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Express van LS swap. (actual LS engine,actual express van)
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Well I should prob start figuring out what needs done to swap in a 4L80e.
A buddy of mine gave me one the other day after I mentioned I wanted one.
He said it should be good to go,it's from a 94.
I have a chevy tech buddy that helps/works around in my shop and we'll prob go through it.

While it's great it's also a set back lol. Now I gotta find more parts and that means more $$$.
I was nervous about pulling my car trailer though,4l6xe's don't like heavy weight and that van is prob pretty heavy (haven't weighed it yet).
I'll post up more pics this evening,still haven't gotten everything measured.

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I wouldn't bother with the conversion harnesses they sell. I did one, wound up pulling it back out as it sticks a lot of wire into a very cramped area. All it really does is swap two wires into each other's positions and eliminates a third wire. The round plug on the harness is the same plug on both the 60 and the 80, and it's very easy to disassemble with a jeweler's flathead screwdriver. I'm sure you have all the tools you need to do it. You'll also need a front speed sensor, which will plug into the computer. Then, of course, is the computer reprogram...

You will also need to move the trans mount further back by about 2.5 inches, and the driveshaft will need to be shortened as well. When the shaft is shortened I'd go ahead and replace the U joints with Extreme 4x4 joints with the grease zerk in the dust cover instead of in the body of the joint. And, the 80 uses a larger bolt pattern on the torque converter. No issue, if using an LSx engine you get one for a 6.0, if an older one you just get the 4L80E flexplate. Really it's so easy that with the setup you have for working on them you'll wonder why you haven't been just swapping everything you get with 80s.

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That looks like most everything I need to know Jim,thanks!
Figured we would just weld up a crossmember for it,need to do one for my chevy buddies truck anyway.
He's building a 198x shortbed with a 5.3/4L80.
I think he mentioned instead of repinning the harness he said we can just replace the harness in the valvebody.
For the driveshaft I might see if one from a later model equipped 6.0 has one that will work.
I'm using adjustable mounts so maybe I can play with it to make it work. If not there is a good driveline place in the fort that builds them.

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Speeder wrote:
I wouldn't bother with the conversion harnesses they sell. I did one, wound up pulling it back out as it sticks a lot of wire into a very cramped area. All it really does is swap two wires into each other's positions and eliminates a third wire. The round plug on the harness is the same plug on both the 60 and the 80, and it's very easy to disassemble with a jeweler's flathead screwdriver. I'm sure you have all the tools you need to do it. You'll also need a front speed sensor, which will plug into the computer. Then, of course, is the computer reprogram...

You will also need to move the trans mount further back by about 2.5 inches, and the driveshaft will need to be shortened as well. When the shaft is shortened I'd go ahead and replace the U joints with Extreme 4x4 joints with the grease zerk in the dust cover instead of in the body of the joint. And, the 80 uses a larger bolt pattern on the torque converter. No issue, if using an LSx engine you get one for a 6.0, if an older one you just get the 4L80E flexplate. Really it's so easy that with the setup you have for working on them you'll wonder why you haven't been just swapping everything you get with 80s.


When the time comes, I will need to do that with my truck. My flex plate has two different bolt patterns on it already. Since it isn't an LS engine, just wondering if I should use the torque converter for the S 10. I will also need a different cover. The one I have is for the 6.0 litre engine. I need one for a 350 with the threaded bolt holes for my braces. I will also need the longer transmission line for the one that returns from the radiator. I will have to check again to make sure. I agree, you need the grease fitting where they can be reached. I had mine done, you need a needle to grease it. The one I have doesn't quite work. I will need two new sensors. I will also need the two fittings that go into the transmission for the lines. Or just put the ones out of my 60E into the 80E. Find new O-rings too. Isn't there an article on here for the swap? Of course I have to go through my transfercase. Get an over haul kit for it from the Gear Center. New bearings, chain and what ever else comes in the kit. also the different input shaft.

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Chevy 97 wrote:
I will also need the two fittings that go into the transmission for the lines. Or just put the ones out of my 60E into the 80E. Find new O-rings too. Isn't there an article on here for the swap?


