FJ62 LS3/T56 swap, costs, etc. (1 Viewer)

EMD12645

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Hey all, total noob here, so excuse me if this has been asked before. Fell into an 89 FJ62 with no rust and wrecked motor. Curious as to what a ballpark cost for an LS swap and T56 would cost, if done by a reputable shop. Would it be worthwhile to replace the brakes, too? Brembo or Wilwood? TIA
 

NCFJ

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Lets clear a few things up, OK

Vortec is part of the LS family. It's a 5.3L truck motor.
Most people, when referring to an LS are talking about and LS1, LS2, LS3 etc. This is true across the industry.
I will not swear to it, but I do not think anyone is making an adapter to mate the 60 series split case to a T56.
If you are looking for a manual, your best bet is an NV4500. This is my opinion, as is all of this.

If you think you can do a swap for under $5K, count on working on it a lot after the swap is done. I have done many swaps and I can tell you that the 5.3L pull out (used motor) swaps I do in my shop are far more than that in parts alone. Sure, you can get a junk motor for a grand or less and sure you can use the radiator that is in the truck now, and the old fuel lines and you can bolt a cheap fuel pump to the frame. You can even re wire the harness yourself. And sure, you'll be fixing something most every weekend instead of driving it.
 

tmxmotorsports

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Lets clear a few things up, OK

Vortec is part of the LS family. It's a 5.3L truck motor.
Most people, when referring to an LS are talking about and LS1, LS2, LS3 etc. This is true across the industry.
I will not swear to it, but I do not think anyone is making an adapter to mate the 60 series split case to a T56.
If you are looking for a manual, your best bet is an NV4500. This is my opinion, as is all of this.

If you think you can do a swap for under $5K, count on working on it a lot after the swap is done. I have done many swaps and I can tell you that the 5.3L pull out (used motor) swaps I do in my shop are far more than that in parts alone. Sure, you can get a junk motor for a grand or less and sure you can use the radiator that is in the truck now, and the old fuel lines and you can bolt a cheap fuel pump to the frame. You can even re wire the harness yourself. And sure, you'll be fixing something most every weekend instead of driving it.
This is true. The last one I did just sold on bat for 56k and I can guarantee he had that in it with out a brand new engine or brand new transmission. I wanna se the ones done for 5k.
 

EMD12645

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I don't think i'm looking for a 5k shade tree job and i'm not knocking that at all, but with that being said i'm also not looking for the the higher end full out monster. In trying to research this I've zeroed in on the 4.8 L Vortec (L30, but technically an LS3?) and the L56 6 speed looks good on paper to me, but again I'm not all that far from being clueless, so 295 HP / 300'ish Torque seems okay. I don't know if there are any fitment issues or anything like that. The thought is a solid, but not crazy performance upgrade and a big uptick in reliability. It's a job I'm sure i could do, but the F bomb/wrench throw to completion ratio would be pretty freaking high, so i'd be okay paying someone knowledgeable and reputable to do it.
 

Ocho77

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I don't think i'm looking for a 5k shade tree job and i'm not knocking that at all, but with that being said i'm also not looking for the the higher end full out monster. In trying to research this I've zeroed in on the 4.8 L Vortec (L30, but technically an LS3?) and the L56 6 speed looks good on paper to me, but again I'm not all that far from being clueless, so 295 HP / 300'ish Torque seems okay. I don't know if there are any fitment issues or anything like that. The thought is a solid, but not crazy performance upgrade and a big uptick in reliability. It's a job I'm sure i could do, but the F bomb/wrench throw to completion ratio would be pretty freaking high, so i'd be okay paying someone knowledgeable and reputable to do it.

There are a plethora of detailed threads on here showcasing "LS" swaps. You should be able to read through the abundance of threads and pretty much figure out what it's going to cost and how to do it.
 
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I've done a little bit of research on a DIY LS swap, and I've come up with the realistic figure of $15k. That's for a decent used engine and trans, rebuild of the transfer case, exhaust, driveshafts, wiring, gauges, fuel pump and plumbing, AC, radiator, etc it's a long list and it adds up quick. If you're going to pay a shop to do it figure on doubling that amount.
 
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I would use a 5.3 or 6.0. 6.0 preferably but 5.3 is ok too. 4.8 is a great motor, but if your going through all that work I would go with a little more liters. Paying someone to swap a used 5.3 or 6.0 should be closer to 25k. Which sounds like a lot but it transforms a cruiser into a really nice well rounded ride. It can be done very cheaply if diy. But the cheaper you go the less civil the swap turns out typically.
 
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If it’s a V8 swap you’re after cheapest/easiest is probably a Ranger overdrive & Vortec 5700 (gen II engine) and a carb. I’d take this combo over a $5k LS swap.

If you’ve got more to spend, go LS and do it right - not a butt connector wiring splice job...
 
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5k It can be done folks.. I daily drive mine.. almost 80k miles later and it’s been 200% more reliable than the 2f. Obd2 fully Emissions compliant, in tank fuel pump, new steel fuel lines, aluminum radiator, no wire “butt connectors”. You just gotta be willing to do the work
 
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Sandpoint Idaho
I don't think i'm looking for a 5k shade tree job and i'm not knocking that at all, but with that being said i'm also not looking for the the higher end full out monster. In trying to research this I've zeroed in on the 4.8 L Vortec (L30, but technically an LS3?) and the L56 6 speed looks good on paper to me, but again I'm not all that far from being clueless, so 295 HP / 300'ish Torque seems okay. I don't know if there are any fitment issues or anything like that. The thought is a solid, but not crazy performance upgrade and a big uptick in reliability. It's a job I'm sure i could do, but the F bomb/wrench throw to completion ratio would be pretty freaking high, so i'd be okay paying someone knowledgeable and reputable to do it.

Any of the GM "LS" motors fit nicely in an FJ60 and offer a big upgrade in fuel mileage, power, etc.

An LS3 is an all aluminum 6.2L motor featured in the Corvette. The basic LS3 starts at 430hp, and crate motors are available up to 525hp. The motor alone is $8000 - $11,000, plus mounts, wiring harness, transmission, labor, etc. It is a fantastic motor, but might be overkill for what you're looking for.

We would recommend a 5.3L or 6.0L if you're looking for less of a performance option. Both move an FJ60/62 quite nicely. The 4.8L is a good motor, but we feel it is less desirable should you chose to sell the truck later on. It is still a nice upgrade over the 2F/3FE motors.

We always recommend a GM crate motor with a warranty vs. a junkyard motor. You only save yourself a few thousand dollars with a junkyard motor - why risk having issues with no warranty vs. a GM motor with a factory warranty? It also creates the situation of the swap being "zero miles" - vs. a motor that who knows how it was taken care of.

We have seen/fixed some pretty shoddy conversions that had major reliability issues due to poor wiring, bad engine placement, etc. I would only let a shop do the swap if they specialize in Land Cruisers and/or LS Conversions and have a good reputation.

LS conversions at our shop start at/around $20,000 and go up from depending on the desired options. I think you will find similar pricing at other Land Cruiser specialty shops.
 

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