LSx Powered LS Swap Progress


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Feb 4, 2013
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I'm starting my LSx build on a gen I LS factory V8 auto that I picked up cheap due to it having a bad motor and a slipping transmission. I've done some digging in the LS1 swapped LS that's been on this forum for a while, figuring out what issues are going to come up, but it seems pretty straight forward. I've got the engine electrical disconnected from the body and everything seems to still work.(power windows/seats, lights, wipers/delay, climate control, etc) Stuff not working with the wiring unhooked was my biggest fear when I bought the car for a swap. I'm aware that the dash and gauges will not work but I'm ok with the aftermarket gauge route. So once I get the motor out the fun begins. I'm going back in with cast-iron LS series motor out of a truck and an automatic trans.
Here's the "basic" parts list, I'm aware that many little parts will also be needed, some of these I already have some I have located to pick up this week. Here's a picture of the car too, I'll get more after the motors out.
-2002 LM7 5.3 which I already have, or a 2005 LQ4 6.0 my buddy's got if I can scrape together the extra money for it.
-Turbo 400 auto trans
-1999 Cobra 8.8" Rear End
-Custom Driveshaft
-Custom Oil Pan
-Harness/ECU got the harness about built just need to get my ECU tuned.

I do have a few questions about the 8.8" swap though. The factory 8" is a 28 spline output and the 99 Cobra 8.8" is 28 spline both with pretty similar housing. I know I will have to build custom front mounts for the Cobra stump. The only question I have is will the axles fit? (are the stumps the same width I mean?) And the rear diff cover from the 8" will fit on the 8.8" right?

this has been covered, who knows how many times. recently even.
but. pretty sure the 8.0 cover fits. pretty sure the gen 1 axles fit.
Thanks Chris I had searched but not found a definitive answer on the cover swap, I'll post up the 8.8" swap pics when I get it in this weekend
Also I forgot to add in my first post that I plan to use the Lincoln factory power steering pump and a/c compressor on custom brackets to save from having to have custom lines made

Got the motor and transmission out the other day with no issues. It did come out the top a lot easier than I figured since it's supposed to drop out the bottom. Picked up the cobra 8.8" and got it in earlier today. It appears to have 3.27:1 gears in it which are a little too high for me but I'll change them out after I get it running. Gonna work on cleaning up the engine bay and getting rid of the extra hoses and stuff in there next. Picking up my transmission Monday. Eyeing it up, it looks like I might be able to use a mark VIII aluminum drive shaft with a GM 32 spline yoke instead of a custom shaft. Sorry about the crappy pictures, the lighting is terrible and it's a phone camera.




Motor is In!

Worked a couple long nights this weekend to get the motor and trans installed. This particular motor is a 4.8L which I got a sweet deal on from a friend at the local junkyard with just over 100,000 on the clock. I am using the factory pedestals and mounts from the lincoln with a custom adapter plates and a fabbed tube crossmember. Pretty easy fit for the motor, plenty of room in the engine bay. Transmission tunnel is a bit narrow for the turbo 400, had to do a little hammering on the floors to clear the shift linkage and modulator. The tranny I picked up is a short-tail th400, I added a JW ultra-bell and a 3500 stall and may do a shift kit/rebuild before it's all said and done. Got the brackets made to mount the factory power steering pump and A/C compressor, need to pull all my mounts to smooth and paint them before they start rusting. Gonna do the alternator bracket later this week.

Things left to do/needed:
LS1 intake/fuel rails (truck intake wouldn't fit under the hood)
F-body exhaust manifolds (or headers)
Driveshaft (measured 59" center-to-center, mkVIII should work with chevy yoke)
Fuel Pump and return line plumbing
Wire it up

Only questions I got are why are there three heater hoses into the firewall and how do I need to hook em up? I know one hooks to the overflow/fill bottle. I took the big mess of a heater valve out and don't wanna try to reuse that junk.





Only questions I got are why are there three heater hoses into the firewall and how do I need to hook em up? I know one hooks to the overflow/fill bottle. I took the big mess of a heater valve out and don't wanna try to reuse that junk.

