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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Central Texas LS Swap

[Title edited to reflect the change in thread to include the full build write-up. ]

Guys:

Saturday December 15th I'm starting my LS swap. I'll provide food & drink to anyone that wants to help getting the body pulled & drivetrain out. Garage fridge is stocked. :) Have TV & Stereo in the garage in case you want to watch a game while we wrench. :) Oh, and garage is heated if it's cold & has AC if it's hot. :bounce:

I live ~7 miles West from Cabela's in Buda, off IH35. Starting at 9am.

The swap is happening in my big garage. It's not a pro shop & there's no 2-post lift, but a few JKO'ers have suggested a way to do it with an engine hoist, some tall jackstands & my trailer. Should work OK. Have plenty of tools including lots of Air tools.

Goal is body off & drivetrain out on Saturday.

PM me if you're interested.
 

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I wish I lived in TX, I would be there. Would be a great learning experience for someone like me.....

Good luck and congrats on the swap. Twill be badass I am sure! :)
 

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Guys:

Saturday December 15th I'm starting my LS swap. I'll provide food & drink to anyone that wants to help getting the body pulled & drivetrain out. Garage fridge is stocked. :) Have TV & Stereo in the garage in case you want to watch a game while we wrench. :) Oh, and garage is heated if it's cold & has AC if it's hot. :bounce:

I live ~7 miles West from Cabela's in Buda, off IH35. Starting at 9am.

The swap is happening in my big garage. It's not a pro shop & there's no 2-post lift, but a few JKO'ers have suggested a way to do it with an engine hoist, some tall jackstands & my trailer. Should work OK. Have plenty of tools including lots of Air tools.

Goal is body off & drivetrain out on Saturday.

PM me if you're interested.
LOL you're gonna have a lot of jealous guys in this thread... An LS and a bitchin garage like that to work in :smokin: Now you get a 2 post lift and we'll all be driving to your place to work on our junk! LOL. If you were closer I'd definitely come help out :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm using the Motech kit. The LS is the 5.3 Aluminum block. (drove the 6.2 in an Escalade. Almost scary - too much for a daily driven JK, IMHO).

I've been working to get the garage ready. Have Gigabit Ethernet in there, plus WiFi too. There's still some sorting that needs to be done, but the bulk of it is ready for work!

I have 2, maybe 3 coming now. I could use 2 more, maybe 3 more, especially getting that body off.

Food, drink, other Jeep Guys, and a dang good time. Any takers?
 

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Sorry but This might be a dumb Question, why do you pull the body off? The engine comes out with out pulling the body off, The engine should go back in the same!

Just tring to help or better understand, it should only take about 3 hours to pull the 3.8L and 2 hours to put the LS in. Or less. Sorry for the Hijack!
 

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I pulled the radiator support on mine,not the body.It took about 6 hours to pull the v6 r&r the engine mounts and install the v8.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've talked to several folks who have done it, including Dave Harrington at AEV & Robbie at Motech. While it *can* be done with the body on, the folks that have done it both ways "strongly recommend" I take the body off. They told me there's some benefit for working on the motor mounts a little more easily, but the bulk of the benefit is the plumbing & wiring. I've done other swaps in CJ's this way & it's really easy to get a lot done on the chassis & drivetrain this way.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming....anyone want to join me? Wifey just agreed to make a run down to The Salt Lick BBQ in Dripping Springs for lunch. On us. Woot!

We had a small wrenching party for lift kit install. Was a blast. Hoping for a similar experience on this.
 

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I'm using the Motech kit. The LS is the 5.3 Aluminum block. (drove the 6.2 in an Escalade. Almost scary - too much for a daily driven JK, IMHO).

I've been working to get the garage ready. Have Gigabit Ethernet in there, plus WiFi too. There's still some sorting that needs to be done, but the bulk of it is ready for work!

I have 2, maybe 3 coming now. I could use 2 more, maybe 3 more, especially getting that body off.

Food, drink, other Jeep Guys, and a dang good time. Any takers?

Sweet! Well Ill miss this one but please do post when other gathering commence , id like to see some of this go down.:gluging:
 

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It can be done either way, we have done it(and support) both ways.

In some cases pulling the body is easier than the core support if you have a steel bumper, winch, etc. We can have a body off in a couple hours at most. We no longer open the brake or P/S system, they stay in place and no bleeding is required. We can get the body off, 3.8 out, frame power washed, mounts welded in and painted and LS in by the end of day one.

Installing the harness is always the most important part. We designed it to route away from heat and lay out like the stock OE harness. Take your time and add clamps where needed, wrap with heat tape where needed, etc. It can be done quickly but having the body out of the way makes it easy, it's wide open. I have had some customers go over the top and fabricate mandrel stainless fuel lines, add factory harness clips and shields, etc. Of coarse this is not necessary and is no more functional but it does have a cool factor.

Pulling the body makes for a cleaner swap IMHO. Running the fuel and emission lines are a breeze not to mention great access to replace the engine mounts, I'm not as small as I was in high school. Ruining the wiring harness is a breeze and virtually all the LS harness can be installed and secured before dropping the body.

At the same time we power wash the chassis and fix or repair anything that stands out, like brake lines rubbing or heat shields coming off. We paint the frame and clean up any rust at the same time.

Our new harness, which he will get(if this is who I'm thinking it is, and exchanged his old harness) allows you to install the body components when the body is off. This is an advantage if you have a couple guys. One guy is installing the engine while the other guy is installing the radiator and other body components. When the body is dropped there is a 15 pin connector to plug in to mate the body and chassis then connect the a/c lines.

