1981 malibu lq4 swap

M

mcelboya

n00b
Dec 2, 2018
4
14
3
#1
Hey guys,

heres my LS project

it started a few years ago when i bought a 75 nova to drop an LQ4 junk yard engine into, and through life had to sell the nova off but kept the engine around for a moment like this


It started with the purchase of my 1981 malibu in August. rolling shell, well patina'd but structurally wonderful. Old engine and trans were yanked already so perfect starting point
img_1109-jpg.100682


finally stuffed her into a garage and started with the swap. heres the LQ4 engine we built.
The engine was yanked out of a junk yard on a 50% off day. we pulled it down and it was clean!! new rings, new bearings and a fast clean the rotating assembly was put together. I scored again on a 50% off day when a set of 243 heads were hanging out there. i had them rebuilt with z06 springs, added an ASA cam, and a GMPP carb manifold. i got the motor mounts from dirty dingo and everything was ready! Friends of mine got me the holley valve covers which are beautiful but do cause some install headaches!



img_1135-jpg.100683


Next came the trans. i attached a mildly done 700r4. while i realize that the chances of explosion are high with the 6.0 in front of it, it was the choice made based on the no electronics. this LQ4 being an early one spaced the flex plate perfectly and it bolted together without a hitch! ready to drop into the car!
img_1205-jpg.100686


Well i had a trip coming up to NY so i had a goal to at least get everything bolted into the car before i went.
img_1210-jpg.100687


The engine dropped in perfectly! the headers we not designed for this car but the managed to squeeze in.
img_1212-jpg.100688


After all of this it was off to NY!
 
M

mcelboya

n00b
Dec 2, 2018
4
14
3
#2
once back from NY it was time to get everything sorted!!! i read a TON of info about LS swaps on this forums and others and i just followed my own formula.

because we had the truck accesories we just used those and made them fit. one thing that suprises me is that the LQ4 truck fan fits perfectly in the rad shroud including its spacing. i swapped out the PS pump for an astrovan pump which fits perfectly. we ran in the mean time a shorter belt since we didnt have PS lines made but it was perfect routing and no issues. some coolant and fuel and she was ready to fire.
img_1916-jpg.100689


We used the MSD spark box which i think is excellent! on first fire it was precise and fired on seriously one rotation of the key

bglu5059-jpg.100690


after all that we ran it broke in the cam and let it do its first heat cycle.

heres the video

idling


i'll keep up to date with it here and answer any questions!
 
Streetbu

Streetbu

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
May 22, 2011
670
1,106
93
Central NY
#3
That's awesome! Keep the updates coming!
 
Turbolq4

Turbolq4

G-Body Guru
Sep 25, 2017
857
1,322
93
Boise Idaho
#5
Gbody>Xbody
 
michmalibuman

michmalibuman

Master Mechanic
Supporting Member
Jun 14, 2017
466
483
63
#7
Nice.
 
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