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Thinking about an LS3

This is a discussion on Thinking about an LS3 within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Well shucks, we tried....

  1. #61
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Well shucks, we tried.

  2. #62
    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    LS7 clutch is a yes, unless you plan on pushing more then 500 hp in the near future.
    Poly mounts are a def while the motor is out. You will prob notice more vibration in the car in general from the stiffer poly mounts. Kinda of the trade off you get when switching from the stock rubber mounts. Worth it to me in my opinion, to not worry about breaking a mount in the future. They aren't the easiest things to replace with the motor in place.
    As everyone has already said, LQ4 is the way to go. The few extra pounds is nothing in comparison to the extra H/P and future options for BIG power adders.

  3. #63
    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    Not sure what you meant by the valve covers? The gaskets are the only thing that can go bad on them. The coils could fail you, but they aren't a big deal to replace.

  4. #64
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Well, here's the latest:

    Sean found me a LOCAL (Arizona) LS1 out of a 2001 Trans-Am for $2500 (with optional parts and labor warranty for up to 2 years). The engine has 68,000 miles on the clock. He says that after parts and labor are factored in, this is the simplest, most affordable and quickest option for getting my car back in service.

    I'm very tempted to pull the trigger on it...

    While the engine is out, I'll probably be swapping an LS7 clutch on there as well.

    The main thing to worry about will be the coils and the valve covers, since mine is a 98...

    I'm still thinking about the LQ4 as well...

    What is y'all's opinion on some poly motor mounts while the engine is out?
    I would try to find a lq9 or lq4 personally. I found a complete lq4 with 88k in Youngtown AZ for $2450 on ebay but you can make an offer on it. Not sure where you are in AZ and if that is reasonably local.

    http://pages.ebay.com/motors/link/?nav=item.view&id=171528675984



    Another option to do is to buy a new iron block like the one from summit and get over sized 4.030 pistons and you could then either get some good stock (or standard pistons ig you get a block with no over boring) rods and crank (or use your current crank and rods if they are still in good condition) and have it all balanced and assembled for cheaper than that ls1 engine for sure. You could also get some nice aftermarket ones rods and pistons and get it balanced on your current crank if it is still in good condition.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 11-20-2014 at 07:54 AM.
    1998 Trans Am WS6 - Phantom
    421 CI LQ9, Tick Performance Custom Cam, TFS 255cc LS3 heads, Kooks 2" LT headers, Kooks 3" True Duals w/ high flow cats, FTP 104 lid, Speed Density Tune, 4" silicon tube, LS6 VCT, FAST 102 Intake, NW 102 TB, Oil Catch Can, SLP Bilstein Shocks w/ Vogtland Springs, CTS-V 4-piston Calipers w/C6 Z06 rotors, Stainless Steel Brake Lines, R1 concepts premium rotors, Hawk HP+ brake pads, VFN WSQ Hood, C5-R timing chain, SLP oil pump, E85 tune, Walbro 450 fuel pump, Deatschwerkz 95# injectors, Breathless performance headlights, Frost Tune, !HVAC.
    (Coming Soon) BMR DSL, UMI TQ Arm
    421 LQ9 14.8:1 on E85 Build/

  5. #65
    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RONS98TA View Post
    Not sure what you meant by the valve covers? The gaskets are the only thing that can go bad on them. The coils could fail you, but they aren't a big deal to replace.
    Ron his valve cover's are permiter style (98)and the new motor will be center bolt (99-02)so the coil brackets will be different.
    Op check with your guy the motor may be complete with coils, if not you can find them (brackets)easily on eBay already powder coated coils should be the same
    Also if you are doing a Ls7 clutch and have any thoughts on a Tick MC then that will need installed with the new clutch. Can't be added later with out problems
    Last edited by kingls1; 11-20-2014 at 07:23 AM.
    99 Trans Am, SLP Lid, Blackwing filter, smooth bellow, Ported TB, LS6 intake, Ws6 lower ram air box, OBX LT's, Magna Flow cat back, LS7 clutch, Tick MC, Hurst Shifter, Frost Tune, UMI SFC,LAC, STB, PB, Torq Arm, Super Hawk hood, Torq Thrust II, Kee Audio.
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    Nitto NT05R Track Tire's, 12.7 @ 108 / 1.82 60'
    Wish list.
    Coil overs, Heads & Cam

  6. #66
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingls1 View Post
    Ron his valve cover's are permiter style (98)and the new motor will be center bolt (99-02)so the coil brackets will be different.
    Op check with your guy the motor may be complete with coils, if not you can find them (brackets)easily on eBay already powder coated coils should be the same
    Also if you are doing a Ls7 clutch and have any thoughts on a Tick MC then that will need installed with the new clutch. Can't be added later with out problems
    This..

