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Old 08-11-2018, 10:32 PM   #1
Ashikabi
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In June my 2013 FR-S spun one or more bearings at the track. After carefully considering what it would cost to rebuild or replace the engine I decided to LS swap. Rebuilding didn't make sense because of cost and a used engine from the junkyard seemed like would present a high risk of breaking again like my last one. This thread will serve as my build thread for the project as I don't operate a standard build thread. I'll try to add as much detail as possible for others to learn from.

I'd like to thank @Sportsguy83 and @ILLSMOQ for answering my questions to get me to this point. The thread will likely progress slowly at first as I get everything set up and wait for parts, etc.

I have chosen to use the Element Tuning mount(modified CX Racing) kit, clutch master cylinder, and electronics/engine management package. They are utilizing their own Hydra ECU to replace the stock FRS computer. As I understand it, all functions except cruise control will operate normally. This can be added with a module from Summit or wherever. There is added functionality with the Hydra in that the traction control and stability systems can be tuned.

I first chose the L33 (5.3l aluminum truck engine) then switched to the LS1 as Element had concerns about the intake manifold fitting and certain other details in the engine that they weren't familiar with. Now it may have worked just fine, but I didn't want to risk it being problematic. I want this to be as turn key as possible(LOL this didn't fucking happen). I purchased a LS1 from a 2000 Corvette with 49,000 miles for about 2200$.

Sportsguy83 used a TR6060 from the 2010 Camaro SS. He claimed the shifter sat in the perfect spot so I got one too as opposed to the T56 Magnum XL from Element or Vorshlag for twice the cost. Of course this is a used transmission, not a new one but I needed to save the money, especially with the more expensive motor. I got a great deal (I think) on a 2010 Camaro SS transmission for about $2300 with the bellhousing, throwout bearing, and all sensors. Picked up a stock shifter on eBay for $50(got lucky on an auction) which I will be reselling soon as I just got a MGW short shifter for about $225 used on eBay. Hopefully everything lines up. -update- MGW shifter put the knob/stalk dead center with the shifter bezel. I don't believe without this shifter that it would have sat perfectly but probably close enough if you don't want to spend more money on a short shifter.

Clutch is the Stage2 from Monster Clutch Co. I got the lightened flywheel.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

The build is complete. I'll always be adding stuff but for all practical purposes, I'm done with the swap part. Here I'll talk about the build over all so new folks to the thread can get an idea of what going on with an LS swap without digging through all my posts to piece it together.

Cost: holy shit. If you don't have deep pockets, don't even bother reading any further. This was incredibly expensive, I mildly regret doing it based on the money I spent. I didn't keep track but I'm confident I'm well over $20,000. And that's without a 500hp crate LS3. This is not cheap. It can't be done cheap, just cheaper. Much cheaper and you'll be sacrifice a lot IMO. You could forego all CAN connectivity: traction control, abs, gauges, but it's still gonna be bad. Probably the cheapest you could do it is pretty close to 10 Grand.

Motor and transmission: LS1, TR6060. LS1 was cheaper than the LS3s and lighter than a truck motor. Element doesn't work on LS1s so I've had problems there. Had to repin/extend the wiring harness, some tuning issues. Intake manifold fit ok with the MAP sensor broken off and plugged. Manifold is 3 bolt so an adapter is required for most throttle bodies. This makes the throttle body longer and interferes with the hood. If you can, get an aftermarket manifold, or use a drive by cable throttle body off a Camaro. Otherwise no real issues. Much lower power than an LS3 though. TR6060 transmission was cheaper than the T56 magnum XL but it did require a special driveshaft flange and fluid cooler. My TR6060 seems to have a lot of slop(rotational) at the drive shaft which translates into bucking when at the speed barrier between coasting and getting power. Not sure if this is normal but it's annoying. Without MGW short shifter, the shifter would have been too far rearward by about an inch. Highly recommend the shifter upgrade. When widening the transmission tunnel, cut out ALL the bracing. It'll save you trouble later.

Hydra EMS: This was the ECU from Element. Came with an adapter harness. I saw there were some of these on eBay for other cars for like 500$ but you'll still need a harness and a tune to use. I'm satisfied with the Hydra. Seems to work well. The traction control is amazing. You don't even feel it activate. Everything works except cruise control. For the cost, I have to recommend it. I think I say later in the thread I don't recommend, but ignore that. I feel like it is missing a few features but for 20% of what a Motec costs... I can't complain.

