Plumbing and Wiring a Gen III Engine
It's always exciting to work with some piece of new machinery. You get to simultaneously learn about a collection of hardware that few people have ever seen, and you also get to be one of the first people to experiment with making that mechanical marvel even better. That's why we were so hot to tinker with GM's Gen III engine since they first came out in the '99 Silverado. Naturally we always want to play with the biggest and baddest version of everything. So when we got together with the guys at Turnkey Engine Supply (who specialize in late-model GM engines) to talk about Gen III engines, we asked about putting a 6.0L truck engine in our '82 K5 Blazer.
If you read last month's issue ("6.0L Engine Swap"), you know the new 4.8-, 5.3-, 5.7- (LS1), and 6.0L small-blocks are of an all-new design with features and performance bred from more than 50 years of small-block development by hot rodders around the world. We showed you that while not a direct bolt-in for your old 350, these engines are easily adapted to any chassis that can fit a traditional Chevy V-8. In fact, the Gen III engine is shorter and lighter than the old small-block, but the bellhousing pattern has gone almost unchanged so these engines will work with most of the popular transmissions.
This month we show you how we wrapped up our installation and fill you in on the Magna Charger supercharger with the Radix intercooler that we teased you with last time. We've put just about 7,000 miles on the engine with and without the supercharger. Though we've had a few development snags, we couldn't be happier with our engine swap. If we've piqued your interest about slinging one of these engines into your 4x4, give Advance Adapters a call. Advance has already done a lot of these engine swaps (including emissions-legal versions) and can help you sort out the particulars for your Jeep, Toyota, or even Ford!
To ensure we never, ever have a cooling problem, we went all-out and specified a Be Cool aluminum two-core radiator (PN 60013) for our project. Why use a Be Cool two-core instead of a four-core brass-and-copper unit from the local parts store? Because of aluminum's superior strength, each core can be built larger to provide more heat-radiating surface area (31 percent more, according to Be Cool) without restricting airflow like a four-core radiator can. Be Cool's two-core bolts in with the stock mounts and will actually out-cool a conventional four-core radiator. And unlike other aluminum radiators on the market, Be Cool's units are TIG-welded instead of being glued together with epoxy. We plumbed the Be Cool with the upper and lower hoses for a '99 Silverado (5.3L engine) and filled the system with a 60/40 mix of Dex-Cool antifreeze and distilled water. Be Cool recommended its dual 11-inch puller fans (PN 75007) for our supercharged application, and the combination has proved flawless from Las Vegas summer traffic to Mississippi mud running.
Turnkey Engine Supply uses state-of-the-art Delphi MEFI 4 ECMs to run its nonemissions crate engines like ours. This controller (A) was developed for boat engines so it's waterproof and can tolerate the high temperatures and vibrations common in a 4x4's engine compartment. We bolted ours to the passenger-side fender with the Turnkey-supplied relay pack (B), fuse block (C), and Be Cool fan relays (D). The Turnkey harness is a first-class piece and will control electric fans, an electric fuel pump, and an O2 sensor as well as provide a tachometer lead and a check-engine light output.
Supplemental Fuel Supply
Last month we modified the stock fuel tank and sending unit to run an in-tank pump from a '95 LT1-powered Caprice. That's enough fuel for a naturally aspirated 6.0L, but to feed our Magna Charger supercharged engine, Summit Racing supplied this Aeromotive pump and fuel filter combo. On our K5 the in-tank pump feeds the Aeromotive pump (Summit PN AEI-11101) through -8 AN hose from Orme Brothers. To protect the pump we added a 100-micron filter (Summit PN AEI-12304) before the pump and a finer 10-micron filter (Summit PN AEI-12301) after to protect the high-flow Magna Charger injectors. Unused fuel is returned to the gas tank through a -6 AN line that runs in the framerail above the fuel pump.