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Discussion Starter #1
I'm contemplating doing the swap. I can get 6.0l everywhere but the wiring harness is what's getting me. Just not sure what all is involved dealing with an OBD1 car.

The LT1 is out and ready to build a 383... but the LSx swap, being apt for more power and performance, is inviting.

I've been researching this for a long time. But is there any wiring under the dash that has to be reworked. Also, where will the new ALDL port be?

The car has been in storage for over a year with the motor out and this winter is the time to get it done. The ABS is coming out and everything else that is not needed (AC is staying).

It's my wifes baby and she's ready to drive it again. Now that I have more time to work on it, I have all winter to do it and want to do it righ and clean.

Any help, info and support is appreciated.
 

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i did not touch anything under the dash. i tied all that stuff in under the hood at the original pcm location. i left my new obd2 aldl port under the hood. if i get bored i can always put it inside the cabin where the original is doing nothing now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've read through the swap thread quite a few times (Scanning through the bitchin & senseless posts). But my #1 question is, Is it more work than it's worth?

I'm pretty damn mechanically inclined but I like simplicity. If the wife wasn't so damn picky, it'd be a carbed 502 with a Glide.
 

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That a hard to answer question as its going to vary by each person who has completed the swap..

I did the swap partially because my car was a LT-None car (4.3). I considered staying with the LTx. engine but wanted to do something a little different 5 years ago. Today this swap would be much easier then 5 years ago but I am not sure it would be any less expensive.

You will need to really understand what you are getting into and what you expect to get out of it. Once you answer that question I think you can decide if it is worth the investment (really no difference then any modification done to your car)

Cost associated with this swap

  • What Lsx motor will you go with?
  • Accessories
  • Motor mounts / Trans mount/ Drive line?
  • Wiring / Pcm programing / exhaust
  • Time / money in performing physical swap
Roger
 

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Ahhh. The age-old question. Well, I'm finishing up an LS1 swap "hopefully" here in the next few weeks. It's been a nightmare, not gonna lie. I haven't been able to drive the car in about a year. Original LT1 has been out since last november. Everyone's experience is different, but this process has really put many doubts in my mind whether it was worth it. I found a place in AZ called SSP wiring. They do PCM's and harnesses for LS1's in trans ams, camaros, etc. I sent them my stock LT1 harness and they are converting it to be compatible with the LS1 and it's coming with a pcm. It was shipped yesterday so it will be interesting to see how it all turned out. The LSx series motors are supposed to be much more reliable, and just better over all, so I'm hoping in the end, I will be happy, broke, but happy. I've spent well over $10k on the project so far. good luck.
 

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i drove mine today for the first time. just a short blast up the street and back, have some small bugs to work out yet.

but DAMN was it worth it.
 

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I've read through the swap thread quite a few times (Scanning through the bitchin & senseless posts). But my #1 question is, Is it more work than it's worth?

I'm pretty damn mechanically inclined but I like simplicity. If the wife wasn't so damn picky, it'd be a carbed 502 with a Glide.
Having done an LS swap in a truck with more room to work in than my Imp, it's definitely something different. Been through a lot of the "pain" to get the 5.3L where a 4.3L SBC used to sit, but was great once all was FINALLY running. Not gonna lie, I had smiles on my face every time someone asked to see what was under the hood, and enjoyed the compliments. But, it's a LOT of work to get it there. With what I spent to get the job done, you could definitely get your LT1 built to handle whatever abuse your heart desires. If I had it all to redo over again, I'd have built a stout stroker 383, and mated a built TH400 to handle 11-sec runs in a 4000 lbs truck (in street trim) all day long. I saw a truck like my old C10 run 11.2's at my local track, and I couldn't do anything else but drool over the quality work to get there.

At the end of the day, what's your time, effort, and $$$ worth to ya? That's something you'll have to decide for yourself. Good luck! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the input & the input from SS & Dan is what I was ooking for. I'm a perfectionist and it's very hard for me to decide EXACTLY what I want. But I believe I'm gonna stay LT1 and build a very stout 383.

Hell, Even the stock 172,000 mile block has a .008" ridge on the cylinders. I thought about just getting the crank turned, throwing in some new main & rod bearings and rolling on. But after all these years of great service from this car. it's time for a little more NA hp, then keeping the little 150 shot on top for those pesky LS guys.

Thanks fellas. Looks like the design will begin tonight. Crank, rods and piston I know what I'm getting. Heads being done by the local shop, cam undecided till heads are done. 30# injectors gonna get sold and whatever else doesn't meet the criteria. I may go ahead and have splayed mains done for the hell of it.

The hardest part is not too many tuners deal witht he LT1's and are hard to find any doing dyno tunes.
 

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If you sell the 30#'ers, let me know. They'll suit my low level NA mods just fine.
 

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When I'm finished with mine, I'll post a thread with lots of pics and info. It's looking good so far. You might change your mind....
 

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If you sell the 30#'ers, let me know. They'll suit my low level NA mods just fine.
Will do. I'll be going with 42# for the new setup.
 

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LS hell yes

it has been quite a process and the car was out of commission for nearly a year... but the more bugs I iron out the happier I am. The car was fun to drive with the LT1, it's almost getting scary now with the cammed 6.0 Escalade... much more to come.

my biggest issue right now is oil pan clearance and alternator busting through the hood. you'll need to find an F-body FEAD

gauges? no speedo, i'm getting a half read on the tach. Fuel levels below 1/2 tank actually means close to empty.
 

