LX450 restore with LS3 swap questions (1 Viewer)

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Hi all, I'm in the process of restoring my 97 LX450 and will have a new LS376/480 engine and 4L70E 4WD transmission swap. I know several good mechanic shops in Houston, but none of them have done this swap on fzj80 before. I also stopped by Javier shop yesterday and they were swamped with many projects. They would not be able to get to my car until after Feb. Do you guys know any good mechanics in Houston that have done this swap before. Thanks
 

jaymar

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Hi all, I'm in the process of restoring my 97 LX450 and will have a new LS376/480 engine and 4L70E 4WD transmission swap. I know several good mechanic shops in Houston, but none of them have done this swap on fzj80 before. I also stopped by Javier shop yesterday and they were swamped with many projects. They would not be able to get to my car until after Feb. Do you guys know any good mechanics in Houston that have done this swap before. Thanks
Consider truck-application FEAD with that, given power curve and weight distribution; lets you run a mechanically driven fan, etc.
 
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jaymar

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what is FEAD?
Front Engine Accessory Drive components for the LS. There are car and truck components. Truck intake and injectors are better for the power curve, fuel curve, torque demands, and water crossings in LC application. Also allows a lower fit position for power train in some LC models.The LS can be awesome in an LC, but the LC ain't a Camaro... :)
 
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I don’t know what FAEDmeans either but He mentioned truck. I’ve done the swap with the LQ4 Vorteq version of the LS and that is a much more common application than the LS. Even though it’s a cast iron block it’s still lighter the the 1fz.

I did mine at Tandem Automotive in Ft Worth. There’s another shop in Wachsahache( how ever you spell it) that does the swap, and they are a little bit closer to Houston. I can look them up for you if needed.
 

thatcabledude

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Front Engine Accessory Drive components for the LS. There are car and truck components. Also truck intake and injectors. Better for the power curve in LC application. The LS can be awesome in an LC, but the LC ain't a Corvette... :)
The LS3 torque curve is fine.

1602799402122.jpeg
 

jaymar

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Different strokes for different folks; ICON runs the truck components in LCs with this engine.
 
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thatcabledude

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Different strokes for different folks; ICON runs the truck components in LCs with this engine.
I have the truck intake on my swap too. Just pointing out even with the car intake it’s perfectly fine. Packaging with the car stuff can be easier, and a lot of people want to go with e-fans.
 
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Since a v8 swap is a fairly large operation, be willing to branch out far if needed to find a good swap shop.
 
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I don’t know what FAEDmeans either but He mentioned truck. I’ve done the swap with the LQ4 Vorteq version of the LS and that is a much more common application than the LS. Even though it’s a cast iron block it’s still lighter the the 1fz.

I did mine at Tandem Automotive in Ft Worth. There’s another shop in Wachsahache( how ever you spell it) that does the swap, and they are a little bit closer to Houston. I can look them up for you if needed.
How much did they charge for the swap?
 
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I don’t know what FAEDmeans either but He mentioned truck. I’ve done the swap with the LQ4 Vorteq version of the LS and that is a much more common application than the LS. Even though it’s a cast iron block it’s still lighter the the 1fz.

I did mine at Tandem Automotive in Ft Worth. There’s another shop in Wachsahache( how ever you spell it) that does the swap, and they are a little bit closer to Houston. I can look them up for you if needed.
what's a ballpark estimate for this swap?
 
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I don’t know what FAEDmeans either but He mentioned truck. I’ve done the swap with the LQ4 Vorteq version of the LS and that is a much more common application than the LS. Even though it’s a cast iron block it’s still lighter the the 1fz.

I did mine at Tandem Automotive in Ft Worth. There’s another shop in Wachsahache( how ever you spell it) that does the swap, and they are a little bit closer to Houston. I can look them up for you if needed.
How long ago did Tandem Automotive do your swap? Are you happy with their work? Waxahachie is a bit closer to Houston but not by much. I rather have a local shop do the work just in case there are any issues, they can be resolved more easily.
 
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Different strokes for different folks; ICON runs the truck components in LCs with this engine.
Are you sure about that? I don't think they can because of california emissions. I think they have to keep the erod motor stock to get it past the emissions referee.
 
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what's a ballpark estimate for this swap?
If you're going to do it yourself I'd estimate $12k +/- a few. I bought the engine/trans/harness/torque converter from Pacific Fabrication/Tilden Motor Sports. Certified engine, rebuilt trans, a harness and ECU built to my specs and shipped for $7k, with a 12 month warranty. A great deal in my mind. I'm sure you could pull stuff from a junk yard for less, but I wanted reliability. I considered doing mine myself; between my son and I we have the tools and knowledge to do it. We're both engineers. However, I knew it would take me two years or more to do it in evenings and weekends. Consider adapters, mounts and fabrication for a lot of little things. There's no magic kit that includes all the parts. I say all this because my son is working on a 2UZ swap into a 1st gen 4Runner. That is a much more complex swap than the Chevy option and it is taking a lot of time and effort.

To pay someone else to do it count on upwards of $20K. That's parts and labor- all in. I've seen many shops advertise it at $25K+. In my case I can't easily separate just the swap cost from everything else because Tandem Automotive did an "all hands on deck" effort to get the entire rig built by a late July deadline. With the entire build I'm in it for $50K to date and still have another $5k of misc. stuff to finish up. As it was I had to call pencils down the day before I left for a trip to Colorado, so the real shakedown run was 2,000 miles. We ran into a couple of issues that were relatively easy to mitigate and the rig is in my driveway now waiting for my slot to open up back at Tandem to wrap up the entire process, which includes other items besides the swap. This is the first "LS" swap Tandem has done into an 80, but they have a lot of experience swapping LS's into a variety of vehicles in the past, before they went to exclusively Toyota support. They've had a lot of interest now to do swaps into 80s and other Cruisers and Toyota vehicles.
 
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And to add to this, to do a full rebuild on a 1FZ can easily run $10k parts and labor. If you do it yourself, of course you'll save on labor. I witnessed a Witt's End turbo kit job that included a rebuild that ran $20K, done by Tandem as well, that was beautiful.

When it comes to rebuild (with performance enhancements) or swap, the all-in numbers aren't too far apart.
 
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How long ago did Tandem Automotive do your swap? Are you happy with their work? Waxahachie is a bit closer to Houston but not by much. I rather have a local shop do the work just in case there are any issues, they can be resolved more easily.
It's still a work in progress, but 95% complete at the moment. I pulled it out of the shop in late July to take a trip to Colorado. They had pushed a couple of other long term projects aside to expedite my project. To be fair we had to put those two ahead of me when I returned. My slot will open back up in November and we'll get it in there to finish up a few loose ends with the swap and address some other issues and unfinished items with the entire build. It's giving me time to finish out the interior and various accessories. I have an event in early November and it will go back into the shop after that.
 
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t's still a work in progress, but 95% complete at the moment. I pulled it out of the shop in late July to take a trip to Colorado. They had pushed a couple of other long term projects aside to expedite my project. To be fair we had to put those two ahead of me when I returned. My slot will open back up in November and we'll get it in there to finish up a few loose ends with the swap and address some other issues and unfinished items with the entire build. It's giving me time to finish out the interior and various accessories. I have an event in early November and it will go back into the shop after that.
It sounds like you are happy with the swap. I have a friend at GM who can help me getting the engine/tranny and torque converter, I will give Pacific Fabrication a call to see if they can help build all the harness/wiring and ECU to my engine/trans specs. I also put aside another $10K for labor and all the nicknacks. I hope that is reasonable budget.
 

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