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Old July 12th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Default 500-550 hp small block. Old school SBC vs LS?

If you were looking to build a motor in this range, what platform would you start with?

Assuming:

Pump gas
needs to be streetable enough to drive to work once in a while (some stop and go traffic).
Automatic with appropriate stall-high 2000s, low 3000s.


Likely would be carbed in either case. Not driven in winter. MPG doesn't really matter. Hot rod type application.

Could do a 383 or 406 sb gen I motor, or go with the more modern formula: LQ4 / milled L92 heads, 230-ish* cam, victor jr intake, 750-850 carb....
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Old July 12th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #2
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My choice would be the LS engines. You can make stupid power without spending a buttload of cash. A small block would be more fussy or crabby.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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3rd option: 5.3 or 6.0 junkyard motor, DIY turbo setup with about 8 lbs of boost. Would also be in the same price range for 500-ish hp, probably better low end than the other two.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #4
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6.0 with cam, headers, L92 heads and a healthy tune will put you very close to your goal.

look at the LS8 for inspiration - with some tuning, a bit more boost, headers and a cam they're pulling down 800+ hp
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Old July 12th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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hmm, there isn't an LS8.

This combo is pretty common, more like an LS2 bottom/LS3 top end. Seems like 525 at the flywheel is reasonable.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 09:08 PM   #6
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isn't the rpo for the cts-v supercharged 6.2 the LS8? might be wrong but i thought otherwise?
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Old July 12th, 2011, 09:11 PM   #7
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If you haven't already, check this place out for LS tech.
http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/index.php
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Old July 12th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
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isn't the rpo for the cts-v supercharged 6.2 the LS8? might be wrong but i thought otherwise?
no, the vettes have an LS9, the CTS-Vs have the LSA, also going into the Camaros soon.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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To me it depends on your future plans,and the money you want to spend.
The heads available for old small blocks make it fairly ez,and cheaper then ever to build a pump gass motor that will make those kind off numbers.
The ls motors are a little more money to play with,but the hp they make on pump gas is insane,especially boosted.
Are you going to be happy with 500 hp? It's hard to make more then that on pump gas with a first gen motor,unless you go big,think expensive.a ls might be better if you feel the need for more power in the future.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 08:15 AM   #10
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LS /thread
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Old July 13th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #11
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I'm finding it difficult to compare the two.

The issue, is anything built, like a 383, it most of the time is engine dyno stuff.

Most LS stuff is starting with SAE net ratings.

rear wheel dyno results can vary so much and don't find too many good comparable plots to look at.

I'm leaning heavily towards the LS setup. Weight is a consideration from what its going it, being a go-fast application, trying to be sub 3000 lbs.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 09:42 AM   #12
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I know you have been kinda wondering which way to go for a while. I think you should use your gut feeling on this one.

You did not say, is this for a jeep? Do you want efi? Budget? Wanna build it or buy it? etc....

I am hooked on ls engines myself. I like the performance as well as user friendly technology.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #13
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This is for my other Jeep, a CJ6, to make it kind of a hod rod / cruiser / sand toy. Couple inches of lift (coilovers and links), 31-33s with traction, lightweight frame and cage. summer time toy..

Thinking carb'd. Sick of all the wiring and fuel plumbing crap that I'm doing on the scrambler.

Plan to be working on it somewhat over the winter now that I'm finally going to get my barn/shop done. Maybe driving late summer next year. Lot easier build when its just a street toy, no worries about articulation, ground clearance, winches, heaters, etc.

edit: saw more of your questions:

Don't want to build a full engine myself, no. If I go with the Gen I stuff, I'll have my brother in law put it together, he went to the nascar mechanic school and build drag chevy motors. If I go Gen III/IV, then I'd get a junkyard motor, built short block, or crate motor. I wouldn't have a problem doing the work myself, then, say putting L92s and a carbed manifold onto an LQ9 bottom end.

Last edited by Haggar; July 13th, 2011 at 10:19 AM.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #14
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Carb'd Gen3/4 SBCs seem odd to me. The fact that you have to get an MSD type box to read the crank sensor and run the COP seems to fly in the face of the "simplicity" of a carb and HEI setup. Not to mention there's no fuel pump boss, so you're running electric fuel pump, you're halfway to the PITA of just running EFI.

If you plan on doing carbs, I'd definitely go Gen1 SBC and try and find as many swap meet parts to keep the costs down.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #15
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Seems to be a setup that works well for people, compared with tuning like becky had with her 6.0. Lot of people running that setup on 6.0s and 408s.

