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Username Post: My 65 Impala LS Swap        (Topic#341674)
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 09:18 AM - Post#2669286    

Hello all!

I've been off the forum for a few years and I'd like to get active again and bring the group up to speed on my 65 LS swap. I spent three years doing the restoration on my car which was completed in 2014. At the time I just dressed up the engine and went with what I had to keep the project moving along. Well after coming to grips with the old small block being sort of worn out and leaving a series of oil stains everyplace I parked, it was time for a change.

I spent a few months searching the ads and finally stumbled on a LS1 with a 4L60E auto trans out of a wrecked 2002 Pontiac Trans AM with fairly low miles given its age. After an over night road trip down to Alabama I brought the engine home.

So with an engine trans combo sitting in my garage it was time to get started. Early last month with the help of a friend we pulled the small block out and got started on the swap. Three weeks later I was able to start the car and move it back over to it's normal parking spot in the garage and get the garage back to normal. My wife had to give up her parking for most of December, she was pretty good about it and for that I'm grateful.

Still several things left to do, cold air intake, exhaust hook up, more wiring, interior/console needs to be put back in along with several other small things. Hope to be finished up over the next few months, I'm certainly over the hump and that's a good feeling!

Pictures to follow.





 
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Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 09:22 AM - Post#2669287    
    In response to Coalflyer



Attachment: IMG_0844.JPG (1.91 MB) 26 View(s)


My 65 Impala!


Attachment: IMG_0722.JPG (2.06 MB) 25 View(s)


The new engine/trans combo waiting to be loaded for the trip back to St. Louis.


Attachment: IMG_0727.JPG (2.16 MB) 30 View(s)


Road trip.




 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 10:02 AM - Post#2669290    
    In response to Coalflyer



Attachment: IMG_0849.JPG (1.91 MB) 23 View(s)




Attachment: IMG_0857.JPG (2.13 MB) 20 View(s)


Seemed like I spent two days cleaning and detailing the engine bay. That was well worth the time!


Attachment: IMG_0867.JPG (2.7 MB) 24 View(s)


Old engine comes out and I managed to sell it on Craigslist in a few days!




 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 10:12 AM - Post#2669292    
    In response to Coalflyer



Attachment: IMG_0872.JPG (2.27 MB) 30 View(s)


These mounting plates should look familiar. The engine was at the right height, oil pan clearance was exactly where it needed to be and the engine distance from the firewall turned out perfect.


Attachment: IMG_0885.JPG (2.34 MB) 30 View(s)


Time to install!


Attachment: IMG_0886.JPG (2.11 MB) 20 View(s)


The actual task of putting the engine in took about an hour. I was fairly nervous about this part but as everyone knows these engine bays are so generous in size installation turned out to be very easier than I thought.




 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 10:21 AM - Post#2669294    
    In response to Coalflyer



Attachment: IMG_0902.JPG (2.07 MB) 20 View(s)


I'd highly recommend the Tanks Inc setup for anyone doing a swap. Everything fit perfectly and the guys at Tanks answered all my stupid questions every time I needed help!


Attachment: IMG_0946.JPG (2.07 MB) 24 View(s)






 
leon phelps 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4113
leon phelps
Loc: Croydon Manor, PA
Reg: 06-04-05
01-04-17 10:23 AM - Post#2669295    
    In response to Coalflyer

plan on a street tune. the headers change some tune items on the pcm that may cause backfiring.

found this out the hard way.

good luck and nice clean build.



 
kwhizz 
"9th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1112
kwhizz
Loc: Wisconsin
Reg: 01-01-07
01-04-17 10:26 AM - Post#2669296    
    In response to Coalflyer

Yep........It's almost too easy.........LOL



 
BowtieGent 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1302
BowtieGent
Loc: Mission, BC.
Reg: 05-07-13
01-04-17 10:35 AM - Post#2669298    
    In response to kwhizz

Well done.

Nitrous is like a hot girl with STD's…You know you wanna hit it, but you’re afraid of the consequences!
1965 Biscayne 2 Door Post: 350,PG,373-posi,C3-DB, PS,PB.
1970 Chevelle Malibu: 53 on 753.
Brian Daniel McClure: 1970-2015. R.I.P. Brother.


