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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I've been contemplating getting a new ride(was stuck between the new camaro, challenger, or cts-v), but came to the conclusion that I wold rather freshen up the old SS with a new motor to avoid payments for 5 years and because I love the damn thing.
As she sits, she has just over 181k miles on it and has been giving me small problems here and there lately. I am thinking of going the LS? route for the reliability and performance/aftermarket.
I know I know, READ THE STICKY! Well, I did... and some parts of it confuse me.cwm3 I don't really understand all the different engines listed in that thread, LS-, LQ-, whatever.
The car will be my daily driver, but I want it to haul some a**. Maybe somewhere in the 400-450ish RWHP when completely finished? Will be doing most if not all the work myself.
So, my question is, what is the best engine to use? Where can I get a good deal on one (new or with low low miles), what all do I have to swap in with it?(PCM, any hard parts)
Any input is appreciated and guys who have done it themselves please chime in with the problems you had during the swap, how long it took, any custom fabricating necessary, what setup you used, etc. I appreciate it guys and this is going to help me decide if I keep the beast or not.

P.S. I will most likely be swapping in a T-56 along with this LS.:D
 

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i plan on doing the same. performance is better and your MPG is better. it's definitely the way to go.

here is my notes:

LQ4 SHORTBLOCK
L92 ALUMINUM HEADS 550 shipped.
L76 INTAKE MANIFOLD 200 ebay.
CTS-V Oil pan 285.00 Ebay @ nookandtranny.com
Motor mount/header=http://www.hotrodlane.cc/ 175.95 plus 23 shipping.
tranny=flexplate spacer$50.00 (GM Part Number 12563532) and 6 bolts (GM Part Number 12563533)

MOTIVATION from another user quote: Prior to this change with the Lq4 heads and L76 it went 13.20
on the motor and 12.30 with 100 shot of nitrous..

http://www.nookandtranny.com/

help with wiring go to lt1swap.com



the plain header would sell for $473.95
the thermal coded headers would
sell for $587 @ http://www.hotrodlane.cc/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where do you plan on getting your block?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What about an LS1 out of an '04 vette? How would that work?
 

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Pretty sure all the GenIII/GenIV blocks are the same so yes the 04 lsjuan should work. Ebay and junkyards like LKQ are where alot of people get motors for cheap.
Randomly searched ebay just now and i found this, http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/01Yu...r_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5d2b442b7f, yes it will work.
I suggest going to ls1tech.com and checking out the conversion section. Lots of good info there especially if you are gonna do the swap yourself.
Most of the questions you asked are answered in that sticky btw. Happy researching:)
 

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Just realized you're in central florida. Where at?
 

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Ok, so I've been contemplating getting a new ride(was stuck between the new camaro, challenger, or cts-v), but came to the conclusion that I wold rather freshen up the old SS with a new motor to avoid payments for 5 years and because I love the damn thing.
As she sits, she has just over 181k miles on it and has been giving me small problems here and there lately. I am thinking of going the LS? route for the reliability and performance/aftermarket.
I know I know, READ THE STICKY! Well, I did... and some parts of it confuse me.cwm3 I don't really understand all the different engines listed in that thread, LS-, LQ-, whatever.
The car will be my daily driver, but I want it to haul some a**. Maybe somewhere in the 400-450ish RWHP when completely finished? Will be doing most if not all the work myself.
So, my question is, what is the best engine to use? Where can I get a good deal on one (new or with low low miles), what all do I have to swap in with it?(PCM, any hard parts)
Any input is appreciated and guys who have done it themselves please chime in with the problems you had during the swap, how long it took, any custom fabricating necessary, what setup you used, etc. I appreciate it guys and this is going to help me decide if I keep the beast or not.

P.S. I will most likely be swapping in a T-56 along with this LS.:D
LQ engines have iron blocks/aluminum heads (except 99-2000 IIRC) and are 6.0L. LS Engines are aluminum blocks, they range from 4.8L to 7.0L. With the displacement change, so does the designation (LM7 = 5.3L Iron block, L33 = 5.3L Aluminum Block, LR4 = 4.8L Iron Block, etc). I used an LQ4 because it was cheap (1500 complete with 30k). Check car-part.com for good deals on them, or try your local junkyard. You WILL have to swap the PCM in with it, along with the harness, and any other accessories.

