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LS3 Swap

 
Old 06-11-2019, 10:39 AM
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talentscout
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Default LS3 Swap

I've decided I'm definitely going LS3 in my 69 roadster. Help please! Should I go wrecking yard pull out or crate engine? I'm definitely running a manual trans should I go 5sp or 6 sd? If I go crate I have to buy all accessories is it worth it? Will I really save that much going used ls3? so many decisions. Frame off suspension is complete. Fuel injection tank complete. Bodywork complete I have about two months to decide while I finish painting car myself.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:03 AM
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Iím going through a similar analysis on my 74.

Iím leaning towards a 400ish HP 5.3L junkyard build with a 6 speed. I just canít justify the cost increase to the LS3 for HP that wonít really get used on the street.

The fun factor difference between the 5.3 and the 6.0 seems negligible to me but the cost difference is in the thousands.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:11 AM
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I agree however I've taken this build far beyond anything I ever imagined. I feel like should I decide to sell it the only way I could ever recoup my investment is by staying hi-tech with an all aluminum ls platform.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by talentscout View Post
I agree however I've taken this build far beyond anything I ever imagined. I feel like should I decide to sell it the only way I could ever recoup my investment is by staying hi-tech with an all aluminum ls platform.
I get that logic for sure.

then you surely want the 6 speed too!

I would go junkyard but I like the build aspect.

Last edited by ganshert; 06-11-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by talentscout View Post
I've decided I'm definitely going LS3 in my 69 roadster. Help please! Should I go wrecking yard pull out or crate engine? I'm definitely running a manual trans should I go 5sp or 6 sd? If I go crate I have to buy all accessories is it worth it? Will I really save that much going used ls3? so many decisions. Frame off suspension is complete. Fuel injection tank complete. Bodywork complete I have about two months to decide while I finish painting car myself.
Two years ago I bought a LS3/TR6060 from a 2013 Camaro SS, then 1year ago I was stupid enough to sell the transmission, I only needed the LS3. Well 3 months ago I got my 69 Corvette and decided to go with a LS in the C3 as well. So now I have a TKO600 on order from AmericanPowertrain.
That said, if you have the funds, I would suggest going with the Camaro setup, that way you have it all.
You can check with Eric on MidwayMustang, he use to have a couple. Price $6000-8000.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:39 PM
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I'm currently putting a LS3 in my 75. One of the most frustrating things about it is figuring out the front accessory setup. So many variables to consider and learn. I would highly recommend calling LS Simple and letting them guide you on what you'll need as far as brackets and pulleys . Very knowledgeable and good prices. I'm using my original th400 so I can't help you with your manual. I would say go 6 speed though, especially if you are considering resale value..

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Old 06-12-2019, 09:39 AM
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Did you go crate or pull out engine? I've read in older post you have to drill and tap new fittings for water pump is that still necessary or do they sell one for the conversion now?
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:42 AM
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That's what I initially planned on doing for the price difference it's almost like getting the 6sd for free but I've read the late model camaro 6sd isn't an easy swap, It doesn't have a removable yoke in the tailshaft. Do you know anything about that?
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:46 AM
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I bought an LS3 from a wrecked 09 Corvette. It had 18K miles on it so it was like new. I put a little more aggressive cam in it and updated the rocker arms. The trans I used is from an 06 GTO that had 15K miles on it so it was also in good shape. I used the LS style hyd. throwout bearing and it all went together fairly easy. I do not know if someone has a water pump now with the fitting or different ones. I had to modify mine so it all fit. Not really a big deal when you consider the whole swap.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by talentscout View Post
That's what I initially planned on doing for the price difference it's almost like getting the 6sd for free but I've read the late model camaro 6sd isn't an easy swap, It doesn't have a removable yoke in the tailshaft. Do you know anything about that?
There are a couple of companys manufacturing/selling a flanged yoke for the TR6060.
Iíll check and get back later.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by joystick View Post
There are a couple of companys manufacturing/selling a flanged yoke for the TR6060.
Iíll check and get back later.
https://www.sonnax.com/parts/3868-3-...er-flange-yoke

Summit also stock them.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:55 PM
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The more you can DIY the cheaper it will be but the longer it will take.

If you are real patient and can find a used LS3 and go with a 5 speed I bet you can just squeeze in under 6k. (This includes everything from the engine to accessories to fuel system to a computer to run it).

I scoured the forums, criagslist and facebook marketplace almost every day and found a race shop that was selling a new long block LS3 that they took out of a race car before it ever actually raced for $3k. Popped an intake manifold, accessories, oil pan and cam kit on it and had 550hp easy.

A 5 speed will be cheaper and easier to install than a 6 speed. The T56 6 speed is larger and bit heavier and you'll need to cut the trans tunnel and deal w/ the yoke. To me that was worth it, but I'd argue for most people the 5 speed is all they need.

