: LS1 swap or freshen up LT1?



N0DIH
12-15-06, 02:17 AM
Ok, got to run one by the forum.

I have 209K on my stock opti, stock water pump and stock timing chain/gears/valve springs. So, it is way past time to fix things up.

$225 for a water pump
$225 for a Opti
$150 for a timing set
$100 for valve springs (beehive)
(please update my prices if you have better more current data)

OR

I can get a 2004 6.0L LQ4 V8 with 55K miles on it from a 2500/3500 GM truck for $1200 or the 5.3L with 30K miles for under $800. I gain lots of power and I gain a very durable engine. I can do any mods I want in the mean time and gain even better power. The LS1 6.0L truck heads are rumored to flow like the LS6 heads, so lots of potential... The LM7/L59/LM4 5.3L make good power and are also responsive to upgrades too.

So, should I spend $$ on the LT1 and fix up the ancient parts, or plan for an upgrade, pickup the LS1 (5.3L or 6.0L) and plan for a LS1 swap this summer?

It almost seems better to spend $$ on the 5.3L, I get 290-320hp, dead nuts reliable and start over with a 30K mile engine. Or the LQ4 6.0L and start with 285-295 hp and have a ball. And if I can get a L59 is an E85 engine to boot. If I can figure out how to find a L33 that would be even better with 310hp/335 lb-ft torque. But those likely drive up costs....

Is the swap all that hard? It will end up overall costing more for the LS1 swap, (PCM needed, tuning, exhaust work, etc) but might ultimately be more rewarding and efficient.

Destroyer
12-15-06, 07:37 AM
Ok, got to run one by the forum.

I have 209K on my stock opti, stock water pump and stock timing chain/gears/valve springs. So, it is way past time to fix things up.

$225 for a water pump
$225 for a Opti
$150 for a timing set
$100 for valve springs (beehive)
(please update my prices if you have better more current data)

OR

I can get a 2004 6.0L LQ4 V8 with 55K miles on it from a 2500/3500 GM truck for $1200 or the 5.3L with 30K miles for under $800. I gain lots of power and I gain a very durable engine. I can do any mods I want in the mean time and gain even better power. The LS1 6.0L truck heads are rumored to flow like the LS6 heads, so lots of potential... The LM7/L59/LM4 5.3L make good power and are also responsive to upgrades too.

So, should I spend $$ on the LT1 and fix up the ancient parts, or plan for an upgrade, pickup the LS1 (5.3L or 6.0L) and plan for a LS1 swap this summer?

It almost seems better to spend $$ on the 5.3L, I get 290-320hp, dead nuts reliable and start over with a 30K mile engine. Or the LQ4 6.0L and start with 285-295 hp and have a ball. And if I can get a L59 is an E85 engine to boot. If I can figure out how to find a L33 that would be even better with 310hp/335 lb-ft torque. But those likely drive up costs....

Is the swap all that hard? It will end up overall costing more for the LS1 swap, (PCM needed, tuning, exhaust work, etc) but might ultimately be more rewarding and efficient.
You wont be able to use your accessories either. Motor mounts are probably different as well. It would be best if you bought a complete motor w/all accessories, harness, computer, etc. Sounds like a bit more of a project than you think but it would be cool.

N0DIH
12-15-06, 09:20 AM
Yup, was planning on complete engine, that is commonly what they sell. I would have to confirm for sure.

Things like AC can be an issue. I don't know the placement of the compressor or power steering pump or alternator, which if it ran into the frame would be an issue.

My #1 goal is reliability, #2 is long life. The LT1 is doing fine, but I know some maint is coming, and I don't care to be stranded for an Opti or a leaky water pump that peed all over my Opti and wipe it too.

Being my mpg has never been over 21 mpg highway, and the trucks with the 5.3L commonly get 19-20, I would have to do better with a car and better aero.

PCM would all need to be different, trans MAY need to be swapped to. So it might be best to pickup a 4L65E with it (the bolt pattern is similar, but you lose 2 bolts, so it is only 4 to hold the engine to the trans). With a stock 4L60E @ 209K, how long will it last? Might be worth going for engine/trans and of course, PCM.

Will all the other stuff hook up?

Just trying to be most efficient with my $$ on it. I would rather do 6.0L, might as well get most power....

FASSTWOOD
12-15-06, 10:04 AM
Nodih I have a set of valve springs if your interested they are cm ex612 springs with 20k on them i took them off cause i went with aluminum heads and beehive springs on those... LMK By the way as far as cool factor i would do an ls1 as far as money factor stick with what you know works and keep the lt1 just freshen herup...

90Brougham350
12-15-06, 10:13 AM
I know bolt-in engine mounts are available from Transdapt, I think, for LSx engines into b-bodies. I like the idea of this swap but all too often engine swaps look much less headache-filled on paper than they do when it comes down to the wire. If you still have good compression, simply maintaining the Fleetwood right now might be the best choice.

