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Old 01-11-2018, 11:59 AM   #1
Spydarbug
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Looking for LS swap installers

Hello all,
I have been a long time reader of this site and would like to say thanks to everyone who takes the time to pass along your experience and expertise. So, I purchased a 49 3100/ with S10 swap back in 2014. It has the standard SBC and th350 combo. So, after only putting a whopping 500+ miles on it, I've grown to want more. Of course this means an LS swap. Which brings me to this site for everyones input. First, off if anyone is interested in performing another swap and lives within 4-5 hours from the Montgomery, AL area, please contact me. My dilemma and ever growing frustration is when I contact local hotrod shop, repair shop, swap shop, etc. They are giving me quotes of 10-12k for an install. Wow!, I'm not trying to put their children through a semester of college. No offense to anyone who has that kind of money invested in their swap, but that seems excessive. After reading many threads on this site, and seeing what you guys are capable of, I feel I should be able to pay someone and get everything done for 5-6k range? Am I off by that much? Is that a realistic budget? Although, I have no experience with pulling motors etc. I've even considered trying this myself. I don't even own a welder or cutting wheel. Should I just go for it, buy tools as the need arises? I don't want to get so discouraged and fall into the shops mega prices. Rant over, your thoughts? Any takers on my swap? I'm looking for a basic 5.3/4l60 install and would be happy with stock, headers, tune, ans so on. I'm also open to an exceptional deal on a 4.8 combo?

Last edited by Spydarbug; 01-11-2018 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Post motor / trans requirements
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:26 PM   #2
sixty4bigwindow
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

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Originally Posted by Spydarbug View Post
Hello all,
I have been a long time reader of this site and would like to say thanks to everyone who takes the time to pass along your experience and expertise. So, I purchased a 49 3100/ with S10 swap back in 2014. It has the standard SBC and th350 combo. So, after only putting a whopping 500+ miles on it, I've grown to want more. Of course this means an LS swap. Which brings me to this site for everyones input. First, off if anyone is interested in performing another swap and lives within 4-5 hours from the Montgomery, AL area, please contact me. My dilemma and ever growing frustration is when I contact local hotrod shop, repair shop, swap shop, etc. They are giving me quotes of 10-12k for an install. Wow!, I'm not trying to put their children through a semester of college. No offense to anyone who has that kind of money invested in their swap, but that seems excessive. After reading many threads on this site, and seeing what you guys are capable of, I feel I should be able to pay someone and get everything done for 5-6k range? Am I off by that much? Is that a realistic budget? Although, I have no experience with pulling motors etc. I've even considered trying this myself. I don't even own a welder or cutting wheel. Should I just go for it, buy tools as the need arises? I don't want to get so discouraged and fall into the shops mega prices. Rant over, your thoughts? Any takers on my swap? I'm looking for a basic 5.3/4l60 install and would be happy with stock, headers, tune, ans so on. I'm also open to an exceptional deal on a 4.8 combo?
Although I am not in the same timeline as yours, I'm pretty close on the situation. I will get there eventually, but have the same reservations. I do have at least a cutting wheel, but from what I've read (recommend you read AS MUCH AS YOU CAN,) on the swaps, it really isn't that labor intensive as far as a lot of necessary fab. Fortunately the motor mounts bolt in, and can be had for a reasonable price. Your best bet, and what I am planning, is finding a COMPLETE swap. Motor, tranny, harness (3 wire made to work for our swap,) and the computer ready to tune. Theres a ton of great info on here about the swaps. And googling it you can get an idea. Theres a few guys on Instagram selling complete swaps with all the heavy stuff besides the mounts and driveline.

Bottom line is shop around for what you need, READ A TON on it, and don't hesitate to continue to ask here. These guys have done a lot of swaps, and are a wealth of knowledge, with a lot of that already down on the site!

Good luck man, and don't forget to upload pics for us to see progress
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:33 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

welcome...
10k+ is high...it shouldn't be more than 5k...I'm on the other end of the state from you so i can't help much.....it sounds like you may not even have basic tools...mostly bolt together but if you've never done anything like this before I wouldn't recommend trying to do it yourself....check around for a local car club..most people are willing to offer advice....you can pick up a 5.3..4l60 for about 1500..look at craigslist
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:49 PM   #4
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

What is your mechanical ability? If you are willing to spend $5-6k, you could easily do this on your own.

The great thing about the LS swaps and the 350/350 setup you already have, it makes the LS swap a lot more "bolt in" ready.

I did my LS swap on a budget, so I was trying to get it all done as cheap as possible. I think the only thing I had to "fab" was my transmission crossmember but that's only because I didn't want to buy a new one.

