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Old 02-07-2011, 02:54 PM
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youthpastor youthpastor is offline
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Default LQ4 LQ9 6.0 Engine swap

I get lots of PM's of people wanting to know what is involved in a truck engine swap into a first gen. Camaro. Here are a few things needed and stuff I learned. Who knows- maybe a few others could chime in and we could make this a great reference. I will say right from the beginning that I thought doing a truck motor swap would save me a ton of $$ but by the time you swap everything over- it isn't that much savings- so here ya go:
Basics of a LQ motor swap

Fitment- The first thing you notice with a truck motor is the enormous intake and alternator mounting bracket that is way too tall for the first gen Camaro- I swapped the intake and throttle body for an LS6 intake- I understand an LS2 works also. When I bought mine is was $350ish for everything.

Oil Pan Autocraft-

Front AccessoriesI went with 99-02 Camaro accessory drive kit. I bought mine off Ebay- Pace Performance sells GM kits for a reasonable price. A/C will not clear the stock subframe -unless...it is a "peanut" compressor- I made my own brackets. Alot of guys on here show how to notch the stock frame to clear a regular size compressor.

Fuel This is the same with any LS motor swap. I use Rock Vally or Ricks - pump in the tank and a Corvette fuel filter with built in regulator- I think '98 vintage. Musclerodz has a reasonable priced tank with the pump already installed.

Computer A reprogrammed stock LS type computer - pre- 05 will work fine. I've used Wait4mePerfomance.com with great success. there are others also- Speartech, etc.

Harness There are also some great companies out there- I used PSI- it came with provision for dual electric fans, check eng light, etc. People get freaked out with the whole computer and harness aspect of the swap- but really- that is the easiest part. It takes longer to figure out where to mount the computer that it does to wire the engine. Ironworks has some slick brackets

Exhaust I've had great luck with Stainlessworks- I sure there are others out there.

Mounts seems like everyone has mounts now. I've used Speedway motor plates with Energy Suspension mounts for a Small block-

Performance upgrades A performance camshaft REALLY wakes these motors up- I use something with a 112-114 lobe separation around a .570 lift

OK so here's a start- anyone else want to offer some input
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Last edited by youthpastor; 02-07-2011 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:12 PM
JKnight JKnight is offline
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Nice Job Chris. I love threads like this that break down the components needed for a swap.

I'm surprised to hear your findings that the costs don't end up much cheaper. What items do you not have to buy when getting a car engine that are eating up the savings gained by getting the lower cost truck engine?

Car Intake, Coils, Accessories...

What else? I wasn't going to say cam as most people spec a hotter cam for car LS engines anyway.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:17 PM
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very insightful. this is going to help a lot of people. myself included
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:42 PM
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youthpastor youthpastor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKnight View Post
Nice Job Chris. I love threads like this that break down the components needed for a swap.

I'm surprised to hear your findings that the costs don't end up much cheaper. What items do you not have to buy when getting a car engine that are eating up the savings gained by getting the lower cost truck engine?
Maybe that was just my experience- I bought a longblock- minus sensors- by the time I swapped over the accessories $500-1000, intake $350 bought a T-56 bellhousing, clutch etc- then all my misc sensors- seems like I could have bought an LS1 with a T-56 behind it. Plus I had my 6.0 overhauled-

So maybe an LQ motor is still a cheaper alternative
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:39 AM
J2SpeedandCustom J2SpeedandCustom is offline
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Chris this is a great topic. Have you tried the new camaro alt/pwr steering bracket?

I've had great success with cams from Texas Speed in the truck motors. And if you want some good power go with an LY6 (2008 and newer truck motor). They have the 823 casting heads that flow like a mother. We don't have any problems getting an LY6 in the 450 - 500 rwhp range with a manual transmission with just a cam swap and a tune.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:08 PM
JKnight JKnight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youthpastor View Post
Maybe that was just my experience- I bought a longblock- minus sensors- by the time I swapped over the accessories $500-1000, intake $350 bought a T-56 bellhousing, clutch etc- then all my misc sensors- seems like I could have bought an LS1 with a T-56 behind it. Plus I had my 6.0 overhauled-

So maybe an LQ motor is still a cheaper alternative
You may very well be right, I have no experience doing the swap either way. That said, I'm always watching and doing a little back of the napkin math and it 'seemed' like the truck engines could save you some coin.

I've heard the LY6 was a good platform. I think one of the Jakes sells them for a pretty good deal.
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