Higher horses, higher revs & even higher torque, a streetable LJ engine swap - Page 6 - JeepForum.com
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post #76 of 137 Old 06-30-2020, 05:00 PM
NashvilleTJ
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My brother runs a crate LS3 525 in his GTR. It's about the fastest thing I've ever seen. You're in good company Tox.

Although no insight into the torque convertor question - his TC is his left foot...

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post #77 of 137 Old 06-30-2020, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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Welp, I'm learning a lot!

It's sounding like even though the LS3 480 dyno charts all look great and very usable for a Jeep, the quality of the low range RPMs is choppy and will cause the tires to lurch, breaking traction, as the engine chops. This problem can be smoothed out with a different torque converter (as I mentioned in a previous post), but that only trades for another set of problems that I worry I'll still be fighting with a custom torque converter like the Circle D. Additionally, from what I understand the 480 needs a higher idle (not good for a Jeep application). The stock LS3 430 will behave exactly like a production LS3, idle at 550rpm, and I can use a lower stall torque converter.

I asked 2 of the main companies that do LS swaps into JKs their experience with the 430 and 480: They said the 480 can be done and has been done and took a long time to figure out a decent tune. The consensus from both was that they prefer the 430 for crawling, cruising, daily driving, and what they'd choose for their own. The 480, they said, is fun for spirited driving.

It feels wasteful leaving 65hp and 50lbft of torque on the table, but I'm starting to think I'd only be trying to tame how wild the hot cam wants to be. If the stock LS3 at 430hp isn't enough once I get it installed, I suppose I can use that as an excuse for a supercharger which would keep the slow speed/low rpm crawling feeling like stock but still let the Jeep eat with a heavy foot.

I'm still doing research to confirm all of this before ordering but I'll probably error on the safe side of knowing what works instead of trying to be the first...

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post #78 of 137 Old 06-30-2020, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NashvilleTJ View Post
My brother runs a crate LS3 525 in his GTR. It's about the fastest thing I've ever seen. You're in good company Tox.

Although no insight into the torque convertor question - his TC is his left foot...
Wow! That looks nice! I bet it sounds good!

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post #79 of 137 Old 06-30-2020, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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I hope I'm not exasperating anyone with my research (if so, you might want to check back in 2 months once the major components arrive)! I know this build thread is a much different pace than my main build thread and shares more thoughts, ideas and concerns rather than solutions like my other thread did. The research is so I hopefully can make things work well the first time.

If I had infinite money to try out different engine and transmission combos it'd be fun to try them all and get answers to my concerns and real world data about which combo works best.

Hopefully this thread will still have great solutions to the goals I outlined in my first post!

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post #80 of 137 Old 06-30-2020, 07:45 PM
NashvilleTJ
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Higher horses, higher revs & even higher torque, a streetable LJ engine swap

Iím personally enjoying watching you work through the options, my friend. Engine swaps can be a whole lotta fun - and half the fun is figuring out what to do.

Thatís having been said...[cough]Hemi![cough]


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post #81 of 137 Old 06-30-2020, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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I decided on a Hemi! Currently looking at the 707 crate engine.

(Just kidding )
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post #82 of 137 Old 07-01-2020, 08:07 AM
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I believe this thread has progressed exactly as it needed to. Ideas and discovery has been laid out here for others to follow down the road.

I think going with the milder engine is the right choice, not from personal experience, but simply from my perspective. More HP always sounds good, but when you sacrifice performance in other areas for it I don't think it makes sense. I really don't think you will be disappointed with only 430 HP.

87 YJ, 5.7/TH350/NP241/HP Dana44/9", Custom 4 link/ Radius Arms, ADS Nitrogen Shocks, 35" Cooper STT



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post #83 of 137 Old 07-01-2020, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the encouragement!

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post #84 of 137 Old 07-01-2020, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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I stumbled across something interesting!!! I'm not going to be the first one to tuck the 6L transmission on an LJ! I sent him a message and the transmission pan doesn't hang below the frame either. It's a bit of a relief to see that it tucks nicely and the amount of cutting required appears to be acceptable.








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post #85 of 137 Old 07-02-2020, 08:54 AM
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Tox, do you have a rough estimate of cost with regard to engine/transmission/wiring harness/and supporting parts like shifter/gas pedal, etc?
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post #86 of 137 Old 07-02-2020, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Tox, do you have a rough estimate of cost with regard to engine/transmission/wiring harness/and supporting parts like shifter/gas pedal, etc?
I do.

