V8 swap in California?

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Apr 20, 2007
My motor on my 86 fj60 is done! I want to do a 350 conversion, but I don't know where to start. I was thinking about a crate motor that is fully dressed, but it doesn't seem like it will pass smog. Any advice on how to do this. I have about 5000 dollars for engine and parts.
My motor on my 86 fj60 is done! I want to do a 350 conversion, but I don't know where to start. I was thinking about a crate motor that is fully dressed, but it doesn't seem like it will pass smog. Any advice on how to do this. I have about 5000 dollars for engine and parts.

If I were looking at that, I'd look at a 5.3 Vortec conversion. Get a lowmile donor from a yard and it will have all the needed emissions stuff. If the motor and associated stuff was $1500 or so, you'd have $3500 left over for adapters, labor, chasing down the little stuff.

Do you want to do it yourself, or pay someone?
Talk to MANUCHAO and Dynosoar, both have V8 swaps in CA -- Dyno did a SBC some time ago, Manu just did his, not sure what he put in.

Search their names.
I did mine myself with a 2001 5.3 Vortec with 4L60E. All said and done $10,000. Could of been done cheaper now that I know what it takes. Let me know if you need a parts list. I would be happy to help you in any way.
Thanks guys!

Chino, what brought the cost up?

I have the h55f transmission in my 60 now, so all I need is the motor. The 5.3 sounds like the way to go. I was thinking the 350, but again I don't know much about it.

My friend will be doing the swap for me. He builds rigs for a living, so I trust his work. If I did it myself, it will either get screwed up or take another 5 years to get done.
Good luck - take lots of pix and post a thread!
I used a lot of new parts. Custom aluminum radiator, new trans, new wiring harness and lift kit. You gotta do a lift kit to do the conversion. If your looking for a vortec try ebay. I lucked out and found 2001 with low miles on it. I would try to stay 2000-2001 motor so the electronics don't get to complicated for smog. You will also need all the smog equipment for the donor vehicle. charcoal canister and evap purge solenoid . If you go that route let me know.
I'd suggest finding a wrecked 1/2 ton pick-up, that way you get all of the related emissions parts. You need it to be a 1/2 ton or a passenger car to be a legal swap. ALL of the emissions related parts from the first sensor in the intake to the last O2 sensor in the exhaust have to be stock parts in the stock location, or CARB E.O. numbered replacements for stock parts specific to your donor. Did the 5.3's come with a manual in a 1/2 ton? Can't use a 5.3 from in front of an auto, has to be a manual trans configuration engine - and the PCM knows what trans it had so the Ref can tell with a scanner.

Pre '96 non OBD II engines are a LOT easier to swap.
Saw your thread..

If yo have the H55 make sure the donor also came with a MT, so you can keep the 5 speed...
Otherwise you need to sell it to me !!!!

Where in CA you at ?

I'll be MIA for about a month but will be back in July...

Also checkout iaintscared69....he is the grandfather of vortec swaps...

You ought to start a thread when you get closer to doing your swap...

Good luck and keep us posted...!!
Contact MANUCHAO ask him if his smog is complete I think he used a 2007 5.3 Vortec. I used a 2002 6.0 with the 4l80e and is smog legal. I would contact John Speartech @ Speartech and ask him which engine is good for a smog legal conversion.
Thanks guys! It would really rub me the wrong way if I had to part with the h55f! It has less miles than a tank of gas on it and I bought it brand new!
I will call downey on tuesday and contact the guys listed!

When you say lift, how much are we talking? I have the 4 in ome man a fre lift with shackle reversal on it right now. Will that be enough?
Is it possible to buy a crate engine? And does anyone know anything about gearhead motors down in Socal?
talk to some of the guys with the 5.3.... I think they also had to run a differenty style oil pan for clearnace issues? If you're in the emissions capital of the world.... you would probally be well served to get the complete engine with matching transmission, so that everything is there. I don't recall seeing a 5.3 mated to the yota 5 speed in a swap? Talk to the guys about the PCM programming to make sure what works with the 5.3 as far as electical sensors, transmissions, what you can change and what works. Seems like most of the guys are running the GM auto trans that came with the engine. Of course CA smog rules would dictate what will fly for emissions testing....rather than what will just technically work.
I would run a '95 TBI or a 90-91 TPI setup if I were you. Theses engines are both OBD I and a lot easier to deal with. My understanding is that there were CA trucks with a 350 TBI and manual trans in 1995. That being said the Vortecs kick serious ass. Manucho's 5.3 has a lot of power (more than my 350 TPI). Send a PM over to Philos1 he did a Vortec with an H55 in CA and got his sticker.

Ferd69, I sent you a PM.
What about something like this? I know its a bit far and over the pond for you but I'm sure you can get Chevy 6.5's in the USA (wink)

Brunswick Diesel

I know this is a Patrol but I have a 6.5 in my 60. Here is the place that does the adapter

Marks adapters

Cheers and good luck mate!
Hope ya'll don't mind that I'm bumping an old thread, but I figured that would be better than starting a new one! :beer:

Anyway, I'm just in the pre-planning/gathering info stage right now, but I'm seriously contemplating an engine swap, and just had a few questions.

1. I know the basic rules regarding an engine swap in California, i.e., same year or newer, same class of vehicle, and all original smog equipment present. However, I don't really know where the FJ60 falls regarding the class of the vehicle, and which engines are legal swaps... from reading above, it sounds like cars, and 1/2 ton trucks are OK. Can anyone else confirm?

2. Does any paperwork from the donor vehicle need to be retained? Can I just pick up some used engine off craigslist, or will that cause me problems down the road with the ref? Or will the engine need to come from a salvaged vehicle with the paperwork to prove it?

I think those are the only two questions I have at the moment. Any help you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated! :cheers:

definitely talk to randy suttles (iaintscared69). here's his mud profile: https://forum.ih8mud.com/members/iaintscared1969.html

i dropped off my '90 62 on monday for a tranny swap, and he'd just gotten delivered a san diego 62 for a vortec swap. if you look in his mud profile, it's got a link to a photo gallery showing some vortec swaps he's done. it's definitely worth a call to him.

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