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LS4 swap begins


carkhz316
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Alright. Don't get too excited W-body fam. I literally have just pulled the motor from the donor car, a 2006 Impala SS (which by the way, if anyone needs any parts, the rest of the car is being parted out, including full leather interior; PM me) to install into my '98 Monte. I am getting stir crazy due to cabin fever and not having enough snow to go snowmobiling and I'm currently waiting on a contractor to get started on my basement remodel, so I needed something to do to pass the time. I still have thousands of dollars worth of parts to get, including a clutch and flywheel combo, DOD delete kit, LS6 intake among other items. I fully expect this project to take some time, mostly due to finances, so it'll likely not be done until 2022 at the earliest. So, for the time being, I decided to just start playing so I could focus on the custom fabrication, such as motor mounts and wiring and whatnot. But, here's a few pics to show the 284 mocked up anyway.

ls41.jpg

ls43.jpg

ls44.jpg

ls45.jpg

Edited by carkhz316
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This will be replacing the SC3800 in my '98 Z34. I forgot to mention that in the original post. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 3800; I've just always wanted V8 noises. The Monte is still currently in storage and in running/ driving condition. The transmission pictured above is my 1st 284 with the noisy main shaft or input bearing. It is my stand-in for measurements and fitments to get everything ready. I have a 3rd one sitting in a '92 Z34 that still runs and drives, but that one has a crunchy 5th synchro. I'm hoping to someday crack open numbers 1 and 3 and combine them into another good trans.

Edited by carkhz316
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That looks awesome!!!

It seems like the 284 fits in just fine(I know the bolt pattern is good) but the intermediate shaft and everything looks good!!  Almost looks like the support bracket will fit too!

 

 

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I like what you said about "V8 noises".   Although smaller engines can be powerful enough and get better fuel economy, there's just something special about the sound of a V8.   What are your plans for the exhaust setup?   

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8 hours ago, oldmangrimes said:

I like what you said about "V8 noises".   Although smaller engines can be powerful enough and get better fuel economy, there's just something special about the sound of a V8.   What are your plans for the exhaust setup?   

I'm not certain yet of the exhaust. Part of me (the old man me) wants to keep it purr quiet, but the other part of me wants it to chop with a nasty cam lope and louder exhaust to announce it's presence; to show off my work if you will. I'm open to suggestions.

11 hours ago, Bake82 said:

That looks awesome!!!

It seems like the 284 fits in just fine(I know the bolt pattern is good) but the intermediate shaft and everything looks good!!  Almost looks like the support bracket will fit too!

 

 

So that support bracket is mostly the rear (right bank?) motor mount, but will work as an attachment point for the output shaft bracing. The output shaft mounting point is about an inch short in length from being flush, which is fine as the bolt pattern isn't even close, so I'll have to fab some sort of adapter for that. Otherwise everything seems to fit fine.

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Has an LS4 swap into a 1st gen been done before, or are you blazing a trail?

I know there's an LS swap into a 1st gen Z34 project thread on bangshift, but he hasn't gotten the engine in the car yet.

 

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I probably am not the first; in fact I'm almost certain it's been done (the LS swap anyway). I stumbled upon a YouTube vid of a white 95-99 Monte with a LS in it. I'm not positive if it indeed was an LS4, but it definitely had 8 cylinders. That said, I might be the first with this engine and transmission combo in general and into a 1/ 1.5 gen.

 

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The V8 has been done earlier, (not an LS), there was for a short time here about 5 yrs ago a Russian fellow who dropped a Caddy 4.9 & trans into a 92? GTP. Can't remember his id at all, he supplied photos of the work, really tight fit, did all the custom work himself. The photo are more than likely still available somewhere on the old site.  

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14 minutes ago, 55trucker said:

The V8 has been done earlier, (not an LS), there was for a short time here about 5 yrs ago a Russian fellow who dropped a Caddy 4.9 & trans into a 92? GTP. Can't remember his id at all, he supplied photos of the work, really tight fit, did all the custom work himself. The photo are more than likely still available somewhere on the old site.  

That car is still around: 

 

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8 hours ago, 55trucker said:

The V8 has been done earlier, (not an LS), there was for a short time here about 5 yrs ago a Russian fellow who dropped a Caddy 4.9 & trans into a 92? GTP. Can't remember his id at all, he supplied photos of the work, really tight fit, did all the custom work himself. The photo are more than likely still available somewhere on the old site.  

There are other V8 swaps into these cars that predate that specific one by 10-20+ years.  I remember a 2nd Gen Monte Carlo from the early 00's with a northstar(forget the username, but they were on here and MyMonte), a 94 GTP that was northstar swapped + RWD converted, and another 2-3  4.9 Cadillac engine swaps if I recall correctly.

