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  1. #1

    Default 1999 Chevy suburban knock only at idle .. engine swap please help

    GM Engine & Exhaust Performance>1999 Chevy suburban knock only at idle .. 5.3 swap

    Hey guys I need your help . I have a factory 1999 Chevy suburban with some upgrades . I have been interested in a 5.3 swap but have now came to the point I have to do something on a budget . With 200,000 miles plus it's time . I am beginning to get a knock noise only at idle when u rev the engine there is nothing . A local shop said this is notorious for the vehicle mileage etc and is piston slap and could last a long time this way . I need a recommendation on a conversion ... how do I go by getting the engine ... what is truly needed ... harness .. computer ... engine etc . I have heard they aren't to bad I just want to know what I'm getting myself into and the parts I need to aquire . Also is there any website that might help ... parts and knowledge ... thanks a million

  2. #2


    About four ways to go about it. Get an engine from junk yard (now usually called a recycler), have this engine rebuilt, buy a rebuilt engine, or spend big bucks and get a new create motor. In almost any city there is an engine shop(s) that all they do is rebuild engines. But to keep it simple get the same engine with the same intake manifold and fuel system. It make it as close as possible a plug and play.

    However, this everything else might be worn out. For one the starter motor, a good time to put in a rebuilt if it has never been replaced. The old motor may not have the power to turn a nice tight engine. When you drop the exhaust a good chance that the bolts to the manifold will be rusted solid. If they break, its fixable but just a pain in the butt to do. Hoses, they all be hard and brittle and everyone should be changed. If there is a working A/C system, you'll need to deal with that. If you know how to pull an engine with the transmission staying put in the truck or if all of it has to come out then your dealing with transmission lines to the radiator, some models like my 2002 Astro needed special tools to disconnect the lines. Either way the radiator always needed to be pulled. And this is when you fine that the front oil seal of the tranny might be leaking. Or worse yet, with a rebuilt engine with more power the old worn tranny may not be able to handle the load for long.

    An engine swap is not that simple but it is doable if you got the tools and a least one buddy to help you out. If you have an engine sitting in your garage with the tools and a buddy, you can do it in a weekend provided at least someone has done it before. Now you might know why that in the USA 14 million new vehicle are sold each year and nearly the same amount end up in the scrap (recycle) yards.

    Now putting in a different engine size there are a lot more things to consider as you mentioned but it can be a budget buster if you need to be tight with the dollars.
    Last edited by WorthFlorida; 04-01-2014 at 11:25 PM.
    Two things are certain in life, you can cheat death and taxes, however, gravity and locomotives will always win!

  3. #3


    It can certainly be done. It is not a simple swap since everything is computer controlled these days. The very first thing you would need to get is a donor vehicle that has all the parts on it that you will need; computer, wiring harnesses, mounts, etc. You would be far better off to go find a garden variety 5.7, switch your externals onto it and drop it in.

    You would spend less money just going out and buying a Suburban that already has the engine you want in it.
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