Element Tuning: Phil has been... Difficult to work with. His modified mounts and other parts are not of the fit and finish I'm accustomed to. But they seem to get the job done (mostly. Since assembly/modification required). My harness (modified by Element) was wrong. I had to fix it with nothing more than a big THANKS in an email. He doesn't like to answer his phone and emails are usually sent once per day. This is very time consuming and frustrating. If you aren't very adept with wiring and this kind of work, you should probably go elsewhere. The support is pretty rough. I believe he is simply too busy running 2 companies and racing time attack to effectively offer good service. He REALLY needs to hire some effective techs who can help with customer service. That being said, I think many of the questions I bugged him with were likely unnecessary, or would have been if I had a little more skill with wiring. He has given me advice on things to upgrade like my battery and starter, which I resisted since I didn't want to spend the money. Well, for whatever reason, I actually needed the upgrades. He was right. He really is pretty helpful, just again, he doesn't have enough time.

Everything else: this is where a very large portion of you money goes. Fittings, hoses, tanks, wires, battery, replacement parts, add ons. It adds up fast. Most stuff fit pretty well. Firewall is an issue. I recommend cutting a hole and routing the heater lines through that instead of using the stock hardlines. Most of this stuff isn't too hard to figure out.

Overall performance and opinion: feels great to drive. If anything I feel like I have to baby it because you can get into trouble so easily. You can't drive it like an FRS anymore. No flooring it through 3 gears at a stop light and still only be 10 over the speed limit. In that sense, it's less fun. Holding back isn't fun... But when you can cut loose it's a blast. The looks and attention feel great. The drive feels great. Still handles well (haven't tracked it yet though). Motor (at least my setup looks great

I do regret how much I spent too get this far. And I regret all the troubles I've caused my girlfriend. But I love this car, and I'm very happy with the outcome. If you have the skill, and the money, and PATIENCE... Then this may be your thing. If you lack any of the above, move along. Buy a Corvette, or replace your blown motor with a fa20. This isn't for the faint of heart.

I'm going to go through the thread and edit some posts with updated information.

Last edited by Ashikabi; 08-05-2019 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:28 AM   #2
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I like to play it safe doing swap or major work in the sense I don't want to have to redo something a week later.
I would run an ok transmission fluid for a few days, drain and put in good stuff. Same with oil. Never chance a junkyard motor.


Let us know final tally cost as I may do this down the road.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:37 AM   #3
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I like to play it safe doing swap or major work in the sense I don't want to have to redo something a week later.
I would run an ok transmission fluid for a few days, drain and put in good stuff. Same with oil. Never chance a junkyard motor.


Let us know final tally cost as I may do this down the road.
It's looking to be about 15000$ with all the fittings and whatnot. You could do it a little cheaper if you use normal hoses, and reuse more parts. I'm using all -AN fittings, aftermarket coolant expansion tank, etc. I would say you'd be hard pressed to do it under 10000$.

Last edited by Ashikabi; 10-15-2018 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:28 PM   #4
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This is another thread I will be regularly checking. Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:52 PM   #5
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I want to see this swap completed...set up a gofundme if it comes to that and I'll toss something your way
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:01 PM   #6
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I want to see this swap completed...set up a gofundme if it comes to that and I'll toss something your way
I dunno what to say man... Your chokin me up bro. I never thought to start a gofundme. I did consider looking for a local sponsor though so I guess it's the same thing. https://www.gofundme.com/scion-frs-l..._co_campmgmt_m

