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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; Sounds like you need a newer car then. 4th gens leave much to be desired if you're looking for all ...

  1. #81
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Red
    02 35th LE Camaro SS

    Sounds like you need a newer car then. 4th gens leave much to be desired if you're looking for all that.
    It's on jackstands.

  2. #82
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Nah, man... I bought the car to be a project. If I wanted to leave the car alone, I would have just bought a used Mercedes or something.

  3. #83
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Red
    02 35th LE Camaro SS

    Just saying, you can dump 50K into a 4th gen and it will still be a 4th gen. Hardly smooth or up to par with modern vehicles and how they handle, even with upgrades. The more power you make in these, the more they feel less like a daily driver. You have to be willing to trade-off staying with this platform.

  4. #84
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Yes. I have learned this over the course of owning my car. It's very fun to drive, and I will say that I really like the ride with the following set up:

    Koni shocks, stock springs, Strano hollow sway bars and SFCs. To me, it feels "right." I've certainly driven cars that ride/handle much, much better, and are even faster at the same time. But for what I was able to afford when I bought the Camaro, I'm quite happy with the set up. When I added Strano springs, the ride got noticeably firmer, and that was the first "trade-off" I experienced. Now, I'm used to it, and I really like the ride and sharpness of the response of the car.

    My wife's Honda Pilot (which I've been driving while the Camaro is down) drives very smooth and quiet, but it's numb and boring.

    I'll probably be "finished" with my "build" after I polish off the undercarriage with a torque-arm set up from UMI, upgrade the brake rotors/lines and put some long tubes/y-pipe on it. A mild heads/cam might be nice to get, but we'll see if I haven't decided to add a stablemate for the Z by then.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    According to Sean's advice, I went with the LS1 out of the 2001 TransAm. While its out, we are doing the oil pump, LS2 timing chain, and LS7 clutch and motor mounts. Ill probably talk to Sean on Monday and see if he finds anything else that needs replacement.

    Any other recommendations on major maintenance that should be done while the engine is out?

  6. #86
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    02 35th LE Camaro SS

    Did I miss the post stating the current motor was evaluated properly to determine it needed to be replaced?

  7. #87
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Here is what he emailed me:

    " I drained the oil and only got about a quart and a half out of the drain plug. It was very low and had silver metallic flake in it. The drain plug magnet was a big furry mess. The noise you are hearing I believe is a loose rod bearing from oil starvation. I don't think the bottom end of your engine is long for this world. I can change the oil and you can run it til something happens, it's up to you?

    I will attach a pic of the drain plug, it was totally full of metal, nothing I've seen before.

    Anyway, I thought it would be less financially risky to to just replace it than pay for a removal and teardown only to find out that its no good.

  8. #88
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    From what Sean is describing, it sounds pretty extensive to me. A "furry" drain plug likely means he is seeing large slivers of metal attached to it, and alot of it. All I ever see on our drain plug between oil changes is a very thin coating of grey "sludge" or metallic sludge, but I never see slivers of anything. That would alert me immediately.
    What I would have also done at that point though is cut open the filter and see what was caught in there as well. In any event, sounds like you're on your way to a new engine so it doesn't matter much.

    I'd have Sean at least toss a camshaft in that thing for your effort. Otherwise you'll be at the same stock level you were before after all that work and money.

  9. #89
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    I'd love to do a cam. Without headers, will it run properly? I don't have the cash for headers at the moment.

  10. #90
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Lots of cams out there designed to work with stock exhaust systems. They generally have a wide LSA and favor the exhaust side by 10 degrees or so.

    But, if you plan headers anyway down the road then it's probably a moot point.

  11. #91
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Are you saying that its better to wait till after headers?

    If there is a set up that could work with both, that woulld be cool. I just dont know enough about cams or tuning to really male an informed decision.

    On the other hand, if I can hit my power goals on the stock manifold, it might be worth it.

  12. #92
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Personally I'd rather do it all at once while the engine is out. Minimize laying over the fenders as much as possible

  13. #93
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Sean just emailed me asking if I wanted heads and cam. He says he got some really good deals on a heads/cam combo and can make it work even with the stock manifolds....

    It's a set of stage 1 ported 799s done by Brett Land, $1250 shipped.

  14. #94
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    There ya go You can always do headers later down the road.

  15. #95
    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    BLACK
    1998 PONTIAC TA

    I would go for the heads cam combo. You will love the extra h/p gain and the lope also. Then when you do get headers and full exhaust, it will just amplify the h/p!

  16. #96
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Considering the cost of everything, my car is going to be down for quite a while...

    All the little parts that go with the heads/cam swap really add up. In any case, it'll probably be after the first of the year when I have the cash for everything. Kinda exciting, but a little sad, too.

  17. #97
    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    BLACK
    1998 PONTIAC TA

    Good things come to those who wait. I think you will really kick yourself in the rear if you don't get the heads cam done now while the motor is out. If you DON'T get it done now, it will be an extra added cost to have it done down the road, AND you will be missing the ride for a few days AGAIN if you just get the stock motor back in the car now.
    Last edited by RONS98TA; 12-03-2014 at 04:09 AM.

  18. #98
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I agree with Ron. The car is already down for an engine swap. Now is the best time to do it with less labor involved. If it's not done now, chances are good it won't be done later either once the car is up and running because it's never on the priority list to tear down a perfectly good running car when you have other more important expenses to worry about. (it's why I still have cars sitting in the corner of the garage since the mid 80's.)

    Consider it a Christmas gift to yourself. The longer wait will all be worthwhile when it's finished.
    SMWS6TA likes this.

  19. #99
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Yeah, I already gave Sean the go-ahead. Gonna be putting in loads of overtime to make it work.

  20. #100
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    I know that headers are going to make the whole package complete, but with a mild cam and stage 1 port job and a dyno tune, what kind of power should I expect out of the set up (on stock exhaust manifolds, LS6 intake).

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