LTX and LSX Putting LT1s, LS1s, and their variants into Third Gens is becoming more popular. This board is for those who are doing and have done the swaps so they can discuss all of their technical aspects including repairs, swap info, and performance upgrades.

4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Old 01-26-2019, 05:40 PM
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Car: '89 Firebird Formula
Engine: TBI 305
Transmission: T5
Axle/Gears: 10-bolt, 3.42s, Torsen diff.
4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I've been following LS swaps on here for awhile, and the consensus is that truck accessories will NOT work, unless you cut a hole in your hood. Air conditioning with the factory compressor? Forget about it, it won't fit.
Well, I'm here to tell you that I made it fit, and I think that this opens up a lot of opportunities for guys trying to swap truck engines into these cars.

I'm so sick of reading about swaps where the poster says "I live in (Northeastern state), so I don't really need the air conditioner anyway."

I live in South Texas, where it is 90+ degrees for 10 months out of the year, and down here you will be begging for working A/C.

I am using UMI adjustable frame perches with factory style 4th gen LS1 engine mounts, and a modified factory transmission crossmember.

Here's the background on the car/ swap: It's my fiance's daily driver, an '89 Firebird with a wheezing, leaking 2.8. I am so sick of fixing leaks on this thing.
So one day I found a deal on an '04 Tahoe that got rolled, and I scored the whole thing for less than a grand.
The engine looks pretty crusty on the outside, but once the valve covers came off, you could tell it had regular oil changes for its whole life. Oil pressure was 40 psi at idle, and a compression test revealed pressures between 180 and 200 psi on all cylinders. The instrument cluster wasn't working, but based on the paperwork, I'd estimate the mileage to be about 200K.

Now here's what you're probably all wondering about: how did I make the truck A/C compressor and bracket fit with the factory 3rd gen steering linkage?
1. I had to cut a notch in the crossmember. I'll post pictures about the work on the crossmember later, but believe me, it's nothing that others haven't done before.
2. I had to modify the truck A/C compressor bracket.
Here is a picture of the factory idler arm next to the truck A/C bracket with the engine installed in the vehicle:


It technically does fit, but there's no room for the nut and stud. What's to be done?
Well, the part that's interfering is the factory truck tensioner mount. What if we didn't need the tensioner at all?
LS powered cars and trucks haven't used tensioners for about ten years; instead they use stretch fit belts. So I cut the mount off.
Now look at all that room! I put a random large nut on the idler arm to illustrate the amount of clearance I now have.



At this point, some people are probably going to say "Yeah, but what about the compressor pulley?"
Well, here's the compressor, with belt installed.

Here's how it looks from the bottom, because I'm sure some people will scream "fake!"



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Old 01-26-2019, 06:18 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

fake news

Glad to see someone make stuff work on a budget. I contemplated trying to make the truck a/c work on mine but decided it was probably a waste of time.

Im 4.8 swapped as well. Just recently drove mine for the first time and the little ls moves the car really good for what it is...a 4.8 with over 200k miles lol
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:42 PM
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Engine: TBI 305
Transmission: T5
Axle/Gears: 10-bolt, 3.42s, Torsen diff.
Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

The next question y'all are probably thinking is how I'm going to mount the power steering and alternator.
I'll be using the factory power steering bracket an pump, and I plan on using this kit to mount the alternator high on the passenger side:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/GM-LS-PASSE...T/292085194921
Has anyone used this before? Because the ICT Billet alternator relocation bracket will not clear my DBW throttle body. I took a lot of measurements, and this seems to be the only option, unless I make something myself.
I'll be using an LS1 Camaro water pump with ICT Billet 3/4" spacers to make it work with the truck accessories.
I tried an alternate tensioner mounting location, pictured here:


That picture was taken with a 4th Generation LS truck water pump that I had laying around, and the LS6 intake manifold I'm going to use. The tensioner is technically on the wrong side of a serpentine belt setup, but I still think this is a viable option for custom applications, so long as you don't leave too much slack in the belt.
If you are using a 3rd generation LS truck DBW throttle body, YOU CANNOT USE THAT WATER PUMP.
See why here:


The DBW motor comes into contact with the water pump outlet; I couldn't even get it close to seated.
(I'm just posting these pictures of my failed attempt at using a later truck water pump with DBW on a car intake in case anyone else wanted to try it.)

