2005 Vette LS2 Engine in a 1979 Camaro

Brian Anderton

New Member
Jan 1, 2022
12
Hey guys, so I finally pulled the trigger and bought an engine pulled from an 05 Corvette. I haven't picked it up yet so not actually sure if it's from an 05, 06 or 07. I'm being told it's an 05. I'm picking it up next month from Coastal Corvettes near Titusville, FL. So as far as I can tell, the 05 vettes all came with the E40 ecm. Further research tells me the 06 and 07's have the newer E38 (2 connecter) ECMs. I'm not getting an ECM with this engine so I'll have to purchase that. My question is,.... should I purchase an E38 and upgrade the wiring harness and reluctor to the 56x or just stick with the E40? Are the rest of the sensors the same? Is it worth the time and money? And If I stay with the E40 ECM, what's the best path here? Should I purchase a "Painless" harness (expensive) or try to use the existing one and just delete the un-necessary wiring. I am no stranger to wiring diagrams and have worked with electronics for 40+ years. I will also be changing the throttle body to a cable pull as opposed to the existing DBW. Who is the best sorce for the TB? I'm being told to size up to about ~102mm. I will be putting a mild cam in the engine. 212/218 and .558/.563 lift with 115 lsa. Also I have the service manul for the vette engine on my laptop. I want to keep the cruise control and A/C functions of the ECM for possible later use. Maybe a couple others too. Any help is much appreciated! Thanks!
 

73Z L92

Veteran Member
Jan 25, 2011
473
Carlos, MN
I wouldn't bother changing out the ECM and the 24 reluctor that came with 2005 LS. If you switch to a 58 tooth reluctor I believe you would have to disassemble the engine?
With the cam you listed it should be a piece of cake to tune.
You didn't say what trans you are using but the nice part about the early ECM's you only need one ECM for engine and trans control.
On my LS swaps I've used Speartech and Howell a number of times with very good success. Not cheap but they work. I buy the ECM and harness from them with a base tune for my LS combo so if I have an issue I have only one company to talk to. Some do their own harnesses but electrical is not my strong point.
DBW or DBC has worked well for me either way. On a LS6 build I used a Holley DBC TB and it worked well. Had to tune the ECM to match.
Other basic things I would check unless the engine has really low miles or been recently rebuilt:
Front and rear crank seals. Maybe new oil pump and timing chain? With any cam swap better valve springs and push rods. Some do a trunion rocker arm upgrade. I always send out the stock the injectors for cleaning and rebuild.
Does the 2005 C5 engine have a "batwing" oil pan? If so I think you may need a 2002 Camaro oil pan. A new flex plate to replace the Corvette torque tube one?
Some would say a LS2 intake is a bit down on power. Maybe a LS6 intake swap?
I really like spending other peoples money. LOL.
Good luck with your project.
 

Brian Anderton

New Member
Jan 1, 2022
12
I do plan to do valve springs to match the Comp Cam. Hardened pushrods for sure. The engine is only supposed to have ~60,000 miles. Timing chain, oil pump and seals will probably be replaced as well as rocker pivets. I'm almost certain I will need a different oil pan. I have a source for that. Rick's Camaro's sells a kit. I'll be using a Tremec T56 6 speed wide ratio trans and either 3.55 or 3.73 rear gears. 6th gear for the wide ratio is 1 to .5. I want some gas mileage. There is a trans kit available with trany, clutch, flywheel, hydraulic throwout type release, pedal (the works) for about $5200.00 delivered. So thinking of going that route. So does Howell sell the E40 style ECM or do you have to go back a few years for an ECM to work with this? The pics that Painless show for the LS2 ECM look like pre-2000 year stuff. I know pics are not always accurate but want to be sure.
 

mrfleet12

Veteran Member
Aug 8, 2014
1,231
West of Chicago IL
Just a thought, I ran the Fitech controller on my last swap and will run it on my 70, base tunes get you running and you can tune from there without paying to have it tuned.
Ran the 05 GTO LS2 in my 73 with the stock intake, very easy to setup and tune, performed great.
 

