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what should i do, i need more HP

This is a discussion on what should i do, i need more HP within the Drivetrain forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; ok so i have a nearly stock ls1/4l60E drivetrain. Its not fast enough for me .. I had planned on ...

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    what should i do, i need more HP

    ok so i have a nearly stock ls1/4l60E drivetrain. Its not fast enough for me .. I had planned on supercharging it but am now having second thoughts. ill list my original thoughts below but i know the ultimate question is what is my HP goal.. and i dont really know.. i know i make something faster , then get bored and need to keep making it faster.. i feel like many of us have this same problem.. if i had to guess ide say 450-650 HP would be my goal.. but we all know how that goes...

    My initial thought was a single turbo setup... but its alot of work, and i dont wanna throw my $700 headers in the garbage, even though i know ill be able to resell um. ( i know im about $3-4K to go this route, between the piping, oil lines, fuel upgrades, injectors, tuning)

    My next thought was then a centrifugal supercharger (torquestorm) way less work than a turbo.. about $4K-4500. still has a blow off valve.. similar HP gains as a cheaper turbo setup.

    My next thought was that i may not be happy with the centrifugal hp gains.. then i looked into an 8rib setup LSA supercharger, with E85 steup.. which means i need to upgrade my fuel system as well. thats about 7K but capable of close to 800 HP. which means ill nuke my tranny as well, so tack on another 2K when that explodes...

    When i started factoring all that in.. i was thinking maybe im just better off getting a whole new drivetrain.. which has just thrown me into chaos.....

    Now im back to thinking a torquestorm supercharger, or do an upper end engine build and im only into that for a G or two and that will give me 5 years of happieness and then i can do more then at that time....

    help/ discuss what would you do...

    FYI: this is in my 71 chevelle.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Is there a budget?
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    my initial hope was that 4K would be my budget.. but given dyno tuning will be about a grand..$3k doesnt really leave alot to do much with. im very torn.. because 4 cant really get any of the forced induction stuff done correctly. $5k can... and thats not a big step up.. to get close to 5-600 HP.

    Im really leaning toward getting some upper end stuff, some of the same stuff ide maybe do if i were gonna do a supercharger,( cam , springs, chain, oil pump). then that part is done and ill have fun with it for a while... and can do the charger later and it would not be as expensive then or now... this would get me closer to 400hp ide expect...

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I guess the next step is to figure out what you really want. A street cruiser with some fun at the track or track beast. Each has their build direction and costs.

    If I was in your shoes I would sell the LS1 or save for another project, get a 99-04 LQ4 or LQ9 truck block, punch out to 4.030", stroke it with a 4 or 4.125" stroker crank, get some aftermarket LS3 heads and intake with a custom grind cam. You're looking at 570 to mid 600's on a NA build to the wheels and it will still be street drivable depending on your interpretation.

    I would also sell off the 4L60e and either T56 swap it or find a 4L80e for what I mention above. Another option and is very common with builds like this is to get a built 700R4, less issues to deal with.

    If you can't find a LQ4 or 9 Summit sells (or did) 408 LS iron blocks for a decent price and build up from there.

    Now if $$$ was not so much of an insue then I'd be looking for a crate LT4 engine. But those run about $15k without all the accessories and harness etc...



    This will give you a solid base for future builds when the time comes that you're bored with that. Iron blocks handle more boost over aluminum.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 05-03-2018 at 01:16 PM.

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    i can get swap engines extremely cheap... hence in my intial thread, when i was approaching the 7K mark i started thinking about just getting an ls9 or an already supercharged CTSV pullout.. and it just threw me into a tizzy... my swap has only been in the car 4 years and im extremely happy.. since the swap ive fixed all the other stuff my car needed, to get the rest of the car to match the engine.., not sure i really wanna go through the whole getting a new engine trans thing.. if im gonna do that ill but another car and do it to the next one...

    i dont need a track monster.. just a fast street car, hence the 4-600 hp goal... and i love the thought of being boosted... and reliability is a must, thats the whole reason why it has an ls platform engine in it.

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    Then make it a 383 stroker. You still use your block, with some rod clearance, 4" stroker crank, aftermarket heads, FAST or MSD 102 intake and cam and you be in the sweet spot of your goal. It will work with all that you have in the car. Your stall might need to be upgraded to match the engine performance.

