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Old 11-10-2022, 03:18 PM   #1
Broke4speed
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Default New dumb LS question: Where to route the coolant bottle?

Ok, next question...

I've got the OE coolant bottle on the passenger strut tower, and was just planning on running it into the lower coolant hose as usual...but then I realised the thermostat is in that lower hose. On the redblock setup, the coolant bottle connects to the side of the rad without the thermostat...so I'm not sure on where to route the bottle now. I've tried to look up some LS build threads but I could never see where the hose goes out of the bottom of the tank.

I don't want to delete the bottle because it's nice and high.
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Old 11-10-2022, 03:28 PM   #2
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should go to the radiator.
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Old 11-10-2022, 03:38 PM   #3
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On mine I put the smaller top line to a fitting on the radiator neck. And the larger bottom line I put on a short hose to a T in the heater loop, so bubbles would tend to go up into the reservoir.
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Old 11-10-2022, 03:40 PM   #4
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And really, it's not all that active a part of the cooling system, it's just a place for the coolant to expand into, and contract out of.
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Old 11-10-2022, 03:43 PM   #5
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The lower coolant hose connects to the rad, and the stock redblock setup does it that way. My only concern is that the location of the thermostat on the LS is opposite the OE redblock setup, which means the lower hose will now be the one that goes to the thermostat. Is it ok to tee into that line, even though it's technically 'after' the rad? I'm beginning to think I'll have to tee into the 'upper' hose, since it's technically before the rad in the flow direction.
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Old 11-10-2022, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMc View Post
On mine I put the smaller top line to a fitting on the radiator neck. And the larger bottom line I put on a short hose to a T in the heater loop, so bubbles would tend to go up into the reservoir.
Ah, the heater ports. That's an idea. Thanks John .

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And really, it's not all that active a part of the cooling system, it's just a place for the coolant to expand into, and contract out of.
Good to know. I wasn't super sure how big of a role it plays or if it had to be tee'd into a specific spot, so I defaulted to trying to emulate the stock redblock setup.

I swear, I've never asked so many dumb questions in my life, lol. This LS swap is certainly new territory for me.
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Old 11-10-2022, 03:46 PM   #7
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It's not like the turbo coolant lines on a turbo car. The expansion tank doesn't really have coolant actively going through it. Just a sort of passive repository for the coolant to go in and out as it expands and contracts with changes in temp. So I don't think it matters.
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Old 11-10-2022, 03:56 PM   #8
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And since we're talking about the heater circuit, you need some sort of bypass valve on it. Coolant always needs to be flowing through that loop, even if you have the heat shut off in the cabin. With the Volvo motor, it wasn't important, so the heater valve just shuts off all flow. This will lead to potential overheats on an LS setup - it needs the heater circuit to be flowing to bring hot water to the side of the thermostat that needs to sense the temp. I think once the thermostat opens it isn't as much of an issue?

Many newer cars have a 'active' valve in the heater circuit, either cable or vacuum operated, which sits between the lines leading to the heater core, and either sends the coolant to it, or bypasses the heater and sends coolant back down the line. It does NOT shut off the coolant flow on the engine side.

I found a 'passive' valve which does the same thing for mine: https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-15-56...ct_top?ie=UTF8

It's spring loaded. With the Volvo heater valve open there's no resistance and the coolant flows through the heater core. With the Volvo heater valve shut, pressure builds up and the spring valve opens and coolant flows back to the engine. Making the quirky way the thermostat works on an LS happy.
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Old 11-10-2022, 04:44 PM   #9
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Excellent, thank you for the info!
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Old 11-10-2022, 08:15 PM   #10
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That one shows as unavailable - I was looking into this since it will be relevant for me also.

This thread is the one I was referencing for the 4 way heater valve mod

The number from the first post is invalid though - 660-1357 is not a good PN - 74607 works though
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Old 11-10-2022, 08:30 PM   #11
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I found an aftermarket one on Amazon for $12 .