 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 10:36 AM - Post#2669299    
    In response to Coalflyer



Attachment: IMG_0890.JPG (88.37 KB) 19 View(s)


Welding in the relocated transmission crossmember brackets. Another task I was quite nervous about which turned out to a non event!


Attachment: IMG_0896.JPG (2.27 MB) 16 View(s)


Time to mount the ECM and plug in the harness. As most know there are several options as far the ECM and harness go. I decided to use Speartech and have my harness reworked. If I had it to do over again I might consider a new harness which would have given me other location(s) to mount the ECM. As it turned out I mounted the ECM on the firewall where the old AC evaporator box would have been. After plugging in the harness I had no other choices. I'm probably guilty of not planning this part out as good as I should have but it all worked out ok. And Speartech couldn't have been nicer to work with, turn time was exactly as stated and yes, they continue to answer all my questions and provide help when I needed it!!


Attachment: IMG_0897.JPG (2.11 MB) 17 View(s)






 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 10:52 AM - Post#2669301    
    In response to Coalflyer



Attachment: IMG_0944.JPG (2.19 MB) 25 View(s)


When I was first ordering parts for the swap I was certain that I needed to remount the alternator and AC compressor up high. Upon further review I actually ended up using the stock PS pump and alternator from the Trans AM. Again these big old cars wit their generous engine bays make for an easier time of this. Just had to have some new PS pump hoses made. The AC compressor mount is Kwik Performance, Wayne was great to work with and again there kits are a no brainer!


Attachment: IMG_0961.JPG (2.03 MB) 20 View(s)


Griffin radiator install and after being turned loose in the hose section at O'reilly's and Autozone I found exactly what I needed to hook up the radiator.


Attachment: IMG_0948.JPG (1.99 MB) 25 View(s)


Racing Inovation headers bought on eBay for $180.00! They fit perfect and look great!




 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 11:06 AM - Post#2669303    
    In response to Coalflyer



Attachment: IMG_0950.JPG (2.26 MB) 18 View(s)


Fabbed a little bracket to mount the fuse box and the data port plug for the Dakota Digital VHX system that I installed on the car some years ago. Not many options up underneath the dash to mount stuff so I came up with a bracket to keep things as tiddy as I can!


Attachment: IMG_0967.JPG (2.07 MB) 23 View(s)


Well this is where the project is today. I was able to start the car, move it out of the garage and park it where it normally sits. I'd like to tell you that the car started up perfectly the first time but to be perfectly honest with everyone I can't. I tried a few start attempts but no luck. After some deep thoughtful and a call to Speartech I quickly learned I had the car wired correctly, that was a relief. So with that knowledge I started to look at the fuel system. Turns out some moron (that's me) plumbed the corvette fuel regulator backwards and the engine wasn't getting any fuel. Once that issue was corrected the car fired up perfectly.


Attachment: IMG_0969.JPG (2.05 MB) 21 View(s)






 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 11:09 AM - Post#2669304    
    In response to leon phelps

Thanks, I was told I wouldn't need a tune that but shouldn't be an issue if I do!



 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-04-17 11:14 AM - Post#2669305    
    In response to kwhizz

Thanks Ken, appreciated all the help!



 
Johnny468 
"9th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 750
Johnny468
Loc: Richmond, Va.
Reg: 10-24-08
01-04-17 11:30 AM - Post#2669306    
    In response to Coalflyer

Very nice work. Plus it's red with Cragars, who could ask for anything more?

Johnny

1965 Impala SS
505/4-speed/3.90


 
VintageCarryall 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2611

Loc: Arizona
Reg: 10-08-06
01-04-17 03:00 PM - Post#2669324    
    In response to Johnny468

Job well done there; to both CoalFlyer and Kwhizz!

IHMO; LSx swap info 'needs' to be stickied since it's becoming quite a popular conversion these days.

1994 Dodge Caravan SWB 3.3L V6
1962 Studebaker Lark 4 door 350 Chevy/TH350



 
nicke 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1057
nicke
Age: 33
Loc: Spokane, Washington
Reg: 01-06-12
01-04-17 08:52 PM - Post#2669363    
    In response to Coalflyer

Nice work!

