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Old 06-19-2018, 10:28 PM   #1
69Tom
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LS recommendations and help

Hi all. I've started considering putting an LS in my 1970 C/10 short-stepside. It has it's original 6cyl, 3 on the tree in it. I'm looking for something that's going to be reliable and decent on gas. I'd like something with good power, but doesn't need to be crazy.

I'd like to keep my price around $2500-3000 with a transmission. I already have an updated wiring system for the truck

I guess I can just list off my questions:

1) Any recommendations on what LS engine I should go for? I'd like to keep the price on the lower side (vs. $6000+ that I'm seeing for a LS3.)

2) I'm seeing a lot of LS motors with a ton of mileage on them. What's a decent range for mileage on these? I was thinking anything with around 60-70K would be a good engine for quite some time.

3) Is there a reputable seller of there motors that I should check out? I'm wary of the CL seller on some level.

I'm open to any suggestions for anything else I should know. I've been looking through the LS section here on the forums and gathering whatever info I can.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:38 PM   #2
mongocanfly
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Re: LS recommendations and help

any one of the basic LS engines will do...4.8, 5.3, 6.0....you don't need a ls3 unless your really wanting performance...but any of the LS engines can put out good numbers...check out LS big bang theory...
the 4.8s can be had for cheap.. (no a lot of demand)
the 5.3s are the most common used for swaps and is what I'd look for
the 6.0s bring big money for the little extra hp they offer

as far as mileage don't be scared of higher mileage LS engines...a 50-60k mile engine will be harder to find and cost a lot more...I don't have a issue with 150k engines....I had a 5.3 with 285k on it that ran like new when I sold it...
your truck wiring is almost a non factor as the LS is almost a stand alone setup..

if your looking on craigs look for the guys that part out trucks....most around here leave them in the truck so you can see it run before pulling the engine....
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Last edited by mongocanfly; 06-19-2018 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:40 PM   #3
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Re: LS recommendations and help

I recently bought a 2004 5.3 with 86K off of steal bay for $1600 that included all of the accesories and wiring harness. I am in the process of installing now.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:54 PM   #4
69Tom
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Re: LS recommendations and help

Thanks for the replies guys. It looks like maybe it’s worth keeping an eye on eBay then.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:16 AM   #5
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Re: LS recommendations and help

Subscribed, I’m looking to do the same thing here soon. I picked up a nice low mileage 4L60e for my swap. Then, I found deal on a 6.0L so now I have to find a bigger tranny (4L80e). What I’m trying to say is there’s plenty of LS engines and transmission out there if you keep your eyes peeled.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:32 AM   #6
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Re: LS recommendations and help

My first LS swap was with a 5.3 with a 4L60E. As long as you don't gear the axle wrong, they are good performers and get decent mileage. I raised the rear end ratio to 3.08 and it hurt both performance and gas mileage. Stay with the 3.73 is my advice.

Also, look for a rebuilder. I found a guy who rebuilds wrecked GM trucks (mostly). I was able to purchase an extremely low mileage (4000 miles) from him with everything for $3000. That included transmission, computer, accessory drive, drive shaft... everything I needed.

Just something that worked for me.

And, on the last one I just finished, I went the crate motor route since all the newer engines have DOD (displacement on demand) which I didn't want to mess with removing.

Good Luck!!
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:36 AM   #7
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Re: LS recommendations and help

Iím at the (very) beginning stages of my first swap, so I have no idea what the final investment will be, but I just bought (on Sunday) a 2010 LY6 6.0 engine, with the harness, computer, all front end accessories, 6L90E transmission, and everything I wanted to pull off the donor truck for $3000. Donor truck has 114k miles, and all service records since new (itís a wrecked fleet truck). That was a Craigslist find. Seller is a gear head too, so we hit it off immediately. Iíve felt with some sketchy people on CL, but this guy *almost* restored my faith in Craigslist.
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:08 PM   #8
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Re: LS recommendations and help

therell be much less headaches if you get everything you need from the same truck....mismatched parts seem to cause issues when trying to make it all work together...
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:56 PM   #9
AZ 67 C10
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Re: LS recommendations and help

If you have the time and space a totaled vehicle is the cheapest route usually. You also get everything you need and can even make a few bucks selling what you don't need. I got a 6.0 out of a 06 2500hd for $1500 that was a rollover and I broke even after selling the extras.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:41 PM   #10
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Re: LS recommendations and help

I bought a partially wrecked 06 GMC with 167k miles. Pulled the 4.8/4L60 combo and everything else I could and scrapped the rest. I've sold a bunch of parts and have $1200 in it at this point.

I know all the parts work together and drove it 50 miles home before pulling the engine/trans. I didn't want to piece together a combo and was hesitant to buy an engine locally without the history or seeing it run. Ebay prices seem high and shipping is expensive and complicated.

Despite what everybody says, my experience is that 5.3's are neither plentiful nor cheap. And the pre 2007 (without displacement on demand) versions generally have high mileage.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:13 PM   #11
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Re: LS recommendations and help

I ended up getting my motor,Trans,harnes,ECU,pedal assembly and driveshaft yoke from http://lsx4u.com/home.html

Even if you don’t buy from them, there is a lot of good info on there site.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:41 PM   #12
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Re: LS recommendations and help

I recommend looking not just at mileage but at cleanliness. Can save yourself alot of headaches by getting an engine from a non-salt region and avoid rusted brackets and bolts that would need cleaning, sanding, painting, tapping, replacing. Also finding one as complete as possible is good bc little things add up quick if you need to source intake manifold, injectors, throttle body, O2s, maf, coils etc. For power a cam swap on a 5.3 while on a stand is cake and with a very mild cam is an easy 300+whp.
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Old 06-27-2018, 07:48 PM   #13
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Re: LS recommendations and help

Thanks for all the info guys. Nodnarb76, I'm definitely going to consider lsx4u.com. They seem to have good prices based on what I'm seeing around.