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I have just been further down the rabbit hole of LS swap cooling than I've ever been...whoa. This link is amazing:

http://billavista.com/tech/Articles/...CoolingSystems



This is exactly how the Volvo cooling system works, with the surge tank, so I'm going to add a port to my stocker (or try to find an aftermarket one that fits well) and run mine like this.
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Old 11-10-2022, 11:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMc View Post

I found a 'passive' valve which does the same thing for mine: https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-15-56...ct_top?ie=UTF8

It's spring loaded. With the Volvo heater valve open there's no resistance and the coolant flows through the heater core. With the Volvo heater valve shut, pressure builds up and the spring valve opens and coolant flows back to the engine. Making the quirky way the thermostat works on an LS happy.
You wouldn't happen to have a pic of it installed, would you? I'm trying to wrap my head around all this new cooling info and just can't put it all together without a visual.
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Old 11-10-2022, 11:22 PM   #13
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My somewhat messy engine bay:


Up from the water pump, under the strut bar, then the bypass valve (just left of the brake booster). On through that (when the heater is on) to the heater core, and back to the bypass valve. And from there back around the turbo downpipe, through the strut tower to under the coolant tank, where a short hose on a T leads right up into the tank. The hose leads on straight from the T around the turbo and back to the other side of the water pump.

I'd have probably routed it a bit more neatly, but I was in 'get it ****ing done' mode at that point. Works fine, and I haven't had any urge to mess with it since then.
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Old 11-11-2022, 10:16 AM   #14
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Brilliant! Thank you so much! I hate deleting the heater on a project, so your help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-11-2022, 11:20 AM   #15
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I used a bypass from LOJ- has a port for a temp sensor if needed

https://www.lojkits.com/collections/...r-bypass-block
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Old 11-11-2022, 03:48 PM   #16
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There really needs to be a FAQ for LS swapping these cars. I just learned aboutall this and I've been reading swap threads for months.

If my chinese valve fails, I'm definitely grabbing that LOJ one .
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Old 11-11-2022, 07:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMc View Post
My somewhat messy engine bay:
Looks clean from here. I have a side question - do those cleaner intake plenum/manifolds fit the 'truck' versions ? My motor is the 4.8l LR4. I'm having a hard time determining which of the stock car intakes swap over - the TB port 'looks' different.
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Old 11-11-2022, 09:13 PM   #18
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There are two types of intake port on the Gen III LS-based engines: cathedral and rectangle. The 4.8 LR4 will have cathedral ports which means only certain 'car' intakes will fit. There are two types of throttle body flange as well: three bolt and 4. The LR4 has a three bolt, which again means you need to use a specific car intake if you don't want to mess about with converting. The LS1 and LS6 car intakes are three bolt and cathedral port, so those are the ones you want to hunt for IIRC.

Last edited by Broke4speed; 11-11-2022 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 11-11-2022, 09:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Looks clean from here. I have a side question - do those cleaner intake plenum/manifolds fit the 'truck' versions ? My motor is the 4.8l LR4. I'm having a hard time determining which of the stock car intakes swap over - the TB port 'looks' different.
Mine was a truck motor too, an alu 5.3 LH8 from a Hummer Alpha. LS parts all swap back and forth pretty extensively, I think (talking Gen 3 and 4) the only thing you have to look for are the older 'cathedral' ports vs. the newer 'rectangle' ports.

Err, and after googling up a pic, apparently there are 2 types of rectangle ports now:


Other than that I suppose there could be some oddball interferences between car intakes and truck accessories, and vice versa. In terms of front end accessories poking up where the lower car intake's throttle body needs to be.

My motor came from a front-crashed truck, I was pretty much starting with a blank slate, so I used Corvette front end stuff, it's is about an inch shorter (length, not height) than the car stuff (Camaro/GTO), and a couple of inches shorter than the truck stuff.
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Old 11-11-2022, 10:03 PM   #20
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After a quick google, an LR4 should have cathedral ports, if you want a lower car intake, you'll want to find an LS1/LS2/LS6 intake.

