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Old 07-08-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
usmcchevy
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LSx Swap cost FAQ

Now for the worst part of a LSx swap....The money

If you have a LS swap cost break down or even just a total amount you spent on your LS swap, post up! If you are having problems uploading your file, feel free to PM myself or another Mod.

I'll go first. UPDATED 09/10/11 current total is $2685. I also added all the part numbers I can find. You can easily add $100-150 for shop supplies and things I forgot. There are also a few things that you can probably subtract as I included parts needed to convert to auto trans, hydroboost brakes and power steering.
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File Type: doc LS swap cost v1.1 Page 2.doc (63.0 KB, 2220 views)
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Ok, I don't feel tooooo bad considering mine includes the cost of the cam, cam swap related parts, and the labor to do it.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:44 AM   #3
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

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Originally Posted by harnalien View Post
Ok, I don't feel tooooo bad considering mine includes the cost of the cam, cam swap related parts, and the labor to do it.
Post up then!
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:25 AM   #4
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcchevy View Post
Post up then!
you asked for it

keep in mind, the price for the cam install includes having to buy new heads, head gaskets, and bolts because my heads on my original motor were discovered to be bad. Also, the miscellaneous includes labor chargers for help I needed to keep things moving. I still have to pay for exhaust and some fine tuning next week. It's sickening looking at the numbers, but maybe this will give someone a real picture of what can go wrong and prepare them for it. There is easily $2500 that could be removed from this if I hadn't swapped cams. Ok, enough excuses, lol!
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Harnalien, the only difference in yours and mine is you had engine work, I didnt.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:22 PM   #6
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Ok, do I give you the first build, or the second

First:
347 ci motor forged internals, machine work and I assembled it $3,800 in the shortblock
Heads and cam were bought from a buddy of mine, they were used to go 10.7x in his 4th gen $600
CTS-V lifters $250
Push rods $150
Head Studs $225
Super Victor intake with spacer and Dominator throttle body $1,100
Misc covers, and accessories I had from other motors
Wiring harness (brand new gm unit, I deleted a bunch of wires) $250
Headers $450
Exhaust $150
PCM $75
(2) -8 feed lines, dual walbro fuel pumps, misc t-connectors, aftermarket fuel rails, regulator, 60lb injectors, about $1000
4L80E with aftermarket converter $1,500
HPtuners (I already owned this from doing tuning on the side and have unlimited licensing for 99-02 F-body, so this does not get included).
Additional speed density and 4L80E segment swap through HP tuners $100

$9,650.. I am sure I am forgetting a coule things so let's just call it an even $10,000..


Now, for the new motor

Sold old shortblock, heads, cam, head studs for $2,750
Retained the Super victor, fuel system, headers, accessories, most covers, lifters, push rods, anything I could.

New:
Shortblock, again machined and parts, I put it together $5,000 (LS3 block, 4" callies crank, Weisco pistons)
AFR 225 heads with light weight intake valves $2,500
New cam $400
Wiring harness extension, LS3 front cover and valley cover, LS2 timing set $300
Upgraded rocker arm trunions $225

Another $6,000 in the new motor


Sold the 4L80E bought a build glide total out going expense $1,300

Have changed gears $500 (rear end weling work ect).
N20 system $1200

Let's just say there is a lot of money tied up in my old truck. All to hopefully go 10.70-80 on motor and deep 9's on the bottle.
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------Motor---------------Bottle
60'---1.53---------------1.41
1/8---6.58 @ 105.92----5.87 @ 118.41
1/4---10.38 @ 126.97----9.24 @ 142.49
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:07 AM   #7
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Here is my list.
It also includes all the drivetrain/suspension stuff that I will be purcahsing as well.
THE 1!!.pdf
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:09 AM   #8
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Anything marked with an "*" is a part I purchased used
*6.0 and 4L65 $2300
Clay Smith Cam, lifters, springs, pushrods $700
*LS1 intake and TB $80
Pro Products Fuel rails $100
Walbro Fuel pump and Pro Products reg. $300
Fuel Lines and fittings $250
*Pacesetter F-Body Headers $200
Exhaust with Dynomax Bullets and Xpipe $400
*Howe Power Steering pump/pulley/bracket/res/lines/hydroboost $680
Belt $30
ARP head, rod, and balancer bolts $210
Roller Rockers $200
Double Roller Timing $200
Head Gaskets $60
*LS3 injectors $60
Afco Radiator $320
Spectre Air Filter/Silicone elbows $45
*Spal Fans $150
Ebay Fan controller $50
Howell Tuned Computer $300
*Abaer Valve covers $300
Oil Pressure Sender adapter $15
Fluids $140
Driveshaft $190
Shift Linkage $45
Throttle Cable $40
*CFR Trans cooler/Lines $250
Radiator hoses $40
NGK plugs and stock wires $40
180* Thermostat $15
*Autometer Electric Speedo $90
Summit Deep Trans pan $170
Harness - 1,000,000 hours converting the stock one HAH!
Traded my truck pan to a buddy for his LS1 pan
Ported my own heads and oil pump
Did some trade work for a 3600 Performabuilt stall
My engine/trans had 10k miles on them so no need for any other new parts. It should be a good solid 430 horse the way it's built, no worries about failures. It runs strong.
I must be forgetting some nickel and dime parts...I've never added it up before and it's kind of scary haha but so far that's:
$7970
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Last edited by skoffice; 07-11-2011 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:25 AM   #9
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Ok good, I'm not alone
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:54 PM   #10
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