With the way I'm doing it, I estimate between $2000-4000 for everything except the engine/transmission/transfer case. That includes plate for making a new transmission tunnel, alternator, a bunch of AN fittings, bushings, brackets, AC, transmission to transfer case adapter, basic gauges, headers, oil pans, air filter, radiator, etc.

The biggest variable is the cost of the engine, transmission and transfer case. If you use all junkyard parts you could get everything for under $1000. If you go for a top of the line crate engine you could be looking at $20,000. Mine is about half way between those.

That said, I don't keep track of the cost of my build. I always figure that if it makes me happy and I don't end up homeless I'm okay with the cost. For a little while Mrs Tox and I were on a roman noodle diet to make this build happen and we haven't regretted any part of it.

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post #87 of 137 Old 07-05-2020, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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I settled on an LS3 430hp (basically the production engine) with a 6L80e in the connect and cruise package. I don't know enough if the hot cam in the 480 will be an issue or not and I'd rather go the easy route for now and stick with what I know will work. If I get bored in the future and want to invite trouble I can always do the cam swap myself. I caught wind that the wiring harnesses for the connect and cruise are drying up since that GM facility is having issue making them due to COVID. On that note I decided to place my order now instead of waiting for the transfer case to be ready.


Here's my updated shopping list:
  • Radiator fan: Spal 16" brushless PWM
  • Water pump + tensioner: I will buy OEM (must fit above radiator and be truck or f-body offset) also need a thermostat?
  • Harmonic Balancer with correct offset: F-Body offset: ACDelco (OEM) 12553118, Truck offset: ACDelco (OEM) 19300488. Replace TTY bolt.
  • AC bracket: Holley low-profile or Dave's Customs high mount. I'll get the engine in before deciding which will fit.
  • Transmission shifter: I'd like a 6 position. I'm undecided between a Winters + tap or using an OEM tap shifter. It'll probably come down to what fits best.
  • Engine oil pan: Kevko or Tilden/Pacific.
  • Oil filter relocation kit: Wait on pan.
  • Radiator coolant: Decide between G05 (HOAT) or Dexcool (OAT).
  • Dash gauges: Maybe Autometer for essentials + Torque app for other stuff? I don't love how Autometer gauges look.
  • Exhaust headers: CTS-V + heat shields (waiting to order until I have a visual on how the engine fits)
  • Engine oil: 5w30 synthetic Amsoil (leftover from the Jeep 4.0). Driven Racing 5w30 Break in oil first (optional, but not a bad idea).
  • Air filter: I'm waiting to see what space I have left to fit it in.
  • Starter + heat shield
  • 6L80e shallow pan


Ordered:
  • Radiator: Superior Radiator - I've heard this one lasts longer than others do. (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5....m=164219718305)
  • Accessory brackets: I'll be going with GoatBuilt's driver's side brackets for the alternator and PSC CBR pump (truck or f-body offset)
  • Power steering pump: I'll be reusing my CBR pump off the TJ 4.0 and bought a 6" pulley offset for the LS.
  • Alternator: Mechman high output alternator (probably overkill but 180a at idle will be awesome for heavy winching).
  • Transfer case: Atlas 2 speed 3:1
  • Transfer case fluid: Comes with Atlas.
  • Ignition switch: Retain the stock keyed ignition on the steering column.
  • Spark plug boot pliers
  • Engine mounts: There's no mounting kits that will work for me so I'll use universal style brackets and make my own.
  • Trans/TC mounts: AutoFab bushings
  • A ton of bolts for attaching enginey parts to the engine.
  • LS3 430 + 6L80e Connect and Cruise
  • Transmission fluid: Dexron VI
  • 4 corner steam vent kit
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post #88 of 137 Old 07-05-2020, 03:30 PM
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And don't forget the plug wires, Tox. Lots of plug wires. Big, ugly, expensive plug wires......

Very cool. I'm excited to see this come together.

Do you need to pick up a fly by wire accelerator pedal? Or does the Connect and Cruise kit come with one?

Also, one lesson I learned the hard way. For the radiator fan, pay no attention at all to the CFM rating - none. Its all about the amps. You want the fan with the highest amp draw which will fit the space. The first fan I put in mine was not up to the challenge, even through it was rated at something like 3500 cfm. Spal makes great units, just make sure to look at the amps.

