than having to take things out again while in the car.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Steering wheel Alloy wheel

I had previously purchased different offset dowel pins just case they were needed but the ones that were used came from GM dealership. The new 621 LS bellhousing came into spec but the parallel had to be shimmed as best as we could to achieve .002" runout.
Next up was the shimming of the hydraulic bearing clearance, lines were sealed with teflon tape. Mcleod billet flywheel was attached to a new Centerforce clutch I had from a previous claim. One thing about the new clutch is the ring that holds the weights on the diaphragm was increased quite a bit, this was part of the original problem.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Gas Engineering
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Locking hubs Rim Wheel
Automotive tire Light Motor vehicle Alloy wheel Automotive design

I'm jumping ahead but when I got the car home I had noticed that the bellhousing had gaps which could be problematic so I went ahead and put in some fillers pieces in to act as a barrier of keeping the elements out just in case.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Hood Automotive lighting
Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Bumper Trunk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It was time to mate up the engine and transmission together. My time in the shop had expired and I had to vacate and allow them to continue on with the install. The trans mount had to be adjusted to allow for the proper driveline angle. From a quick reference check I still need to tweak the trans up a bit to get into the 3 degree max range, I have some aluminum flat stock to create some shims like this:

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Rim Fender
Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive exterior Helmet


Nice thing about the shop that did the conversion for me was that they were able to hook up the headers to my 2.5" existing setup.
I used Hooker Blackjack mid length's, I was considering the Ebay China ones but decided to spent the extra dough and get the ones that wouldn't give me any problems.
Font Fashion accessory Plastic Electric blue Auto part

They tig welded up the o2 stainless bungs some V band clamps to mate up with my system so that I can take things apart if need be.
Vehicle Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive tire Automotive exterior
White Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Light


Once that was done it was time to pay the man and get the car home to continue a s#*tload of things that still needed to be done but I was up to the challenge especially since this is my first go around at this conversion. This is how it left the shop.
Before I called the tow truck the owner made a good point regarding the tow drivers, he said that I should slip the driver a few bucks beforehand and this would make a difference on how he handles the car. I have CAA equivalent to AAA so slipped the driver a 20 before he started not after and told him to take care of the car.........boy did that help! That was July 15th now the quest continued at home. It's looking like a nice day today, time to get busy in the garage.
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Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Land vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay moving onward to the next phase, time to do some wiring. It all started with routing the main wiring harness through the fire wall, you have to make sure there aren't any obstructions so careful considerations here. I decided that my wiring harness was long enough to place in the glovebox.
As mentioned earlier alot of parts were purchased well in advance and one of those purchases was my wiring harness and ECM. My Fitech 70050 unit was purchased back in Nov. 2017, at that time $710.00 for a wiring harness and ECM was pretty good and the Holley terminator stuff wasn't out yet. Plus I wanted something I could tune on the included small screen. A tuner friend of mine is familiar with Pro-cal software to get things really dialed in.
Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive design Motor vehicle Vehicle
Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Auto part Automotive air manifold Automotive battery

I fabbed a couple of brackets to mount things, I have to give credit to stamatisg1977 for his posting regarding mounting the ECM in the glovebox roof while still allowing good access to store things. Rivnuts/ threaded inserts were my friend here, this tool is worth it for mounting things.
https://www.princessauto.com/en/45-pc-threaded-insert-tool-kit/product/PA0002925204
Once things were routed to the engine bay it was time to figure out things with the rest of wiring hookups.
Gas Machine Fixture Plant Wood
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Material property Automotive lighting Automotive exterior
Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle Automotive exterior Vehicle door


I started with a couple of terminal hubs so I wouldn't clutter up the top battery area. A 34/78 battery with 4 connections worked well for me. Gotta love a wife who buys you a new battery for your last birthday!
Wood Rectangle Material property Gas Tints and shades
Hood Automotive design Automotive tire Motor vehicle Steering wheel
Product Kitchen appliance Home appliance Cylinder Gas


