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Old 10-06-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
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5.3 tj budget build

Are you guys ready for this?!? Okay guys. I've seen a good amount of these build threads over the web, JF, WF, unlimited. Some more detailed than others. I have a hard time going through some of the less detailed threads as they don't provide nearly as much info for the swap as others. My plan is to make the most detailed 5.3 swap thread ever. I want someone to look at this thread and when they're done reading, they feel confident about doing the swap. Drove a 6 hour round trip to pick up the engine it was out of the sellers friends silverado that he rolled. 120,000 miles. Inside the valve covers looked pretty spotless. Crank turned, so I picked it up. Wiring harness, all accessories except alt, computer, exhaust manifolds from 97 camaro= $600

I plan on gathering all the needed parts first, then taking ~a week to swap everything out.

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Old 10-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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I was born ready

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Old 10-07-2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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the engine.

took off the wiring harness.

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Old 10-08-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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looks like a 99-01 motor by the EGR detail

look for LS3/L99 5th gen Camaro manifolds they fit the best and price cant be beat

you've had enough contact with me to know what parts to pick up

FYI im going on 1000 miles so far on my jeep and no issues has popped up, the ax5 hasn't been acting funny or anything
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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its SUPPOSED to be a 2002... pistons look oily. when i get it on a stand or something il take compression tests and make sure I'm not putting in a dying engine. Then again the engine has been in storage for a while with AFT in the cylinders to keep it from seizing, so that may be what im seeing on the pistons.

Today i took off the intake and cleaned it. There is SO MUCH CRUSTY CARBON SHIT EVERYWHERE. its all throughout the intake even into the heads.
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Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
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Curious to how this is going to turn out. I've been thinking about doing this to my jeep.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #7
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Its going to take a while, and this may turn from a budget build, to a healthy build for the sake of reliability. I don't want to just throw used junk yard parts into it, and have it constantly break down on me because I skimped on money.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #8
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This is the valve cover, to remove it take off the coil packs and then remove the four bolts.


TA DA! inside the valve cover looks great. no sludge or crap.

This is the shit in the intake that i dont know what it is. crusted oil?



I'm pretty sure this came out of a 4wd truck. Why? the engine has some mud on it.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:36 AM   #9
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The stock pcv system sucks in so much oil

02 motors don't have egr that one does
Also in 02 they started using mls head gaskets and earlier ones used graphite

You can use kerosene to clean pistons and inside if motor if you disassemble it
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Would center dump manifolds work? like these...

LS3 Exhaust Manifold Pair | eBay
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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no, you need the LS3 5th gen Camaro ones
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:25 PM   #12
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:33 PM   #13
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those are them
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:35 PM   #14
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Great!
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:40 PM   #15
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okay. with the use of the ls3 manifolds, the EGR will be deleted.. This leaves a hole in the intake. what do i do about that?
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:14 PM   #16
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if using that intake you can get a soft plug and rtv to plug it. or you can use a bolt in rubber plug or you can buy the factory piece or you can make a piece of metal and rtv and bolt it in place or like I did find a non EGR intake
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:55 PM   #17
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Sub'd I just purchased my LM7 5.3 to swap my JK. I challenge you to the most detailed thread Though mine prolly wont be done till spring it will all be there before long. Good luck man!

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/diy...jk-310145.html
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:55 PM   #18
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It's a week to week thing whenever I get funds.

After looking at the two different adapters from Novak for the ax-15 to the 5.3 (gm bellhousing to ax15 and ax15 bellhousing to 5.3 adapter) I've pretty much decided to go with the 4l60e. Both adapters are ~$350 plus I would need their 5.3 flywheel $350, with GM clutch kit $150. So $850 that rout. OR I could mount a GM bellhousing to the ax15.. $100 for used bellhousing, $350 for flywheel, $300 for adapter, $200 for clutch engagement kit from Novak, then clutch kit for $150. ~1000 that rout.

If I went that way, I'd be spending $850-$1000 to mount my ax15 with 350,000 mile on it to the 5.3. Something about that just doesn't seem cost effective.

Throw in a new ax15 from Novak for 1500 and I'm looking at close to $2500 for a new trans.

OR I could spend $1000 on a new/rebuilt 4l60e and shell out the horrid price of $600 for the TC adapter to adapt to the np231. So, $1000 for used, $2500 for new, or $1600 for new...

All in all, it's still a lot of money, no doubt. Someone, try to convince me that I'm right/wrong in my thinking.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:01 AM   #19
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Forget the adapter and just go with the stock tranny. Less headache and it will stand up to the power much better.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tklein42 View Post
Forget the adapter and just go with the stock tranny. Less headache and it will stand up to the power much better.
Exactly what is going through my mind. The only really good thing I can think of about driving a stick is that they last as long as you want them to,(not shifting fast like a race car, letting the synchros do their job. ) and the coolness factor of driving a stick.