We have many customers do the swap with the body on, but if the means are available it is nice to have that extra space to work in.

PS Our guy Ronnie has developed system of pulley's and plum bob's which make dropping the body real easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Our new harness, which he will get(if this is who I'm thinking it is, and exchanged his old harness) allows you to install the body components when the body is off.
Yes Robbie, this is that guy. :)

Gonna be in Austin that day? I'll treat you to some great BBQ! :bounce:
 

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Robbie can jump in here to add but I did it with the body on. Mine was and engine fire anyway so I figured easier to get the jeep side correct with it on beings I had nothing to go by. Biggest problem I see with the body on is getting the mounts correct and or getting the motor back in. I don't think once the mounts are in you can do it as a package, motor and tranny. You will need to split them and mount seperate. Also when I was centering and jiggling stuff around I moved the motor back about an inch more then is recommended so I am pretty tight to the firewall. That was OK but you need small hands to get back there to do anything. I can get them in but leave a little skin each time I do it. If you watch Robbies videos and with the new style harness that runs around the top and front of motor following his instructions for which mounts, studs and plastic to remove from the LS you could do pretty much everything from above. Below sucks when dirt, oil, sparks, bolts and nuts, gurards and everything else are using gravity to there advantage to hurt you. I had to put the LS and tranny in and then put on the motor mounts. Bolted up tranny mounts and bolted in place. Wiggle motor mounts and lift and twist motor into pre-measured postion and tack mounts in. Unbolt motor mounts and lift motor as high as I could then finish welding with motor suspended over you. Clean and paint the frame and mounts then lower motor back into position. Did this all myself but I had time and spread it over 4 months too. I personally think it would be WAY faster if you have a crew like you are planning to get the body off and do what you can then put it back on. Especially the fuel lines, emissions to evap., exhaust, transmission and transfer case cables, drive shafts and all the other mentioned above. I think it will make it easier to get all the 3.8 stuff out also with the body off. I had the motor, trany and case out in an hour but nothing was there anymore except the hard parts back to the firewall. Break down this build into different tasks or do what you can before hand. Modify stock harness and take out transfer case and put in new input shaft and attach to tranny with new shift bracket. Put on all the brackets and accessories with belt and pre-wire motor lay everything on top of motor and secure. Day of swap all your buddies show up but have all bolts out of body and and everything disconected to lift off per videos and instructions. Lift off body and take out 3.8 stuff. If you pre-stage I bet you can be this far in 2 hours tops! Prep frame and do mounts paint as best as you can. Put in motor, tranny with transfercase and mount in. Run wire to EVAP, put in exhaust (at least past CATS) and put in all sensors and wiring, run fuel line and EVAP line to motor and whatever else I missed that does not need to be attached to body. Put body back on and reverse everything from take off. If you pre-staged Jeep harness all you need to do is re-attach back up. You could even pre-stage the LS harness to the body control, cruise, brake, and mount new peddle since it is split off from main harness. With all that pre-staged I bet you could have it running in a day. Any help let me or anyone else that has done this know. My Jeep is a daily driver so it is USUALLY close by for a picture or description.
 

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Take lots of pics as i would like to do this swap in the future as well. Hope is goes good for you guys!
 

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I agree take pics! I'd like to see it done by someone on their own vs seeing a company who's done many of them. It would help me and others in the future to have that insight. Now, some one closer needs to do on of these so I can practice that way I can get it right on my jeep :thefinger:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<snip>
I personally think it would be WAY faster if you have a crew like you are planning to get the body off and do what you can then put it back on. Especially the fuel lines, emissions to evap., exhaust, transmission and transfer case cables, drive shafts and all the other mentioned above. I think it will make it easier to get all the 3.8 stuff out also with the body off.
Break down this build into different tasks or do what you can before hand. Modify stock harness and take out transfer case and put in new input shaft and attach to tranny with new shift bracket. Put on all the brackets and accessories with belt and pre-wire motor lay everything on top of motor and secure. Day of swap all your buddies show up but have all bolts out of body and and everything disconected to lift off per videos and instructions. Lift off body and take out 3.8 stuff. If you pre-stage I bet you can be this far in 2 hours tops!
Thanks Jims68. I'm going to try & get as much done as possible before hand - I probably won't get everything quite as staged as you said. I'll have everything there & ready, should have all unnecessary Chebby parts pulled off the donor & the trans ready to go.

If we get the below list done that Saturday, I'll be thrilled:
-Body off
-Drivetrain out
-Motor mounts cut off
-New drivetrain fitted up
-New motor mounts tacked in place

I'll mess with the plumbing & wiring routing & such w/o taking up everyone's time.

For you guys wanting photos, here's the page I'm following:

http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=79397&page=2
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BTT. LS Swap party in Buda, TX this coming Saturday 12/15 at 9am. Salt Lick BBQ for lunch, will pull the body & JK drivetrain & get the LS motor installed.

I have 3 guys so far. Any other folks want to come?
 

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BTT. LS Swap party in Buda, TX this coming Saturday 12/15 at 9am. Salt Lick BBQ for lunch, will pull the body & JK drivetrain & get the LS motor installed.

I have 3 guys so far. Any other folks want to come?
What do you do about the fuel pump? Does it have to be changed to support the extra fuel needed? I don't know what the ratings of the stock pump are. If you do change it what are the specs of the new one and does it bolt in?
 
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