Hammondsix
12-15-06, 10:30 AM
well..you might be able to freshen your lt1 for less...

@ napa

wterpump = 50 http://www.napaautoparts.com/masterpages/NOLMaster.aspx?PageId=470&LineCode=WP&PartNumber=58494&Description=Water+Pump+-+Remfd

opti = 164

http://www.napaautoparts.com/masterpages/NOLMaster.aspx?PageId=470&LineCode=NRD&PartNumber=481803&Description=Distributor+(Electronic+w%2fo+Module)+-+Remfd

chain set 86

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?mfrcode=SGE&mfrpartnumber=73128&parttype=166&ptset=A

springs around 100

i would do the valve seals as well. like 20 bucks...

if you take the engine out you might as well rebear it.

so around 400 bucks to refresh, it plus tools of course (do you have an engine lift?). I would prefer refresh the old engine. There is a possibility of reliability issues when you put a different engine in the car... Besides its cool to say "ive got 350.000 miles on my original engine". who knows, you might even break the record (577000 miles on a 79 deville, i think)

Anyway you do it, cudos to you for keeping it alive!

caddycruiser
12-15-06, 11:35 AM
There's something I really like about the LS engines, especially the truck versions which are a bit more durable but can still be just as powerful as the "Vette" versions, per say.

I've said it before, too, that if I was ever in a place where the budget was fairly open and I wanted to do some major changes to one of these cars, dropping in something like a 6.0L and accompanying trans (or, even better, a new 6.2L and 6-speed).

Problem is, though mounting can be solved with help from people who make parts for it, getting the electronics sorted out is a very big deal. Not impossible, in the least, but quite a bit of work to be sure. If it were simpler, you can bet your dollar, there would be a lot more LS1/LS2 Impala's and such out there running about. Instead, just because of the size of the project, most just stick to improving the LT1 already there.

SO, if you're going to have the car for a very, very long time, AND you can stand to have it off the road for quite a while while getting all the electronic and fitment issues out of the way, it might be worth it to go to an LS-engine. Otherwise, at over 200k, you should still be able to easily hit 350-400k on the original LT1 if you take care of some big maintenance now and keep an eye on everything else.

90Brougham350
12-15-06, 01:01 PM
I believe Transdapt makes bolt-in engine mounts for LSx motors into B-bodies. It would be a bad-ass Fleetwood for sure, especially with a 6.2.

caddycruiser
12-15-06, 04:02 PM
I believe Transdapt makes bolt-in engine mounts for LSx motors into B-bodies. It would be a bad-ass Fleetwood for sure, especially with a 6.2.

Most certainly. As was posted on here about a month or so ago, in one of those Fleetwoods converted to a 2 door convertible, the shop also dropped in an LS6. There were no other details, just a pic, but that would be one of the first LS-series engines in a Fleetwood.

Actually, here it was (and, of course, all chromed):

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1985-deville-fleetwood-1985/87591-another-fleet-rag-one-chromed-out.html?highlight=convertible

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachments/rwd-19xx-1985-deville-fleetwood-1985/24233d1161052731-another-fleet-rag-one-chromed-out-cadillac2doorvert013gr8.jpg
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachments/rwd-19xx-1985-deville-fleetwood-1985/24235d1161052731-another-fleet-rag-one-chromed-out-cadillac2doorvert010bs1.jpg

It's all a realistic project if not you're main car, and you have both the time and budget to have it off the road for a while and patience to tinker with any issues--and would probably be worth it in the end. All depends.

caddycruiser
12-15-06, 04:09 PM
And things like this, but for a B/D body (similar, I imagine):

http://www.fbodymotorsports.com/ls1_conversion_parts

All in all, the more research you do, you see how common it actually is.

BCs71
12-15-06, 05:50 PM
The LSX swap will far out-cost the benefits IMO. You will be much happier (and your wallet) in the long run with an LT1 rebuilt and refreshed. You can get low milage LT1 engines from a junkyard for $500 or less if yours ever pukes. 260hp and 330ft/lbs of torque is with a stock air intake and exhaust system. Open those up and you will breathing right and boasting RWTQ and RWHP of 260/330 gaining back the 20% drivetrain losses.

Check out posts by MEXSS on the Impala SS forum. He did an LSX swap into his Impala and will give you an idea of the costs and troubles you are up against.

N0DIH
12-15-06, 07:04 PM
I will check it out. Cost is an issue. Time off the road is too. I might be able to get my T/A back up or get a loaner from a friend (96 N* Deville) or his 90 Deville 4.5L.

I don't want to break the bank either.

As for a $50 waterpump, I would bet it is one of those crappy search engines that got a 4.9L engine in there, not a LT1. I often put in Impala SS when I question the $$ if it is too cheap.

