400 sbc or LSx conversion - Team Camaro Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 10, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
Brad
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: DFW
Posts: 15
400 sbc or LSx conversion

I'm getting ready to start on my engine but have a question for everyone. I have a 400 block that I am planing on building, should be around 600hp, but I'm now thinking about an LSx conversion. Camaro will be a weekend driver and see the track once and awile. Manual trans and 9" rear axle, hotchkis springs and leafs, helwig stabilizer bars. So stay with the 400sbc or go to the LSx conversion?
Thanks
scruffy68 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 10, 07:18 PM
Moderator
____
 
DOUG G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 19,439
Garage
Send a message via MSN to DOUG G
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

If money is there... LSX IMO

400's are hard to find in decent shape any more.

68 Camaro~LSx ~all motor
1.54 60'--6.95 @ 98.45 660'--10.96 @ 121.53
DOUG G is offline  
post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 09:48 AM
Gold Lifetime Member
Mark
 
keypilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Florida Keys
Posts: 2,623
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

I agree with Doug. it is more than just an engine to do the swap. fuel tank, pump, lines, modding the engine mounts to accept it etc... it will get expensive.

A nice 400 will make killer power and cost a fraction of the lsx.

Don't stop now!!!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

67 camaro driver
383 10:1
Horsepower:
515 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque:
499 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

keypilot is offline  
 
post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 09:58 AM
Moderator
____
 
DOUG G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 19,439
Garage
Send a message via MSN to DOUG G
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

I really like the Dart short blocks since most are ready for work....but the LS motors are hard to beat for ease on HP/TQ along with MPG. Sound mild at 500HP Vs. a old school @ 500HP.
But again $$$$$$ for the upgrades Vs. a Gen 1 block.

68 Camaro~LSx ~all motor
1.54 60'--6.95 @ 98.45 660'--10.96 @ 121.53
DOUG G is offline  
post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 10:53 AM
Senior Tech
Steve
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 2,217
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

I'd go with a 400 myself - get a retro hydraulic roller cam, some good heads and you can be at 500 HP pretty easily in a very tame driving car with much less work for the conversion.

69 Pace Car and 69 Hard top
srode is offline  
post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 11:40 AM
Gold Lifetime Member
Mike
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 4,295
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by srode View Post
I'd go with a 400 myself - get a retro hydraulic roller cam, some good heads and you can be at 500 HP pretty easily in a very tame driving car with much less work for the conversion.
Less work, I agree, but I'm not sure less money.

I don't know about you, but when I get done paying for block machining, a good forged bottom end, oil pan and pump, hydraulic roller valve train, good heads, intake and carb, I'm always at about $6,000 or more in the engine alone. Then add in headers, accessories, etc. and you're looking at another $1,000 plus depending on how fancy you get.

For $7,000 you could probably have a really nice LSx engine in your car - you're just spending the money on different things - LSx pullout with harness, ECU and accessories, probably an accessory bracket or two, maybe an oil pan, fuel tank and fuel line plumbing, adapter motor plates and headers, maybe ECU tuning if you change cams.

The thing is, as compared to the 400, the LSx will take 100 pounds off the front end, have good street manners, deliver good fuel economy, will work well with an overdrive transmission and have a lot of room to grow for additional NA or FI power.

Mike - '68 Camaro with lots of stuff done to it.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Mkelcy is offline  
post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 11:57 AM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 169
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by srode View Post
I'd go with a 400 myself - get a retro hydraulic roller cam, some good heads and you can be at 500 HP pretty easily in a very tame driving car with much less work for the conversion.
Lets see.... you want 600hp with sbc 400
Your going to need some:
good heads : $3000+ (AFR's,Dart,Brodix etc..) or you can cheap out with vortecs but they will not breathe well past .500+ lift maybe lil better after being worked..
Roller cam will have to be pretty helfty... roller cam,lifter,springs,pushrods, $1000... Oh yeah don't forget that forged rotating assembly another $1400..... Carb, Dizzy, etc...... Machine work.......

I got you at $6800 SBC 400 and it might do 525-550HP........

