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Some realistic $$ #'s for a 6.0 swap:

used engine...............................................1000
pan............................................................350
mounts.......................................................100
efi sys........................................................900
tank...........................................................500
exhaust. mods (probably could do cheaper).....500

Figure a couple $$ more for radiator hoses, electric fan, misc wire etc etc). Another couple hundred for a cam to get you close to 480+HP.


So for less than 4K, you will have a fuel injected, serpentine-belted, non-oil burning, high output alternated, non-leaking power plant that can take anything you can throw at it.

Even with 100K miles, these engines have excellent compression and show almost no wear internally. This is coming from a guy that has a nice-running 502. But its just too dam expensive to build these things anymore. And yes, nothing looks as good as a BBC under the hood - I get that.
 
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I put a 6.0 LQ9 in my 72 Malibu after my 355 ate a cam. This was about 5 yrs ago and a little more for swap parts then but still was reasonable. fuel injection tank, upgraded fuel pump,oil pan,mounts,headers,custom cam,chain and oil pump,new harness and ecm for around $3500. Motor with around 100,000 miles for $1200. Install and tuning $1500. so around $6500 bye the time I was done. I am running a 12 bolt with 4:10 gears and had already upgraded to a 2004R trans. The combination runs great can cruise highway speeds no problem or launch off the line like a bullet as long as I get traction>:). I am very happy with my LS Swap. Dyno was 385 hp and 400TQ to rear wheels. If I was to do again I would use the Holley swap kit they now have makes everything go that much smoother. clean motor.jpg

engine right.jpg
 

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Hello,

For me, my original SBC engine block was cracked due to plain water that froze so numbers matching was no longer possible. I then found a decent LS engine and transmission for a good price and went after it . . . reading two LS swap books cover to cover before proceeding very far. I have liked learning about LS fuel injection and computer controlled engines / transmissions because I had to and certainly didn't know diddly about it before. I matched it up with a very modern Dakota Digital HDX digital dashboard.

As far as A-Body (Chevelle & El Camino) suspension and steering goes, I upgraded to coil over shocks up front for a suspension change. But an even bigger upgrade was swapping my original, over-boosted, light as a feather, float down the highway steering box for a steering box out of a mid 90's Jeep Grand Cherokee. I'm not making this up . . . bar none, dollar for dollar, the best upgrade I've done. Much, much better road feel and control ability.

Rick
I have done the same changes and agree with them totally. steering box change was night and day.
 

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if you know what youre doing maybe its reasonable. Otherwise if you gotta pya someone sit down

Do you really want a 200k mi truck engine in your car? The wiring?

If it quits on you do you have a laoptop can you diagnose or call AAA and write a check to someone?
Sounds of an electric pump annoys me period

I trust the oem EFI setup but until theres a plug it in, hook up a wire/two thing I dont see it. A carbed 408 would be tempting but it will cost a fortune.

OP again Id build the biggest Gen1 you could afford to. I could never get the power down of a lousy 383 if I tried and it has chassis improvements, Drag radials etc to do so
Only if I roll into it is it managable
I got mayb 100 mi on this thing, last week finally slipped the clutch some and matted it....hit the rev limiter immediately and almost hit the curb. lol.
No need for a swap. Its for some guys sure but not a beginner.

Want a smooth idle and power, build a stroker. 400+ci can havew a steady idle and more power than your carcan handle.
20 yrs ago we didnt have the parts for it today anythings possible.

Youtube is full of the ls swap/turbo for 1000 comments they are full of bs and bet most arent old enough to drive.
 

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if you know what youre doing maybe its reasonable. Otherwise if you gotta pya someone sit down

Do you really want a 200k mi truck engine in your car? The wiring?

If it quits on you do you have a laoptop can you diagnose or call AAA and write a check to someone?
Sounds of an electric pump annoys me period

I trust the oem EFI setup but until theres a plug it in, hook up a wire/two thing I dont see it. A carbed 408 would be tempting but it will cost a fortune.

