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LS2 vs LS3

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Old 08-20-2018, 10:03 AM
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M096865
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Default LS2 vs LS3

Hello All,

Looking for some opinions and guidance on choice between LS 2 VS LS3 motor options.

I commute 50 + miles each way to work and planning to drive car more often then not.

At the same time want maximum HP.

Wondering if I'm better off with the LS2 with some added bolt ons to get the additional HP and maybe keep slightly higher MPG when I don't jump on it

or
Do I just get the LS3 and put the bolt ons to maybe get 460 HP out of it and sacrifice the MPG.

Thanks in advance for all the advice.
SCOTT
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:09 AM
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Corvette_Ed
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The LS3 is the better motor.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:28 AM
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Atomic Punk
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what he said.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:51 AM
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jrose7004
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A LS3 is the latest motor but I've had both and you really won't notice any "seat of the pants" difference.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:53 AM
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mellojoe
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There's really not that much difference, especially when you think about mpg. 6.0 vs 6.2L is nearly the same. And if you are going to be adding mods to up the power, you are going to be sacrificing mpg anyway. I don't want to say that you are 'overthinking' it, but you kind of are overthinking it. Just pick the Corvette that has the options you want and the looks you want, and you'll be happy. More often than not, the LS3 in the 08+ will be the way to go. Just newer with a higher baseline to start with. But you can find killer deals on 05-07 LS2s if you need to save a few bucks.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mellojoe View Post
There's really not that much difference, especially when you think about mpg. 6.0 vs 6.2L is nearly the same. And if you are going to be adding mods to up the power, you are going to be sacrificing mpg anyway. I don't want to say that you are 'overthinking' it, but you kind of are overthinking it. Just pick the Corvette that has the options you want and the looks you want, and you'll be happy. More often than not, the LS3 in the 08+ will be the way to go. Just newer with a higher baseline to start with. But you can find killer deals on 05-07 LS2s if you need to save a few bucks.
I once looked into supercharging and found this Edelbrock eForce supercharger. When I read the chart in their catalog I thought it had to be a misprint when comparing the net HP gain by putting the stage 1 kit on an LS2 and LS3.


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Old 08-20-2018, 11:46 AM
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Mike's LS3
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LS3 is a stronger block and more efficient engine with better flowing heads, intake manifold, air intake along with other minor improvements. There is nothing wrong with the LS2 engine, but if I had a choice it would be the LS3.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:49 PM
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victorf
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LS3's engine with better heads flowing efficiency comes with a price, its heads are different than LS2 with altered oil returns. LS3 can get into and suffers oil starvation in racing situations where LS2 is relatively safe.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:56 PM
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wayback
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Originally Posted by jrose7004 View Post
A LS3 is the latest motor but I've had both and you really won't notice any "seat of the pants" difference.
This. You would be happy with either one. The LS3 along with other improvements GM made almost every year would be the reason to buy the nicest, newest one you can afford.

I am perfectly happy with my 07 I bought new.
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:12 PM
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RobLo
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Owner of an LS3 is gonna tell you their motor is better, LS2 owner gonna tell you their motor is just as good...flip a coin!
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:53 PM
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919cw313
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Originally Posted by M096865 View Post
Looking for some opinions...
At the same time want maximum HP.
If I'm driving a Corvette and also want horsepower, I'm not terribly worried about a couple MPG.

My advice is to get an LS3 and supercharge it.
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:53 PM
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Mike's LS3
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Originally Posted by victorf View Post
LS3's engine with better heads flowing efficiency comes with a price, its heads are different than LS2 with altered oil returns. LS3 can get into and suffers oil starvation in racing situations where LS2 is relatively safe.
If you plan on pulling more than 1.2g's for an extended period of time that could be an issue. However, OP is commuting to and from work with occasional spirited driving . Heck a stock GS with dry sump pulls 1.09g's, so not an issue for the OP.
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:11 PM
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M096865
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Default Many thanks for all the responses

Thanks to all for the various responses.

I kind of felt that this question was going to bring some very spirited responses and many opinions.

As one person mentioned I'm probably over thinking it and would be happy with either, especially seeing its my first vet and I'm coming from a 310 HP Benz.