I'm using an F-Body oil pan, and I chose to modify my truck windage tray to fit it.
Here's how I did it :
1)I cut off the section for the first two cylinders

2) I had to trim the edges near the oil pan rails. I don't know if this is because I'm using an aftermarket oil pan (Spectra Premium), but I could not get the oil pan so sit flush on the block until I did that.


... And the view from the other side:

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Old 01-26-2019, 06:49 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

For my transmission crossmember, I had the two piece unit, which is a real pain in the *** to find replacement bushings for.
Here it is, with the new engine and transmission (4L60E) mocked up:


As you can see from this other shot, the mounting point needs to move back and up:

So I cut the slotted section of the factory crossmember out, and welded it onto a piece of 3/8" steel that I had laying around. This eliminates the factory two-piece design.

Other side:


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Old 01-26-2019, 06:59 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Here's how I did my crossmember notching (all welds done with a Lincoln 225 welder, using 6011 rods at 75 amps):

I wanted to make sure that I had the most contact area possible between the plates being welded in:


Final weld for that section:


Completed notch:


In case anyone has any criticisms about my welds, this is what GM thought was an acceptable weld for the lower control arm mount:


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Old 01-26-2019, 07:32 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Here's more pictures of the crossmember.

Like I mentioned before, I wanted to maximize the amount of contact/ weld area with the new plates, so I ran some beads on the inside of the crossmember to the best of my abilities:


Bolting the frame perches to the frame is a real pain in the *** with the control arms bolted in, so I decided to tack-weld the nuts to the inside of the frame (I know they look terrible, but you try doing that with an arc welder when you can't get a good angle):


Here's the front of the crossmember, finished, and painted with Ospho (an anti-rusting agent) right before I painted it:


Lastly, I haven't mentioned anything about the back of the crossmember to clear the F-body pan. Here it is, finished:


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Old 01-26-2019, 07:36 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I originally planned to use LS3 exhaust manifolds, but they wouldn't fit.
Read and see the details here: https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/ltx-...manifolds.html
I'll be using LS1 manifolds instead.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:49 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/memb...ome-today.html

look towards the end of my thread. The truck alt location can work.

if I remember right itís lssimple that makes a bracket that will lower the alternator though. I found one somewhere
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:01 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Originally Posted by Billgluckman View Post
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/memb...ome-today.html

look towards the end of my thread. The truck alt location can work.

if I remember right itís lssimple that makes a bracket that will lower the alternator though. I found one somewhere
Great thread/ build; I just finished reading it. You think like I do.

You have an advantage over me, though: Your car is a Camaro, and mine is a Firebird. The front clips are different in more than the nose:
Firebird hoods slope down at a steeper angle than Camaros (no truck alternator clearance), and the fenders roll in tighter at the bottom (this is an obstacle if you want to install a 4th gen coolant tank; it has to be raised to fit, as opposed to a Camaro, where it drops right in.).

With that said... THANK YOU FOR RECOMMENDING THAT BRACKET!
Based on the measurement listed on the bracket I posted, I was only about 90% sure it would fit a Firebird hood.
But that bracket (https://www.ebay.com/i/332988323290?chn=ps) is MUCH lower. Plus, I'll be sure I can run the larger DR44 alternator on there with no interference issues.
Best of all, I already have a 4th gen alternator bracket.
I was originally planning to run 4th gen accessories, but the power steering pump and related components were adding up to be too expensive (even used parts are commanding new prices these days), and I didn't want to mess around with the variable displacement 4th gen A/C compressor.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:28 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

^^that looks low enough. You plan on just chopping the factory bracket above the ps pump?

this is what I hope to do eventually.



Thereís also the dirtydingo mount for ps and alt for $225.


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Old 01-28-2019, 08:30 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

The dirtydingo mount is just too big imo though. Looks ridiculous.

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Old 01-28-2019, 09:20 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Originally Posted by Billgluckman View Post
^^that looks low enough. You plan on just chopping the factory bracket above the ps pump?
I already cut up the factory bracket. I first got the idea of running truck accessories from this guy's swap (gotta give credit where credit is due):
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/ltx-...oc-ls-4-a.html

That mount you suggested looks like it will work great, although I will probably add a little bit of bracing on the back, if possible. I've heard of 4th gen alternator mounts cracking when run on iron blocks without all of the necessary mounting holes.
I agree with you on the Dirty Dingo mounting system; too big!

