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Gen III 5.3L + boost + high rev = questions!

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Old 04-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #1
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Default Gen III 5.3L + boost + high rev = questions!

Hello all,



What I'm doing: Taking a 5.3L, building it, strapping a turbo on it and rev'ing the living **** out of it banging off the rev limiter with the end goal of around 600-650RWHP to compete in drift events.

Why I'm doing this: This is a replacement for the 1UZ-FE in my SC400 as a drift motor. The boost will get me at the power I want to be at while having a much more reliable, cost effective motor.



So as stated, I got hold of a '98 5.3L that's been sitting in a buddies shop for a little while and he's tired of stubbing his toe on it so he gave it to me for a 6-pack and a handshake. Originally I was going to go 6.0L big power N/A to keep things as reliable as humanly possible but I got this and to get to where I want to be power-wise, a snail must go on.

I come from a 4-banger/inline 6 import world so this is a little new to me. I'm essentially asking for some assistance for those who have a setup that's similar so I can pick your brain as to what's required to let this thing live a healthy life. It won't be every single day that it's shooting fire off the rev limiter but it will be once every other weekend for probably a total of 12-14 drift events a year. After every year, I plan to tear the motor down and refresh it. I'm very meticulous about maintenance. I've ordered some basics now but I'm going to need some help as far as what is needed to safely get to my target number.

Thus far, I've bought just about every ARP bolt kit that's available for this motor, a TICK milled LS6 Melling oil pump, various Cometic gaskets. I'm not 100% sure if an electric water pump is necessary but I'm not skimping so if it's needed, it's going to be purchased and that's for anything. I PLAN to do rods and pistons as well. Just trying to figure out what I'm shooting for as far as compression numbers and turbo selections.

I've read quite a few builds and it's all over the place. I'm not seeing much common through - everyone has something completely different but I'm not sure they're after the same thing I am. This car will also remain manual. There will be no automatic transmissions here.

With that being said, what do you guys suggest on things that are a MUST and things I should definitely consider? Certain pistons, rods, cams, heads, components, etc. I'm not trying to spend $20,000 but I'm not trying to source everything from a junkyard either.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:03 AM   #2
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Stock motor, turbo cam, valve springs. VS Racing 7875.

You don't need to smash the rev limiter. These things make PLENTY of torque to keep the wheels going.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:18 AM   #3
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I'm not saying that it will live it's complete life smashing off the limiter but that's what I want it to be able to handle. I don't want to worry after a certain RPM that the block is going to eject itself into the atmosphere. I like to do things once, do them right so I can enjoy it without worrying.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:29 AM   #4
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All of the import guys come here with an RPM goal. Its kind of funny.

The torque you can get from a mild turbo LS is surprising, and sometimes overwhelming. Want to know what happened to the last guy that told me he needed me to build him a 700 HP turbo LS for his drift car? He has been forced to start over and build something else. ~500 HP from an all motor V8 is usually more than most can handle. This isn't Formula D.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:42 AM   #5
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Ironic is that this car is to compete in the PROAM division. My past motors were 600+ RWHP with 2J's and such. I've driven comparable vehicles that I didn't personally own and it's what I'm after. The problem is most have better means and sponsorship that helps them pay for said motors. This is something I'm doing on my own so to help me get to a specific number, the turbo will help. I'd go NA - which was the original plan - if it were feasible with this motor but because it's a 5.3L and not a 6.0, 6.2 or bigger, I'm going to make due.

I'm not going to be flying into a bank at 200MPH but it needs to compete with the larger displacement/inducted motors. 700RWHP is more than I need [for now] but I also don't want to sell myself short. In all honesty, 600 is the target number. I know how it can be achieved but I want it to be reliable which is why I asked for some community help.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:56 AM   #6
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Have you thought about a sump system for oiling ? drifting and cornering will starve that engine
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:58 AM   #7
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I've thought about it. I'm not sure which system will suite the best. I've seen a lot of AccuSump systems in the more professional levels but not sure if that's overkill or not yet.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:44 PM   #8
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Instant torque + manual tranny to fry the tires... I'd go 7665 or 7668.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:22 AM   #9
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Keep rev limiter at 6500 rpm max for stock rods/bolts. This is what I have always done and never had issues, even with boost and nitrous.

Might not be a bad idea to open up your piston ring end gaps a bit considering you will be introducing them to high pressure and heat for extended periods of time.

Good pushrods, good valve springs, reasonable cam with lobes that dont have crazy ramp rates. You want to lift and set the valve down onto the seat with ease. These are typically things that are done for engines that spend alot of time at high rpm. Get a new timing chain set, a decent ported/shimmed oil pump and new lifters and lifter trays.

