Taiden HalfDork
June 1, 2011 10:28 a.m.

I'm researching some budget v8 swaps other than the 302. An LSx motor would be my preference for sure, but the whole package of an LS1 + t56 is not my idea of a budget swap.

So I guess the truck motors (such as the LM7) are iron block and are totally interchangeable with the LSx

dean1484 I believe is doing a setup like this right now. I'm hoping he'll see this thread and chime in.

One of the major draws for me about the LS1 over something like a 302 is highway efficiency. But that gets totally negated with the extra cost involved. (if an LS1 swap is $3000 more than a 302, and a 302 gets 24 mpg highway, and gas is $4 a gal, the 302 powered car will travel 18,000 miles before reaching the cost of the LS1 swap)

Anyway, Just looking for thoughts on these alternate LS1 motors and what can be expected from them for the money.

And finally, are displacement on demand motors worth modifying?

Ranger50 HalfDork
June 1, 2011 10:49 a.m.

I believe the cost difference is mostly fiction. More times then not, the added cost is because someone didn't shop around on the base motor/trans or ended up modifying the motor from stock. Plus like the E36 LSx swaps I see over on bimmerforums, aren't looking for the hotrod fix, they all want the credit card fix. I mean WTF, waiting to save $1k for a set of "off the shelf" LT's is asinine. Gimme a set of truck or F-body AM cheapie shorties and I'll hack away until they fit and be less then $500. Besides a base truck 5.3 can put out well over 400hp with a fairly simple cam and spring swap, they already put out 280-290hp in stock form. There is absolutely NO reason to find a F-body 5.7 or a GTO 5.7/6.0 right off the bat unless you want to promote your e-penis or something.

Are the DoD engines worth modifying? Sure, but you will have to lose the DoD. All you will need is 8 regular lifters and a new valley plate. The DoD lifter doesn't tolerate the lift created by AM cams.

JMO. Brian

bluej Dork
June 1, 2011 11:35 a.m.

can someone remind me which month had the breakdown on the latest gen chevy v8 swap candidates? I know i've got it somewhere between home/office/dd but knowing which month would make searching a lot easier.

Ranger50 HalfDork
June 1, 2011 11:46 a.m.

It was May 2011. I felt it was kinda thin, but it was a good primer for searching out other stuff on them.

GPDren Reader
June 1, 2011 12:19 p.m.

I enjoyed the May article. I agree it was a little light but a good overview none the less. I was just flipping back through that issue the other night.

I'd love to do an LSx swap on my E30 or Volvo. I'd want an aluminum block mainly because of the weight savings. From what I've read it's somewhere between 50lbs-100lbs depending on which engine, the accessories, etc. Whatever the difference I figure keeping as much extra weight off the nose is a good idea. Now I just need my wallet match my wants.

dyintorace SuperDork
June 1, 2011 1:02 p.m.

The L33 (aluminum 5.3L) is a good option. The guy who built the last V8 RX-7 I owned bought that motor from LKQ for $800. Relatively low miles. He then found a T56 for $800. Added better springs and a Z06 cam to the motor and had quite a nice set up.

Taiden HalfDork
June 1, 2011 1:38 p.m.

I just chcked LKQ. It looks like there's an L33 about 30 miles from my house for $1000 "suggested retail"

Bobzilla Dork
June 1, 2011 1:41 p.m.

LR3 (4.8) truck engine will net almost 24mpg highway in a 5500lb truck. Cam swap, LS1 intake and those small cubes will take that engine from it's stock 295/295 to 350+ and still net you amazing highway fuel efficiency. That and junk yards can't seem to give them away because everyone wants the 5.3/6.0.

Caleb
Caleb New Reader
June 1, 2011 2:51 p.m.

I'm kinda confused about the fact you want a v8 swapped car but are so concerned about gas mileage it seems kind of a contradiction lol. Why not look into something like doing a sr20det 4cylnder with a big turbo because the if you can keep it out of boost you can easily get 30mpg.

dean1484 SuperDork
June 1, 2011 3:05 p.m.

LM4 = all aluminunm LM7. I am not actually doing the swap at the moment I am in the hording hunting and gathering stages at the moment.

LM7 = standard small block pricing say 300-700 depending on millage completeness etc.

LM4 = 650-1200 again same rules as above apply.

For a swap you will have two options. Geat as much of the motor's accessories, ecu wiring harnes and any other bits you will need to make it go.

Or

Go standalone and mae your own wiring harness and hunt for all the bits you will need.

After doing allot of reasurch on this I am a firm be-leaver that the best way to go is to purchase a wreck that has the motor running in it. Remove the motor and all the bits you need and then sell / scrap the rest. Depending on the vehical it could offset the ultimate cost of the motor to the point where your net cash oulay is minimal.

