LS-1 into my daily driver

LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 14th 2016, 12:33am

A few months ago while driving out to my father inlaws house my engine started ticking. What I didn't notice was the oil pressure was a little low, not much but a little. By the time I got home it sounded like a drum solo. By by crank bearings. So I was left with a very nice van and no engine. After researching how hard it is to remove the engine I called to some local shops. They all stated a minimum of 20 hours labor to remove and replace plus the cost of an engine. So that won't work, I could by another and have some left over for that plus mine has many new parts from the last owner and it is in great shape. So back to the internet. I figured I could put in a small block myself for less that the V6. At that point the little voice in my head told me I should go with a modern fuel injected engine. What better than a LS-1? I found one in the next town that had been rebuilt with a hot cam and an LS-6 intake for a good price. I also got the PCM, radiator and cooling fans from the same guy. Got the V8 swap mounts and SBC to LS brackets. Found other miscellaneous parts I needed on craigslist. Now with everything on hand I found a post here from musicman showing the engine coming out the front. So I cut my radiator support and sure enough the old engine came out fairly straightforward.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 14th 2016, 12:47am

I found a set of Corvette exhaust manifolds on Craigslist and put them on my engine and when I put the mounts on there was clearance issues so I went with the stock Camaro manifolds. For the oil pan I talked with another member mikehaaksma who has already put a LS into his Astro and he told me a truck pan would clear. One was found at the local U-pull salvage yard. I will be using a Painless wiring harness to make it run. Since I live in Florida I have to have A/C in my van and was concerned about availability of a suitable bracket for my A/C compressor. Everyone I found was extremely expensive( $400 or more) or mounted it on the wrong side and I did not want to cut the crossmember to make it fit on the stock bracket and then have to make all new lines for it. I found something online that stated "some" parts are shared between the Vortec and LS engines. I removed the A/C bracket from my old engine and remarkably it bolted directly onto the LS. YES!!!! problem solved.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 14th 2016, 12:58am

I put the engine in yesterday and found a interesting but aggravating issue with GM parts. I have a flexplate from one vehicle and a torque converter from another. Guess what? They used two different bolt patterns on the same year parts and after putting the engine in I found the torque converter has a different pattern than my flexplate :screaming: . So the engine is now back on the stand. I now have everything the same bolt pattern and hope to put the engine back in on Friday. I found that there is a lot more clearance to install this engine without the oil pan on it. The crank does not extend past the bottom edge of the block. After it is in I should be able to lift it high enough to put the oil pickup and pan back on.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby markmitch » December 14th 2016, 1:05am

very cool and pictures too! I'm watching.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby Wimpazz » December 14th 2016, 1:24am

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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby astrotardis » December 14th 2016, 2:43am

So cool watching x3 on this one..
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » December 14th 2016, 3:21am

Also try this A/C bracket I installed it on mine a few weeks ago and had some custom hoses made which were actually cheaper than I thought they would be. Nostalgic A/C is out of Florida they can make custom hoses for you. I used this bracket with a Saden 508 compressor

http://lsbrackets.com/sanden-508sd5h662 ... r-ls-0217/

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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 14th 2016, 3:32am

Thanks but the stock A/C, power steering bracket from the V6 bolts directly to the LS block without any modification (and it's free). This places the compessor and P/S pump in the original location but forward. It should be able to connect to the original hoses. I might be wrong but I should not need the flexplate shim because the engine and transmission are the same year. Astros use the same transmission as Camaros, Trans Ams and all LS/Vortec powered trucks.

What year is your van?
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby WoodButcher » December 14th 2016, 1:09pm

Can't wait...
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » December 15th 2016, 2:06am

codydaniels wrote:Thanks but the stock A/C, power steering bracket from the V6 bolts directly to the LS block without any modification (and it's free). This places the compessor and P/S pump in the original location but forward. It should be able to connect to the original hoses. I might be wrong but I should not need the flexplate shim because the engine and transmission are the same year. Astros use the same transmission as Camaros, Trans Ams and all LS/Vortec powered trucks.

What year is your van?



Mine is a 1998. I was just wondering in that picture you only have two bolts in the bracket do have a picture of it bolted on to that block? I would love to know if it would work. I thought I tried that when I did my swap and determined that it wouldn't bolt up. I know it wont fit with it clocked over like that. :) Also the Vans don't use the same transmissions as the LS/Vortec trucks, they have a 300mm shaft with a lager bell housing and Torque converter. IIRC I beefed up my stock trans and used the spacer plate and oblong holes on my flex plate. Looking good though! Keep the pictures coming!
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby TurnNburn » December 15th 2016, 5:43pm

Keep it coming! Making it look easy. Painless does good work, I would recommend them for any build if you want everything to work normally and fit the engine bay. Although I have rewired wiring harnesses, its not very fun and my time is not worthless, the last one took about 40 hours straight time. Honestly, its worth the extra money for the build to make it right the first time and for the piece of mind as they warranty their work so if the factory smoke comes out, they will fix it.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 16th 2016, 2:54am

Yes all 4 bolt holes line up. There is a small bracket on the back of the P/S pump that wont line up to anything so I will have to come up with something. The bracket is how it was on my V6, but we will see how it fits when I get to that point. I put the engine in today, and it bolted right up to my stock transmission with no problems at all. Possibly yours and mine have different transmissions? But I am by no means an expert. All I can say is mine went together.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » December 16th 2016, 7:17pm

That small bracket I think was only on the trucks as the LS1 had the Power steering pump up top. There might be a square boss there you could drill and tap not sure on the aluminum block. Well I am standing by waiting for pics of your accessories all bolted up. Now I feel like I could of gone a different route on mine but oh well. :banghead: You could be right on the Transmission I forgot yours is 2wd. I would have to dig through my notes. Glad you got in it and bolted up will be watching you.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 16th 2016, 11:05pm

So the engine went in yesterday. All the mounts and bolts and crap have all been tightened up so it's in to stay. Seems like a lot of room in the front but I'm sure once everything is back in you won't be able to see the engine.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby TurnNburn » December 17th 2016, 12:11am

Amazing! Its so far back! is that where the combination of engine mount brackets naturally puts the engine? Does the dog house clear?

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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby AstroWill » December 17th 2016, 4:03am

That is definitely not a hotdog down a hallway situation there. WOW
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 17th 2016, 4:50am

It definitely looks farther back than it should but it's bolted to the stock transmission on the stock mount. The doghouse is supposed to clear but I think the trans dipstick tube is going to be an issue. All those wires are the original ones that will be replaced by the painless wiring harness to make it run.

Nope not a hot dog down the hallway.
The company the mounts came from says a big block will fit ??????????
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby markmitch » December 17th 2016, 6:21am

I once dated (for lack of a better word) a woman we called hallway if that helps and she loved hotdogs :rolling:
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 17th 2016, 9:54pm

Not much progress today. I got all the factory wires bundled up, back into the plastic loom and tucked away. It doesn't look like much but it sure took some time to do. The green wires laying on the brake master are for the A/C compressor.

Now I'm staring at the new harness from Painless and getting a headache :confused:
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby chevymaher » December 17th 2016, 10:02pm

Headache? That isn't very painless. It be worth it when your done.
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