Snowdoggie
Snowdoggie Reader
7/23/20 12:16 p.m.

My neighbor who is into Chevy's mentioned the fact that LS3 are used in Chevy Trucks and there are cheap ones out there that can be hot rodded with new heads and cams for engine swaps. He was looking at my Miata when he mentioned that. Are there really cheap LS3s in wrecking yards? 

2002maniac
2002maniac Dork
7/23/20 12:18 p.m.

Not exactly. LS3 has never been used in a truck to my knowledge. The 6.0L truck motors are very similar, but have an iron block, tall intake manifold, and bulkier accessory drive systems.

KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
7/23/20 12:26 p.m.

The price of the engine is really far from the overall cost involved when stuffing a big motor in a Miata.

bmw88rider (Forum Supporter)
bmw88rider (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
7/23/20 12:29 p.m.

You would want to look for the 10-14 escalade/yukon motors. Labeled as the Vortec 6200. The internal engine code is the L94. That's the all AL 6.2L truck motor. 

 

You still are short a half point of compression and would have to switch to the car intake, accessories, etc. 

 

The cheaper ones are the 5.3L like the L33 (https://help.summitracing.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4823) you'll get within 30-40 HP of the LS3 with a cam. Just note, the swap headers are more than the motor usually costs. Then you still have to source the T56. 

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
7/23/20 12:35 p.m.
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) said:

The price of the engine is really far from the overall cost involved when stuffing a big motor in a Miata.

Yeah. When it comes to LS swaps, the big cost is almost always transmission. My friend had a mostly complete LS2 from a wrecked Trailblazer SS and horse-traded his way into all the parts to put it into his 240SX but got hung up on the transmission. Any T-56 he found was $1500 plus had some sort of issue that required a rebuild. He finally gave up on it and sold everything off.

Aeromoto
Aeromoto Dork
7/23/20 12:59 p.m.

Any "LS" rpo, such as LS1, LS2, LS3 etc is mostly gonna be in a GM flagship vehicle, such as Corvette, Camaro SS, etc etc, and you're gonna pay a premium for it. If cheap is the goal, the best bang for the buck right now is the LQ9 6.0 Escalade engine. It's a warmed up version of the Silverado LQ4 6.0 with higher compression, a little more cam, etc etc. They're very rewarding to cams, power adders, etc. It's my go to rpo for customers on a budget. I've never had a let down customer yet. As we speak I've got a customer running consistent 11.70s in the 1/4 mile with a bone stock LQ9 in an SN95 Mustang. For simple and cheap, with cheap aftermarket support and tuning, stay 2007 and under with the gen 3 ECMs and harnesses. The newer stuff, Gen 4, Gen 5, etc and e38-e40 ECMS just adds complexity with DOD, VVT, etc etc, which adds cost.  

 

SEADave
SEADave Dork
7/23/20 2:33 p.m.

There are so many variations on the gen 3 & 4 ("LSx") engines I had to put together a spreadsheet to keep them straight.   I counted a total of 36 different variations if you consider the car LS2 as a different engine from the truck LS2.   They came in 4.8, 5.3, 5.7, 6.0, 6.2 and 7.0 liter sizes.  All 5.7's, 6.2's and the 7.0 are aluminum.  The 5.3's and 6.0's can be aluminum or iron block, and the 4.8 was only ever made with an iron block.   

Then you get into variations like flex-fuel versions, versions with VVT (variable valve timing) and AFM (cylinder deactivation).  Both VVT and AFM can be removed, but at a cost.  Then you get into things like cathedral versus rectangle port heads.   There were even factory supercharged and hybrid versions made.   

Yes, various trucks and SUV's had engines that were similar to the LS3, probably the closest being the 6.2 liter L92 and L9H.  They had the same block and heads as the LS3 but came with VVT.   The L9H is the flex fuel version.   

As others have mentioned, just getting the engine is the easy part of an LS swap.   

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/23/20 2:34 p.m.

It's somewhat possible but they're not really in the type of vehicles that end up at pull a part.  

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/23/20 3:49 p.m.
NickD said: 
Yeah. When it comes to LS swaps, the big cost is almost always transmission. My friend had a mostly complete LS2 from a wrecked Trailblazer SS and horse-traded his way into all the parts to put it into his 240SX but got hung up on the transmission. Any T-56 he found was $1500 plus had some sort of issue that required a rebuild. He finally gave up on it and sold everything off.

It's pay to play. $2k buys a new TKO600. Sure it's not a 6spd, but bfd. It gets you closer to running. Or untuck your tail and make an auto work. I'd only run an auto because I can easily drop in a number of them on top of having like 20 of them.

If it isn't the transmission, it'll be a $3k rearend to buy. The $1k headers custom made to make fit. The $500 for a "won't set you on fire" fuel system. Etc, etc, etc... 

