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V8 s2000 - Baby steps

 
Old 06-18-2019, 11:20 PM
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Default V8 s2000 - Baby steps

-Reposted from Intro section-

Hey folks,

Recently my daily-driver 2005 Honda S2000 decided to give up on life. A long story short; an unnoticed crack in the radiator led to an overheat which warped the head, blew the head gasket and caused some serious scoring on the cylinders. Needless the say the motor is gone (unfortunately the F22 motor is not one to be rebuilt well) which leads me to my next step, a "swap". With so much information available online, I decided to go with what others before me have already done, which brings me here. My only dilemma is, which LS based small block engine to go with?!

So here I am, like a sponge. For starters, I am on the fence on going with the ever prevalent 5.3L (LM7, LM4, L33) or going the more popular route in the s2k community with an LS1. So much to consider, but any nuggets to offer right of the bat? Thinking Gen III, but looking to learn whatever I can before I start. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:30 PM
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First thing you better consider is what is the max $$$$ you want to spend and how much of the work you can do yourself. You can easily under estimate the cost.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:40 PM
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Good point. I really intend on seeing this through (might be what they all say). Budget is less of a concern than how much of the work I can do myself. I'll call in the help of a few friends for some really "over my head" issues.

Over the course of 6 months to a year, I can foresee investing up to $10k to get where I want to be.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:35 AM
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It depends on what your goals are, but it sounds like you if your original engine would still be functioning you would still be happily motoring along in that S2000.

My advice would be to go with a straight up LS1, Possibly a mild cam which would be an incredible power increase from stock. If you want the best variant go with an LS3, but either way the key is to keep it light with an aluminum block to retain the great driving characteristics of the S2000.

You are going to get some advice to go with a 900 hp turboed iron block. Dont ruin an awesome little roadster by overpowering it. Its not a dragster.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by eseibel67 View Post
It depends on what your goals are, but it sounds like you if your original engine would still be functioning you would still be happily motoring along in that S2000.

My advice would be to go with a straight up LS1, Possibly a mild cam which would be an incredible power increase from stock. If you want the best variant go with an LS3, but either way the key is to keep it light with an aluminum block to retain the great driving characteristics of the S2000.

You are going to get some advice to go with a 900 hp turboed iron block. Dont ruin an awesome little roadster by overpowering it. Its not a dragster.
This is solid advice assuming you want a nice driver for the street. Stick to an aluminum block LS1. I'd search for a good running donor 98-02 f-body with a 6 speed. Preferably without front end damage. Keep it close to stock.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:27 AM
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One thing to keep in mind is all of them are the same size. What I mean is you can swap in a 4.8 now for pretty cheap and then later on do a 418 stroker and it is the same outer dimensions.

You can likely pick up a used 4.8 with trans and computer for $1200. Leave it stock

Then later on if you want power, swap in a bigger motor or add a turbo. 4.8 takes boost quite well
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:46 AM
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Jvega,

First thats very cool swap project and I wish you the very best with it.

Background for what it's worth...so this isn't just random opinion...I have a LS swapped 91 RS Camaro and other LS cars. Former girlfriend had a "S2" which was a fun car with the high revs and slick shifting Honda six speed. The S2K's "personality" was in my opinion "peppy, rev happy, great shifting, fun to drive, great handling & slow" Five out of six ain't bad for 2,835 pound curb weight car.

If your really liked even loved the great shifting and rrevvimg of the stock OEM drive line:

1) I would be very skeptical of any stock T56 transmission or rebuilt upgraded T56 for your swap. They are excellent transmissions but not slick shifting or great driving units. More in keeping the S2K personality would be more of a slick shifting T56 Magnum in my opinion. The Magnum will add some cost but is well worth it. Likewise, a quality aftermarket clutch.

2) Hitting 8,000 rpm with the right LS is doable. Personally, I'd skip the LS1 and other LS engines that lack bay to bay breathing if turning lots of high rpm is important. I think an 2002+ LS6 engine would be an excellent choice, even in stock form. The LS6 block was designed with bay to bay breathing and rpm in mind. The LS6 heads are an excellent with lightweight valves in stock form. Overall an excellent starting point if you want to mod the engine for more power later.