From here it was onto the fan relays, since my controller has 2 fan outputs, I had to use 2 ground activated relays. I found a suitable location and proceeded to mount them into an enclosure I got at an electronic supply store. Although it serves its purpose for now I found another one that looks factory-ish that I'll retro fit another time as I just wanted to get things fired up before the winter is upon us.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07G2GR4TR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Next up was mounting the fuel pump relay in the trunk. I used a few products from Deatschwerks. Their fuel filters, relays, and fittings are all really nice products and worked out well for me.
While working on the fuel system I took some time to figure out the in tank fuel pump since these 2 aspects are related. My Holley intank fuel pump module that I have purchased along the way was now going to be used. I had a shop weld a nut so my vent fitting on top of the tank would be used along with my vented cap.
Original tank getting some attention, I used this setup instead of another one to save a few bucks plus the Holley setup is good for 550 hp, my engine rating 507 hp.
Upon running a new 225 psi fuel line to the front, I decided to change the intake input line to the passenger side of the LS3 intake, I didn't want to traverse the fuel line across the firewall then inputting on the driver's side.
Automotive tire Wood Tints and shades Rim Tire
Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper
Automotive tire Bicycle part Yellow Rim Cameras & optics
Automotive tire Plumbing fixture Motor vehicle Audio equipment Gas
Bumper Material property Cylinder Gas Auto part
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As things got finished up at the rear of the car it was time to work on the front fan setup. New aluminum rad with Spal dual fans with a cfm rating of 2720. This fan setup would work out with rad core dimensions.
SPAL Automotive USA 30102052 Spal Electric Fans | Summit Racing
So I had my metal guy Eli, bend me up 3 pieces of aluminum for the brackets just in case I f*#ked up one of them up, then the measuring cutting began and figuring out how and what fasteners were going to be used. Brackets turned out pretty good.
Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Automotive exterior

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design


Metricpack connectors for the dual fans.
Water Landscape Metal Wood Fixed link



Started to add the accessory drive pieces to house the power steering pump and alternator. Ended up going with these pieces that I had anodized black.
Bumper Wood Tool Font Automotive exterior
Automotive tire Light Automotive lighting Locking hubs Automotive design

Even though I used the engine mount/plate brackets now, I would recommend using the Holley engine mount brackets, they say that their brackets gets the driveline angle in and about 3-3.5 degree area which would avoided me having to alter the trans mount and shim it even higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One of the upgrades to the stock rocker arms that I wanted to do was to get a trunnion kit from Brian Tooley. I used this kit.
Musical instrument Guitar accessory Automotive tire Audio equipment Shelf
Building Red Gas Barware Machine
Pressing on new bearings

Automotive tire Automotive design Gas Engineering Tread
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Alloy wheel Automotive design Rim


As most builds go problems pop up. as I was tightening/ torquing up the last rocker arm bolt on #2 cylinder the bolt snapped.
Oh (insert curse word here)
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Rim Gas Automotive wheel system


So after some research and talking to my engine builder, he mentioned that the bolt hasn't bottom out and should come out. With 2 left hand drill bits and some punches and awl the task began. 1st the drilling to try and start the counterclockwise removal.
Wood Door Terrestrial plant Natural material Shotgun


Marked the 12 and 6 o'clock position with a fine sharpie and began the process with tapping patience.
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Voila, out it came...........it was like a won the lottery considering these were brand new LS3 heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
With the finish line in sight, I was having a hard time bleeding the clutch master after trying a few times, I just couldn't get it bled. Had my wife view Mcleod's tutorial online so she knew how to pump the pedal and procedure, while I was underneath submersing the bleeder screw. So, I proceeded to take the pedal parts off and retry to align everything up again. Then the pedal pressure came up, whew! Done!
Then it was time to pressure prime the engine with oil for the 1st start-up. My engine builder recommended Driven 5w30.

Vehicle Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Monochrome


After the break in period a few small issues came up, 1st was a little bit of grinding going into reverse. After a call to Mcleod, Brian told me to adjust the master pushrod as if it was a loose nut and bolt, there has to be a little slack. After some adjustment every gear shifted nice with no grinding, so the lock nut was tightened. I really like the feel of the gear engagement in the TKX, smooth & positive.