My next project is a LM4 (or may be an L33) in a 951. But first I have to finish my 924ssc. I just got the WBO2 in the mail yesterday so now I can get the standalone up and running i that thing)

I need help. WHile I am woring on one project I am hunting and gathering for the next. It really is a sickness

Taiden HalfDork
June 1, 2011 3:08 p.m.

because an sr20det with a big turbo begins to approach (if not exceed) the price of a well thought out v8 swap... minus all the low end torque, cheap parts, and simplicity of a naturally aspirated vehicle. Plus I've seen 'proof' (internet proof) of LS1 swapped cars getting 35 mpg highway.

Trust me that was incredibly hard for me to type as I am a die-hard nissan fan and consider the sr20 to be the most fantastic motor family ever produced.

Taiden HalfDork
June 1, 2011 3:10 p.m.
dean1484 wrote: a plethora of great info

What standalone are you planning to run? I am a total megasquirt whore, but I've heard tales of the LS1 ecu being easily flashable and very powerful.

WilberM3 Dork
June 1, 2011 3:16 p.m.

i think you can get into the modern v8 factory gm ecu's with HPTuners or some other software and turn off all kinds of things you dont plan on using. not sure if that's the right software though.

June 1, 2011 3:39 p.m.

This thread is relevant to my interests. I've been on ridesafely looking at wrecks, never knew about lkq though, thanks.

Strike_Zero HalfDork
June 1, 2011 3:50 p.m.
Ranger50 wrote: I believe the cost difference is mostly fiction. More times then not, the added cost is because someone didn't shop around on the base motor/trans or ended up modifying the motor from stock. Plus like the E36 LSx swaps I see over on bimmerforums, aren't looking for the hotrod fix, they all want the credit card fix. I mean WTF, waiting to save $1k for a set of "off the shelf" LT's is asinine. Gimme a set of truck or F-body AM cheapie shorties and I'll hack away until they fit and be less then $500. Besides a base truck 5.3 can put out well over 400hp with a fairly simple cam and spring swap, they already put out 280-290hp in stock form. There is absolutely NO reason to find a F-body 5.7 or a GTO 5.7/6.0 right off the bat unless you want to promote your e-penis or something. Are the DoD engines worth modifying? Sure, but you will have to lose the DoD. All you will need is 8 regular lifters and a new valley plate. The DoD lifter doesn't tolerate the lift created by AM cams. JMO. Brian

B:

And those are the new "cheaper" versions . . . you NEED that extra HP those headers put out over Shorties . . .

Bobzilla wrote: LR3 (4.8) truck engine will net almost 24mpg highway in a 5500lb truck. Cam swap, LS1 intake and those small cubes will take that engine from it's stock 295/295 to 350+ and still net you amazing highway fuel efficiency. That and junk yards can't seem to give them away because everyone wants the 5.3/6.0.

I like the idea of using a 302 or LR4 . . .both are pretty stout, both make really good power on the cheap, a T-5 WC will survive behind them, and did I mention cheap . . .

There is thread on one of the truck forums of 4.8 + cam + tune + ots headers making 300whp through a 4L60e . . .

302 for my E36 and LR4 for the Volvo . . .

patgizz SuperDork
June 1, 2011 3:59 p.m.

95 impala SS

iron block/alum head 5.3 with ls1 intake/injectors/rails. i had to swap water pumps to run the car intake and get an idler pulley relocation bracket for the truck accessories. i also had to get an ls1 camaro pan, pickup, and windage tray. i have a stand alone harness from street and performance with a pcm from them programmed to control the engine/trans and be running with all of 6 or 7 other wires to hook up. constant power, ign power, ground, brake switch, fuel pump, tach, and some green wire that i have no clue on. i am almost done with the wiring. i bought the ebay stainless f body longtubes for $169 shipped and had to flatten one tube some to get them to fit. i also bought a low mile engine(sub 40k) so it cost me more than the $400 150-200k mile examples everyone loves to use to prove how cheap a truck based lsx conversion is.

car was $1400 engine was $1200 shipped from texas trans was $230 and a trip to buffalo harness/pcm were $700 secondhand intake/rails/injectors were $200ish pan and stuff was another $200 water pump and pulley bracket was $250 headers $170 conversion mount plates were $40

it adds up quickly, and while some people are content modifying their stock harness i do not have the patience to do so.

Taiden HalfDork
June 1, 2011 4:01 p.m.

Also Brian you hit the nail on the head for me. I am a firm believer than things can be had cheaper and better than what most people experience. I think the truck motors are the key to success here...

Javelin SuperDork
June 1, 2011 4:15 p.m.

Keep in mind that LKQ often has sales and coupons.

The iron-block truck motors are pretty dirt cheap (except for the 6.0's), and if you are lucky you can score an alloy 5.3 for iron money.

The extra $$$ comes into the intake/accessories/oil pan swap needed to get the truck LS to fit into most cars. PCM/wiring can be eaten up as well.

