Author Topic: Vortec 5.3 install on my 84 C10  (Read 78435 times)

Offline Skyshadow

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Vortec 5.3 install on my 84 C10
« on: June 28, 2012, 02:47:29 AM »
Title pretty much explains it, this will be a thread of a 5.3L LM7 drop in with a 4L60E trans. This is not a "what if" or a year long project( or so I thought! lol.) I have the already pulled together the funds and time for this project. I will be tracking total cost of build, difficulties and things learned so it may make the same mod easier for others. Also, I am not a car genius so I would love help from the forum when i get stuck.

So far I have purchased a 5.3L Vortec drop out with all the hardware (ECU, Wiring harness, etc) with 164K miles on it for $750. The shipping costs are still being hammered out, trying to locate a place to ship to near my house with a dock or forklift. If you have a dock or forklift, it makes the freight cost about $150 less. I have also purchased a 4L60E re builder trans with bell housing and torque converter for $24.99 locally so no shipping cost.
*update, Shipping for the motor from New Hampshire is $250 with insurance to a place with a forklift.


I live in California and the truck is located in Oklahoma, I will be flying out there to start the project on July 10th and working on it throughout the month. At that time I will also start adding pictures and such of the parts and truck.

If anyone has any good advice before i start, lay it on me.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 11:07:08 PM by Skyshadow »

Offline bake74

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 09:13:09 AM »
    First off welcome to the site from Sac. Ca.  Where in Ca. are you located ?  Are you flying out to Oklahoma to work on the truck there or bring it back to Ca ?
     As far as documenting the swap from start to finish, I think it is a great idea.  The more detail the better, I am sure more people would like to do a swap like this but lack the expertise to take on this sort of project, with a detailed diagram they might just feel comfortable enough to do the swap.
     I am sure as you start and run into problems that you will get more than enough help.
#1: The easiest and most obvious solution to any problem is 99% of the time correct.
#2: There is no such thing as impossible, it just takes longer.
  74 k10, 77k10    Tom

Offline slammed79

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 09:36:35 AM »
I'll throw a welcome in, and ask, do you have the motor mount kit already? Other than that, I'll look forward to following the build. Driving it back to california would be a great shake down cruise.
74 C10 Long bed 350/SM465 Lowered on 20's

Praise the lowered

Offline Skyshadow

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 09:29:07 PM »
Nice to meet you guys, I live in LA but will be attending college in Rancho Cuchamonga. I will be as detailed and descriptive as possible with what it takes, cost and such and maybe when I'm done I can get a moderator to reorganize the thread to be more reader friendly. lol I do plan on flying out, building it and driving it back as a "test of fire" i guess. I do not have a motor mount kit yet, you have suggestions?
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 09:32:20 PM by Skyshadow »

Offline Captkaos

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 03:04:08 PM »
You may want to read my R10 Project post.  I am documenting everything from the time the 305/70R4 came out to the time the motor cranks.  Of course I am doing this outside like a run of the mill swap would go and I only have the weekends to work on it...  Man I need my garage back.

Offline Skyshadow

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 02:37:38 PM »
Would definitely like to check that out, you have the thread URL? I suck at searches

Offline 70fastback

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Offline Skyshadow

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 07:30:05 PM »
^Thanks, I thought it was that one.. stumbled upon it earlier today.

Offline nucknoel89

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2012, 05:36:07 PM »
Nice, I got my 5.3 from "bowauto" as well, they're top notch.  It's not a total drop in swap but it is worth it.  Good luck!

Offline Skyshadow

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2012, 03:54:15 PM »
Have you been running the engine from them? How has it been doing if so? what would you suggest I replace before install? I have decided I'll swap belts, water pump, timing chain, and oil pan gasket.

Offline nucknoel89

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 10:12:51 PM »
Have you been running the engine from them? How has it been doing if so? what would you suggest I replace before install? I have decided I'll swap belts, water pump, timing chain, and oil pan gasket.
It sounds like you've got your bases covered.  If you have time I suggest painting your block, alternator housing, or whatever else just to make it look a little nicer.  I was in a rush to do mine and didn't, and I kinda wish I had.  Mine is an 03 and it had about 119k on it when I got it.  I've put about 20,000 kms on it (approx. 12,000 miles) and haven't had any issues really. 

Offline nucknoel89

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 10:19:27 PM »
I did my harness the un-sexy way, and spliced into the stock harness (I needed the underhood fuseblock from a same year truck).  You can buy an aftermarket harness that's cleaner and has just the stuff that you need, but I don't think it'll be worth it until mine is a show truck.  This site has a ton of info, and I relied upon it heavily to get this project done.  It's a little hard to navigate but if you comb through it you can find what you need.  The guy also does computer tuning (which you WILL need, at the very least to take out the anti-theft).

Offline Skyshadow

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 03:42:55 PM »
Still havent heard anything about what motor mounts I should use... anyone got any ideas? I found the LS universal ones but I'm not sure...

Offline Captkaos

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 03:55:00 PM »
If you have the patience and want to do the wiring yourself check here: http://lt1swap.com/  The LS Pinouts are listed.


Dirty Dingo, S&P, Holley, Transdapt all make mounts, some are just plates...

Offline Skyshadow

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Re: Vortec 5.3 install from start to finish
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2012, 04:48:12 PM »
^ Thanks about the mounts. went with the TransDP plates to move it forward and use the original style mounts.

I knew about that site but I will fix the wiring harness further down the road, I only have 12 days to make this project road worthy.  :-\
« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 10:27:34 PM by Blazin »