How is everyone with rebuilt LT1 pumps and opti's? Autozone even has one, sure looked like a new unit to me. If not, DARN good looking one....

Destroyer
12-15-06, 07:31 PM
If cost is an issue then stick with the LT1. A couple of years ago my buddy blew his LT1 in his '94 Caprice 9C1 cop car and we went to I think Advance Auto and bought a remanufactured '94 Corvette long block for around $1100 plus core. You should still do the opti spark and water pump but it will be basically a new motor. If you go that route make sure you order a motor for a Vette, they will never know the difference when you bring your old long block in. Vette motor had aluminum heads and different cam which brings the power up to 300hp.

N0DIH
12-15-06, 07:34 PM
That isn't a bad idea either. I didn't think they were that cheap.

I need reliability, and long life out of this car. That is why I bought it in the first place. I would love to have it all ready to go and drop it in.

Just noticed another exhaust manifold bolt break.... Drivers side front....

caddycruiser
12-15-06, 09:58 PM
Yes. I made a lot of posts, for sure, about the benefits of an LS if you DID have the time & money, but a refreshed LT1 is still the better all around choice unless you really do have a lot of either on your hands.

Even just do maintenance on what you have, and 300-400 should be no issue, especially if some livery & fleet models with only the most basic of maintenance have done that and still run like beasts.

Hammondsix
12-15-06, 10:06 PM
nope, the waterpump is very real. I have one in my car 52 bucks with tax, lifetime warranty. It has lasted for 4000miles so far....

N0DIH
12-16-06, 12:27 AM
For that price I will be heading there this weekend!

Opti rebuilt is stilll $164. Might be worth new. The $164 doesn't include a cap by the pictures. I think the new GM one does include a cap.

IIRC the timing set what pricey too. But it needs it with this many miles.

FASSTWOOD
12-16-06, 03:00 AM
Yeah if you gotta do the opti and pump go for the chain too I think cloyes makes a set for our cars but there are some clearance issues that areeasily resolved with a dremel tool...

Hammondsix
12-16-06, 08:14 AM
Are'nt you worried about your oil pan gasket though?

N0DIH
12-16-06, 11:58 AM
Personally I haven't messed with a timing set on a SBC yet, so I am assuming by your question it must be like an Olds V8 where you have to loosen the oil pan to get the front cover off. I like Pontiacs, you don't!

I am wondering if one of the reasons I don't get the mpg that my car should is the timing set. 209K miles it has to be VERY VERY slack....

90Brougham350
12-16-06, 12:19 PM
True, but wouldn't advancing the timing a few degrees take care of the slack?

N0DIH
12-16-06, 05:12 PM
No, the ignition timing is only correcting the time the spark fires, but it doesn't correct the cyl pressure cam timing events, so essentially the cam gets sort of smaller when the chain is slack. It DOES help some top end power, but hurts low end power.

The only reason you ever need to adjust the ignition timing is because the chain becomes slack. If the chain never got slack (gear driven cam only, no chain) it would never need to be adjusted. So now we just toss in cam/crank sensors to compensate automagically, but it can't compensate for the lack of cyl pressure.

96Fleetwood
12-17-06, 06:26 PM
You need to talk to Mike Coleman on the Impala SS forum.

He is swapping a 6.3 liter 383 Vortec engine into his Fleetwood. It should make a little over 400hp and 440 ft/lbs of torque :thumbsup:

N0DIH
12-17-06, 06:51 PM
Will do. First hand knowledge is what I really need to make a solid decision.

I agree, ease is Gen II SB.

davesdeville
12-17-06, 07:29 PM
N0DIH I dunno about LT1 vs LS1, but you should clear out your PM box.

RobDeville
12-18-06, 07:16 AM
NODIH,
Dont you have the towing package? that has the 3:42...I am not sure how much but if that is the case you would certainly lose some gas mileage there. A sacrafice I would happily make to get rid of these 2:56 gears...:rant2:

N0DIH
12-18-06, 10:20 AM
PM Box cleared... Yup, 3.42's... I can't imagine 2.56's, we no, yes I can, just start out in second gear in my car! It isn't bad, but I can't imagine it being FIRST like that.

I really think that 3.55's would be ideal, possibly 3.73's, but 3.42's are so good in almost every situation hard to say. I will know as soon as I get my snow tires on my Cad, they are shorter and will be more like 3.55's.

