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engine swap electric/computer issue?

Discussion in 'Vans' started by Robert Cooke, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Robert Cooke

    Robert Cooke New Member

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    I'm trying to help a buddy out who is a little green and unsure of a swap, as am I. I'm in New York while he is in Georgia. Lets get right down to the gritty of it all.

    The donor vehicle is a '01 pick up with a 5.9/360 going into a '97 B 3500 van. While the mechanics are a direct swap, my friend is worried about the small things. Computer issue? Will the sensors be the same or there hook up's long enuff?


    It's the small items that are still unknown are a worry. No one wants to be bit in the butt on a surprise. The extra hassle we do not need. Heck, who does?

    Rob
     
  2. dana44

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    The best way to do this swap, which as you said is a direct mechanical bolt-in, it is the computer stuff that really messes things up at times. So, with that, keep the original computer of the van, and from there the only other thing would be the intake and everything on it. I say swap this because of the "little things", such as all the sensors in the manifold and vacuum hoses/pieces, etc.. An inexpensive intake gasket (and chance to check the valley pan gasket at the same time), will make it a direct and boring bolt-in without any issues. Essentially this makes it a simple long block swap and your fiend can have no problems at all. There are only two possible things I can think which may be of issue. One is the exhaust manifolds, the dumps may or may not be in the same place as the truck, so verify them or have him swap them. Only other thing to check is the oil pan being the same. If it is a different shape it may not clear the engine cradle itself, to which the oil pan and the oil pump pick-up should be changed, it would be another direct swap/bolt-up). If by chance there are any other sensors bolted to the block, swap them just in case.

    Doing these two checks and the intake swap, keeping everything for the van intact, including computer, guarantees a simple job.
     
  3. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    If I remember right, the '97 van had EGR and the '01 truck doesn't. That would definitely make using the manifold from the van a good idea.
     
  4. Robert Cooke

    Robert Cooke New Member

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    Thanks Gent's men.

    I did not even think the van would have a EGR. Making it a long block swap will be a work out for him. (Mechanically speaking.) It'll take him a while, but it certainly sounds easy enough. Being an old school guy, the in's and out's of it all I could not see. I got out of the biz a long time ago. Certainly wishing I was there to twist a wrench with him on this project.
     
  5. dana44

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    The intakes are a swap for swap, basically same block and heads, so all he has to do is unbolt the intake manifold from the block, can even leave the distributor alone in this case, flip it over in a milk crate and unbolt the valley pan (they are known to leak, why not clean the inside out and replace the gasket while it is off, right ?), Shouldn't be a whole lot to disconnect, injector rails come off with two bolts on each, keep the ones on the van unless there was a burned valve problem, might be dirty injectors, and if the truck ones have less miles, use that rail. button it up and drop it on the engine. If it appears room is the issue getitng the engine into the van, do it without the intake manifold for a couple extra inches of clearance, it is about a 15 pound aluminum intake fully dressed and not difficult to handle.
     
  6. Robert Cooke

    Robert Cooke New Member

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    Does anyone make headers for these vehicles? Just wondering.

    Thanks guys.
     
  7. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    IIRC, the exhaust manifold mounting is the same as the LA engines, but the complication will be any emissions controls. If there aren't emissions control problems then either truck shorty headers or vintage "street van" 318 or 360 headers may fit, but may require modifications for O2 sensors or the like.
     
  8. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Truck and van stock manifolds are the same (only thing is some passenger side manifolds have an EGR provision). There are lots of headers made to bolt to the factory exhaust for the trucks so they'd likely fit into a van.

    My last Dakota R/T had headers on it, and I think that was a good part of the reason the a-arm suspension bushings were so baked. When I found out I'd have to remove the header to work on the exhaust, I ditched the headers and never looked back. If I lost any performance from the junkyard stock manifolds I put on it I sure couldn't tell.
     

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