Six months to fun! - Team Camaro Tech
LSx Swap LSx Engines in Non-LSx Vehicles

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Six months to fun!

Well, the old non stock 350 has a lot of blow by and leaks a lot. So I am planning on doing an LS swap after this deployment to a lovely undisclosed location in the middle east; joy. I have read much on the topic but before I start ordering parts, I wanted to seek experience and opinions.


I'm looking at an LQ4 with accessories and a modified harness from LSX4U.com I was going to use the Holley -2 oil pan and button it up to my TKO500. I am going to replace all lower end gaskets, oil pump and may do a cam and spring upgrade.


I know the truck intake isn't the best but I was planning on using it if it clears the hood. BRP has some nice headers and I wanted to use them. Any thoughts?


On the TKO usage, I'm swapping to hydro but am stumped by the bell housing issue. To do this, I need to over come a .4" "gap" since the old school crank sticks out further. I've heard of flipping an LS7 pilot bearing around to overcome this but am unsure. I've also heard of machining off .2" from each side of my bell; sounds scary. I'd like to not buy a new bell but I will if needed. What would you do?


The flywheel and clutch may come from LKQ. I'll just get a new disk and have them balanced prior to install.


Tanks Inc for fuel and routing. I was planning on putting one of there sump/pumps into my tank unless there is some reason I ought not.


What water pump should I use? I've seen truck style and f body pumps used. I plan running truck accessories if the power steering pump clears. I have a nice quad core radiator with intake on the drivers side.


Lastly, I get a miller 211!


That's most of the plan, please shoot holes in this so that there are none when I'm home. Just think, all the wife wants me to de for her is reupholster all three rows of seats in her Tahoe, install new carpet/headliner, replace the stereo and all of the speakers.


- Rob

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 08:56 AM
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Re: Six months to fun!

I'll be the biggest troll I guess and shoot lots of holes into it for you. You already are set up for a small block so why not either rebuild(maybe stroke it to 427) or get a crate small block. It would save tones of aggravation. Ok the LS is a better engine but really how much better. The mpg's might go up but the sbc is capable of more power than can be used on the street.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 09:16 AM
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Re: Six months to fun!

LQ4 would be best with a head swap. Maybe some 243s worked over. Definitely a cam swap.

That said the warming up and reworking you're planing on a used iron block relatively low performance LS may get you close to the cost of a brand new crate LS3/430.

The little things needed for the used LQ can add up. Intake, WP, intake, injectors, plugs and wires, balancer, gaskets etc.

You can use your SB bell and talk to McLeod re the bell, clutch and hydraulics needed.

Reworking a used harness and ECM plus the tuning needed will probably cost more and the a plug and play GMPP control kit that comes with the pedal, fuse box and sensors.

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 11:41 AM
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Re: Six months to fun!

Ok so let me get this right. By the time you get done with swap this swap that and spend about $5,000.00 in swap parts then you have to buy the engine for at least from what I have seen another $7,500 for the engine. So 12 grand plus later you could have spent $5,000 and had the 350 built into whatever you want. I just don't get it? Is it the "oooh wow man I got an LS in this thing". Buy a 2001 Corvette for less. Please realize I am not trying to piss off anybody but I just don't get it. I had an 05 gto so I know how nice ls engines are. But I have been in small block chevy cars since I was a kid and they are great engines.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 11:53 AM
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Re: Six months to fun!

Chevy 383 426HP V 4 Bolt Crate Engine Turn Key Orange GM High PERFORMANCE427 10D | eBay

There you go! You don't even have to wait 6 months. Be back on the road burning rubber in less than a week.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 12:02 PM
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Re: Six months to fun!

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Originally Posted by bigblockragtop View Post
Ok so let me get this right. By the time you get done with swap this swap that and spend about $5,000.00 in swap parts then you have to buy the engine for at least from what I have seen another $7,500 for the engine. So 12 grand plus later you could have spent $5,000 and had the 350 built into whatever you want. I just don't get it? Is it the "oooh wow man I got an LS in this thing". Buy a 2001 Corvette for less. Please realize I am not trying to piss off anybody but I just don't get it. I had an 05 gto so I know how nice ls engines are. But I have been in small block chevy cars since I was a kid and they are great engines.
Your math is way off.

A crate LS3/430 is $5800 with free shipping. When you get done you'll be all in for about $9K complete.

With the SBC complete you'll save about $2500 with a Ebay motor (maybe good maybe not so good)

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 02:27 PM
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Re: Six months to fun!

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Originally Posted by bigblockragtop View Post
I'll be the biggest troll I guess and shoot lots of holes into it for you. You already are set up for a small block so why not either rebuild(maybe stroke it to 427) or get a crate small block. It would save tones of aggravation. Ok the LS is a better engine but really how much better. The mpg's might go up but the sbc is capable of more power than can be used on the street.
Gas mileage will double and you will have 480 HP. (LS 3/480hp) Having said this I am old school too. There really is no comparison from an LS3 engine to an old school SBC/BBC. Just my .02

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 09:12 PM
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Re: Six months to fun!

While in the sandbox you will be able to take the proper time to evaluate each option as they both have benefits.
But it sounds like your leaning toward building a mod - pro something as opposed to a resto but maybe a resto-mod?

I guess it will also depend on how quick your looking to flip the switch and drive her once state-side again.

Stay safe and thanks for your service.


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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Six months to fun!

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Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
LQ4 would be best with a head swap. Maybe some 243s worked over. Definitely a cam swap.