N0DIH
12-18-06, 10:27 AM
I talked to Mike, he said "It was the absolute most worthwhile thing I could have done. There are numerous very small improvements that make the LS/LQ engines vastly superior for street cars in particular. "

He said being I have an Port EFI car to start, makes it much easier. So mod the oil pan to fix cross member, F Body manifolds actually line up well (I hope the truck ones do too), conversion motor mounts, and get the PCM with wiring on the engine and it isn't hard sounding at all. Boy, gotta really think this through. He highly recommends the 6.0L LQ4/LQ9 (6.0L) over the LM4/LM7 (5.3L). The 5.3 wouldn't be a bad engine either. If I can find a lower costs DOD engine, that would be IDEAL!

90Brougham350
12-18-06, 11:47 AM
Perhaps this isn't a horrible idea after all, you sound like you're pretty enthusiastic about it. He's probably right about going with the 6.0 versus the 5.3, you'll probably be happier with it in the long run.

BCs71
12-18-06, 12:04 PM
If you R&R your LT1 engine then I would suggest just getting a stock GM timing chain set and gears. For stock applications and mildy modified (even heads and cam cars) the stock chain is sufficient. Plus it is only $30 through Dal. The gears will be about $50 or so.
Opti (complete with cap) is only $215, and vent harness is another $15 and worth the preventative mainenance.

Yes, the oil pan gasket is shared with the timing cover which makes it a PITA. You need to slightly raise the engine in the mounts to get to all oil pan bolts enough to lower the pan. Supposedly some folks have been able to fit wrenches in there enough to loosen the pan without jacking up the engine, but I could NOT find any way to do that on mine. I ended up tearing my gasket at either side of the timing cover and then gooping the hell out of it upon reinstallation with gasket maker seal. 11K miles and 3+ years later and NO problems with leaks.

NODIH, I have a couple of extra sets of iron heads laying around. Let me know if you want a set for cheap. One set has 30K miles on them and the other have 90K miles. I even have a couple of sets of stock rockers, springs, cams, etc with similar mileage if you want younger parts to "refreshen" on a budget.

N0DIH
12-18-06, 12:42 PM
I don't want to get in over my head in a hurry, that is a concern, but then again, my wife complained the transmission felt funny Saturday, but I haven't driven it since then, so if so, something will have to be done soon. I always have my fall back THM200 4R in the basement. It will work in a pinch, but won't last long with the LT1. We'll see, could have been her smoking the tires that felt like trans slip....

I am just trying to get a good feel for what it would take to do, and before I spend $$, where to spend it. I know I will be putting lots and lots of miles on this car, by next summer likely I will be at 235K miles, maybe more. I am at 209600 now. So that means around Christmas I will be up to 210K. I bought the car 18 months ago with 140K.

The swap is enticing, but scary that it will take me off the road too long. I can possibly borrow a car from a friend, or get my T/A on the road and drive it, would really have to see.

I have my spreadsheet going to start to figure out costs and thoughts.

I would love to just build up the LT1 and see how it goes. A friend of mine who has a supercharged LS1 Z28 rode in it Friday night and was impressed at how it ran. He never expected only 260 hp to pull that hard to those speeds despite the massive weight. My Vortec 350 Suburban with the 255hp engine and similar weight never ran near as good as my Cad. Tuned it got better, but never up to a race....

davesdeville
12-19-06, 03:38 AM
Can you fit an 8100 in there? :p

RobDeville
12-19-06, 06:46 AM
I know where your coming from on making these types of decisions. You can always second guess yourself no matter which way you go. One way to look at it is no matter which way you go, you will still be in one NICE ride!!:thumbsup: Now put the LS1 in there already. It would be sweet and it is not my time and money!!:dance:

96Fleetwood
12-19-06, 06:43 PM
Just get a Golen 383 :thumbsup:

Eldo1953
12-19-06, 10:21 PM
Well comming from someone who has owned many small block GM powerplants such as the 5.0L LO3, 5.7L LO5, 5.7L LT1 and currently have the 6.0L LQ9 in the Escalade, I would have to say get the 6.0L any way you can. This engine is really really nice. It is the main reason that I traded my '96 Brougham for the Escalade. - But if I could have had the 6.0L in the Brougham that would be heaven!!

N0DIH
12-20-06, 05:50 PM
I would say quite easily. I have a 7400 (454) in my 99 Burb, I don't see any issues that would make it hard at all. Yes, I have thought of it too, but I want SOME city mpg....



Can you fit an 8100 in there? :p

So are all LQ4's and LQ9's aluminum head or just the LQ9's? Is there any LSx/LMx/LQx FAQ out there?

Rick186
12-20-06, 11:27 PM
Hmmm. . . a tricked out 454 in the FWB would be hysterical!::histeric:
But, as you say, the fuel mileage would likely be atrocious:alchi:
However, cruising the net, I see there are quite a few parts houses with stuff for the LT1 to do a decent overhaul for about $700.00 and YOUR dirty hands. That doesn't include, though, any crank or cam grinding/truing as I read the specs.
So there's about a week down the old flusher!:thepan:

N0DIH
12-20-06, 11:58 PM
That's the problem, machining is $$. The idea is if I can get a good low mileage or decent mileage 6.0L I wouldn't need to.

