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Whitley_280z_2+2

Possible 5.3L engine swaps question

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Posted (edited)

I have a question regarding 5.3L chevy truck engines for a 280z 2+2 swap. The plan is to use a v8 swap kit like the Hoke performance or Johns cars, headers (CX racing has some good ones), fuel injection, LS1 intake manifold, and a manual throttle body. My question is does anyone know which chevy 5.3L truck engines will work? I know the early Vortech engines are popular, like the LM7 and L33, but will the more modern engines 2007-present work as well? For example, will the Gen IV LY5 and LMG and Gen V L83 engines still work? Has anyone gone this route, or are these engines too difficult to wire and work with? Also, will these engines mount up to a T56 or TKO600 manual transmission? Thanks very much for the help!

The only info I found by searching the forums is that these engines have DOD which I would need to deal with.

Edited by Whitley_280z_2+2

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The newer PCM's don't have the drivers to run IAC which is a problem for running a cable throttle body. I had a 2004 sierra 5.3 with drive by wire and had to source another computer at junkyard. If you get harness and computer from newer truck i think the connectors are different after 2006, which means it wont plug into your old computer needed for manual throttle body. Also somewhere around 2006/2007 GM switched reluctor wheels on crankshaft to 58x from 24x, so timing wont work without converting signals for cam and crank. The blocks are all the same but alot of things to mismatch, search well before buying. Good luck. AII the information you need is here. 

 

http://lt1swap.com/cable_conversion.htm

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I did the 5.3 iron block in my 77 2+2. Wish I would have gone with the 6.0 now myself.

 

They will mate up to the t56 but since they never came stock with one you have to source it seperatly and then they are generally mated to a 5.7 or bigger so you might as well go with it. It also means that the ECU/ wiring is already made for that setup. One note, if using the stock wiring (not that hard), add all your extra stuff, drop the engine in with the stock wiring, then go to town on it. I redid the wiring outside the car and although it fits the engine right, it doesn't match up to the engine bay the best... plus I kept adding extra wires for gauges and electric fans after finishing the engine harness.

 

My 5.3 was out of an 04 truck and was drive by wire. I kept it that way and wasnt all that hard to do so. I tucked the wiring under the dash and chopped my gas peddle off and welded it to the truck peddle arm. The reason I did this was to keep the cruse control which I use seeing as I have since driven her cross country twice now since the swap.

 

DO NOT USE CX RACING FOR A 2+2. Just my opinion after doing so. They are not made for it nor are they made for the 4l60e that I got in. I ended up cutting up almost the entire kit to make it work.

 

Next time I will use the jcr kit and do forward facing headers with a single turbo.

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On 3/31/2018 at 5:12 PM, DaveMclean said:

The newer PCM's don't have the drivers to run IAC which is a problem for running a cable throttle body. I had a 2004 sierra 5.3 with drive by wire and had to source another computer at junkyard. If you get harness and computer from newer truck i think the connectors are different after 2006, which means it wont plug into your old computer needed for manual throttle body. Also somewhere around 2006/2007 GM switched reluctor wheels on crankshaft to 58x from 24x, so timing wont work without converting signals for cam and crank. The blocks are all the same but alot of things to mismatch, search well before buying. Good luck. AII the information you need is here. 

 

http://lt1swap.com/cable_conversion.htm

 

Thanks for the help! I read through the link and that information will definitely help. It sounds like it will be best to stick with a pre 2007 engine otherwise you have to do a lot of conversions. 

 

On 3/31/2018 at 6:50 PM, 30 ounce said:

Why do you want the 5.3 specifically?  I would  (and did) prefer an aluminum 5.7, 6.0, 6.2.  saves 100 lbs of the front of the car.  Of course you are doing a 2+2 so weight savings might not be important to you.

 

I wanted to go with the 5.3 because of the better gas milage they offer. That probably sounds pretty weird for an engine swap :) I am not super concerned about weight reduction so I do not think the extra 100 pounds will be a big deal. It does sound like an LS1/T56 would be an easier swap.

 

16 hours ago, walkerbk said:

I did the 5.3 iron block in my 77 2+2. Wish I would have gone with the 6.0 now myself.

 

They will mate up to the t56 but since they never came stock with one you have to source it seperatly and then they are generally mated to a 5.7 or bigger so you might as well go with it. It also means that the ECU/ wiring is already made for that setup. One note, if using the stock wiring (not that hard), add all your extra stuff, drop the engine in with the stock wiring, then go to town on it. I redid the wiring outside the car and although it fits the engine right, it doesn't match up to the engine bay the best... plus I kept adding extra wires for gauges and electric fans after finishing the engine harness.

 

My 5.3 was out of an 04 truck and was drive by wire. I kept it that way and wasnt all that hard to do so. I tucked the wiring under the dash and chopped my gas peddle off and welded it to the truck peddle arm. The reason I did this was to keep the cruse control which I use seeing as I have since driven her cross country twice now since the swap.

 

DO NOT USE CX RACING FOR A 2+2. Just my opinion after doing so. They are not made for it nor are they made for the 4l60e that I got in. I ended up cutting up almost the entire kit to make it work.

 

Next time I will use the jcr kit and do forward facing headers with a single turbo.

 

Thanks for the information. I will definitely look at using a 6.0 truck engine or 5.7 LS1. I thought it was necessary to switch to a LS1 intake for the hood to close. However, if you can keep the stock intake / throttle body I will probably just do that. It would be nice to keep cruise control. Also, thank you for the warning about the CX racing headers. I don't think Johns cars sells Z parts any more. I did find the short headers at Jags that run (or is that the same thing?).

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You can not keep the stock intake, it is to tall. You have to take everything and swap it over to a ls1 intake (I used a metal typhoon intake since one day I will boost it). 

 

I didn't know that jcr isn't selling any more. I'm not sure about jags that run. Maybe someone else can chime in.

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I have an all stock 04' 4.8L drive by wire under the hood of my 2+2. The stock intake clears the hood (barely) with home made engine mounts and I retained drive by wire. It is very fun to drive, very much a budget build, and is very good on fuel. Good luck :2thumbs:

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On 4/3/2018 at 11:13 AM, walkerbk said:

http://www.johnscars.com/zcar/zcar.html

 

Looks like they are still there to me.

That makes sense about swapping to an LS1 intake. Thanks for all the help, I think I understand the basic modifications to make the LS style engine work. 

 

On 4/11/2018 at 9:36 AM, northwoodz said:

 

I have an all stock 04' 4.8L drive by wire under the hood of my 2+2. The stock intake clears the hood (barely) with home made engine mounts and I retained drive by wire. It is very fun to drive, very much a budget build, and is very good on fuel. Good luck :2thumbs:

I've seen your build thread, seems like a great swap! I would go 4.8 but they are harder to find where I live. I wouldn't trust myself to make engine mounts and I think that may be why your stock intake fits. Thanks for the info and great build! 

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20 hours ago, Whitley_280z_2+2 said:

Thanks for the info and great build! 

 

No problem, though with the quality of work in this forum I am pretty embarrassed of any of my own work, I'm a hack. I've experienced a few broken motor mounts over the years in different cars, it isn't that scary. Unless you have linkage throttle :o

 

 

Going 4.8 was all about the manual trans configuration and price. I will upgrade to a modified l33 or 6.0L at some point soon hopefully. 

 

 

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