If I read what you wrote correctly, just wanted to mention a possible caveat here:

I don't know what year your new 80E is, but if it is the later model with the "center lube" design (one of the cooler fittings routes farther back on the case instead of both being near the bellhousing), the cooler fittings from the 60E will result in lack of lube and subsequent destruction. The rear lube fitting on the later center lube 80E units protrudes much farther into the case so as to properly supply lube oil to that area. So, just a head's up, something to check into before swapping fittings from the 60E to the 80E if you weren't aware of that little bit of trivia already.

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Since i'll be towing i'm going to add a cooler if if it doesn't have one already. Usually I just buy new fittings and run new lines.
You can get a larger diameter fitting i'm hoping,that's what I did on the wifes impala ss I built as I recall as well as a 5.3/th400 swap I did in a 72 c10.
I think there were two sizes,I just had to order the larger size that came on the performance version trans or similar.

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Whups, forgot about the trans cooling lines. I wound up damaging mine and found that new, correctly bent lines were very reasonable from the dealer. I think I spent about 60 bucks total for the three lines running trans to factory aux cooler, factory aux cooler to rad cooler, rad cooler to trans.

On the wiring harness, it really is easy to disassemble the round plug and wire it up correctly. I think it took me about 30 minutes total laying on my back.

For Chevy97, you'll need a 4L80E torque converter. The input shaft is a lot larger on the 80 than it is on the 60.

On the grease fittings, I recommend the Extreme4x4 U-joints not for ease of greasing but for strength. Back when I had my 96 Tahoe I was splitting a U-joint about once a year or so and they were splitting at the grease zerk. When I moved to the in-cap zerk with no holes drilled in the corner of the U-joint the problem went away.

I'll also add, taking off with a stock 4L80E is like taking off with the 4L60E in second gear. Go drive your vehicles using 2nd gear takeoff to make sure this is something you can live with. It's not something I wanted to live with which is why I went with the TCI low gearset. I'll also add that FLT Transmissions had some fitment issues with the TCI gearset because they weren't quite machined right. FLT could get the trans together with the low gearset only if they left this one washer out that if they left it out would have toasted the trans within 500 miles. TCI finally sent them a correctly machined one, but it's something to pay attention to if you get one.

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JR96CK wrote:
Chevy 97 wrote:
I will also need the two fittings that go into the transmission for the lines. Or just put the ones out of my 60E into the 80E. Find new O-rings too. Isn't there an article on here for the swap?


If I read what you wrote correctly, just wanted to mention a possible caveat here:

I don't know what year your new 80E is, but if it is the later model with the "center lube" design (one of the cooler fittings routes farther back on the case instead of both being near the bellhousing), the cooler fittings from the 60E will result in lack of lube and subsequent destruction. The rear lube fitting on the later center lube 80E units protrudes much farther into the case so as to properly supply lube oil to that area. So, just a head's up, something to check into before swapping fittings from the 60E to the 80E if you weren't aware of that little bit of trivia already.


The tranny I have is a 2001. So it will have that longer tube in the rear section. Just another thing I need to buy. I will also need a dipstick and tube for it too.

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[quote="Speeder"]Whups, forgot about the trans cooling lines. I wound up damaging mine and found that new, correctly bent lines were very reasonable from the dealer. I think I spent about 60 bucks total for the three lines running trans to factory aux cooler, factory aux cooler to rad cooler, rad cooler to trans.
For Chevy97, you'll need a 4L80E torque converter. The input shaft is a lot larger on the 80 than it is on the 60.
I'll also add, taking off with a stock 4L80E is like taking off with the 4L60E in second gear. Go drive your vehicles using 2nd gear takeoff to make sure this is something you can live with.

