Cost of an LS swap

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by 57Plymouth, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. 57Plymouth

    57Plymouth Veteran Member

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    Time for more power in the Intruder Camaro. The 305 is efficient but weak. I have that parts to build a nice 350 with some world products heads, and 383 kits are around $1k. So a new small block is cheap. I kow this won't make huge power, but it would be a huge step over the 7.5 compression 305 in there now. This is a cruiser, so reliable and strong is vital. Low ET is not as important.

    How much on average do you guys spend on an ls swap? I will keep the new 700r4 in the car, and I want to keep the sanden style compressor for the a/c. So what can I expect to spend on average for a typical 5.3 swap?

    Is it really cheaper to build an old style small block? I have a running engine so all of the small parts are there.

    Also, where do you find engines? Around here they are over $1500 without transmission or wiring on Craigslist. Any pointers on junkyard take out suppliers is appreciated.
     
  2. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    eBay, you can buy a pullout 5.3 for not much money at all. On average about $800-$1200. You can do a complete 5.3 swap for less then $3k. It really depends on what you spend on the engine and replace. The more complete, the less extras you gotta buy. If you use the stock exhaust manifolds, stock intake etc....you don't need much more then a fuel system, adapter brackets and a harness mod
     
  3. Double J

    Double J Veteran Member

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    Save your pesos........it's not a bargain build to do it right, but everyone has a different interpenetration of doing it right. I've got over 4K into mine with a used 5.3L (44K miles) Edelbrock intake w/carb, running a 4-speed hyd. clutch. Texas speed 228R cam. Everything turned out awesome couldn't be happier, just not inexpensive to do.
     
  4. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    ^yeah very subjective...the 5.3 is a 300 horse engine. You don't "have" to put a $600 cam kit in it. I also feel running it "as is" is cheaper then converting it to a carb. You don't need Holley adapter brackets, there are low buck steel ones for not much $$ eBay. Once you get it in and running then over time learn to tune, swap the intake, swap the cam etc...etc...

    I got over $10k in my LS7. My opinion of doing it right is with a brand new crate engine, but who's got money to waste $13k on an engine
     
  5. Double J

    Double J Veteran Member

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    Stay on topic..........We are discussing cost not YOUR opinion.
     
  6. 76_TypeLT

    76_TypeLT Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    But it seems relevant to discuss cost AND value. OP is asking about "average" cost which can vary from person to person. You can cheap out on anything or go balls out.

    I think it helps to educate others on what their money will get them. It might be more capital efficient to spend more up front (if possible) so you don't get bored too quickly and end up doing another swap.
     
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  7. 72BIGBLOCK

    72BIGBLOCK Veteran Member

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    Stock ls swap cost me around 5000 but did all the labor between me and my brother in law.
    Tanks inc fuel tank 500
    Affordable efi computer and standalone harness 900
    Engine and trans est 2500
    Oil pan Holley 330
    Oil bolts misc hemi joint for pedal 500
    That's about what I remember
     
  8. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    The problem is too many folks over inflate the cost based on doing "preferred" optional things. I do a lot of preferred adds. If I didn't, and just did a swap, it would be alot cheaper. When you start talking like that, of course the cost is going to rise.

    Just like above..$900 for a harness and ECM??? $330 for an oil pan!
     
  9. 57Plymouth

    57Plymouth Veteran Member

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    So if $330 for a pan is high, what's the right price?

    I found a 5.3 yesterday at the pull a part, and I'm lazy so I paid $125 for them to pull it. So I have the engine and accessories for $400. Since I'm keeping the 700r4, I'm thinking about going with a carb intake to make the TV cable easy, and eliminate the need for the factory harness and computer and tuning. I still have to add a fuel system, but I'm probably going to use the stock tank with an external fuel pump. I want to do this for as close to $2K as I can, but I also am confident that I will exceed that figure.

    At least the rest of the car is done, and the transmission is in good shape.
     
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  10. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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