OP again Id build the biggest Gen1 you could afford to. I could never get the power down of a lousy 383 if I tried and it has chassis improvements, Drag radials etc to do so
Only if I roll into it is it managable
I got mayb 100 mi on this thing, last week finally slipped the clutch some and matted it....hit the rev limiter immediately and almost hit the curb. lol.
No need for a swap. Its for some guys sure but not a beginner.

Want a smooth idle and power, build a stroker. 400+ci can havew a steady idle and more power than your carcan handle.
20 yrs ago we didnt have the parts for it today anythings possible.

Youtube is full of the ls swap/turbo for 1000 comments they are full of bs and bet most arent old enough to drive.
100% with you 👍
 

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Great explanation GMW.
Where did you find that new engine? Why not have rebuilt yours?
I'm thinking I'm gonna either build my 454 (car was an original 396) or maybe look into where you bought yours.
No matter what though, it will have some kind go throttle body F.I. After having my daily drivers injected for so long, I'm spoiled by the reliability, easy start, and not dumping all that carb'd gas into the crank case.

Thank you.
 

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Great explanation GMW.
Where did you find that new engine? Why not have rebuilt yours?
I'm thinking I'm gonna either build my 454 (car was an original 396) or maybe look into where you bought yours.
No matter what though, it will have some kind go throttle body F.I. After having my daily drivers injected for so long, I'm spoiled by the reliability, easy start, and not dumping all that carb'd gas into the crank case.

Thank you.
When I bought my Camaro it had a basically stock 427 out of a 69 Impala. It should have been a 390HP motor and hooked to a Tremec 5 speed with a 9" rear with 3:89 gears it should have been a stout runner in a light car like a 69 Camaro. Further research and with some additional conversations with the previous owner showed that he didn't want to fight a high compression motor so he tossed a set of late 70's peanut port heads on the 427. My plan was a roller cam swap and a set of nice flowing aluminum heads. The cost for all of that was around $2500-$3000.

But then a buddy of mine reached out to me about a 496 he was building. He had the motor about done when he was offered a deal on a 572BB so I bought the fresh 496 for $4500 and sold the 427. It just seemed like an easier deal.
 

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Here's what I have a 434ci LS3 based engine. The engine has a 4.155 bore x 4.00 stroke. Ported stock ls3 heads, fully forged rotating assembly.

I may be close to 15k in my swap but believe it or not at idle every one assumes I have a big block under the hood. And then they're amazed to see that it's a LS.

Car puts down 540hp/500tq to the wheels on 93 pump gas. I'm expecting close to 580hp to the wheels on my next dyno pull and still gets 20mpg on the highway.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
Bob, I agree with you, I think the OP should find a Chevelle that he likes and drive it and enjoy it, I daily drive my Chevelle all through high school when the stock motor was in with just a comp 270h cam, intake and headers, I also swapped to a 4 speed over the automatic. Personally I think they should get the car and drive it, if you enjoy the hobby and are willing I learn then you can upgrade or swap out what ever you want on the car.
Thank you JF74chevelle,

I agree with you. I just want to drive the Chevelle in peace. I do not care about racing and HP and LS motor and swapping around motors and adding strokers and stuff and all that stuff. I am just regular person.

The problem i have is determining what is "peace" for me. I have never driven a small block or big block before. I want noise, but I do not want annoying noise.

So the problem i am having is determining what is right for me, and then go search for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #110
Here's what I have a 434ci LS3 based engine. The engine has a 4.155 bore x 4.00 stroke. Ported stock ls3 heads, fully forged rotating assembly.

I may be close to 15k in my swap but believe it or not at idle every one assumes I have a big block under the hood. And then they're amazed to see that it's a LS.

Car puts down 540hp/500tq to the wheels on 93 pump gas. I'm expecting close to 580hp to the wheels on my next dyno pull and still gets 20mpg on the highway.
Thanks for lawrenq,

yes, this seems like alot of work with LS stuff. I do not even know what bore and stroke mean or dyno or any of those terms. I really think the stock 70 chevelle with a small block engine or big block engine and good drive suspension will work for me best.
 

