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Max H/C/I/V set up or $1500ish more for 440CID resleeved LS shortblock?

 
Old 01-14-2019, 01:32 AM
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Default Max H/C/I/V set up or $1500ish more for 440CID resleeved LS shortblock?

So, I am thinking about getting the best of the best aftermarket heads, cam, intake, lifters, roller rockers, etc. After putting together a list, I am probably around $1500 away from a Darton sleeved LS 454 shortblock (4.185 bore x 4.125 stroke) and new cam.

My thoughts:
SHORTBLOCK
If I am not happy, new HCIV is way easier than a new motor.
All heads are now options.
Sky is the limit. The motor can't get any bigger.
Will probably have close to the same HP, but more TQ

HCIV
If I am not happy, I have to get a new shortblock. That is a lot more work than HCIV.
All shortblocks will be options
Could go forced induction, if I want. Very doubtful.
I will likely be happy with the results of this.

SO..

What is your opinion and why:
- Best of the best heads, cam, intake, and valvetrain for around 470RWHP?
OR
- Darton LS 454 and a new cam with my stock LS1 heads, LSX 90, and 1 7/8 headers?

Last edited by FCar2000TA; 01-16-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:42 AM
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Problem with those choices is the Ls1 heads will not be a good choice for compression. You'll either have to build the bottom end to get compression down or deal with overly high compression until you do new heads.

Generally I would say if you are already thinking displacement do the bigger short block. To help with getting a moderate compression ratio and not ending up with massively dished pissed ons, maybe get a pair of 317 heads cheap. Or a pair of L92 heads and a ls3 intake. Then when you save up, you can get the top end you want.

If you end up in the low 12's for compression you can cam to bring DCR into range and daily drive on pump gas. Alternately, if E85 is readily available, then use the stock Ls1 heads, but you will be married to E85 until you build the new top end.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:03 AM
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I agree with the compression argument above but stock 317's are dirt cheap. If you can swing the extra $1500 now for more cubes it will save you a lot more when you want more power later.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by FCar2000TA View Post
What is your opinion and why:
- Best of the best heads, cam, intake, and valvetrain for around 470RWHP?
OR
- Darton LS 440 and a new cam with my stock LS1 heads, LSX 90, and 1 7/8 headers?
Is your Sig the current set up? 1999 Trans Am - Stock shortblock, heads, water pump, shocks, and springs, S60 4.10 rear

Your TA has an excellent rear end, that's capable of handling the big torque that goes with the LS 440. My tame 416 blows the tires away with 4.10's and 1st is sort of useless. If you go LS 440 it might be worth considering a gear change at some point.

I'd go with LS 440 and top the idea top end as time and money allow. LS3 top end is pretty affordable. $500 cores and $1,000 for one of the top shops to breath a little CNC love on them.

HCI LS1 / LS6 are fun and a good choice but the bigger LS's are a lot of fun to drive
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth_V8r View Post
Problem with those choices is the Ls1 heads will not be a good choice for compression. You'll either have to build the bottom end to get compression down or deal with overly high compression until you do new heads.

Generally I would say if you are already thinking displacement do the bigger short block. To help with getting a moderate compression ratio and not ending up with massively dished pissed ons, maybe get a pair of 317 heads cheap. Or a pair of L92 heads and a ls3 intake. Then when you save up, you can get the top end you want.

If you end up in the low 12's for compression you can cam to bring DCR into range and daily drive on pump gas. Alternately, if E85 is readily available, then use the stock Ls1 heads, but you will be married to E85 until you build the new top end.
Arizona Flex-fuel (E54) is at a station that I pass everyday. I intend to have a Flex-fuel sensor and tune so I can run any combination of Ethanol.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:04 AM
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stock ls1/6 heads will choke the crap out of a 440. Better off getting stock ls3 heads and an intake and "sacrifice lowend" since the 440 will have stupid lowend anyways.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 99 Black Bird T/A View Post
Is your Sig the current set up? 1999 Trans Am - Stock shortblock, heads, water pump, shocks, and springs, S60 4.10 rear

Your TA has an excellent rear end, that's capable of handling the big torque that goes with the LS 440. My tame 416 blows the tires away with 4.10's and 1st is sort of useless. If you go LS 440 it might be worth considering a gear change at some point.

I'd go with LS 440 and top the idea top end as time and money allow. LS3 top end is pretty affordable. $500 cores and $1,000 for one of the top shops to breath a little CNC love on them.

