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4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

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cutty559
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4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby cutty559 on Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:01 am

am thinking of getting and vortec 4.8 or 5.3 engine for my cutlass and would like to get ur opinions on the matter. also what problems or modifications would i have to look foward 2.

what tranny would i have to use? what would i have to do about wiring harness? ect.......

all opinions welcomed and appriciated
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Proud owner of a 1978 cutlass supreme brougham & 1983 cutlass diesel

3rdgentug
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Re: 4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby 3rdgentug on Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:34 am

both are good motors
usually you can get complete pullouts with the tranny and wiring/pcm pretty cheap too

some of the things i know that are gonna be needed are
exhaust, motor mounts, fuel delivery and pump, tranny mount
im sure theres more i just know those off the top of my head
1983 Pontiac Bonneville wagon under constructio
1999 Camaro Z28 425 rwhp 375 rwtq 12.5 @ 115 1/4mile

NAILS
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Re: 4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby NAILS on Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:26 am

why not consider an ls1 swap? more power, more available, and more aftermarket options. you can get a motor/trans/ecu for fair pricing out of wrecked f bodies too. this particular ebay auction also includes harnessed ecu, modules, driveshaft, fuel pump, belt setup, pedal ( drive by wire i guess ) etc. its the little crap that adds up
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/04-Ponti ... ccessories

good luck which ever route you go

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cutty559
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Re: 4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby cutty559 on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:37 pm

well arent the vortec engines out of 99-06 gm trucks also ls1 motors
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Blake442
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Re: 4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby Blake442 on Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:23 pm

4.8 and 5.3's are LS based motors.

I'd match it up with a 4L60E and some 3.42's... Should be a fun, fuel efficient combo.
'85 Oldsmobile 442--Olds 455-TH400
'83 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser--Chevy 350-TH350
Past G's--'81 Regal, '84 El Camino, '79 Cutlass Supreme, '87 Cutlass Salon,
'81 Monte Carlo, '81 El Camino, '79 Malibu Wagon, '81 Century Estate Wagon

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85 Cutlass Brougham
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Re: 4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby 85 Cutlass Brougham on Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:31 pm

First off, I will start by saying that I love this idea. the small LS engines can be had for under $1k sometimes, and would be perfect for a daily driver. The smaller displacement means that they need a smaller minimum amount of fuel to run versus a larger one. The performance will not be as good as in a larger engine, but the fuel economy may be worth the tradeoff depending on how you intend to use it. As for down sides, the truck engines use a taller intake manifold and accessory drive setup that may or may not be difficult to package in a G body. It may be that the need to change to a car type accessory drive will eat up all the savings versus a truck accessory drive, I don't know. As for what is needed, it will depend on what you intend to do and you level of skill. Most car LS engines use a throttle by wire arrangement which allows the computer to control throttle input as part of the traction control system. The truck engines and F body engines I believe still use a conventional cable actuated throttle and may be easier to adapt. The big issue will be how to integrate the OEM wiring into the G body. This can be done in a number of ways, depending on your budget and what functions the car is to have in the end. The easiest way would be to use the A/C system wiring off the donor to run the compressor, but actuate it through the original switch. This would be something you have to figure out by having a set of factory schematics, and ideally factory service manuals for both the donor and recipient vehicles. Alternatively, you could also run an analog A/c system using the G body wiring, and run the engine off a standalone engine management system. However, the factory ECM will probably be a bit better than an aftermarket one in terms of fuel economy and driveability. The mounts will require modification or offset brackets to fit. How you will do this depends on your level of fabrication skill.
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1985 Cutlass Supreme Brougham (ex pizza delivery beater with 240,000 miles):
355 Chevy- 9.5:1 compression, Comp XE 262 cam, World S/R Torquer heads with 2.02's, Edelbrock Performer, 800CFM Q jet, Camaro ram air system,Edelbrock headers, Comp Magnum roller tip rockers,TH 200 4R, 3.23 rear, aluminum hood, IROC steering box, poly bushings, Eibach springs, etc. Cutlass build thread here: viewtopic.php?t=4982
Also: The Thing That Won't Die-1998 Nissan Frontier, 340,000 miles of pizza delivery.

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cutty559
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Re: 4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby cutty559 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:51 pm

85 Cutlass Brougham wrote:First off, I will start by saying that I love this idea. the small LS engines can be had for under $1k sometimes, and would be perfect for a daily driver. The smaller displacement means that they need a smaller minimum amount of fuel to run versus a larger one. The performance will not be as good as in a larger engine, but the fuel economy may be worth the tradeoff depending on how you intend to use it. As for down sides, the truck engines use a taller intake manifold and accessory drive setup that may or may not be difficult to package in a G body. It may be that the need to change to a car type accessory drive will eat up all the savings versus a truck accessory drive, I don't know. As for what is needed, it will depend on what you intend to do and you level of skill. Most car LS engines use a throttle by wire arrangement which allows the computer to control throttle input as part of the traction control system. The truck engines and F body engines I believe still use a conventional cable actuated throttle and may be easier to adapt. The big issue will be how to integrate the OEM wiring into the G body. This can be done in a number of ways, depending on your budget and what functions the car is to have in the end. The easiest way would be to use the A/C system wiring off the donor to run the compressor, but actuate it through the original switch. This would be something you have to figure out by having a set of factory schematics, and ideally factory service manuals for both the donor and recipient vehicles. Alternatively, you could also run an analog A/c system using the G body wiring, and run the engine off a standalone engine management system. However, the factory ECM will probably be a bit better than an aftermarket one in terms of fuel economy and driveability. The mounts will require modification or offset brackets to fit. How you will do this depends on your level of fabrication skill.



my intension 4 the car is just a nice cruzer maybe daily driver. i do want it 2 be fuel efficient and dependable. i also want it to be done rite and since i have close to no expiriance in building i proably will have some one doing it 4 me. i hope it wont b to expensive but i guess i will have to come up with that money some how.
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treed_cutlass
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Re: 4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby treed_cutlass on Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:55 pm

LS1 engines are definitely not "more available", than their cast-iron counterpart 4.8L/5.3L/6.0L. I don't have any production #s, but I'm pretty sure there were more trucks/suvs produced than vettes and f-bodies. Just guessing.

