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Old 09-09-2019, 05:30 AM   #1
72K5CSTDarkOlive
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The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

It was almost 2 years ago when I originally finished my Blazer and since then I've logged about 4K miles. I decided to make some changes (which btw is an understatement), and I figured I would start a new thread. Some of you are familiar with my first build and for those who are not, it's called "Attempting my first build"

I've spent the last 3 months planning this out and here's what I'm doing.

1. LS Swap 6.0 (LQ9)

2. Atlas Suspension & Fox Shocks: I'm going to be using their custom 52" progressive front springs and rears with the DIY4x B52 First Gen Hanger Kit https://diy4x.com/product.php?produc...cat=250&page=1

The front springs are 10" longer than stock and this should help soften the ride.

3. Front Swaybar & cross member from a square body.

4. Dakota Digital Gauges

5. Custom Center Console

6. Custom Sound system

7. Updated fuse panel, a relay panel, and switches to control the relays

8. Vintage Air setup

9. Smooth Firewall using Vannatta fabrications 5 piece firewall kit
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:36 AM   #2
72K5CSTDarkOlive
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

Pulled the 427 SBC out. This was actually taken a couple of months ago.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:13 AM   #3
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

Why the change so soon after you "completed" your build? The truck seemed just right the way it was.
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1969 Blazer 4x4 original cst
1971 Blazer partial 2wd convert
1972 Blazer 4x4 original cst
1970 Blazer 4x4 w/ 2 1/2in lift and 33in tires w/4 wheel camper
1970 4x4 suburban w/ 6in lift and 35in tires
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:13 AM   #4
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

It sure looks good the way it is, but obvious that you want to change a few things. I'm sure it will come out great.

Pat
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:52 PM   #5
72K5CSTDarkOlive
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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Why the change so soon after you "completed" your build? The truck seemed just right the way it was.
The engine I had originally was from West Coast Engines. It was poorly assembled and was basically junk. I then had a local engine builder build me a 427 SBC and at that same time, I converted to EFI using the Holley Sniper and added a new tank with a built-in fuel pump.

The 427 was a bad A** but we got a little in over our heads on the build and it ended up being way too much motor for the Blazer and most importantly for what I intended to use it for. It wasn't very street-friendly and the valve train was high maintenance, especially when using a solid roller setup.

Going the LS route I will have a reliable engine that makes good power and I can drive it long distance or as a daily if I want. I plan to control the engine and trans with the Holley Terminator Max X that was recently released a few months ago.

With the additional electronics (fuel pump, dual fans, seat warmers, e-Locker, ECU, Sound System, etc.) I needed to update my wiring. I was using original style harness from M&H Electric.

I also had a little accident in the garage. A cabinet fell from the wall and smacked right into my quarter panel, so back to the body shop it went. I'll refrain from posting a pic because it would make your stomach sick!

Since it's at the body shop now and with the engine out, I figured I could clean up the firewall. I originally wish I did this the first time around when it was painted and that was to have all the holes filled and a smooth firewall.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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It sure looks good the way it is, but obvious that you want to change a few things. I'm sure it will come out great.

Pat
What part of Northen California?
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:10 PM   #7
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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What part of Northen California?
We're up near the town of Placerville. Just about half way between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe.

How about you?

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Old 09-09-2019, 11:20 PM   #8
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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We're up near the town of Placerville. Just about half way between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe.

How about you?

Pat
San Jose
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:45 PM   #9
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

About a month ago I tackled the suspension and front sway bar.

The difference between the Atlas 52" springs and stock.
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I used an air chisel to remove the rivets.
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used a 2" hole saw to make to mount the new rear shackle which moved back about 4-5".
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I believe the new shackle mount locations moved the axle either fwd or back about 1/8-1/4" I cant remember which way. The front hanger has 4 predrilled holes and depending on which one you use determines the axle movement from stock location.

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Old 09-09-2019, 11:57 PM   #10
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

I removed the front cross member and then put the sway bar on to determine my new mounting location.

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Getting the square body cross member in was PITA!!!. I'm going to make new brake lines up front since the cross member location moved fwd about 2"
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Sway Bay installed.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:11 AM   #11
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

Nice - glad you're getting this build (3.0) documented
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:57 AM   #12
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

I forgot about this build cool to see it completed. I don't think I could have torn into a freshly completed truck!
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:26 AM   #13
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

I'll watch. enjoyed part a, nice to work on something all clean and shiny! I'd buy your short block, if you weren't on the wrong coast
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:33 PM   #14
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

Thinking about a swap as well so I am definitely interested. Thanks for keeping us posted.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:57 PM   #15
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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Originally Posted by SeventyOne View Post
Nice - glad you're getting this build (3.0) documented
Not gonna lie. I was feeling lazy about doing it But, I owe it to the members of this board for all the help this site has brought me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinydb84 View Post
I forgot about this build cool to see it completed. I don't think I could have torn into a freshly completed truck!
Part of the reason it's back at the body shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaros44sr View Post
I'll watch. enjoyed part a, nice to work on something all clean and shiny! I'd buy your short block, if you weren't on the wrong coast
Thanks Jaro. It was a built bottom end with all quality forged components. The engine just belonged in a Camaro or Chevelle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C.I.Blazer View Post
Thinking about a swap as well so I am definitely interested. Thanks for keeping us posted.
Feel free to ask any particular questions and I'd be more than happy to help.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:06 PM   #16
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

So are you keeping the same tire/wheel set up? I think I asked in the past about your lift, its perfect. Are the new springs going to change your stance at all?
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:18 PM   #17
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

For the LS engine mount, I ended up going with Dirty Dingo. I did extensive research on this subject and after talking directly to Pacific Fabrication and Dirty Dingo I ended up with the latter.

