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Old 06-23-2014, 09:22 AM
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Building a junkyard Turbo LSx engine ( what’s all needed )

If you were to start building a junkyard LSx turbo beast what the most cost effective solution to a decent build. I have seen some crazy cheap prices on HotRodders describing 500-700 hp turbo LSx engines.

I say we start with the engine and move out from the power plant in parts.

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Old 06-23-2014, 09:36 AM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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do you want 500hp or 700hp?
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:11 AM
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Yea 200hp is a big jump! But either way it varies a ton depending on your mechanical ability and tuning knowledge.

All your questions have been answered a million times over on LS1tech.com. Look in the forced induction section. You can also type any of the items below in google. I'm not going to paste in a million links.

Cheapest setup IMO would to build your own blow through carb. Run alcohol based fuel (E85) and no intercooler and meth/water injection on top. Easily make 700hp any LS platform doing this. A little knowledge goes a long way! You'd have to research carb tuning in depth to get your cruise dialed in and have it work well with boost.

Fuel injection is going to cost some money up front no way around that.

2 most popular ECU's IMO.

HP tuners is $650 and it uses the OEM harness and ECU. It will also control the transmission if you retain the newer computer controlled trans. (Probably easiest route)

Mega squirt has many different ECU boxes ranging from $200-1200. You can get by with a basic MS & harness for $380. You have to do the wiring though. Also depends what year LS engine you want to run and how you want to run it. If you batch fire the ignition and injectors it's much cheaper than sequential. You'll need the $700 MS3 box to do this. Which is why I think HP tuners is a better route for most.

Ebay has all of this...

80lb injectors are $325 shipped and will support big power with enough pressure. (800+ on E85)
Fuel pumps will be around 300-1000+ depending on how fancy you go. 2 walbro 450 intank pumps will support 700hp on E85 with the above injectors and cost about $130 each.

Fabricating manifolds is a waste of time and money unless you plan on making over 1200hp. Not going to do that with a budget JY stock LS anyway. Use the factory manifolds, they flow PLENTY. Many even retain the OEM manifold flanges to save a little money. I chopped them off and welded Vbands to them.

Use mild aluminized steel at 2"-2.25" for your hotside. 2" is fine for 600-700hp. The turbo is the restriction, not the headers/collectors/hotside. Using huge piping slows gas velocity and will make a "lag monster". Remember inside the scroll of the turbo can neck down as small as 1.3", running a 3" hotside and huge headers isn't going to help when all the exhaust is forced through a tiny opening downstream. It's not an NA motor don't treat it like one.

Along the same lines you don't need huge after market throttle bodies, intakes, or intercooler piping. 2.5-3" is plenty for cold side piping on a typical LS JY motor. Intercoolers, wastegates, blow off valves, flanges, alum piping, and couplers are also all found cheaply on Ebay.

Toots performance (again...on ebay) sells large diameter piping for the down pipe(s). I got a set of 10 assorted 4" 90's and straights for $65 shipped. This is basically waste material from his shop so it changes all the time. You just have to watch his ebay listings closely.

If you can fabricate reasonably well, get yourself a cheap mig welder. (I used a Hobart 140a you don't need 220v to weld with it). Harbor freight chop saw and sawzall. Then go to town. My hot side was done in a day and cost me roughly $250 including shipping. I used vbands,flexjoints, and fancy flanges that made it easy. It could be done for MUCH less. All is documented on my build thread with pictures.

79 RX-7 LS 5.3 Turbo Build


You can get a basic starter kit here. Id highly suggest this kit for a beginner. This kit will Easily make 600ftlb on pump gas 5.3 with meth/water injection.

VS Racing

Last edited by ForceFed86; 06-23-2014 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:36 AM
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Whats the best block ( or vehicle/year to look for ) low compression? I'm sure you don't want to boost a 10.1:1 engine that much.

I will most likely do a crab considering I am very comfortable with them.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:04 PM
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Any LS block (alum or iron) will handle 700+ easily, even the 6 cyl. The true LS1’s have thin sleeves and are usually expensive. I’d stay away from those blocks. Alum 5.3’s are fine, and sometimes come with the performance casting LS heads (243). These aren’t necessary for your goals, but are nice if you can find a set. For someone starting out with a turbo motor, I’d suggest the 4.8. They are all iron blocks with flat top pistons. Since they are the smallest, they are the least desirable LS engine. They are also setup the best for turbo cheap turbo applications in the 600-700hp range IMO. They rev higher (shorter stroke/longer rod) so you won’t need an expensive converter to couple at low rpm.

Desired compression will depend on the motor you choose, fuel being used, amount of boost run, and ability to tune. Some gen3 5.3’s had dished pistons, I believe all the Gen4 engines (2005+) have flat top pistons. For a 600ftlb or so goal, 10:1 is fine for pump gas if you use an intercooler and meth injection.

The only way you’ll drop compression cheaply is to run a 6.0 head with a 71cc chamber (317) or a custom head gasket. End compression will vary depending on which motor you go with. I ran a dished piston 5.3 with 6.0 MLS gasket and 6.0 317 heads last year. Motor was 8.6:1. That’s as low as your going to get without custom parts.

LS1 Info and Specifications - SMOKEmUP.com

The rods in the gen3 iron 5.3/6.0/4.8 gen1 motors tend to bend around 700ftlb or so. (some get away with more... alot more) Some let go sooner if you don't have the car tuned well or run into detonation. The alum L33 Gen3 motors have stronger rods and floating pistons. And are still a 24t crank and 1 tooth cam setup.