What are the differences between the LQ4 vs. the L33 other than the liter size? Is one engine better than the other?
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:53 PM   #14
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Re: LS recommendations and help

I just bought an Avalanch that was totaled for $2000 with 153000 miles on it ,perfect interior and lots of good body parts to sell off . It still runs and drives but has some frame damage . The Boyds gas tank was quite expensive but I now have almost everything to swap mine .
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:14 PM   #15
Tork?
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Re: LS recommendations and help

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69Tom View Post
Thanks for all the info guys. Nodnarb76, I'm definitely going to consider lsx4u.com. They seem to have good prices based on what I'm seeing around.

What are the differences between the LQ4 vs. the L33 other than the liter size? Is one engine better than the other?
There are alot of little differences that can sway a decision if you're looking at each. L33 is probably the best Gen 3 5.3 it has the desirable 243/799 heads which were on the LS6, LS2, and LS1 GTO, aluminum block, and is drive by wire. Here in IL most of the lq4s seem to be higher mileage, work/plow truck, fleet engines. Which probably run fine and been maintained but look to have a lot of the tidiness issues I mentioned earlier.

Here's some informative articles on L33
http://www.onallcylinders.com/2018/0...ads-cam-specs/

http://www.onallcylinders.com/2018/0...e-performance/

Here's the same on LQ4
http://www.onallcylinders.com/2018/0...ads-cam-specs/

http://www.onallcylinders.com/2018/0...e-performance/
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:34 PM   #16
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Re: LS recommendations and help

i bought 2002 5.3 motor with just over 100,000 miles on it. I then went to WS6Store and bought a complete rebuild kit from them, including cam and new lifters. I then went to PSI conversions and bought their complete wiring kit with brain. Then i bought all new sensors and such. I bought a Holly Sniper EFI intake, rebuilt injectors, new coils, shorty headers. I installed a Turbo 400 i had built last year. I have a dyno tune setup for July 31. Total, i will say is at or below $6000.00.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:35 PM   #17
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Re: LS recommendations and help

Im also looking in doing my first ls swap, what years should i be looking for. Im looking for a complete vehicle.
Thank you all
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:49 AM   #18
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Re: LS recommendations and help

I bought a running, driving rusted out 99 silverado with the 4l60 trans with 250,000 miles on it for $700.
I drove it home.
I had the trans rebuilt at $1700
motor I had rebuilt but after opening it up it probably did not need it, it only had 2,000 wear on the cylinder walls, put new stock bearings in it and new pistons in it.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:08 PM   #19
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Re: LS recommendations and help

I found a very clean one owner Yukon Denali that had a dash fire and was totaled by their insurance company. Got the LQ4 for $1,200. Harness, fuse block, gas pedal taken out and ready to go. I then bought a 4L80e from a 2004 truck for $450. Both have around 130k miles. I have purchased a new oil pan (CTS-V), cam, springs, push rods, etc. I'm at about $3,100 so far including headers. I need a torque converter next. So, I anticipate having $3,650 in the whole deal before I buy the harness, cooling system, fuel system, and hydroboost braking/steering, etc. Total input to do a swap like this will run around $6k. Of course you can do it cheaper and you can spend a lot more. Just giving you an example. This LS swap is like buying a Harley. The bike is the cheap part.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:17 AM   #20
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Re: LS recommendations and help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tork? View Post
There are alot of little differences that can sway a decision if you're looking at each. L33 is probably the best Gen 3 5.3 it has the desirable 243/799 heads which were on the LS6, LS2, and LS1 GTO, aluminum block, and is drive by wire. Here in IL most of the lq4s seem to be higher mileage, work/plow truck, fleet engines. Which probably run fine and been maintained but look to have a lot of the tidiness issues I mentioned earlier.

Here's some informative articles on L33
http://www.onallcylinders.com/2018/0...ads-cam-specs/

http://www.onallcylinders.com/2018/0...e-performance/

Here's the same on LQ4
http://www.onallcylinders.com/2018/0...ads-cam-specs/

http://www.onallcylinders.com/2018/0...e-performance/



I just finished my first swap with an L33, 799 heads, DBC, BTR stage 3, 4l60e, corvette servo, Speed engineering headers and tune. So far, I'm honestly enjoying this more than the 383/700r4 I took out. These engines are great...
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:56 PM   #21
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Re: LS recommendations and help

I'll join in. I'm in the process of pulling an L96 6.0 and 6L90E from a rolled 2011 GMC Sierra HD. It's going to be for Lola, my '70 K10.

I got the whole truck locally $3500. When I showed up to look at it I took one look underneath (super clean) and knew instantly I was going to buy it. Except for the smashed cab top and bed/body panels, it runs and drives excellent, so I could hear the motor and see the transmission/transfer case work for myself. Even the radio and AC worked great!

So I'm parting out things like airbags, radiator/ac/mount, and keeping the engine/trans/brake booster/wiring and the rear end for myself. Between that and selling my old 350, TH350, and rear corporate 14 bolt with disc conversion, I hope to keep the costs reasonable.

I like the 6.0 only because I need the extra juice running a 4X4 with 35 inch tires. I've seen plenty of 5.3's put out big numbers, but I like that I won't have to even change the stock manifold to get above 350 HP and 380 Ft/LB (i will though .

Good luck!
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