LSX
I know where a complete LS1 w/tranny 52k miles for $1900
You can get a LQ9 or 6.0 for $800-$1200, use the stock bottom in, do a head and cam change..... guys are getting 500HP+ with cam swaps with 19-25 MPG.....

I just did the swap and it was not as bad as people who have not done the swap make it out to be...... It takes dedication and inginuity to make it work, but it is relativly simple....

I will never go back to a carbed motor...........
shonuff is offline  
post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 12:16 PM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 169
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkelcy View Post
Less work, I agree, but I'm not sure less money.


For $7,000 you could probably have a really nice LSx engine in your car - you're just spending the money on different things - LSx pullout with harness, ECU and accessories, probably an accessory bracket or two, maybe an oil pan, fuel tank and fuel line plumbing, adapter motor plates and headers, maybe ECU tuning if you change cams.
I had to buy
motor mounts (Edelbrock): $64
motor mount adapt plates (Edelbrock): $61
EFI gas tank( junkyard off a 95 SS imapala): $50
upgraded to a walbro 255 intank pump(Summit): $125
LH8 oil pan: $250
99-04 vette fuel filter/regulator: $28
Edelbrock step headers: $519(I did not have to do this but I chose this upgrade)

So as you can see its not as hard

Engine,tranny,ecm all pullout. 6.0/4L65E


I paid $5000+ for a 468 that leaked coolant out of freeze plugs and oil not to mention he did not provide a written warranty.... My LSX came with a 6 month full 12 month warranty that was in writting........
shonuff is offline  
post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
Brad
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: DFW
Posts: 15
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

You are right on with the price to do the 400sbc I have figured 6500 to 7000. I'm down to a bare frame right now and will be replacing most of the parts with new. It has been sitting for 20 years (I know). So it does not sound like it would be to much more money for the LSx conversion parts if any. Will be getting new mounts, fuel tank, fuel lines, etc. no mater if it is for the 400 or the LSx. What is the best to look for LS1, LS2, LQ9, or ??

Thanks
scruffy68 is offline  
post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 08:01 PM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 169
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by scruffy68 View Post
You are right on with the price to do the 400sbc I have figured 6500 to 7000. I'm down to a bare frame right now and will be replacing most of the parts with new. It has been sitting for 20 years (I know). So it does not sound like it would be to much more money for the LSx conversion parts if any. Will be getting new mounts, fuel tank, fuel lines, etc. no mater if it is for the 400 or the LSx. What is the best to look for LS1, LS2, LQ9, or ??

Thanks
How much do you wanna spend? Is this a budget build or all out?
shonuff is offline  
post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 08:25 PM
Gold Lifetime Member
Mike
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 4,295
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by scruffy68 View Post
You are right on with the price to do the 400sbc I have figured 6500 to 7000. I'm down to a bare frame right now and will be replacing most of the parts with new. It has been sitting for 20 years (I know). So it does not sound like it would be to much more money for the LSx conversion parts if any. Will be getting new mounts, fuel tank, fuel lines, etc. no mater if it is for the 400 or the LSx. What is the best to look for LS1, LS2, LQ9, or ??

Thanks
If you're looking at $6,500 to $7,000 for the 400, it doesn't sound like you're horribly constrained by your budget. In that case, and if this is just a weekend driver/fun car - no power adder, I'd look for an all aluminum LSx engine. At this point, I'd also insist on at least a 4" bore. So you're looking at an LS2, LS3 or L92 (there may be other aluminum block truck engines, I'm not sure). Look for a low mileage complete take out including, at a minimum, engine, wiring harness, ECU, all front engine accessories and maybe also the tranny. LS2's and L92's will be cheaper than LS3's.

Pick headers and engine mounts as a unit - headers are designed to work with a particular placement of the engine in the car, and various adapter plates move the engine various distances fore and aft in the engine bay. Get it wrong and there's a good chance you'll have header-steering box interference issues.

You'll also need to pay particular attention to the fuel tank. Fuel injected cars don't have a fuel bowl like a carbureted cars do, so if the fuel pickup is uncovered for even an instant, say going around a corner with less than a quarter tank of gas, you'll feel the engine stagger as it's denied fuel. There is a lot of work being done on the fueling system for LSx engines in first generation F-bodies by the guys who autocross and/or track their cars, so I'd wait a bit before jumping at a fuel tank.