Also, I want everything to look like it came from the factory. I don't like a bunch of flashy billet parts that scream "MODIFIED!"

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Old 01-29-2019, 09:39 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Yeah Iím not crazy about any of the aftermarket kits but lssimple isnít too gaudy for me.

Iím not sure exactly what Iíll do in the end but my louvered/Iroc hood wont work with the truck alternator bracket and I donít like the stock flat hood. Iím not worried about it until paint time though
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:12 PM
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Car: '89 Firebird Formula
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Axle/Gears: 10-bolt, 3.42s, Torsen diff.
Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

So just as an update, I've stripped down the donor vehicle (2004 Tahoe) harness to all of the basic connectors and circuits, labeling them accordingly.
I followed Pocket's instructions, shown here: https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/ltx-...rt-finish.html



I'm going to be using a fuse box out of a 4th generation Firebird (a '98 - Underhood electrical center 2) to power everything for the engine and transmission; I'll be leaving the factory fuse box in place to run the lights, windshield wipers, etc.
I know that some people might balk at my idea, saying that there are plenty of circuits in the Third-gen fuse panel to power an LS swap... And they're right. But I want to get rid of the big, ugly relays on the firewall of these cars, and I want to simplify troubleshooting if something goes wrong.
So I've labeled all of the circuits in this fuse box (I'll provide more detail later):



As I have mentioned before, I tried fitting this engine in a Third-gen chassis with LS3 exhaust manifolds - it didn't work.

I got some barely used LS1 exhaust manifolds from a guy on LS1tech.com for a low price, and I'm happy with them. Much better fitment!



In other news, I've had nothing but problems with the transmission dipstick tube; I have a tube that is supposed to be from an '88 Firebird V8, but I could not get it to work, no matter how I tried to maneuver it. There was a machining boss on the transmission that gave me nothing but hell, shown here:



It was getting in the way of every way I wanted to get the tube in, whether I had the transmission lowered or not. The worst part is that I had already bent the tube to try and get around it, with no luck; it was only going to require more bending on the the upper end.
So I cut it off.



I'll try getting that tube to work, but the factory Tahoe tube fits very well. I'm just going to have to cut it down to clear the hood/ intake/ etc.
I'll post more progress later.




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Old 02-14-2019, 10:22 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

There's also this bracket from LXS innovations that is pretty similar to the Ls simple one. Just another possibility.

https://www.lsxinnovations.com/produ...ering-bracket/
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:17 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

That looks good, but it's a little more than I want to spend. But thank you for the recommendation.

I got some time to work on the transmission dipstick tube today; after getting rid of that machining boss on the 4L60E case, getting the tube in from the top was a breeze (the mounting plate is cut off on my tube). After I undid the bending I did to my tube when I first started (to accommodate that stupid boss), it looks like the factory Trans Am/ Camaro dipstick tube is a good fit - until you get to the top of the engine.
In my application, the tube was right in the way of the heater hoses, so I tilted the tube sideways and back to clear the intake manifold. Here are some pictures of the (hopefully) finished product.
I'm also thinking of cutting the top of the tube down slightly, because I don't like how much it sticks up.
(for the record, I'm going to be using a cushion clamp to hold the dipstick tube to the cylinder head, since I cut the original mount off.)
From the front:


That is the tube after the top has been bent back, and towards the driver's side. The factory orientation put it right between the heater hoses. I may or may not cut a couple of inches off of it for a cleaner look.

Here is the modified tube from the side:


As I mentioned before, the factory Tahoe tube actually fit pretty well, it just stuck up and out too much. If you didn't have a Third Gen F-body dipstick tube to use, I think this is a viable option.
Just for reference purposes, here is how the Tahoe tube looks when installed:

As you can see, it, too, gets in the way of the heater hoses, but some minor bending and a trim would get it out of the way, and leave it at a more favorable angle than the 4L60 tube in my opinion.

