LS-1 into my daily driver

Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 20th 2016, 2:30am

I have a general question for you guys that have done a LS swap. My van has 3 fuel lines at the back of the engine. One is pressure the other return, I assume the third is emissions crap. The LS only has one fuel inlet but I don't see a return line like the original engine has. How did you run your fuel lines and make everything work right?
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » December 20th 2016, 2:41am

You can get a fuel rail with a return line on it our use a filter with the return port on it. Couple ways of doing it. I was lucky enough to have a intake with a return on it. I used gates high psi fuel hose and some dorman fittings and made my own lines from the filter. 1998-2002 camaro had pretty basic return less system. They just used a distribution block before the filter.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 21st 2016, 11:24pm

Today I was able to get the A/C, P/S bracket mounted up. It didn't work out as easily as I thought but it still worked. It had to be trimmed to clear part of the water pump and one of the lines on the intake. It does come close to the brake pump but I'll wait and see on that one. I was only able to use two bolts to attach it but I am pretty sure this will be fine since they are on opposite sides of the bracket and the surface area should stabilize it. What do you guys think? Tomorrow I am going to see if the alternator bracket can be made to fit.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby markmitch » December 21st 2016, 11:36pm

When I installed a v8 in my van I bought some flat bar stock steel and bent a few brackets that mount from the intake to the accessories brackets and from the exhaust manifold to the intake manifold for support brackets. It takes a while to get these correct with just a bench vice but I got them done then I painted them flat black to make them look decent. I had to do this to use the V6 brackets to work right cause the support brackets for the V6 were in some cases to short or missing something. Not sure if this helps, Mark
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby TurnNburnTurnNburn is online! » December 21st 2016, 11:40pm

I would say run it! More bolts would be better though. What are your thoughts on drilling new holes or slotting the old ones so that you could get all of them back in? I cant imagine there is that much toque on this bracket to brake it but you never know. Let'er buck!

Markmitchs idea is a good way to solve this problem if redrilling doesn't turn out to be practical
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » December 21st 2016, 11:47pm

I wouldn't run it with two bolts but give it a whirl i guess. Check out this build might be something to think about when you try and mount the Alternator bracket tomorrow.



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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby 97cargocrawler » December 22nd 2016, 12:21am

You can't drill a blind hole into the head? Like 0.5" deep?
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » December 22nd 2016, 1:52am

I could, but my luck I would drill into something expensive like a water passage and ruin the head.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby 97cargocrawler » December 22nd 2016, 2:56am

Nope, wouldnt ruin it you would just need thread sealer on that bolt. I just did heads on my 6.5l and one forward facing bolt holes in the head goes right into a coolant passage. Seal the threads and under bolt head with high temp permatex thread sealer and it should be ok.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » December 22nd 2016, 3:03am

Agree with cargo I just looked at a set of heads I have laying around and the only issue I see is the Head bolt is about right where that upper bolt is. Pull the valve cover off and confirm. Drill and tap my friend :) Let us know you could be paving the way for future swaps.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby Mmusicman » December 22nd 2016, 2:15pm

Hitting a water jacket on a cylinder head is no big deal! I had to drill an old style head once, hit water-jacket, and I've never had an issue. It is preferred to drill and tap deep, rather than shallow.

FYI, water pump bolt holes (or at least one or two) are typically also drilled into the same water jacket. As mentioned, simply seal the bolt when installing.

Here's a picture of mine:

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In my case: I used 7/16" Chromoly head studs:

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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby markmitch » December 22nd 2016, 5:23pm

I have also welded a tab onto a bracket to reach a hole that was further down and bolted it on to give the bracket more strength in the past so even if your bracket is aluminum you can make the tab out of flat aluminum stock and have a welded weld it for you instead of drilling the head. Just a thought.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » January 3rd 2017, 11:12pm

I was able to get back to work on my van and was able to fabricate a alternator bracket today. I made them from flat stock from Home Depot. Bent it into a L bracket. Made 4 of them. And attached them to some unused holes where the air conditioner used to be on the bottom passenger side. Granted it's not show quality but it's not a show truck. Best of all it only cost about $11.00 for the metal and I have plenty left over incase I have to make something else.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby TurnNburnTurnNburn is online! » January 4th 2017, 12:00am

That alternator bracketry is freaking brilliant!
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » January 16th 2017, 9:55pm

So everything is buttoned up for the startup. No serpentine belt or radiator at this point. I want to be sure it will fire and run so I don't have to take it all apart again if it doesn't. Cranked it over and nothing. After several calls to Painless wiring's tech line, they are great BTW. Turns out that it was 2 things. 1st there are 3 ground wires at the back of the harness that were all zip tied together so I attached them to 1 bolt. WRONG, they all have to go to separate points and can not be attached together(that should be put in the instructions). 2nd the switched power wire I was using would shut off after 5 seconds when hooked to the new harness but would stay at 12v when using a volt meter. So I reattached the grounds and found a new 12v source and it fired right up. BUT!!!!!!!! no oil pressure,,,,:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Also my original bracket for the A/C and P/S pumps can not be used as the belt won't line up so I will be making some new ones. CopperFiremist my apologies, you were right :bow: , but I had to try.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » January 16th 2017, 11:15pm

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How long did it run for? Sometimes it takes a few seconds to come up after its been sitting. There is a fat o ring around the pick up tube where it bolts into the oil pump sometimes they fall off get double stacked etc.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » January 17th 2017, 12:17pm

I put a new o ring on it when I changed the pan out. It ran for about 15 seconds. The oil didn't even get to the filter. I've been told from an LS forum that it has lost its "prime" and needs to be reprimed. The oil pump is on the front of the crank instead of in the pan and the pickup tube runs to the rear of the pan and is about an inch in diameter. The pump can not make enough vacuum to draw the oil up to it until it gets reprimed.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby chevymaher » January 17th 2017, 1:04pm

codydaniels wrote:I put a new o ring on it when I changed the pan out. It ran for about 15 seconds. The oil didn't even get to the filter. I've been told from an LS forum that it has lost its "prime" and needs to be reprimed. The oil pump is on the front of the crank instead of in the pan and the pickup tube runs to the rear of the pan and is about an inch in diameter. The pump can not make enough vacuum to draw the oil up to it until it gets reprimed.


I am all for new information. How do you manually prime that type of motor.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » January 17th 2017, 5:43pm

Here is a simplified diagram of an LS1 oil system. Also a picture off the pickup tube so you can get an idea of why its hard to get oil in them if its dry. I made a oil primer for it this morning and pumped oil thru the whole engine, started it up and it would not hold pressure. I will have to pull the pump off next.
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Re: LS-1 into my daily driver

Postby codydaniels [OP] » January 25th 2017, 3:00am

Got to work on the van again last weekend. I pulled the engine back out and put it on the stand. When I pulled the pan off I found that when I replaced the o ring it did not seat correctly against the flange so it wouldn't seal. I took it apart and put yet another new o ring on and put it back together. I primed it and reinstalled the starter. Then ran power to the starter and finally have oil pressure. :banana: I did find out that the Camaro, Trans Am or Corvette oil pick up tube uses a smaller diameter o ring than the truck pickup tube that has to be used on an LS swap into an Astro van. The picture shows both side by side. Visually the two pickup tube appear to be the same diameter, apparently they are not. The parts guy at Chevy didn't know this either. I'm off the next two days so hopefully I can get it back in the chassis.
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