That said the warming up and reworking you're planing on a used iron block relatively low performance LS may get you close to the cost of a brand new crate LS3/430.

The little things needed for the used LQ can add up. Intake, WP, intake, injectors, plugs and wires, balancer, gaskets etc.

You can use your SB bell and talk to McLeod re the bell, clutch and hydraulics needed.

Reworking a used harness and ECM plus the tuning needed will probably cost more and the a plug and play GMPP control kit that comes with the pedal, fuse box and sensors.
I had just assumed that getting a used LQ4 would be much cheaper. I'll look into your suggestions though. Having read on your builds, it seems smart to do so. Thank you for the info.
- Rob

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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 16, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Six months to fun!

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Originally Posted by 69-Pace View Post
While in the sandbox you will be able to take the proper time to evaluate each option as they both have benefits.
But it sounds like your leaning toward building a mod - pro something as opposed to a resto but maybe a resto-mod?

I guess it will also depend on how quick your looking to flip the switch and drive her once state-side again.

Stay safe and thanks for your service.
Once home, I can ride my bike to work; its not like I'll get rained on in the 1.8 miles in PHX. lol. As far as the switch being flipped, the wife and I just want it done right; not necessarily quick.


Also, thank you, Sir.


- Rob

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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 16, 04:56 AM
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Re: Six months to fun!

I recommend you avoid BRP mounts and headers. Engine placement is high and far forward. Holley is a far superior setup which includes mounts, headers, accessories, and trans crossmember that all work together with proper driveline angles.

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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 16, 05:18 AM
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Re: Six months to fun!

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I recommend you avoid BRP mounts and headers. Engine placement is high and far forward. Holley is a far superior setup which includes mounts, headers, accessories, and trans crossmember that all work together with proper driveline angles.

Don
X2.

Intuition leads many to believe a used engine will be much less expensive. So say you grab one for $2000 plus shipping if it's not local. (A quick check on eBay most in this price range have over 100k miles on them)

You have a used motor all dirty out of whatever without knowing the history and gambling on condition.

So you clean it up, pull the heads and have them cleaned up, install a cam and springs, decide may as well do lifters and pushrods Then you buy an intake, new oil pump, next fuel rails and now what about the injectors? Throttle body is cable driven. Need a different water pump and balancer. New plugs and plug wires etc.

When you're done you have as much into a used engine with 50 or 60 thousand miles on it or more then a brand new crate motor with a 50,000 mile warranty

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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 16, 08:57 AM
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Re: Six months to fun!

I have been having an internal debate about this as well. I am able to get an LS2 with an auto (which is what I want) for about $3500 and includes the computer, harness, gas pedal and anything else I want. I figure I will have about another 4k to get it running. How far off am I?

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 16, 11:14 AM
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Re: Six months to fun!

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Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
X2.

Intuition leads many to believe a used engine will be much less expensive. So say you grab one for $2000 plus shipping if it's not local. (A quick check on eBay most in this price range have over 100k miles on them)

You have a used motor all dirty out of whatever without knowing the history and gambling on condition.

So you clean it up, pull the heads and have them cleaned up, install a cam and springs, decide may as well do lifters and pushrods Then you buy an intake, new oil pump, next fuel rails and now what about the injectors? Throttle body is cable driven. Need a different water pump and balancer. New plugs and plug wires etc.

When you're done you have as much into a used engine with 50 or 60 thousand miles on it or more then a brand new crate motor with a 50,000 mile warranty
This is really good advice. If I did it again, I'd buy a crate LS engine, or an an assembled shortblock and build it from there.

It really only makes sense to buy a used LS engine if you are going to install it as is. I bought a used LQ9 (iron block 6.0) thinking I'd just install it as purchased, but ended up swapping on a set of ported 243 heads, new cam/lifters/pushrods, intake, fuel rails timing chain, oil pump, oil pan, water pump, alternator, PS pump, brackets wiring harness and ECU. I would have been way ahead if I didn't pay for everything twice.


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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 16, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Six months to fun!

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This is really good advice. If I did it again, I'd buy a crate LS engine, or an an assembled shortblock and build it from there.

It really only makes sense to buy a used LS engine if you are going to install it as is. I bought a used LQ9 (iron block 6.0) thinking I'd just install it as purchased, but ended up swapping on a set of ported 243 heads, new cam/lifters/pushrods, intake, fuel rails timing chain, oil pump, oil pan, water pump, alternator, PS pump, brackets wiring harness and ECU. I would have been way ahead if I didn't pay for everything twice.
I really was contemplating dropping in a used LQ4 with no mods other than headers. I can score one that I know ran with accessories, a harness that has already been modified by the company and a pedal with module for under 2250. I have an open diff 8.2 and don't really think more than 350 hp is needed right now. I would replace the rear main, valley, valve stem seals, oil pump and oil pan gasket of course. After I added up everything I can possibly think of based on my experience and all of the build threads I can find, I'm in under $7500. That's with a new hoist, paint, fluids and shop towels. lol I could afford to spend more on it but am failing to see why I would get a new crate engine. If I had a rear that could hold it, sure. The warranty would be nice, but I've been exposed to, and owned, numerous LS's that run into the 300K's and only suffered from oil leaks.


That said, I know that if I grab new LS3 everything goes up by $5K due to the new harness and accessories that I need to acquire as well. Is it seriously worth it? I'll try to attach the list of parts I was planning on purchasing to see if I have any holes in my theory. Again, thank you all. This is fun!


- Rob

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