LS1 - 5.3L 6.0L Fuel Injected Vortec Swap Done...

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Jun 4, 2004
Denison, Texas
LS1 (5.3L / 6.0L) to SM465
à I used a 2002 Truck for reference on ordering new Chevy parts

Before setting the engine, you’ll need to:
Order a Flywheel – a SBC 350 flywheel will NOT work.
I ordered mine from JEGS (2002 6.0L Manual Shift)
The Chevy house charges $425 for the flywheel and JEGS charges about $215.
The good news here is that the Flywheel Jegs shipped me had a dual bolt pattern (metric and SAE – works great when mating up to Clutch Pressure Plate SM465)

Order the Pressure plate, clutch and throw-out bearing for a…( exampleI used: 1970 Chevy 1 ton Pickup - it’s a little over 11” diameter and works perfect)
Order the “Crankshaft Pilot Bearing” from the Chevy House for a 2002 6.0L Manual Shift Pickup from the Chevy house (…they don’t call it Pilot bushing’s a pilot bearing)
For reference…the pilot bearing on a 6.0L has the “exact” same dimensions as the pilot bushing for a SBC/350.

Bolt up the flywheel to crankshaft @72 ft/lbs torque
Set clutch plate on flywheel and use alignment tool to hold it (centered) in place – cheap plastic alignment tool usually comes with new clutch.
Bolt Pressure plate onto flywheel – if bolts don’t go in smooth, rotate to other bolt pattern (SAE-Metric) @ 52 ft/lbs torque

Removed the Radiator and Rad support, Hood, Fenders, etc to open up the work area
Cleaned/Painted engine bay
Removed the old SBC 350 motor mounts (cut away from frame)
Remove the PS gearbox from firewall location and prepare for Saginaw PS conversion to front frame rail (this has to be done in my opinion, no room for driver’s side exhaust).
Loosened the Tranny mounts
Dry fit the 5.3 to Tranny bellhousing
Note: The engine (by design) will sit closer to the driver’s side frame rail in order to clear the drive line.
It fit perfect – Only concern was driver’s side exhaust. Manifolds/Headers sit too close to PS gearbox, so I removed it.
Original driveline is straight and front driveshaft does not interfere with oil pan (close but no problem).
Squared and leveled the engine then weld motor mounts in place –
I’m using the original motor mounts from the 6.0L (bolted to engine) and SBC motor mount stand offs on frame.
Install (inline) electric fuel pump for 6.0L (JEGS) Make sure you get an inline pump for “Fuel Injected” engines.
Connect wiring harness – you can probably get one from a junk yard off of a 5.3L or 6.0L Chevrolet Truck 2000-2002 etc…
If you get the engine from a junk yard, go ahead and get the (entire) wiring harness AS WELL AS THE STEERING COLUMN.
The steering column will have the VATS security module in the ignition that is paired to the computer.
I used a harness from Painless Performance and sent them my computer for a FREE re-flash and program.
Note: Be sure to connect all of the sensors (Crank-cam-MAF-IAT-Front o2 sensors, etc…) except Emissions and smog…

I used a clutch slave cylinder from a Chevrolet S-10 pickup and it bolts up perfectly to the SM465 bellhousing.
If you are using (like me) an FJ40 Clutch Master Cylinder, then the clutch line will not fit into the slave cylinder unless you have an adapter.
The Slave cylinder fitting is a 12mm X 1.0 thread and it needs to be adapted to the clutch line…I just my slave cylinder and clutch line to NAPA and they ordered it – WORKED GREAT.
I found this to be better than building an L-Bracket to mount the OEM slave cylinder but it works either way.

Throttle Cable
The snap-in fitting on the throttle cable fits into the factory throttle cable hole perfectly…in fact the throttle cable length is only 1cm too long and was easily adapted.

After connecting the fuel pump to the fuel line, be sure to connect a fuel return line – you’ll need it.

The upper and lower radiator hoses will have to be fitted but it’s not too far of a stretch to connect them up… I took a coat hanger and made the appropriate bends / angles and went to NAPA.

It will be easier if you get CENTER DUMP Headers (Hooker). Almost all other headers have same footprint as factory exhaust and the Collector will interfere with Clutch Slave Cylinder…
If you get the rear dump headers, you’ll find this out,,,,

I followed one of the Saginaw Power Steering conversions from the Tech section of IH8MUD – Ordered the U-joints-steering shaft, etc.. online, the ¾ “ Column bearing from Tractor Supply and found a parts vehicle (2002 Jeep Cherokee on Craigslist) to get my drag link, gear box, pitman arm and tie rod ends. The steering conversion works perfectly and the Jeep Cherokee hoses fit the 5.3 power steering pump good enough to get me by until later (The pump is right in front of the gearbox).

Air Condition:
If you choose to install AC, the AC Compressor already on your engine fits near the passenger perfectly with no clearance issues.

That’s about it…more to come if I think of it….I’ll upload some pics later.

Tomorrow - Connect driveshafts, radiator, drive it.
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you could have just used a LUK clutch kit #04-064 and saved yourself a lot of time, money and effort.

either way, good info and thanks for posting it up. some pics would be cool!
Can you give a little more information on which flywheel you used. Does the JEGS wheel have the additional 0.400 in. offset to work with the older manual transmissions? How about the pilot bushing? Is it extended also?
Part #'s would be great as I'm shopping for parts right now.
Thanks for posting!
Mike, your post explains very typically the path of the do-it-yourselfer and the economy plan. It is slightly at odds with the way some other folks do things, but believe me, I'm 1,000 percent for anything that works and does not cost an arm and a leg.
I am curious about the following:
(a) Does Jegs in fact sell an LS-1 flywheel with both the metric and older Borg & Beck bolt pattern, and was it genuine GM or something like we have made???
(b) Slightly confused on your claim about the Pilot Bushing. I can believe that a 5.3 and 6.0 LS-1 pilot bushing are the same, but did your post imply that they are the same as a pre-LS-1 old school pilot bushing???
(c) Very rarely do we find someone using the GM column merely to take advantage of using the GM ignition key & Vats. Most simply have the Vats removed when resplashing the ECM. Evidently you now have and extra key to pack around???
(d) What radiator did you use, hose fitting locations & diameters???
Jim o-meter went off.........

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