I second the buy the car, pull what you want, and scrap it as the best all-around solution.

Ranger50 HalfDork
June 1, 2011 4:16 p.m.
Strike_Zero wrote: B: And those are the new "cheaper" versions . . . you NEED that extra HP those headers put out over Shorties . . .

No, I don't.

Now that 4.8 with the same z06 cam/spring... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........................................

Brian

Taiden HalfDork
June 1, 2011 4:17 p.m.

Pat, just so I understand, your car was just used as a chassis, and donated no drivetrain parts save driveshaft/rear end?

Bobzilla Dork
June 1, 2011 4:21 p.m.
Strike_Zero wrote:
Ranger50 wrote: I believe the cost difference is mostly fiction. More times then not, the added cost is because someone didn't shop around on the base motor/trans or ended up modifying the motor from stock. Plus like the E36 LSx swaps I see over on bimmerforums, aren't looking for the hotrod fix, they all want the credit card fix. I mean WTF, waiting to save $1k for a set of "off the shelf" LT's is asinine. Gimme a set of truck or F-body AM cheapie shorties and I'll hack away until they fit and be less then $500. Besides a base truck 5.3 can put out well over 400hp with a fairly simple cam and spring swap, they already put out 280-290hp in stock form. There is absolutely NO reason to find a F-body 5.7 or a GTO 5.7/6.0 right off the bat unless you want to promote your e-penis or something. Are the DoD engines worth modifying? Sure, but you will have to lose the DoD. All you will need is 8 regular lifters and a new valley plate. The DoD lifter doesn't tolerate the lift created by AM cams. JMO. Brian

B:

And those are the new "cheaper" versions . . . you NEED that extra HP those headers put out over Shorties . . .

Bobzilla wrote: LR3 (4.8) truck engine will net almost 24mpg highway in a 5500lb truck. Cam swap, LS1 intake and those small cubes will take that engine from it's stock 295/295 to 350+ and still net you amazing highway fuel efficiency. That and junk yards can't seem to give them away because everyone wants the 5.3/6.0.

I like the idea of using a 302 or LR4 . . .both are pretty stout, both make really good power on the cheap, a T-5 WC will survive behind them, and did I mention cheap . . .

There is thread on one of the truck forums of 4.8 + cam + tune + ots headers making 300whp through a 4L60e . . .

302 for my E36 and LR4 for the Volvo . . .

i CAN say that in stock tune with intake and exhaust opened up on the 06 Sierra, the 4.8 LOVES to scream to redline (5800 in first gear, 5500 in 2nd, speed limiter kills 3rd and 4th). I'd love this engine in the C4 vette I have with a tall rear gear.

Or maybe the 4.8 crank in a 6.0 block ....

docwyte Reader
June 1, 2011 4:57 p.m.

So I have a big e penis because I put an LS1 into my 951? WTF?!

The best thing about cars is they're many things to many people. I applaud you wanting to do a low budget V8 swap, I think that's great.

To denigrate the rest of us because we didn't follow the same path as you is short sighted and elitist.

I didn't want to add more weight to my race car and I also wanted the additional displacement. I literally added no weight to the car compared to the factory motor.

dean1484 SuperDork
June 1, 2011 5:48 p.m.
Taiden wrote:
dean1484 wrote: a plethora of great info

What standalone are you planning to run? I am a total megasquirt whore, but I've heard tales of the LS1 ecu being easily flashable and very powerful.

It is all in the "deal".

If I got an LM4 really cheep but it was less the wiring, ecu etc then I would go MS. The problem with this is all the little things really start to add up. First the cost of the MS and all the wiring etc. Does the motor come with the MAF? Is it standard or auto are you getting a flywheel what about the starter alternator. Purchased seperatly I bet you top 800 easy for all this stuff plus the cost of the motor and then you all the figuaring wiring tuning etc. So the cost of the motor had better be really cheep say less than $400

Where as say you pickup a complete a moderate mileage (say less than 90K) motor with wiring Harnis ecu all the accessorius for say 1200-1800. There is an up charge is for the accessories but I have been able to argue sucessfully to pay half there normal retail for the accessories by telling them that they have saved on the labor needed to remove and test etc.

As you can see the cost of the motor and if it is a good deal is dependent on allot of other factors.

You have to make up balance sheet for each particular scenario and see where it really ends up. needed bits.

June 1, 2011 5:53 p.m.

Since you guys brought it up, heres a shameless plug for the LM7 I'm selling. Only reason I'm not keeping it is I already have the cammed LS1 and I need the space/cash to complete my Miata swap...which should get me a few more MPG than the stock four banger

MrJoshua SuperDork
June 1, 2011 5:56 p.m.

In reply to patgizz:

$285 for a 50k mile 2005 4.8 at my local LKQ. The price if I just drove in would have been north of $600 but the car-part.com prices are much lower.

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