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Gen III or IV engine or wait for Gen V???

This is a discussion on Gen III or IV engine or wait for Gen V??? within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have a question. In about a year and a half down the road, or so, I plan to start ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Gen III or IV engine or wait for Gen V???

    I have a question. In about a year and a half down the road, or so, I plan to start tweaking the power plant for my 02 WS6. My questions are;

    1) Will the Gen V (DFI) engines coming out with the new 'Vettes (and probably new Camaros) be so great that they are worth waiting for (instead of upgrading an LS1).

    2) Will the Gen V bottom ends basic design be close enough to the gen III and IV's that DFI heads, cam, computer/harness etc be able to be swapped into my car with an LS1 bottom end?

    3) or should I just do heads/cam/headers (and maybe a bottom end rebuild at almost 100k)

    Just trying to plan ahead and would hate to waste my money.

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    Senior Member Shermanator86's Avatar
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    How much are you wanting to spend on the project? I would think the brand new stuff will be extremely pricey to get to work with your car. I personally would like to do a gen IV swap in my car rather than building up my stock gen III.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shermanator86 View Post
    How much are you wanting to spend on the project? I would think the brand new stuff will be extremely pricey to get to work with your car. I personally would like to do a gen IV swap in my car rather than building up my stock gen III.
    That's part of the issue:


    -The current engine has just over 93k on it. I might find I need to rebuild the bottom end anyways

    -Heads and cam set would be over $3k plus installation

    -Still would have to reprogram the ecm

    Odds are, once everythings said and done, Im spending over $6k anyways right? If the short blocks are compatible and can get a low milage top end/ w/harness (and cam, etc.) off of a C-7 or DFIV8 Camaro for say 5-ish or so maybe it would be the better choice.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    have you ever looked at what brand new crate engines cost on a new motor? You could buy a whole used f-body for what you'll pay for that crate engine. Buy a low mileage gen iv or a stroker and build that......it'd be much cheaper in the long run.

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    Initially, there will be little to no aftermarket support on the new engine. Better to stick with a known quantity for which you can get just about anything you need.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    The idea was wait a year or two for a totaled gen v dfi engine and pick up the engine and harness, not a crate engine.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    It would be easier to ask yourself what kind of HP goal or ET goal you have for the car (if any of that matters to you) Or if you just want to keep the car dependable.

    Frankly I'm with Jeff. The aftermarket support won't be there initially for the new style of engines, and then there are the growing pains of figuring out how swappable it is with older stuff, reluctor wheel and computer compatability problems, sensors moved around, etc... that will take the aftermarket a while to figure out as well. All good reasons that really turns me off.

    I'd personally just look at engine packages that are fresh and ready to go,,,not necessarily a brand new crate engine as they are mega bucks like Orion mentioned,,,,but I'm talking about crate engines that come in various stages of completion from places like Texas Speed.

    Their LQ4 based stroker packages are some of the best prices I've seen, and I'm betting it will make all the power you want and then some. Best part is....short of maybe an adapter harness for a cam sensor it's basically a drop in and go proposition with no fuss.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    It would be easier to ask yourself what kind of HP goal or ET goal you have for the car (if any of that matters to you) Or if you just want to keep the car dependable.

    Frankly I'm with Jeff. The aftermarket support won't be there initially for the new style of engines, and then there are the growing pains of figuring out how swappable it is with older stuff, reluctor wheel and computer compatability problems, sensors moved around, etc... that will take the aftermarket a while to figure out as well. All good reasons that really turns me off.

    I'd personally just look at engine packages that are fresh and ready to go,,,not necessarily a brand new crate engine as they are mega bucks like Orion mentioned,,,,but I'm talking about crate engines that come in various stages of completion from places like Texas Speed.

    Their LQ4 based stroker packages are some of the best prices I've seen, and I'm betting it will make all the power you want and then some. Best part is....short of maybe an adapter harness for a cam sensor it's basically a drop in and go proposition with no fuss.


    I would like a sizable bump in power (around 400/400 at the wheels) without too much of a fuel consumption penalty. As far as using current tech, I was thinking of heads and cam as the center of the project, but I figured I'd want to rebuild the bottom end. Of course then 24x setup LS-2/LS-3 starts to come to mind. I do want to keep the engine all aluminum, so the LQ4 is pretty much out for me.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    400 at the wheels isn't too much to ask. Relatively easy with a head/cam swap. As far as whether you are comfortable doing it on a high mileage short block is up to you.

    Hard to beat the iron blocks, I'd give them a good look before worrying about a 60-70 lbs. weight penalty. With the ability to bore at a later date making another rebuild possible, sure makes them a good investment compared to the aluminum LS1 that "MAYBE" can be honed. Since you only have about .005-.010" of wiggle room for honing, you just have to hope it's enough to make the cylinders round again, because in most cases with 100,000+ miles the cylinder can be out of round further than that rendering it useless unless you sleeve it,,,and that's $$$$
    I know when I'm ready I'm sure not going to spend twice the money on an aluminum block to save a few lbs. Just put yourself a tubular cross member in there during the engine change and you're right back where you were as far as weight goes

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    Like FBJ said, your goals are easily obtainable with a head and cam package on an otherwise stock LS1 block. You could spend a few bucks also beefing up the bottom end and oiling system and still be far less than what you would probably have invested into a 5th gen engine swap... if it is even feasible.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    One of the several reasons I wan't to keep an aluminum block is weight, but also metal compatibly ( I remember the head gasket issues on iron-block/alum' heads) and cooling ability. I can always get the tubular cross member and save even more weight (and get better weight distribution).

    As far as the "honing" issue, how expensive is re-sleeving the bores? Also, I was under the impression from info from Car Craft and a few other magazines that the 2000 up blocks sleeves were able to be to accept an over-bore of .060" over stock (don't think I would do a .60', .030' maybe).

    I've had the car/engine since 34,000 miles and have changed the Mobil-One 5W30 oil every 3k. I do flog it occasionally, but a bunch of its mileage was done on the highway in 6th.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I haven't heard of the 2000 and up blocks being capable of accepting that much overbore. I hear of .010 all the time as being acceptable, but that sometimes isn't enough to bring the cylinders back into shape on some high mileage stuff.

    You are right, it has alot to do with how the engine is treated as to whether the cylinders clean up okay with minimum cut. It's just something to keep in the back of your mind when you tear it down.

    There aren't any compatability issues with aluminum heads on cast iron blocks. Some say because of the expansion differences there could be gasket sealing issues but that's been long ago addressed with some great gasket materials out there. Manufactures have been building engines like this since the early 60's and the LQ4 and LQ9 truck engines are still that way. When you figure how GM intended these engines to be work horses in 3/4 ton trucks then you can bet it's a pretty solid package. No cooling issues either. I can't get the LQ4 in my 72 blazer hot at all. As a matter of fact it doesn't blow enough heat when it's cold outside

    If it makes you feel better you could look at all the competitors that are using the cast iron LSx blocks in various racing series making stupid power, like 1500hp+ power. But I can understand wanting to stick with aluminum too. It's just going to cost alot more money.

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    Go for differnet alloys

    There are any number of alloys that you can take help from for making different kinds of products. Stainless steel is the best alloy, which is used for making different kinds of products like machinery and many more.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I haven't heard of the 2000 and up blocks being capable of accepting that much overbore. I hear of .010 all the time as being acceptable, but that sometimes isn't enough to bring the cylinders back into shape on some high mileage stuff.

    You are right, it has alot to do with how the engine is treated as to whether the cylinders clean up okay with minimum cut. It's just something to keep in the back of your mind when you tear it down.

    There aren't any compatability issues with aluminum heads on cast iron blocks. Some say because of the expansion differences there could be gasket sealing issues but that's been long ago addressed with some great gasket materials out there. Manufactures have been building engines like this since the early 60's and the LQ4 and LQ9 truck engines are still that way. When you figure how GM intended these engines to be work horses in 3/4 ton trucks then you can bet it's a pretty solid package. No cooling issues either. I can't get the LQ4 in my 72 blazer hot at all. As a matter of fact it doesn't blow enough heat when it's cold outside

    If it makes you feel better you could look at all the competitors that are using the cast iron LSx blocks in various racing series making stupid power, like 1500hp+ power. But I can understand wanting to stick with aluminum too. It's just going to cost alot more money.
    I reread the May 1998 High-Tech Performance article "One Hell of a Motor". Apparently, the original liners (1997-98) allowed a .010 overbore and the 1999-up a .020 overbore. One thing that got me nervous in the article was pictures of the cutaway engine; it appeared that the rocker arm bolts protrude into intake/exhaust passageways, is this true?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholleren View Post
    There are any number of alloys that you can take help from for making different kinds of products. Stainless steel is the best alloy, which is used for making different kinds of products like machinery and many more.
    I don't quite understand what your point is.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whamhammer View Post
    One thing that got me nervous in the article was pictures of the cutaway engine; it appeared that the rocker arm bolts protrude into intake/exhaust passageways, is this true?

    -.
    That very well could be. Many cylinder head designs from all manufactures have done that at one time or another. In those instances you apply a teflon sealant on the threads. Not a big deal really.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    That very well could be. Many cylinder head designs from all manufactures have done that at one time or another. In those instances you apply a teflon sealant on the threads. Not a big deal really.
    I was thinking more the obstruction in airflow and loss of flow volume. I would also thing shorter studs would be a good idea. Has anyone seen are bare casting to confirm?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whamhammer View Post
    I was thinking more the obstruction in airflow and loss of flow volume. I would also thing shorter studs would be a good idea. Has anyone seen are bare casting to confirm?
    I've never seen one where the studs actually protrude out into the air stream, so airflow shouldn't be affected.

    Is this what you are seeing?

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I've never seen one where the studs actually protrude out into the air stream, so airflow shouldn't be affected.

    Is this what you are seeing?
    I have been trying to send a picture, but I am having problems sending it up (says I am past my allotted space).

    The cutaway shows a rocker arm bolt in the airway path on the intake side.
    Last edited by Whamhammer; 08-10-2012 at 01:49 PM.

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    You have to download the pic to another site, such as Photobucket, and then copy and paste the [IMG] code into your post on here.

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