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LS1 Rebuild

This is a discussion on LS1 Rebuild within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; So I haven't been driving my car a lot lately, I usually take it out a couple times a month ...

  1. #1
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    LS1 Rebuild

    So I haven't been driving my car a lot lately, I usually take it out a couple times a month to eat up some ricer buddies in the area when they call wanting to run every now and then. After 10 or 11 years my car just doesn't feel like its got all the balls it used to have. Or maybe because roughly 430HP just isn't what it used to be anymore (doubt it even makes that anymore). With the big 3 putting out cars that are mind-bogglingly powerful. A new 580hp from chevy, the new 392 challenger, or soon to be gt500 at 650hp. Even the <30K cars are coming in around 375-400HP.

    So I thought to myself I need a winter project. I bought my car pre-modded (a mistake at the time but i was very young) thankfully it was done right... or at least enough the car has ran 7 years without breaking yet. I'm not sure what mods have been fully done, or rather its obvious some of them like a cam but no idea on sizing. Which kind of leads me to want to start over and rebuild it, if not only for longevity and refreshment of the motor, but to at least be able to document and know exactly whats been done.

    I'm not really in any big hurry as its winter now and its not going anywhere anytime soon, or at least not until next summer. I don't have a huge budget but the longer it takes me the more money I make at work and can put into it. I also have never taken an engine out and rebuilt it, so I would like to experience that learning curve as well. Like I said I have time to tinker and do it right, I need something to get me out of the house. and I live next door to a library that either has or can get documentation books and the such. There is a local machine shop that has a great reputation in the area for both daily work and race engines that doesn't treat the little guy like the work is below them.

    So to my question to the TA guys: What recommendations and suggestions can you guys give me with my project? Is rebuilding the LS1 worth it? What items should I acquire before I start (tools, equipment, environment preparations)? What things should be considered? Any good reference / source material I should look at specifically (specific books or documentation)?

    Thanks in advance guys.

    Dan
    Last edited by SilentTrouble; 11-21-2011 at 07:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    How many miles on the motor?

    And, just curious, where in IN? I'm a fellow Hoosier

  3. #3
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    65k miles -- Terre Haute area.

    Quite low miles but its been known to been ran hard given the low miles.

  4. #4
    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    "Arrest Me Red"
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    there are some books at summitracing.com like how to rebuild a ls1 that may help you out. also the best way to get it out of the car is the bottom so be thinking of how your going to get the car up and over it. then we need to know what is your goal with the car? after a point its best to just build a 2nd bigger motor. a 6.0L out of a truck is a good place to start.

  5. #5
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Put your money into the heads and the cam and match what you do. Have the heads ported and polished to increase airflow, leave the valve size alone but work the ports along with the long and short side radius and blend the bowls. Then take off a couple of thousanths from the face to raise the CR to 10.5 to 10.8 of so. Then choose your cam but do not go overboard, bigger is not always better. Get all your stats together and work with the cam grinder on the perfect cam for your car and not just buying one from Summit Racing off the shelf. Try Lunati Street/Strip - Hydraulic Roller Tappet - Lunati Power and you may want to buy the complete kit. Match this with a ported oil pump and an advancable timing chain, you may want to go +2 adv. on the install. I assume you have the exhaust and gears covered so top it off with a good tune " Frost " and you should be where you want to be. Note: before you do any of this, please do a compression check, both wet and dry and make sure your bottom end is in good condition. I hope this helps you out.

  6. #6
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    One of the problems i have right now is the cam is HUGE... and I really cant stress huge enough... The car lopes so much it will actually kill itself on rapid dethrottle or if its cold. On the other hand it runs like hell at high RPM coupled with the stall. It needs a new tune... but i was gunna hold off on that if I had it rebuilt. To give you an example I have an older video on my phone of my car that I uploaded to YT... This was a video the previous owner had made after the cam install.


  7. #7
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    The only way I know to tell the grind of the cam is to pull it if you don't have any history on it. The grind specs should be at the end of the cam if I'm not mistaken.

  8. #8
    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    "Arrest Me Red"
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    we still need to know what you want out of it so we could point you the way you want if all you want is it get it back then some new rings in some honed bores with arp bolts and a new tune from some one cincy speed and your good to go for not a lot of coin if you want bigger power how much?

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    I'm really just looking for a good balance of cost-power ratio. I dont need 750rwhp (would be nice though) but I don't want to have to worry if I'm going to be able to beat a stock 5.0 mustang either. I had thought about forged internals and adding a charger later but can not justify the 5k price tag even though i really really want one. Ultimately I'd like to get somewhere around 400-450 HP or better if the budget allows.

    I just wanna go fast... lol.

  10. #10
    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    "Arrest Me Red"
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    then just new rings and rod bolts and it should hold for a long time then take that cash and look into a set of heads and the cam for how you drive. i like texas-speed stuff and there tech staff know's there stuff. i like frost for tunning but still say a good dyno one is best for cam cars. if you can get it to cincy we have a good tuner that is getting cars from all over the place he is that good.

  11. #11
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Why buy heads when you can work yours for less then half the cost of new heads.

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