Here is the same tube as viewed from the side:


More updates coming soon.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:49 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I forgot to mention that I'll be moving the HVAC wiring bundle from its place behind the engine to a hole that I cut under the evaporator housing.
This is what I'm talking about:


I'll be moving it to here:


That's also where all of my PCM wiring will be going (I'm going to mount it under the dash, in place of the factory PCM.).
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:54 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Man I didnít have near as much trouble with the dipstick. I had to bend it up a little but it worked. I used a replacement 700r4 dipstick. Just shows that not all replacement parts are created equal
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:35 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Originally Posted by Billgluckman View Post
Man I didnít have near as much trouble with the dipstick. I had to bend it up a little but it worked. I used a replacement 700r4 dipstick. Just shows that not all replacement parts are created equal
Yeah, I've seen lots of builds where guys use the factory dipstick with little to no trouble, but for some reason, I had hell.
I'm guessing that the issue is because of slightly different engine location in the vehicle with the UMI mounts (I still haven't seen any swaps that used those with the factory crossmember. If anyone has any links to some, I'd love to see them.).

And you say that you used a replacement 700r4 dipstick? For what vehicle? Because that thing is sticking way out there in your pictures, like a truck dipstick.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:31 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Originally Posted by dixiebandit69 View Post
Yeah, I've seen lots of builds where guys use the factory dipstick with little to no trouble, but for some reason, I had hell.
I'm guessing that the issue is because of slightly different engine location in the vehicle with the UMI mounts (I still haven't seen any swaps that used those with the factory crossmember. If anyone has any links to some, I'd love to see them.).

And you say that you used a replacement 700r4 dipstick? For what vehicle? Because that thing is sticking way out there in your pictures, like a truck dipstick.
suppose to be for an 88 camaro. Fits fine by me
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:19 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I'm trying to figure out the fuse box wiring right now, and I'm looking for constructive criticism.
I'm starting out with this fuse box from a 4th generation Firebird:



As you can see with my state of the art image manipulation skills, I'll be repurposing two relays for the fuel pump and A/C compressor. I'll also be re-pinning the fuse box with heavier gauge wires for the relays; I'll have more pictures coming of that, as I get to it.

With that said, I'm going to be using the GM three relay fan setup, unless someone can convince me otherwise.

Here is how I'm planning to distribute the power in my swap: (ignore the fuse labeling in the above picture)

Hot in crank: 10A - PCM C2-59

Hot at all times:

25A - Fuel pump and relay control, powered from the headlamp door maxi fuse

20A - PCM B+ - C1- 20, C1- 57

Hot in Start/ Run:

10A - MAF sensor power

20A - PCM power, C1-75, C1-19

25A - Transmission (4L60E), A/C compressor control

15A - INJ 1 and bank 1 COPs

15A - INJ 2 and bank 2 COPs

20A - Throttle body motor


I want to hear what y'all have to say about this setup. I think I'm going to have to add an auxiliary relay to power the "run/start" fuses, because I think that the amount of amperage on those (105 amps, at least as far as the fuses are concerned) is much higher than the big pink wire is rated to carry.

Also, if anyone has any questions about which fuses on the actual fuse box are being used for what, let me know, and I will let you know why I chose the way I did.
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:37 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I didn't use that fuse block because it is big and bulky. For the harnesses I make now I use an Eaton product, it is smaller and fits above the C100
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:15 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Originally Posted by dixiebandit69 View Post
I forgot to mention that I'll be moving the HVAC wiring bundle from its place behind the engine to a hole that I cut under the evaporator housing.
This is what I'm talking about:

If I ever pull my engine out again this is the one thing I had planed to change, its just way to tight, only difference is I routed my PCM wires through the fender like stock thirdgen so I plan on adding them there. This is one thing that should be called out in all the swap guides. Also if you are doing a 4th gen PCM controlled AC you don't need all those wires so you can reduce the number of wires.


I will be curious how much extra time the budget solution will cost you -- but I'm glad you are doing it the way you want and laying ground work for others.

One thing I considered (briefly) was mounting the thirdgen ac compressor backward replacing one of the idlers, but decided it wasn't worth the trouble.

My main complaint of my install is I have to drop the passenger cat in order to replace the rear passenger spark plug, I plan on re routing that eventually so the passenger cat is more or less where the stock third gen cat would be. (oh I built mine 100% emissions legal... for some reason I decided to take on that challenge, I don't live in CA but it should easily pass an inspection there)


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Old 02-27-2019, 10:44 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Here are a few updates: I added a driver's side exhaust relief on the transmission crossmember, and I did some more fuse box work.

I'll be adding some extra bracing to that relief (made from 1/8" steel sheet) in the coming days.

