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Looking for a definitive guide for Vortech conversion for 60s

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by NLXTACY, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. NLXTACY

    NLXTACY Wits' End Supporting Vendor

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    Specifically for the 84 FJ60, mine, but something everyone can use. There are a ton of threads about engine swaps using the Chevy power plants. What is required in each is to sift through what are the basics behind each one. Yes there will always be things like drive by wire and tach and misc nuts a bolts. But can someone, or several someones, just jot together the abridged version of what the 4.3, 5.3, 5.7 and 6.0 VORTECH motors take to be installed. This is all of course self serving because I am heavily weighted on the side of conversion right now being as I have a 60 sitting in front of Mark's shop gathering dust and I don't want it to stay there forever.

    Items that would be helpful would be:
    • General availability
    • Motor mount solutions
    • Cooling options
    • Transfer case
    • Transmission mods if staying the 4L80 or whatever auto it comes with
    • Cross-member issues
    • Clearance issues
    • Weight issues
    • Smog issues
    • etc etc etc

    Just general rundown for each so that anyone can look at the data matrix and decide from there to get more information about a particular install.
     
  2. bigDcruiser

    bigDcruiser

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    i'm in the same boat here. i really want to tackle the v8 swap but need to minimize the down time as it's my dd. probly won't tackle it until at least summer 09 when i can ride the bike while working on it but i'd love to be able to minimize the down time by having a comprehensive guide to the swap.
     
  3. NLXTACY

    NLXTACY Wits' End Supporting Vendor

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    Yeah having the "big picture" would help greatly. I know where to go to get ALL the details.

    Summer 09 was so... last summer ago. :flipoff2:

    I will be having some free'd up time again between turkey day and xmas so I really wanted to take advantage.
     
  4. lehiguy

    lehiguy

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    Since you're in Kalifornia comrade, it will be a very different story for you than for those of us outside The Wall. I really like my tweaked TBI, it runs super strong, stronger than any stock Vortec 350. Ironically, I have a virtual Vortec motor, same block and heads, just with a healthy cam, an Edelbrock intake with an adapter for a bored out throttle body. Parts are cheap and they are everywhere. Might be an option for you. Cooling has never been an issue, I ran an 18# radiator cap on the stock radiator. Make your own motor mounts, the cheesy stuff people want to sell you for $60.00 is shameful. You will lose weight going SBC. The only clearance issue I had was getting the passenger side bank of cylinders to exhale on the driver's side. I ran the pipe up close to the motor and around the front and joined them together on the driver's side. My Toyota power steering hose threaded into the Saginaw without an issue. I run a one-wire alternator, simple and easy. Lokar makes a very nice throttle cable assembly that works very well. Pick your favorite transmission. I ran an H55F for 100k miles using a Mark's adapter, then I went with the NV4500 and an NP241 T-case turning a Chevy rear axle with the diff in the center. If you swap the t-case, you will most likely have to swap rear axles too. I think more than anything, your nutty smog Nazis are going to dictate more or less what you can do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  5. MANUCHAO

    MANUCHAO omnea mea mecum porto

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    If you are press for time I suggest once you decide what engine you are going to go with start gathering all the parts you will need... it really sucks having to wait on parts.
    Is this going to be DD or trail rig?

    • General availability
    I can get parts for mine at the local napa/dealership but hopefully that wont happen for a long while.
    I wouldn't bother with a 4.3 Vortec. If you go with a newer model you will not have the option to have a stick shift. At least not here in KA. When you get the engine see if you can get the tranny complete with ECU. I wouldn't worry too much about the harness. I modify mine but I could of used a brand new one for just about the same price. When I got my engine it came complete with catalitic converters. See if you can get those too.

    • Motor mount solutions
    Make your own motor mounts.

    • Cooling options If your engine comes with a mech fan use it. If not go electric. I wired mine to be run by the ECU, but ended up with a stand alone system.

    • Transfer case
    ??? Rebuilt since you going to split it open.

    • Transmission mods if staying the 4L80 or whatever auto it comes with. I left mine stock and it runs great 2k rmps at 70mph.
    • Cross-member issues
    Nothing stayed the same on mine. Dont buy any kit build your own.

    • Clearance issues
    If you are staying SUA get a Camaro pan and swap it before you drop the engine.

    • Weight issues
    None I think is lighter by 200 @

    • Smog issues
    What smog issues ?? :flipoff2::flipoff2:

    • etc etc etc
    I found out you could use the stock Exhaust Manifolds you just need to tweak them a little to make them fit. I got this link from another mudder Chino Cochino on how to make your own fan shroud out of fiberglass DIY Fan Shroud - Do It Yourself Hot Rod Kustom Website
     
  6. ntsqd

    ntsqd technerd

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    Being in KA and using an OBD II engine you will have to use exactly what comes on the engine between the very first sensor in the intake and the last pair of O2 sensors, or use replacements for those parts covered by an E.O. number. My local Ref is a stickler for this, and it caused some considerable re-work of the exhaust system on the YJ from Hell ('99 LS1/4L60E). The trans that came behind the engine candidate has to be used. Can not put a manual behind an engine that came with an auto. Likely can not put a hydraulic logic auto (i.e. 700R4) behind an engine that had a computer controlled auto. The computer may or may not care, but the Ref will for sure. And they can tell what should be there.

    Engine mounts: use the stock actual mounts and build the supporting bracketry.

    Radiator: I would highly suggest going to the radiator that GM put in front of that engine when installed in a truck (no passenger car parts there). OE Clutch fan is where it's at. Use the ECU controlled fan to be supplemental. Place it where it will make the A/C work the best when sitting somewhere in SFV in August waiting for the freakin' light to change!
     
