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Another $$$$ to performance.

This is a discussion on Another $$$$ to performance. within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Originally Posted by Firebirdjones Well the LQ4 is only 364 cubes. Not big enough to support using the cheaper L92 ...

  1. #21
    Member youngrigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Well the LQ4 is only 364 cubes. Not big enough to support using the cheaper L92 heads. With a 270cc intake runner you would have a very soggy engine down low that probably wouldn't come into it's own until well above 4,000 rpms. Many shops have done dyno tests on this very combo already that have shown you really need 400+ cubes to take better advantage of the huge intake port.

    Another disadvantage to the L92 heads, are the horrible I/E ratio they have. The intake runners are huge and flow over 300 cfm out of the box, but they didn't improve the exhaust runners that basically don't flow any better than a cathedral port exhaust runner. So you wind up with a lopsided head as far as flow that requires a camshaft spread as much as 15 degrees on duration (I/E) to make it work.

    Ya they are cheap at $800 a set new, but even at that price I wouldn't use them on anything less than a 408 build.
    +1

    Maybe a 402 but not really a fan of those heads

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    LSX whore allbaugh_04's Avatar
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    If and when I do this. I'll find a used LQ4, used cam if i can, and used heads. "maybe" a fast setup. I know all this can be found used for around 3k or less.

    Everyone acts like these LQ4s are weak or something. The aluminum LS1 sees 200k and takes a beating the whole time. The LQ4 is iron...I wouldn't worry about dependability as much and it's not like they are expensive to fix.

    Sure there are better ways to go about it, but this way is A LOT cheaper and easier. Depending how much power you intend to make.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allbaugh_04 View Post
    If and when I do this. I'll find a used LQ4, used cam if i can, and used heads. "maybe" a fast setup. I know all this can be found used for around 3k or less.

    Everyone acts like these LQ4s are weak or something. The aluminum LS1 sees 200k and takes a beating the whole time. The LQ4 is iron...I wouldn't worry about dependability as much and it's not like they are expensive to fix.

    Sure there are better ways to go about it, but this way is A LOT cheaper and easier. Depending how much power you intend to make.
    Not knocking the idea, it's the way all hotrodders did things on a budget back in the day. But we learned it wasn't always the best approach.
    Getting older now and not liking to do things twice leads me down the path of doing it right the first time even if it means spending more money.

    You can get away with used short blocks so long as compression checked out okay and it has minimal wear. No way I'd throw a heads and cam on an LS1 with 200,000 miles, that's just asking for trouble.
    From my experiences on just about any gasoline combustion V8 engine, when they reach 100,000 miles, they are getting tired and show some wear. Just because it still runs fine and might go another 100,000 without issues probably isn't incentive enough for me to want to throw speed parts at it.

    As far as cost,,,,they are in fact expensive to fix. Compare it to the original small block chevy these LS engines were derived from and there is a huge difference in cost. These things still aren't the cheapest engine to work on.
    I don't think anyone claims the LS family of engines are weak, but mileage does take a toll. At least you can bore a high mileage LQ cast iron engine, you probably won't be so lucky with an aluminum LS1.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Just to add to that for people that aren't aware,,,,finding a good LQ4/LQ9 isn't the cheapest thing to do.
    I've been searching for a suitable candidate for a few months now. All the major retails chains that have take outs have plenty of these engines forsale,,,,but they all seem to have 120,000 miles or more on them and they cost anywhere from $1,000 for 180,000 miles or more,,,,or as high as $1,400 for slightly less miles.

    Don't know about you guys, but coming from a gen 1 backround with engines a dime a dozen, I'm a bit reluctant to spend a grand or more on an engine that 75% of it's life is already gone. I don't want to do this retro swap with an engine that might have to come back out after a couple of years of driving. Like I said, I don't like to do things twice.

    I guess you guys are younger and have more energy than me

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    Member youngrigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allbaugh_04 View Post
    If and when I do this. I'll find a used LQ4, used cam if i can, and used heads. "maybe" a fast setup. I know all this can be found used for around 3k or less.

    Everyone acts like these LQ4s are weak or something. The aluminum LS1 sees 200k and takes a beating the whole time. The LQ4 is iron...I wouldn't worry about dependability as much and it's not like they are expensive to fix.

    Sure there are better ways to go about it, but this way is A LOT cheaper and easier. Depending how much power you intend to make.
    This is the route im going with in the 67 Camaro..... And if the engine happens to blow after a few years i will pick up another stock LQ9 for cheap and swap the parts over... Obviosly you want to do a compression check and make sure every thing looks good. But these engines are very durable.

