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  • Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

    Okay, I've completed the swap and the car runs. I edited the first page to show what is truly involved, misconceptions and things you will need to complete the swap. I highly recommend that you DON'T DO THIS SWAP UNLESS your car is absolutely valueless to you. I'm going to name both the good and bad reasons for this swap.

    Good -
    You can use a truck motor and make much more power out of a 6.0 for the price of an LS1 swap.
    You can grab a LS Truck motor with much less miles than the 130k + Mile F-Bodies running around for $5k with mods you don't have any idea about.
    It CAN be done on a budget, if you're patient AND can do your own work, especially if you look into the truck motors.
    V6 insurance with a V8 car

    Bad -
    Tons of compatibility issues you are going to have to fight through
    Limited help from anyone who does not know YOUR car.
    Your car WILL be down for ATLEAST 3 weeks if you decide to piece everything together, there's just too many parts to not forget something.
    Easy and I mean EXTREMELY EASY to get nickle and dimed to death.

    This swap CAN be done on a budget if you look in the right places. Sources that helped me out alot are as followed:
    #1 www.car-part.com - your nationwide salvage yard locator. I even got my MAF $15 SHIPPED from here.
    #2 www.rockauto.com - MUCH cheaper than Auto Parts stores plus you can google coupon codes and save even more money. Best place to get O2 sensors.
    #3 www.gmpartsdirect.com - great prices but they will kill you on shipping, however; I got a pretty good deal on my windage tray, oil pick, and other small stuff.
    #4 www.searchtempest.com - Search ALL of craigslist at once, nationwide search. I found ridiculous deals this way, including my wiring harness, oil pan and more.
    There are other places that are plenty supplyful for this swap like tacreations but unless you're getting a whole package deal I didn't find them quite resourceful.

    First, the requirements. This what I found true vs false

    LS1 Swap Specific Components ( Suspension )

    LS1 KMemeber - TRUE - V6 Engine Cradle is incompatible. You CAN use the spindles, brakes and rotors, and shocks from the V6.
    LS1 Steering Rack - TRUE - You can't use the V6 rack without modifying it to clear some components.
    LS1 Springs - OPTIONAL - but it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you use the V8 springs. Some have gotten away with the V6 springs just fine though. I am swapping in a LM7 however which is heavier than both the LS1 and L36 so it wasnt a wise idea to keep the stock V6 springs.
    LS1 Sway Bars - OPTIONAL - Believe it or not the V6 sway bars aren't extraordinarily weaker than the V8 sway bars. If anything only the front sway needs to be changed but even that isn't mandatory, recommended though.
    LS1 A-Arms - FALSE - They're the same.

    LS1 Swap Specific Components ( Drivetrain )

    LS1 Style Transmission - TRUE (or you can do like I did and adapt an LT1 Transmission for somewhat cheaper)
    LS1 Style Crossmember - TRUE None of the V6 transmission cross-members are compatible.
    LS1 Style Driveshaft - OPTIONAL - But MANDATORY if you have a two piece. I have a 1 piece steel so mine stays stock.
    LS1 Style Rear Axel - OPTIONAL - This is largely dependent on the vehicle once again. Not everyone has the same axle as Y87 cars came with a 3.42 POSI as mine did. If yours did then you're fine. If you didn't, while it's not MANDATORY it is heavily recommended that you swap for at minimum a Z28 rear.

    LS1 Swap Specific Components ( Heating & Cooling )

    LS1 Style Heater Hoses - FALSE - While it's optional if you have them, the V6 Hoses will work by cutting the ends off of them and attaching them to the LS1 Water Pump with clamps
    LS1 Style Radiator - TRUE - While you CAN re-use the V6 Radiator by inserting a nipple for the Throttle Body hose, it's much better to just use the correct radiator. LT1 radiators have thicker cores so if you can get your hand on one, its an even better choice. Becareful to attain one from the proper transmission. Mine came from a manual car and did not have a transmission cooler as I have an auto. As a result I had to buy a separate transmission cooler.
    LS1 Style Radiator Fans - FALSE - They're the same.
    LS1 Style Condenser - FALSE - They're the same
    LS1 Style A/C Compressor - TRUE - V6 Compressor won't bolt up.
    LS1 Style A/C Lines - TRUE - While the V6 Lines won't interfere with anything, they won't bolt to the compressor, LS1 lines are mandatory if you keep A/C
    LS1 Style Accumulator - FALSE - They're the same.