HCI LS1 / LS6 are fun and a good choice but the bigger LS's are a lot of fun to drive
I also have a mini-tub kit that will be going on. I am planning 345/40r17 drag radials. If I have traction issues, then I will have to think about a gear change.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ddnspider View Post
stock ls1/6 heads will choke the crap out of a 440. Better off getting stock ls3 heads and an intake and "sacrifice lowend" since the 440 will have stupid lowend anyways.
New heads will be out of the budget. That will easily add another $2k considering heads will also mean valvetrain and intake.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FCar2000TA View Post
New heads will be out of the budget. That will easily add another $2k considering heads will also mean valvetrain and intake.
I wouldn't bother with the 440 then. Take the money and go boosted on the current motor.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:49 PM
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I am by far not the most knowledgeable in this forum, and I know it isn't a listed option, but my old school Vortech supercharger is putting me a tad over 500 RWHP. So for the money and ease of install, why not go FI?
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TonicR6 View Post
I am by far not the most knowledgeable in this forum, and I know it isn't a listed option, but my old school Vortech supercharger is putting me a tad over 500 RWHP. So for the money and ease of install, why not go FI?
I need long life too (that's why I am stopping at 4" stroke). I don't like FI on a motor not designed for FI.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FCar2000TA View Post
I need long life too (that's why I am stopping at 4" stroke). I don't like FI on a motor not designed for FI.
That's simply not doing enough research. Plenty of ways to keep a stock LS alive, and thats assuming you don't pick up a 5.3 or 4.8 dirt cheap. I never saw a power goal, but anything under 600whp is easy on an LS.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ddnspider View Post
That's simply not doing enough research. Plenty of ways to keep a stock LS alive, and thats assuming you don't pick up a 5.3 or 4.8 dirt cheap. I never saw a power goal, but anything under 600whp is easy on an LS.
I don't want FI. I'd want an NA car. Just personal preference.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:43 AM
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Sell your running LS1 engine and do a 416 with LS3 heads/intake/cam. Problem solved. Resleeved stroker motors trying to make big power n/a are expensive undertakings.... Ask me how I know
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by FCar2000TA View Post
I don't want FI. I'd want an NA car. Just personal preference.
I understand, not everyone wants to go fast and have better driveability
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:12 AM
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Go 440.
Sell your current parts like the engine heads, intake and run stock LS3 heads and intake for now. You can find them for a low cost and they work well. Have the LS3 heads cleaned and check and be slap them on.
That will give you remove to grow and that way you do not have to start all the way over if you want to go bigger one day. If you get the MAX top end for a LS1 that might restrict you later on a bigger engine.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:11 AM
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I was in a similar situation about a year ago and I ended up with a 440ci LS in my Firebird. Itís got a decent sized cam and stock 317 heads because itís what I had laying around in my garage at the time. Itís still a lot of fun to drive and I will eventually get around to swapping out the heads for something more appropriate, but I would do it again without a doubt versus a smaller shortblock and big money heads and valvetrain.

I also have a turbo camaro that Iím still working the electrical gremlins out of. Hope to see which is really better in the next few moths.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ddnspider View Post
I understand, not everyone wants to go fast and have better driveability
Right! lol You could turbo it and replace the engine whether it needs it or not every winter for the next 10 years and still spend less then the 440ci woodoo engine that's gonna struggle to make what a 5.3L on 15lbs makes.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ddnspider View Post
I understand, not everyone wants to go fast and have better driveability
OP not to further emphasize the point, having seen your other threads, but logically boost is the better option. Stock motor with a good, conservative tune and moderate boost will get you where you want to be power wise very reliably.

Personal anecdote, as shown by the sig I went big cubes for a few personal choice reasons. Brother in law threw the Huronspeed turbo kit on a stock 346. Granted my cam is too big, but his is more streetable, gets better gas mileage, was easier for the tuner and cost half as much...oh I made 1 more hp on the dyno (but less torque).

I'd have no qualms about boosting my SS one day and that's my daily.

Big cubes are cool and unique, I'll give you that and say I like having a 454 in a street car. But if you're going to do the 440 just bite the debt bullet temporarily and at least put some economical LS3 heads on there so it's not choked off. Or see if you can save money elsewhere by going with say, an LS3 based 416 (4" stroke) rather than a resleeved motor and then put decent heads on the 416.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:39 PM
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Slight change in thoughts.. Since the Darton sleeves are longer than stock, it seems that a 4.125" stroke is perfectly safe. So... 4.185" bore X 4.125" stroke for a 454 CID short block.
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