    I got my coil brackets for $30 on ebay. If the engine is a long block it should come with the valve covers as well as 241 heads ( a step up over the 98' heads).

    Agree with the Tick MC. But it might not be in the budget, $550 for the LS7 clutch kit and another $330 for the Tick MC. If you do get one order it from Tick. There was an issue of fake MC's on ebay and some vendors so I would order from them or Summit.

  7. #67
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    I would try to find a lq9 or lq4 personally. I found a complete lq4 with 88k in Youngtown AZ for $2450 on ebay but you can make an offer on it. Not sure where you are in AZ and if that is reasonably local.

    http://pages.ebay.com/motors/link/?n...d=171528675984

    Click for full size
    Youngtown is just on the other side of Sun City on Route 60. Really just a bit West of Phoenix about 40 minutes from the center of town so it's not that far.

    I agree it's the route I'd rather take. Seems a bit spendy though considering I bought the same thing with the 4L80E still attached to it for alot less over at LKQ. I can't imagine the prices have gone up that much...who knows, but if they start getting much more expensive than that, I'll just buy a stroked shortblock from Texas Speed and call it done.

    Either way, I couldn't bring myself to pay $2500 for a used LS1, and if I had to choose for the same price I'd snag the LQ4 without question.
    SMWS6TA likes this.

  8. #68
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Yeah it is a tad pricy regardless but the LQ4 is a better option and he can sell all the stuff off it he doesn't need to recoup some of his money. I agree though too much more and I would either just get a shortblock built from somewhere like Texas Speed or piece together a short block on my own. All in all my Forged internals and block not assembled yet but brand new cost me around $3500, probably closer to $3300 with bearings. So in his case he could seriously get the block from summit (or texas speed if he wants the 4.00 bore and not 4.03) for about $850 shipped, get some ls2 rods off ebay for about $80, reuse his crank, new rod bearings and new main bearings for about $100 to $200 depending on which bearings you choose, and stock style oversized pistons (if you get the summit block and not the TSP non bored block) if you don't want to do aftermarket for $350 (or cheaper if the block is just a straight 4.00). This would only be about $1380 to $1480 depending on which bearings you went with. Wiseco also sells pistons you can use with stock rods for a reasonable price but it would still put you well under that ls1. Balancing usually only costs around $250 not sure what the labor would be but near me you could get all that assembled for $675.

    Just throwing some other options out there to think about.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    This is all great info. I really appreciate it. I've held off on making the purchase (will probably make my decision by tomorrow) because I wanted time to consider the options. One of the things that I like about this particular LS1 is the warranty. It's 2 years, parts and labor. It costs some extra, but I always look at warranties as insurance that the worst will never happen (always seems to be that if I don't get the warranty, stuff goes wrong; when I do get it, there never seems to be a problem).

    Sean's labor prices are reasonable in my opinion, but based on what he said, it seems like the most affordable option out the door is to get an engine out of an F-body because everything transfers over without any extra work. I'll ask him about the LQ4 and see if the difference in price will offset the labor charges. He quoted me $1300 for just the R&R portion of the labor, not including swapping parts.

    As for reusing my crank, I'm fairly skeptical that it is in reusable condition. Although, what I would love to do is keep the engine and use it as a guinea pig in my garage. It would be nice to be able to practice/experiment on something without the worry of breaking my car...

  10. #70
    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingls1 View Post
    Ron his valve cover's are permiter style (98)and the new motor will be center bolt (99-02)so the coil brackets will be different.
    Op check with your guy the motor may be complete with coils, if not you can find them (brackets)easily on eBay already powder coated coils should be the same
    Also if you are doing a Ls7 clutch and have any thoughts on a Tick MC then that will need installed with the new clutch. Can't be added later with out problems
    Opps, forgot about that.
    On another note, the 241 heads were stock on the 2000-2001 ls1's? I wasn't sure.

  11. #71
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    5.3 for 300 bucks out of junkyard and call it a day

  12. #72
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Naaman one thing to think about the warranty thing on the ls1. If you add any aftermarket parts to it and it is discovered and something has an issue in the engine later even if unrelated it is likely it will not be covered. Just something to think about.

  13. #73
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Naaman I can tell you for certain in that there is no such things as a "budget build" unless you are doing a stock replacement. It will easily get away from you.