    Plus it helps that i do all the work my self!

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    Member youngrigo's Avatar
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    5.3 engines are a dime a dozen! also a good platform to start with. Just swap to a car intake (LS1 or LS6) throw a nice cam and call it a day. Same parts as an LS1 and the 5.3 will produce only about 10-15 hp less

  7. #27
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    You're more ambitious than I am

    I'm a "one and done" kinda guy. Plus I'm doing this retro swap in something that I want to drive 4,000 miles back and forth accross country hauling the family. It has to be rock solid. If there is even the slightest hint that I can't trust it then it won't work for me. Buying an engine that might have to come back out in 2-3 years doesn't qualify in my case.

    For a weekend toy that is driven around town,,,,well that's all fine and dandy then.

  8. #28
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngrigo View Post
    5.3 engines are a dime a dozen! also a good platform to start with. Just swap to a car intake (LS1 or LS6) throw a nice cam and call it a day. Same parts as an LS1 and the 5.3 will produce only about 10-15 hp less
    That wouldn't be a bad alternative for some. Too small for what I want to do though. I'm not a huge fan of the aluminum block that can't take much more than a hone either, although they did make it in both versions.

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    Member youngrigo's Avatar
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    To small for me too! Just an option for others... And like you said it can be had in an iron block too

  10. #30
    LSX whore allbaugh_04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Not knocking the idea, it's the way all hotrodders did things on a budget back in the day. But we learned it wasn't always the best approach.
    Getting older now and not liking to do things twice leads me down the path of doing it right the first time even if it means spending more money.

    You can get away with used short blocks so long as compression checked out okay and it has minimal wear. No way I'd throw a heads and cam on an LS1 with 200,000 miles, that's just asking for trouble.
    From my experiences on just about any gasoline combustion V8 engine, when they reach 100,000 miles, they are getting tired and show some wear. Just because it still runs fine and might go another 100,000 without issues probably isn't incentive enough for me to want to throw speed parts at it.

    As far as cost,,,,they are in fact expensive to fix. Compare it to the original small block chevy these LS engines were derived from and there is a huge difference in cost. These things still aren't the cheapest engine to work on.
    I don't think anyone claims the LS family of engines are weak, but mileage does take a toll. At least you can bore a high mileage LQ cast iron engine, you probably won't be so lucky with an aluminum LS1.
    True, you can always bore it, but as long as there is compression, I wouldn't be very hesitant on modding a used engine. You just never know how an engine has been taken care of until you tear it apart. Some people don't even bother to change their oil anymore.

    I'll agree, definitely not as cheap as it used to be.

    The reason I say I'd go used is, it's cheaper, and even brand new built engines have blown up on the dyno. I've seen plenty of those threads.

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    LSX whore allbaugh_04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    You're more ambitious than I am

    I'm a "one and done" kinda guy. Plus I'm doing this retro swap in something that I want to drive 4,000 miles back and forth accross country hauling the family. It has to be rock solid. If there is even the slightest hint that I can't trust it then it won't work for me. Buying an engine that might have to come back out in 2-3 years doesn't qualify in my case.

    For a weekend toy that is driven around town,,,,well that's all fine and dandy then.
    Well my cousin had a 5.3 in his truck. He had 180k on it and I know he has never done a damn thing to that truck and it's never left him stranded. He only changed the oil and he finally changed the plugs just recently.

    Traded it in for a new duramax. I wouldn't hesitate to mod a 5.3 either. These are damn good engines...5.3, 6.0. etc.

  12. #32
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allbaugh_04 View Post
    Well my cousin had a 5.3 in his truck. He had 180k on it and I know he has never done a damn thing to that truck and it's never left him stranded. He only changed the oil and he finally changed the plugs just recently.

    Traded it in for a new duramax. I wouldn't hesitate to mod a 5.3 either. These are damn good engines...5.3, 6.0. etc.
    What I mean is,,,I don't want to take that 180K motor, stick it in my 72 blazer and try to go another 100,000 miles. I wouldn't trust it that far. And that's what I'm seeing forsale everywhere. I don't want to start with something that I'd be inclined to tear down for a rebuild, I may as well buy a crate motor at that point for the prices they are asking for high mile used motors.
    I'd rather start with say,,,,,60,000 or even 80,000 miles. Especially since a 6.0 in a truck has probably seen some form of towing. I would probably trust that to go another 80,000 miles without any issues.
    I don't plan on modding it more than exhaust, it just has to be something I can trust 1,000's of miles from home with the family in tow.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 01-05-2011 at 12:00 PM.