The oil pickup will be the biggest issue as already stated. Look into adopting a factory LS7 dry sump (not sure if it swaps straight over) or just the C5 batman style oil pan and further modify it (I have heard of this being successful for high G road race cars).
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:10 AM   #10
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Thought i recognized that name from Zilvia...welcome to these boards.

Check out some high rpm discussion here.
https://ls1tech.com/forums/forced-in...ked-5-3-a.html

You will see that revving these motors to the levels of the 2J or even SR is night and day. These motors produce a lot of torque at much lower rpms then we are used to in importa and the design of the valvetrain will typically not handle the rpms we are used to. If you are hell bent on high rpms sustained for prolonged periods for drifting be ready to spend some coin and have a well designed system and components. The 4.8 variation of the LS will typically allow for higher rpms in stock form then the rest of the configurations...again typically for oem.

The beauty of these motors is you do not have to push high rpms to get the numbers you are looking for. Torque will be available throughout the powerband which will move your car sideways with ease.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupaDoopa View Post
Hello all,



What I'm doing: Taking a 5.3L, building it, strapping a turbo on it and rev'ing the living **** out of it banging off the rev limiter with the end goal of around 600-650RWHP to compete in drift events.

Why I'm doing this: This is a replacement for the 1UZ-FE in my SC400 as a drift motor. The boost will get me at the power I want to be at while having a much more reliable, cost effective motor.
Sounds like a fun project.

Couple questions to help answer your questions.

What fuel do you plan to use?

What RPM do you consider high?

Is having it bouncing off the limiter a specific goal, in that it produces a sound you hope to achieve? Would you be bummed out if it rarely hit the limiter?
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:57 AM   #12
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With the right parts you'll have no problem with high revs. Just make sure your rods (especially rod bolts) and valvetrain are up to the task. I twist my procharged lsa to 7200 every shift and have accidently hit the 7500 rpm limit plenty.

My old NA LS1 with bone stock bottom end (just an OEM rod bolt upgrade) used to see 6800 rpm a lot. In fact, I lost every gear but 2nd during a 250 mile desert race and just held the engine at about 6300 for nearly 100 miles. Ran that engine for 3 more seasons after that.

No, I don't recommend hitting the rev limiter, but if you need (or want) to rev it high go ahead.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:32 PM   #13
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Sounds like a fun project.

Couple questions to help answer your questions.

What fuel do you plan to use?

What RPM do you consider high?

Is having it bouncing off the limiter a specific goal, in that it produces a sound you hope to achieve? Would you be bummed out if it rarely hit the limiter?
I HOPE to use E85. I'm planning the build to get there because it's readily available.

RPM I consider high is 7500ish? Maybe higher if need be but that's a solid number.

I'm not trying to get it rock off the limiter because I think it 'sounds cool.' It's more so to be able to keep the wheels spinning [or able to spin readily] even if I'm scrubbing speed around a corner.
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:54 PM   #14
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I HOPE to use E85. I'm planning the build to get there because it's readily available.

RPM I consider high is 7500ish? Maybe higher if need be but that's a solid number.

I'm not trying to get it rock off the limiter because I think it 'sounds cool.' It's more so to be able to keep the wheels spinning [or able to spin readily] even if I'm scrubbing speed around a corner.
Been rolling this around in my head a couple days. There's a couple ways to go. The two that I keep teetering on are 1) Build it to make high rpm power, which will give up some on the bottom end. Or 2) build it for a slightly lower peak power rpm, yet also capable of reliably spinning well past peak power.

Most of the guys here seem to be drag racers, or dyno racers where peak power is the main focus. Your situation is quite a bit different. Of the two options (there are endless options) I listed, I think I'd recommend #2. But it's completely up to you. For your situation, I'd want the power to be right there with every slight movement of my foot, damn near right off idle. Not have to wait for it, then **** my pants when it arrives. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not optimum for what you're doing.

If sound is important to you, #1 will have that nasty idle everyone loves. Option 2 will more readily serve your goal.

In any case, you asked about specific parts...
Callies CompStar rods
Diamond Pistons
Stock crank should be fine. But, if you want to drop the coin, have Callies send you a crank too... Or have the pistons sent to them and have them balance the rotating assembly. I think they offer it at a reasonable price when you buy their crank and rods. Might even be able to negotiate it as a freebie. Dunno.

If you're certain you are going to run E85, you can raise your compression up to 11.0-11.5ish (more is possible. But this is "safe" and free internet advice). Additionally, at the level you're talking, E85 or race only fuels will give you the luxury of omitting the need for an intercooler too, if you so choose.