Yes, the 4.8, 5.3 and 6.0 "Vortec" truck/suv engines are "LS based".
Gen III / Gen IV is the broad term to refer to the "LS based" engines.

Some items to consider:

MOUNTING
-Engine mounts
-Trans crossmember

DRIVESHAFT
-Length

EXHAUST/MANIFOLDS
-I think I saw some g-body Gen III / IV swappers using f-body manifolds? Or was it the stock truck ones?

ECM/WIRING
-There's a few companies out there that can reprogram the stock ECM and sort your wiring for you Speartech and Wait4Me come to mind.
-As others have mentioned, if it's a DBW (drive by wire) throttle body you'll need the pedal and associated wiring to adapt into your g-body.

OILPAN
-The truck oilpan will hang below your engine crossmember, depending on how low your car is, this may be a hazard.)
-I believe a cadillac cts-v pan, or a modified f-body pan is considered to be the cats ass for g-body swaps.

A/C
-If you run A/C you will have to relocate the A/C compressor, or notch your frame to fit.

FUEL SYSTEM
-High pressure supply, regulated to (I believe) 58psi.
-Hardlines, hose, fittings
-Many guys use the regulator from a corvette which is a fuel pressure regulator and filter in one. Google "Corvette FPR" and you will find loads of info. Or google one of the following:
GM# 10299146, AC Delco #GF822, Napa# 3737, Wix# 33737

if you're planning on throwing your car around any corners with the level of the tank low, you'll need some way of making sure your fuel pump inlet stays flooded. Baffles, a surge tank, or a fuel module from a newer vehicle. Adapting a newer fuel module into your g-body tank may allow you to skip the corvette FPR, since some have internal regulation.
I see it's going to be a cruiser... so you'd probably be fine, just don't try taking any long, sharp corners with small amounts of fuel in your tank.)

I believe that I saw a guy with an El Camino on LS1tech.com saying that he fit the truck accessories under his hood...?
Not sure how the engine compartment compares between elcaminos and cutlasses. I imagine it'll be pretty similar.

A REALLY GOOD source of information is... wait for it... http://www.LS1tech.com
There's a few threads over there on swapping into g-bodies, some with pics. I remember there was one over on maliburacing.com too.
Last edited by treed_cutlass on Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cutty559
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:25 am
Location: Porterville, California

Re: 4.8 or 5.3 vortec engines

Postby cutty559 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:23 am

treed_cutlass wrote:LS1 engines are definitely not "more available", than their cast-iron counterpart 4.8L/5.3L/6.0L. I don't have any production #s, but I'm pretty sure there were more trucks/suvs produced than vettes and f-bodies. Just guessing.

Yes, the 4.8, 5.3 and 6.0 "Vortec" truck/suv engines are "LS based".
Gen III / Gen IV is the broad term to refer to the "LS based" engines.

Some items to consider:

MOUNTING
-Engine mounts
-Trans crossmember

DRIVESHAFT
-Length

EXHAUST/MANIFOLDS
-I think I saw some g-body Gen III / IV swappers using f-body manifolds? Or was it the stock truck ones?

ECM/WIRING
-There's a few companies out there that can reprogram the stock ECM and sort your wiring for you Speartech and Wait4Me come to mind.
-As others have mentioned, if it's a DBW (drive by wire) throttle body you'll need the pedal and associated wiring to adapt into your g-body.

OILPAN
-The truck oilpan will hang below your engine crossmember, depending on how low your car is, this may be a hazard.)

A/C
-If you run A/C you will have to relocate the A/C compressor, or notch your frame to fit. I believe a cadillac cts-v pan, or a modified f-body pan is considered to be the cats ass for g-body swaps.

FUEL SYSTEM
-High pressure supply, regulated to (I believe) 58psi.
-Hardlines, hose, fittings
-Many guys use the regulator from a corvette which is a fuel pressure regulator and filter in one. Google "Corvette FPR" and you will find loads of info. Or google one of the following:
GM# 10299146, AC Delco #GF822, Napa# 3737, Wix# 33737

if you're planning on throwing your car around any corners with the level of the tank low, you'll need some way of making sure your fuel pump inlet stays flooded. Baffles, a surge tank, or a fuel module from a newer vehicle. Adapting a newer fuel module into your g-body tank may allow you to skip the corvette FPR, since some have internal regulation.
I see it's going to be a cruiser... so you'd probably be fine, just don't try taking any long, sharp corners with small amounts of fuel in your tank.)

I believe that I saw a guy with an El Camino on LS1tech.com saying that he fit the truck accessories under his hood...?
Not sure how the engine compartment compares between elcaminos and cutlasses. I imagine it'll be pretty similar.

A REALLY GOOD source of information is... wait for it... http://www.LS1tech.com
There's a few threads over there on swapping into g-bodies, some with pics. I remember there was one over on maliburacing.com too.


thanxs 4 this info
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Proud owner of a 1978 cutlass supreme brougham & 1983 cutlass diesel


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