In terms of the stock intakes, the LS6 intakes flows better than the LS2, which is slightly better than the LS1. And often priced accordingly.

I stuck a cable throttle on mine, I'm not using a stock ECU so no desire to mess with an electronic throttle body.
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Old 11-12-2022, 08:58 AM   #21
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Thank you both for the valuable information on cooling system layout and the intake; cathedral port, 3 bolt TB. I'll look around for LS6 options. I'll stick with DBW - easier to keep stock cruise control functionality vs. adding cables & servo pods, etc., to make it work.

I'm wondering whether I will need to switch to the car version accessory drive (AC, PS, ALT) to gain that couple inches clearance for cooling system. That's a whole 'nother can of worms - there are so many variants it seems, bling aside (which I don't care for).

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There are two types of intake port on the Gen III LS-based engines: cathedral and rectangle. The 4.8 LR4 will have cathedral ports which means only certain 'car' intakes will fit. There are two types of throttle body flange as well: three bolt and 4. The LR4 has a three bolt, which again means you need to use a specific car intake if you don't want to mess about with converting. The LS1 and LS6 car intakes are three bolt and cathedral port, so those are the ones you want to hunt for IIRC.
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Mine was a truck motor too, an alu 5.3 LH8 from a Hummer Alpha. LS parts all swap back and forth pretty extensively, I think (talking Gen 3 and 4) the only thing you have to look for are the older 'cathedral' ports vs. the newer 'rectangle' ports.

Other than that I suppose there could be some oddball interferences between car intakes and truck accessories, and vice versa. In terms of front end accessories poking up where the lower car intake's throttle body needs to be.

My motor came from a front-crashed truck, I was pretty much starting with a blank slate, so I used Corvette front end stuff, it's is about an inch shorter (length, not height) than the car stuff (Camaro/GTO), and a couple of inches shorter than the truck stuff.
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Old 11-12-2022, 09:51 AM   #22
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The original Volvo cruise control still works on mine. It's a vacuum actuator that works directly on the gas pedal itself, so all I did was get a Lokar cable kit and ran that to the pedal.

Actually works better than it did with the 16V turbo, because it's not into boost at cruising speeds, which makes the throttle response non-linear and confuses the cruise control logic.
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Old 11-12-2022, 10:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lookforjoe View Post
Thank you both for the valuable information on cooling system layout and the intake; cathedral port, 3 bolt TB. I'll look around for LS6 options. I'll stick with DBW - easier to keep stock cruise control functionality vs. adding cables & servo pods, etc., to make it work.

I'm wondering whether I will need to switch to the car version accessory drive (AC, PS, ALT) to gain that couple inches clearance for cooling system. That's a whole 'nother can of worms - there are so many variants it seems, bling aside (which I don't care for).

Be sure to match the crank pulley to whatever set of accessories you decide to go with, because there are three 'depths'.



https://www.ictbillet.com/swap-guide...wap-guide.html
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Old 11-12-2022, 10:29 AM   #24
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I have my drivetrain scooted forward 1 1/4 inches, just to make room for the back end of the CD009 trans. I needed that clearance in front, even with the radiator against the rad support and the intercooler in the nose (not stacked behind the rad support like a factory turbo).

I think putting the motor where it would normally go would provide similar clearance even with the truck accessories.
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Old 11-12-2022, 08:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broke4speed View Post
Be sure to match the crank pulley to whatever set of accessories you decide to go with, because there are three 'depths'.
Thank you for that - I will keep that image for reference


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMc View Post
I have my drivetrain scooted forward 1 1/4 inches, just to make room for the back end of the CD009 trans. I needed that clearance in front, even with the radiator against the rad support and the intercooler in the nose (not stacked behind the rad support like a factory turbo).

I think putting the motor where it would normally go would provide similar clearance even with the truck accessories.
I'll test fit with what I have to start, can't see 1.5" being critical (based on Corivus's fit), but maybe that would mean less destruction of the bulkhead to allow the 4L60 to fit....
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