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Thread: LS3 engine/auto trans installation kits

  1. #1
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    LS3 engine/auto trans installation kits

    OK guys. I just bought my next project... a 1955 Nomad that I want to drop a late model Camaro (2010 to 2014) driveline into. Who makes a quality, nice fitting installation kit for this? Seen them from $150 to $900. Also, some kits let you adjust where the engine sits, either in a stock location, or slightly forward or back of the original location. Has anyone relocated their engine from stock location and why did you do that?.
    Last edited by vetmann; 11-13-2015 at 03:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    I would take a hard look at the Earle Williams engine mounts. They are the best for traditional Chevy V8s and their LS mounts are very similar. Their traditional mounts can position the engine stock location or 3/4 forward just by swapping some parts from left side to right side. The LS mounts have this feature too. The best thing about the Williams mounts is that they fit the frame well. You can also "cheat" the engine location toward the passenger side a tiny amount with the bolt on parts.

    As far as positioning the engine, you want the passenger side head and coil pack cover (furthest back) to clear the firewall, and not have it so far forward that the front accessories crowd the radiator. Since an LS engine is roughly the same length as a small block, this is not difficult.

  3. #3
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    You can't put an LS engine in the "stock" location (as referenced by the back of the block) and have it clear the firewall. The engine doesn't have the "shelf" behind the heads like the SBC and you have to move it forward about 2 1/4" to clear the stock firewall. Of course if you're going to cut the firewall out it doesn't matter.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

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    The difference in the "shelf" length makes it hard to know or describe a reference point unless it's specifically stated.

    But I would trust EW to have it right.

    The nice thing about LS installations though is that you have a flat 4 bolt mounting surface where you can adjust the fore/aft location of those 4 holes in the mating part. Which means that if you want you can use a side mount setup for a traditional engine along with an "LS adapter plate". This adapter plate is available from a number of sources with different relationships between the LS bolt pattern and the traditional bolt pattern. Or you can make your own. Some are even slotted in an attempt to have "one size fits all".

  5. #5
    Registered Member rockytopper R.I.P 5-13-2017's Avatar
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    I have installed a ls2 6l80e in a 55 nomad still in progress. I can't speak to which kit is best because I made my on engine mounts. You will have to open up and mod the tunnel to fit the 6speed trans. The stock exhaust manifolds on your engine are a perfect fit if you dont want headers. The holley pan is the best option for oil pan. Good luck with it Rocky.


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    Rocky. Thanks to you and the others for the info. Since posting the original thread, I purchased a wrecked but running 2013 Camaro 2SS with the 6l80e so my motorvation is set. Cnut states the engine has to be moved ahead 2 1/4" in order to clear the firewall, which is the path I want to take as the firewall and floor pans are original and in excellent condition. That being said, is there a side mount kit out there that will allow me to move the engine ahead that much? Most only allow forward positioning up to 3/4". I plan on using the original exhaust headers and cats but install a custom exhaust. Anyone got a name on who might provide that kit. Rick, I'll take a look at the Earle Williams mounts. Would like to buy both the engine and trans mounts from the same manufacturer.

    I also know I have to change out the oil pan. Thanks for the recommendation on that. Did you relocate the A/C compressor or modify the cross brace to accommodate the original low mount position. I prefer not to cut original panels and frame pieces if I can avoid it.

    I have another question. Have you or anyone else out there tried to install a late model Camaro rear suspension set up onto a stock 55 frame. I would like to use the the Camaro's rear suspension assembly. It would be nice to have all the benefits that would bring (independent suspension, big disk brakes, optimal gear ratio, etc) and be able to use the original driveshaft, modified for this application.

  7. #7
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that Camaro suspension is way too wide for a tri5 since it has a track width of 63.7". The rear wheel offset is +40mm making the rearend 66.85" wide at the wheel mounting surfaces. No way will that fit.

    It's a nice setup but to install it you would have to back-half the frame and build a new rear frame section from scratch...if it can even be used. The a-arms would have to be pulled in around 2-3" per side to even get close to fitting so the stock "cradle" would be useless. Even a C5 suspension would probably be easier to use.

    If you want IRS take a look at my C4 Corvette IRS installation kit. C4 rears can be had pretty cheap and my kit makes it fairly easy to install one. We also sell front clips for C4 conversions and they can be set up for an LS engine without cutting the firewall. Check out my website link below in my signature.

    Here's the 5th Gen. Camaro IRS:



    Last edited by chevynut; 11-21-2015 at 08:49 PM.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax

  8. #8
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    Again, I think the Earle Williams pieces will put the engine where you want. Or any side mount kit combined with the correct adapter plates (Hooker's for one should work).

    The AME IRS uses some of the Camaro pieces, has a similar layout, and is the correct width. You might want to look at it, for ideas if nothing else.

  9. #9
    Registered Member rockytopper R.I.P 5-13-2017's Avatar
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    Not to bust your bubble but you will have to modify the floor tunnel to put the 6 speed in. Else you need to invest in a 4l80 4 speed and addition tuning cost etc. if your keeping stock fire wall and trifive suspension you are limited on engine placement it has to clear the steering arm mine is 1.5 inches off the firewall at back if heads. I already limit steering. The 6l80 is so tall if you try and install every thing low on a custom chassis the trans pan will scrap the ground. With my engine probably an inch fwd of alot kits I see the air intake is very tight to the radiator crossbar another limit on these cars.

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    Registered Member Bihili's Avatar
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