Driver and passenger Dual climate control accounts for 2 and I figure there needs to be a return so that would account for the 3rd.
Have you done a CBA on this swap? Not trying to be a smart ass but, just wondering if a crate engine would be more cost effective.
Makes sense on the heater hoses, guess I'll just tee off the one motor outlet to the two smaller heater lines. I'm not sure how a crate motor would be cost effective, maybe quicker but 5 grand for a crate motor vs maybe a grand all said and done with a 4.8, LS1 intake, fuel rails, injectors, manifolds. And all the supporting mods are the same so I wouldn't really save any there (i.e. accessory brackets, mounts, oil pan, fuel pump) Not really sure what you mean by a "CBA" either.

Anyways a little progress made today. Got my LS1 intake set on and the alternator mounted. Only place I could get it to fit was in place of the tensioner. So I mounted it onto a pivot instead of using the spring tensioner. Gonna have to get an 07-up water pump to clear the throttle body. The f-body manifold outlet flanges hit the steering shaft, gonna weld on v-band flanges to get the clearance I want. Should be able to get the wiring done by this weekend hopefully. Still looking for a set of fuel rails if anybody close has any.

Yeah, if you can get by with only a grand, that is good. I was just imagining it would cost much more than that. I guess I was considering getting a used Jag or LS engine and working on it on the stand. That install looks good in this shot.
Pretty sweet swap you have going on here, this would be my dream to put an LQ4/LQ9 into my mark with a cam and head swap and basic bolt ons and have an easy n/a 400-450hp. If you haven't already add this to the LSX swap thread on LS1tech..guys there would love to see it.
I'm gonna get it up over there eventually, probably after I get it up and running which "hopefully" will be before the end of the month. Id get it done sooner if it will ever quit snowing here. Quick question about the climate control system, does anyone know if the air blows through the evaporator core and the heater core in the same pass or does it blow through separated boxes? Im thinking about bypassing the dccv valve in favor of a manual shut-off valve. So say if I have the valve open, have heat in the car but I want to turn it down (make the air cool down) will turning the a/c on do this? I understand there is no blend door I just dont want to have to pull the dash to figure this out (if someone else already has). So basically what I'm saying is Id like to have a little bit of in-car control without the valve.
Marshall, I just replaced a failed DCCV last week. The default state of the valve is OPEN. This allows all hot water to flow through. I believe you can use the normal control to make it "not as hot" but once the car warms up you won't get any cold air blowing. I was only able to shut it off and have no blower to make it bearable. I'm not sure how cold it is where you are but you mentioned snow so it may not be too bad. That being said, if you still have the electrical working, tha part only cost me $111.45 shipped from Amazon. IMO, it is well worth it. ITMT, the A/C will still dry the air so that may reduce any suffering. I live in Central Florida so I only lasted a week when mine went bad.
I found my original valve and hose assembly that I took off during teardown I'm gonna go ahead and reuse it for now. I was initially planning ahead and collecting parts for later mounting something else in that general area and my exhaust would need to go out that side.:D
Small Update:

Finally got around to checking the oil pan clearance to figure out which one I need to order. Turns out basically none of them will clear. The holley lsx pan would be the closest but I don't see any sense in chopping up and rewelding a $400 pan. So I'm gonna chop the truck pan and "try" to mig it back together with some aluminum wire I picked up today. Never done aluminum mig but I do have a lot of experience with steel mig (already own a lincoln 255) and aluminum tig welding. So I figure it couldn't be that hard. Picked up an extra truck pan today too just in case I screw one up. Worse come to worse I'll cut it and let someone else tig it for me (since I can't afford to spring for a nice tig welder right now) Also I went ahead and pulled all the accessories and brackets back off to paint everything and am gonna pull the motor to finish cleaning/painting it and the engine bay and fabbing a shift lever that will clear the fire wall. Hopefully can get my ecu sent out this week for a retune and finish up my engine harness. Pics to come hopefully this weekend of the oil pan.
Its just the little things that require foresight to make things work.

