LS1 swap cost estimate please help - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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LS1 swap cost estimate please help

I am at a point that I could either put some money into my old 350 (new or used heads) or get going on the LS swap.

I really want to go for the LS swap as I already have the complete LS1 (98 Camaro) sitting in my garage. Complete means complete, accessories, ecu, mass airflow, wiring, etc... But what I need is an accurate budget to make my short-term decision. I'm not rich so I want to spend the money once and not go to wild


My thought is to drop the unmodified LS1 in as it is (has ported TB and LS2 intake but otherwise stock).

I want to go with a T56 and I am eying a t56 on ebay with bellhousing, flywheel, clutch, and hydrallic throwout for $2200. Sure it might eventually need to be rebuilt, I get that.

I am estimating $1000 for fuel system (tank, pump, etc.....)

I am estimating $1000 for radiator components (be cool)

Estimating another $500 for trans crossmember etc....

What am I missing on the big picture?

What misc parts and I missing that will add up?



Thanks in advance guys - HELP PUSH ME OVER THE HUMP AND GET THIS LS SWAP GOING.


the motivation is my current 350 heads need reworked and I cannot see dropping the cash on that if I really want to do the LS swap anyway.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 01:08 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

I have been thinking the same thing only I don't have an LS already like you do. I have done my research on the conversion and it is basically the entire underside of the car. I don't know if your bullet points listed a drive shaft.

Anyway, from my pea brain memory, I think you have it all.

Exhaust
Motor mounts

For me, my estimate is 12k with parts and labor. You have the engine and accessories already.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Thanks, yep I left the shaft out by mistake.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 02:35 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

-Exhaust
-Headers
-Mounts
-Drive shaft cut balance and new joints
-Fuel system clamps, adaptors, hose, fittings
-Gauges?
-Misc. harness tapes, clamps, grommets, auxiliary fuse panel, relays, wire, etc.
-Oil pan?
-Scan tool to monitor the computer
-HPTuners or EFILive to tune it at home Otherwise you take it to a dyno shop that will tune it for $300
-Transmission linkages, shifter, etc?
-Oil\filter
-Trans fluid
-Steering fuild
-Coolant
-Overflow setup
-New fuzzy dice for the mirror
-Beer (or your favorite beverage)
-New tires... or just rotate them more often
-How're the upper\lower ball joints? Alignment?

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 13, 06:42 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by HwyStarJoe View Post
-Exhaust
-Headers
-Mounts
-Drive shaft cut balance and new joints
-Fuel system clamps, adaptors, hose, fittings
-Gauges?
-Misc. harness tapes, clamps, grommets, auxiliary fuse panel, relays, wire, etc.
-Oil pan?
-Scan tool to monitor the computer
-HPTuners or EFILive to tune it at home Otherwise you take it to a dyno shop that will tune it for $300
-Transmission linkages, shifter, etc?
-Oil\filter
-Trans fluid
-Steering fuild
-Coolant
-Overflow setup
-New fuzzy dice for the mirror
-Beer (or your favorite beverage)
-New tires... or just rotate them more often
-How're the upper\lower ball joints? Alignment?
Good Starting List.

Many have asked this question.

I'm just finishing my 69 LS7/T56 Pro Tour build and in the middle of my sons 69 LS2/4L60E build

Bottom Line is the engine/transmission/Harness/ECM is just the tip of the $$$ iceberg.

The harness needs to be modded to get rid of what you don't need. The ECM has to be reprogrammed.

Fuel system and cooling system including cooling fans/relays etc

Engine accessories may need to be moved to clear frame and or hood. Are you planning on ac? Add bracket and/or frame modifications.

Clutch Master? You can use an F-body but you need an attachment bracket.

T56 will require some tunnel modification. The OD tranny will probably mean a gear change to get the most out of it

Headers? O2 sensors (and don't forget the extension harness). Pigtags for the tranny. Reverse Lock out, back up lights. How are you going to hook up the speedo? Need a Halls sender or a conversion for cable.

PS lines possibly.

I always tell people to do a good budget and then double it and you'll be close.

And you need to be able to do most of the work yourself if you can.

If this blows your budget. Simply do a nice rebuild on the 350. Some decent Alum Heads, a nice cam (roller if you can swing it) and add a TKO 500 OD Tranny swap. Next up would be go to EFI

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Thanks Joe and Vega.

The LS1 I have is complete with a custom harness. ECU and Mass Airflow the works. It was installed in a little Miata before I got it :-) All wires marked, programmed and could run just on the fuel pump I was told if I wanted to.

No ac for now

Have all the accessories as well but I know I might have to mod things to fit them

I need an oil pan, cooling system, flywheel, clutch, housing, T56,and drive shaft
Need fuel system (tank, pump, sending unit, etc....)

Speedo I thought I could either go with a manual driven off the T56 (if it is a new one) or I'd consider going Digital Dakota on the Dash for everything

Yep had forgotten headers and exhaust system

already has power steering and have a new pump and reservoir


I like the advice of doubling the cost as an estimate. That really puts things into perspective for me.



So the reason I am motivated is my old 2 bolt 350 needs some head work. Never did like that leaky old engine anyway and I'd rather not put any money into it at this point.

It comes down to go all out with the LS1 upgrade or follow the 2nd path Vega suggests of a built 350.


I'm looking at this as a FUN project and am not in a hurry to decide or finish. I figure I drove the snot out of my car this summer and I can sit back now and plot my next steps that will make me smile for several more years.

Thanks

Randy

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 10:56 AM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Once you go EFI and a computer, you'll wonder why you ever considered anything else.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 01:15 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by HwyStarJoe View Post
Once you go EFI and a computer, you'll wonder why you ever considered anything else.
I agree 100%. But he can that with the 350 he has. Holley, Edelbrock, Fast and MSD all make some very nice bolt on and self tuning setups.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 01:17 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by il_randyb View Post
I like the advice of doubling the cost as an estimate. That really puts things into perspective for me.
That's why I use $ instead of S when I spell my handle Vega$

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 03:17 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
I agree 100%. But he can that with the 350 he has. Holley, Edelbrock, Fast and MSD all make some very nice bolt on and self tuning setups.
True... for the cost of a good LS package you can build one from a cheap small block.

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 03:42 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by HwyStarJoe View Post
True... for the cost of a good LS package you can build one from a cheap small block.
Yep. My buddy I sold my last 69 to keeps saying he wants to do an LS3. He can not do the swap himself. He keeps showing me the Hot LS3 crate for about $8500 and I keep telling him he'll be close to $15000 when its all done. And that's with me helping for free.

He has an extremely good running 355 roller motor. But wants to be able to hit the switch like an LS and go.

My suggestion is add EFI for under $2500 and GO.

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 03:53 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

I guess it depends what you're adding the EFI setup to.
If it's the typical Gen 1 SB, you still might want to dress it like an LS... so there's that cost to address. Heads, brackets and belt(s), accessories. etc. There's something to be said for an all aluminum engine as well.

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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 04:10 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by HwyStarJoe View Post
I guess it depends what you're adding the EFI setup to.
If it's the typical Gen 1 SB, you still might want to dress it like an LS... so there's that cost to address. Heads, brackets and belt(s), accessories. etc. There's something to be said for an all aluminum engine as well.
Yep or you can go all out on a built LS7.




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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 04:21 PM
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Engine bay porn!

Show off!

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 13, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: LS1 swap cost estimate please help

Damn, that looks sweet!

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