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LS1 vs Cummins

This is a discussion on LS1 vs Cummins within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Here is the delima. I have a 65 1 ton chevy PU frame-up resto in progress. Well pieces actually. I ...

  1. #1
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    LS1 vs Cummins

    Here is the delima. I have a 65 1 ton chevy PU frame-up resto in progress. Well pieces actually. I have a 98 T/A LS1 with 164K A4 and a 02 Dodge Cummins with 184K. I change my mind daily as to which to use to donate the engine into the 65. It will be used as DD and light towing (3-5K). If the LS1 goes in it would be a complete rebuild with mods and an m6. If the Cummins it would go in pretty much stock or a few simple mods. At my current state of confusion, I can only argue for the Cummins because of the fuel milage issues. I've been lurking at stovebolt, 4btswaps, dieselbombers and here. So, I'm asking what LS1 people have to say about this choice. Thanks.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    man that is a hard choice, but since you are going to be using it as a truck, I think I'd have to go with the Cummins.

    either way, sounds like a good build!

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Since you're going to do some towing, probably the Cummins would be the best choice. However, I personally don't like the diesel smell/smoke/sound, so if it were me, I'd build that V8 and make some great music and fuel mileage be damned. But, with a 6 speed and the dbl overdrive, MPG would not be so bad, depending on the cam. 400 ft lbs torque and 400 HP is not too hard to have with the 5.7 LS1, lots of people have that here.

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    old timer blue02Z's Avatar
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    freshen up the cummins and put it in there.

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    Member Blue28's Avatar
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    IMO, go with the Cummins if you plan on towing, and there's plenty of performance parts out there for them.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue28 View Post
    IMO, go with the Cummins if you plan on towing, and there's plenty of performance parts out there for them.
    I have some friends putting down some very nice numbers with diesels

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    Sarge for AAG Emperor hutch1999's Avatar
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    just depends on what you want to do with it

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    Towing=Cummins.

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    Well, I think the need fot towing wins. It certainly is logical. Now what to do with the T/A, project wise. Thanks for the input. Dave.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 65 wonton View Post
    Well, I think the need fot towing wins. It certainly is logical. Now what to do with the T/A, project wise. Thanks for the input. Dave.
    go out and fine yourself a small older import (like a 240-280 Datsun Z car or 1st gen Honda) and drop the LS1 drivetrain down in it.
    Look up the 70-73 Saab Sonnet 3, I'm droping a 66 Mustang 289 and drivetrain in mine with a narrowed 9"........cutting up # 29 of 303 built in 1970 ....... stock it weighed in at 1400lbs

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    OOH OOH OOH! niiiice Drop the 24v in it! stud the head, O-ring it, throw a nice set of street twins, or a silver bullet. 100 hp sticks and a nasty tune! you have yourself a 600hp monster that gets 20+ mpg

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    Cummins is the best bet IMHO


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    Thanks for the continued replies.

    Cant get my juices up about a Saab or Vega or things like that (not implying that Saab and Vega are the same!). But my brother has a 37 Chevy cab and front end that might fit a S-10 frame?? Something to think about.

    Yeah Love that Cummins, would trade the Dodge for a used chain saw.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 65 wonton View Post
    Thanks for the continued replies.

    Cant get my juices up about a Saab or Vega or things like that (not implying that Saab and Vega are the same!). But my brother has a 37 Chevy cab and front end that might fit a S-10 frame?? Something to think about.

    Yeah Love that Cummins, would trade the Dodge for a used chain saw.
    the S-10 frame will probably be too wide, but you should beable to pick up a frame rail kit or plans to make one pretty cheap and easy

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    Thanks Mark, If it pans out I'll look into it.

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    3-5K doesn't require a diesel. Far easier to put a small block in that hole. Later! Frank

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    Quote Originally Posted by 65 wonton View Post
    Thanks for the continued replies.

    Cant get my juices up about a Saab or Vega or things like that (not implying that Saab and Vega are the same!). But my brother has a 37 Chevy cab and front end that might fit a S-10 frame?? Something to think about.

    Yeah Love that Cummins, would trade the Dodge for a used chain saw.
    You're right. A Vega was much better than any Saab. Have you ever worked on Saabs? Especially 1970s Saabs, since you are comparing them to the Vega.

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    You're right. A Vega was much better than any Saab. Have you ever worked on Saabs? Especially 1970s Saabs, since you are comparing them to the Vega.
    look up the Sonett 3, not your typical Saab, full fiberglass body....in the end mine will be a full tube chassis RWD v8 dooe slammer

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Well, they did try, eh? At least is was RWD. I think. I just glanced at the Wikapedia article:


    The Ford V4 engine produced 65 hp (48 kW) and, combined with a light weight chassis and fiberglass construction, allowed the V4 model to accelerate 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 12.5 s, with a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph).


    Certainly not a fast car (understatement!), but light weight and different.

    Following the low-volume 1966-67 Sonett IIs, Saab ramped up Sonett V4 production to meet minimum SCCA requirements, assembling 70 units in the 1967 transition year, 900 units in 1968, and 640 units in the final 1969 production year, or 1,610 total Sonett V4 vehicles. Less well preserved than the Sonett II, approximately 2% of Sonett V4s survive in concours or excellent condition today. [5]

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    Well, they did try, eh? At least is was RWD. I think. I just glanced at the Wikapedia article:


    The Ford V4 engine produced 65 hp (48 kW) and, combined with a light weight chassis and fiberglass construction, allowed the V4 model to accelerate 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 12.5 s, with a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph).


    Certainly not a fast car (understatement!), but light weight and different.

    Following the low-volume 1966-67 Sonett IIs, Saab ramped up Sonett V4 production to meet minimum SCCA requirements, assembling 70 units in the 1967 transition year, 900 units in 1968, and 640 units in the final 1969 production year, or 1,610 total Sonett V4 vehicles. Less well preserved than the Sonett II, approximately 2% of Sonett V4s survive in concours or excellent condition today. [5]
    they were FWD, and the 70 Sonett3 had a whopping 78 hp lol
    they were built kind of like the VW bug, where the body unbolts from the pan.
    I'm basically going to weld the outer perimeter of the pan where the body bolts to a full tube chassis with cage.
    a friend has a narrowed ford 9" that was built for a dragster 24o wide..mildly built 289 will move it right down the track as light as it is

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