All 2005+ are considered gen4 motors and should have the stronger rods and floating pistons. They are a 58t crank trigger and a 4 tooth cam trigger. Most of these motors also have the Drive on demand option and some have variable valve timing. All of this will need to be removed. You can see how to do this in my build thread. Gen 4 stuff seems to hold up well into the 900whp range if you dont' get into detonation. Some pushing over 1000 at the wheels going by weight and trap speeds. .

Last edited by ForceFed86; 06-23-2014 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:39 PM
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Cool deal, I don't think I will trust a stock LS1 rotating assemble past 500whp. Maybe the good LSX stuff is fine, but finding a LS1 in good shape in the DC metro area for $500 is a rare find. Most of the dealers and engine builders get there hands on them first.

I tend to like to run around on the streets having fun and not see how long a engine can last before it breaks. But I guess if you have a garage and don't mind pulling motors out every year have at it.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:42 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerS10 View Post
Cool deal, I don't think I will trust a stock LS1 rotating assemble past 500whp. Maybe the good LSX stuff is fine, but finding a LS1 in good shape in the DC metro area for $500 is a rare find. Most of the dealers and engine builders get there hands on them first.

I tend to like to run around on the streets having fun and not see how long a engine can last before it breaks. But I guess if you have a garage and don't mind pulling motors out every year have at it.
you're not listening AT ALL. FORGET LS1!!!

5.3L or 4.8L are the cheap way in, and they last longer. $500 bucks for either, the '05+ stuff will cost more, but you're still only looking at about 1K.

fab up the mild steel pipes for plumbing, get a decently matched ebay special turbo and run it at 7psi om premium (93+ octane)- easily over your 500hp goal.

you can also do a budget cam swap to help meet the goal with less boost.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerS10 View Post
Cool deal, I don't think I will trust a stock LS1 rotating assemble past 500whp. Maybe the good LSX stuff is fine, but finding a LS1 in good shape in the DC metro area for $500 is a rare find. Most of the dealers and engine builders get there hands on them first.

I tend to like to run around on the streets having fun and not see how long a engine can last before it breaks. But I guess if you have a garage and don't mind pulling motors out every year have at it.
Anything you race will break, just depends how hard you push it. I was pushing mine well past the "safe" levels suggested above. And it lasted all year at those levels with quite a bit of street driving as well. I believe my timing chain failed due to my antilag/2 step hammering the crap out of it.

As I said LS1's (5.7) are garbage. Look at truck 4.8's and 5.3's. They are dirt cheap... everywhere! Brief craigslist search in your area brings up 3 5.3's in that area $700-800. Junk yards ALL have these motors. GM made bazillions of them. You can have one to your doorstep reasonably via ebay as well.

Smallish Cam, headers, and heads on a 5.3 will make over 500hp NA.

Heres some interesting literature for you about how much power the LS motors can handle in JY form. I wouldn't sweat 500hp levels personally.

Heres 1300HP on 70+ dyno pulls on a 5.3

Vortec 5.3L - Big Bang - Truckin Magazine

Heres 1200hp on 70+ dyno pulls from a 4.8.

Stock GM LS Engine - Big Bang Theory - Hot Rod Magazine
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:56 PM
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you're not listening AT ALL. FORGET LS1!!!

5.3L or 4.8L are the cheap way in, and they last longer. $500 bucks for either, the '05+ stuff will cost more, but you're still only looking at about 1K.

fab up the mild steel pipes for plumbing, get a decently matched ebay special turbo and run it at 7psi om premium (93+ octane)- easily over your 500hp goal.

you can also do a budget cam swap to help meet the goal with less boost.
Honestly man when I do decide to build a LSwhatever engine I'm most likely not going to use junk parts. I rather do it with good stuff once and have it for many years to come.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:58 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Originally Posted by TylerS10 View Post
Honestly man when I do decide to build a LSwhatever engine I'm most likely not going to use junk parts. I rather do it with good stuff once and have it for many years to come.
that is the good stuff!!!

1000+hp on mostly stock parts isn't the ****ty stuff.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:36 PM
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http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hpe-sp19/overview/

That's probably what I would start with and get a set of ported heads and slowly build it. I'm not a big fan of salvage parts that is all i'm saying.

I see your building a LT1 though I have one sitting as a backup motor myself.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:02 PM
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There is a certain sense of satisfaction you get when you can cruise to and from the track and spank the beejebus out of $60,000 trailer queens in a junkyard turbo car... Salvage parts and all!

Last edited by ForceFed86; 06-23-2014 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:42 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hpe-sp19/overview/

That's probably what I would start with and get a set of ported heads and slowly build it. I'm not a big fan of salvage parts that is all i'm saying.

I see your building a LT1 though I have one sitting as a backup motor myself.
the only new parts in my lt1 are pistons, rings, bearings, gaskets, rockers, pushrods, springs, oil pump, and that's about it. I almost never buy new parts if I can help it. I prefer to do my shopping at a salvage yard with a wrench.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:36 AM
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the only new parts in my lt1 are pistons, rings, bearings, gaskets, rockers, pushrods, springs, oil pump, and that's about it. I almost never buy new parts if I can help it. I prefer to do my shopping at a salvage yard with a wrench.
Have at it then dude, I rather ship it to my door and drink beer.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:02 AM
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Then why start a thread asking about building junkyard engines? If it’s shipped to your door it’s not a “Junkyard turbo LSX” . The “performance engine” you listed has and OE crank, Rod, and hyper pistons for 2k? Probably the weak rods as well, sounds like a rip off to me. You wanted something cost effective. A 2k stock shortblock doesn't fit that bill.

Especially when A $600 gen4 4.8 with 200k miles on it will run circles around that short block IMO.

But I must admit, I'm with you. If I had a spare 2k laying around I'd prefer to drink beer as well!
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