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Discussion Starter #111
Here's my experience/opinion:

About 2 years ago I wanted to replace the basically stock 427 that was in my 69 Camaro. I did my research on an LS swap. I wanted an LS that had some cam lope and would make about 500-600HP. Here's what I found, scoring a motor like that ain't cheap, the swap parts ain't cheap, and as an old school car guy I felt out of my element with the electronics and tuning. When I say ain't cheap, I'm talking about $15K to do it the way I wanted. As I said the way I wanted. Sure there are plenty of guys pulling an 80,000 mile 6.0 out of a Yukon and dropping it into their Musclecar for a decent price. Say under $5K. I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm just saying that wasn't the kind of figures I came across.

So now you're talking about $15K to do an LS swap. If you drive your car a lot that might be money well spent. My car is a weekend cruiser and I live in a part of the country where our cars are parked for about 5-6 months out of the year. I simply couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a motor for a car that sees about 500-700 miles a year. I already knew what my wife would have said...ha ha. Since I already had a big block in my car, pulling the 427 and dropping in a 496 was a piece of cake. Everything lined up, I could use my old headers, and accessory brackets. So here's what I did. I spent $4500 on a fresh 496 and eventually sold my 427 for $2500.00 Now granted I ended up spending a few extra dollars on things like a new clutch, new fuel pump, new starter, etc. But I was still nowhere near the $15K cost of an LS swap.

So a lot of this comes down to your individual budget. If you have deep pockets you can score a decent car and then have an LS swap performed. But that $15K price tag I quoted you was with ZERO labor. If you're not necessarily mechanically inclined, you could possibly looking at another $5K for labor. Now you're looking at about $20K for an LS swap. That ain't cheap!

The LS is a fantastic engine. It's definitely an upgrade. That being said there's nothing wrong with a big or small block Chevy. They have a 50 plus year history of performing well. You can build a healthy small block for not a lot of money and for a little more you can get a decent big block. Like I said, it's all about your budget.
Thank you for the update. Great comments. My budget is $20K to $30K for a 70 Chevelle.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
To the OP,

Couple questions,

1. What’s your budget? $30K

2. Do you intend to buy a “finished” car? Or a project car? Finished

Here’s my 2 cents:

LS engines are great. They run good and make great power due to the air flow characteristics of the cylinder heads. They have other great design features aswell. HOWEVER, throwing out a blanket statement saying that they run smoother isn’t quite accurate. Many different factors play into the “smoothness” of an engine. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that when the shop owner said “smoother”, it was probably in reference to a lower cruising RPM. There aren’t many people that swap and LS engine into a muscle car and don’t put an over drive transmission into it.

You don't need to do an LS swap for a nice reliable cruiser. A nice crate small block such as a Blue Print Engines 383 stroker and an overdrive transmission such as a 7004r would fit the bill nicely. You could fuel inject it too depending on budget. This would give you the best of both worlds. Nice cruising RPM, reliable starting, and great muscle car performance.
Thank you 2/75NastyNewbs

Please see comments in Red above.

It does not matter to me if LS, small block or big block. I just want reliable and decent ride. From the comments here its looking small block or big block is my direction. LS will cost too much money and too much risk depending on previous owner to have done the work correctly. The simpler the car, the better for me. I do not want all the extra HP extra and fancy stuff on the car. i can add that later as I see fit. I do not even care about matching numbers. Just something that works and nice. And I can drive about 3-4 times a week for about 300 400 miles a week.
 

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I was dead set on dropping a modern engine in my El Camino, even picked up a truck 5.3 (LM7) for real cheap. But then the more I looked at all the extra stuff that was required, decided to go back with the tried and true SBC. Had to get a replacement since I destroyed the crank of my original (not a long story).