    LS1 Swap Specific Components ( Air and Fuel Delivery )

    LS1 Style LID - TRUE - The V6 is offset due to our throttle bodies not quite being centered in the car and the fit is too tight to make it work.
    LS1 Style MAF - TRUE - The MAF on the LS1's are used on several other vehicles though. I got mine out of a 01 Suburban for $15 shipped so be crafty and check Car-Parts.com.
    LS1 Style Fuel Pump - FALSE - This is a MAJOR misconception that needs to be corrected as it can save you almost $300 alone... You do NOT need to change your fuel pump. The V6 pump is capable of sustaining stock LS1 power levels and PROBABLY up to about 400 HP. I am in fact willing to bet that the actual pump itself is the same between the two with the assembly being different. They output two different pressures and volumes because the fuel pressure regulator between the two cars are different. Mine seems just fine with the stock pump.
    LS1 Style Fuel Tank & Lines - FALSE - If you have access to it, it does help but its far from necessary. The MAIN difference is this, the V6 has a return line and the LS1 is a returnless system. Also LS1's have a FPR built into the tank where as the V6 does not. This doesn't matter, you can get around this by either using a 97 Corvette Fuel Rail as it comes with a return line port and will adapt right in, or use a Corvette Fuel Filter. This is actually more preferred but I had to modify / make fuel lines to make it work. You can either delete the return line from the stock fuel filter up to the engine bay, place the vette filter in stock filter location and re-route return line into the vette filter, or place it near the brake lines on the driverside fender of the engine bay. I chose the latter. The closer it is to the engine the better because everything after the filter has decreased pressure as it also acts as a FPR.
    LS1 Style Exhaust - TRUE - Unless you have a Catback because Catback's are roughly the same as long as they're 3" and up, nothing from the V6 exhaust bolts right up, plus its too small as well.

    LS1 Swap Specific Components (Electrical)

    Modified LS1 Wiring Harness - TRUE - You must modify your wiring harness for the correct pinouts on the V6 and things get alittle more complicated if you intend on keeping traction control and cruise control, both of which I deleted for now. the_merv on LS1 tech is very proficient and will help you with this if you provide a stock LS1 harness (even a 98 harness). I got mine done from another friend for about $100 and spent about $400 on the wiring harness altogether. You also may end up having to bypass Vats at the BCM (not PCM, its behind the glovebox) ...to do so, ground the yellow / black trailed wire.
    Tuned PCM - TRUE - Especially if you're running mods, you have to have it re-calibrated for your gears if you stick with the V6 rear, also need it re-calibrated for the V6 Gauges if you choose to use them. You MUST delete VATS, unless you want to spend a good chunk of money in adapting a key to work with the new PCM and BCM.
    LS1 Style Gauge Cluster - FALSE - Another major misconception that needs to be cleared up. The V6 Gauges will work fine AS LONG AS you have your PCM tuned for them. I personally like the sleeper look of a 125 MPH speedometer on a car that can exceed 150 MPH... so I kept mine ;)
    LS1 Style Cruise Control Module - TRUE | OPTIONAL - If you plan on using cruise control, you need the LS1 style because it's cable driven and has an actual mechanism vs the V6 which is controlled by an electronic throttle body. Be careful about what cable you use, there's a difference in the cables if you're using traction control vs not using traction control. Also additional wiring needs to be made from the body harness as since there was no cruise control module on V6 cars, there's also no wiring for it.
    LS1 Style Traction Control Module - TRUE | OPTIONAL - If you plan on keeping traction control, you must use the LS1 module as once again the V6 module is dependent on DBW and LS1 is DBC.
    Interchangeable Sensors - The only interchangeable sensor that I am aware of is the IAT, nothing else is the same, not even the oil pressure sending unit.

    NOTE: If you want traction control or cruise control make SURE you purchase the appropriate throttle cable. They are different between traction control and non traction control.