For this whole swap, the wiring is the thing I've been most worried about. As mentioned before, I'm using a fuse box out of a 4th generation Firebird (same one used in many '90s GM cars) to power the engine and transmission, and all related components.
I got a smaller fuse box out of a late '90s Buick FWD car, and took some of the Maxi-fuse terminals out of it. One of them had two 10g wires coming out of it, so I used that for my fan relay power source.
Re-pinning one of these boxes isn't complicated, but the terminals don't come out easily.
Also, I got a pack of 12-10 gauge Metripack 280 connectors. These will be necessary to do this installation cleanly.
Here is the bottom of the fuse box:



Circle 1 is the maxi-fuse power source, constant hot. From the factory, this only had one 12g. wire coming from it.
Circles 2 are the constant hot/ B+ power inputs for the fan relays. I want my fans spinning as fast as possible in the 100 degree temperatures that I see down here, so I ran the big maxi-fuse wires over there directly.
I had to crimp on two Metripack 280 terminals to do so.
Here's the finished product:



I'm still not done with this fuse box. A lot of the wires are undersized, so I'm going to upgrade as necessary.
I saved the two red fan relay wires for using in the fuse section of the fuse box (that sounds confusing, doesn't it?).
Here is why I'm doing it:



See the difference in the thickness to those two wires?
The top wire was the main power wire for one of the fan relays, intended for 20 amps.
The bottom wire was from the fuse section (the AIR pump, specifically) and was rated for 25 amps.
How is it that a 16g wire is going to be rated to carry more amps than a 14g (which I still think is undersized for a 20 amp fan)?

So I plugged the top wire into the socket that was used by the bottom wire.
Less voltage drop, more amperage capacity.


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Old 02-28-2019, 09:39 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Originally Posted by dixiebandit69 View Post
How is it that a 16g wire is going to be rated to carry more amps than a 14g (which I still think is undersized for a 20 amp fan)?
Part of it has to do with wire length. the shorter the wire, the less voltage drop, the more wattage it can handle. Free air and bundled make a difference too
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:22 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Today I got a little more work done; I finished with the final bracing for the crossmember hump that I welded in (pictures of that tomorrow), and I tried test fitting the DBW gas pedal in the car.
Hopefully irishhockey34 or someone else can chime in on my pedal placement. I'm planning to use this stud for the top pedal mount hole:


When I (sort of ) bolt the pedal in place with that stud, I get a similar, but not quite the same pedal placement:



Question for those who have done this: Did you have to cut off the upper mounting stud (the one not circled)? Because it really seems to keep me from lining up the pedal properly.

In other news, I finally decided how I'm going to organize the fuse box, unless anyone has any criticisms; in my haste, I actually forgot to make an allowance for the A/C compressor and and relay! Kind of funny for a build with working A/C being the prerequisite!


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Old 03-08-2019, 09:16 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I finished reinforcing the crossmember hump.
Here's how I did it:


I cut out a similarly sized piece of 1/8" steel, cut a hole in in it, then welded it on. The purpose of the hole is to add more welding between the two pieces of steel. I welded a little, then heated the patch piece red hot, bent it to conform to the bottom piece, welded some more, repeat.
Here's the finished product:







More to come soon; now that the crossmember is finished, I'm starting on the exhaust Y-pipe.
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:33 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Okay folks, here's an update: I've been working on the Y-pipe, and I've got most of it tacked together, but I need to get a new tank of argon to finish all of the welds. Once that is done, I'll post some pictures.
In the meantime, I've started working on routing the wiring.
Before anyone says anything, yes, I'm going to clean and repaint the engine bay; the engine is only in there temporarily.
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:18 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Looking great,I really like your build using the truck accessories.I feel the same way you do on these no a/c swaps..I want a/c as well.
I swapped in an LT1 a couple of years ago,but an ls swap is always on my mind.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:40 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

So here are some updates: I know I promised pictures of the Y-pipe/ exhaust. Trust me, it's getting done, but I've had nothing but hell from my welder. I'm using a Hobart Handler 140 with argon to weld everything, AND IT'S NOT WELDING HOT ENOUGH. The only way I can make exhaust tubing weld together is with the machine at maximum power, and I have to pre-heat the material with a torch - IT SHOULDN'T BE LIKE THIS. Seriously, it can't penetrate exhaust tubing with .023 wire at maximum voltage.
There is something wrong with the welder, and I'll take care of it later, but for now I just want to get this job done for now.

