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5.3 "Poor Mans" vs Starting with a true LS1/3

 
Old 03-15-2019, 03:27 PM
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Talking 5.3 "Poor Mans" vs Starting with a true LS1/3

Hey there gear heads and genius's. I am looking to do something i wanted to do as a kid, but now have the means.

I am looking to put an LS powerplant into the s2000 (love the v8 throat and power, but the import look is where its at for me!). My goal is a more roadster type car rather than straight line.
Now that the what i'm thinking is out of the way, onto my questions/concerns.

First, I was looking at dropping a LS1/3 (Prefer 3 due to increased header performance) but I am wanting to do all the work myself. And the cost of screwing up, even in the sake of education, is pretty damn high. My brother recommended going the much more affordable 5.3 build route since if i screw up, its almost a drop in the bucket to rebuild/replace parts.

Is the physical dimensions of the 5.3 variant much different than the 5.7/6.2? My primary concern is not being able to cram something dramatically larger into the engine bay of the s2000, which the LS1/3 seems to be a nice fit. All the research I am showing has the 5.3 as a taller unit. But everything is seriously all over the place with the research!
I see there are some fine folks on here saying that a T56 will bolt straight up to the 5.3, just wanted to ensure that is accurate.
Realistically what type of HP are we looking at for various stages of "investment" (heh, my last tacoma project sank more money than a powerball winner....)

Lastly, what are everyone's opinion on the matter? Cause part of me is saying if i am going to do it, just do it how i want from the start. And my other part is saying that what i learn now will be invaluable and the differences in power end-game could be pretty negligible for a similar price point (super nice 5.3 vs pretty nice 5.7/6.2)

Thanks in advance for your help! And if i broke any rules with this post, feel free to shame me!
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:46 PM
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I just finished and LS1 swap. The LS hype has really put a tax on these engines. Complete pullouts with transmission go from $3500-$5000 depending on milage and 4l60e vs t56.

If I could go back, I'd get a 6.0 Iron block from the junkyard and do a turbo build. It would probably cost about the same, but it would be way faster, and when it goes, I didnt just destroy a $3500 dollar engine.

And now im looking into a 6.0 turbo build anyway.... go figure.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Fuhnortoner View Post
I just finished and LS1 swap. The LS hype has really put a tax on these engines. Complete pullouts with transmission go from $3500-$5000 depending on milage and 4l60e vs t56.

If I could go back, I'd get a 6.0 Iron block from the junkyard and do a turbo build. It would probably cost about the same, but it would be way faster, and when it goes, I didnt just destroy a $3500 dollar engine.

And now im looking into a 6.0 turbo build anyway.... go figure.
What did you put it into if you don't mind bragging a little bit.

Also, what engine technically is the 6.0 iron block? Or are you talking the 6.0 vortec?
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by KaizenKody View Post
What did you put it into if you don't mind bragging a little bit.

Also, what engine technically is the 6.0 iron block? Or are you talking the 6.0 vortec?
well let's see, Cam, springs, oil pump, Ebay headers, and I paid 3500 for my engine with 4l60e, plus I just bought a t56 ($1500) and monster clutch ($1k) to replace the 4l60e, all that was probably close to $7k. The monster clutch isn't necessary, so you can subtract $1k for that if you want.

I was talking about the LQ4/9
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:06 PM
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Unless your going for an LSX tall deck block I'm pretty sure all the LS engine sizes are the same in terms of physical dimensions externally. There's two ways to go here on the LS builds as you can go carb or fuel injection with them and there's not a one all engine harness and ECM either unless you go aftermarket like with Holly EFI or MSD system. Some of the GM harness and ECM's are 24X systems and some are 58X systems just as some are drive by cable "DBC" and others are drive by wire "DBW". Some harnesses are for an automatic transmission and some for the manual transmission. Some of the newer Gen IV systems support the more advanced automatic transmissions like the 6L90E and so on and from what I've seen the newer systems are all DBW systems. Nothing wrong with a computer controlling the loud pedal "I GUESS" but personally I don't like them.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:20 PM
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I do junkyard engines for the same reason the first guy said.

if i **** up i can just go get another one for cheap the weight to me doesnt make a difference because its in a 240sx lol
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Fuhnortoner View Post
well let's see, Cam, springs, oil pump, Ebay headers, and I paid 3500 for my engine with 4l60e, plus I just bought a t56 ($1500) and monster clutch ($1k) to replace the 4l60e, all that was probably close to $7k. The monster clutch isn't necessary, so you can subtract $1k for that if you want.

I was talking about the LQ4/9
Welp! Thanks to you, down the rabbit hole of researching the LQ4/9s! Thats more inline with the long term goals (boost eventually) but takes into consideration my inexperianced break something status! Plus those prices you listed are doable.