 

This is from '03 about Cadillac engine swaps: https://www.angelfire.com/stars/mycaddy/asg.htm

 

Here's the 94GTP that Travis aka SoccrplayrGTP did w/ the northstar  swap/rwd conversion. The dates the photos are posted is not when it was built(it was done around '05 I think): http://www.cardomain.com/ride/665715/1994-pontiac-grand-prix/

 

'01 Monte LS4 swap(pics no longer work, but I'm betting if you search the username, etc. you could find some elsewhere)

https://montecarloforum.com/forum/engine-transmission-performance-adders-12/01-mc-ss-sleeper-ls4-26283/

 

Besides the ones that have some documentation here or other related sites, there have been pictures of others posted for sale with V8's over the years.

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I had no illusions to being the first V8 swap into a older W-body. I know the N* swap has been a thing as long as I can remember. Even the LS4 has been dropped in a couple, but I'm not aware of any that combined the 284 and LS4.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting to see someone actually trying this. Usually these threads consist of "HAZ ANYWON INSTALED (crazy engine of choice) IN THERE W-BODY?" as if there is some step-by-step guide for them to complete the really difficult swap in an hour or so. Anyways good luck. LS4s are great and get pretty good gas mileage with the DoD. Way better than the boat anchor Northstar swaps a couple people did back in the day.

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Yeah, I overestimated how much time and effort it would be. I mean, it's a butt ton of work and lots of money, but I have most everything I need besides the P59 PCM (easy and ubiquitous), and the DOD delete/ cam supplies. I have a LS6 intake, TB, and LS1 return fuel rail and injectors already. I ordered a Furches performance oil pan and starter (this solves the starter provision problem for LS4 swaps), and am on the horn with SPEC for a clutch and flywheel. I'm just waiting on some measurements for the 3800 that I can cross to the LS4. If my assumptions are correct and the backspacing between the crankshaft flange and bellhousing are the same between the two engines, then I just need SPEC to mill down their LS4 flywheel to .840" to match the 3800 setup, and I can use a standard 284 clutch. After that, all I'll have left are the "little things", like integrating the wiring (for gauges and stuff), plumbing, exhaust, tires, etc.

Edited by carkhz316
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

A little bit of an update: thanks to Grandpa Biden and the newest economic stimulus package, my tentative completion goals have been pushed up to this summer; if at very least have the engine in the car (but not necessarily driving around). Anyway, simply put, I'll be buying more car parts to finish things.

In the meantime:

I've received my Furches Performance oil pan, and have it loosely bolted to the motor.

I sent the heads off to the machine shop for a once over and everything came back as good (I still have to go pick them up). 

Pressure washed the long block with some degreaser and aluminum brightener before teardown to try and clean it up a bit. There was still some heavy staining, so I opted to rattle-bomb the block and front cover with some cast aluminum, even know it'll never get seen by anybody except me (shrugs).

Stripped the LS4 engine harness (and most of a 2000 truck harness) down for complete rewiring into Monte.

I talked with Brandon at Furches Performance and opted to just one-stop shop for all my engine stuff. I'm getting his full DOD-delete package (including gaskets and hardware) in addition to a custom grind cam. This leaves me with just incidentals like hoses, fluids, etc to get at this point.

Did a little bit more grinding on the motor mount to clear the output shaft. It didn't take much more and now I'm debating using it and just adding a spacer bracket to to bolt the two together, or just do a one piece motor/ trans mount. Thoughts?

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Edited by carkhz316
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I will have to just a little bit. I am waiting to do so until I receive the starter itself (it was shipped separately from the oil pan).

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/25/2021 at 9:41 PM, carkhz316 said:

Alright. Don't get too excited W-body fam. I literally have just pulled the motor from the donor car, a 2006 Impala SS (which by the way, if anyone needs any parts, the rest of the car is being parted out, including full leather interior; PM me) to install into my '98 Monte. I am getting stir crazy due to cabin fever and not having enough snow to go snowmobiling and I'm currently waiting on a contractor to get started on my basement remodel, so I needed something to do to pass the time. I still have thousands of dollars worth of parts to get, including a clutch and flywheel combo, DOD delete kit, LS6 intake among other items. I fully expect this project to take some time, mostly due to finances, so it'll likely not be done until 2022 at the earliest. So, for the time being, I decided to just start playing so I could focus on the custom fabrication, such as motor mounts and wiring and whatnot. But, here's a few pics to show the 284 mocked up anyway.

ls41.jpg

ls43.jpg

ls44.jpg

ls45.jpg

Actually mounted 284 to ls4, my hero!