Other issue was stopping at the gas station and over filing the gas tank on its maiden voyage which in turn spewed some fuel out the vent by the rear driver's wheel area. I've decided to get a whole new tank and set up from Ricks with the vent tube placed higher than the fuel sending unit, hopefully this and NOT overfilling the tank will correct this. Don, thanks for the advice, Carl spent the time to help me decide which route to go and the parts needed.

On a positive note, there were no engine leaks, car performed well right out of the box considering I didn't push it, sounds healthy going through my existing exhaust with its a mild cam, no pumping of the gas pedal to start, Joanne.....need gift cards from Tirerack for this year's Christmas presents for next summer's replacements, probably get the engine fine-tuned/ tweaked with my tuner buddy Norbert going into some of the tables.

All in all, it's been a whole new experience switching platforms. I'm glad to of gotten the engine broken in before the winter and hope to put a few miles on the car, whatever nice days are ahead of us before it snows.
Onto the next projects for early spring............ anybody have any Summit coupon codes?
 

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I started my build this past spring and will post a few times to get caught up where I am now so if this a bit long winded my apologies as I should of started this earlier.

My small block served me well for numerous years of spirited driving but it was time for a change.
View attachment 281220
The Purists might want to move to the next thread or stick around and quite possibly learn a few things as I have from talking to a few members here on TC. Also PT.com has been helpful as well as LS1tech for engine info.
The engine started to leak and needed some attention so rather than remove and refurbish I decided a few years ago that a LS conversion plan was put in place. LT-1 style engine and M20 was sold this past year to help finance the build.

After educating myself on the various LS engine platforms I decided on a Gen III LQ4 as a base. They're plentiful from various GM pickups, vans, Escalades LQ9's. I didn't want to worry about sleeving an aluminum block and another reason was that they can only be bored over I believe to .005 safely.
View attachment 281221
A deal was struck with a yard for the complete 2003 6.0L engine, wiring harness, ECU and even exhaust manifolds for 700.00 delivered to their closer yard. I sold off everything that I wasn't going to use which netted me 400.00 off my original purchase price. Iron short block, front and rear covers for 300.00. Someone bought the exhaust manifolds for $60.00!
Some might say I would've been better off buying a complete LS3.......maybe but this way I get to choose the quality internal parts I'll use plus here in the Toronto area there are numerous engine builders that have good reputations.

View attachment 281222
Block dropped off at the machine shop for the build.

That's it for tonight more to come.
Sounds like you are well on your way and know how/when/what/why you do what you do! I am hoping to build me another toy when I get my kids out of high school/college. (My son will be 16 in two days and daughter is 13.

Now, forgive me Lord, for I have sinned in the past! My family has always been bow tie…ALWAYS! I got the bright idea to build a little fox body…Never again w a Ford engine in one! Don’t get me wrong, the 331 stroker was a beast. She made 396hp and 344 ft lbs Tq to the tires naturally aspirated. I never would have guessed those numbers. I had TFTW heads, TF Stage 2 cam and Street heat intake. All forged, balanced and blueprinted bottom end built by Keith Craft in Arkansas. I put 60lb injectors in, 300 Lph fuel pump, 90mm TB, cold air intake, long tube headers, under driven pullies, (still had my A/C hooked up…she was a daily driver and it gets hot and humid in west Georgia…I am willing to sacrifice a few ponies to stay cool. I put .3:55 gears w locker in her and TKO tranny. I never got to take her to the track but did have fun on some back roads w my brother and a few others. My bro had a Ram Air T/A he had tinkered with at that time. It was a pretty darn quick lead sled. We went to the local “spot” in front of a closed golf course. The road has a slight rise and fall but straight as an arrow. We lined up, took off and at beat him 3/3 runs. The best part here is…there was two local policeman at the golf course, killing time, and we didn’t notice them. They watched us race all three times, I later was informed by one of the policeman. He had a rookie with him on patrol and the newbie was itching to get us. The only reason they didn’t is put of professional courtesy on my part. I was a paramedic 31 years at my home county and got to know everyone in Fire and law enforcement on a personal friend basis…it’s good having friends in public safety!

anyway…Thank you for the great story. I will try to keep updated. Have a great day!
 
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