I'm putting this in the lounge since it's not an S10 swap. Just finished it yesterday to the point that it can be driven, but I do still have a few things to work out. The truck is a 2000 Z71 with a 5.3L.
First up was tracking down a transmission crossmember. It came nicely packaged.
I also had the TCI unit come in at about the same time. There were some fitment issues with the TCI unit that took some back and forth between FLT and TCI, and Chuck at TCI was not happy with it. I don’t know if anyone else will be able to get FLT to use a TCI carrier now.
Finally, the trans came in.
This is the wiring conversion I ordered. I decided to be lazy and just get the kit instead of trying to repin things. It worked pretty good, and considering the trouble I had pinning the computer for the front speed sensor, I’m glad I didn’t tackle repining the trans harness on my back. These pictures are also out of sequence, as the harness went in towards the end of the swap.
This is one of the speed sensor wires to see what must be pushed on. I was able to get them to seat with a very skinny awl I found in my abandoned tool box. I’ve been working on converting my entire tool set to Craftsman tools, but still have my old original set of mixmatched crap.
And here is how the sensor was routed.
Anyway, first step, jack up the truck.
Looks like the engine has a lot of leaks. No matter, as the engine is next.
Then, time to start pulling parts.
Before anyone says anything, I have no cats because my cats were defective due to the need for some engine internal work. I’ve got a new set of headers, a new set of cats and a new set of mufflers waiting to go on, and all parts will be installed when I do the engine. The current crossover with the cat bypass is a temporary thing. I don’t have inspections to worry about here, but prefer to run cats anyway as they do keep the fuel smells down.
On pulling the starter out, there is a 4 wire connection on the bundle that must be removed. One of the plugs is over the starter, cannot be seen and is easy to break. Luckily for me my brother’s starter failed a week before I pulled my starter and he warned me about this. I guess that since GM reduced the size and weight of the starter making it easier to install, they decided they needed to put crap in the way to increase the difficulty level again. Getting the wires installed blind is the only bad part of this job. The whitish plug you see is the lower plug, the upper plug is black and is hidden due to the oil leaks. It is almost directly over the lower plug.
Course, I was unable to drain the 4LPOS60E due to the bolt rounding off. I wound up having to pull the pan and make the mess to drain the fluid. I also hung the transmission butt first over a drain pan for about a week to get as much of the old fluid out as I could, using a ladder and nylon straps to hold the trans up. The ladder worked very well although I forgot to get a pic of it.
This is the crap that came out of the old trans. The fluid was relatively fresh, as I’d had to replace the valve body less than a year before amongst other work. Looks red in the pic, but looked more brownish than reddish in real life and smelled badly burned.
Some of those bolts didn’t want to break loose. My poor breaker bar! It was a Kal, now it’s a Trash.
I’ve got to say that I was mistaken about one part of the new design. I thought that you had to do everything through the inspection port on the bottom, but it turns out that they made it so you can get a socket onto the TC bolts a lot easier. Kudos to GM on this, and I stand corrected about my assumption.
And finally, the crap is gone!!!
So now that the old POS is out, it’s time to start putting the new 4L80E in.
Transfer case installed.
The cross member clears everything other than the front driveshaft.
Looks like this truck had problems with the flexplate/torque converter in the past, due to the engine looking like it’s been cut.
I was going to have the truck hauled to a driveshaft shop to have the shafts modified, but taking measurements seems to have done the trick. Seems when they have to lengthen one they replace the tube.
PROBLEMS WITH THE SWAP
I found that the truck did NOT come with an aux cooler, which I thought was stock on a Z71. So, since I had to replace the lines anyway after cutting them in the wrong place, I installed one.
The 5.3L flexplate also does not work. In order to connect the flexplate to the torque converter, you must switch them out as the 6.0 has a larger base circle than the 5.3L. I know I asked them at FLT several times if my flex plate would work and they said it would, but I’m going to take the blame for not double checking it myself. I wound up having to pull the works back out to swap flexplates. As you can see in the top two pics the bolt circle for the 6.0 on top is wider than the bolt circle for the 5.3L on the bottom. I wound up having to pull the whole works back out just to replace the flexplate, but was very lucky in that the trans was able to slide back far enough over the torsion bar crossmember that I could swap the plates. I did have to spin the flexplate to put the bolts on the bottom to get the wrench on though.
The new trans cross member did not clear the front driveshaft well. While I don’t have pictures of it, I was able to get enough clearance by adding shims under the trans mount. There is one shim between the transmission and mount, and three shims between the trans mount and cross member. The shims are made of aluminum bar stock and are 1/8 inch thick. The four brought the back of the trans up ½ inch which gave me the required clearance. I’m still trying to get the guy that made it to talk to me about getting this fixed, but I did note that he’s already selling them on his website. If you decide to get one of his first runs, bear in mind that they will only fit a 2WD as is due to poor cross member clearance.
I loaded a new program in with EFI Live, and it took about 5 minutes to get the segment mounted to my computer program. I took the truck for a drive yesterday afternoon, and liked what I had. The computer program is going to need a lot of work to make it like I want though. The truck shifts firmly and definitely, but not so hard as to jerk the truck except on a WOT 3-4 shift. The shift is almost instant, and the truck jerks a bit when it happens. I need to check the programming out and see how it is. I’m also going to be taking the truck down to the driveshaft shop to have them check clearances, because it seemed like the shafts might be a tiny bit too long. I had to plant the shafts all the way in and U-joints just barely cleared the yokes. In the past, there’s always been about an inch of clearance when the shafts were pushed all the way in. They may need to take a half inch or so off each shaft. I don’t want any hard hits to cause the shafts to bottom out inside the trans, no telling what it would break in there.
I’m open for any questions on the conversion now.