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Old 04-30-2009, 07:01 AM
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LS1 Swap

my buddy has a 1990 camaro TBI 305. 700R4 trans. he is wanting to do a LS1 swap. what all will need to be done with the computer system to correctly swap the engines?

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Old 04-30-2009, 07:12 AM
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You will need a wiring harness and ecu from a car originally equipped with an LS1. Several companies are making stand alone harnesses and ecu's but the cheapest way, spelled "junkyard", is out of another vehicle. Start by researching the differences between OBD-I and OBD-II systems. It well help you understand the differences between the way the engines are controlled.

Another option is to get a carb intake manifold and just put a carb on it. Thats probably the cheapest and easiest solution.

The 700r4 can be made to run without computer control, but there are several companies that make a stand alone transmission ECU to control it as well. What about putting in a 4L60E?

Last edited by DaSouthWon; 04-30-2009 at 07:14 AM. Reason: Trans info
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:20 PM
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Like DaSouthWon stated, you will need the wiring harness from the donor vehicle. Some LS based engines came with a drive by wire system, meaning that there is no mechanical link between the throttle pedal and the throttle body. I would advise you to avoid the drive by wire system due to poor throttle response. Depending on modifications to the engine, you may need a EFI tune. DO NOT GET A PROGRAMMER!!!! Take it to a knowledgable tuner that has a laptop and have him tune it. Also, if your friend is planning big power, the 4L60e will not live long behind that LS1. I would advise a 4L65e or maybe even a 4L80e, or perhaps choose a T56 6 speed standard if your friend is into manuals. Built automatics and hard shifting manuals may also beat on your rear end pretty hard so keep that in mind.

You can save money by using truck engines found in 99-present Chevy and GMC pickups. These engines are based off of the LS1. However, most of them are equiped with drive by wire, so you would be better off to find a cable throttle body and use that instead. Someone tuning your PCM (Powertrain Control Module) can disable the drive by wire system.

If money is no object, then by all means go for one of the aftermarket harnesses.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:08 AM
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And as far as the iron block 5.3 you can actually bore it out to a 5.7 and use a stock ls1 piston and rods with the 5.3 crank, it's the same as the ls1 crank, and as far as a computer the easiest I found to wire up is a 99-02 Camaro firebird engine harness and computer, u can have all the security and stuff u won't be running turned off by a tuner, I had XP racing tine mine, works perfect, you can look him up on face book all he does is Ls style engines, and he is pretty knowledgeable, and as far as the wiring it's pretty simple their is like 3 ignition hots you hook up, I just used the old coil wire for this, and like 3 constant hots, I just ran a wire from the battery with a fuseable link, and their is like 3 grounds, all the wires u need to hook up are located in the loom that plugs into the body harness over the passenger fender well of the 99-02 Camaro. If it is just a stock ls1 that's all u need to make it run but eventually u will need to wire up the obd1 port so u can tune it and ect.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:27 AM
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So.... did your buddy ever get his LS in there?
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