I went with dirty dingo FBody accessory mounts. It seems the F Body accessory spacing typically fits well in C3s though may need some slight modifications depending on who made it.

If you go with all the crate stuff it will be more turn-key out of the box, but you'll definitely pay more for it.

If you're set on LS3 (which I think is a good choice!), consider the L92. Its a 6.2L truck engine that is nearly identical to the LS3 with a few small difference:
  • Does not have the hollow intake valves (Are you going 7000 RPM? No? ok you're fine then)
  • Has VVT (variable valve timing, which can easily be deleted with an aftermarket kit)
  • A different intake manifold (but an LS3 one will bolt on)
  • Valve reliefs in the pistons for the VVT (this slightly reduces compression ratio).
If you're not racing it or aren't after dyno queen numbers, its effectively the same thing as an LS3 for a street car and can often be found for cheaper though people/sellers are starting to wise up. Its actually what I planned on doing until I lucked into that race shops LS3 long block.

Last edited by supervette64; 06-12-2019 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by talentscout View Post
Did you go crate or pull out engine? I've read in older post you have to drill and tap new fittings for water pump is that still necessary or do they sell one for the conversion now?
I found a long block out of a 11 camaro. It uses the truck spacing which is good in our cars. I haven't gotten far enough to see for myself but as I understand, the water pump mod is pretty standard. I'm thinking of going with this kit unless I find something better in the meantime. http://www.vetteworksonline.net/cata...roducts_id=245
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by talentscout View Post
Did you go crate or pull out engine? I've read in older post you have to drill and tap new fittings for water pump is that still necessary or do they sell one for the conversion now?
This is one of the best looking water pump mods. Post #12
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...ater-pump.html
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:53 PM
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I've had good luck with 6.2's out of GM trucks. Added the LS3 intake, fuel rails and injectors along with a LS3 throttle body. I have about $4500 in mine. Fbody FEA worked for my 71 LS swap. Added a small cam, upgraded push rods and springs. So maybe $5000 so far?
I've had a TKO 600 and currently have a T56 Magnum. The T56 shifts much nicer. The TKO I used was notchy thru the gears. Not horrible but notchy. I had it in a 73 Z28 behind a L92. I used mechanical linkage. Saved some cash considering the clutch master and slave.
On my current hot rod a 68 C10 I have a T56 magnum. Used a fbody slave. 1 3/4' WILWOOD master. LS7 clutch and flywheel. Works great. Good pedal feel. With a bonus all the parts available at the local parts store.
On the late model Camaro the shifter is remote mount? Is there some type of mod kit to convert it to a standard top mount shifter? Same with the GTO T56?
Good luck with your swap. The LS3 platform is a great choice.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 71 Vert LS1 View Post
I've had good luck with 6.2's out of GM trucks. Added the LS3 intake, fuel rails and injectors along with a LS3 throttle body. I have about $4500 in mine. Fbody FEA worked for my 71 LS swap. Added a small cam, upgraded push rods and springs. So maybe $5000 so far?
I've had a TKO 600 and currently have a T56 Magnum. The T56 shifts much nicer. The TKO I used was notchy thru the gears. Not horrible but notchy. I had it in a 73 Z28 behind a L92. I used mechanical linkage. Saved some cash considering the clutch master and slave.
On my current hot rod a 68 C10 I have a T56 magnum. Used a fbody slave. 1 3/4' WILWOOD master. LS7 clutch and flywheel. Works great. Good pedal feel. With a bonus all the parts available at the local parts store.
On the late model Camaro the shifter is remote mount? Is there some type of mod kit to convert it to a standard top mount shifter? Same with the GTO T56?
Good luck with your swap. The LS3 platform is a great choice.
There are several kits, malex one of the better.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Malex-LS...-/163090110599
https://shiftsst.com/store/shifters.html
The Malex kit says two locations 640 and 678mm from engine block to center of shifter, mine was 680mm so it will fit.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:34 PM
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Default LS3 swap

Thanks all for all the great information and input. I think I'm going to go with a pull out package ls3 with a 6sp tr6060 attached. I think ill save a lot of money by picking up something low mileage with all the hydraulic clutch parts included. Some of my biggest concerns such as the transmission yoke and linkage have been answered thanks to you all. One more question I noticed the late model ls3 uses an electric waterpump, I'm assuming I would switch to a belt driven pump? Are there any certain years of camaro ls3's I should avoid or concentrate on?
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:45 PM
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I can't help you with the transmission stuff but I can tell you, don't throw anything away. Keep EVERYTHING from the pull out engine down to the last bolt. You never know what you'll end up needing. Not doing that has ended up costing me money and headaches over the little things.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:22 AM
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Here is my guide, alot of info and lessons learned..
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...part-list.html

im 95% done
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