My head is spinning - 383 vs. LS1?????

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by Toadman2230, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Toadman2230

    Toadman2230 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I currently have a '77 Camaro with a (leaky) 350/350 turbo. The car is mostly street driven only on weekends, but will see 5 or 6 autocross events and 1 or 2 track days a year. Also, maybe 1 or 2 road trips about 4 hours long.

    As a starting point, I'd like to get in the 400 h.p. neighborhood at the crank. My (er, actually my wife's) budget is $4000. I have a line on a wrecked 2000 Camaro with the LS1/T-56 combo for $1500. I own a steel fabrication/machine shop that could do a lot of the parts like engine mounts, fuel tank mods, crossmember mod..., so I could save some bucks there. Buuuut, sometimes the thought of a new 383 that would use my existing serpentine drive, headers, A/C... is very appealing and seemingly a lot less headaches.

    I'd love to be able to drive the car again in the spring and don't want to be in the middle of a swap when warm weather rolls back around. I know the pros & cons of swapping each engine, but I could use a nudge in one direction or the other. :confused: :eek: :confused: :eek:
     
  2. BusDriver

    BusDriver Veteran Member

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    I'd snap up a running LS1/T56 for $1500 no matter what... That's a steal.

    In fact, if I could scrape together $1500 I'd be all over that combo.
     
  3. 91chevywt

    91chevywt Veteran Member

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    I think you'd be happier with the LS1 over a 383, I would
     
  4. Toadman2230

    Toadman2230 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    My main apprehension with the LS1 is, of course, the wiring and putting the T-56 in a previously automatic car...
     
  5. 91chevywt

    91chevywt Veteran Member

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    Yes those are the biggest obstacles. I'm sure you could get a 383 in there for less money/headache and you'd still be happy. Do you feel like doing the work? If not definetly go the 383 route. That will be some work as it is and you'll probably end up with some spare change afterwards.
     
  6. 77LT1

    77LT1 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I'd go the LS route personally. It's not all that hard to swap the T56 into an automatic car. All of the parts are out there. It's almost a bolt in. A little fabrication is required, but not that much.

    Does the engine and tranny come with the harness or not. I assume it does if you are going to buy the whole car. If you have that and you can do the work yourself, it's a no-brainer for me. LS and T56. 400HP would be as easy as falling off of a log with that engine. I'd up your goals for more than that with simple bolt ons.

    Don't forget you can sell off parts off the wrecked car and get some of that money back.

    B
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  7. trent79z

    trent79z Veteran Member

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    i would go with the LS. even though i have a 383 in my Z. I'm not positive, but from what ive seen and read the LS motor may be a little more work right now but would pay of in the future. plus arent the way easier HP and gas mileage?
     
  8. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    The LS1 is a good motor and you will love the fuel injection. IMHO...FI is cool and would be wonderful to have, BUT the 383 is a better deal and if your not driving the car alot or as a daily, FI benifits are not that heavy. You can get that LS1 in your car for under $4K and it would kick azz!, but you will have a USED motor in your car that could crap out or what ever 10,000miles down the road. Have you seen what a rebuild kit cost for an GEN III SBC?? ~$500 alone for a gasket kit!
    You could have a zero miles 383 small block with 400hp and you know it would be fresh!

    When it all comes down to it...do what you desire....I dont have all the fabrication tool/skills like you seem to have, the decision is easier for me. Also dont forget about the "heres and there" cost (fuel tank plumbing ect)

    I would ge a hold of Jake and look into a LQ4....
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  9. Toadman2230

    Toadman2230 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Actually, part of the downside of the 2000 Camaro is that I have to take the entire car. It was a rollover, so there's not a whole lot to save off of it. I hear that the engines have to be dropped from the bottom. I'm totally not familiar with that. Is it difficult??

    There is a relatively local company that sells rebuilt 460le's. Would I be better off sticking to an automatic? I'd love having overdrive. Although I'd love a manual trans... :confused:

    I'm afraid a new LQ4 would put me over budget.
     
  10. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    Do you know even how the motor runs? Being a 2000...I bet it has over 150,000 miles.
     

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