All of the hard things I ran into when doing the swap could easily be resolved with help from this forum or spending more $$$

FYI, here in SoCal a complete turnkey install for either a 5.3 or 6.0 will run you between $6-8.5k
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:08 PM   #5
Spydarbug
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

Thanks guys,
I really appreciate your quick responses. Although, I do have a 2 car garage that my wife allows me share, my tools are basic diy stuff. It's not that I'm not mechanically inclined, its just this seems like a very daunting task to take on for the first time, and I fear getting in over my head and then costing more in the long run. Also, Mongo a trip to northern AL is still a reasonable option The whole finding donor vehicles, gathering parts, and then trying to do the work myself would probably be a bit much for me. I'm sure the pride of doing all of this by yourself is a great experience but, I don't know if I'm ready for the headachesand hardships. Thanks again
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:47 PM   #6
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

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Originally Posted by bs46488 View Post
What is your mechanical ability? If you are willing to spend $5-6k, you could easily do this on your own.

The great thing about the LS swaps and the 350/350 setup you already have, it makes the LS swap a lot more "bolt in" ready.

I did my LS swap on a budget, so I was trying to get it all done as cheap as possible. I think the only thing I had to "fab" was my transmission crossmember but that's only because I didn't want to buy a new one.

All of the hard things I ran into when doing the swap could easily be resolved with help from this forum or spending more $$$

FYI, here in SoCal a complete turnkey install for either a 5.3 or 6.0 will run you between $6-8.5k
BS, are the swaps down there really that much?? Or are you talking about like a full rig, or somebody to do it for you total? I am moving to Santa Barbara county next week, and have been checking around that area. CL has some complete rigs for around that price, but for swaps, I've seen stuff around the 2k range.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

Those prices are for them to do it all for you total package for parts and labor. They will purchase a used motor/trans, then do all the extra stuff (Wiring, ECU flash, exhaust, fuel system, motor/trans mount, install electric fans, make gauges work, etc)

If you want to just buy a motor/trans pullout and you do the work you can find combos for around $1.5-4k

I bought my motor/trans/harness/ecu as one package that I found here inlandempire.craigslist.org
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:54 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

I am not really the right person to post on this but it has taken 22 years to get to where I am with my truck. Buying tools and learning as I go. I did a 4.8 swap. Took about 10 months of spare time. I learned a lot and have done all the work in a 2 car garage with an understanding wife that her car might have to sit out side from time to time. It cost me about $5500.00 in parts. There was some mistakes along the way that cost me. The first engine and transmission I bought on the cheap basically core prices where both junk and missing pieces. Looking back I wish I would have saved for a full running truck I could have stripped it of parts but on the other hand I did not have room to store it. I you decide to do it your self this site and google will be vary good tools. Good luck. It will be fun to drive if you do go this way.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:13 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

Quote:
Originally Posted by bs46488 View Post
Those prices are for them to do it all for you total package for parts and labor. They will purchase a used motor/trans, then do all the extra stuff (Wiring, ECU flash, exhaust, fuel system, motor/trans mount, install electric fans, make gauges work, etc)

If you want to just buy a motor/trans pullout and you do the work you can find combos for around $1.5-4k

I bought my motor/trans/harness/ecu as one package that I found here inlandempire.craigslist.org
Oh ok, that's what I thought too on price range. I guess I got confused for a second lol... Do you live in the inland empire?? Or are you in SD??
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

I’m right with old 62. The only difference is I did mine in my carport over 10 months by myself evenings and weekends. I am a computer/network tech. I bought my harness but everything else I put in myself.

$5000 is about the towing rate here in Dallas are for labor only, most ls swaps done her for customers run around $10k and then they want to sell and can’t.

Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:39 PM   #11
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

Well,
I guess im going to do some local searches at some nearby towing yards to get an idea of whats available and the going rate. Maybe I can find a 5.3/4l60 dropout? There is a yard a few miles from the house. A good deal on a motor and trans, delivered may be the deciding factor that makes me take the plunge into the unknown. I don't think the neighbors want to see an entire vehicle being stripped down in my front yard.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:29 PM   #12
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

I did the swap a couple of years ago on my 72 in my driveway. I took me most of the summer because I was waiting on the wiring harness and radiator to be built. A lot of guys do this on a tight budget. I spent a little more cause I didn’t want a re-wired harness. I didn’t want to be able to even see my harness. I did not find the swap incredibly difficult, but I have over 20 yrs experience pulling wrenches. I have rebuilt and swapped several engines. If I were you I would definitely look for someone to help. Someone reliable so your not put in a pickle and left hanging. The prices you were quoted for someone to do everything from A-Z are exactly what I would expect them to be. 10-12k for parts and labor. Yes, people have done this on the cheap, but they are doing the labor themselves and have the experience and know how.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:00 AM   #13
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

I've sold a lot of completed projects over the years so i can start the next one.

