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Discussion Starter #1
I’m wanting to do an LS3 and 6 speed swap on my ‘97 SL. As you know it’s FWD so will I have an fitment struggles? How much of a nightmare will this project be? Please let me know if you have any knowledge or experience about this.
 

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You'd be better off starting with a VR4 chassis with a blown or non existent engine. To put an LS with a 6 speed and make an SL rear wheel drive is going to take a whole lot of metal fabrication for creating a front subframe/engine cradle to hold the LS and trans. Next comes creating clearance in the firewall for the transmission bellhousing, fabricating brackets and other parts for the shifter to come through in the center console. Luckily all of the cars body's already have a driveshaft tunnel, per say. The Rear Subframe and driveline on the All Wheel drive would be needed to make a nice rear wheel drive conversion on an SL. There involves more metal work and sourcing parts that are cheaper to buy a rolling VR4 chassis. I believe someone has done a swap and installed a solid axle from an old Mopar or something. As that would be a cheaper and easier route, I wouldn't go that direction. There's an extreme amount of work and money that this kind of project would involve. Even after all of that, the weight balance of the car would have to be kept in mind during the build. The back end of the car is going to be extremely easy to break loose with an LS and too much weight up front. TT and Supercharger swaps to the front wheel drive are cool, but it sucks when you start making good power. You have to be extremely careful in reverse, to keep from blowing a 180 with the car and swatting something with your front end. You also have to be mindful of powering out of corners, to keep from breaking the front tires loose and sliding straight through a corner. Best route would be to save up and get a VR4, they're going back up in price, but still able to find some at a reasonable price point. Tune it up and enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You'd be better off starting with a VR4 chassis with a blown or non existent engine. To put an LS with a 6 speed and make an SL rear wheel drive is going to take a whole lot of metal fabrication for creating a front subframe/engine cradle to hold the LS and trans. Next comes creating clearance in the firewall for the transmission bellhousing, fabricating brackets and other parts for the shifter to come through in the center console. Luckily all of the cars body's already have a driveshaft tunnel, per say. The Rear Subframe and driveline on the All Wheel drive would be needed to make a nice rear wheel drive conversion on an SL. There involves more metal work and sourcing parts that are cheaper to buy a rolling VR4 chassis. I believe someone has done a swap and installed a solid axle from an old Mopar or something. As that would be a cheaper and easier route, I wouldn't go that direction. There's an extreme amount of work and money that this kind of project would involve. Even after all of that, the weight balance of the car would have to be kept in mind during the build. The back end of the car is going to be extremely easy to break loose with an LS and too much weight up front. TT and Supercharger swaps to the front wheel drive are cool, but it sucks when you start making good power. You have to be extremely careful in reverse, to keep from blowing a 180 with the car and swatting something with your front end. You also have to be mindful of powering out of corners, to keep from breaking the front tires loose and sliding straight through a corner. Best route would be to save up and get a VR4, they're going back up in price, but still able to find some at a reasonable price point. Tune it up and enjoy it.
That’s what I was afraid of. All the fabrication. It sounds like even if I just wanted to do the 6 speed swap it’d be a major pain in the ass. I can let go of the LS and just throw some TT on the 3.0, but the auto really needs to go!!
 

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These cars really are fun with a manual trans. There's a bunch of guys that dropped stock TT engines in with 6spd manuals from the AWD, running in the FWD chassis. Sticking with a stock setup helps keep it mostly reliable. I had considered getting the AWD rear subframe and driveline, to convert mine... At this point in my life I'd rather build my truck into a Pre-Runner/Trophy Truck. The roads around my area are horrible. Besides all the potholes and crubling/distorted surfaces from large farm equipment... We have a lot of fun, curvy roads... But they've started to tar and gravel all of them. Having a low slung, fast car isn't as much fun as it used to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
These cars really are fun with a manual trans. There's a bunch of guys that dropped stock TT engines in with 6spd manuals from the AWD, running in the FWD chassis. Sticking with a stock setup helps keep it mostly reliable. I had considered getting the AWD rear subframe and driveline, to convert mine... At this point in my life I'd rather build my truck into a Pre-Runner/Trophy Truck. The roads around my area are horrible. Besides all the potholes and crubling/distorted surfaces from large farm equipment... We have a lot of fun, curvy roads... But they've started to tar and gravel all of them. Having a low slung, fast car isn't as much fun as it used to be.
So let me ask you this, would a 6spd swap into a stock FWD be possible without loads of fabrication?
 

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Yes, for the most part, but you'll need the AWD Flywheel and clutch. If you're currently an automatic, you'll need a shifter base and cables, clutch pedal assembly and some other stuff. I don't know all the details with that swap, but there's electronics involved as well. You're Auto setup will be looking for the Transmission control unit and park/neutral safety references for ignition, so that will an issue, along with the wiring harness. I would assume there's some write-ups on here or some of the other forums (3SGTO) that will have most of the data. There's also the issue for the rear driveline output. I can't remember what guys were doing with that.
 

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1G Foglights b!tches
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If you have to ask on a forum with apparently near zero research (i have a 100+page thread about my swap), you don't have the skills to LS swap. Sorry not sorry.
 

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Lord of Boost
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familyMAN's got a point.

Honestly, for 99.99% of owners, this would be a nightmare swap without a great fabrication skillset.

I'd buy a Corvette first.
 

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1G Foglights b!tches
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c5 corvette is a lot of car for the money and already swapped lol. much better front to rear weight balance than my swapped car and I spent a great deal of time and money to get the most rear balance that I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
familyMAN's got a point.

Honestly, for 99.99% of owners, this would be a nightmare swap without a great fabrication skillset.

I'd buy a Corvette first.
That’s what I hear. I’m fine with throwing on some turbos to the 3.0, but the 6 spd swap NEEDS to happen.
 

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Lord of Boost
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That’s what I hear. I’m fine with throwing on some turbos to the 3.0, but the 6 spd swap NEEDS to happen.
That is far easier to pull off, I would think.
 

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LS3S
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I agree with Eric (FamilyMan)...don't do it, it's not worth it. Just throw some turbskies on your car and have fun.

If you want to know more about the swap, check out my build thread, Eric's build thread, or either one of our YouTube channels (MDoe8 and FamilyManRacing).

But seriously, I wouldn't bother doing the swap.
 
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