  7. scarydriver

    scarydriver

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    If you have a donor engine from a manual truck, can you use the stock manual trans, or do you HAVE to use the manual trans that came in the donor truck? I had assumed that as long as I found a manual donor, that any manual trans would pass with the ref... :hmm:
     
  8. Downey

    Downey

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    (a) Some mis-information above!!
    (b) Send complete mailing address for complete Freebie V8 instruction manual
    (c) PM me for specific answers for specific questions (particularly tranny choice)
     
  9. kling-on

    kling-on Kool Arrow

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    AdvanceAdapters.com | Engine & Transmission Conversion Adapters - Advance Adapters for motor mounts and tranny mount mine is a 5.3 4L60E to split case , I also got a B/M shifter from them... all work very well

    AdvanceAdapters.com | Engine & Transmission Conversion Adapters - Advance Adapters


    for the wiring harness Tech rods they can make it how ever you need

    I have a stock radiator with duel electric fans out of a taurus wired into the computer.... haven had a day over 90deg yet but havent even gotten close to over heating yet .....

    TechRods Home

    Tech rods 210-508-8401 Jeff
     
  10. Elbert

    Elbert SILVER Star

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    I think the issue with CA is that if the GM engine was configured for an auto trans...then apparently the CA smog refs want to see an automatic trans mated to the engine. I guess they run the VIN off the ECM/ PCM to check options?

    As always if you live in CA special rules apply to you and generally not everyone else.

    There are a number of variables to consider and also good to understand if you are capable of various mods or will have to seek help in making stuff work.

    If I do another swap.... I think I might like the GM 6.0 Truck engine with either the manual or the 4L80E GM transmission....and then make whatever mods required to get that to work...driveshafts, crossmembers..mounts. One thing is a little bit of an issue...in that there's not a lot of room for the exhaust setup.

    Once again I think you need to consdier if you live in CA what impact is there to what you can do, if you live outisde CA and have inspections or emission teststing what impact to your setp, and then if you live in "God's Country" where there are no inspections and no emisisions testing...the world is wide open.
     
  11. Downey

    Downey

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    Yes, not only does California require that a 1993-newer GM engine that came with a 4L60E/80E tranny keep that tranny with that engine, but you've got some reprogramming issues in other States if you don't keep that engine/tranny package together. The engine/ECU shift the tranny, but that's a two way street---the tranny also sends signals to the ECU that are used to control engine functions. California says that engine and tranny are all one piece of smog device. If using a newer engine with any other tranny (that does not send signals to the ECU) some reprogramming will be required.
     
  12. Dynosoar

    Dynosoar Slightly Disturbed SILVER Star

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    Its an easy swap just 5-7 grand and about 20 hrs of work to make it run right (if you have done it before). I have been involved with a few swaps and each one is different there is no set formula. the three sixtys that I have been involved with (2 vortecs) were all different. I will lend a hand, but it has to wait for May when I turn in my Thesis and finish grad school.


    Dynosoar:zilla:
     
  13. MANUCHAO

    MANUCHAO omnea mea mecum porto

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    REFS are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you going to get eh !!!!
     
  14. ntsqd

    ntsqd technerd

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    That I've no experience with. If your Ref is my Ref then it would be good to check before loosening the first bolt. My guess is that it would need to be the manual that came with the engine, but I can't state that positively.

    The PCM/ECU knows what it is in, what the configuration is, and it's VIN is. That can be queried through the OBD II Diagnostic Port.
     
  15. Spike Strip

    Spike Strip Adorable Deplorable SILVER Star

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    I still say an air-cooled Peugeot motor is the way to go... :D




    Sorry, bud, but the Eraldo motor I put in the newer 60 is puffing white smoke, and I haven't had time to figure it out, yet... :bang: :bang:
     
    roscoFJ73 likes this.
  16. Chino Cochino

    Chino Cochino

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    I've got a 3 inch notebook full of receipts and a parts list. If you would like a detailed list I would be happy to help you. I'm currently in the valley working. My rig is down here with me from San Francisco. If you would like to take a peek under the hood I would be happy to show you. It has passed thru the ref's and is now known as a 5.3 vortec with a 4l60e trans. It took me a two trips to the ref to get her done. drop me a pm if you want to hook up.
     
  17. NLXTACY

    NLXTACY Wits' End Supporting Vendor

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  18. phishincruisin

    phishincruisin

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    I'm working on putting a 5.3 in my cruiser, and after the countless hours I've spent doing research I'd say there is no definitive guide to doing this. There are so many variables in the swap and to really understand them you need to put time in and figure things out. Yes, it would be awesome to have a step by step process to do the swap, but then just anyone could do it. It takes some thinking, some learning and some trial and error. There is a steep learning curve, but once you start to understand what's going on you will find that its not that hard, and that you feel much more confident in your cruiser because of all the knowledge you've gained. Thats my $.02.
     
  19. Downey

    Downey

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    You are 1,000 percent right. You guys see me offer a freebie V8 instruction manual all the time here on Mud, and although it leaves any other V8 swap material far behind, I have always had to take each individual engine swapper by the hand and walk him through his individual conversion (normally in the area of electronics, VSS , and wiring harness).:hmm:
     
  20. Kurtis

    Kurtis

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    On this topic, Jim do you offer any type of tranny pan that allows you to run a cv driveshaft with the 4l60e? When I went in to have a 2 cv shaft sized I noticed I'm going to have to either modify my pan or purchase one that is made in a way that I can fit the shaft.