If you want it to be pump gas friendly, run an intercooler and build it to 9.0-9.5:1 compression.

I'd personally cam the engine for 6000 rpm peak, maybe less. Maybe even have a cam custom made with ramps rates on the soft side. Run the springs they recommend, if not the next step or two up in spring rate. That should give you plenty of power where you need it, and you could zing it 8000+ if you wanted to. Personally, that's where I might set the limiter. And really, you'll be able to do everything you want it to do at less than 5000 rpm. It's very likely, if your good at throttle control, that you'll never see 7000 out of need. Desire? Perhaps. LOL

I'd also size the turbo/s on the small side. With the right combination, you'll likely break the tires loose darn near off idle with highway friendly gears in the rear end. 4.11-4.56"s?.. instant smoke any time you even think about thinking about it.

I'd also think a stock style oiling system would be more than adequate. Drifting is kind of the opposite of a high lateral G machine.

Beyond all that, stock heads will get you there. Any stock intake manifold. I hear good things about the Huron speed hot side. There are others.

One thing to keep in mind with E85... it demands a lot from your fuel system, in that the system needs to be able to move a large volume of fuel. Ya just have to plan for it. No biggie really.

Anyway. There's my two cents.

Last edited by SethU; 04-19-2017 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:15 PM   #15
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I think the effect you are looking for is the rev limiter itself- not any specific RPM. You want to put the pedal down and bounce from a limiter- any limiter. Can you honestly tell the difference between 6000 and 7500rpm when the tire is spinning and the car is sideways? What difference will it make in the end? Rear tire speed is adjusted through gearing and tire size, not engine rpm. A spinning tire is a spinning tire.

I say, use mostly OEM components and induce a limiter below OEM spec- around 5500 perhaps. Tire spins, engine is happy all day there, gearing takes care of the rest.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:08 AM   #16
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Obviously tire speed has a lot of factors but the reason the rev-limiter idea was in play wasn't because I want to make cool noises so all the vape boys can enjoy it but the fact that if the engine were to rev out that far on small tight tracks where I stay in third gear the whole time so I won't have to make a sudden gear change and either straighten or scrub a ton of speed/angle trying to compensate, I won't grenade the motor. I like things to be built for EVERY scenario - not just the main purpose. I like to have peace of mind that even if it's being beat in the harshest track setup that it can handle it. I understand the technical aspects of what makes things do what so please just assume I understand the basics of engine and drivetrain physics.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:51 AM   #17
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If you need to stay in third to get vehicle speed increased, then the engine isn't on the limiter and you are accelerating, not bouncing off a rev limiter. Its two completely different things. Either you are on the limiter and not increasing speed, or you are accelerating and not on the limiter. You can't do both at the same time.

Sure you can build an engine to take 7500, but you could also use a stock engine at 5500 and have the same exact top speed in third as you would have had at 7500 if you modify the drivetrain to compensate. Its not an economy car, and it isn't a drag car, so why do you care whats in the rear? Just trying to save you thousands of dollars.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:48 PM   #18
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Obviously tire speed has a lot of factors but the reason the rev-limiter idea was in play wasn't because I want to make cool noises so all the vape boys can enjoy it but the fact that if the engine were to rev out that far on small tight tracks where I stay in third gear the whole time so I won't have to make a sudden gear change and either straighten or scrub a ton of speed/angle trying to compensate, I won't grenade the motor. I like things to be built for EVERY scenario - not just the main purpose. I like to have peace of mind that even if it's being beat in the harshest track setup that it can handle it. I understand the technical aspects of what makes things do what so please just assume I understand the basics of engine and drivetrain physics.
Sounds like option 2
Power where you need it, yet safe to twist the **** out of it.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:49 PM   #19
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...but you could also use a stock engine...
Gen III
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:11 AM   #20
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If you need to stay in third to get vehicle speed increased, then the engine isn't on the limiter and you are accelerating, not bouncing off a rev limiter. Its two completely different things. Either you are on the limiter and not increasing speed, or you are accelerating and not on the limiter. You can't do both at the same time.

Sure you can build an engine to take 7500, but you could also use a stock engine at 5500 and have the same exact top speed in third as you would have had at 7500 if you modify the drivetrain to compensate. Its not an economy car, and it isn't a drag car, so why do you care whats in the rear? Just trying to save you thousands of dollars.
You're not really listening. I'm telling you I need it to be able to handle that type of abuse. I didn't say it's going to sit against the limiter from the second the key is turned for hours on in. I'm telling you that I want something that's CAPABLE of being beat on. I've said it a few times. Not sure why you're stuck on the 'rev limiter' part of the statement.
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