The Black Pearls LM7 5.3 LS SWAP! | Page 11 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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The Black Pearls LM7 5.3 LS SWAP!

SO I guess the time has came early for my 5.3L LS swap on The Black Pearl!!

LET THE HATE BEGIN!!!

I have a buddy that is a drag-racer but started working for a ****ty speed shop in the area and now he is burnt out from engines and all that; He is getting into guns and i have built a few ARs. We did some talking the other weekend and we figured that one of my ARs is worth about the same as his 400-450 horse Gen3 LM7 (706 heads, Gen4 internals. Titanium valve springs, retainers and guides)

Currently the piston rings are gaped and it has a cam setup for spray but he just hadn't gotten around to get nitro setup in the car yet. This is in a late 80s Monte Carlo BTW.

This are some pictures i loaded on my SAS build thread so i will post them up here to keep it all in one place.

General LS pic.jpg
This is just a general picture i found on google but thats pretty much the setup i am getting.

I have some 2010 Camaro exhaust manifolds that will be used (IF they fit!) that he threw in as well.

I went to the wrecking yard last weekend and picked up a 2000 tahoe fuseblock, harness, MAF and PCM for $40.65 out the door.
Junkyard harness.jpg

Started pulling it apart and removing ALL un-needed circuits, Factory fuse block, A/C, EVAP, Trans and a few other circuits.

harness remains.jpg


i also added a few circuits such as a secondary ground circuit for the Taurus 2-speed fan i have installed. The fans are controlled by the PCM, the PCM sends ground to the fan relays to turn them on/off at set temps (that will be programmed into the PCM when it gets tuned).

This is what we have left:
My harness.jpg


To clean things up in the engine bay i am going to use a Corvette style fuel system. There is no fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail, it in in-line on the frame rail. It also uses a return-less system incorporated into the fuel filter, with the regulator.

Screenshot_2019-01-03-12-27-01.png

450 is overkill but this pump is a direct for to the explorer in-tank fuel pump according to Walbro.

This fuel filter will replace the factory Explorer fuel filter. It is a Corvette fuel filter with a built in fuel pressure regulator. With a return line back to the tank for unused fuel.
Filter regulator.JPG


These engines require 60PSI fuel pressure and the 1gen explorers are only pushing around 30-40 PSI.
 



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Yeah you wont be able to hear anything with it just dumpped after the manifolds :eek:
 



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Finally got the gauges done up. Just need to wire them up. i need to hit the books and check all the wiring behind the dash and find all the circuits i am going to have to tie into (backlighting, grounds, fuel level, battery)
20200309_205137.jpg
 






Didnt get any pictures tonight, but the nylon beaded fuel line came in. I got the fuel system ran from the tank, to the fuel rail, I didnt buy the fitting at the rail yet because I wasnt sure exactly which one I would need (straight, 45* or 90*) but compared to the -8 90* fitting I have, I am going to order a -6 90* fitting and the fuel system will be done (pending in-tank pump upgrade if higher volume/pressure is needed, going to see how the stock X pump does first)

I have about 7.5 feet of fuel line left. Guess I can keep that as spare line because fuel line is not acceptable to use on oil or transmission fuel according to several online sources.
 






After spending several hours in the shop tonight I got the york 210 mounted to the LS... only to realize that the belt tensioner is in the wrong position to do much tensioning.

So I had to go about rotating the tensioner (and bracket) around so it would actually do its job.

A few little tabs to build for the tensioner bracket and some trimming/clean up on the OBO Comp bracket and I'll post up some pictures tomorrow
 






Finally got the Accessory Drive setup.
Custom York 210 Bracket so i ended up using a 110.5 inch serpentine belt. Ended up between belt sizes so i had to take the ribbed tensioner pulley (closest to the York on the left in the picture) and "machine" the grooves out of it and make it a smooth pulley, i do have an actual smooth pulley that i had originally used (a second pulley like the one between the ALT and P/S pump) but it does have a slightly larger diameter so it wasn't going to work :frustrated:

But now the tensioner is right in he middle of its swing, we will see how it goes with that one. A plus with the 110.5 belt is that all three auto parts stores in town had it in stock so that will help if i ever need to pick one up quick,
20200315_202844.jpg
 






Finally some good progress this weekend!

FB_IMG_1584968154091.jpg

got the motor mounted welded up and in place!
FB_IMG_1584968138860.jpg

That York 210 sticks out really far and has made it a bit difficult to place an air filter. Picked up a 5.0 style air filter housing to installed somewhere around the passenger side area.
FB_IMG_1584968147820.jpg

The engine is finally sitting in without the assistance of blocks or whatnot.
The firewall can use a little massaging, the back of the intake comes to a point and it is a bit close there, only about 8 small bolts to pull the intake, and that will be plenty of room to get an air hammer in there to rework a small area.
 






YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 












@410Fortune

I did cut the lower core support like you said, i have been hesitant to do it because i couldnt find a reasonably priced sealed radiator (no fill neck). I reread a few posts from you about the ones you have done and realized that you didnt use a sealed Rad, you just put a high psi cap on it.... So i am either going to do it that way or buy an ebay special aluminum one installed. If i cant find a sealed one, i will take it to a local shop and have them chop off the fill neck and weld up a bung in place so i can run a remote reservoir
 






Got any details on the mount placement? I'm sure others interested in this swap would appreciate any info you got to help them out.

