SBC or LS1 and Average Cost of LS Swap?

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by sandiego74, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. camarochevy1970

    camarochevy1970 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    7,988
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    you can make a boost ready 5.3 to have 400+hp and torque fairly easy and affordable. In fact, planning on picking up a 5.3 to build this weekend, and all said and done I should have it built and running at about 400/400 all in for about $2000.
     
  2. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    19,914
    Likes Received:
    1,208
    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Location:
    Alabama
    What do you mean boost ready? Turbo? A 5.3 can be had for ~$500....but 400hp is still weak.
     
  3. camarochevy1970

    camarochevy1970 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    7,988
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I would say turbo, roots, centrifugal etc. Boost.

    400 HP may be "weak" but add 10psi to it and have fun.
     
  4. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    19,914
    Likes Received:
    1,208
    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Location:
    Alabama
    I agree, but they don't last...Its not an ideal set-up to put in a road course or autocross car. Best suited for street and strip fun. You also have to consider its far easier to swap an LS engine by bolting and wiring things together than it is to fabricate, build, weld a turbo set-up. For what the OP is looking to do, an N/A engine with high RPM capability is ideal.
     
  5. sandiego74

    sandiego74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    77
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Thank you, and don’t apologize. I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking about this. While I may not be AS happy in the day with the motor, I will certainly be happy with how easy and carefree The swap will be compared to retrofitting an LS.

    Someone else summed up my worries with the LS pretty well, saying I’d have to change a lot of stuff I’ve already “fixed” to get it right. For example, I could keep the TKO, but a T56 is way more ideal with an LS.


    This is exactly what I was afraid of, and I was hoping for your input. If I go the LS route, I most definitely want an LS3. My dream motor would be a destroked LS7, but that’s WAY out of budget. The LS3 would be a perfect base to start off with, and easily upgradable down the road, but even they are too expensive for my budget. I’m thinking SBC for now and a wicked LS later.
     
  6. sandiego74

    sandiego74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    77
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    So, if I stick with the SBC, is a crate 383 going to give me the performance I’m looking for? I have an obsession with high-RPM after doing a ride-along in a legit ‘65 GT350R on a road course. A 377 sounds like a good compromise for torque and high-RPM. Finding a good one for my budget, though, isn’t easy. There is a lot of dirt-track racing here in San Diego that may have connections to a shop that builds good 377’s, so I should ask around there.
     
  7. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    1,034
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    Location:
    Canada
    Well, in reading through your posts, "cheap-fast-reliable" and "budget friendly" has SBC Gen 1 written all over it, mainly because you already have it.

    If your not the "engine" builder and going to have it all farmed out, it's tough to beat some of the "crates" out there, great power and a warranty. If your building this yourself, 400 RWHP is around 460hp at the crank, that's only 1.3hp per CI with a 355, more than doable. Sometimes having to much HP/TQ in the wrong area becomes another variable that you have to deal with, it's easier to drive at the limit with a under-powered car vs a slightly over powered car that get's twitchy all the time.

    But, I would really look at were you spend the most amount of time (rpm range) in a typical autocross run, assume in second gear, and figure out the lowest and highest rpm and build the engine combo to max out that range.

    I went from a "TKO" geared 5 spd to a wide ratio T56 (TR6060) Magnum this summer and the 2-3rd gears woke up the car, my 2nd was to long for the typical autocross, so this will work out better, and like you I'm 3.73 rear gear. So glad I went with the T56, and I'm carb'd, works awesome.
     
    sandiego74 likes this.
  8. sandiego74

    sandiego74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    77
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    You bring up a couple of solid points.

    I actually would love to build my own motor, but I have zero experience and lack the tooling to do so. If I did so myself, it would take far longer for me, and if it’s going to take that much longer, I’d rather just keep saving money for the LS, you know? That’s why, if I go with the SBC, I’ll want to go the turn-key route.

    The other thing that has been bugging me is throwing too much power/low-end torque into a car that’s built around an anemic, tired, old (but reliable) 350 that I have to wind out to get power out of. I’m afraid if I put a torque-heavy 383 in it, I’ll be sliding even more than I already am. Granted, I do have the rear suspension looser in order to control the car better, but I don’t want to accentuate that exponentially. Low-end power, is also what I think the car needs most. It’s a weird spot to be in, and I don’t have the experience and know-all to figure out what motor would be best. I just don’t want to be disappointed.

    Here are some videos of how it does in autocross. I think these may show you what I’m referring to.


     
    Rayden2009 likes this.
  9. biker

    biker Veteran Member

    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    1,177
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    Same here, if I were to go LS, I would go LS3 or at least a truck 6.2 with the right cam and heads. Trick Flow makes LS heads that outperform all the GM stock heads. At this point, you are into the 500hp range at the crank. I dont see a cheap way to do that.
    A 377 is a good engine, and with a solid roller cam, you would easily have 7500rpm with the right cam and induction. But, there are no factory roller or 1 pc rms 400 blocks.
    If the LS thing is eating at your brain.... then budget, save, research the most cost effective way to do it, and pull the trigger. To me, that is a 6.0 or 6.2 truck engine with cam, springs and heads. Buying that and getting it sitting in your car is the easy part. What will eat your time, patience and money is all the peripherals to get it running and driving. I have seen some nice carb LS setups which is easier.
    Like G72 says though, SBC is doable for what your needs are. And as Corky said, pro flo 4 system gives you efficiency, tuneability and driveability.
     
    sandiego74 likes this.
  10. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    19,914
    Likes Received:
    1,208
    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Location:
    Alabama
    You have to look at the overall combination. If you are worried that more power will cause you issues, you need to look at your suspension and tire set-up first. I don't know why we have these debates....a SBC will work...so will an LS. What do you want? Cheap? Easy? Reliable power, lightweight package, OE fuel injection??? Building a potent SBC isn't as cheap as you think. A SBC to perform like a factory LS3 will need aftermarket heads. A crate 383 that makes 500hp is still going to cost you $5K-$6K, so anyway you look at it, its going to cost some money so it depends on what your goals are. I wouldn't cut my desires short to save a couple thousand dollars. There's a reason why the fastest autocross 2nd gens are LS engines, the are better engines... BTW....You surely can use a TKO 600 on a LS...
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
    sandiego74 likes this.

Share This Page