3) The Z06 Corvette (LS6) had a total curb weight of 3,118 lb about 290 pounds heavier than an S2000 but 160 more hp. Adding 160 hp and keeping OEM reliability is pretty sweet. The factory red line was 6,500rpm, peak of 405 hp at 6,000 rpm with 400 ft/pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm. 450+ wheel hp and 7,000 + with a good cam and matched valve springs is very doable. With quality head work and ported aftermarket intake 475 whp to 520 whp is possible.

I'd budget at least 25% more money than what you think the swap will cost. If you think $10,000 have at least $12,500 available. Other stuff you will wantxto address will come up some of it not related to the swap. I think an LS6 engine is more in keeping with the personally of a S2K. Likewise with the slick shifting T56 Magnum.

With a used 2005 S2000 aka S2K, going for $14,000 to $16,000 it probably more cost effective to buy a different S2K.

Last edited by 99 Black Bird T/A; 06-19-2019 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:12 PM
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Definitely came to the right place. thanks all for the input.

I was on the thought process that the T56 was the way to go, had no idea about the T56 Magnum however. Thanks 99, $10k is probably a best guess right now, but there is absolutely a little bit of slop I'll have to build in. Truth be told, I managed to get the wife on board with the swap so I am thinking I'll have a larger budget as we progress. $$$

I never gave the LS6 any thought prior to reading this, but it makes a lot of sense after reading about it. I always did love the CTS-V. I think I'll start seeking out LS1's and but keep an eye out for an opportunity at an LS6. Thanks eseibel67, the point is definitely like you said, be happy motoring around in the sweet little roadster that it is.

Side note - while on the surface I recognize it definitely makes way more sense to just go for a different s2k if I'm willing to spend that much anyway (so on and so forth) but I really treasure this one. It was a nearly 7 year process to find the exact one I wanted, color, interior, etc., and to finally be in a financial position to buy it when I did. Everything just lined up when I bought it, I would hate to see it go so soon.

Last edited by jvega1562; 06-19-2019 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:38 PM
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I'm not up on what these various motors go for used but depending on cost another option to consider would be an "L33" all aluminum 5.3 truck motor also known as the HO 5.3. Has the LS6 style "799" heads, 9.9:1 flat tops, aluminum block. Would be really nice in an S2000 with just an OEM LS6 cam and intake manifold. My Dad recently totalled his low mile Silverado that had an L33 in it so someone will stumble upon a nice one. But, if the cost is similar to a used LS6 then LS6 all the way then. Used LS2 is another option, basically a slightly larger cube LS6. Also hard to beat a brand new LS3 crate engine for what they go for.

Last edited by StealthFormula; 06-19-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by StealthFormula View Post
I'm not up on what these various motors go for used but depending on cost another option to consider would be an "L33" all aluminum 5.3 truck motor also known as the HO 5.3. Has the LS6 style "799" heads, 9.9:1 flat tops, aluminum block. Would be really nice in an S2000 with just an OEM LS6 cam and intake manifold. My Dad recently totalled his low mile Silverado that had an L33 in it so someone will stumble upon a nice one. But, if the cost is similar to a used LS6 then LS6 all the way then. Used LS2 is another option, basically a slightly larger cube LS6. Also hard to beat a brand new LS3 crate engine for what they go for.
The same can be said for the LH6, LH8, LH9, and LC9. All those are Gen IV aluminum block 5.3's, and ALL Gen IV 5.3's have the 243/799 heads, and 9.6-9.9 compression
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by G Atsma View Post
The same can be said for the LH6, LH8, LH9, and LC9. All those are Gen IV aluminum block 5.3's, and ALL Gen IV 5.3's have the 243/799 heads, and 9.6-9.9 compression
True that, those could work also, just get rid of the AFM bs which is no biggie.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:07 PM
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Does the S2 engine turn backwards? I seem to recall reading someone putting a Atlantic motor in one
and it had 5 reverse gears.. Your rear diff may need swapped..
If you want a slick shifting transmission,, might look at a BMW 330i 6speed, they are pretty durable
and I believe there is/was a GM adapter.. Same trans came behind the V8 in their bigger cars.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by StealthFormula View Post
True that, those could work also, just get rid of the AFM bs which is no biggie.
Yeah, some have both DOD(AFM) & VVT, or either one, or neither one. I think the LH8 had neither, but aren't as common.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:55 PM
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I did hear about trying to avoid the VVT and AFM if at all possible, from a local mech who dropped a 5.3L into his Chevy S10. he seemed pretty pleased with the result, then again of course that's a truck vs. my little roadster.

