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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found a complete LQ4 (iron LS truck block w/everything including the computer) to drop into my van. Been reading threads so much here...appreciate all the info on the board. Thank you.
Still a few questions as I'm gathering all I (believe to) need in order to make this as seamless as possible. Appreciate any insight here.

Have an '05 AWD that's mint condition and want to retain all the stock functionality. Considering a cam since I'll have to have it tuned anyway and eliminating the rear O2's to go with and X-pipe and duals but that's irrelevant to the concerns below.

A/C: Have to relocate the compressor to make it work on the new LS block. Checked the Alan Grove site and those brackets all refer to using a Sanden A/C compressor. Any experience here? Can I fit my compressor to their bracket or am I now running A/C lines to the donor's compressor?

Clearance: Are you guys all using 2" body lifts? Prefer to not do a body lift but need to know if it's necessary to fit the LS w/truck intake under the dog house?

Oil pan: Has anyone had success with a pan fitting into an AWD without fabricating one?

Differential bracket: Only seen one mention of this. What have you guys done up front to fit the LS block?

Intake: Concerned there isn't enough intake volume, especially once a V8 is in there. Thoughts or solutions?

Fuel: Is the 4.3 fuel pump enough to feed the V8?

Sooner I get the parts together, sooner it's done.
Thanks.
T
 
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I had to make A/C lines.
And a lot of work to the oil pan, welding and cutting.
I have the original 05 fuel pump in mine, it's fine, intake
will be fine. I had to flash the ecm like 4 times because
the anti theft had a hissy fit with the new eng. I think
I set it to 0-0-0 or something like that. It's been a while now,
The oil pan was the worst part.
 

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Where to start. Oil pan and front diff mount will be a big issue. I found a oil pan but I cant find it right now. These guys make a nice low profile pan. http://www.kevkoracing.com/wetsump_chevy.htm You will still have to cut the pan around the front diff pumpkin. I just bought the Alan grove bracket you will have to use a rear exit manifold on Saden 508 compressor. The lines will need to be 180 off the back of the pump haven't got that far yet... You will also have to cut some ears off the Saden to make it fit. I have hours and hours into figuring out this A/C system. You will have to modify the front diff bracket the AC comp wont fit in there with the stock diff bracket nor will the engine fit. I raised my engine about an inch. Half inch plate on the frame and the SBC to LS plates added another half inch. I mocked mine up and its TIGHT on top of the intake but I think with new body mounts It should be enough. Though I haven't ruled out a 2" lift. Check out my thread. Its a lot of trail and error. PM me if you want.
 

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I have not done a V8 swap..

But...

For me, and some others, lifting the van made life easier when replacing or adjusting around the shocks or under the hood. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone with 4 inch lift instead of just 2.

For a complete engine replacement, a lift seems useful.

Also, any thoughts on how your van will handle the new found power? Also, I am guessing the new engine will be heavier than the old one. New shocks? New rear shocks...leaf upgrade?

Just random thoughts. Good luck!
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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Vandiction said:
Oil pan: Has anyone had success with a pan fitting into an AWD without fabricating one?
For me... with aprox 7" of body lift on my AWD.. I plan to simply lift the motor what ever is needed, and not touch the oil pan. I would think if cutting the pan is typically a few inches"... then raising the body and motor the same few inches should accommodate. (I don't know how much is typically cut from pan).

Fuel: Is the 4.3 fuel pump enough to feed the V8?
Is this going to be a carbureted engine, or fuel injection?
The stock 4.3 fuel pump in my 92 was adequate for my carbureted V8-350.

Looking forward to watching your progress!!!
 

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The aluminum LS engines weigh LESS than that 4.3 boat anchor. The '99 LS1 that I put in my '98 RWD Astro was trying to kill me until I put on a rear anti sway bar. Since then it was fine.


Stock fuel pump was plenty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Meterpig said:
The poster wrote "iron LS truck block". Does that make a difference?
Just that the LQ will heavier than the aluminum LS block. Otherwise, it's all the same.
Already have re-indexed torsion keys, adjustable shocks, new sway bar and idler arms so, maybe a little more cranking and dial up the shocks plus an alignment should be enough. Sitting up @3.5" over stock w the keys and the tires now...not interested in another 2" of body lift and raising the COG any further if I don't have to. Like where it is.

Sounds like the A/C, the front diff bracket and the oil pan are the hurdles.

Is it just the width of the LS oil pan that's causing the front diff issue?
 

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Vandiction said:
Meterpig said:
The poster wrote "iron LS truck block". Does that make a difference?
Just that the LQ will heavier than the aluminum LS block. Otherwise, it's all the same.
Already have re-indexed torsion keys, adjustable shocks, new sway bar and idler arms so, maybe a little more cranking and dial up the shocks plus an alignment should be enough. Sitting up @3.5" over stock w the keys and the tires now...not interested in another 2" of body lift and raising the COG any further if I don't have to. Like where it is.