Anyway, I added two extra muffler/ tailpipe hangers. After spending far too long on getting the tailpipes even on my own Firebird, I came up with the idea of using screw adjusters:





Also, I decided to go with the Goat Built passenger side alternator bracket after all (https://www.ebay.com/itm/GM-LS-PASSE...0AAOSwpkFY79CE) ; the other one wouldn't allow me to run the truck power steering pump and bracket.
I just got it today, and I'll have pictures of how it fits up in a day or so:


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Old 05-04-2019, 09:53 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Sounds like your welder isn't getting full current, how far from the breaker box and what gauge wire is it? Are you using a drop cord. If your welder does both 220 and 110 volts make sure the contacts have been changed inside it, most ship wired for 110 and if using 220 you have to change it.

Also are you using pure argon or a co2 mix?
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:07 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Originally Posted by Aviator857 View Post
Sounds like your welder isn't getting full current, how far from the breaker box and what gauge wire is it? Are you using a drop cord. If your welder does both 220 and 110 volts make sure the contacts have been changed inside it, most ship wired for 110 and if using 220 you have to change it.

Also are you using pure argon or a co2 mix?
Trust me, it's the welder; I've used MIG welders for almost 20 years, and I know how to set them up, and I know how they're supposed to perform. This one was working fine when I got it, but it's been sitting under a table in my shop for a year or so, and this it the first time I've used it in a good while.
I've got 118V out of the wall, no extension cord, 26V on the internal contact points when the trigger is pulled, I'm using 75/25 argon with solid wire, no resistance on the ground cable, I'm running it at the correct polarity, and there are no wire-feed problems.
Just to be sure, I took it to a friend who owns a body shop, and half of what he does is MIG welding. He tried my welder and his welder on the same pieces, and he told me something was wrong with mine (which I already knew).

Apparently there is a circuit board on the Handler 140 (and ONLY this Hobart model) that goes bad, and causes shitty welds. The problem is that this circuit board cost almost the same price as a new welder. I'm just going to keep on with this one until the project is done.

Anyway, what you've all been waiting for: HOW DOES THE GOAT BUILT ALTERNATOR MOUNT FIT?

Short answer: Good, but not perfect.

Good news: IT FITS UNDER A STOCK FIREBIRD HOOD!

(Possibly) Bad news: A few of the spacers aren't the right size, maybe.
This may or may not be the fault of the manufacturer, and I'll explain why: They offer this kit for F-Body or truck spacing, and I ordered truck spacing (obviously, since I'm using truck accessories).
However, I'm using an F-body water pump with 3/4" spacers to match the truck crank pulley spacing. I'm not sure if the truck pump and the F-body pump have different mounting lengths for the factory tensioner.

Here are the pictures:


That's the level, measured with a slightly warped piece of wood across the fenders. Because some people might scream "FAKE!", and think I might have used spacers, here's a shot from the back:



Next we've got a shot of the clearance between the alternator and the oil filler cap; this isn't the only passenger side high-mount alternator bracket on the market, and I've read some reports that some people had clearance issues with the oil cap. THIS ONE DOES NOT, even if you choose to use the ugly factory oil-filler neck (which I removed).



Here's a shot from the other side, in case you aren't convinced:



More pictures in the next post...
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:32 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Here is the ONLY issue I have with this kit (and believe me, it's a VERY high quality kit):
The reinforcement spacers that go between the water pump are too long.
I'm not going to cry about this, and I'm not going to return the kit, because I can just cut them down, but I want to let anyone else know (who is doing the exact same thing I am) that this is a problem you might run into.

This is the area that I'm talking about:



The spacer for this bolt (and the other factory tensioner bolt, which also adds support to this setup) are too long. Here's a side-by-side comparison:




I didn't have my dial calipers with me when I did this today, but that LOOKS like about 3/4" of extra length... which would account for the spacer I installed on the water pump; I'll give y'all an exact measurement tomorrow.
Also, I have a few good, used truck water pumps lying around, and I will bolt one on and check the clearance in the coming days.
(For those just checking in, I can't use a truck water pump with an LS6 intake because of clearance issues with the truck DBW setup)

The bottom line is that I'm not returning this kit, because it's a high quality setup, it fits my constraints, and all I have to do is cut two spacers.