You can always seem to get good low mileage ones that have fire damage (odd, there is always a fair amount of fire damaged engines, is this a problem???) So that might need an intake and all parts on top of it. But the good stuff (block/heads) should be ok, right? I have never dealt with a fire damaged engine.

ShadowLvr400
12-21-06, 04:06 AM
Ok, a late arriver to this thread... You're going to spend a lot of money and even more time and frustration trying to do an engine swap. Getting computers and wiring to carry over is just a plain old nightmare.
Don't fear though, the LT1 is cheap and easy to beef up. Start by just hunting down a set of used iron heads from another LT1. Then sit in your garage, change out the valves and springs, meanwhile your fleetwood's still driveable. Those "new" heads you work on, take some time and a little dremmel grinder, and just clean up some of the worst parts of the casting. DO NOT TRY TO HOME PORT THE HEADS! The stock iron heads flow extremely well, way beyond the factory cam's usage of them. Just clean some of the worst gnarls off, don't try and polish the chambers smooth either.
Then hunt down a camshaft. I recommend going to the Impie forums and read their huge debate. I've chosen a 218/224 spec camshaft. (Factory is like a 201/208) Mine's a relatively mild, theres a LOT of options out there.
If you think a 50-75 horse and torque jump won't do it, your next steps...
Exhaust headers. At $250 for the budget version from Clear Image Auto, it's hard to complain. Bring an intake in as well, and that LT1 should look at about 330-350 horse (with tuning) and torque easily in the 370-400 range. Though that does depend on your cam choice.

Now, if you have those second heads prepped ahead of time like I suggest, you can change your heads likely in a matter of 2-3 hours. The cam, can be done in the 4-7 hours range depending on how good you are. Headers aren't overly hard either, figure maybe 2 hours for those. Your result there is a strong LT1 that still has good street manners (My cam should only give a mild lope) and is just as reliable as the factory. A lot of the imp guys say gears and a stall converter as well, but I have the feeling that a part of that is drag racing. You could probably get away with doing a set of rear gears in the 3.42-3.73 range, OR a 2500-3000 stall converter.

If you think that all my not be enough power, adjust the whole plan, and include a crank, and turn into a 383 stroker. That should bump you into the 400 horse range safely. Seems to for the Fbody and Impie boys.

davesdeville
12-21-06, 07:33 AM
You can polish the exhaust side (port/chamber) if you want... There's a method of dimpling the intake side of the chamber either with a spherical bit or even a punch, the idea being it will help flow a little (like a golf ball) and help atomization, you could even give that a try.

ShadowLvr400
12-21-06, 11:11 AM
You can polish the exhaust side (port/chamber) if you want... There's a method of dimpling the intake side of the chamber either with a spherical bit or even a punch, the idea being it will help flow a little (like a golf ball) and help atomization, you could even give that a try.



A lot of people have tried, but often they end up hurting the flow of the stock heads. The slightly rough hewn casting of the heads actually creates a fine layer of air covering the surface. This air remains slightly stagnant, as the intake charge rushes by. Very much like the dimples of a golf ball. Trying to recreate a golf ball, when the effect is already in place, usually ends up far worse.

N0DIH
12-21-06, 01:01 PM
I have an idea I am itching to try and need a set of heads to work on, but aluminum would be FAR easier to work with.

I found a few low (50K or less) miles LQ4's for $1200. I need to mod the oil pan (well, maybe, maybe not, F-Body pan yes, truck, ?), F-Body manifolds work with no mods, and may have to adapt AC compressor mounting if it is like the LS1 F-Body. So I need to spend some time under a hood of a truck with an LM7 or LQ4 and see what I can find out....

I am just trying to spend what $$ I have as wisely as I can to get as far as I can. With the LQ4's nearly bulletproof, this is maybe a very worthwhile swap. Trans now, will need work... So, do I keep 4L60E and adapt it, or get a 4L65E or a 4L80E which is what comes behind all LQ4's?

N0DIH
12-21-06, 01:43 PM
How is this? $2K will get you a complete 5.3L LM7, 4L65E and all the wiring and PCM.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/00-04-Chevy-5-3L-Engine-Swap-Changeover-Silverado-LM7_W0QQitemZ300061971578QQihZ020QQcategoryZ33615Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Best $2K to drop into your ride?

Imagine this to replace an ailing 307? Or a L05? Or even a LT1? Or a weak kneed 4.1L?

BCs71
12-21-06, 01:54 PM
You are worried about a bullet proof engine and you have over 200K miles on your stock LT1?

Not only would it be a very cheap replacement motor, but it would the easiest (aka, direct) swap! And the aftermarket is huge... so going fast is not a problem.