I think with any of the carbd setups, I'd run a pump like a holley blue, and a pro street cell with bottom outputs. No GM quick connects, no any-angle pickups, no O2 sensors, codes. I think its easier to get a manifold and carb and throttle cable then sourcing a intake that works with the L92 heads, big enough MAF, hooking up drive by wire, etc.

I'd buy the 480hp LS3 GMPP crate motor first I think if I want to go F.I....
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Old July 13th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #16
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If you're going through all that effort to put a carb on something that comes will all the electronics to begin with, just put a big block in and make up for the weight difference in HP

Edit: Besides, you've already done it once, the 2nd time would be the easy part. Buy HP tuners, follow thier guide, tune both your toys. It's a NA engine..........cake walk, especially for an EE.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #17
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Doesn't come with electronics if you piece it together.

If it was a complete take out motor scenario, then FI makes more sense.

But if you start with a Gen III block (LQ4 or LS9) and then slap on Gen IV heads, and now you need to pick the manifold. Go with a car one and swap all the front accessories, or a truck manifold that chokes the top end. Or mega money for a FAST intake or something. I can see costing $1000-$2000+ for getting a properly tuned FI setup(assuming I don't want to do my own harness). The single planes definately make better power.

No choices made or anything, just gathering ideas.

fuel injection is gay on a hot rod...
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Old July 14th, 2011, 06:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
Seems to be a setup that works well for people, compared with tuning like becky had with her 6.0. Lot of people running that setup on 6.0s and 408s.
I think Becky's was an extreme case. She didn't know exactly what she had, was trying to match vastly different setups, on the cheap, without a lot of investigation on her part, through too many people.

I think you'll be collecting an extra grand or more in parts to turn a LQ4 into a carb'd LS3, similar to people that convert a by-wire to cable throttle setup with F-body parts.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 07:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
Doesn't come with electronics if you piece it together.

If it was a complete take out motor scenario, then FI makes more sense.

But if you start with a Gen III block (LQ4 or LS9) and then slap on Gen IV heads, and now you need to pick the manifold. Go with a car one and swap all the front accessories, or a truck manifold that chokes the top end. Or mega money for a FAST intake or something. I can see costing $1000-$2000+ for getting a properly tuned FI setup(assuming I don't want to do my own harness). The single planes definately make better power.

No choices made or anything, just gathering ideas.

fuel injection is gay on a hot rod...
Start with a Gen IV L92/LS3 motor/trans, pull the VVT, put a differnent cam in it and run it. The intake/TB is already a 90mm design from the factory. If you're that worried about a truck intake, LS3 intake/fuel rail/injector take offs go for around $300 shipped. That's a 42 lb injector setup that'll support ~685bhp (stock 58psi, bsfc of .45, 80% duty cycle). An Edelbrock 90mm cable driven TB is less than $300 if you convert it over. That injector/intake/TB setup will support your goal all day long. Take it to a decent tuner from the get go and I bet you have under $1000 into the harness/dyno tune ready to go.

Putting a Carb on a GenIII/GenIV is gay unless your only driving 1/4 mile at a time......

I still vote big block..........
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Old July 14th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #20
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Start with a Gen IV L92/LS3 motor/trans, pull the VVT, put a differnent cam in it and run it. The intake/TB is already a 90mm design from the factory. If you're that worried about a truck intake, LS3 intake/fuel rail/injector take offs go for around $300 shipped. That's a 42 lb injector setup that'll support ~685bhp (stock 58psi, bsfc of .45, 80% duty cycle). An Edelbrock 90mm cable driven TB is less than $300 if you convert it over. That injector/intake/TB setup will support your goal all day long. Take it to a decent tuner from the get go and I bet you have under $1000 into the harness/dyno tune ready to go.

Putting a Carb on a GenIII/GenIV is gay unless your only driving 1/4 mile at a time......

I still vote big block..........

I wouldn't ever want to add 300lbs+ to the nose of something that'll run sand. Sorry, thats not my style. Its a snub nose CJ also, room is a little tight.

If I can find a nice LS3 or L92, I'd probably pick one up, put in a cam and long tubes and call it a day. I know the crate LS3s run 30, 480, 515, and 525 hp levels (the 525 being the carbed version, the lesser being the FI). Those are net figures, and should be about 50-75hp higher on a typical engine dyno.

So I could grab a CT525 circle track motor that just shy of 600 crank HP for about $7000, thats my price ceiling. If I can find an LS3 take out for $4000, that'd work...
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