Can't wait for the wealth of info from the other members!
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by KaizenKody View Post
Welp! Thanks to you, down the rabbit hole of researching the LQ4/9s! Thats more inline with the long term goals (boost eventually) but takes into consideration my inexperianced break something status! Plus those prices you listed are doable.

Can't wait for the wealth of info from the other members!
LQs are hard to find at the junkyard now. They have complete pullouts all day on eBay for $1k. I'm waiting to get one for $250 from the junkyard. You can find 5.3s and 4.8s all day though.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Fuhnortoner View Post
LQs are hard to find at the junkyard now. They have complete pullouts all day on eBay for $1k. I'm waiting to get one for $250 from the junkyard. You can find 5.3s and 4.8s all day though.
What about physical sizing for them then. The chassis i plan on putting it in is not exactly an open floor plan
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:33 PM
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They're all the same size, from the 4.8 to the 7.0.

If you plan on boost, don't bother spending 3500 on an engine. Get the cheapest engine you can that runs well and comes with everything, displacement aside. Scoring a $500 4.8 or 5.3 shouldn't be too hard.

N/A, either an aluminum block or an iron 6.0 if you want to go cheap. They usually sell for $800-1500 around here as a complete pullout.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeNova View Post
They're all the same size, from the 4.8 to the 7.0.

If you plan on boost, don't bother spending 3500 on an engine. Get the cheapest engine you can that runs well and comes with everything, displacement aside. Scoring a $500 4.8 or 5.3 shouldn't be too hard.

N/A, either an aluminum block or an iron 6.0 if you want to go cheap. They usually sell for $800-1500 around here as a complete pullout.
Solid info! Thanks!

There is a point of confusion I am hitting, are the 5.3/4.8's all vortec, or only a subset? Main concern is a schematic of sizing; And I wanted to ensure when i am buying I am buying the right stuff. (Schematic here: http://bdturnkeyengines.com/vortec-vs-ls)

And 800-1200is would be ideal for a complete pullout! Because boost/charge is really something thats way far off; its going to be YEARS; despite the VERY near future for the NA
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:06 PM
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The long blocks are all 100% identical externally with a couple small exceptions. If the 4.8 fits, the 7.0 fits. Oil pans, exhaust manifolds, intake manifolds, accessories, water pumps, flex plates, heads, cams, etc are almost all 100% interchangeable (low mount LS1 alternators require 1 hole drilled into an iron block, rectangle port heads won't fit a block with less than 4" bore).
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeNova View Post
The long blocks are all 100% identical externally with a couple small exceptions. If the 4.8 fits, the 7.0 fits. Oil pans, exhaust manifolds, intake manifolds, accessories, water pumps, flex plates, heads, cams, etc are almost all 100% interchangeable (low mount LS1 alternators require 1 hole drilled into an iron block, rectangle port heads won't fit a block with less than 4" bore).
This is amazing news, makes the mix match so easy.

And i think I found a local decent priced (300) 6.0 long block....gotta go check it tomorrow first! Thanks for the info, freaking spot on.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by KaizenKody View Post
This is amazing news, makes the mix match so easy.

And i think I found a local decent priced (300) 6.0 long block....gotta go check it tomorrow first! Thanks for the info, freaking spot on.
Dammit where!!?
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Fuhnortoner View Post
Dammit where!!?
Its out of the 2500 silverado; thats the one i am after right?

Its a junkyard, and i checked with autozone vincheck; The truck just arrived, so hopefully its there in the morning.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:23 AM
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Yeah, the early ones had iron heads for a year or two, make sure the heads are aluminum. In that car you might want to look into the all aluminum gen 4 version of a 5.3, save weight on the front. A gen 4 gives you better rods.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by KaizenKody View Post
Its out of the 2500 silverado; thats the one i am after right?

Its a junkyard, and i checked with autozone vincheck; The truck just arrived, so hopefully its there in the morning.
Welp, the car hit the salvage 3 days ago and the engine already gone! Womp!
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:53 AM
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Somebody swooped down with their bag of $$ and told the Poor Man to take a hike!
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 01CamaroSSTx View Post
Somebody swooped down with their bag of $$ and told the Poor Man to take a hike!
Baha! Well I have time on my hands! I am blessed enough to be able to just go randomly pull an engine.

So watch out engine ninjas, Iím here!
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:35 PM
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Some of the truck cranks do not have a deep enough relief to accept the t56 input shaft so be careful and check this fit up before torquing pieces together or you can crack your block. All LS same physical size btw, ALL. Once you have one swapped in dropping in any other variant is pretty straight forward aside from the LS7 and the front drive versions which are different. Sounds like your budget conscious so find the best low mile good running 5.3 or 6.0L and stuff a cheap flebay cam in there and some headers with LS7 clutch and go have some fun. When that gets boring build a real motor or go for boost. No need to go full effort from jump even a mild cam LS for a first timer is quite thrilling so enjoy the process and save bucks for later is my advice
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