Your car looks fantastic!

-Nick

My 65' Impala SS LS Swap

6.2L LS ,4L80E, 3.73 gears, disc brakes


 
Rick Dorion 
"3rd Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 218
Rick Dorion
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Reg: 09-21-12
01-05-17 03:53 AM - Post#2669385    
    In response to nicke

Love it. Thanks for posting. Can you list part numbers for things like radiator hoses? Good job!

1967 Belair - perfect floor, frame and pinchwelds. Oh boy.


 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-05-17 07:38 AM - Post#2669400    
    In response to Rick Dorion

I think so, once I get back home from work which won't be until the 15th I'll give it a look.



 
sz0k30 
"9th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 347
sz0k30
Loc: Oakland Co., Michigan
Reg: 10-12-08
01-05-17 08:26 AM - Post#2669410    
    In response to Coalflyer

That's a real nice write up with the pictures & descriptions!



 
AK65Impalass383 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 21

Reg: 12-27-16
01-05-17 09:29 AM - Post#2669426    
    In response to sz0k30

Very sharp!

That baby will definitely scoot when done.

AK.



 
BigT_65SS 
Contributor
Posts: 122

Loc: Kingston NY
Reg: 05-15-11
01-05-17 10:14 AM - Post#2669438    
    In response to Coalflyer

Nice clean build!



 
leon phelps 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4113
leon phelps
Loc: Croydon Manor, PA
Reg: 06-04-05
01-05-17 03:17 PM - Post#2669500    
    In response to BigT_65SS

were the headers ceramic coated?



 
nickvbbc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 17

Loc: Arkansas City KS
Reg: 12-15-10
01-05-17 04:10 PM - Post#2669510    
    In response to Coalflyer

Nice build and great pics. I was wondering if you could please confirm a few things.

Which engine plates? I'd like to purchase some that thick.

Which oil pan?


Im trying to save time and money on 408 swap in another 65 biscayne. Looks like everything went well on your engine install. Thanks.




 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-05-17 04:56 PM - Post#2669522    
    In response to leon phelps

No, they're nickel plated. Fit and quality was fine. We'll see how long they last and hold up. Hope it'll be ok.



 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-05-17 05:00 PM - Post#2669524    
    In response to nickvbbc

The mounting plates came from another forum member, the oil pan is the Holley 302-1 pan kit. Very easy to install, just be careful installing the new oil pickup tube and not to cut the o-ring, headers were Racing Inovation purchased off eBay.



 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-05-17 05:01 PM - Post#2669525    
    In response to leon phelps

No, I was told they were nickel plated.



 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-05-17 05:02 PM - Post#2669526    
    In response to nicke

As does yours Nick, I thought about your build when I was doing mine.



 
nickvbbc 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 17

Loc: Arkansas City KS
Reg: 12-15-10
01-05-17 05:10 PM - Post#2669527    
    In response to Coalflyer

Thanks for the reply. Very helpful that someone has solid info. I wonder if member would sell me a set of those plates? Thanks.




 
Shmedly 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 26
Shmedly
Loc: Las Vegas
Reg: 03-12-15
01-06-17 08:12 AM - Post#2669619    
    In response to nickvbbc

I noticed you have aftermarket control arms. What brand and what did you gain? I was looking at several different brands, and still don't have any ideas.. My car is just for street driving. I have been looking at the "Ackerman" suspension fix with the 67 parts, and if I am going to work on the suspension, I might as well do it all at once.



 
Coalflyer 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 310

Reg: 01-19-12
01-06-17 09:07 AM - Post#2669631    
    In response to Shmedly

I went with a Ride Tech coil over kit for the front and back with their front sway bar. Mainly I was just trying to tighten up the car a bit and I was looking for a lower stance. Honestly other than the stance which I'm very happy with I'm not sure how much I gained. And yes I know there are other ways to lower the car. Im also considering the Ackerman fix at some point but not sure when.



 
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1-800-IMPALAS  *  www.impalas.com
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