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Old 09-13-2010, 01:38 PM
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TheBandit TheBandit is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ventura County CA
Posts: 4,361
'70 Nova LSX swap LY6/TH400

This thread will document my swap from a tired gen I small block 350 to a modern 6.0VVT LY6. This will be my first time doing this kind of a swap, so bear with me! I've had my Nova since I was fifteen. It was my first car and even though I'm now in my late twenties, married, and have a newborn son, it still holds a special place in my life.

First a few pictures. Here is a recent shot of the car. The wheels are Centerline Convo Pros with 275/60R15s out back and 225/60R15 up front.

Finishing off an old pair of tires:


Here is the old small block in all its glory. When I was in high school I did a frame off on the car. It had Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, a Comp cam (232/236 @ 050 .488/.490), and a Demon 650DP. After over a decade of hotrodding, compression was getting low, oil was blowing from every gasketed interface, and the final straw was a bent pushrod and flat lobe on the cam.

Originally I was a big drag racing fan and always pictured this car tubbed and tubed with a big block. But as I grew older, I started to appreciate other aspects of driving like stopping and turning. I became increasingly frustrated with carburation. As the engine got more and more tired, started burning oil past the rings, and eventually met it's demise, I decided rather than rebuilding the smallblock, I wanted to go a new direction entirely. After much research, I decided on a modern, fuel injected LS engine.

More specifically, I decided on an LY6. The LY6 is an iron block 6.0L that comes in the new body style Chevy/GMC pickups and vans. It has the desireable L92/LS3 cylinder heads, an iron block, and some black magic voodoo few people want to mess with: variable valve timing. Being an engineer, I can't help but appreciate the academic merits of VVT and I plan to use it, along with an aftermarket cam (yet to be selected).

I found my LY6 from Eiss Brothers Salvage in New York. It has 60k miles and I paid $1650 for the longblock. On top of that I spent another $300 on accessories (ECM, alternator, PS pump, wire harness, starter, and drive by wire pedal assembly) and $200 in freight for a total of $2150 for an accessorized engine shipped across the country. It was like Christmas when the new engine arrived last month.

Time to put the old hoist back together:

I quickly cobbled together a lifting bar using some old scrap square tubing and 1/4" plate. I was worried about damaging the intake with chain, but looking back I probably could have come up with a simple chain system that would have worked just as well.

I used four M10x1.5 100mm long studs to attach the engine stand mount. I found the studs at my local Ace hardware. Unlike bolts, they don't need to be a specific size as long as they're long enough. They are probably only grade 5 or worse, but as long as they're snug, they should be fine.

I am using a Harbor Freight 2000lb capacity stand, part number 60715 (link). This is a pretty decent and stable stand. I wouldn't trust any of their lesser capacity stands. I don't buy a lot of chinese tools, but I don't think you can get a US-made engine stand for under $500 so this will have to do. 20% off coupon plus a sale and I paid $85 out the door.


Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn.

Last edited by TheBandit; 09-13-2010 at 02:14 PM.
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