ErikNORCAL

Veteran Member
Aug 6, 2003
1,202
now in VA
If you aren’t getting the ecm and harness from the donor with your purchase and are essentially planning to replace them… then would recommend going to an aftermarket system with open source and an interface that allows you (or your friend) to tune. If you stick with GM, the big drawback is; first, you have to buy what isn’t included in your initial purchase, plus any tuning requires HP tuners/efi live/ etc and at least 1 credit. By the , you could’ve bought a top notch aftermarket system. In the end, you’ll probably be ahead $ just going aftermarket, and for numerous reasons, but initially because you aren’t getting every thing with the donor.
If you really want to go GM, and you have a manual trans, then be sure to get the EcM loaded with an OS for a manual trans Corvette, don’t stray too far from the initial stock configuration. Mixing and matching electronics, and their operating systems, from various model years is not necessarily easy breezy or even painlessly possible. An example that comes to mind, outside of the ecm and OS , is where the ecm is receiving the VSS signal from. Swaps that are pieced together can become as fun as a crazy ex.. but it may just be me…
So, in summary, not much different than what mrfleet said.
 
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73Z L92

Veteran Member
Jan 25, 2011
473
Carlos, MN
On my current 80 Camaro project I came very close to using the new? Holley LS system. In the end I went with Howell for my 2012 L92 swap. Not saying that Holley doesn't have a well engineered system. I just don't need the extra tuning adjustment that Holley offers. One other reason is that with the exception of the 255 Walbro pump I can buy all of the engine control components at NAPA.
I would snag the Corvette ECM and go from there. Same ECM can be used for a auto or manual. On my 68 C10 LS6 swap I ran a T56 with a harness and ECM from Howell. Their base tune was close but I still I had it tuned on a chassis dyno. It ran great. Make sure if you go aftermarket harness it includes a VSS signal connection to the T56. Makes tuning more accurate.
As said above don't mix and match stuff. I would call Howell or Speartech to discuss the ECM, harness and programming.
 

ErikNORCAL

Veteran Member
Aug 6, 2003
1,202
now in VA
Another thing to add to Mr 73Z, the fan controls… not sure what year GM ecm can run a PWM fan module. The E38 and E67 can for sure. Corvettes, fords, dodge vans all have a similar type module that can be commanded by an OE or aftermarket system. Or you’ll have relays that receive a trigger from any computer.
The GM system is veeeeery capable, no doubt about that. I have also tended to try and stay with OE for off the shelf parts but the tuning aspect for any system is likely, ‘specialized.’
 

Brian Anderton

New Member
Jan 1, 2022
12
73Z are you saying use the 05 Corvette ECM from Howell, or purchase an original GM one? Does the Howell ECM come with anti-theft system removed? I have the factory service manual here on my laptop and I'm pretty good with wiring diagrams. I was an aviation electonics tech for 20 years in the navy. Coastal Corvettes sent a pic of the connectors to the ECM and there are 3. A blue, gray and black. So looks like this does confirrm an E40 ECM and most likely an 05.
 

Brian Anderton

New Member
Jan 1, 2022
12
Erik, isn't the pulse width modulated fan only used on engine driven fans? My '03 Trailblazer had one of these. Aren't electric fans either on or off? School me. I'm going to use an aluminum radiator/shroud/electric fan setup from Speedway Motors that is specifically made for the Gen 2 F-body/LS swap
 

73Z L92

Veteran Member
Jan 25, 2011
473
Carlos, MN
As far as PWM cooling fans they change speeds as the temps go up or down via the temp sensor thru the ECM. Older fans (I've used a number of them on LS swaps with no failures) are either on or off. I have Speartech or Howell program the ECM to turn on the fan at 205 and off at 195. 180 degree thermostat. I like Spal fans. They are used by the car manufactures.
I believe all newer cars have PWM fans and fuel pumps.
In regards to the ECM I give the supplier a complete detailed description of my combo. Engine, trans, cam, intake, fuel injector size, headers rear end gears and yes AC or no AC.
The vats is deleted. I have Howell or Speartech supply the ECM that matches my LS combo.
 




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