I hope this kit is utilized more often.

One last thing I want to mention is that you could probably run this setup without those bolts and never have a problem; it's really well supported as-is, but I just figure that I'm always going to be that unlucky guy who cracks a mount, or ends up with a leak, or popping a belt off.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:27 PM
  #34  
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Okay guys, I bolted on a spare truck water pump today, and I was correct: Everything on this kit fits perfectly, as long as EVERYTHING has the original truck spacing.

For those of you barely checking this thread, I'm using ICT Billet water pump spacers with an F-Body water pump, and truck belt spacing.

With a truck water pump in place, you can see that the supplied spacer is pretty much a perfect fit (the slight gap you see would be accounted for by a factory LS water pump gasket, which I did not use for the picture):


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Old 05-08-2019, 09:15 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Did you determine where the difference in the water pumps was that caused this? My alternator and PS will be mounted on the driver side but I may have a high mount ac compressor there so could run into a similar issue depending what kit I use for that. I also have the LS6 intake and F-body water pump with spacers
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:18 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

This kit doesn't affect the A/C compressor; it's only for the alternator. I haven't looked into a high-mount A/C compressor bracket kit because I couldn't wait to get rid of the big, ugly, inefficient Harrison compressor in front of the engine.

The issue I'm having is the spacers, for sure. Just for the hell of it, I put the F-Body pump on today WITHOUT spacers, and it's pretty much the same as the truck pump:



As far as I can tell, the tensioner mounting distance between the truck/ F-body/ Corvette pumps are the same; if you've ever seen the tensioners side by side, they look the same, except the mounting bosses get thinner the further out the pulleys go.

So I'm going to have to cut two of those spacers down, and trust me, that won't be easy; they are made out of some hard-core steel tubing. Like I said, it's a very high quality kit, and the fitment issue isn't their fault.
Another thing I'm thinking of doing is tack welding this whole unit together in case I ever have to do some roadside repair at night; it sure would suck to drop some of the pieces into the grass and lose them.
Like I said, I'm just thinking about it for now; at this point, I still have to take the engine/ transmission back out to paint the engine bay and put all the parts back in the transmission.
For right now, they are just in there to fit up the exhaust, engine mounting points, wiring, etc.

EDIT: I think I'm also going to paint the whole mounting kit black, as well.

Last edited by dixiebandit69; 05-08-2019 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:11 PM
  #37  
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Here's a teaser update: I keep referencing the Y-pipe that I'm making; well, here's a shot of the driver's side partially welded up.





I'm not going to keep the reducer tacked onto the Tahoe merge collector forever; that is just for fitment purposes at the moment. I'm going to weld a 3 - bolt flange onto that joint before all of this is done.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:41 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I modded a 3Ē third gen y pipe I had for some shorty headers and my ground clearance kinda sucks. Iím gonna do something similar to what youíre doing after i decide What exhaust I want long term. Right now itís f body manifolds, single 3 in y to an edelbrock cat back and Iím not happy with the sound.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:27 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

That's weird; I woulda thought a setup like that would sound pretty good.

This one is going to be 2.5" Y into a 3" collector, reduced to 2.5", because that's what the rest of the system is, and I just want this thing running already.
The muffler will be a 2.5" Flowmaster 80 series that the car was already running.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:25 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Okay, after taking much, much longer than expected, I've got t Y-pipe finished. In case I haven't mentioned it before, this was cobbled together from 100% recycled materials.





I don't know if I mentioned it before, but the reason for the flex joint on one side is to ease installation and removal; far too many times, I've experienced custom exhaust systems that were welded up on the car, and once you remove it, it springs out of shape due to stresses that were incurred during the welding process, or pipes that were forced into place.
Then when you try to reinstall the system or component, you've got to pry every damn piece into place to get it back together.

Not for me.

Also, since the LS1 manifold outlets are at different angles (and thus, the studs are pointing at different angles), I don't want this thing fighting me whenever I have to take it off.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:14 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Here's another update: I've got the intake tube fitted, pretty much.
Based on the advice from a guy on ls1tech.com, I decided to use a cheap Ebay cold air intake kit for a Chevy Silverado. This is the same part that I used, but I didn't pay as much:
https://www.ebay.com/i/290649432254?chn=ps

It's not an exact fit, but it's better an easier than fabbing up a setup out of PVC pipe.