A more modern overdrive transmission --- now that's another story. Putting a 700R4 or 4L60E will make highway driving so much more pleasant that it's really worth it. Not so much for fuel economy (because it'll likely be a marginal increase), but because you can now change to a shorter gear in the rear (like 3.42, or 3.73) for some peppy acceleration and still be at a comfortable RPM once in overdrive so you're not going deaf from engine noise.

And for myself, I already own 3 vehicles with factory installed "LS" engines - I gotta have at least 1 car that's different!
 

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It sounds like the OP wants something drivable and mostly reliable. To me with the money he has to spend he would be better off to look for a nice 70-72 SB chevelle most likely a 72 would be less costly. Should find a nice clean car with a good SB, AC and any other comforts possible. Once he finds the right car then have a Fi tec or holley sniper fuel injection installed along with an overdrive transmission. I think this would accomplish his objective and have a very drivable car without a lot of drama. Also he would be within budget. I think a nice 350 setup this way would give him all the power he wants plus easy start and good highway millage..
I think he would be better off putting more money in a clean car Vs big power or LS swap, but these are his decisions.

For those that have installed LS power in the chevelle is there any clearance problems with the stock AC box and power brake vacuum booster??

The other thing you have to consider is that he is going to have to pay someone to change and retro fit the LS and trans. That is not going to be cheap. I just do not think with his budget he is going to do all this and find a nice car. Garage hours add up quickly..

Lots of good info in the postings..
 
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I have no problems with my LS engine clearing a stock power brake booster on my 70 EC. It's not even close.

I can't absolutely speak about clearance between the LS and the AC evaporator cover but I think you are probably correct to worry here. It will likely be a tight squeeze between the two. It's not a problem in my situation because my AC all got swapped to a Classic Auto Air system.

Rick



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I think the LS makes a great power plant especially when adding turbos or a supercharger. They make great power with little modifications. If I was going to do an LS on budget I would go with the procharger as it seem to have a lot of kits.
 

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Keep in mind that if you buy a Chevelle with an LS engine already installed you're at the mercy of the last owner's work. They could have done it right, or the swap is hold together with bubble gum and wire nuts. Make sure to have it looked over by somebody who knows cars.
Second vote for this. There are some nice installs out there..and others that are downright scary. Its the details that can make it realiable or a headache.

Only way Id replace a BB with an LS is to stroke a 6.0 or LS2/3 to a 402/408?
GMPP sells a CNC head through summit for 880 ea which is a killer deal.

Add a healthy HR cam youre making some big power.

Not sure youd be thrilled with stock LS1, 5.3 torque it just isnt there NA.


Ive seen a couple early 2000 8.1 LS which are 496? Cant help but wonder what aftermarket parts are out for that...Huge potential I would think. The HD and 1 tons, even some suburbans came with them.

Theres also GMPP lsx454 thats a bad boy!!
 

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Keep in mind that if you buy a Chevelle with an LS engine already installed you're at the mercy of the last owner's work. They could have done it right, or the swap is hold together with bubble gum and wire nuts. Make sure to have it looked over by somebody who knows cars.
Second vote for this. There are some nice installs out there..and others that are downright scary. Its the details that can make it realiable or a headache.

Only way Id replace a BB with an LS is to stroke a 6.0 or LS2/3 to a 402/408?
GMPP sells a CNC head through summit for 880 ea which is a killer deal.

Add a healthy HR cam youre making some big power.

Not sure youd be thrilled with stock LS1, 5.3 torque it just isnt there NA.


Ive seen a couple early 2000 8.1 LS which are 496? Cant help but wonder what aftermarket parts are out for that...Huge potential I would think. The HD and 1 tons, even some suburbans came with them.

Theres also GMPP lsx454 thats a bad boy!!
The 8.1s are not LS based motors
 
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cuisinartvette said:
Not sure youd be thrilled with stock LS1, 5.3 torque it just isnt there NA.
400+ lb/ft is a cam swap away.
 
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