In the beginning of the year, we talked about the LS series engines and discussed some of the latest technology that is currently available. The response was overwhelming, as many of you are curious about how to transplant a newer engine into a classic. We decided to do it ourselves and document the build, that way we could properly show you guys what it would take to prepare one of these engines before transplanting it into your ride. With that said, we will bring you everything, including the obstacles that we encountered while getting this 5.3 engine together.

With so many Chevy and GMC Trucks and SUV’s on the road, these engines have become easier to obtain. There are several options out there for anyone looking to get a hold of one for a build. We opted to stop at Dave’s Goldenwest Truck wrecking yard, and we were in luck. With a surplus of these engines available, they are able to sell these engines for around $1,000.00! This was perfect for us, as we wanted to put something together without breaking the bank.

After our trip, we were ready to tackle the project. Now follow along, as we try to make sense of this LS technology.

As of right now, we have a total of 16 hours invested into this junkyard jewel.
We are going to have to make a few trips out to the dealer, as well as a few runs to our local auto parts store.

1. The first thing on our agenda was to use a good engine stand that would hold up the weight of the engine and accessories.

2. It took me about two hours to disassemble the factory wiring harness and the computer that came with the engine.

3. With all of the electronic wiring and the stock belt system removed, the small block was ready for a cleaning.

4. We wanted to make sure that all of the grime was off of the engine, so we used gunk engine degreaser for the job.

5. After rinsing off the degreaser, the engine was ready to be prepped for paint.

6. With a budget in mind and plans for a driver, we used DUPLI-COLOR high heat engine paint. This would also allow us to paint the engine in sections.

7. The stock plastic intake was removed.

8. The intake valley needed to be cleaned, prepped, and painted.

9. The first accessories that we found for our LS conversion included the Weiand intake, the ARP engine bolt kit and Holley motor mount adaptors.

10. The bottom of the intake needed to be sealed.

11. This access plate will keep the air from leaking from the manifold.

12. Using an Allen wrench, the plate was bolted down.

13. The access plate was attached.

14. The intake gaskets were positioned for a dry run fit.

15. Louie placed the intake onto the engine to make sure that it fit before doing the final install.

16. With the intake on the engine, we realized that the valley coolant lines were hitting and were going to have to be modified.

17. After really evaluating the situation, the only option that we had was to switch the valley coolant lines with replacements from a LS6.

18. This engine is going to look good once it’s put together, but for now, we need to make a trip to the dealer and order some replacement parts.