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Thoughts on an LS3 swap instead of boost for this next round

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Thoughts on an LS3 swap instead of boost for this next round

 
Old 05-13-2019, 05:00 PM
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2k2wranglerx
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Default Thoughts on an LS3 swap instead of boost for this next round

So I was going to port some 243 heads, do a cam with all the fixins, do the harmonic balancer, etc etc etc... I can do it, but i had a shop quote me a few different ways to do the work...

well with giving them 500 for the 243s, all the machine work, the labor to do heads, cam, lifters, etc and all the parts it came out to 6200 bucks... and that got me to thinking...

why not LS3 swap it, and while the LS3 is sitting here do the cam and maybe send the heads out. And here's my reasoning.

1. my car has 107k miles on it. stock clutch. so the clutch and tq tube need done either way... If i swap motors boom, it's right there, the labor isn't done twice ya know.

2. i'm finding low mileage (like 20-30k mile) LS3's for 4500-5500 depending on what accessories are still on them. I can probably get 1500-2000 out of my good running motor... I think by the time i'm done with the swap (without the tq tube or clutch parts) i'm probably in it for the same 6k i'd be into having the shop build this LS1... I know there's some specific swap parts i need to make the computer work, and extend the wiring and change over the plugs and stuff... but still..

any reason NOT to do this? it seems like the LS3 just has way more potential than the LS1... are the LS3 heads worth having sent out to be ported?

So my thought was, rather than tossing a blower on this, or building the LS1, for this round, do an LS3 with a boost friendly cam and later on i can add a blower with better power potential...

Thoughts?

Last edited by 2k2wranglerx; 05-13-2019 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:03 PM
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Verrückt ZR1
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The LS3 is far superior, especially if you're planning on adding boost. They take well to bolt ons, but truly shine with an FI setup.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:18 PM
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It's stupid to build a ls1 rather than a ls3.

Ls3 ftw overall
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:13 PM
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another option is to go ahead and boost your car now and build a motor on the side, if you go with a centri kit like a&a all that stuff will transfer over to an ls3
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:15 AM
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smitty2919
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$6200 for shop to do H/C
$5000 for LS3 + ~$1200 for H/C parts and freshen it up - $1500 for your old motor + clutch + torque tube refresh + labor to have a shop put it in...

Why not do HC yourself on the LS1? Just want the most power you can? Or are you building to a specific purpose?
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:18 AM
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LilNutSac
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I say do it once and do it right. LS3 is where it's at currently. Go for it and don't look back! ha. I spent way too much money trying to get an LS1/LQ4 running right in my F-body. Went with an LS3 car and haven't looked back. Should have went with an LS3 to begin with!
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:41 AM
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Found this interesting...

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Old 05-14-2019, 10:05 AM
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acroy
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LS3s are popular for a reason!

that said, nothing wrong with an Ls2 either, and they are cheaper.

If you are planning on boost, nothing wrong with an iron block engine, other than some folks get their panties in a wad about the extra 80# or so of weight. Forged LQ4 or LQ9 based engines are pretty cheap and easily handle 800+hp. The iron blocks twist and distort a lot less. My previous 2000 FRC had an LQ4 based 402stroker, 500whp n/a, was (and still is) a beast. And the engine is plenty stout enough to take boost, nitrous, etc. Relocate the stock heavy battery with a lightweight one in the back, go on a diet to loose a few pounds, and the weight difference cancels out
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:42 PM
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Key Questions:

- Do you intend to keep the car forever?
- What are your power goals?


Swaps are never cheap or easy, even with all the modern available harnesses and adapters. My first one was an LT4 into a 91 RS... did the entire harness by hand over 4 months. Different world. So the cost is a thing.

If you're keeping it "forever" do what you want and have fun doing it. If you think you might sell it in 3 to 5 years, the blower makes more sense because you can remove it in about an hour, sell it for as much as you paid for it, and then have an easier time selling a "mostly stock" C5. It is harder to sell an LS3 car because most people know they are inheriting someone else's project (messy) and an engine out of a wreck (unknown reliability.)

So if you're keeping it forever, the only question is goals. LS1 with cam and boost will go FAR. How much farther do you want to go that an LS3 is required? Folks have pushed 800 to 1000 out of stock block LS1s. Get on Sloppy Mechanics and have a field day, man.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:29 PM
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NemesisC5
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Almost anything you mod will cost more than the original plan. It is commonly known as scope creep however among hot rodders often referred to as mod fever. Opening Pandora's Box always goes over budget.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:57 PM
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Rob 02
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I'm a fan of bigger displacement first. It leaves an upgrade path for the future.

If you are going to build it for FE boost then you probably need forged internals (crank rods pistons etc..). If your doing that then why not go with a stroker crank for even more displacement or an LS7 equivalent.

With HP & torque at these levels, you will probably need a built trans and diff as well.

I'm assuming this is going to be a purpose built track car.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:55 PM
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Mr. Black
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Originally Posted by My Vette Life View Post
It's stupid to build a ls1 rather than a ls3.