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If money is a concern at all then staying with the LT is the right call. If you are just wanting something different then thats another story and cost may not be as much a concern.

I know everyone builds a 383 so if you want to be different, and better, then build a 409. It's twice the torque upgrade from the 350 or double the 383. Cost is almost the same as a 383.

I have never built a 383 to date. Every motor I have build for myself or anyone else has a 4" crank in it. Thats because it's a ton of free torque and our heavy car need torque more than they need horse power to move them. This is also the right call for a street car as they need that power lower in the RPM band so torque rules!!

If you are having someone build your engine and they are scared of doing this, because you have to notch the block, send it my way as it's no big deal to do.

So if money has anything to do with this for the same money you will kick the guy that put an LS in his Impala. Same money spend the LT Impala wins hands down.

Thanks for all the input & the input from SS & Dan is what I was ooking for. I'm a perfectionist and it's very hard for me to decide EXACTLY what I want. But I believe I'm gonna stay LT1 and build a very stout 383.

Hell, Even the stock 172,000 mile block has a .008" ridge on the cylinders. I thought about just getting the crank turned, throwing in some new main & rod bearings and rolling on. But after all these years of great service from this car. it's time for a little more NA hp, then keeping the little 150 shot on top for those pesky LS guys.

Thanks fellas. Looks like the design will begin tonight. Crank, rods and piston I know what I'm getting. Heads being done by the local shop, cam undecided till heads are done. 30# injectors gonna get sold and whatever else doesn't meet the criteria. I may go ahead and have splayed mains done for the hell of it.

The hardest part is not too many tuners deal witht he LT1's and are hard to find any doing dyno tunes.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Jeff, i may just come up to visit some time. I'm always on a budget but I take no shortcuts on anything, so the money will be spent for quality. I can do all the work myself and the machine work is done by a friends shop and he's one of the best I know...& and I've been doing this for many years.

A 409 sounds real cool, but my plan for the build is to race occasionally, have great street manners & be able to jump in and drive to disney and back with no issues.

My goal is about 400rwhp and I'll be happy. It's the wifes car so that'll be suffice with a 150 shot on top for the occasional run down the track. I had my share of fast race cars & they are all gone. This is just the old peoples cruiser with some muscle to back up the look of it. (pic below)

But I love my 2 strokes & motocross so me & my kids have a blast with that & the wife cruises the quad in the pits.

 

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Thats all real world numbers with a 409 that would even idle smooth at 700 RPM's. I built one very much like what you are talking about and it made just under 500/500. It would be easy to switch cams and bump it to near 575HP with only a mild lope in the exhaust. What was more impressive was the torque curve on that engine or lack of. From 2000 to 6000 that motor had 470 Ft pounds of torque and it only dropped 20 pounds at 6000. It was a flat line which I had not seen a motor like that do. That was with a cam that was robbing power to create the smooth idle the customer wanted. This customer was delighted with the results as you could not tell I changed the engie as it was as smooth as when he drove in the stock LT1. It did take him a few times to get use to the power as he had to push the throttle more on the stock LT and the new motor made the car jump moving the throttle the same amount. It drove as if we had not done anything to it unless you pushed on the gas and then you knew it was a different animal.

Thats what you want for a true street engine. You don't need a big converter because you have the torque. It will be snappy to drive, won't cook your tranny fluid on a long trip and will fly from stop light to stop light. You will give some up at the track for a setup like this but it's street manors makes most owners not care. Give it just a little throttle and it will push you in the seat.

You don't build a street engine like you build a race engine, two different things. If you're good with building stuff it's a motor you can build. Just do the basics, pick parts that match each other for your power band and you will be happy with the results. Don't cheap out on stuff!!
 

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I love the LS1 in my TA. I can't give you specs or wiring help, but i will tell you it's one hell of a motor with plenty of aftermarket performance getters out there for everyone. The only problem is, you're looking to spend a good deal more for every part of an LS engine than you will for an LT engine.

Take a rebuild, for instance. An LT 383 rebuild kit is roughly 6-9 hundred dollars, whereas an LS 383 starts at well over a thousand and only gets higher.

Price-wise, it's more affordable to build a stout LT1 than it is to build a stouter LS1, but it's also an LS motor in a B-Body, and nobody will ever knock you for making the swap.
 

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I'm contemplating doing the swap. I can get 6.0l everywhere but the wiring harness is what's getting me. Just not sure what all is involved dealing with an OBD1 car.

The LT1 is out and ready to build a 383... but the LSx swap, being apt for more power and performance, is inviting.

I've been researching this for a long time. But is there any wiring under the dash that has to be reworked. Also, where will the new ALDL port be?

The car has been in storage for over a year with the motor out and this winter is the time to get it done. The ABS is coming out and everything else that is not needed (AC is staying).

It's my wifes baby and she's ready to drive it again. Now that I have more time to work on it, I have all winter to do it and want to do it righ and clean.

Any help, info and support is appreciated.
I'm struggling with the same issue, I have a LQ4 sitting in my garage, but do I really want to go through with it, or should I just go LT1 383 stroker
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I'm decided....it's staying LTx.

Jeff, we really need to talk.
I need your recipe for destruction. I'd like to see what all is in it and see what I can find. I have a nack for finding deals. Well actually, more patience.

That build definately sounds like a brutal street tamer.
My question is...I know the 396 combo really pushes the limit on clearance in the block, what about a 4" stroke? That has got to be extremely close to the water jackets.
 
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