    LS1 Swap Specific Components (Engine Components)

    LS1 Accessories vs V6 Accessories - TRUE - None of your V6 accessories will work, MAYBE the power steering pump but unlikely even that.
    F-Body Accessories vs TRUCK Accessories - OPTIONAL - Truck Accessories WILL work if you swap the alternator and tensioner places and ditch the fan. I opted for LS1 accessories, but this can save you ALOT of money.
    Car Intake vs Truck Intake - TRUE - You MUST use a CAR style intake (LS1, LS2, LS6, or aftermarket) - Also if you're using cathedral port heads you must use LS3 or L76.

    Other hints and tips
    - Use Ebay Style Headers if you want long tubes, they're cheap and are actually pretty good quality. They match up perfectly to TSP and SLP Y-Pipes aswell
    - Please be prepared to be down a car for more than a month if you don't have a donor car, it is very easy to miss parts.
    Last edited by Need4Camaro; 12-01-2012, 10:04 PM.
    1997 Camaro RS W/T-Tops<br />All Stock / 200 HP

  • #2
    Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

    Get an L33 aluminum block 5.3. They have awesome heads, are aluminum and cheaper than LS1's. They are more pricey than 5.3 iron blocks but make 30 more HP or something like that.

    Theres 7 local to me for under $800. One has under 90K miles.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

      I would buy a cheap 5.3, swap it in. buy a 6.0 iron block and build on the side really slow to boost it. If you swap an iron block and arent boosting or spraying, then id try to find a cheap, higher mileage ls1.

      what intake is that? id just run ls6 intake and POTZ ebay p/p tb

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

        My Impala SS FWD 5.3L LS4 is rated at 303hp.
        .
        Robert - owner www.FirebirdV6.com "Mid-life crisis? I'm way beyond that!"

        1996 Black Firebird GTxxxRam Air V6 w/ M5xxxwww.FirebirdGT.com

        Raven

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

          Originally posted by Gutless View Post
          Get an L33 aluminum block 5.3. They have awesome heads, are aluminum and cheaper than LS1's. They are more pricey than 5.3 iron blocks but make 30 more HP or something like that.

          Theres 7 local to me for under $800. One has under 90K miles.
          I'll keep my eye out for that.

          Originally posted by whitdog54 View Post
          I would buy a cheap 5.3, swap it in. buy a 6.0 iron block and build on the side really slow to boost it. If you swap an iron block and arent boosting or spraying, then id try to find a cheap, higher mileage ls1.

          what intake is that? id just run ls6 intake and POTZ ebay p/p tb
          This -
          http://www.ebay.com/itm/97-02-LS1-LS...item2c60664302

          The LS6 Intake is the same price but doesnt quite make as much power.

          Originally posted by FirebirdGT View Post
          My Impala SS FWD 5.3L LS4 is rated at 303hp.
          .
          Sweet.

          ---------------------------------------

          What do you guys recommend the best way to attain the accessory brackets from an LS1 is? They're kind of tough to find.

          I know someone who will sell me the entire Accessory drive, brackets, bolts, and units (including A/C, and Water Pump with ALL pulleys) for $750. I want to see if I can go lower than that. I know I can if I can just get the brackets and bolts by themselves from a used motor.

          Maybe I should try GM parts direct?

          Also, about the throttle body - can I reuse the truck DBW Throttle body since our cars are also DBW? Is there any way that can work or do I have to go cable driven?

          Finally, Can I use reuse the truck PCM or do I need to get an 02 FBody PCM?
          Last edited by Need4Camaro; 01-26-2012, 10:49 PM.
          1997 Camaro RS W/T-Tops<br />All Stock / 200 HP

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

            Originally posted by Need4Camaro View Post
            What do you guys recommend the best way to attain the accessory brackets from an LS1 is? They're kind of tough to find.
            LS1tech

            People are ALWAYS parting out those engines... keep an eye on the classifieds and you'll have all you need in no time..
            aka FreedStyle
            Chaddrich Freed

            (1 of 443) 2002 SLP Firebird GT #107 (244rwhp/254rwtq naturally aspirated)
            2008 Silverado Crew Cab 5.3L 4x4

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

              Who needs power steering or heating and AC?