Mine took a few months because I'm an active duty Marine, and I worked 8-10+ hr days throughout the week when I was trying to complete the swap. If I was to do it again, from the lessons learned from the first one, I'd say 2 weeks, and It'd everything would be in, just waiting on me to finish the harness.


What about an LS1 out of an '04 vette? How would that work?
An LS1 out of an 04 Vette would work. Just have to use the respective parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I live in Winter Park right down the street from Oviedo and UCF. I see that the LQ4 has many interchangeable parts between the different 6.0 engines, does this make it easier to mod and ring HP out of or is it virtually the same performance-wise as the ls1's? Also, if I could find one would the Ls2 be the best choice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PS all the lq4's I see on car-part.com have well over 100k miles on them is that a problem? I hear everyone saying they find the engin with very low miles for cheap and all I'm seeing is over 100k for +/-1500?
 

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I live in Winter Park right down the street from Oviedo and UCF. I see that the LQ4 has many interchangeable parts between the different 6.0 engines, does this make it easier to mod and ring HP out of or is it virtually the same performance-wise as the ls1's? Also, if I could find one would the Ls2 be the best choice?
If you can find an LS2, go for it, but I just went with the LQ because it was cheaper. If you do go the LQ route, go for the LQ9; it has a higher compression ratio than the LQ4 (9.6:1 vs 10:1) and makes more HP stock (LQ4 = 305-325 vs LQ9 = 345). As far as performance, you have to remember that these engines were purpose built; LQs were meant to propel the trucks so they were built for more torque (LQ4 is @ ~370ft/lb), vice the LS engines that were made to propel lighter vehicles had more HP (LS2 400hp/400 ft/lb).
 

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PS all the lq4's I see on car-part.com have well over 100k miles on them is that a problem? I hear everyone saying they find the engin with very low miles for cheap and all I'm seeing is over 100k for +/-1500?
Same here, I can't find a motor for under $1500 with less than 90k on it. And I've been searching car-parts and craigslist daily for months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Exactly. Don't really want to swap in a high mileage motor in place of my high mileage motor lol.
Another question i have is will a t56 bolt up to the lq4 no problem? (I'm assuming one from and ls1-6?) anyone running that setup on here?
 

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Beware of LKQ as they sell complete "long blocks" but strip nearly every stinking bolt-on part from the engine. No starter, flywheel, etc. All my buddy got was a waterpump, manifolds and a crank balancer. Throttle body and intake were there but they cut every harness connector off and left the harness in the chassis. I am pleased they left the oil pan plug in it. They were nice enough to twist off the oil cooler lines so we had to buy another part just to get it to run. My best estimation is they strip everything off and what they don't sell after a while gets re-sold as scrap metal just to nickle and dime you to death and make every last dime out there. Not a great deal for $1500 40K mile engine but it the best we could find. I'm not bitter but my buddy learned a good lesson. Good thing I have 4 engines and tons of spare parts available to get the thing assembled and running.

Don't buy any engine sight un-seen and be very specific in asking what acessories are included or you will get screwed.
 

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Or you could spend about $4500 on a fully built 408lq9, have all the tq and hp you would need for a street car and it would be a brand new engine. That would relieve any question of how hard the motor was run by the previous owner.
 

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Or you could spend about $4500 on a fully built 408lq9, have all the tq and hp you would need for a street car and it would be a brand new engine. That would relieve any question of how hard the motor was run by the previous owner.
Where could I buy one of those? and not sure if this is a stupid question or not but would I need to purchase new equipment to make my AC work?
 

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I feel I should comment on the mileage issue...these new engines, are fabulous.

I've never taken apart a gen 3 or gen 4 that had ANY perceivable wear in the bearings, and the hone in all of them has looked stupendous as well.

My Camaro recently turned 200K on it's LS1, and it still makes excellent oil pressure, and still has excellent compression/leakdown characteristics...and it still runs dead even with similarly modded f-body's with 1/3 it's miles (sometimes blows their doors off, depends who's driving the other car.