Now, this wasn't just a bolt-in affair; it needed a little bit of modification. I had to cut off a bracket (that you can't see from this angle) that helped mount it to a Silverado body, and in order for the filter to fit, I had to trim a little bit (about 1") off of the short side of the intake pipe; I actually might cut another inch off for a better fit.




Right now the intake tube isn't supported by anything; if the upper radiator hose will allow, I will use the small bracket you see above to mount some kind of brace to the body to keep the filter/ tube assembly from bouncing around on bumps. If the upper hose is in the way, I'll probably fab up a clamp-on mount of some sort.

In other news, I've finally started wrapping up the wiring harness, starting with the transmission and oxygen sensors:




That's the good looking end, the rest is spaghetti with masking-tape labels on it.

While I'm on the subject, I've got a question about the transmission wiring: On the transmission range sensor/ switch, do I really need to connect the following:

Pin 1: Clutch start switch signal

Pin 9: Park Neutral position switch signal

I'm sure that those have to do with safety features, ie: keeping the vehicle from starting when the transmission is in gear. But I'm unsure of where I need to connect those, or if I even have to.

The wiring diagram that I have only accounts for 5 of the 12 pins on the 4L60E, the ones that go to the PCM. If someone has a better one, I would appreciate it.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:32 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I started with the same cold air and modified, works ok but it's tight once you have all the parts in place.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:33 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Here's another update: I made a mount for the 4th gen. fuse box. It's made out of some 1" steel stock I had, and a little piece of angle steel that already had the holes drilled in it.
I used some button-head machine screws for the attachment.








This is going to be mounted in the passenger side of the engine bay, next to the battery. I'll have some pictures of it mounted in the coming days.
I know this isn't the most exciting LS swap update in history, but it's a crucial detail that a lot of people have left out of their builds.

EDIT: I'm adding a transmission line-pressure sensor into my wiring harness. It's inputs will be taking the place or the fuel tank pressure sensor.
If anyone is interested, I'll be using this sensor screwed into the side of my 4L60E:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/261615465827

Last edited by dixiebandit69; 06-04-2019 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:05 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I got the radiator hoses today. It looks like I'll be using a 4th gen LS1 upper hose, and the Jeep Cherokee hose that others have used.



There's a slight bit of contact between the intake tube and the hose, but not enough to cause a problem. As you can see, the support bracket on the intake tube is now right on top of the hose; I was hoping to use that bracket to mount a support for the intake tube, but I guess now I'll have to fab up something else.

Now onto the infamous LS-swap lower hose:



I know that everyone says that it needs trimming, but I actually think I could run this as-is with no problems. I can't be sure though, because the size of the hose is a good amount smaller than the water pump inlet (and believe me, there's no way that I'm going to be able to force that hose onto the radiator. I'm going to have to lube it up with some black silicone and force it onto the the inlet).





Those are Gates hoses, by the way, incase anyone wants to cross-reference the numbers.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:40 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C



this a dayco Jeep hose. I did trim it. I didnt have to use any lube on mine, looks like theyíre made a bit different.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:31 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Yeah, there does seem to be some manufacturing variance from one company to the next.
I was expecting the Gates hose to have a larger diameter, and be longer. But it looks like it worked out for me.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:27 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

UPDATE: After thinking about the hoses all day, it kept bothering me how mine looks different than Billgluckman's and QwkTrip's hoses.

After cross referencing some stuff on Rockauto for a few minutes, it turns out that the Gates hose for a Jeep Cherokee is actually #21615.
I got my current hose by giving my parts man the Dayco number.

I guess I'll trade this one in tomorrow, because I don't like how close it gets to the idler arm nuts.

It turns out that this is a factory 4th gen LS1 lower hose.
If I'd gotten it for free, I just wrap it up with some convoluted tubing and use it, but since I'm paying for it, I want everything right.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:03 AM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

Ah yeah I have a 4th gen lower that I tried first and didnít like it. Makes sense
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:02 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

I got the Gates Jeep Cherokee hose today. Here are some side by side pictures of the two of them, in case anyone had questions about it:




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Old 06-08-2019, 12:04 PM
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Re: 4.8 swap with factory truck A/C

That's a MAJOR difference. Did you stick it in there to eyeball the fitment?
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