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84 G20 LS Swap Project #750651
July 15th 2019 11:41 pm
July 15th 2019 11:41 pm
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 52
MN
JAGI410 Offline OP
journeyman
JAGI410  Offline OP
journeyman
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 52
MN
I love my van. But it doesn't like going over 70 on the highway. It also doesn't like to start easily in the winter. It also doesn't like to start for my wife when she needs to drive it. So...I thought about selling it and getting a newer van. Then I thought about just throwing one of those EFI kits on it. Then I thought about swapping in a bigger motor. Then I thought about swapping in a bigger, newer motor. Then things got out of hand quick.


Picked up a 5.3L "LM7" from a 2001 GMC Yukon. Also a 4L60E trans from a 2003 Silverado.
[Linked Image]

Started tearing down the engine and stripping the wiring
[Linked Image]

What a mess
[Linked Image]

Time to remove the things we won't need, add the things we do need, and simplify things.
[Linked Image]

Ahh, that's better
[Linked Image]

At this point, nothing "van specific" was done. I thought about not going through with it, selling it all on Craigslist for a few extra bucks, and being content with my 305. But then I snapped out of it. Time to go to work.
[Linked Image]

A few hours later.
[Linked Image]

It won't look like this again
[Linked Image]

The next day I removed her old heart
[Linked Image]

Now that that's out of the way...
[Linked Image]

Let's see if this fits... (note that the engine mount towers are attached to the engine and not the crossmember. This makes life so much easier on reinstall)
[Linked Image]

Hot damn
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Told ya it wouldn't be the same..
[Linked Image]

Now my least favorite part, and entirely new fuel system.
[Linked Image]

Here's where you can tell I could have spent more time cleaning. But you can see the Speed Engineering shorty headers, Dirty Dingo Engine mounts, and the stock shift linkage connected to the 4L60E.
[Linked Image]

Fabbed up an intake for it. It's kinda silly looking but it's away from engine heat
[Linked Image]

Then waxed her up
[Linked Image]

Then drove her to the exhaust shop, where they agreed my idea was silly but awesome and did this.
[Linked Image]

Now she's ready for the open road again
[Linked Image]

Tech details/shopping list/helpful info:

1) I followed the same instructions as you would for a square body truck. Same parts, same wiring, etc. There's a hell of a lot more of those swaps out there than van swaps.

2) LT1swap.com for the PCM programming and wiring instructions.It's not that hard to DIY. This saves about $350 and took me 3-4 hours.

3) Facebook LS swap groups and youtube were big helps.

4) If doing a 4L80E, you'd have to modify your trans crossmember quite a bit.

5) I started this on Memorial Day, and finished it on July 4th. I took my time. I only had an extra hand for the last part of the 305 removal, and for the last part of the LS block install. With some planning and extra people, this could be done in a weekend.

6) Ebay, Amazon, Rock Auto, Autozone. Shop deals, use coupons, etc. I saved a ton by taking the extra time to find deals on the parts I needed. These savings allowed a little more room in the budget for things I didn't really need, but wanted.

Van LS Swap Shopping List

Dirty Dingo Motor Mounts (73-87 Chevy Truck 2WD) $89.24
Speed Engineering Shorty Headers $144.49
BP Auto Fuse Harness $71.75
Air Filter $19.99
Cold Air Intake $33.4
33 gallon Gas Tank $122.79
Gas Tank Straps $17.68
Fuel Sender $71.79
Spectra SP1115 Fuel Pump $33.36
Russell Fuel Lines and fittings $209.26
5.3 LM7 Engine & 4L60E Trans $1503 (already pulled, with warranty, and they helped me load)
PCM Tuning and shipping $88.7
Oil, Coolant, Wire loom, terminals $64.42
heater hose $5
Oil Pressure Gauge Adapter $9
EGR/evap Block off $20
Spark Plugs $19.81
Water Pump $62.08
Camaro Coolant temp sensor $22.07
hose clamps $8.49
Steam Line Tee $5.08
Intake Gaskets $33.88
temp sensor harness $14
Motor Mounts $3.44 (for both!)
Trans Filter Kit $31.78
Trans Fluid $82.54
Oil Filter $3.95
Fuel Filter $9
Shipping/Taxes/Misc 100.02
MAF Sensor $89.97
Transmission Cooler $42.61
Electric fans/relays $53.46
Exhaust System $845 (2.5" mandrel bent tubing from headers to 2.5x3 Y-pipe, to 3" high flow cat to 3" stainless dynomax muffler to 3" exit under running board)
Intake coupler $11.95


SubTotal $3943
Sold 700r4 -$350
Sold 305 -$250

Grand Total $3,343

Was it worth it? HELL YES. It starts easier, has DOUBLE the power, and should get better mpg. Videos coming another time.