    That would be the cheapest route and less modification to do. Just pull the engine and swap in the parts.


    Also for reliable boost you're looking at around $7-10k when done. Parts alone are around 2/3rds of that. Doing the install and fab yourself can cut down that cost but parts are the big chunk of that cost.


    Now for the cheapest booster Nitrous kits go for $800-1000. Stock LS1 can handle 100-125 shot without needing to do upgrades. Higher than that and then you're looking at tune and better internals, etc.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 05-03-2018 at 01:59 PM.

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    HP and fun are never cheap.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    HP and fun are never cheap.....
    I've literally sold my first born into child labor. Little hands are great for holding wires in tight spots
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    i literally have a fulll nitrous kit laying on a shelf, but i dont want to go the nitrous route. and yeah im aware HP isnt cheap, not my first and wont be my last build.

    i can legitamately do a torquestorm supercharger setup for $2800 + $1200 in injectors cam upgraded fuel pump, etc, and then full dyno tune is about 800 and that is running about 10psi. ive fully priced it out with individual parts and discussion with local tuning shop... but $5K puts me in that realm where its tempting to go up even more, cuz theres always more...

    im really leaning towards cheaping out and just doing the small stuff and get closer to 400hp. If someone were gonna do small stuff on an ls1 what would ya do ? and what kind of gains... obv a cam.. springs. timing chain and pump, do i do an ls6 intake.. are getting a set of different stock heads something i should look into?
    Last edited by tomcamaro97; 05-04-2018 at 08:34 AM.

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    My buddy runs a 383 witha custom grind, PRC heads, FAST 102 intake thru a T56 and 9" rear and lays down 505hp at the wheels on 93oct gas. And it still has street manners.

    Of course boost will get you more pwr. With turbos you have to really pay attention to oil systems. When they go they then tend to take out the engine as well, SC not so much, Prochargers have their own oil system. Not sure about the ones you listed. Also IIRC 10lbs of boost is at the extreme edge of stock internals, most are not higher than 8lbs.

    Have you looked at the Edelbrock SC's? They have some good setups that might work for what you're looking to do and come as a complete kit.


    To get high boost numbers you're looking at a cam, heads, pistons to lower the CR, making it a E85 or alky fuel build lets you run at much higher CR (14xxx to 1) and gets you hell of a lot of pwr but also has it's additional costs too.


    I'm sorta in your shoes as well. I've been driving mine for about 2 yrs now with the 403 and currently have about 450hp/tq to the wheels with my T56 & 8.8 rear. My biggest hold back is the stock 243 heads. Talking with my tuner he said I have 3 routes to go. 2 for NA and the 3rd is boost. Boost is much more out of my possibilities cause of costs. 1st options is the cheapest cause it's just a set of TF heads and a custom cam to get me around the mid 500's without nitrous. 2nd option is a little more - Convert to LS3 heads and intake, custom cam and maybe new injectors (currently have LS3 44lb) to put me in the high 500's to low 600's without nitrous.

    And then there's the sub option of nitrous to all of them
    I like all the options

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    To answer your last question. A decent cam will put you in the 400's on stock heads. LS6 intakes are good for bolt ons and a decent bump in pwr. But once you go into heads and cam you might as well get a better intake. I've been reading lots of great reviews on the MSD intake and of course I have a FAST 102. I keep suggesting stroker cause it will get you the biggest bang for buck in what your goals are while keeping you in your block like you seem to want.

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    once you go boosted you'll always wonder why you didnt' do it sooner! But yeah the cost for going boost is a lot more than people realize. You can get a kit that has the basic supporting mods and that will net you 500 rwhp with stock internals. To do FI correctly you have to build you engine to the correct compression in order to handle boost and go forged. My 408 CR is 8.6:1 with Forged -26cc pistons built for boost. I'm fighting my fuel system currently and in the process of a 2k fuel system upgrade. That's just parts. Shooting for 1000 rwhp and in total I probably have at least 50,000 in mods alone in my current setup. But it's a fun game and if you're in it for the long haul it's a lot of fun. This 1000 rwhp goal has been almost a 20 year process

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    DAMN!!!!!!


    I was about to tag you cause I know you've been down this road

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    DAMN!!!!!!


    I was about to tag you cause I know you've been down this road
    Been down this road and still going down this road!

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