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Generation III Internal Engine
1997-2006 LS1 | LS6
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default New life for an ls1. Rebuilding?

Sup guize, just got a 2000 Z with 150k. It runs good, but I want to reuild it before I break something. I know little to nothing about internals and need tons of help.

I'd like to rebuild this motor using my stock block and basically go about it the cheapest (but proper) way. I do not need to build some badass forged stroker.
Basically I just want to get it back to a brand new Ls1 so I can do bolt ons and have a nice weekend car.

Ballpark on how much this usually runs? I do not feel comfortable doing the work myself so I would send it to a mechanic.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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If you are paying a shop to remove, rebuild with new hyper pistons, and reinstall you are likely to pay 4000-5000 dollars. Most say never to reuse the pistons but most other stuff can be. You really should at least go with a cam and valvetrain while its being done. You can get rebuilt short blocks on ebay using the 5.3 iron block for around 1200, do the work yourself and pay about 1000-1500 in gaskets, cam, and valvetrain. which would be the cheapest way to go but I would still plan to spend 3k minimum if you do it yourself.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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If you are paying a shop to remove, rebuild with new hyper pistons, and reinstall you are likely to pay 4000-5000 dollars. Most say never to reuse the pistons but most other stuff can be. You really should at least go with a cam and valvetrain while its being done. You can get rebuilt short blocks on ebay using the 5.3 iron block for around 1200, do the work yourself and pay about 1000-1500 in gaskets, cam, and valvetrain. which would be the cheapest way to go but I would still plan to spend 3k minimum if you do it yourself.
Wow, thats a lot. I have some friends that are saying around $1500 to do so but I dont know if they actually know. $4-5 sounds so steep b/c I could order a brand new LS1 in a box for $4500..

I plan on doing heads/cam but I want to do other things first. I just want to get it in tip top shape then start on the body. It needs a quarter panel and a new hood. So I would like to throw on a cowl hood then get the car painted pearl white. After that I would go back into internals.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
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Labor for r&r and rebuild plus machine work alone will be around 3k not including any parts.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
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3800 on Summit but you still need to pay labor for r&r which likely will be around 1000 dollars on the low side. So 4800 which will actually be close to the same price as a rebuild. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-89017548/
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
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It really depends on how much work you do I've seen 1500 for Heads/cam/tune....Having someone have to pull the motor and start from the bottom up with machining and parts etc is going to add up quick!.... I agree its kinda crazy that its sometimes cheaper to get something new instead of rebuilding the parts I already have.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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How hard would this be for me to tackle on my own? I really dont feel comfortable doing it, but if it will save me that much money I have no problem calling some buddies up when I get stuck. About how long am I looking at if I have all parts I need already. Could you give me the breakdown on the list of parts I would absolutely need.

Keep in mind I just want to freshen it up. I dont want to build a new motor, so whatever parts I can salvage I would like to do so.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 1stIDFO View Post
It really depends on how much work you do I've seen 1500 for Heads/cam/tune....Having someone have to pull the motor and start from the bottom up with machining and parts etc is going to add up quick!.... I agree its kinda crazy that its sometimes cheaper to get something new instead of rebuilding the parts I already have.
What do you suggest? Motor has 150k and runs good now. No knocking or anything abnormal. Should I yank it and start fresh with everything, or should I leave it in the car and do heads/cam with a tune. I honestly dont know anything about internals, it becomes a foreign language to me after you go past the valve covers.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
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What do you suggest? Motor has 150k and runs good now. No knocking or anything abnormal. Should I yank it and start fresh with everything, or should I leave it in the car and do heads/cam with a tune. I honestly dont know anything about internals, it becomes a foreign language to me after you go past the valve covers.