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Posted (edited)
On 5/11/2021 at 7:47 PM, Leadfoot said:

I spy an SS in the background of your picture.  What are the details on it?

Good eye. That's my 2014 I bought in 2018 to replace our G8. For the winter, I had it sitting on the old Caprice steelies and blizzaks I had on the G8 so the stock wheels with summer tires don't get flat spots on them, and just in case I have to back it outside. While it has been driven briefly in the winter, I've relegated it to summer-only driving as I have my truck and a beater Monte Carlo to drive in the winter. The SS is mostly stock, save for Solo Axle-backs, Roto-fab CAI, tint, and I upgraded the rear brakes to add '15+ Brembos.

20190826_143026.jpg

Edited by carkhz316
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Posted (edited)

I am still waiting on engine parts, now 2 months later. I've been assured that the holdup is my custom grind camshaft that is prolonging things. It sucks because I could be doing other things, though on the other hand, I can't do much engine assembly without the cam and lifters installed, so I'm at an impasse. In the meantime, I've been slowly acquiring other odds and ends. My clutch kit from California Custom Clutches was ordered a few weeks ago. The sales guy said it would take a couple weeks normally, but Covid delays have slowed things somewhat. Then, he emailed to inform he and some of his staff contracted Covid and it would be longer, so it's just more waiting I guess. I decided to forgo going through SPEC, as they don't upgrade their pressure plates from stock, and they jerked me around on never getting a flywheel made, despite "custom flywheel" availability. I instead ordered a custom billet steel flywheel through LSC Performance for cheaper than what SPEC would have charged had they even bothered. Pictured below is what is essentially the same dimensions and pattern as the standard Getrag flywheel, in either 3.4 or 3.8 swaps, albeit with a LS crank pattern.

20210401_102945.jpg

Edited by carkhz316
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20 hours ago, carkhz316 said:

I am still waiting on engine parts, now 2 months later. I've been assured that the holdup is my custom grind camshaft that is prolonging things. It sucks because I could be doing other things, though on the other hand, I can't do much engine assembly without the cam and lifters installed, so I'm at an impasse. In the meantime, I've been slowly acquiring other odds and ends. My clutch kit from California Custom Clutches was ordered a few weeks ago. The sales guy said it would take a couple weeks normally, but Covid delays have slowed things somewhat. Then, he emailed to inform he and some of his staff contracted Covid and it would be longer, so it's just more waiting I guess. I decided to forgo going through SPEC, as they don't upgrade their pressure plates from stock, and they jerked me around on never getting a flywheel made, despite "custom flywheel" availability. I instead ordered a custom billet steel flywheel through LSC Performance for cheaper than what SPEC would have charged had they even bothered. Pictured below is what is essentially the same dimensions and pattern as the standard Getrag flywheel, in either 3.4 or 3.8 swaps, albeit with a LS crank pattern.

20210401_102945.jpg

That really sucks on the delays!  Especially on the cam!!  Hopefully parts will come in soon!

I'm glad that LSC was able to help you out with the flywheel!  that's a huge problem solved!!! 

Have you got the old motor out of it yet and test fitted anything on the monte subframe/into the car?    

Edited by Bake82
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No I haven't started on the MC yet. It's still in storage at the moment, and in an effort to minimize downtime and taking up garage space, I wanted to wait until the LS4 was as close to completion as possible. I know there will be a myriad of unforeseen issues to contest with once I start the physical swapping removal and installation process, but figured I'd get as much done as I can.

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That makes sense to me!   Get everything on the engine and trans mounting sorted.  Then start the process into the car!   Plus pulling the 3800 and cleaning the engine bay (if needed) is a day or 2 of work depending on how clean you make the bay!    
 

like many very anxious to see it come together, as I’m sure you are too!! 

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  • 1 month later...

Hey!  
 

Thought I’d pass along this info

 

 

TJ Hurrell on LS4 Nation Facebook group is in process of installing ls4/4t65e-HD in a 95 Grand Prix.  He has been posting some pics and small details.  
 

 

he has used the gxp subframe with spacers to make the subframe the right height.   
 

He had to bang the strut tower a little to fit the alternator.  
 

GM moved the ls4 to the drivers side 1-2 inches.   
 

I am thinking you will run into some major clearance issues if you try to keep the trans in the stock location.   
 

wonder if it would be easier to use aluminum subframe and have a mount welded on for the trans and then have custom length axles made?    Not ideal but might be the only option ?  
 

Just wanted to pass this along and point out TJ build on the Facebook group!  

 

 

 

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