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post #89 of 137 Old 07-05-2020, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NashvilleTJ View Post
And don't forget the plug wires, Tox. Lots of plug wires. Big, ugly, expensive plug wires......

Very cool. I'm excited to see this come together.

Do you need to pick up a fly by wire accelerator pedal? Or does the Connect and Cruise kit come with one?

Also, one lesson I learned the hard way. For the radiator fan, pay no attention at all to the CFM rating - none. Its all about the amps. You want the fan with the highest amp draw which will fit the space. The first fan I put in mine was not up to the challenge, even through it was rated at something like 3500 cfm. Spal makes great units, just make sure to look at the amps.
Thankfully it comes with the big ugly wires! It also comes with a pedal.

It also comes with a corvette water pump, balancer, and headers, so those will need to be swapped out with the ones I need. They do sell one without those things but I couldn't find it with the connect and cruise which was important to me so this project is easier. If I was more familiar with the LS I'd probably have opted to go that direction (or honestly low mile junk yard). Easy unfortunately has a price but I think it's worth the cost as a first timer.

If I can get it to interface with the ECU I'll be using a brushless PWM fan which has variable speed and lower amp draw compared to brushed: https://dsportmag.com/the-tech/educa...-fan-solution/ SPAL rates the CFM the same as it's brushed twin. I'm also hoping the brushless version will be more tolerant of water crossings if I forget to turn it off.

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post #90 of 137 Old 07-17-2020, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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I asked Jon at RPM Extreme about their PWM fan controller compatibility with the SPAL brushless fan and he mentioned that he isn't sure if their module would work with the connect and cruise harness/ECU but would work fine with the fan. After discussing his experience integrating with the LS electronics some more, it turns out that the connect and cruise setup may be limited in functionality. Instead, he'll be making me a custom harness with support for the LS3 and 6L80e with all of the features I want and providing a GM E38 ECU for my swap.

For once in my life I was actually thankful to have an order get caught up in the fraud department which allowed me time to cancel my connect and cruise order and order only the LS3 430 engine (19370416).

The transmission is the confusing bit... RPM Extreme has only confirmed their harness to work with the production 2011-2013 Chevy Silverado 6L80e. I talked to several dealers and they are only able to program a new production or performance transmission if it's installed in a Chevy truck with a Chevy VIN. After a few phone calls to aftermarket transmission builders, I talked to Zero Gravity Performance. And that guy really seems to know his stuff! He said he actually worked for Chevy until 2013(iirc) and had worked on the Performance 6L80e design for them. He also can reflash any of the TCMs to be any other TCM and be programmed to work with any of the ECUs (not even limited to GM). And he could help me if I buy the Chevy Performance transmission or one of his. I gave him the specs of my Jeep and what I'm planning to do with it and he'll be getting back to me with a quote for one of his built 6L80e transmissions -- he mentioned it'll probably be somewhere between his stage 1 and stage 2 transmissions.

I'll now need to pick out an accelerator pedal too.

---

The custom harness from RPM Extreme will include:

PWM Fan Controlers

One controller for the main radiator up front and a second controller if I end up running a second transmission cooler with fan. He can add up to 4 fan controllers per harness, after that you have to use multi-speed brushed fans.

This will allow for PWM brushless variable speed fans to work. These fans tend to have longer lasting motors and can slow down or speed up the rotation of the fan based on ECU factors such as radiator temp, if the throttle is above a certain percentage, or if the AC is turned on. It should be less sensitive to stalling so hope it'll fair better if I forget to turn it off during a deep water crossing.

Alternator Voltage Bump

Without, the alternator will fall back to 13.2v. Their module will output the alternator request signal to the GM E38 ECU and command the alternator to 14v which is perfect for the EGM batteries we use.

Reverse Lights

Add an output wire for the reverse lights using the CAN signal from the 6L80e.

Tap Shift

So I can manually select gears. The connect and cruise also has this available.

Tow/Haul Mode

Since my Jeep really isn't set up to do any towing I can use this mode as an alternate shift table. I'm not sure that I'll use it, but it doesn't hurt to have the provision available.

AC Signal

Lets the ECU know when the AC is turned on. This allows for things like RPM bump at idle and turning on the radiator fan when the AC is running.

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