I HAVE taken apart damaged engines...bad bearings due to oil starvation (like the one I pulled from a truck that had rolled...and not shut down right away while it was upside down) but I've grown to fear the number on the odometer a LOT less than I used to...even the sensors...my Camaro's still running ALL of it's original sensors except for O2's and MAF...the cam and crank sensors seem to be very robust...much different from the ****tyspark...I mean optisuck...I mean...that ill fated distributor/cam sensor on the Gen 2 V8's...

I'd be more concerned about the accessory drive...water pumps fail with age/mileage, power steering pumps do too, especially if run hot or low on fluid...AC compressor clutches start to make noise and fail...but the engines themselves...are really really well done.
 

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I feel I should comment on the mileage issue...these new engines, are fabulous.

I've never taken apart a gen 3 or gen 4 that had ANY perceivable wear in the bearings, and the hone in all of them has looked stupendous as well.

My Camaro recently turned 200K on it's LS1, and it still makes excellent oil pressure, and still has excellent compression/leakdown characteristics...and it still runs dead even with similarly modded f-body's with 1/3 it's miles (sometimes blows their doors off, depends who's driving the other car.

I HAVE taken apart damaged engines...bad bearings due to oil starvation (like the one I pulled from a truck that had rolled...and not shut down right away while it was upside down) but I've grown to fear the number on the odometer a LOT less than I used to...even the sensors...my Camaro's still running ALL of it's original sensors except for O2's and MAF...the cam and crank sensors seem to be very robust...much different from the ****tyspark...I mean optisuck...I mean...that ill fated distributor/cam sensor on the Gen 2 V8's...

I'd be more concerned about the accessory drive...water pumps fail with age/mileage, power steering pumps do too, especially if run hot or low on fluid...AC compressor clutches start to make noise and fail...but the engines themselves...are really really well done.
so is that to say that the new gen III/IV blocks are the only ones capable of this? As I can recall, before all this LS stuff, the LT1 was touted as one of the most durable blocks ever created and its well documented to see POLICE and TAXI cars running like a top with well over 200-300k miles on them and thats will all of the abuse that they can handle. Also, are you saying that the LS series engines are the only ones to have great looking bore hones? If so, I wish you were close to atlanta right now so that you can come and see this 160k mile block that i have disassembled right now. You would be very surprised to see the hone marks on the cylinder walls on this engine. It also has EXCELLENT oil pressure, EXCELLENT compression, and is probably one of the quietest engines I have EVER heard and i have owned quite a few engines. And as for the opti comments, yeah they had their issues early on but now the opti "issues" have mostly been completely ironed out and I can speak from experience that this is my third opti car (93 camaro z28, 95 fleetwood, and currently 96 impala) and all three had well over 100k miles on the original opti. I think its more so lack of maintenance to the opti than the opti just being crap. Give the LT block some credit, it makes good, clean crisp power, is fairly cheap to rebuild, and has been a proven winner at the tracks. Im not knocking the LS engines, hell im now considering buying one and playing with it just to gain more experience due to all this talking about them, but all I ever hear anyone say about them is the HP that they make. Well, my thing is this, you can make all the HP in the world but what it boils down to is times...9 sec is 9 sec, 12 sec is 12 sec, etc. LT blocks are proven winners for a long long time and now all of a sudden everyone wants to turn they backs on them...what a shame.
 

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more knowledge

Im trying to gain more and more knowledge about these LS engines before I jump into it. Are the vortec blocks LS blocks too? I know the vortec is a cylinder head design and dont need a class/explanation on that. Is the 8.1l vortec a LS block? If so, how come i havent heard of anyone mention these blocks?
 

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Im trying to gain more and more knowledge about these LS engines before I jump into it. Are the vortec blocks LS blocks too? I know the vortec is a cylinder head design and dont need a class/explanation on that. Is the 8.1l vortec a LS block? If so, how come i havent heard of anyone mention these blocks?
cuz u havent read the sticky. the question already been asked. it's somewhere between page 1-10. the OP of that sticky said the aftermarket for these engine are not as big as the LS and LQ motors... or something really similar to that.
 