The reason I went with the DD is that they guaranteed me that my stock height leaf springs wouldn't be an issue with the cross member hitting the top of the pumpkin on the differential. (We Shall See!) The only thing I didn't like about the DD is I am going to have to make new brake lines and re-route. The Pacific Fab has cut-outs or notches if you will, in their version and I would have gone with theirs if it didn't require at least a 2" lift.

The install was pretty easy and they provide you with detailed instructions that are easy to follow.
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I had to bend my existing line to allow the cross member to fit. It's binding on the frame so a new custom line will go in it's place.

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Old 09-10-2019, 10:39 PM   #18
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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So are you keeping the same tire/wheel set up? I think I asked in the past about your lift, its perfect. Are the new springs going to change your stance at all?
The springs should be the same lift. After putting the springs on I couldn't tell a difference. Yes, same wheels/tires. Everything will be the same on the exterior/interior. The only mod I will make to the interior is the custom center console which I plan to make out of using PVC foamboard. It will but up against the original console and extend all the way through to the firewall. This is where I plan to put my 6.5" speakers and a Stereo Receiver. It will also hold my switch panel and a couple of cup holders.

This is the first mock-up I have designed so far. It's a work in progress
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:23 AM   #19
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

Maybe I missed it in you first build thread, but what transmission was in your truck? Are you just mating to that or upgrading to a newer unit to match the LQ9? Will you have to move any of the drivetrain assembly forward or back?
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:17 PM   #20
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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Maybe I missed it in you first build thread, but what transmission was in your truck? Are you just mating to that or upgrading to a newer unit to match the LQ9? Will you have to move any of the drivetrain assembly forward or back?
Originally was the th350 and then when I swapped motors for the 427 sbc I also swapped the the350 for a 4L80e.

I kept the engine in the same place and moved the Tcase back 2.5". I had to have new driveshafts made and I used the Lokar shift linkage to make the proper bends for it to fit.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:53 AM   #21
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72K5CSTDarkOlive View Post
For the LS engine mount, I ended up going with Dirty Dingo. I did extensive research on this subject and after talking directly to Pacific Fabrication and Dirty Dingo I ended up with the latter.

The reason I went with the DD is that they guaranteed me that my stock height leaf springs wouldn't be an issue with the cross member hitting the top of the pumpkin on the differential. (We Shall See!) The only thing I didn't like about the DD is I am going to have to make new brake lines and re-route. The Pacific Fab has cut-outs or notches if you will, in their version and I would have gone with theirs if it didn't require at least a 2" lift.

The install was pretty easy and they provide you with detailed instructions that are easy to follow.

I had to bend my existing line to allow the cross member to fit. It's binding on the frame so a new custom line will go in it's
How much clearance do you have between the pumpkin and your DD cross member? What springs are you using? I have the same x-member but I'm using an LQ9 with a 4l65e. T- case is in the stock location. The front plate of my DD x-member is dangerously close to the vent on my pumpkin.

Of course I have original springs with an old add a leaf in them. Still, I'm talking 2" of clearance! May modify the bolt in center section of the x-member for another inch of clearance. Your truck looks great! Keep it up
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:30 PM   #22
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

I have to say you're making me feel bad with my "mild" restoration.

Looking at yours, you have restored it just as I restore my old Corvettes!

I've been trying to curtail the level I'm restoring to, yet project creep keeps taking ahold. Especially when I see a project like yours (as well as a few others on here).

Thanks for keeping up on the pictures,

Pat
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:58 PM   #23
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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How much clearance do you have between the pumpkin and your DD cross member? What springs are you using? I have the same x-member but I'm using an LQ9 with a 4l65e. T- case is in the stock location. The front plate of my DD x-member is dangerously close to the vent on my pumpkin.

Of course I have original springs with an old add a leaf in them. Still, I'm talking 2" of clearance! May modify the bolt in center section of the x-member for another inch of clearance. Your truck looks great! Keep it up
Thank you. The K5 is at the body shop or else I would go measure. However, until I drop in the new engine it would be hard to say for sure right now.

I had a set of custom springs made by Atlas Suspension. They were made for stock ride height. I moved my Tcase back when I installed the 4l80e and left the engine in stock location. I suppose moving the engine fwd would put it closer to the pumpkin.
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:31 AM   #24
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

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I have to say you're making me feel bad with my "mild" restoration.

Looking at yours, you have restored it just as I restore my old Corvettes!

I've been trying to curtail the level I'm restoring to, yet project creep keeps taking ahold. Especially when I see a project like yours (as well as a few others on here).

Thanks for keeping up on the pictures,

Pat
You bet. I'm going to have a bunch more stuff to share now and over the next month. Blazer get's back from body shop next week and my LS will be ready then too. A lot of work ahead of me

What kind of vettes do you have? One of my favorites is the C2
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:43 AM   #25
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Re: The never ending K5 Build LS Swap

A '62, and a '63.

The '63 is just nearing completion. Then I got sidetracked a little with the Jimmy!

Pat
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