Sounds like the A/C, the front diff bracket and the oil pan are the hurdles.

Is it just the width of the LS oil pan that's causing the front diff issue?
Food for thought...throw a body lift in and lower the keys. Did you relocate the A arm ball joint? I prefer a neutral A arm and a higher body lift. Just food for thought.
 

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Yeah the width of the pan is the big issue the 4.3 and 5.7 have a narrower bottom end. The LS Main cap bearings is where the width comes from. I would go for a tin low profile pan and make that work. You will have to cut the crap out of the front diff mount. Or my other thought was to try and use a Trailblazer "LS motor" front diff and oil pan. The diff mounts to the oil pan/engine but that's just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Moving forward with the concept of lifting the body 2" and raising the motor in hope of clearing the diff. See how it plays from there.
Where's the emoji that prays?
 

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A lot of good info on this thread. I've got an '03 Safari SLT AWD and I'm toying with the idea of putting a 2003 5.3L aluminum block engine in it, and I'd like to add a 5spd manual as well. But the swap has to be a bolt-in without a body/suspension lift. I want it to look stock. (I've converted two cars from auto to manual, and rebuilt a couple engines, and converted a Caravan from a 4cyl to a V6, so I know what I'm getting myself into..) The biggest problem from what I've found out so far, like you guys have mentioned, is going to be the oil pan.. I need to be able to mount everything in the stock position. Oil pan and engine mounts are the key. Is there /anyone/ who makes a pan that might work? But them there will be the trans decision (using the stocker or what ever comes with the engine) trans mount alignment if I use a different trans, connecting to the transfer case, the ECU, functional gauges -trip computer -cruise control, ditching the clutch fan & changing to electric fans for engine cooling.... I plan to use this for towing in the future, so there will be added trans and steering coolers... What would be a good doner vehicle for the engine/trans/ECU?
Yeah, I know I've got my work cut out for me. But I've never let a challenge stop me before. I've found some info from jagsthatrun.com, they have conversion parts and info for a variety of vehicles, including V8 Astros & Safaris.. Any more info would help.
Good luck Vandiction, keep us updated.
 

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Without the body lift, the coil packs will have to be moved (the opening in the floor is not wide enough for the coil packs mounted in the factory location - on the valve covers). My coil packs are on top of the car intake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
And, if you want an easier V8 swap into an AWD without the hassles, use a 350 motor. The narrower block is the same width as the 4.3. It's swapping to an LS block...tight fit.
 

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Yeah, I thought about that. It would certainly be easier, there's no denying that. There are two glaring facts staring me in the face though.. 1) The 5.3 is a /far/ more efficient engine capable of at least the same fuel economy, if not better than the 4.3, (and will most likely last a lot longer than a 350 before rebuild time comes). 350's have never really been known for fuel efficiency at higher power levels. A 350-400hp 'tree fiddy' is gonna suck gas like.. well, fill in the blank.. (without spending a fortune on aftermarket heads, that is) A 5.3 at the same power level won't use much more gas than the 4.3. And #2), I live in PA and they won't let you swap in an engine older than the vehicle... and I'd still like to be able to drive it.
 

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FWIW dept.

I find it hard to beleive a 5.3 or a 350 would outlast a 4.3. They make it over 300 thousand on a regular basis if there are no problems killing them. Like running it out of oil.

I never got bad mileage with 350's. It just a matter of a well built and tuned engine with a gear matched to it. I have had a bunch silly powerful ones in chevelles and camaros over the years. Despite keeping the 4.3 in the van I am a V-8 guy at heart.

5.3's came with OD's and 350's did not. Saddle a 5.3 with a non OD trans they don't do so well either. Old school high powered big blocks get good mileage with cams if they got a OD.

It just a matter of putting it together well with some planning. And what you just want to use. I get power and mileage with the 4.3's.

It all in what you want to do.
 

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You've got a point, Chevy. Oh, and what I was trying to say is the 5.3 will most likely outlast a 350. I know the 4.3's are hearty little engines, and about as hard to kill as a Slant Six. It's just if you are looking for both power /and/ fuel economy, it's hard to beat a LS series engine. I know it's going to be harder to install, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run. grandamle91 has an AWD with a 6.0L that he says gets mileage in the 20's... (he added a body lift to make it fit over the front diff..) If that's true, that's awesome. Just seems to me that with a LS series, you can have your cake and eat it too.. I just need to figure out how I can shoehorn one in without lifting the van...
 

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Exactly.
Anyone know of anybody who makes a stamped steel oil pan for the LS? (easier to modify)
It would also be nice to have a polyurethane mock-up long block for this.. It would make the whole project a lot easier... Anyone know where to find a used one? ..New, they are about $425. P-Ayr Products makes them, and they are available all over the place, new. Somebody's got to have one in their garage taking up space that they used for a project....
 
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