Personally it'd be a tough call for me. Maybe try a leakdown test or something to try to get an idea of the condition of the rings.Other than that I would think bearings would be my next concern.Hopefully someone on here who has a high mile H/C car (I know they're out there) can chime in to help out a little more
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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I did a full rebuild bearings cam springs new push rods and tune and exhaust for around 3500-3800 but I did the work myself. It adds up quick
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:06 PM   #11
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I would drive it as is for now and fix things as they go wrong personally. I have 126k on my car and with bolt ons, stall, gear, radials you can get your car running as fast as about 11.9 in the quarter. You likely will have transmission and rear end issues before the engine gives you trouble. I lagged on doing heads and cam even though I had them and had a stock pushrod bend and break which led me to rebuild. If I would not have lagged and done heads, cam, valvetrain sooner this would not have happened and I likely would not be doing a rebuild now running stock shortblock with many miles of life likely still in it. The stock shortblocks are pretty stout and can last a long time.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:09 PM   #12
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I am currently stock piling parts for a stock rebuild and the parts list comes to around 7-800 bucks not counting machine work...I am hoping I can reuse pistons if they are in spec...I also bought a flex hone so I could freshen the cylinder walls so the new rings will seat...you can save a lot of $ if you do all the work yourself and search the net for deals on all the parts (rings, bearings, gaskets, etc.) good luck man
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #13
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I would drive it as is for now and fix things as they go wrong personally. I have 126k on my car and with bolt ons, stall, gear, radials you can get your car running as fast as about 11.9 in the quarter. You likely will have transmission and rear end issues before the engine gives you trouble. I lagged on doing heads and cam even though I had them and had a stock pushrod bend and break which led me to rebuild. If I would not have lagged and done heads, cam, valvetrain sooner this would not have happened and I likely would not be doing a rebuild now running stock shortblock with many miles of life likely still in it. The stock shortblocks are pretty stout and can last a long time.
Tranny does have issues, but that is being taken care of. I'm rebuilding the tranny and gonna beef it up a bit. Buddy is a mechanic at a transmission shop and is hooking me up. I will be driving it on this motor after the tranny is done but I just figured before something else comes up, I would like to rebuild the engine. I'm not dead set on it, but would really like to before something breaks and causes even more damage.

By doing heads/cams and a tune would that substantially improve the longetivity of the engine?

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I am currently stock piling parts for a stock rebuild and the parts list comes to around 7-800 bucks not counting machine work...I am hoping I can reuse pistons if they are in spec...I also bought a flex hone so I could freshen the cylinder walls so the new rings will seat...you can save a lot of $ if you do all the work yourself and search the net for deals on all the parts (rings, bearings, gaskets, etc.) good luck man
My problem is, I dont know what all I need lol. I'm a noob when I go past the valve covers so thats why I wanted a shop to do it. I would LOVE to learn how to do this but nobody in my family is really a "mechanic" and I honestly dont have the time for trial and error.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:06 PM   #14
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Yea I don't blame you...sometimes it costs more when you use the trial and error method...I just did a heads and cam swap on my 98 z28, and before that I had never been inside a motor in my life by myself...I had a buddy and his dad overlook the swap just to make sure I was doing everything alright...anyway these motors are super easy to work on in my eyes and there are tons of websites that have step by step walkthroughs to help you out...GM service manuals also describe the building of the engine in great detAil...the GM techs barely have to know anything since it is all in the service manuals...anyway get a buddy who knows what's up to help you and you will be fine...but doing a heads/cam swap is much easier than totally rebuilding the engine that's for sure...start small and work your way up, the guys on this site will help with any ?s you might have...feel free to PM me anytime with any ?s or concerns you have...Everybody has to start somewhere!
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:30 PM   #15
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heads and cam will not necessarily increase longevity but you are replacing most of the engine parts in the process. The only non new parts are in the shortblock being rotating assembly, bearings, and rings so there is less old parts to fail.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:30 PM
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2000, block, cam, cost, engine, heads, knocking, ls1, nexml, rebuild, rr, short, stock, tebuild, trans


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