Last edited by JAGI410; July 15th 2019 11:45 pm.

Jason
1984 Chevy G20 5.3L/4L60E
AdSense long
Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750653
July 16th 2019 12:06 am
July 16th 2019 12:06 am
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 14,402
Van Diego California
frscke1 Offline
frscke1  Offline

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 14,402
Van Diego California
Way nice .... thanks for the story..


SUNSHINE VANS-VAN DIEGO
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146" WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146" WB
Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750659
July 16th 2019 8:03 am
July 16th 2019 8:03 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 877
Indiana
tuner4life Offline
old hand
tuner4life  Offline
old hand
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 877
Indiana
You rock for this!! Good write up! Definitely going to be referencing this when the time comes.


[Linked Image]
Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750661
July 16th 2019 10:13 am
July 16th 2019 10:13 am
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 126
Illinois
1
1959 Offline
member
1959  Offline
member
1
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 126
Illinois
I love it, thanks so much for your hard work on the write-up! All G-van owners should be interested in this.

Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750662
July 16th 2019 10:22 am
July 16th 2019 10:22 am
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 111
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Just4fun1991 Offline
member
Just4fun1991  Offline
member
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 111
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
That was a beautiful job! You have my vote for write up of the day/week. I have been dreaming of something like this for a year now, and you have brought my dream one step closer!

Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750664
July 16th 2019 10:41 am
July 16th 2019 10:41 am
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 293
Beaufort, SC USA
NEmery Offline
enthusiast
NEmery  Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 293
Beaufort, SC USA
awesome!!!

out of curiosity, did you put AC Back on the van? if so, did the old lines match up?

and what plans do you have for the stock AC Compressor?

did you have to change the tank, or could you have just replaced the sender? any other fuel lines need changed?

power steering pump lines, radiator hoses, etc? all custom made?

Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750665
July 16th 2019 10:55 am
July 16th 2019 10:55 am
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 557
Staunton, VA
kursed Offline
addict
kursed  Offline
addict
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 557
Staunton, VA
LOVE it! Thanks for sharing. I might do this someday as well, but at the moment it looks like that will be way down the road.


[Linked Image]
Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750667
July 16th 2019 11:20 am
July 16th 2019 11:20 am
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,203
West Texas
W
Wedgy Offline
old hand
Wedgy  Offline
old hand
W
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,203
West Texas
Very very nice. Excellent work on a pretty cool old Chevy. Beautiful Van, and good job on the story too Jason. Smooth all the way around.

You guys make a lot of work into works of automotive art.

Good Wrenching!

Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750678
July 16th 2019 7:12 pm
July 16th 2019 7:12 pm
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Seattle, Washington, USA
R
RichardB Offline
journeyman
RichardB  Offline
journeyman
R
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 87
Seattle, Washington, USA
That is sexy as hell! Well done!

- Rich


1991 Dodge B250 Zephyr Conversion. "Bi-frost" 74,000-ish original miles and counting.
- 318TBI; has headwork and other bolt on upgrades. Runs strong and smooth!
- Powertrax locker
- Rear air springs, rebuilt suspension, steering stabilizer.
Re: 84 G20 LS Swap Project [Re: JAGI410] #750693
July 16th 2019 10:43 pm
July 16th 2019 10:43 pm
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 300
Portland, OR
D
Deathorvictory Online content
enthusiast
Deathorvictory  Online Content
enthusiast
D
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 300
Portland, OR
What a great project! You did an awesome job and I’m sure it drives really nice now

Last edited by Deathorvictory; July 17th 2019 12:50 am.

1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
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