Ls3 ftw overall
I'm often confused by your statements and especially this one.

I have sub 3k dollars into my LS1 including exhaust and am making 420 wheel on a Mustang dyno with a broad 390 torque. The car goes like hell for a N/A small cube motor.

I couldn't even get a LS3 for 5 grand into the bed of my truck around here. Let alone all the crap I need to put it in and get it running right.

And this is not even factoring in labor costs since for me the labor cost is all me.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:41 PM
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There, again, rises the question of goals. Maybe one of the goals is "cool factor" to drop a title like LS3 at car shows. "Yeah, it's got an LS3." And all the guys with mods like chrome exhaust plates drool a little. LOL.

Going LS3 has a big up front price tag clear and away from anything else. 3,000 to 6,000 to purchase and install. Any power goal is going to be able to be met with a modded LS1, much of which can be done within that price

HONESTLY - IT'S AS IF NONE OF YOU FOLLOW SLOPPY MECHANICS OR KNOW WHAT THAT BASE LS SHORTBLOCK CAN TAKE.

Guys are slapping some china noisy bois on iron LQ9s with a Sloppy Stage 2 cam, gapping the rings and blasting 800rwph ALL DAY LONG. This guy already has an LS. These other guys are junkyard hunting truck engines.

Go-Fast Goodies No Matter Which Engine Used

3,500 - Used A&A Blower kit (or get a chinese Turbo for $300, slap it up front and cut your hood to fit it)
2,000 - PRC or Patriot heads
700 - cam + chain
1,000+ - new pump, used secondary pump kit, and Alky kit for fueling

600 to 1500 rwhp right there.

The LS as a platform of any kind is a strong one to build on. Money-wise, running what you've already got is a winning choice. Nothing at all against an LS3, but why burn the money up front when the swap cash can be put into RXT clutch, carbon driveshaft, 6060, rear w/ 300m shafts to take all this new power?
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:43 PM
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Rob 02
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Originally Posted by Mr. Black View Post
I'm often confused by your statements and especially this one.

I have sub 3k dollars into my LS1 including exhaust and am making 420 wheel on a Mustang dyno with a broad 390 torque. The car goes like hell for a N/A small cube motor.

I couldn't even get a LS3 for 5 grand into the bed of my truck around here. Let alone all the crap I need to put it in and get it running right.

And this is not even factoring in labor costs since for me the labor cost is all me.

What did you do?

When I had my engine out I went with 799 heads mildly ported and decked, LS6 cam, LS7 lifters .010 thinner head gasket, a heat shield under the intake, 2004 LS6 valley cover/ EGR, cleared the pup cats, flip tie mod and an ECS tune. That all costed about $1,300 in parts and I did the labor. That doesn't include the rebuild kit that I installed because the previous owner hydro-locked it.

I'm probably making a little HP less that what you stated. It spins C6 Z06 tires like they were nothing.

You can do quite a bit on a budget for street use. On the track there is a lot of competition.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:48 PM
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Rob 02
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Originally Posted by Tusc View Post
There, again, rises the question of goals. Maybe one of the goals is "cool factor" to drop a title like LS3 at car shows. "Yeah, it's got an LS3." And all the guys with mods like chrome exhaust plates drool a little. LOL.

Going LS3 has a big up front price tag clear and away from anything else. 3,000 to 6,000 to purchase and install. Any power goal is going to be able to be met with a modded LS1, much of which can be done within that price

HONESTLY - IT'S AS IF NONE OF YOU FOLLOW SLOPPY MECHANICS OR KNOW WHAT THAT BASE LS SHORTBLOCK CAN TAKE.

Guys are slapping some china noisy bois on iron LQ9s with a Sloppy Stage 2 cam, gapping the rings and blasting 800rwph ALL DAY LONG. This guy already has an LS. These other guys are junkyard hunting truck engines.

Go-Fast Goodies No Matter Which Engine Used

3,500 - Used A&A Blower kit (or get a chinese Turbo for $300, slap it up front and cut your hood to fit it)
2,000 - PRC or Patriot heads
700 - cam + chain
1,000+ - new pump, used secondary pump kit, and Alky kit for fueling

600 to 1500 rwhp right there.

The LS as a platform of any kind is a strong one to build on. Money-wise, running what you've already got is a winning choice. Nothing at all against an LS3, but why burn the money up front when the swap cash can be put into RXT clutch, carbon driveshaft, 6060, rear w/ 300m shafts to take all this new power?

I ave seen too often, people building up parts of the engine then blowing out the week parts. After a while they sell the car cheep thinking it's possessed.

I agree with you. In either route the bottom end and drive-line needs to be built to handle the HP first. Again, the OP didn't mention the purpose of the build.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:29 PM
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$6200 for a heads cam swap? Is your anus okay?
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Whatsa347 View Post
$6200 for a heads cam swap? Is your anus okay?
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Verrückt ZR1 View Post
I know I had the same reaction when I read that price tag as well, do some shopping on what parts cost and what labor charges are or maybe you can do it yourself with a couple buddies over a weekend and save 4K off that price tag.
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