Quick backstory. I'm an Army Aviation veteran (15P's lead the way lol), who, during the time of LS swapping my GC, was just a college kid. I'm 25 with not much knowledge on working on cars. My terminology, or way of doing things may be wrong, or I may have simply made an extra step when I shouldn't of so bare with me and please, feel free to comment your displeasure, or praise. So with that being said, the purpose of this thread is to walk through all the steps of LS swapping your GC FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A POOR MAN WITH A $99 DURALAST TOOL KIT AND A ENGINE HOIST OLDER THAN I AM. I started with an LS1, got it running, then swapped it for a new L99/LS3. Hopefully it encourages those on the fence with little to no experience on building cars to swap, I know it is difficult to ask for some of this information without being belittled in GCO on Facebook. 2011 3.8 Track automatic. I did everything myself, with the exception of a bit of wiring, and all credit will be given later on. Enjoy. I hope this makes an impact. Here we go (PIC HEAVY):
August 2016, where it all began. I purchased a LS1 out of a 2002 fbody Camaro with 67k miles. I picked it up locally for 2600 bucks, it came with all accessories, including harness and PCM.
Shortly after picking up the LS1, I was able to grab a Tick stage 2 T56 locally for 2000 bucks.
At this point I'm all in. I sold the 2011 3.8/ZF for 250 bucks, provided they do the pulling of the engine/trans themselves, which they did. Initially I was going to have a shop build it all (Relentless Designs in Glendale, AZ), but when it came down to it, they started to ignore me after guiding me on what to purchase. It seems the shop didn't really think I would pull the trigger and have them build it! I was stuck with a LS1/T56, so I decided I would finish the project MYSELF. The project sat for a few weeks, as my wife was pregnant and we were starting the process of moving to a bigger house with an actual garage (albeit small).
New house. Tiny garage. The project resumes. Enjuku's kit gave me a couple issues, but I will get into that later on in the thread. For now, my focus was on wiring.
I had a LS1 harness made brand new from a local shop, Tempe Speed & Performance. The common misconception is the genesis ECU is needed - IT IS NOT NEEDED - all my interior items work, except for the gauge cluster (which I will be installing a Holley setup with my next paycheck). I'd imagine traction control and ABS doesn't work, and the genesis ECU will be needed in that case, but I don't care about those features enough to find out that information. I wanted the LS1 PCM mounted under the dash, as well as a second push start button to turn the engine on. The OEM push button still cycled through power like normal, but the second push button fired the motor up. I paid a guy 140 bucks to strip the unnecessary from the Hyundai harness, install the LS1 harness and mount the PCM.
LS1 PCM and fuse box installed under the glove box.
A photo of the engine bay with the Hyundai harness stripped/cleaned up.
As I prep to pair the LS1 and T56 together, a few things had to happen. T56 fbody shifter cup had to be swapped with a GTO shifter cup.
New GM slave cylinder, as well as remote bleeder and clutch line installed.
Power steering. Blue - high pressure, SS line - return line (low pressure).
Everything paired up, now I can moved on to interior/engine bay modifications before dropping the LS1/T56 in.
Going from an automatic to a manual, I decided to just swap in an OEM GC clutch pedal (Hyundai had pre-cut indentions in all the right places that I used a hole saw attached to a drill to punch out), as well as an OEM clutch master cylinder. Not pictured, but I got a shiny cover to the clutch pedal to give it a cleaner look. I also used a 240SX gas pedal and throttle cable.
LS1 and T56 in! ISR longitudes installed, they were a lovely looking set if nothing else lol
ISR LS swap Longtubes
Extra step in going from auto to manual was cutting a hole in the interior. I cut the hole prior to dropping the engine/tranny in, but took a picture after. Additional cutting was needed, but I failed to take more photos.
Without spamming you guys with pics of every step - here are a few in one photo. I installed (yes, by myself. It was nerve-racking being my very first time taking an engine apart - I used LS1HowTo as a guide) 228r cam from TSP with .600"/.600" lift and 112LSA, SLP ported oil pump, TSP hardened pushrods, double behive spring and titanium retainers from PRC, LS2 timing chain set and LS7 lifters. I also cleaned up the pistons and heads. I had to installed the driveshaft so I could place the car in gear to lock the crank from spinning.
Enjuku originally stated I could use stock driveshaft bolts to install the driveshaft to the adapter, and into the diff. After a long trip to a farther Hyundai that had them in stock, I quickly realized that was false. I took the whole driveshaft to ACE Hardware and bought some socket head bolts, which needed some grinding and an ACE worker happily did just that. Some red loctite, and it was good to install.
Because I was only working with jack stands, I jacked the car up as high as possible, and without removing the exhaust, I shoved the driveshaft behind the x-pipe, and into the tail of the T56. I had to remove the heat shield, which is pictured above.
Final pic of the driveshaft installed. Heat shield removed.
Installing the fuel lines, fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator.
Bought a fuel pump assembly with the in tank fuel pressure regulator deleted, return line installed and threw in a DW200 fuel pump.
Mishimoto radiator for Bk1 3.8, and Uniq Performance fan shroud with Mishimoto fans.
This was a big moment for me. I could see the finish line. It was fired up a few weeks later, with no issues. It drove perfectly, turned countless heads and was well worth the downtime.... but one day I seen an L99/LS3 for 4000 bucks, best part was it had 11 miles on it vs the LS1 with 67k miles. So I jumped on it!
LS1 pulled in about 45min, again, plenty of room and probably the easiest motor to work on and around.
Sold the motor for a quick 2k, sold as soon as I posted it. The guy I sold it to became a real good friend of mines. He bought it to replace his high mileage, stock LS1.
11 miles on this bad boy!
L99 stripped down and converted to an LS3, including an GMPP ASA cam 226/236 .525"/.525" lift on 110LSA, Melling high volume oil pump, Katech C5-R timing chain, GMPP springs, LS7 lifters, and TSP hardened pushrods, comp cams rocker trunnion upgrade, 3bolt cam sprocket, and LS2 chain damper. I also used an LS7 clutch. Everything, from longtubes, to oil pan, to motor mounts etc transferred over with no issues
LS3 / T56 going in!
Threw in a LS1 pilot bearing, LS7 clutch and dropped her back in. I re-used the LS1 wiring harness and LS1 PCM to cut costs, I didn't want to remove the crank to change the reluctor wheel, so I wired up a Lingenfelter 58x/24x reluctor conversion module, some injector adapters, crank extension wire, MAP extension wire, and also switched to the LS1 accessory configuration. In the picture above I used a corvette spacing, but the alternator touched the fuse box, so I had no choice but to switch to LS1 accessory config using Dirty Dingo brackets. I used spacers to retain the LS3 corvette water pump, as it has been reported it keeps the engine 5-7 degrees cooler vs the LS1 water pump, and also is lighter = less parasitic drag.
LS3 is done. I'm tuning some bugs out with HPTuners, and looking to get a cold air intake fabricated so IATs aren't so bad. I will update this thread with some videos of everything running, and some more 'steps' and photos.
LS1 cammed, untuned, open headers, first drive.
LS3 idling above.