A few years back I got a complete LT1 engine (iron head) with 30,000 miles on it. It had all accessories, radiator, PCM, etc (even brake master cylinder) for $1000. I''m sure you can find cheaper deals that that now that it is a few years later!

davesdeville
12-21-06, 09:10 PM
A lot of people have tried, but often they end up hurting the flow of the stock heads. The slightly rough hewn casting of the heads actually creates a fine layer of air covering the surface. This air remains slightly stagnant, as the intake charge rushes by. Very much like the dimples of a golf ball. Trying to recreate a golf ball, when the effect is already in place, usually ends up far worse.

The chamber itself is generally smooth when you open up an old motor from light carbon deposit if it's not smooth to begin with. The intake port is what you have to be really careful with and can screw up easily.

N0DIH
12-21-06, 11:09 PM
A friend of mine always preached more concern on the short turn radius not to screw up. I agree, unless you really know fluid dynamics and know head porting, leave much alone. I did some work on my 455 heads, just bowl cleanup and thinned out the pushrod bulge, both "safe" areas.

My question is, can you polish the intake ports on dry flow? On wet flow, you want it rough to keep the A/F in suspension, but on dry flow? Can you get away with it? Wish I had a degree in fluid dynamics!

ShadowLvr400
12-23-06, 03:30 AM
How is this? $2K will get you a complete 5.3L LM7, 4L65E and all the wiring and PCM.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/00-04-Chevy-5-3L-Engine-Swap-Changeover-Silverado-LM7_W0QQitemZ300061971578QQihZ020QQcategoryZ33615Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Best $2K to drop into your ride?



If you have a solid LT1 block? I don't think so.
$400 for forged pistons.
$150 for a cam
$250 exhaust headers
$200 springs and valves
$150 computer tune

All that only reaches $1150. The remaining 850 could likely pay for a local shop to do all the work. But, I am loving my LT1

N0DIH
12-23-06, 12:26 PM
I do my own tuning, so that is $150 saved. $400 for pistons is pretty pricey, honestly I would expect only $200 for a small block (LT1 and non LT1 pistons should be the same), headers are around $500 (them suckers aren't cheap for our rides to get decent ones that will last to the reliability I need), valves, been thinking of the beehive springs and undercut valves to help flow, and then have a friend of mine do some porting once I build him a flow bench (I gotta get off my duff and do it....)

It really comes down to building a LT1 or buying a 50K LQ4 is almost the same price. You can probably come out cheaper on the LT1, but still will never have the gains the LQ4 will have over it.

I have to swap the waterpump, I am just going with a rebuilt for now, cheaper, $52 at NAPA as someone here found, so I will do that and get the squeal stopped. I'll probably toss in a chain just to toss it in. 210K is a lot on a stock chain and let the gears be left alone. At least keep it going. And I can work cleaning up the Opti and make sure it is staying dry of oil and water inside.

90Brougham350
12-23-06, 01:23 PM
One reason to swap an LSx motor would be upgrading in the future. Chevy High Performance did a comparo last month between a first gen. small-block 406 and a 402 LS2.

........ In human terms, one is a svelte gent, a real James Bond, simply charming until he whips out the newest of Q's gadgets and obliterates your ass. The other is a crude brute, swinging wildly from the trees like a Neanderthal until he jumps down and starts beating you over the head with a leg bone from a brontosaurus. And there's the question of the hour, friends. Spaceman or caveman? Personally, I like 'em both.

http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/tech/engines_drivetrain/complete_builds/0701ch_chevy_small_block_engine_dyno_tests/406ci_stroker.html

If you want to only maintain a reliable daily driver with good power, refreshing the LT1 is probably the way to go, but if you want great power with a solid foundation for upgrades in the future, I would go with the LSx. The LT1 lends itself well to upgrades, but the LSx motors have so much potential, especially with the head design.

ShadowLvr400
12-23-06, 03:43 PM
I do my own tuning, so that is $150 saved. $400 for pistons is pretty pricey, honestly I would expect only $200 for a small block (LT1 and non LT1 pistons should be the same), headers are around $500 (them suckers aren't cheap for our rides to get decent ones that will last to the reliability I need), valves, been thinking of the beehive springs and undercut valves to help flow, and then have a friend of mine do some porting once I build him a flow bench (I gotta get off my duff and do it....)


$500 for headers? The budget headers from clear image automotive.

275
http://www.clearimageautomotive.com/budget%20headers.htm

But their tri y's and quads are both in the 800+ range.

On the pistons, I hunted down forged, rather than hypereutectic. I think I factored in rods too.

On the beehive springs, if you find out the part numbers for LT1 iron heads, let me know.

ShadowLvr400
12-23-06, 05:06 PM
On the pistons, I hunted down forged, rather than hypereutectic. I think I factored in rods too.