Autos have always scared me because of the reliability factor. My ram 1500's transmission started to slip and lurch into over drive at only 120,000 miles.
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Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:14 AM   #21
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You are exactly right. The way I would approach this is to spend the money upfront, the first time and build the tranny for abuse. Otherwise yes be ready to start replacing parts as soon as 50k miles.

If your easy on your tranny and don't NASCAR drive like you mentioned it will very obviously last you but what fun is that
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:44 AM   #22
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60es fail just as fast what many don't realize. stock form they will work but hammered on with no torque management and they fail fast. theres a reason why most fast Silverado/sierra's upgrade to built 80es

a manual trans isn't hard to rebuild if you know your way around a tool box. that being said a rebuild kit is around 350 for the parts that wear out.

driving this build with a stick is a lot of fun
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:16 AM   #23
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I don't drive bat shit crazy though. Surprisingly. Hah. Driving a stick isn't fun while eating. Or doing anything that requires a hand. It also isn't fun while driving in dead stop traffic going up a bridge. Something I do almost daily.

George, I've been told the ax15 is a bitch in complexity of a manual trans. Of course, it may be cake to someone who's done it or has the pullers and other apparatuses needed.
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Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George C View Post
60es fail just as fast what many don't realize. stock form they will work but hammered on with no torque management and they fail fast. theres a reason why most fast Silverado/sierra's upgrade to built 80es

a manual trans isn't hard to rebuild if you know your way around a tool box. that being said a rebuild kit is around 350 for the parts that wear out.

driving this build with a stick is a lot of fun
Alot of truth to that my friend. Auto is just my style. Always wanted to try it tho! I do a lot of rock crawling and a couple buddies have hand throttles for their rigs. Alot of fun indeed!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jherrington View Post
I don't drive bat shit crazy though. Surprisingly. Hah. Driving a stick isn't fun while eating. Or doing anything that requires a hand. It also isn't fun while driving in dead stop traffic going up a bridge. Something I do almost daily.

George, I've been told the ax15 is a bitch in complexity of a manual trans. Of course, it may be cake to someone who's done it or has the pullers and other apparatuses needed.

Learning how to put everything together and rebuild when it breaks is half the fun Buying new tools ontop of your build... well ill let you sort that
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jherrington View Post
I don't drive bat shit crazy though. Surprisingly. Hah. Driving a stick isn't fun while eating. Or doing anything that requires a hand. It also isn't fun while driving in dead stop traffic going up a bridge. Something I do almost daily.

George, I've been told the ax15 is a bitch in complexity of a manual trans. Of course, it may be cake to someone who's done it or has the pullers and other apparatuses needed.
its a manual transmission, Ive done a few T56 and many say they aren't for rookies..I don't know your abilities just stating don't let a old trans scare you if that is the route you want. a manual lasts a lot longer then autos. if you can find a good 60e then good just becareful on finding a trans. most of the 60es out there never should of ever been behind a good powerful v8 in a heavy ass truck so might have some clutches that need replaced but you never know.

to some driving a stick isn't fun while to others its no big deal
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:04 PM   #26
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Damn you, I am getting ready to put another 4.0 in my TJ. I convinced my self a v8 swap was too expensive and too time consuming. Please dont twist my arm much more. lol.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:18 PM   #27
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It's really not that bad of a swap. It's time and money. The biggest fab work you do is the motor mounts.

Now, if you've got enough money, you can go out and buy everything from Novak an you'll be set right up.. For a steep price.
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #28
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When I removed the intake, everything was oily and dirty. I'm currently in the process of cleaning the intake ports of the heads off and will replace the intake gasket. Apparently some trucks were having problems with air loss with the old gasket and I think that where the oil was leaking from.

I purchased the ls3 camaro exhaust manifolds listed above.

$145. They're brand new never been used.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:16 PM   #29
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oil is from the PCV system they used over the yrs, its normal for all the LS motors to have this....only way to advoid it is delete pcv and use breathers on the covers


also the v8 swap isn't all that pricey but if you go strictly off what novak sells then yes you will spend a mint
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:15 AM   #30
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Change of plans. I think in going to stick with the manual. Why?
1. Longevity. This ax 15 has lasted 350,000 miles. Not many autos live that long. If they do it's rare, 2. Less wiring. Less bull shit with vss.
3. No GM bellhousing housing needed. I believe I can even use the stock jeep starter? Although I will call Novak and get a definite answer.
4. Won't have to mess with the clutch slave cylinder and stuff.
5. The ability to downshift on command. I don't have to wait for the auto to see that I need to downshift for it to downshift.

This is the adapter I would be using. https://www.novak-adapt.com/catalog/...on/kit_375.htm it keeps me from having to find a manual GM bellhousing and then using novaks clutch linkage mess that they offer for $200+

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Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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