Originally Posted by StealthFormula View Post
I'm not up on what these various motors go for used but depending on cost another option to consider would be an "L33" all aluminum 5.3 truck motor also known as the HO 5.3. Has the LS6 style "799" heads, 9.9:1 flat tops, aluminum block. Would be really nice in an S2000 with just an OEM LS6 cam and intake manifold. My Dad recently totalled his low mile Silverado that had an L33 in it so someone will stumble upon a nice one. But, if the cost is similar to a used LS6 then LS6 all the way then. Used LS2 is another option, basically a slightly larger cube LS6. Also hard to beat a brand new LS3 crate engine for what they go for.
With the L33 being really only used in two platforms originally (Silverado and Sierra) would you say there are fewer parts / support? It sounds like if there were an affordable option for an L33, it could kinda be a "best of both worlds".

pdx - yes, I definitely have seen on the s2k forums where folks who are on the other side of this swap are running into the next step where a new rear end is starting to be necessary. thanks for the insight on a different transmission, certainly worth a peek.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jvega1562 View Post
I did hear about trying to avoid the VVT and AFM if at all possible, from a local mech who dropped a 5.3L into his Chevy S10. he seemed pretty pleased with the result, then again of course that's a truck vs. my little roadster.



With the L33 being really only used in two platforms originally (Silverado and Sierra) would you say there are fewer parts / support? It sounds like if there were an affordable option for an L33, it could kinda be a "best of both worlds".

pdx - yes, I definitely have seen on the s2k forums where folks who are on the other side of this swap are running into the next step where a new rear end is starting to be necessary. thanks for the insight on a different transmission, certainly worth a peek.
There's nothing on that L33 that isn't interchangeable and there's not much unique about it. It's really an just aluminum block 5.3 with 4.8 flat top pistons (IIRC), 5.3 cam with another degree or two of duration and a touch more lift and 799 heads. I did a quick ebay search and they can be had for ~$1.5k but only seeing ones with 100k+ miles. The toughest part will be finding one with low miles since they were pretty uncommon in the first place. I really do think an aluminum 5.3 may be the way to go given how damn cheap they seem to be. I'm usually all for the most displacement possible but you just don't need it with that car.

Last edited by StealthFormula; 06-19-2019 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:25 PM
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Very nice, thanks much for that. I'll talk to the shop that I have been working with, see what he can get his hands on and for how much $$$
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:29 PM
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I would not be afraid of an engine with more than 100k miles on it. LS's regularly go over 300k before tiring.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by G Atsma
I would not be afraid of an engine with more than 100k miles on it. LS's regularly go over 300k before tiring.
Especially the truck motors. If you get one with the 706 heads from 2004, maybe be a tad wary.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth_V8r View Post
Especially the truck motors. If you get one with the 706 heads from 2004, maybe be a tad wary.
Oboy! Now I'm paranoid! lol. I just got a 2004 Tahoe with 160k miles on it, though it runs very well and was well maintained (I suspect mostly highway use). Crossing my digits on the heads....
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:31 PM
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I know the 706 heads have the small intake valve and dont flow as well but how does that make them not last 300k? Asking because I just got a LM4 for real cheap to start my build with. I had already planned on getting some used heads with 2in intake valves, like 243 heads.
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