The first picture in Post 207 shows well where the mount sits, the driver side mount is rearward a bit more, to help the transfer case clear the fuel tank.

The rear plate for the drivers side is about even with the back of the K-member. About an inch or so back from where the passenger side sits.

All four mounts (welded to the frame) are 2.5 inches tall total. I blocked up the engine, trans and xcase where i wanted it, with the motor mounts installed, then measured to the furthest point on the mount bushings (Not on-center of the bolt holes, it was hard enough getting my dome in there to get a somewhat accurate measurement) and then stacked all of the frame plates together, then cut and ground them all down at once. Bolted them to the engine and set the full weight of the drivertrain on the frame plates (with the cherry picker still stalled for safely and then tack welded them up!
 






yes I run a 18 psi cap on the radiator itself and a 13-14 psi cap on the filler neck up at the highest point. Then I plumbed both overflow lines together in a T and to the overflow tank just in case the system builds enough pressure to open both caps....
I never could find a cap higher then 18psi
It would be fairly simple these days to cut the whole filler neck off and weld it up....now that I have a mig that can do aluminum and it can also TIG.....but I have never tig welded....not yet. Any good aluminum welder should be able to do that for like $50-100
 






yes I run a 18 psi cap on the radiator itself and a 13-14 psi cap on the filler neck up at the highest point. Then I plumbed both overflow lines together in a T and to the overflow tank just in case the system builds enough pressure to open both caps....
I never could find a cap higher then 18psi
It would be fairly simple these days to cut the whole filler neck off and weld it up....now that I have a mig that can do aluminum and it can also TIG.....but I have never tig welded....not yet. Any good aluminum welder should be able to do that for like $50-100
I did find a 20psi cap at my local orielly auto parts for a couple of bucks.
Kinda thinking of having one welded up. I have an aluminum mig welder on my Reddy welder
 






In a great turn of events this past week!
20200401_180420.jpg


20200401_180435.jpg

22x19 all aluminum Griffin sealed radiator. Right side inlet and outlet with the steam port on the left. Dimpled finned. Dual pass. 2 core with 1.25 inch tubes. Delivered for $115. New old stock, this particular one was a custom job and didn't go through.

I now need to find an Expansion tank. Not too hard to do at all, but not as easy as just getting a coolant overflow bottle. Thinking something about 16 psi should do it.
 












got a pretty good update today. Found a good used Yukon ZipLocker for the Dana 44 for sale that i jumped on. 432 shipped from california. Should be here in 4 or 5 days!

YZLTV630.jpg


Although i already have OBA from the york i am going to add a dedicated tankless compressor to run just the front air locker. Going to be fully locked soon.

I know it can be done in vehicle, but i am opting to pull the axle assembly out of the truck, and bring it to my shop where all my good tools are and replace the shaft seals while i am there
 






For those not watching the SAS build thread, i picked up a set of JB Fab triple stick cable shifter recently.

New plan is to run a np241 right now, then when funds are available next winter/spring, gut the 241 and install it in a NWF EcoBox and bolt a ford 205 behind it.

79421283_10221043828306071_2491488933314035712_o.jpg

Going to be pulling two of the shifters out and run a single cable for the 241, and install spacer bushings to take up the same left, once i figure out where the single shifter will end up in the console.
 






Thanks to @gmanpaint for coming down and staying the weekend (work related) we are planning on stabbing the th400 in tonight, energy and time permitting!

As i stated a few posts ago, my good friend finished the th400 build for me, to free up some time on my end ad because he has A LOT more tranny building experience than i do, he added a mods the the internals, to help with things; like installing a restrictor in the pump: This valve body will be running MAX line pressure (200PSI) and the restrictor will keep save the thrust bearing from failing under so much pressure.

Also, my TCI reverse manual valve body did not have engine braking, but i bought it for 120 bucks! My buddy bought a TCI VB WITH engine braking and didnt realize it. His build is for street/strip. Well we simply traded valve bodies so now ive got engine braking in 1st and 2nd gear (or all gear, we are not for sure on that yet)

.... and yes i have friends like this... we are all techs, and to be honest i would have done the same thing to his.
20200508_130113.jpg

I was going to bead blast the case but (while laughing heuristically) told him i would keep it on there LOL
Alex is also another tech that i used to work with, and ending up being the apprentice of my good buddy who finished the 400 up for me
 






On the Valve body itself: Its a TCI reverse (full) manual setup.
Park
Reverse
Neutral
First
Second
Third
is the shift pattern. I also pickup up a winters shifter for it, and bought the reverse rock crawler gate plate for it. That gate plate has no gate between first and reverse, so if i get into a situation where neutral or reverse is need quick fast and in a hurry, i wont have to fumble through gates to get to where i need to be.
 



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Well the upper radiator tabs didnt exactly go as planned; I knew it was a possibility. I had read that Griffin radiators are generally not the same type of aluminum found at local supply places. I quickly found this out when I started to weld the tabs on.

Using a Whip-n-pause technique from the thicker tabs and to the thinner tank. The tabs welded well but not so much on the tanks. I feel pretty good about them but opted to throw some sealing epoxy around the weld area just for good measure. And of course it looked like crap so I decided to paint the tanks.
20200518_211829.jpg

20200518_211906.jpg
 






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