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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I am new to this forum. I am thinking of buying a 2003 impala. The guy says that the wiring harness burned up but you can never trust people. I was thinking of putting an Ls platform motor in it. Has any of you done this? What kind of price range am I looking in?

Thanks Ron
 

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Cheapest option is the LS4, but by cheap thats still near $10k I'd imagine for all the parts and labor...
 

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Unless they can do it themselves (and even then its still low), $500 is way too low for the engine and harness and new tranny and axles and a computer tune.
 

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I was thinking I could get an la4 and have it put in. I know that when I did my Honda 15 years ago it cost about 1000$ to do a swap, but this would be a modification so I don't know if the bolt patterns or mounts would do a direct swap. All I want is something reliable, fun and sharp.
 

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From what I have been reading an lq4 is a cast iron Ls tech. It is in the avalanche and tahoes. I know I would have to buy the transmission and harnesses. I've seen the motor and harness with a warranty for 2g's or less I'm assuming a tranny would be another 500$ plus labor. I would be interested in doo.g a ss swap.
 

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$500's at the cheap end of things, but I maintain that it is completely do-able.

Do you mean an Lq4 like your thread title says? The 3.4 DOHC engine out of the 1st gen w-bodies? That would be awesome to see in a 2nd gen, although it would be a completely custom build.
 

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Id go with a lx9 top swapped with a blower or a turbo. If you were goin custom.

A used blower for a 3800 is $200 how can you find a decent low miles motor for even $400 with a trans.
 

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I can't find a decent trans for less than $800, where are you guys shopping?
 

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o
From what I have been reading an lq4 is a cast iron Ls tech. It is in the avalanche and tahoes. I know I would have to buy the transmission and harnesses. I've seen the motor and harness with a warranty for 2g's or less I'm assuming a tranny would be another 500$ plus labor. I would be interested in doo.g a ss swap.

You do know your car is front wheel drive right?
 

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$500 is more realistic than $2-3k? Ok....well tell me where you can find all the things you need, harnesses, tune, axle, transmission, s/c, etc. etc.

Parts list for the 3800 top swap.

Now on to the Top Swap Stuff:

Many Ask what is the Reason to top swap, Well there are a few:

A top swap motor has higher compresion giving it about 5% more power at the same mod level as its originaly SC cousin

The SC cannot be bolted on to the L36/L26 heads because of the engine differences stated above.

It can be less costly than a motor swap, and you get to change many engine gaskets, possibly ones that need to be replaced


What is required for a Top Swap?

I will have a parts list later on, but pretty much everything block up other than the main belt tensioner and alternator need to be swapped

Lots of Patience

Lots of searching, There is tons more info on this forum that you can find in any one post of thread, read all that you can before attempting a topswap

Some time, it can take from 6hours and up to complete the Swap

PARTS LIST

Heads from SC motor (Either Series will do, all the blocks are the came so all the heads can be interchanged)
Head Bolts, can be OEM replacements or Studs, up to you(Stock are Torque to Yield(one time use)
Thread Sealer (the head bolts go into the coolant jacket, and if they aren't sealed, they will weap coolant out)
Head Gaskets
Rocker boltsSame reason as the head bolts
Valve Cover Gaskets
Harmonic Balancer From the SC motor
Tensioner for SC belt
Idlers for Sc beltThese require bolts that aren't on the L26/L36
Coil Pack BracketThe tensioner and one of the idlers bolt to the SC Coil bracket (some 97 and 98 cars may not need a different bracket)
Lower Intake Manifold from the SC motor(The bolts are the same, so you can use your old LIM bolts if needed)
Lower intake Manifold Gaskets(the Aluminum ones are the Best)
Fuel Rail(you need the one that matches your fuel system, 97-03 gets the standard rail, while 04+ needs the return-less)
Fuel InjectorsAre not a requirement, but you should run the SC injectors or better flowing units
**Injector connectors may be required on some years
Supercharger
Supercharger Gasket(If you use a Gen III M90 you need O-rings as well)
Supercharger Belt
Throttle Body from SC motor(This isn't required but recommended)
Throttle Body Gasket
Colder Thermostat I Recommend 180*, but that is all personal preference
1 Step Cooler Spark PlugsUsually recommended for the Top Swap
Fluids Oil(a change needs to be done after Swap and before engine is started) Coolant(you will loose a good amount doing the Swap
Oil FilterFor above change
Tunned PCM Stock Gt settings are way too aggressive for a SC application, I suggest a tuner, but if you don't have time, a Canned tune can work
Exhaust Manifold Gaskets (optional)
Read more: Top Swap Info and Faqs, Also lots of 3800 Info

Good luck with that $500 budget.
 

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That's for a top swap.

Engines are $100 at my local pick-n-pull, $75 for transmissions. L67's are common there. All you would need is a tune, which can be had for $100. It could be done for $500.

And I had LQ1 and LQ4 mixed up in my head, thought you meant LQ1.
 

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Again, we're not talking about doing a top swap, we're talking about an engine swap requiring no new gaskets, simply a swap. And you're crazy if you pay the prices listed in your post. I've pieced together an entire top swap minus gaskets for less than $100, I got the SC for $50.
 

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The true LS1 or LQ4 being mean for RWD have the wrong tranny bolt pattern for a FWD tranny and the cranks are longer than the LS4. The LQ4 intake is really really tall too and I would guess the torque would be an issue for the FWD tranny.

when you look at an engine swap project always estimate what you think it will cost then double or triple that number. If you get away cheaper GREAT but better to have more cash on hand than you thought you needed than be stuck broke half complete. New heater hoses, belt, plugs and wires, find a leaky waterpum p etc. it all happens realy easily and adds up to big numbers quick.
 
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