Cheapest LS engine at price and power?

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by 76z28, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. daniel76309

    daniel76309 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I have gone back and forth on this. After looking at all the significant peripheral costs and effort involved in making the swap (regardless of which "LS" style engine is used), it seems sort of counter-productive to cheap out on the engine itself. Therefore, I am planning to get an LS-376-480 crate motor. It costs ~$6500, but it is NEW with a warranty, it already has a good cam in it, and it is all aluminum, And, I don't have to struggle with and spend money on swapping out car for truck intake, pan, accessories, etc. To me it seems like it is worth the extra money. Still, I continue to check Craigslist for deals...
     
  2. 73RS/LT

    73RS/LT Veteran Member

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    I bought my LY6 from a wrecking yard for $1800.00. It had less than 3000 miles on it, so it's very close to a new motor. I located it using car-partdotcom. Since I'm going carb'd and running F-body accessories, I've since sold a TON of parts off of this motor that I won't be using. That has brought the price of the longblock closer to $1300. Granted, I had to re-buy accessories, but.....

    Also, a TH350 or TH400 will bolt to an LS motor (iron block or aluminum) just fine. The bell bolt pattern is slightly different than a SBC/BBC, but it'll bolt up just fine with five bolts. Then you need either a convertor built specifically for a TH350/400 to LS combo, or use a conventional TH350/400 convertor with an adapter available from GM or Hughes (maybe even TCI). Because the pilot snub on a "conventional" convertor is shorter, the adapter essentially extends the crank's pilot hole to support the shorter hub of the convertor. A LS-specific TH350/TH400 convertor is built with this longer hub so no adapter is required.

    Check the link to my build thread in my sig and you should find a little more info that will hopefully help you out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  3. 1971CamaroGuy

    1971CamaroGuy LS Swapped 1971 Camaro

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    I thought I could budget my LSX swap with a 5.3 vortec engine, and do it for less than $2000....boy was I wrong. I'm in excess of $3500 and the engine isn't running yet.

    Good rule of thumb, whatever your budget is....the actual cost will be double or even triple when done. All the little things add up....the LS based engines are cheap.

    FWIW I ended up switching intakes to clear the hood...ended up getting a 5.7 camaro accessory set for intake clearance, then it went from there. Don't forget the oil pan too....a f-body oil pan, pick-up, and windage tray can cost in excess of $200 or more depend on if it's new or used.

    The only thing that is 5.3 on my budget 5.3 engine is the block, coils and heads now...
     
  4. 1970camaroRS

    1970camaroRS Veteran Member

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    JAMMINJ007- I'm surprised at that low number? Was it on a Mustang dyno? Was it a teeny tiny cam? 360hp with a 20% loss is 450hp at the flywheel. Stock L92 headed engines make close to that with a stock cam and headers.

    sbca91- The LT1 swap isnt much cheaper than a 5.3L swap, and you'll be handicapped by the old head design. It's just not worth it anymore. The biggest pitfall is that people over-do it and spend money in areas that aren't necessary. (I'm guilty too...didn't NEED a double roller or a ported oil pump or head studs or MLS gaskets...or....or...). For a basic swap of a stock engine all you need are mounts and adaptors for the transmission and maybe headers, stock manifolds are no fun. As was said before, the 350/400/700r4 trans bolts right up minus one bolt hole that doesn't exist on the GenIII motor. For my aplication, 700r4 with Edelbrock headers, I had to trim a tab off the passenger side bellhousing to make everything fit.
     
  5. sbca96

    sbca96 Veteran Member

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    Depends on what "worth it" is and to who. The 275 hp version of the LT1
    moves my '93 Camaro down the road with all the fun I could want. With the
    260K on it, it still lights them up with reckless abandon. These engines make
    good power, and a complete setup can be had now for less than just the LS
    engine itself. We bought a complete side impact '94 Firebird for 2300 about
    5 years ago, a steal at the time, but with only 67k on the clock, still not a
    bad deal now since everything forward of the windshield is usable. The LT1
    actually bolts in, which means you dont have to take any of the engine off
    and stock these things make nice power. Compared to the 118 hp 305 we
    are pulling out for this swap, this will be a monster. Since it has to pass the
    CA emissions test, its nice to have a complete car to copy, thats a hurdle in
    California, and something the other States will eventually see.

    My wife has a '99 Camaro SS, and it does have a lot of power, but truthfully,
    the LT1 SOUNDS so much better ... and I cant say why.

    To each their own .. but the LT1 will always be better ON A BUDGET.

    Tom
     
  6. JAMMINJ007

    JAMMINJ007 Veteran Member

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    hp

     
  7. Aceshigh

    Aceshigh Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    For the record......my brother has a '94 LT1 Z28, (stock 1/4 time by a pro is 14.2 ET)
    and my cousin had a stock 2004 Mustang GT with 260hp that smoked him.
    With a 412hp Mustang GT now prowling the streets
    .......going stock LT1 is going to be downright embarrassing.

    LS1 vs LT1 in parts will almost be the same.
    Headers, fuel system upgrades, electronics , etc.
    4L60e's and 4L80e's in used condition are damn near given away for ~$500 or less.
    The T-56's are where it will cost ya.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  8. RICARDO1969

    RICARDO1969 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I bought my 08 ly6 for $1900. with 22 thousand miles. I feel it was a good deal it was complete with all accessories and starter, but most likely some of that will be sold and i will recoup some money just to throw it all back in lol!

    JUST DOING A CAM INTAKE AND CARB AND AND AND AWW HELL IM GONNA BE BROKE FOR A LONG TIME HA!
     
  9. daniel76309

    daniel76309 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    That sounds like a really good deal, and if I saw that I would probably go for it too.
     
  10. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    Yea, He made out good!
     

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