2006 Lincoln LS in Cashmere Tri-Coat Metallic.
Got all the aluminum mig stuff rounded up earlier today and got some practice on some scrap aluminum I had laying around, pretty steep learning curve but I'm getting the hang of it. Got the pan cut and got the filler plates tacked on it. Gotta lift the motor tomorrow and make sure it fits before I weld it up solid. If everything goes good I'll have it done by the weekend and I'll still have less in the pan even after buying the new argon cylinder, wire, etc. than I would have if I had bought an aftermarket pan.

Also picked up a mid-90's gm underhood fuse box to wire the harness to. Taking two full days off next week to try to get everything finished on the car and hopefully I can get the ecu back before the end of next week. Found a new factory replacement set of fuel rails off amazon for $88 with free shipping (p/n ACDelco 217-2434) and a set of 24lb injectors new locally for $100 bucks. Hopefully a first start-up vid and test-drive before the end of the month.
The trick for mig welding aluminum is that you have to "push" the puddle not "pull" it. So instead of the tip facing down or in the direction you're coming from you will point the tip in the direction you are headed. You also must move much faster than with steel. A good tip is to preheat the welding area. This will help remove moisture and wantnot and have a cleaner weld. I usually only preheat the part where I plan to start the weld unless it is a really thick piece. Do NOT give too much heat because aluminum will not glow like steel as it gets hot, it will just start melting and puddling.
Thanks for the advice on that. Most of my issue was that the machine settings were soo far off what it sets for steel. I finally got the pan welded up solid. Has a few small leaks that ill take care of tomorrow, probably smear on a little liquid metal filler over the welds to dress them up. (because im not particularly happy with the bead appearance) Ill grab some pics during the daytime tomorrow. Gonna wire the new fuse box into he harness if I get time and ship the ecu out tomorrow as well. The injectors i found locally got sold out from under me, gonna try for some used 24lb injectors from a mkviii in the junk yard if I can find one.
Got a big shipment of parts in yesterday and today but haven't had much time to work on the Lincoln. Didn't get my days off this week either. But the oil pan is done, ended up smoothing the welds down with filler. (sanded it down after I took this picture) Looks small in the picture but should hold about 4.5 quarts without an oil cooler. Motor is back out, got the fuel rails in which fit perfectly. Still no injectors but hopefully should get some by early next week. Still waiting on the new fuel pump, went with an AEM 50-1000 320lph in-tank pump. Not a lot of reviews on it probably because it hasn't been out all that long, figured for $99 I'd give it a shot. Supposed to flow more than a walbro gss340 but we will see. Pump should be in by early next week, already received the 3/8 aluminum fuel line so hope to button that up soon. Pcm should have made it to the tuner today so should be back presumably monday or tuesday.




Got the fuel mods about wrapped up last night, ran a new 3/8" line from the filter all the way to the tank. The new pump came in as well, as expected it was about an inch too tall to fit in the sending unit but I didnt want to cut the bottom out so i clearanced the top hole and let it stick out a little. Bored a 3/8" hole to run a 3/8 elbow through the top of the sending unit. Gonna reroute the return lines going through the jet pump so the flow will be in the correct direction to transfer the fuel to the other side of the tank, well I hope it will work anyways since no one else seems to have tried it yet. Got the confirmation email that the ecu is on the way back from the tuners, been procrastinating on finishing the wiring in the car but Im gonna suck it up and get it done this week. Assuming I can find some injectors this week, I should be ready to test fire the engine this weekend. Wish me luck!



Bad-ass project! The LS is gonna be a damn rocket with that engine. My buddy has a G8 and he's going for 11s on the motor with just cams and bolt-ons. He won't even put a stall in it or gears until he runs an 11.99 and he's right on the fence. It's not even right. LOL Carry on! :cool:
Thanks for the support! Hoping to be in the mid 13's as a starting point with the stock engine. Gears may be too high at this point to get there but I think thats a pretty reasonable number considering I already have the stall and a traction-lock. I'm sure it will do some pretty sweet burnouts regardless. :D Eventually dreaming toward 11's in a 4000lb car after I get some boost on that engine.
I think I may have a set of used 24lb injectors from my old Mark VIII engine, if you still need some.

Let me know.

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