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LS1 in 63

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jeepergreg

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I am trying to put a 99 camaro LS1 and 6 speed in a 63 roadster. Has anyone done this or know of anyone who has and would answer some of my questions? I am having problems with clearances at trans crossmember and body. Also getting motor to clear relay rod without hitting hood.
 

WayneC

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Messages
472
Location
Santa Barbara CA
Corvette
63 roadster project
Wish I could help directly, sounds like a fun project! The March 2002 issue of Vette Magazine had an article on page 46 by Bob Wallace, who is having an LS1 and 4L60E automatic put into a 76 Shark by vendor "Bow Tie Overdrives":

http://www.bowtieoverdrives.com

The article is part of a monthly ongoing series on upgrading this car. As I'm sure you know, the 76 frame and suspension are quite similar to the midyear setup.

The March issue talked about LS1 engine placement and motor mount issues. The net of it was that the author was trying to fashion mounts to place the crank centerline exacly where the old crank centerline was. In this case, the '76 steering linkage just cleared the pan. A follow-up article in April was supposed to show frame modifications (I can't find that issue), then May delved into the engine itself, and in June there was an article about altering the thermostat housing. Also in the June issue were short side articles about two other LS1 into C3's (one done, one in progress) by readers, and the problems with the trans crossmember and body interference were encountered in those projects also, though the solution was not explained. My guess is that you are going to have to fabricate a rear transmission mount crossmember, and provide a bulge in the tunnel (which brings in carpet issues, too, at the very least). Perhaps it would be possible to drop/modify the steering linkage a bit to clear the pan, but even that may not solve the hood clearance issue (67 big block hood?).

Wish I could do more, but there are some leads, anyway.
 

69MyWay

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Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
I can't directly help you much either, but,........I can encourage you!

I have done several EFI swaps into other cars. Up until now I have played with TBI, TPI, and LT1 engines. Nobody has brought a car and an LS1 to me yet and asked me to put one together. I would prefer to do a Vette when this does happen, but my guess is I will be doing it on a street rod or truck.

The funny thing is, that in the past the most difficult part of one of these conversions was the electronics, coolant plumbing, and front accessories. With the LS1 engine, now there are massive road blocks concerning the mounting points/oil pan, motor mounts not to mention the same old problems of converting the other engines.

As I am sure you already know, the electronics portion is very easily handled by getting ready to go Harness from one of the many suppliers out there. You need to either spend some extra dough having the ECM reporgrammed, or buy the software from a place like http://www.carputing.com/


Good luck with your project, and keep us posted.
 

WayneC

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Messages
472
Location
Santa Barbara CA
Corvette
63 roadster project
69MyWay, could you elaborate on the need to reprogram the ECM? If you are swapping-in an original engine and trans combo, without making further engine mods, is there still a need to reprogram? (I'm not conversant in Camaros, so maybe the "6 speed" tells you it's not an original combo?)
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
The ECM will be looking for a whole host of inputs that will be missing on your conversion. There are emissions controls (AIR injection), anti lock brakes, and if this was an auto trans LS1 that you are mating to a six speed, the whole system of the automatic trans programs has to be deleted.

The good thing about the new ECM/OBDII type systems is that they can be re-programmed. The bad part is they are very comprehensive and in stock configuration require a number of inputs that you will not be using.

Just for an example, the final gear ratio you are running and tire size has to be exactly the same as the 99 Camaro, or the system will run off incorrect data.

www.tpis.com can reprogram the computer for you.
 

topless82vette

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Messages
910
Location
southern california
Corvette
1982 convertible (not factory) stock 350cfi auto
jeeper

I have a friend online thats dropping a trans am ls-1 with auto in his 81 Im not sure of how different things are on your frame but I will ask him if he can help you
 
R

rbyrne

Guest
Did the LT-1 & 4L60E conversion into a SWC. I didn't want the auto, but it came with the wreck. Looked into a 6-speed install and was told that it's a nightmare. The ZF is almost impossible and the Borg-Warner is only slightly better. Either way, a big project requiring trans. tunnel cut-outs etc. I'm now looking at a Richmond 6-speed or Tremec conversion. Good Luck
 

70 LS1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Messages
84
Location
Gig Harbor, WA
Corvette
1970 convertible
I just finished an LS1/T56 install in my 1970. I think a lot of the clearance issues would be similar. Shoot me an email I can probably help.
 

richscorvettes

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2002
Messages
400
Location
Connecticut
Corvette
1963 & 2007 Z06 Coupes
63 LS1 Conversion

I just came across your post. I do know of one fellow (Rod Saboury) who installed an LS6 in his 63 coupe. It's been at Carlisle and in magazines. Here is one link to a feature that appeared in Vette Vues: http://www.vette-vues.com/ipreview/nov01.html

We've also installed an LS6 in a 62 and might be able to help with some of the issues you will face. Just send me an e-mail and I'll try to help.

Rich Lagasse
 

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