Jump to content

Swapping a LX9 into a 2003 Impala (3400)


Impala871
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I been religiously reading this forum and several others over the past 4 years or so, mainly concerning performance mods and even more specifically mostly about major engine improvements centered on either a 3400/3500 top swap or a straight out 3500 swap.  I was heartbroken when my last '03 was stolen about 1.5 years ago, luckily tho I had not gotten far with it, being a daily driver and not having too much extra cash to put into it. Only minor things like headlights, grille, rims, CAI, and other minor tweaks under the hood.  Another positive is that while I had it, I got to know the car, especially the 3400, VERY well, as I had to pull the heads twice.

This time tho, I have bought a 2003 Impala that is in great shape but appears to have blown head gaskets and won't start either.  And I have other vehicles to get me around, it's a true project car.  And I'm gonna go ahead and swap in the LX9, hopefully (among other mods) with a cam, valve springs, headers, and I gonna P&P the heads myself.  I have probably read every post on this swap at least 2 times on several forums, but now it's time to actually plan this out and start buying parts.  On that note I have my first questions to the community:

Going through all these posts on this swap, SEVERAL posters stated that they were able to get a LX9 with very low miles for around $300.  I have been all over the net, and I can't find any for less than $500.  Sometimes Ill see one for $250 but with $190 shipping... And on top of that the lowest miles for the $500 to $600 range is 130k! I've found a couple with around 70k, but those are $700 or more.  So before I hit send on the motor I found for $495 with 132k on it, I wanted to ask the forums (specifically the posters that said they bought one with like 20k for $250) where are you guys finding these low mileage LX9s for $200-$300!!!  Please let me know.  Was it at local junkyards? Websites I haven't yet found?

The other thing is, if anyone has any info for me pertaining to the aquisition of parts for this job, please let me know ASAP so I can get to it.  Things like how I can get a 65mm TB from a certain Olds that will bolt on etc... Or who to ask for cheaper even used performance parts like camshafts and headers.e

So I'm happy to finally add my voice to the crowd instead of just lurking and reading!  I will definately start a thread on this project, through the swap and on as I am not stopping there by all means!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Impala871 said:

Going through all these posts on this swap, SEVERAL posters stated that they were able to get a LX9 with very low miles for around $300.  I have been all over the net, and I can't find any for less than $500.  Sometimes Ill see one for $250 but with $190 shipping... And on top of that the lowest miles for the $500 to $600 range is 130k! I've found a couple with around 70k, but those are $700 or more.  So before I hit send on the motor I found for $495 with 132k on it, I wanted to ask the forums (specifically the posters that said they bought one with like 20k for $250) where are you guys finding these low mileage LX9s for $200-$300!!!  Please let me know.  Was it at local junkyards? Websites I haven't yet found?

The people that have purchased LX9's with low miles for cheap likely did so like 10+ years ago. Just look at the post dates where people are discussing those prices. I remember people on 60degreeV6 buying the in the $300-350 range that long ago or maybe a bit longer. To find one with low miles now that cheap would likely take a lot of hunting + waiting.

 

I would suggest looking at car-part.com and also LKQ to see what they have within a reasonable distance from you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Thank you so much, this is EXACTLY what I was looking for!  Car-part.com is amazing, giving the whole range of prices, testing, and mileage in order of distance from me, with the yard and their phone # right there.  Sweet.  LKQ tho looks like they have a distribution setup and definitely add a chunk to the price.  Nothing under $680 there, but on car-part.com they range from $1.2k down to $300.  In fact, there's a yard in El Paso that has 8 LX9s, 2 of them having UNDER 100k, and all of them for $300!!! They are about 5 or 6 hours from me.  If they don't have a core charge, I'll make a run this week...  EDIT:  And that particular yard tests compression and says yes or no to did it start b4 pull.... Awesome.

Edited by Impala871
forgot to add detail
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LKQ typically has a bit more of a warranty(6 months) than other yards, so the price is probably reflective of that. Go with the lowest price w/ best warranty you can find. It wouldn't hurt to look up reviews on particular yards as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can also get a low mile engine, with the needed parts, and other odds and ends, from MilzyMotorsports

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is true, and in an ideal world, I would DEFINATELY go with Milzy's "3500 Swap for 3100 or 3400 powered vehicles" which would end up about $1600 and I would have a practically new engine, with all the parts needed for the swap (except the TB which I am going to get from a diff vehicle) .  But then you have to add the cost of going to get it.  He's in Ohio no? I'm in New Mexico.  According to the checkout on the site there is no shipping for that part.  Maybe you can call and arrange something, but still you adding another $200.  So $1800, which would still be just about around my original budget for the engine, however.......

Plan A was find an LX9 from a yard within 200 miles, no core fee,  for $250-$350, add $100 or so to go get it (I have done this on car-part.com by the way THANKS AGAIN!); or I've also found a site that will sell me one about 120k and deliver it (even residential), for $498.01 (I know nice price).  So $500 either way and I have a 90 day to 6 month (respectively) warranty on an LX9 with 100k-130k miles sitting next to the 3400.  That leaves me $1300 to spend on a cam, valve springs, head gasket kit, DIY port and polish kit, CAI, modified downpipe w/ highflow cat, and probably even headers.  So you see my dilemma. BOTH options have a huge upside and a huge downside when put side by side. 

There is a small chance that a very decent financial windfall may be coming our way which would render this question moot cause I could do all of what I've listed... But assuming things dont change and I have to go one way or the other, what would each of you guys do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What are you going to do for Crank Trigger?

Dont forget about the differential bracket.

If you do find a LX9, all the supplemental crap can still be bought from Milzy. Or you could take the car there, and they can install it... Just saying LOL.

Milzy has been working on a transmission adapter for the AWD applications, which I have been waiting on for my Aztek. Luckily, I have not needed it yet.

Edited by pontiac6ksteawd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...