I had a turbo 400 behind my 396 BBC. Same gear ratio except no overdrive. Had no issues at all. I had 4.10's in a dana 60 with a posi unit. I lit up both tires on concrete. That was before I put a larger cam in the engine. The 383 I have isn't that much different. time will tell.The converter I was talking about is for an 80E, it is a 2000 rpm stall. The big difference is the 2wd 3/4 ton I had only weighed 4700 lbs. my truck weighs 5600 lbs. more weight to get moving. I have checked out the lower gear set. Would like to get one. You aren't the only one that has had issues with the gear set. Stroker97 also had an issue with the one he bought from TCI. I see another company handles them too. Unfortunately I haven't looked up that web site for a while. Especially since my lap top is toast. They had that set for basically $1000. I also plan to lower my gear ratio from 3.73 to 4.10's. That will help some what. For as much as I want that lower gear set, selling it to the wife right now isn't going to happen.

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How heavy are these vans?

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I haven't weighed it yet,probably try to do it this week since I want to put it on the trailer and run up to work anyway.
Only 3 miles from work but the nearest station in between happens to have scales.
Our econoline weighs 6400 with me only and less than 1/2 tank of fuel,and it only has rear bench seat and front seats in it.
This van should be lighter though,the ford has a 6" drop floor made of 1/4" plate steel from firewall to rear end.
Should lose good weight going from vortec to LS i'm guessing just from aluminum heads and intake weights.

The gearing on the 80 could be workable anyway since it isn't going to be a hot rod really. But if it becomes an issue I am still holding on to the 10 bolt from my old yukon. It has 4.10's I bought from a member here years ago and an eaton posi,both with maybe 500 miles on them.
Been saving the rear end for my 48 chrysler LS swap (which is where the 4l60 will go if I swap in the 80).

Got the heads back today,i'm trying to work out some chatter in my valve grinder so had a buddy do the valves,seats and trued the heads.
Will finish my cleanup and set them up maybe tomorrow.
Got the main bearing clearances measured,dead on at .023 every one.
Still need to do the rod bearings,also the bore sizing.
I measured all the bores but i'm -.025ish out of spec,which is wierd cause I was expecting bigger and not smaller...
Borrowed a buddies 3-4" micrometer to measure pistons and check calibration on the dial bore gauge.
There's a chance i've got the wrong spec sheet maybe so doublechecking all that.
I'm measuring bore to verify it's good as well as match the pistons up to bores as best as I can.

Had to work on my other project a few minutes as well,been making a set of spring locators for custom coilovers i'm building for my 88 fiero swap. Hopefully i'm finished with the rear suspension on it now so I can mount up the subframe and start mocking up the new engine for mounts.

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Fiero getting an ls4?

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Not quite yet,though keeping an eye out for one.
It's getting what i've coined my "experimental" motor lol.
Built it for wifes impala SS clone,she blew two tranny's in 500 miles with it so yanked it.
Tore it down to shortblock to cam it and other mods. Should be around 400ish to the wheels now.



This was what it looked like when installed in the wifes car.


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http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000123-11.html
Iv been slowly skimming through this build for a while when I have spare time.

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Well this build is still going,just very slowly.
I put it on hold due to funds and time constraints but about to get back on it.
I made an executive decision to hold off on the build and buy some needed shop equipment.
Now i'm equipped well enough now that this stuff won't take hours upon hours since I work in my shop alone.
Also Now I can be making easy money in the shop
I stopped the gofundme for the van for a few reasons,basically it failed. Also I felt like a shit for even starting it,especially after looking through and seeing all the other people with serious needs (pretty sure I donated more back than I recieved lol).
I did find a local girl though in the process needing a wheelchair van,her name is same as my daughters with similar diagnosis even just not as severe.
So the goal is still hopefully to give away the old van if we can,money be damned.

So right now where i'm at.
Shortblock is built,heads are ready to be put together,van needs to be pulled in and the powertrain yanked from it.
Haven't touched the tranny yet,I bought a trans mounts for my worktable but still need to make/buy the mounting piece for it.
I need to clear out a couple cars I bought to sell and scrap this week,finish cleaning out shop and then hopefully pull the van in.
I can now currently only fit 2 cars in my shop,one project in the back (spot is filled) and the spot for the lift.
I try to keep to a one day rule on the lift,so whatever rolls onto it can be easily moved back out in case I need to use it.

I'm gonna make another thread to show off the new shop stuffs that's fun.



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Very nice!

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