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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 shitty 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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KurtECV

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The LS/th400/np241 setup is a little longer than the factory explorer stuff but the transmission to transfer case adapter are almost spot on with the explorer trans crossmember.

I canted the drivetrain to the right to clear the fuel tank and to line up with the 9 inch so a few new holes had to be drilled and slotted. With this, it looked a little swiss cheese so I welded a section of 3/16 to the top of the crossmember
20200920_145930.jpg

Have got the slots marked and started but that should be done this coming this weekend.
 


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Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




KurtECV

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The front driveshaft (take off from an 80s k1500 I had at work) is mocked up to the Dana 44 and Np241. But clearances dont look good for this type of driveshaft.
20200920_113210.jpg

That is at ride height. I am thinking I can trim some fat off the driveshaft side (right side in the picture) and some of the joint cap material. I'm expecting it not to work well, if it does cool. If not then a new high clearance shift will have to be built.
 




KurtECV

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Screenshot of a video with the red backlighting on the gauges. They are dimmable as well
Screenshot_20200922-090127_Video Player.jpg
 




KurtECV

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Whoo hoo early Christmas for me!! I have searched long and hard for a set of these. I saw a picture of them on a black 1gen almost 10 years ago and have been searching for them ever since, and a set popped up for sale so I grabbed them. These will be my favorite mod to date!
FB_IMG_1601214356933.jpg

A guy had a SPARE set laying around
20200928_175956.jpg
 








KurtECV

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wow my updates apparently didn't get posted. I have been battling a driver side battery tray for a while and frankly it has been pissing me off lol. The best option i have is to put it low on the inner fender and lower core support just cant seem to get it right, I find a good configuration and something messes with it and i have to change it up somehow. I figure a damn battery tray would be easy for me compared to everything else i have done to it nut noooooo :splat:

I got the tail lights installed and they are awesome. I thought i had posted pictures of them but i guess not.
 




KurtECV

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Heres the clear tail lights with red LEDs i had laying around.
20201002_190025.jpg
20201002_194634.jpg
 




BKennedy

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I made a battery tray out of old angle and its welded to the front inner fender and core support. Its been there for at least ten years and is holding up fine. I modified the radiator/windshield washer reservoir by cutting it in half and discarding the windshield washer part. I used heat and JB weld to mount a piece of flat bar onto the back of the reservoir for mounting tab. Its bolted to the flat side of the inner fender behind the battery tray. Its hard to see in these pictures, but the inner fender has these ripples in it for strength that the tray fit into as a shelf. I welded it wherever it contacted the fender, and ran a piece of flat bar over to the core support.
20201022_115708.jpg


20201022_115731.jpg
 




KurtECV

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I made a battery tray out of old angle and its welded to the front inner fender and core support. Its been there for at least ten years and is holding up fine. I modified the radiator/windshield washer reservoir by cutting it in half and discarding the windshield washer part. I used heat and JB weld to mount a piece of flat bar onto the back of the reservoir for mounting tab. Its bolted to the flat side of the inner fender behind the battery tray. Its hard to see in these pictures, but the inner fender has these ripples in it for strength that the tray fit into as a shelf. I welded it wherever it contacted the fender, and ran a piece of flat bar over to the core support.
View attachment 323269

View attachment 323270
How did you deal with the weight of the battery in the corner closest to the engine?
 




BKennedy

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Its supported from three of the four corners and hasn't moved in a long time over a lot of trails. Those inner fenders are sturdy. You can see in one of the pics that occasionally my tire will contact the inner fender and it hasn't caused any damage.

You could run a piece of flat bar from that corner up at an angle to the radiator cross member if you wanted.
 




KurtECV

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Its supported from three of the four corners and hasn't moved in a long time over a lot of trails. Those inner fenders are sturdy. You can see in one of the pics that occasionally my tire will contact the inner fender and it hasn't caused any damage.

You could run a piece of flat bar from that corner up at an angle to the radiator cross member if you wanted.
That's exactly how I have mine oriented. I was worried about the one corner not being supported.
 








KurtECV

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Not really. The last half of 2020 has been real shitty for me lol.

Me and Gman are out at an overlanding event as I write this which has (as I suspected) jump started my motivation to get back into the shop.

The trans crossmember is finished. Ending up being able to use the factory explorer crossmember (that was already modified for extended Radius arms). Shifted the mounting bolt holes a bit to the passenger side, and reinforced it with the steel plate.
 




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