There's the link. Hopefully that's not against the rules. I'm not asking anyone for donations but the option is there if you want to I guess.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:38 PM   #7
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Alright, first question for you guys. My TR6060 has ports for a transmission cooler. Apparently the stock cooler is part of the radiator in the camaro. Im looking at coolers on Jegs and you can get pretty much any size, shape, etc. I already have an oil cooler. What do you think would be the best way to mount a trans cooler? I'm concerned about blocking or spoiling too much air going into the radiator and making the engine too hot. But I'm not thinking of an effective location other than in front of the radiator. Long skinny cooler? Square shaped kinda like my oil cooler(mishimoto)?
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:51 AM   #8
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Do you think it is necessary? You aren't pushing much weight, unless you're beating the hell out of it I can't see why you need one. If you want to run it I would put it next to the tranny, fit the undercarriage aero parts as tight to your new tranny as you can and cut out an opening for it. Mount it just above the aero parts to create turbulence and air should run through it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashikabi View Post
Alright, first question for you guys. My TR6060 has ports for a transmission cooler. Apparently the stock cooler is part of the radiator in the camaro. Im looking at coolers on Jegs and you can get pretty much any size, shape, etc. I already have an oil cooler. What do you think would be the best way to mount a trans cooler? I'm concerned about blocking or spoiling too much air going into the radiator and making the engine too hot. But I'm not thinking of an effective location other than in front of the radiator. Long skinny cooler? Square shaped kinda like my oil cooler(mishimoto)?
I put a small core in front of the AC condenser.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Do you think it is necessary? You aren't pushing much weight, unless you're beating the hell out of it I can't see why you need one. If you want to run it I would put it next to the tranny, fit the undercarriage aero parts as tight to your new tranny as you can and cut out an opening for it. Mount it just above the aero parts to create turbulence and air should run through it.
The TR606 is unusual (it uses AT fluid instead of the usual MT thick fluid). I would just run a cooler even if a simple one.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:24 AM   #10
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Do you think it is necessary? You aren't pushing much weight, unless you're beating the hell out of it I can't see why you need one. If you want to run it I would put it next to the tranny, fit the undercarriage aero parts as tight to your new tranny as you can and cut out an opening for it. Mount it just above the aero parts to create turbulence and air should run through it.
The car will be tracked so it should probably have one since they thought it needed one from the factory. I considered hugging the transmission but it's gonna be awful close to the exhaust and there really isn't much room. I'll likely go with something similar to what sportsguy83 suggested. Do you guys expect there to be much performance difference between the style sportsguy83 mentioned and the tube and fin style coolers?
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:50 AM   #11
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The car will be tracked so it should probably have one since they thought it needed one from the factory. I considered hugging the transmission but it's gonna be awful close to the exhaust and there really isn't much room. I'll likely go with something similar to what sportsguy83 suggested. Do you guys expect there to be much performance difference between the style sportsguy83 mentioned and the tube and fin style coolers?
Big difference between stacked plate and tube and fin. Get the stacked plate cooler.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:40 PM   #12
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Big thing I'm waiting on right now is my engine mounts so I can see where this thing and the transmission will sit and where the transmission tunnel needs "modified". Then I can paint. There is some small work I can do though.

Today's project included the installation of a 1998 Chevy Tahoe 140amp alternator with the ICT Billet relocation bracket. Also CBM LS -16an thermostat housing with Jegs 160 degree thermostat. And the Phenix Industries(cheaper than CBM) long water pump neck. In the first photo you can see the bracket, therm housing, and me using a pipe to wobble the stock barb fitting loose. Second has it installed. I soaked it in blue Loctite and used a block of wood to protect the fitting as I hammered it in. It didn't go in up to the seat but I was hitting it hard enough I was concerned about damaging the fitting. I'm confident it won't fall out any time soon.

Also, partial install on MGW short shifter (2015 Camaro) I got on eBay used for about $225 shipped with shifter retention pins from GM. Part number 25753853.

Next I'll be installing the reverse lockout module from Jegs. Install looks simple. Power, ground, VSS, lockout solenoid. I bought a couple pigtails for the VSS in the transmission and reversed lockout solenoid. Reverse light plug will be cut and replaced with the stock FRS plug. VSS pigtail came from Wirebarn.com and the lockout solenoid plug I think on eBay. It was surprisingly easy to find compared to the VSS plug
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:52 PM   #13
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Installed the Jegs reverse lockout unit. Put it at the rear of the center console. I moved that airbag sensor up out of the way to make room.

A while back, before I started the thread, I added a Deatchwerks DW65C fuel pump and Verus pump hanger "door". The Verus piece it's just a little aluminum flap that goes over the inlet opening in the stock fuel pump hanger. This essentially turns the fuel pump hanger into a low volume and fairly leaky surge tank. While it doesn't perfectly seal the bucket, it slows the escape of fuel long enough to not starve the pump. Tested on a supercharged brz/FR-S down to the fuel light coming on. I was in the bucket for the pump anyways so it was the perfect time to upgrade. I don't have pics because I did it shortly after I started the process 2 months ago
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:31 PM   #14
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Last one today. As promised, diffuser teaser.
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