I honestly think a 5.3 could be put in a truck for under $2,000 if wise choices were made and deals were found. I have seen complete running 100k mile 5.3 with 60E's go for $750.
I have seen truck pcm and harness combos unmolested go for under $250. Just take your time rerouting and pulling wires you don't need. There are diagrams all over the net.
Motor mounts are cheap maybe $100 in them.
Modified factory tank with an external walbro and remaining fuel system parts $200 (vette regulator/misc line)
Exhaust work tying a factory manifold in to existing exhaust $150
Find a drive shaft in the junk yard if yours does not fit $75
Find a local tuner to get rid of vats and other smog related junk (if they are like me, I'll do that for $100 since it literally takes 5 minutes to do).
Piece of 4" exhaust tube from your local exhaust shop to put your filter on $25
K&N cone filter $50

Right there is $1,700, leaving $300 in misc unseen items. It could be done. The problem isn't doing it cheap for stock, none of us go totaly stock. We are our own worst enemy!!
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------Motor---------------Bottle
60'---1.53---------------1.41
1/8---6.58 @ 105.92----5.87 @ 118.41
1/4---10.38 @ 126.97----9.24 @ 142.49
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #11
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super73 View Post
The problem isn't doing it cheap for stock, none of us go totaly stock. We are our own worst enemy!!
That is the part that keeps getting me. I want to have my drivetrain built up to handle the extra HP but I also want to add extra HP to the motor via bolt-ons. I chose to get the drivetrain/suspension right 1st.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:11 PM   #12
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Mine (hopefully this works)

$79xx for all my goodies. This is not stock, and I have included a few other non motor things that occurred during that timespan. Mine would be well under 7 without things like the seats etc that I added./
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:07 PM   #13
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Ok, I do not feel bad any longer, I thought I was breaking the bank at $4K.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:42 PM   #14
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

I have a 71 Chevy Short Wide Bed PU that I swapped a 5.3 LS1 and 4L60E trans into. Here is a cost breakdown for my swap.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:07 AM   #15
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by awhite4557 View Post
I have a 71 Chevy Short Wide Bed PU that I swapped a 5.3 LS1 and 4L60E trans into. Here is a cost breakdown for my swap.
Nice breakdown. It's giving us guys that are thinking about it an idea of the costs. Keep 'em comin'.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:37 AM   #16
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

One thing that made me go the LSx route was the HP/TQ and my hope for MPGs in comparison to a very hot 350 or mild 383 and I would still have TH350.
I felt like the LSx swap would offer more power and overdrive than I could get for the money if spent on a 383.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:51 AM   #17
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

the route i have chosen to to NOT KEEP UP WITH TOTALS...... :-)
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:08 AM   #18
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

The LS swap into my 4X4 got put off to build my daughters 72 nova. I ended up installing a 5.3 and a 700r4 into her car first. I contacted a company called Wait4me performance for the wiring. http://www.wait4meperformance.com/.
At $360 was by far the best deal on the computer tune and harness modification I found. I sent them the computer and the stock harness and they trimmed the unneeded wires and tuned the pc to my setup, ie: cam, intake, trans ...
I sent off nearly every wire under the dash and in the engine compartment from the doner truck and when I got it back, the harness I was to use was seperated from the rest with easy to read labels. That 18 months ago and I just checked his website and it looks like his price hasn't changed. @ $360 nobody else comes close.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:05 PM   #19
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

when can i get motor mounts for a 5.3 to bolt up to 71 c10


and a tranny cross member?
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #20
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

see your other post
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:52 PM   #21
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan42 View Post
Nice breakdown. It's giving us guys that are thinking about it an idea of the costs. Keep 'em comin'.
x2

I like the break down with the part numbers.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:22 AM   #22
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

I think the original question concerned gas mileage, at least in part.
I have owned many 5.3 and 4.8 new GM trucks and SUVs. In those new vehicles, with very careful driving, I got 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, whether it was 4.8 or 5.3. Rear axle ratio is important -3.23 best for mpg, 3.73 worst. However, my latest new vehicle was a 2010 GMC Sierra Ext. Cab with 4.8 and 3.23, and that got 15.5 city and 19 highway. If I did more conventional (less stop and go) driving I think I would have gotten 17/23 on that vehicle also. I am very anal about keeping track of mpg, and drive like your grandma (not the one from Pasadena.)
Some practical considerations would rule out the LS swap for me. In AZ you are not allowed to swap engines according to emissions rules, even if the replacement engine produces less emissions. You must have factory original engine and all factory smog components in place. Some say they get through emissions with modified/newer engines, but I always get super inspected when I go to emissions and would never pass - plus I think there are technically fines for this kind of mod.
As stated above, mpg would not improve much for a swap, assuming you are comparing the engines in a lightweight 1/2 ton truck. Most old squares get 10-12 city, 13-15 highway - but I think you can do better with a V6 and open rear end and overdrive transmission - especially highway.
I only drive my truck about 3000 miles per year, but it is a 454/SM465 3/4 ton beast with a dump bed conversion, so it is suited for my limited purpose as is, even if it is only 8-11 mpg city - which is the only place I drive it. It sits idling at stop lights more the it drives down the road.
As most forum members posting here know, the greatest cost in owning these old squares is all of the non-drive train components - over time. All of the electrical/mechanical/interior trim parts add up over time. While this is ultimately true for any vehicle, it really makes more economic sense to buy a newer (or new) vehicle and limit your other expenses. Modern trucks with LS engines in decent shape go for $7-10K and you won't have to put much money in them if you get a good one.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:39 AM   #23
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

Great thread usmcchevy!
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:06 PM   #24
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

I'll have to get my spreadsheet at home.

However, my 68 didn't come with an engine or transmission so I would have had to spend a lot of the same money whether I went LSx, SBC, or BBC so to me it was a no brainer.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:55 PM   #25
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Re: LSx Swap cost FAQ

I need to take time and break my build down, I think it was around 8K total.
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