              LS1tech or maybe TA Creations on ebay or Hawk's 3rd gen parts online.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

                Your going to need an LS1 kmember, LS1 steering rack, LS1 radiator, Gauge cluster among other things.
                Daily: '02 Black Yukon Denali
                Toy: '06 Torrid Red GTO
                Gone: Powerdyned '02 Pewter Camaro
                Gone: '07 Charcoal Yamaha R6
                Gone: Ex-wife, lol

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

                  Originally posted by Pewter02Camaro View Post
                  Your going to need an ... LS1 steering rack, ... among other things.
                  OPTIONAL - Only if you don't have RPO Y87, and want faster steering.

                  .
                  Robert - owner www.FirebirdV6.com "Mid-life crisis? I'm way beyond that!"

                  1996 Black Firebird GTxxxRam Air V6 w/ M5xxxwww.FirebirdGT.com

                  Raven

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

                    The v8 rack is different to clear the oil pan and alternator on the LS1.

                    Daily: '02 Black Yukon Denali
                    Toy: '06 Torrid Red GTO
                    Gone: Powerdyned '02 Pewter Camaro
                    Gone: '07 Charcoal Yamaha R6
                    Gone: Ex-wife, lol

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

                      Originally posted by Pewter02Camaro View Post
                      Your going to need an LS1 kmember, LS1 steering rack, LS1 radiator, Gauge cluster among other things.
                      Yeah, I did forget to list a few things, but is the gauge cluster absolutely necessary? I think the V6 cluster will work but there was something you had to do for the RPMS - I forgot though.

                      I'm getting the K-Member, Steering Rack, entire front suspension (Sway, Springs/Coils) for only $100 though and this is because a guy I know just swapped his out for a tubular K and all new suspension for a Turbo Setup on his T/A.

                      Does the steering arm also have to be replaced? - between the steering wheel and the rack?

                      Originally posted by FirebirdGT View Post
                      OPTIONAL - Only if you don't have RPO Y87, and want faster steering.

                      .
                      I was wondering about this too... I do have a Y87 - when you say faster steering, I'm assuming the V8 racks can steer faster than the V6 racks? My car has a much tighter turning radius than my Z28 had - I'm guessing this is due to steering rack?
                      1997 Camaro RS W/T-Tops<br />All Stock / 200 HP

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

                        Originally posted by Pewter02Camaro View Post
                        The v8 rack is different to clear the oil pan and alternator on the LS1.


                        The 98-02 V8 and Y87 V6 rack is exactly the same - GM#26062311.

                        The 98-02 V6 rack is GM#28077996.

                        .
                        Robert - owner www.FirebirdV6.com "Mid-life crisis? I'm way beyond that!"

                        1996 Black Firebird GTxxxRam Air V6 w/ M5xxxwww.FirebirdGT.com

                        Raven

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

                          I have also been told the nipple on the LS1 radiator is optional, and some people plug it off.
                          Team NoVa

                          2000 Firebird- Intake, Pacesetters, !cat, full 2.5 to flowcrapster, 1.9 rockers, LS6 springs and Intense modded retainers, WS6 speedlines, T/A bumpers and hatch, 5 spd swapped, SOON TO BE nitrous'd and cammed.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

                            Originally posted by Need4Camaro View Post
                            I was wondering about this too... I do have a Y87 - when you say faster steering, I'm assuming the V8 racks can steer faster than the V6 racks? My car has a much tighter turning radius than my Z28 had - I'm guessing this is due to steering rack?
                            The stock v6 ratio is 16:1 and the performance/LS cars are 14:1, I can't exactly remember how many turns lock to lock it is, but I think it's one less revolution.
                            Team NoVa

                            2000 Firebird- Intake, Pacesetters, !cat, full 2.5 to flowcrapster, 1.9 rockers, LS6 springs and Intense modded retainers, WS6 speedlines, T/A bumpers and hatch, 5 spd swapped, SOON TO BE nitrous'd and cammed.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Firebird W68 - My LSX Swap thread.

                              Originally posted by flamingchicken View Post
                              The stock v6 ratio is 16:1 and the performance/LS cars are 14:1, I can't exactly remember how many turns lock to lock it is, but I think it's one less revolution.
                              Actually it's 16.9:1 and 14.4:1.

                              All this info is already in the Tech Database.

                              .
                              Robert - owner www.FirebirdV6.com "Mid-life crisis? I'm way beyond that!"

                              1996 Black Firebird GTxxxRam Air V6 w/ M5xxxwww.FirebirdGT.com

                              Raven

                              Comment

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