The project car death spiral.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
7/23/20 4:18 p.m.

$900 lq9's on car-part in a reasonable distance. Noted.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
7/23/20 4:27 p.m.
Ranger50 said:
NickD said: 
Yeah. When it comes to LS swaps, the big cost is almost always transmission. My friend had a mostly complete LS2 from a wrecked Trailblazer SS and horse-traded his way into all the parts to put it into his 240SX but got hung up on the transmission. Any T-56 he found was $1500 plus had some sort of issue that required a rebuild. He finally gave up on it and sold everything off.

It's pay to play. $2k buys a new TKO600. Sure it's not a 6spd, but bfd. It gets you closer to running. Or untuck your tail and make an auto work. I'd only run an auto because I can easily drop in a number of them on top of having like 20 of them.

If it isn't the transmission, it'll be a $3k rearend to buy. The $1k headers custom made to make fit. The $500 for a "won't set you on fire" fuel system. Etc, etc, etc... 

The project car death spiral.

Aren't CD009s becoming an increasingly popular choice? $1700 new, half used?

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
7/23/20 4:44 p.m.

Around here ( SE Michigan) you can build a respectable  LS off of FB Marketplace parts. I'm putting an aluminum block 5.3 in my Challenge car. Depending how the budget works out it could end up with a cam and be making something in the neighbourhood of 400 HP. Some parts can be pricey if you really need them, like an LS1 intake for example. Everyone thinks they're made of gold for some reason. Same thing with the bigger valve heads, which don't really matter a lot on a 5.3 anyway.

iansane (Forum Supporter)
iansane (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/23/20 4:55 p.m.
fatallightning said:
Ranger50 said:
NickD said: 
Yeah. When it comes to LS swaps, the big cost is almost always transmission. My friend had a mostly complete LS2 from a wrecked Trailblazer SS and horse-traded his way into all the parts to put it into his 240SX but got hung up on the transmission. Any T-56 he found was $1500 plus had some sort of issue that required a rebuild. He finally gave up on it and sold everything off.

It's pay to play. $2k buys a new TKO600. Sure it's not a 6spd, but bfd. It gets you closer to running. Or untuck your tail and make an auto work. I'd only run an auto because I can easily drop in a number of them on top of having like 20 of them.

If it isn't the transmission, it'll be a $3k rearend to buy. The $1k headers custom made to make fit. The $500 for a "won't set you on fire" fuel system. Etc, etc, etc... 

The project car death spiral.

Aren't CD009s becoming an increasingly popular choice? $1700 new, half used?

They are. Although you'd also need to add in the cost of a $500 adapter, which negates a lot of the benefit. (and the effort of cutting off the non.removable factory bellhousing if that makes you squeamish)

Patientzero
Patientzero HalfDork
7/23/20 5:02 p.m.
Ranger50 said:

It's pay to play. $2k buys a new TKO600. 

Where are you finding those?  Cheapest I've seen is $2600 and that doesn't include a bellhousing.

 

I paid $2500 for my LS3 becauase I knew a guy that knew a guy at the dealership. I got smoking deal and I would not expect to find another LS3 that cheap.  LS1's sell for more than that and they are basically boat anchors.

 

I'm currently using an Aisin AR5 from a Chevy Colorado.  Under $1500 all in including having an aluminum driveshaft made.  I have broken one but I'm also making close to 500whp and the car is only driven when it's being beat on.  

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/23/20 10:20 p.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

Sorry was looking at a t10 for 2k and yes 2600 for a tko.

Edit- re:bellhousing. Kind of a moot point since no matter what you're buying, it's going to require one. I know you can "cobble up" something else to fit with a bunch of available adapters, but in the end is it worth the hassle just to be "cheap"?

I've been binge watching the Roadkill Extra shorts on the MT app, totally worth the $24 I spent, and I kinda gotta go with Freiburger when he said, "Just get it running. Forget the notion of everything else." Case in point, my challenge Ranger. I'm still waffling on a transmission. The motor I'm using has a perfectly "good" T5, with horrible gear ratios, attached to it. Use it? Turn down the input shaft on the whiny v8 T5 I have? Go c4 auto with the unobtaininum parts I have? All are fairly budget neutral in overall costs. C4 requires the most work. I can get the input shaft turned for zero dollars. The original just needs put back on/in. The rest of the truck? It's staying exactly the same way as I pulled it back out of the weeds/lawn it sat in for the previous 3 yrs. It's a green color, not red, the headlights are fogged over, the interior ain't going back in because nasty, it has more dents in it at horrible places that just makes it ugly, and etc... Nothing on that list keeps it from running. I might wash it at some point tho....

Statiko
Statiko New Spammer
7/24/20 8:05 a.m.

That's exactly what I've never seen cheap. $3,000 in [canoe paddle] strength, no less. 

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