If you haven't already done so, I'd step back a moment and plan the overall build - suspension, brakes, transmission, etc. LSx's will (if reasonably cammed, although "reasonable" is much broader than with an SBC) cruise happily at 1,500 to 1,600 rpm. Put in an approriately selected set of rear gears and an overdrive transmission, and you won't find yourself wincing quite as badly at the gas station. Put in a T56 and you'll also have terrific acceleration off the line.

Finally, you should be able to do an LSx for about the same (or less) than the 400 SBC build would run.

Mike - '68 Camaro with lots of stuff done to it.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Mkelcy is offline  
post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 10, 08:54 PM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 169
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkelcy View Post
If you're looking at $6,500 to $7,000 for the 400, it doesn't sound like you're horribly constrained by your budget. In that case, and if this is just a weekend driver/fun car - no power adder, I'd look for an all aluminum LSx engine. At this point, I'd also insist on at least a 4" bore. So you're looking at an LS2, LS3 or L92 (there may be other aluminum block truck engines, I'm not sure). Look for a low mileage complete take out including, at a minimum, engine, wiring harness, ECU, all front engine accessories and maybe also the tranny. LS2's and L92's will be cheaper than LS3's.

Pick headers and engine mounts as a unit - headers are designed to work with a particular placement of the engine in the car, and various adapter plates move the engine various distances fore and aft in the engine bay. Get it wrong and there's a good chance you'll have header-steering box interference issues.

You'll also need to pay particular attention to the fuel tank. Fuel injected cars don't have a fuel bowl like a carbureted cars do, so if the fuel pickup is uncovered for even an instant, say going around a corner with less than a quarter tank of gas, you'll feel the engine stagger as it's denied fuel. There is a lot of work being done on the fueling system for LSx engines in first generation F-bodies by the guys who autocross and/or track their cars, so I'd wait a bit before jumping at a fuel tank.

If you haven't already done so, I'd step back a moment and plan the overall build - suspension, brakes, transmission, etc. LSx's will (if reasonably cammed, although "reasonable" is much broader than with an SBC) cruise happily at 1,500 to 1,600 rpm. Put in an approriately selected set of rear gears and an overdrive transmission, and you won't find yourself wincing quite as badly at the gas station. Put in a T56 and you'll also have terrific acceleration off the line.

Finally, you should be able to do an LSx for about the same (or less) than the 400 SBC build would run.

Good info......

He might want to look at

05+ Escalades... LQ9's ,L92
05+ Denali's......... LQ9's, L92's
05+ Hummers.......... LQ9,LY6
2004+ Silverado 3500........ LQ4's,LQ9,LY6
2004+ Vettes.......... LS6,LS2,LS3,LS7
2005-06 SSR's........... LS2
2004-06 GTO's............. LS1,LS2
1999-02 Camaros......... LS1
shonuff is offline  
post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 10, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
Brad
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: DFW
Posts: 15
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

I have started on the build. Here is what I have already. C5 brakes front and rear, 9" rear with 3.50, HOtchkis springs and leafs, Bilstien shocks, SC&C upper control arms and outer tie rods, will have hydor boost system and lee power steering box. No tranny yet. would also like to be in the 500hp range.
scruffy68 is offline  
post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 10, 08:06 AM
Gold Lifetime Member
Mike
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 4,295
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by scruffy68 View Post
I have started on the build. Here is what I have already. C5 brakes front and rear, 9" rear with 3.50, HOtchkis springs and leafs, Bilstien shocks, SC&C upper control arms and outer tie rods, will have hydor boost system and lee power steering box. No tranny yet. would also like to be in the 500hp range.
Are you looking for a manual or automatic transmission?

500 hp at the flywheel with an LS2, LS3 or L92 isn't difficult or terribly expensive.

Mike - '68 Camaro with lots of stuff done to it.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Mkelcy is offline  
post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 10, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
Brad
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: DFW
Posts: 15
Re: 400 sbc or LSx conversion

manual.
scruffy68 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome