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Trying to decide on an engine

This is a discussion on Trying to decide on an engine within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I'm looking at a zl402 shortblock w/ported stock heads($$ is the only reason). How extreme of a cam will it ...

  1. #1
    Member Orange99z28's Avatar
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    orange
    99 z28

    Trying to decide on an engine

    I'm looking at a zl402 shortblock w/ported stock heads($$ is the only reason). How extreme of a cam will it take to make this engine run like a raped ape while still starting and idling decent(i do like a bit choppy idle)

    this is what I'm looking at - Comp Cams GEN III/LS1/LS6 350 Xtreme XE-R XER287HR Cam although it doesn't even have numbers with it, ask lmperformance why lol

    and possibly a patriot dual valve spring kit

    Will this even run?? I'm new to this so help please, also was gonna get a tuner, probably predator - again any better ways to do anything would be great. thanks

    and on top of that, this is the 11.3 cr. i noticed there were 2 sizes of head gaskets, can i drop it down to like 11.1 with that? and are new pushrods/lifters neccesary or just a good idea assuming they're still good?
    Last edited by Orange99z28; 01-10-2006 at 10:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Tech Junkie hammertime's Avatar
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    Pewter Metallic
    2001 Camaro SS

    A few things you are goign to run into:

    1) Ported stock heads may run out of breath on the big end if plan to spin a 400+ CI motor with a big cam. Heads will definitely make or break a big engine like that. Consider waiting until you can afford better heads to support that monster

    2) http://www.compcams.com/Technical/Cu...ML/200-203.asp
    That cam is listed at 238*/240* @ .050" with a 112* lobe sep. The extra cubes will soak it up a bit, but I'm sure you'll still get a lopey idle out of it.

    3) For best results, you'll want to find someone who can tune the car hands on, not through mail order trial and error. Or consider one of the many tuning softwares and a wideband O2 sensor,and plan on spending some time with it.

    4) Choose the correct size combbustion chamber to achieve the compression you want. Keep in mind, you'll bleed off some cylinder pressure with a cam that big, so 11:1 + is not incredibly high. Using a thicker head gasket to tune compression ratio gives up quench in the chambers and can actually lose power and make your engine more sensative to detonation.

    5) Lifters you can probably reuse, but you will need to replace the stock pushrods with stronger ones of the correct length for your overall setup.

    That should get you started....

    Good Luck!
    Hammer - hammertime.us
    2001 Light Pewter Metallic Camaro SS, 6 speed
    K&N, SLP Lid, SLP y-pipe, GMMG cat-back, Lou's Short Stick - more to come!

  3. #3
    Member Orange99z28's Avatar
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    orange
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    cool, thats almost all the info i needed. one thing though, is a handheld programmer like the predator or even that computer program autotap, it looks really cool, but can i make the neccesary changes with either of those? i understand i'll be doing s whole lot of trial and error and tweaking. but thats the fun part in my mind.

    oh, and CAN i use stock heads on that engine temporarily? my engine took a crap and i really need something. i just figured the 402 would give me plenty of excitement every time i bought a new "add-on". I really wouldn't mind if i only ended up with 350-400 horse at first.

    damn, another thing i was wondering...second gear is messed up in my 6 speed(feels like a couple teeth are missing, grinds if i put it in 2nd too quickly), is it possible to fix, or do i need a tranny too?
    Last edited by Orange99z28; 01-11-2006 at 01:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    ZL402? SLP's pile?
    2008 Trailblazer SS
    Yank PTB3600, Kooks 1 7/8" LT's, 4" intake, E-fans, Magnaflow, Sonnax kit, tranny cooler, tune.
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    Member Orange99z28's Avatar
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    orange
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    yes, is that a bad idea? i'm seriously just trying to find out how to get a good motor for not so much $$, i saw some guy on this forum selling engines, but figured the name brand would be better. give me some advice, please

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    Member koolaid_kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange99z28
    cool, thats almost all the info i needed. one thing though, is a handheld programmer like the predator or even that computer program autotap, it looks really cool, but can i make the neccesary changes with either of those? i understand i'll be doing s whole lot of trial and error and tweaking. but thats the fun part in my mind.
    Autotap is very good at taking readings in an easy to read style, but does not allow you to edit the settings. For that, look in the Computer & Tuning section on this site.

  7. #7
    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange99z28
    yes, is that a bad idea? i'm seriously just trying to find out how to get a good motor for not so much $$, i saw some guy on this forum selling engines, but figured the name brand would be better. give me some advice, please
    There are many other GOOD options over the SLP motor.

    Texas Speed, Futral, Thunder....

    I went Texas Speed. So far so good, although my motor only has 20 minutes run time right now.

  8. #8
    Member Orange99z28's Avatar
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    orange
    99 z28

    Bottom line is I don't even have enough $$ for slp's engine. my parents would be giving me a loan. So...high end race engines are out altogether. Whats on the market in the 3k range? Any small engine builders with good quality out there that won't rip you a new one with the price? Once again if its over 4k I can't afford it!

  9. #9
    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    Mine was $3800.

    Pretty sure the price has gone down since. Of course...this is shortblock only.
    I also had a rod upgrade of $225.

    For the same price as the SLP pile, you can have a motor built exactly the same by a shop that actually cares about their customers.

  10. #10
    Member koolaid_kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange99z28
    Bottom line is I don't even have enough $$ for slp's engine. my parents would be giving me a loan. So...high end race engines are out altogether. Whats on the market in the 3k range? Any small engine builders with good quality out there that won't rip you a new one with the price? Once again if its over 4k I can't afford it!
    Is the $4k amount the total you can spend to get a running engine? The short blocks that you are speaking of will still require extra funds to become a real engine.
    Is the current block in your car busted or unusable?
    Can you find someone on the forum who bought an engine from the person you mentioned, the one selling engines on the forum?

    BTW, the second gear grinding that you mentioned, sounds like the syncros. If you fix it in time, you would not have to replace the entire transmission.

  11. #11
    Member Orange99z28's Avatar
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    orange
    99 z28

    My block is good *I think*, I'm just about ready to pull the engine and check out the damage. But its also a 99 and i read that some 99's had hollow spot somewhere in the block making it a lot weaker. if thats the case than i really want a diff. block. The best way to describe myself is a shade tree mechanic. I'm willing to take whatever shortcuts I need to as long as i can add all the upgraded parts later on. I know the goal is for everything to flow well. but its ok if it runs like crap at first. so long as it gets me from a to b. I need transportation this isn't a second car. is what i want to do feasibly possible?

    aside from the syncros (i think), one time when it ground going into second it really felt like a tooth broke on a gear or something. i have no idea how trans. work but is that possible? if so can a gear be replaced or is that only race trans.?

  12. #12
    Member koolaid_kid's Avatar
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    First, it does not sound like you have a broken tooth on a gear. If it is, you would probably want to replace the transmission. But the probability is low.

    Second, anything is feasible, given enough funding. But you indicated that money is an issue.
    So, any of the main parts that you can salvage from the current engine will
    a) save money
    b) allow you to spend more on the things that matter.
    The most expensive parts of your engine are the block, the heads, and the crank. You already indicated that you think the heads are O.K. If your power requirements would allow you to reuse the stock crank, you can go with very good parts for everything else and fit within your budget.

    In the end, you are the one who will have to live with the engine. But if you could reuse those parts above, you will have a good running car from the get go.
    Best of luck, kk

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  14. #14
    Junior Member billabong26z's Avatar
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    Great price for the engine.

  15. #15
    Member Orange99z28's Avatar
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    orange
    99 z28

    Now thats what i'm takin about. thanks. what would have to be done to use that engine? anything with computer? all plug and play?

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