Main reason for forged, is they're more boost friendly. Leaves room open for either a Centrifugal, a custom Turbo, or a Roots blower. Some of the new turbo systems are looking very nice. And on 6 psi, the horsepower would be near 500 on a simple 350 horse smallblock 350. On a 400 horse motor, you'd probably see in the area of 550+

RobDeville
12-24-06, 08:45 AM
What is the latest Nodih? Have you made a decision.:gaspspin:

N0DIH
12-24-06, 06:58 PM
Not yet, found a FAQ (thanks to Pauly @ fullsizechevy.com) and still digesting it. Not much info on the swaps using the truck engines, for some reasons everyone uses the 5.7L, so they get F-Body manifolds and oil pans, which we don't know the differences yet.

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245807

At least what I do know:
The 4.8 and 5.3 share blocks, the 5.3L is a bored 4.8L. These are iron.
The 5.7 is a bored 5.3L. A 5.3L can be made into a 5.7 easily with an overbore and new pistons (balancing required), this is a 5.7L iron engine.
The 6.0L is a bored 5.3/5.7, but is a unqiue block, there isn't enough material to make a 6.0L out of a 5.3L block. You shouldn't exceed 0.010 overbore on a 5.7L block (alum).

Still looking into it. Got a lotta thinking about it, and the slow process of gathering parts for the swap too. Shouldn't be hard to find F-Body parts if the truck parts don't fit.

Honestly, I am leaning to a 5.3L, I know, not as good as a 6.0L. But the 2005 5.3L ($1200) has DOD/AFM, the modern V468, which means I can bring back what plauged the Fleetwood in the 80's and make it right. Would it be the world's first V468 SWAP using a Gen IV V8???

caddycruiser
12-24-06, 11:36 PM
Sounds good, and a stock 5.3L in this car would still put out more power than a stock LT1...it's just going to be a LOT of work, either way. May be worth it, or might not. All depends on your time & budget.

N0DIH
12-24-06, 11:42 PM
Found first kink. Rumor mill is that 6.0L only works with 4L80E due to crankshaft end. Apparantly doesn't work with 4L60E at all. For "earlier" 6.0L. So I have to dig on that. LQ9's all had 4L60E's, so might need to lean that way. That is preferred. But, often more costly.... I would love to have a 4L80E, but it is overkill for what I need, but then again might be welcome!

"I'm doing an LM7 swap, and w/ the truck motors there are a few things to look out for. The earlier 6.0Ls that came w/ a 4L80e had a different crankshaft that was made to fit the 4L80e ONLY. It will not work w/ a 4L60e/T-56. On later years they made this part of the crank a bolt on kit so be careful what you buy.

You will need the car oil pan stuff, and a car intake unless you want a huge hole in your hood. With the car intake there is interference w/ the truck accessories...most people use the car accessories for this reason.

When you get the car intake, you'll find that your truck injectors are ~3/4" shorter than the car ones and that the plugs for them are different. You can swap plugs and injectors to car ones or get creative and chop the fuel rail down like I did...although i wouldn't recommend it.

The truck computer is located in the front right corner of the engine bay...it will require a bit of work to get it to the back left like the car ones are, I went ahead and extended it into the cabin behind the pass side floorboard area under the dash.

The best way to do this may be to get a truck longblock and buy everything else from a car, since you'll have to anyway. Hope that was helpful. :D

http://www.torquecentral.com/archive/index.php/t-38313"

96Fleetwood
12-25-06, 09:17 AM
Way too much work IMO.. and at the end of the day you could have modified the LT1 to your liking and not have to worry about compatibility of any parts.

That is the beauty of the LT1, you can build it several different ways for different applications and it will fit right where our stock LT1 was.

90Brougham350
12-25-06, 11:42 AM
It definately sounds like a month-long headache. However, if you do this, you'll be one of the pioneers and we'd all love to see it done.

caddycruiser
12-25-06, 06:14 PM
I still agree with Elias. I'd love to see it done, and see the work in getting it done, but it really is just TOO much work, hassle, and expense to be worth it given the potential and ease with the LT1 already perfected for use in the car.

Plus, and no knock to N0DIH or his car, but at over 200k miles on the whole package, I really don't think I'd want to then turn it into a powertrain mule of sorts--when so many other things, body and otherwise, could soon need attention.

Still interesting and if a 6.0L/4L80E could be done, that would be AWESOME, but iffy on the true worth of it in the end.

N0DIH
12-25-06, 09:46 PM
A new twist to the V4P package eh? 320hp/360 lb-ft torque and a killer 4L80E/4L85E trans.

My concern on the 5.3L is loss of low end torque (peak torque is like 4000 rpm!). The truck guys complain the LS1's aren't strong on the bottom end. But then again, if they are comparing it to a 454, I would expect so. I have never driven one. I have ridden with a 12.8 sec LS1 5.7L car (M6 and 4.10s) and was duly impressed.

