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6.0L Engine Swap in a 1982 Chevy K5 Blazer
6.0L Engine Swap in a 1982 Chevy K5 Blazer
Modern V-8 Power For Any Truck
Shawn Henderson, Photography by
November 01, 2011
17. An OEM truck throttle cable from an LS/Vortec-based 1999-2001 Silverado truck is needed to operate the throttle body. The plastic clip that mounts the cable was trimmed to fit the Blazer’s gas pedal. Once attached to the gas pedal, the throttle cable was routed to the throttle body.
17. An OEM truck throttle cable from an LS/Vortec-based 1999-2001 Silverado truck is neede
18. The 28-year-old radiator was ditched in favor of a factory replacement for an ’87 big-block Chevy 2500 truck. The monster aluminum radiator was a direct bolt-in and can be ordered from any parts store. The radiator was equipped with a pair of high-flow electric fans and the upper and lower radiator hoses are factory replacements for an ’01 Silverado.
18. The 28-year-old radiator was ditched in favor of a factory replacement for an ’87 big-
19. A Jags That Run steam vent bypass tube was added to the upper radiator hose. This will allow the factory steam vent tube on the top front of the heads to continue to circulate coolant. The steam vent can also be directly connected to the water pump or radiator. This was just one of many options.
19. A Jags That Run steam vent bypass tube was added to the upper radiator hose. This will
20. The two heater hoses were trimmed and attached directly to the water pump on the passenger side. The transmission lines were reattached to the new radiator. Since it’s a GM replacement, it all bolted right on. Moving on, a trick we learned was to install the Blazer’s high-pressure power steering line into the LQ9 before installing the motor. The Blazer’s original power steering hose will directly thread into the LQ9’s power steering pump. It’s possible to thread it in once installed but it’s a tight fit for most wrenches. The ’81-and-older trucks will need a new power steering hose.
20. The two heater hoses were trimmed and attached directly to the water pump on the passe
21. Here, an OEM wiring harness is shown as it’s being trimmed down for this conversion. An uncut OEM harness can be modified by HRR. They will trim down the harness and make it a simple and easy-to-hook-up harness. If no harness is available, Retro LSX sells the full line of Painless Performance harnesses. It’s very critical to properly ground the engine, frame and electrical systems. Make sure all grounds are on a clean metal surface. We first ran power and ground to the starter. The clip for the crank sensor is also located behind the starter and should be clipped before the starter goes on.
21. Here, an OEM wiring harness is shown as it’s being trimmed down for this conversion. A
22. The red arrows show where the fuel injector clips go, while the blue arrow shows where the coil pack power wire goes. Clips for the MAF sensor and throttle-body sensors are on the driver side.
22. The red arrows show where the fuel injector clips go, while the blue arrow shows where
23. The MAF sensor goes on the inlet of the air intake kit being used on the motor. The stock location is typically at the edge of the OEM air filter box.
23. The MAF sensor goes on the inlet of the air intake kit being used on the motor. The st
24. A fuse block was added to supply power for the newly added engine harness and protect it with a fuse. The PCM was mounted on the driver side on the firewall. The PCM used its OEM mounting bracket that was modified to bolt to the firewall. The PCM was custom tuned by Vengeance Racing and offered the benefits of a performance tune and the required computer modifications for the LS swap.
24. A fuse block was added to supply power for the newly added engine harness and protect
25. A Spectre cool-air intake for an ’02 Silverado was purchased through HRR. This kit is a great starting point for most LS conversions.
25. A Spectre cool-air intake for an ’02 Silverado was purchased through HRR. This kit is
6. Here’s the final product. To clean up the engine bay and cover the wires, the 6.0L’s factory engine cover was reused. Before we reattached it, we had Retro LSX apply a carbon fiber effect to the plastic. This is the same process used on the gauge cluster bezel. This small change made a big impact under the hood.
6. Here’s the final product. To clean up the engine bay and cover the wires, the 6.0L’s fa
27. The Dakota Digital gauge cluster was originally a custom-built piece for another build. The cluster was dissembled for parts and had a custom housing built for the K5. In order to fit the third large gauge, another gauge bezel from a K5 was cannibalized for parts. The cluster itself was designed for an LS swap car, so all the sending units directly plugged into the engine.
27. The Dakota Digital gauge cluster was originally a custom-built piece for another build
28. The Dakota Digital temperature-sending unit was bolted onto the passenger side head. The oil-sending unit was attached to the rear of the block behind the intake manifold. The surface and threads should be clean before the new sensor is installed. Make sure to wrap the threads of the fittings with Teflon tape. The tachometer and voltage lines come right off the LS harness. The blue arrow is the clip for the knock sensors. The yellow arrow is the cam sensor.
28. The Dakota Digital temperature-sending unit was bolted onto the passenger side head. T
29. To get a digital feed from the 700-R4, a Dakota Digital converter was bolted in place of the original sending unit. The sending unit attached at the transmission and had just two wires to run to the dash.
29. To get a digital feed from the 700-R4, a Dakota Digital converter was bolted in place
30. The whole dash gets power from this Series III Dakota Digital control box. It was mounted behind the gauge cluster and offers an easy way to wire up the dashboard.
30. The whole dash gets power from this Series III Dakota Digital control box. It was moun
31. The OEM exhaust manifolds were used. To adapt these to the exhaust, the female connector piece was needed from the donor truck. If no donor parts are found, Stainless Works also offers a replacement connector piece. It’s critical to have at least one O2 sensor per side of the exhaust for proper engine management. You will need two per side if catalytic converters are used. We filled the radiator with traditional coolant, topped off the oil, installed a new oil filter, filled up the fuel tank, and performed a last minute check for any leaking fluids. With any engine work done, such as the camshaft swap, it’s a good idea to let the engine come up to operating temp and check for leaks or any ominous signs. Once the Blazer was cleared, a test drive was in order. The Blazer is now fully capable of being a daily driver, while offering vintage body lines with modern comfort, power, and reliability.
31. The OEM exhaust manifolds were used. To adapt these to the exhaust, the female connect
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, Shawn Henderson
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