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so is that to say that the new gen III/IV blocks are the only ones capable of this? As I can recall, before all this LS stuff, the LT1 was touted as one of the most durable blocks ever created and its well documented to see POLICE and TAXI cars running like a top with well over 200-300k miles on them and thats will all of the abuse that they can handle. Also, are you saying that the LS series engines are the only ones to have great looking bore hones? If so, I wish you were close to atlanta right now so that you can come and see this 160k mile block that i have disassembled right now. You would be very surprised to see the hone marks on the cylinder walls on this engine. It also has EXCELLENT oil pressure, EXCELLENT compression, and is probably one of the quietest engines I have EVER heard and i have owned quite a few engines. And as for the opti comments, yeah they had their issues early on but now the opti "issues" have mostly been completely ironed out and I can speak from experience that this is my third opti car (93 camaro z28, 95 fleetwood, and currently 96 impala) and all three had well over 100k miles on the original opti. I think its more so lack of maintenance to the opti than the opti just being crap. Give the LT block some credit, it makes good, clean crisp power, is fairly cheap to rebuild, and has been a proven winner at the tracks. Im not knocking the LS engines, hell im now considering buying one and playing with it just to gain more experience due to all this talking about them, but all I ever hear anyone say about them is the HP that they make. Well, my thing is this, you can make all the HP in the world but what it boils down to is times...9 sec is 9 sec, 12 sec is 12 sec, etc. LT blocks are proven winners for a long long time and now all of a sudden everyone wants to turn they backs on them...what a shame.

the great (lack of) wear characteristics is mainly due to low friction ring packs, overdrive trannys, lockup converters, low gearing and the always precise fuel mixture of a f/i car. I would venture to say that an LT will last just as long as any LS. I'll admit that a lot of LS cars seem to be dyno queens. I have seen HUGE power numbers out of LS powered B bodies but we have yet to see any times that REALLY put LT stuff to shame. I'm considering an LS swap, simply because personally I believe the LQ block will handle more power than the LT block...and I intend to push the LT blocks limits with the E/T's I am after with a pig heavy car (boxed frame, blower, intercooler, stereo, full interior, cage ect...). Still on the fence though. One thing the LS does have in its corner is cheap AMAZING FLOWING cylinder heads. But to be honest, all the huge power numbers L92 heads make...a set of AI heads with one of their not-so-big cams on an LT1 is pretty impressive as well. I say it comes down to preference. There are a lot of great things about LS motors. There are a lot of great things about LT motors (and even gen 1 SBC's). But I agree that people are a little quick to jump ship. Look at the majority of the faster B bodies out there. They are still LT1. Some will say it's only a matter of time till that changes, but so far it hasn't. Don't get me wrong though, im no hater. I WANT to see it happen. I want to see B bodies keeping up with the latest and greatest of detroit muscle. I want to be able to stomp out any supercharged SS camaro or SRT challenger or supped up Evo and still be just as streetable as they are.

I think it's say that among a lot of these eager new guys, the LT1 is pretty underestimated. I'm sure this is what the vets like Mike H with his screaming all motor LT1 and a lot of the other guys running crazy fast times in LT stuff are thinking when people are quick to count the LT1 out... No doubt though, the LS series is a GREAT motor...especially in its latest incarnations featuring bigger cubes and L92/LS3 heads where not much has to be done to achieve high hp levels. There is a lot more to going fast than just big power though. I'd put my money on a well setup LT car than a car that had a big power LS slapped in it with lack of thought going into the rest of the car.

Just like anything though, if you rely on having other people tell you what you should do without doing your own research...you might get the shaft in the end. that's why I stopped telling people "yes, go LS" or "no, keep the LT". People need to do the research and stop listening to all the "you should do this" guys, some who haven't even done for themselves what they are telling you to do.

just a warning too, i have seen some god awful swaps...we call em pam andersons at work. Looks great from the outside, but start working on it and things just aint right! That's something for guys who may lack serious mechanical expertise (or that bring it to the cheapest bidder to have work done) should think about. Even routine things on cars can go harder than expected....engine swaps don't always come out nice and problem free. There is a lot of potential to screw things up if you don't know what you're doing, more so than just bolting another (built/rebuilt) LT1 back in.
 
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