Honestly, the whole concept of this started with me seeing the BSFC numbers on a LS1. It was in the .19 to .25 range compared to most older cars in the .45 range. Power is very efficient. That is hard to believe you can make so much power with so little fuel. As how this compares to the LT1, I wish I knew.

My LT1 runs fine (save a noisy water pump, old timing chain, unknown condition Opti with 210K miles, and a couple missing exhaust bolts and now a new leak underneath that I have to fix), but is in need of some work, so the whole reason there is should I not spend $$ on the work and save it for LS1 power. Still, undecided. Still collecting lots of info. I have R&R engines, but never swapped a engine like this (have gone from 301 Turbo to 455, then to a 400, etc, but that is easy....).

I think for now, I am going to do the water pump, clean up the Opti, and maybe toss in a timing chain only, keeping it on the road. Then look at getting a 6.0L/4L80E and start to just gather parts. Maybe if all goes well, next summer I am look at taking the car off the road and then swap. It isn't something I am jumping into in short order.

Understood the short term gains aren't as good, but long term (like another 200K from now) might be much improved.

caddycruiser
12-25-06, 10:07 PM
Sounds like a good plan. Get those smaller things fixed up with the current LT1, and then if you still have the urge to be adventurous, just start building more research and parts for such a complex swap. You never know, once the few LT1 issues are refreshed, you may like it enough to forget the swap...maybe. Still would be cool to see, though, especially for a new "monster" tow package version like mentioned.

96Fleetwood
12-26-06, 07:48 AM
Good call. Put a good NEW waterpump, not a reman unit and get the MSD Optispark. Also, if you browse the Impala SS forum, you can get some barely used stock manifolds for next to nothing and then put some grade 8 bolts. You that maintenance, spark plugs (Delco platinum) & wires (MSD), and the timing chain, the car should run so much better. I know mind did and it only had 80K miles when I did those items.

N0DIH
12-26-06, 05:57 PM
I seem to read a lot of people with failure prone MSD Opti's. I am keeping tried and true GM for now. I am not going to replace it yet, just a good cap clean up and ensure it is 100% water tight to protect it from the waterpump. I know if I get any water near it the car runs poor. So I am already suspecting it to be not water tight.

BCs71
12-27-06, 02:06 PM
With over 200K miles on your stock opti, NODIH, I don't blame you for not wavering from the stock GM unit. The opti really caught a bad reputation because of the arlier non-vented style in the vette and Camaro.


FYI, I personally know a guy who pushed his full-weight Caprice into the 11s in the quarter mile with a stock bottom end LT1 motor he pulled from the junkyard. He has aftermarket heads and cam and then a bunch of bolt-ons.... NO N2o or turbo -- is all naturally aspirated.

The LT1 has a lot of potential <--- big understatement.

RobDeville
12-27-06, 03:03 PM
What are some of the best numbers you have seen with the d body caddy's? If my purchase works out I may put some serious time/money into the one I hope to buy. I just bought a fleetwood last month and fell in love with them. I was already a caddy fan.....The LT1 brought me on board all the way:lildevil:

Didnt mean to jack your thread.

N0DIH
12-27-06, 06:23 PM
I took a picture of a 5.3L in a junkyard today, so I have some rough truck exhaust and motor mount pictures. I will post them later on when I get them "developed" out of my cell phone.... Honestly, truck manifolds don't look too far off from what we have, just bolts farther up.

96Fleetwood
12-27-06, 06:27 PM
I am not sure if the 5.3 Vortec sits similar to the 5.7 liter Vortec, but talk to Coleman on the SS forum. He had to do alot of custom fabrication for things to fit and his car is still inoperable due to tuning issues & electrical gremlins.

N0DIH
12-27-06, 09:51 PM
The 4.8L and 5.3L share blocks, cranks are only differences. The 5.7L is a 5.3L block with a larger bore. A 5.3L block CAN be bored to a 5.7L. They are all identical dimensionally. The 6.0L has a larger bore with the 5.3/5.7 stroke. All LSx engines (LMx/LRx/LSx/LQx/L92) are all dimensionally.

I talked to Coleman, he is all for putting a 6.0L in. Says that is the best mod he ever did. He said being the B/D body shares the 2nd Gen F Body front frame, that there is no hickups at all. He used 4th Gen F-Body LS1 exhaust manifolds, had to modify the oil pan (he used a F-Body oil pan). I am trying to find out the differences in the truck and F-Body pan, hopefully I can use the truck pan with no mods. Being the trucks usually have rearward sumps due to the 4WD axle, I am hoping a 4WD pan will work well. I have a couple pictures of it. I probably should just start a website of the info I am finding and log it that way.