Think Gen III and newer engine swaps are a bit spendy and limited to those with deep pockets? Try again, because we're about to extinguish those beliefs and show you how to get up to date with today's modern powerplant without breaking the bank.
We've showcased many LS conversions, but this has to be the most affordable transplant we've ever seen. It all started with getting the inside scoop on Stoker's Hot Rod Factory's latest LS conversion brackets; add in the '55 Tri-Five they picked up recently for their shop's ride, a $900 Vortec 5300 5.3L sitting in the corner, and you have the recipe for a cool street machine that'll provide a lot of fun for years to come.
For this conversion, we're strictly focusing on the engine hardware, namely the LS conversion brackets. However, for those of you wondering about the computer harness and fuel system, there are a number of options to choose from.
In this case, a MSD high pressure fuel pump was used to provide the petrol; priced at just over $100, these gems can support up to 500 hp while only requiring 5.4 amps. For the return line, a 5/16-inch hardline was plumbed to the original drain in the tank; nothing overly complicated. If this isn't an option, then drill and tap the fuel sender.
When it came to the harness, again, you have several options that range from the factory setup to a complete stand-alone system. Our setup retained the factory harness both from an economical standpoint and because it came with the engine.
There you have, an easy way to bring your street machine up to date with a modern-day powerplant on a blue-collar budget.
What's a Vortec 5300
Engine block: Cast-iron or aluminum
Cylinder heads: Aluminum or iron 15-degree cathedral port
Bore & stroke: 3.780 x 3.622
Power: 285-320 hp and 325-340 lb-ft
Used in: 1999+ mid/full-size trucks and SUVs