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Discussion Starter #1
Alright guys I’m throwing in a 5.3 in my 72 and I know there’s adapter plates where you can choose to install the engine forward, back or In Stock position. It will be mated to my th350 so I want crossmember and drive shaft to stay the same. I have heard from people to mount an inch back to line it up but I want to here from someone that Has done it in our platform
 

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Hello Augy,


Stick with the Holley line of LS swap products. My 5.3 liter LS truck motor fits perfectly with the following products:


1 - Holley 302-2 oil pan. The stock LS truck motor pan mounted in an A-body El Camino is too low to the ground. The 302-2 pan also gives you good clearance at the front on the pan against the A-body center steering arms - no rubbing or interference at full left or right.


2 - Holley forward bias frame engine mounts with the Gen 4 Camaro / Firebird engine mount. My engine uses a model year 2000 mount to the engine which sits perfectly atop the Holley mount bolted to the A-body frame. This system solves the problems of driveline angle to the differential, buys you space so the transmission (4L60E in my EC) does not rub the floor pan, and allows the stock transmission crossmember to be retained. The downside here is that moving the engine forward dictates abandoning the truck radiator fan to only use electric fans.


3 - Those 5.3 liter LS exhaust manifolds don't fit inside of A-body frame rails. However, a set of Holley / Hooker "Blackheart" headers will. No big hammers to ding these to fit. Spark plug access is easy. These headers are already plumbed with fittings for oxygen sensors.


My TH350 driveshaft did have to change for length and rebalance. I'm not sure if there is a system that does it all without a driveshaft change but maybe somebody else will know.


Rick
 

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I used Dirty Dingo sliders that bolt directly to my original clamshell mounts. If keeping the TH350 is mandatory I would go with something like the DD, or other sliding type. You should be able to leave everything in place and bolt the LS right where the old motor was. The Holley pan is nice and has better ground clearance than the GM pan but costs a bit more. Not sure about accessory drives that will work best, I went with the truck drive and wouldn't recommend it. After the fact I think the Camaro looks better or some of the aftermarket kits but those things are pricey! LS headers will take a lot of problems out of your way! I used Hedman Husler mid length, I'm sure the Holley and others will work as well. One other thing to remember is to get the GM flexplate adapter so the torque converter will be properly spaced.

Joe
 

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Are you going carb or FI? If you go FI, get an earlier drive by cable set-up. It will be easier for the TV cable to hook up. There are work-arounds but so much easier with a cable operated throttle.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello Augy,


Stick with the Holley line of LS swap products. My 5.3 liter LS truck motor fits perfectly with the following products:


1 - Holley 302-2 oil pan. The stock LS truck motor pan mounted in an A-body El Camino is too low to the ground. The 302-2 pan also gives you good clearance at the front on the pan against the A-body center steering arms - no rubbing or interference at full left or right.


2 - Holley forward bias frame engine mounts with the Gen 4 Camaro / Firebird engine mount. My engine uses a model year 2000 mount to the engine which sits perfectly atop the Holley mount bolted to the A-body frame. This system solves the problems of driveline angle to the differential, buys you space so the transmission (4L60E in my EC) does not rub the floor pan, and allows the stock transmission crossmember to be retained. The downside here is that moving the engine forward dictates abandoning the truck radiator fan to only use electric fans.


3 - Those 5.3 liter LS exhaust manifolds don't fit inside of A-body frame rails. However, a set of Holley / Hooker "Blackheart" headers will. No big hammers to ding these to fit. Spark plug access is easy. These headers are already plumbed with fittings for oxygen sensors.


My TH350 driveshaft did have to change for length and rebalance. I'm not sure if there is a system that does it all without a driveshaft change but maybe somebody else will know.


Rick
The oil plan I will get I’ve been looking into that and I will be getting long tubes for it I’m just hoping they don’t hang low like Holley long tubes on a sbc and that’s my question since I will be running the th350 if I put the ls in the stock sbc position will drive shaft and crossmember position stay the same because I’ve Heard to Move back half an inch to line things up how it was with the sbc but like I said this was told from a guy with a different platform
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I used Dirty Dingo sliders that bolt directly to my original clamshell mounts. If keeping the TH350 is mandatory I would go with something like the DD, or other sliding type. You should be able to leave everything in place and bolt the LS right where the old motor was. The Holley pan is nice and has better ground clearance than the GM pan but costs a bit more. Not sure about accessory drives that will work best, I went with the truck drive and wouldn't recommend it. After the fact I think the Camaro looks better or some of the aftermarket kits but those things are pricey! LS headers will take a lot of problems out of your way! I used Hedman Husler mid length, I'm sure the Holley and others will work as well. One other thing to remember is to get the GM flexplate adapter so the torque converter will be properly spaced.

Joe
I was actually looking into dirty dingos adapter plates and yes Holley pan will be going on as well. So you installed the ls in stock position and nothing changed with the drive line and crossmember for the th350? I know I can do trial and error since the plates can slide but I’m trying to get advice so I can throw it in right the first time
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you going carb or FI? If you go FI, get an earlier drive by cable set-up. It will be easier for the TV cable to hook up. There are work-arounds but so much easier with a cable operated throttle.

Joe
and I will be doing a carb set up
 

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X2 on the Dirty Dingo Sliders. I used them and Energy Suspension mounts and they bolted right up to the clam shells. In my 65, using the Holley 302-2 oil pan, I got about 3/8" clearance from the frame cross-member, both vertical and horizontal.

Headers are a PITA. Unless you are scratching for every bit of HP you can get, I would go with manifolds. I ran into a guy at a car show recently who is running a 5.3 in his 72 Malibu. He was using exhaust manifolds from a 90s LS Camaro and they fit perfectly. IMHO
 

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I used the Holley oil pan, forward engine mounts and their Headers. Everything bolted in place with no issue. I picked up an aluminum driveshaft from a Trailblazer and had it shortened. I think I have $135 in the driveshaft.

I went with the forward mounts so I could leave the AC box.
 

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Augie, the sliders will let you leave the trans right where it is, no driveshaft mod necessary. Just don't forget to add the flexplate adapter or you'll need another trans.

Joe
 
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