    Take a look at my build (in my signature)....for a scary laugh. If I knew I'd been down this long I would have just waited till I had enough cash to get one built from several shops. I'm fixing to pull it for the 2nd time.
    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f7/my-6-liter-build-174257/

    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f8/my-8-8-rear-build-165553/

    6.0L Block - Forged 403 built, breaking it in , Polluter Stg3 Cam, FAST 102mm Intake, NW102 TB, MSD wires, NGK TR6 plugs, Truck Coil Packs, LS3 Fuel Injectors, CC Pacesetter LT Headers, TS&P ORY, QTP e-Cutout, Magnaflow Muffler, 104mm Air Lid & Line Lock, Catch Can, Stage 2 T56 w/Viper shaft, PRO 5.0 Shifter, Tick MC, Monster Stg 4 Clutch, QT SFI BH, MWC DSL, UMI: SFC, PHB, LCA's, LCA Relocation Brackets & TA, Hotchkis Springs (1" Drop), YR1 Snowflake Wheels wrapped in NT555 tires & Custom Fab Ford 8.8 rear w/4.10 Yukon Gears, WSQ Hood, 3"CM Strange Eng Drive Shaft.

    Horsepower never lies, but is often lied about!

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Naaman I can tell you for certain in that there is no such things as a "budget build" unless you are doing a stock replacement. It will easily get away from you.


    Take a look at my build (in my signature)....for a scary laugh. If I knew I'd been down this long I would have just waited till I had enough cash to get one built from several shops. I'm fixing to pull it for the 2nd time.
    I disagree about the budget build part. There are such things as budget builds. Mine is an example as well as countless more.

  15. #75
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Scott, I've been following your build ever since, like, forever....and yeah, I can see that its not just a simple process of swap and go. Your ticking noise reminds me of the time I tried my first real part swap: the throttle body. As simple as it is, when I got it, the set screw was not set at the stock level, and I also damaged my IAC O-ring, but didn't realize that such a small part could make my car run like it was in a constant state of confusion. Took me two weeks to track that problem down...


    At this point Im interested in getting my car up and running. I'm hoping Sean can have it running in two weeks time since I had a trip planned for early next month.... we'll see.
    Last edited by Naaman; 11-23-2014 at 06:30 PM.

  16. #76
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Naaman I can tell you for certain in that there is no such things as a "budget build" unless you are doing a stock replacement. It will easily get away from you.


    Take a look at my build (in my signature)....for a scary laugh. If I knew I'd been down this long I would have just waited till I had enough cash to get one built from several shops. I'm fixing to pull it for the 2nd time.
    I agree, there is nothing really budget in the true sense of the word when it comes to playing with these LS engines. Every bolt on part you buy is more expensive than any of us oldtimers still use on gen 1 SBC's and BBC's. Just the whole computer aspect of it jacks the price up for any modifying done. Bigger intakes, valvetrain, cylinder heads, and even just the engines themselves are all more expensive than most any of the older stuff we play with. In general it takes a fatter bank account to mod these things than it does anything with a gen 1 in it.

    I guess for the youngins that have done nothing but LS cars since they were born can find a way to manipulate the word "budget" by looking at cheaper LS engine options But it's still exepensive in comparison for us older folk that still play with stuff before LS engines hit the scene, it's very easy to see the difference. So yeah, I don't call anything with an LS....Budget This platform just hasn't had the luxury of being around for the last 60 years. I was hoping in another 20-30 years that might come to fruition, but with GM constantly playing with the platform making things that don't interchange (which affects "budget") it's making that theory impossible.

  17. #77
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    Budget is a relative term which means different things for different people. Someone might consider a turbo or SC build a "budget" build because it is only costing them 6k instead of 20k. Everyone's "budget" or what they think of it is different - much like everyone has their opinion on what the "best" exhaust is.

    It's simple - buy or do what you can afford.
    It's on jackstands.

  18. #78
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    Kind of funny my last ls1 I had in my camaro made more rwhp and had less money in it than a 400 sbc that a close friend has.

    But again budget is in perspective so to say there is no such thing as budget and LS together, well is wrong

  19. #79
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Tell that to Naaman and see what he thinks

  20. #80
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    98 Z28 Vert M6

    What? I never said I was looking for a budget build? Haha!

    What I would like to build is a car that functions exactly like a factory, showroom vehicle, but that is faster, more nimble and more responsive than a stock 4th Gen. Basically, I don't want the car to "feel" like it's a modified version of something. I want it to be smooth and pleasurable to drive both for fun in winding canyon roads and on my daily commute.

    My car is 100% utilitarian and 100% toy at the same time... or at least, that's what I'm going for.

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