A smart person would start by assessing the vehicle they’ve gotten. They’d tag and bag bolts and carefully disassemble the vehicle, checking items on the way. They’d probably soak the bolts and screws with WD40 for a few days even. But you know what’s way more fun than that? Going out and getting an engine. So that’s what I did.
Pictured above is the donor vehicle. It’s an 01 Tahoe so it has the 24x reluctor generation III small block. On a whim I took a photo of the VIN and it turned out to be one of the smarter things I’ve done. It’s been invaluable for parts lookups throughout the build. This particular Tahoe is the flex fuel version. I didn’t pick it on purpose. I picked it because I found it on Craigslist and they were open on Saturdays.
I got my grubby hands on the whole engine, cover to pan, the starter, the ECU, and the whole engine wiring harness for $500. A dirty and friendly man was kind enough to pull the motor at no extra charge. He had offered to fire it up if he could find a battery. In retrospect that would have been a good idea. But being the ramjet that I am I figured it would be fine, let’s just get that lump loaded in the pickup truck and get home.