Where to buy a crate motor?

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by daniel76309, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. daniel76309

    daniel76309 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Thanks for additional input, but now you guys are making it complicated! :)

    I like the idea of either a stroker or the LSX (especially the 454!) in that those are both "different" than what is available in a production vehicle and IMO that adds to the "cool factor". However, I am sort of stuck on the idea of an all aluminum engine (for reduced weight), so that kind of leaves those out. Plus both of those would require covers, intake, injectors, coils, etc. (things that are included on the LS376-480) which would add a lot to the cost. If I scored a "takeout junker" for the extra pieces that could work, but maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, because all I have seen for sale used are truck engines.

    Regarding the mock up engine, there was another aluminum 5.3 on Craigslist a couple of months ago for $900 that I was giving serious thought to--the idea being to go so far as making it run, etc., working out all the bugs on a semi-disposable engine. However, when I thought a little more about the "truck to car conversion", etc., and doing everything twice, it seemed like a whole lot of extra effort, so I talked myself out of it. Polar Bear, you do make some valid points though, so I will continue to give that some thought.
     
  2. quadriderkyle

    quadriderkyle Member

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    if you are serious about a couple of years to get it installed then a mock up engine would be a good idea not just for the warranty running out but in a couple of years you could find a better deal on another crate engine. either the price of the one you want now could go down by then or they could come out with one that is even better for about the same price. just a thought. Or the price could go up, I dont know im not a psychic.
     
  3. JJFarmer

    JJFarmer Veteran Member

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    Wow, that's a lot of motor Daniel.... and a lot of money. If you got the $$$, go for it but you can budget it and have a lot of motor if your slow and careful.

    I'm looking for a 6.0 liter for another project with LS3 heads & intake and probably make more HP than will stick to the street. That's what I was looking for when this GTO motor fell in my lap.

    You know, just saying is that the right motor for your purpose? If so, I want to see some video of it goin'
     
  4. daniel76309

    daniel76309 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Well, a couple of years is an exaggeration--at least I HOPE it doesn't take that long. But I have learned with EVERY project I have undertaken on this car that it always takes longer than I expected, and there are always unforeseen challenges along the way. And this is about the biggest thing so far, so who knows how long it will really take. It runs today with the 350, and it sure would be nice to be up and running with the LS motor by next summer--we'll see how it goes.

    JJ you are right, that is a lot of motor. I don't honestly know how much power I need, but I am thinking that wretched excess might be almost enough. I don't know because I have always listened to my practical side, perhaps a little too much. Nice thing about these motors (from what I have read anyway) is that you can make a lot of power and still afford to drive it (fuel consumption wise) and also they still have nice "street manners". So the only down side, aside from the significant challenges of working out all the details, is, as you pointed out, the cost. It is a lot of money, but there are a lot of frivolous things I DON'T buy, so that is how I can justify this "indiscretion". For examply, I don't even have a video recorder, but maybe I can borrow one if I ever get the car running. :)

    For me, looking at the options among crate motors, it seems that the LS376-480 is a good deal. If you look at what you can get for around $5000, it seems to me that you get a lot more with one of these for around $6500. And moving up from there, you have to spend a LOT more for (as an example) an LS7 or LS9. And, being serious, I can't imagine I would ever need more than 480HP. I could also imagine spending a lot (albeit probably considerably less) on parts trying to get a used engine to run as well. And the problem with that is that I have no experience or expertise working on these engines, so for me it is probably smarter to let GM build one for me and just pay my dues.
     
  5. PolarBear

    PolarBear Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Dont forget you will still need an engine harness, computer and accessories with that LS376-480. IMO you would "get out" a little cheaper in the end if you went with the 515, it IS a little more but you throw a carb on there and run the controller for the coils and it is basically ready to go- minus accessories but you can buy them as a complete set from GM too.
    Just added the 515 and controller to the cart, it is about $1,000 more than the 480 but the harness in your car now would basically run that engine, add another $800 for the serp setup and then you just need a starter and either get the exhaust manifolds working with your exhaust now or get the edelbrock headers and engine mount plates and you are ready to roll. Realistically you could do the swap in a weekend if you have the trans parts reeady to go, no major tuning needed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  6. Aceshigh

    Aceshigh Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    EVERYONE usually.

    Agreed. But it's been 4 years since I checked crate prices
     
  7. daniel76309

    daniel76309 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    This is good...you guys are testing my convictions. :)

    I have thought about the 515 version also, and have read up on the "carb v. FI" debate. Here also, I can see both sides of the argument. What is most daunting to me about this whole project is the electronics. A carb would be easier and you are correct, "no major tuning needed". However, the other way to look at that is that no major tuning is possible either. While it intimidates me to some degree, the idea of being able to idealize everything appeals to me. Plus, I will be using an electronic transmission (A 4L80E from Jake, which I already have sitting in my garage), so that is another point in favor of going with the "modern" approach.

    This is another situation though in which it costs money to be ignorant. I don't know how to modify a "pullout" harness, and I have read about other peoples' experiences, so for me it is worth it for the sake of predictability to pay someone like Speartech or Fuel Injection Connection to get me set up initially, and then I probably will go ahead and buy the software so that I can tweak it myself. That is something I still have to learn, but it seems like it would be interesting.
     
  8. LSXZ28

    LSXZ28 Veteran Member

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    If you are wanting an aluminum block, you can get a 402 stroker (uses an LS2 block) for about the same money as the 408 I was talking about...

    There isn't that much different from the crate motor to a long block like I was talking. Find a wrecked 99-02 Fbody with a bizzilion miles on it and get it cheap - all you want are the covers and accesories... you could probably part out the rest of the car and cover your costs if you have a place to do it...

    To me, it would be worth the extra effort and work - you would have a 550 to 600 hp engine with forged internals for a little more than you are talking for the crate motor...
     
  9. daniel76309

    daniel76309 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Your suggestion makes sense, and I know people have done that, but I think you have to just happen to be in the right place at the right time to find such a vehicle or engine. I check Craigslist often, but all I have seen there are 5.3's. I am not sure where else to look.
     
  10. 71RS/SS396

    71RS/SS396 Veteran Member

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    I would also check http://forums.corvetteforum.com/index.php , pro-touring.com , lateral-g.net , and ls1tech. I bought a 07 7500 mile LS-7 w/accy, oil lines, harness, and pcm last year off the corvette forum for $6800. The deals are out there you just have to have the cash and be ready to act because the deals don't last long.
     

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