I'm a jet engine engineer and so over thinking it is kind of in my DNA.

Plans are not necessarily to track the car but want that option and I don't really car about the 2-3 MPG difference and few k's on price.

Also not looking for the radical HP that a super harger gets you.

Just want to maximize the HP I can get with basic bolt on's and get the better of the two engine if in fact one was better.

Obviously just getting into all this and so I appreciate any and all advice.

Thanks and keep the threads coming.
Scott
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:21 PM
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HOXXOH
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If your 50+ mile to work is littered with stoplights and BtoB traffic, you'll never know the MPG difference anyway. Mods for more power seem to never stop, so once you bolt on the first one, your MPG numbers will continue to fall as you tend to "enjoy" the car more.
If you start with the LS3 car, you "might" be able to enjoy the car with less mods.
I assume you won't be racing every day on your workday trips, so buy the car that fits your other needs and don't worry about MPG.
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:23 PM
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koreanbeefcake
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more used parts available for the LS3.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:37 PM
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M096865
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Default I agree

My commute is mostly highway 65 PLUS mph.

I tend to agree that with the LS3 I get the extra 30 HP without the bolt ons and ultimately get a little more with each add on.

Just seems to be much harder to find an LS3 wirh the Z51 performance package and 3LT interior.

I guess the hunt is part of the thrill and finally finding what you want for the right price is like finding a big gold nugget.
Scott
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:50 PM
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Garry in AZ
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QUOTE: "At the same time want maximum HP."

What I think you meant is maximum horsepower for the same amount of money invested? I've seen LS based engines develop well over 1000 horsepower with the stock bottom end. There was a car at Bonneville this year that was reportedly getting over 2000 hp from a twin turbo, methanol 388 cid LS engine. It went 455 mph.

As a starting point for a high performance engine, the LS3 is a better choice due to the superior cylinder heads. The cathedral port heads on the LS2 lack the flow capability of the rectangular port heads of the LS3. However, the flow benefits of the LS3 heads are not going to make much difference during a commute. If your modifications don't go beyond headers and a tune, or you don't plan on seeing 5000 rpm very often, either engine will serve you well. Both will get very similar fuel economy.
If you plan to get deeper into the modifications (cam, valve springs) the LS3 will provide a little better results. The LS engines respond exceptionally well to camshaft changes, but you need to know what the goal is and be realistic about how the car will be used. It's possible to see 70-80+ horsepower gains with a street oriented cam, good springs and headers. I suggest you pick up a copy of Richard Holdeners excellent book, "LS Gen IV Performance on the Dyno"

Which ever way you go, both are strong, well designed engines that will deliver years of commuter service and still twist the fun **** when you want to.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:24 PM
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M096865
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Thanks Gary

Yes you hit the nail on the head.

Don't want to push the HP to a point where everytime I punch it I have tp worry about leaving trasmission and rear end parts on the highway.

Also not looking to do the all those tupes of mods right away.

I want to enjoy the car stock for all it has to offer and then after becoming more knowledgeable, look to make the right mods for me to still feel comfortable.

All the advice has been great from so many highly knowlegeable people.

If anyone wants to know about a jet engine I'm your guy. As long as it's not classified.

Thanks Again
Scott
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by M096865 View Post
My commute is mostly highway 65 PLUS mph.

I tend to agree that with the LS3 I get the extra 30 HP without the bolt ons and ultimately get a little more with each add on.

Just seems to be much harder to find an LS3 wirh the Z51 performance package and 3LT interior.

I guess the hunt is part of the thrill and finally finding what you want for the right price is like finding a big gold nugget.
Scott
You might want to consider the 2010 and up manual Grand Sport. You'll get the dry-sump LS3, ZO6 brakes and the Z51 performance package (not exactly the same as the the previous Z51 package, but the idea is the same). 3LT should be relatively easy to find in a GS and you can probably get a low mileage 2010 for low $30s.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:55 PM
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M096865
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Thanks for the suggestion MyCoupe.
Usually when I see those they are in the 30's which then makes you think to just start looking for a Z06.

I'm hoping to stay around 25K.
Thanks
Scott
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