Most of the time I'm lucky to get back the money I spent in parts. If I get something for my labor I'm really fortunate. You should shop around and take advantage of guys like me.

If I were you I'd sell the truck I have and buy another on with the motor you want. You'll be ahead of the game for time, money and aggravation
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:57 PM   #14
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

It depends on what parts you are using. I easily had $5k in parts alone. But I bought parts that were available as a bolt on / direct fit application (no fab work)

Engine / Tranny combo - $2000
BP Automotive - Stand Alone Harness with fan and fuse kit. - $700
Entropy LSX swap radiator, fans, specifically built for the truck. - $900
EFI Fuel tank, system, pump, lines. $500. Since you have a truck it will be more since you will most likely need to have something like a boyds EFI tank.
Dakota Digital gauges - plug directly into the OBD2 port and read off the computer instead of wiring every gauge. $1000.00
Motor / tranny / t-case mount from Advanced Adapters - $800 (2wd trucks are way cheaper)
Doug Thorley Headers - $700. You can find TBSS or camaro manifolds for $100 or less.
Full Exhaust system / mufflers - $700


thats not counting any suspension, brakes, wheels / tires, I have no AC, if I had a truck then I'd want it. $1500 there.

No idea what rear end you have, if it has posi? wrong gearing for the 4 speed auto? etc.

Not trying to scare you, but what i usually end up with is the budget number that I think it would take to build it and then multiply by 1.5.

That being said, lots of guys do this cheaper with different parts. I just wanted to give you my view from 30,000 ft.

Secondly, someone said to sell your truck....I love those trucks, I'd be interested if you want rid of it.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:44 PM   #15
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

Getting a procharger put on a latemodel 'Vette for comparison, costs around the same $11k.

The LS game is a cheap power source, but its still pay-to-play.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:40 PM   #16
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

Well,
My truck is kind of already set in some aspects, as it runs and drives quite nicely for a carbed truck. It has an aluminium rad, with electric fan, front disks,new Dolphin gages, new 600cfm and intake, new wood bed, glass, felt, and weather striping. As far as the rear, i believe its stock s10 3.73? 10 bolt. So, at this point im not looking to sell, just enjoy.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:32 PM   #17
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

while I love the ls swaps you may be better off just putting some $$ in your old 350...what your wanting to do is like trying to learn to swim in the deep end....a good cam ,heads,intake &headers will wake up the sb...I wouldn't bet on the rear being a 3.73 unless you've checked it...s10s came with all kinds of gears...
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:36 PM   #18
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

Trying to post some pics
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:44 PM   #19
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

I just don't think I will ever feel confident in a carb engine. I know they have been working just fine for the last 70 years, but I want to drive my truck and I'm not really interested in making big HP. I want drivability and reliability. I think a carbed motor has its place, but it's a dead technology.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:52 PM   #20
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

I get it...I love my ls motors....
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:59 PM   #21
Spydarbug
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

I have even looked into the EFI systems,. Like the Holley sniper. But, even at $1000, I would still need an overdrive transmission. Let say 700r4, or 200. Theres another $700, or $800. So, for $1800 I would rather go with a modern LS style motor and transmission.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:05 AM   #22
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

that sniper system is like putting lipstick ona pig.....I'd def do ls swap before I'd go that route..
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:10 AM   #23
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spydarbug View Post
Thanks guys,
I really appreciate your quick responses. Although, I do have a 2 car garage that my wife allows me share, my tools are basic diy stuff. It's not that I'm not mechanically inclined, its just this seems like a very daunting task to take on for the first time, and I fear getting in over my head and then costing more in the long run. Also, Mongo a trip to northern AL is still a reasonable option The whole finding donor vehicles, gathering parts, and then trying to do the work myself would probably be a bit much for me. I'm sure the pride of doing all of this by yourself is a great experience but, I don't know if I'm ready for the headachesand hardships. Thanks again
Spydarbug-

I just sent you a PM!
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:25 PM   #24
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

I got it .Reply sent back thanks!
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:52 PM   #25
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Re: Looking for LS swap installers

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that sniper system is like putting lipstick ona pig.....I'd def do ls swap before I'd go that route..
Hey mongo, I’ve considered a Holley kit as a possible upgrade for my 63, (mainly because I would like to keep the original engine in it) is there any reason in particular you frown upon it?

Not hijack attempt
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