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    LSX whore allbaugh_04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    What I mean is,,,I don't want to take that 180K motor, stick it in my 72 blazer and try to go another 100,000 miles. I wouldn't trust it that far. And that's what I'm seeing forsale everywhere. I don't want to start with something that I'd be inclined to tear down for a rebuild, I may as well buy a crate motor at that point for the prices they are asking for high mile used motors.
    I'd rather start with say,,,,,60,000 or even 80,000 miles. Especially since a 6.0 in a truck has probably seen some form of towing. I would probably trust that to go another 80,000 miles without any issues.
    I don't plan on modding it more than exhaust, it just has to be something I can trust 1,000's of miles from home with the family in tow.
    Yea that's probably what I'll look for too.

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    My question is why are you guys worried about the miles, think about this. For one if your like me the block will get flat decked and bored no matter what. If I am to biuld an lq4 I will bore it at least .040 I am more comfortable reworking a used block vs. a new one from gm, because the metal is settled.

    The block I will probably use, was WORKED that thing had over 300k on it, and the truck was consistantly over loaded, the owner used it to pull a big ass dump trailer full of asphalt shingles. It was a roofers work truck. I remember personally taking it to the dump one day, don't remember how I got roped into it, I think his roofers all had suspended liscesnces lol any way it weighed in at 20,000 pounds. Yeah its illigel as hell in a 3/4 ton save it. The truck got crashed, thats how I picked it up for 500$. Tore the block down and it looked like it had maybe 100,000 miles. It was unbeleivable. I would measure it to let ya'all know how far out it is, but I am not going to waste my time, I know once it gets, boiled, decked, and punched it will be able to handle what ever I end up buying for it.

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    Also My daily is an 04 yukon, with a 5.3, 135,000. I bought it with over 100,000 just because I knew it would be way cheaper since people are scared of high miles. and I am confident it will run till 300,000.

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    The biggest money issue with the high mileage used stuff is machine work...unless your lucky like me and have the tools (good friends) to do all the machine work for free...

    Just having that option will cut the build price by as much as or more than in half

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    These engines are very durable

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark21742 View Post
    The biggest money issue with the high mileage used stuff is machine work...unless your lucky like me and have the tools (good friends) to do all the machine work for free...

    Just having that option will cut the build price by as much as or more than in half
    I agree, but I put ALL used blocks in the same category,

    I am always looking for machinists who need friends haha.
    Last edited by Jay37; 01-05-2011 at 04:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay37 View Post
    My question is why are you guys worried about the miles, think about this. For one if your like me the block will get flat decked and bored no matter what. If I am to biuld an lq4 I will bore it at least .040 I am more comfortable reworking a used block vs. a new one from gm, because the metal is settled.
    For me it's simple. I'm looking at a retro swap, and to go through all the money for the swap parts to make this work,,,,only to buy a used engine that needs rebuilt,,,or will need attention in the near future doesn't make sense in my case. Especially for the price people are asking for 120,000 mile LQ4's with no accessories. $1,000 and up?? Price another $3,000 for a basic rebuild and I might as well go buy a crate motor. I'm not sticking a 120-150,000 mile engine in the blazer only to possibly pull it a year later. I can't justify all the labor and fab work involved to only torcher myself again.
    So it's either low mile or a new crate for me.

    Nothing wrong with rebuilding one at all, in my case it's a matter of,,,,,why?? With low mile engines still out there,,,and also crate engines that are still offered I have no reason to rebuild one.

    Now if I were building the typical weekend worrior,,,I wouldn't care so much. That doesn't mean I'd throw speed parts at a 150,000 mile motor however.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 01-05-2011 at 04:28 PM.

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    I agree that rebuilding one and keeping it a 364 verses the 402/408 is nearly a wash as far as cost. You're into the shortblock anyway for pistons, why not do a crank and rods? Hard to justify the cost of machining the factory crank and factory rods at that point.

    I don't recall the combustion chamber size on the 5.3 heads, but I seem to remember they are tight. 59cc maybe??
    If so you might have to get fancy with deck height, style of piston used, and head gasket thickness to keep a freindly pump gas compression ratio.

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