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Old 02-02-2009, 09:20 AM
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g body motor upgrade, gen1,lt, or ls?

I am a new to this forum and have a few older model vehicles that require constant attention. my stable consists of the following: 1999 pontiac grand am gt w/ 3.4, 1986 k10 longbed with a fresh 305, 2004 gt mustang, and a 1983 elcamino with the 3.8 231 buick motor.
me and a few buddies recently installed the 305 in my truck. that went off with a few glitches.... the motor was supposed to be a 350 but it wasn't. i paid my father in law 500 dollars for that motor and a th350 that has 1k miles on it. so i thought it all evened out? hard to ***** at family members and get away with it.
my question is in regards to the elcamino. i (we) are wondering if putting a lt1 is a doable thing with a 2000.00dollar budget? i already have the motor.
or should i stick with a gen1 motor?
I really would like to have this as a daily driver seeing as my truck (K10) gets a whopping 13 mpg.
thanks for responding.
PS. I still have the 305 on a stand in my shop.

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Old 02-02-2009, 10:03 AM
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For the sake of installation, an LT1 is basically the same as a Gen 1 with a one-piece rear main. If the LT1 came from an F-body (camaro/firebird) they use an offset right motor mount. The block has the bosses for the normal gen1 style mount, but some Fbodys those bosses aren't drilled and tapped. If they are drilled and tapped, its a bolt-in swap. make sure you have the proper metric bolt pattern on the torque converter (or a flexplate with the old pattern on it) and bolt it in place.

An LT1 is basically a gen1 1-piece rear engine as far as how things bolt up to it. The rotating assemblies are interchangable, as are the valvetrains. The heads bolt on, but don't interchange at all... water passages are totally different. The cam snout and water pump are different as well. The reason I mention all this is that (although its an awesome engine) you can get the same performance out of a Gen1 for less money if you're starting from scratch. The LT1 aluminum heads are just a slight bit better than the TPI heads. The LT1 iron heads are a lot better since they are nearly identical to Vortecs. So, functionally, an LT1 is a gen1 sbc with its own unique heads and EFI intake.

But, if you already have the LT1... then heck yeah. It can be done for a lot less than $2000. Its basically a drop in, physically speaking. You'll have to engineer a fuel system and hook up a computer, but should be pretty simple.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:32 AM
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Yah you could even use megasquirt as an ecu and save some money there as well. DO IT!!!
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
my question is in regards to the elcamino. i (we) are wondering if putting a lt1 is a doable thing with a 2000.00dollar budget? i already have the motor.
or should i stick with a gen1 motor?
I really would like to have this as a daily driver seeing as my truck (K10) gets a whopping 13 mpg.
thanks for responding.
PS. I still have the 305 on a stand in my shop.
When you say you "already have the motor", which one are you talking that you have? I guess I'm a bit confused because you mention an ls1 as well as the LT1. Just a bit of clarity please.



In a while, Chet.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:07 PM
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You may consider looking at the LQ4 engine out of a late model chevy/gmc p/u. The LQ4 is basically the same engine as the LS1 except for an iron block. I was watching one of those goofy hotrod shows on Spike tv over the weekend. They purchased a complete turnkey LQ4 out of an 05 chevy p/u for $1200 including the ecu, sensors and harness. They did a simple refresh which basically consisted of new gaskets, new oil pump, honing the cylinders, new timing set and an overall clean up of the parts that were going to be reused and came in well under the $2000 mark. After the rebuild they dynoed it and I believe it put out somewhere around 385 horsepower and torque somewhere between 300-400 ft/pounds (don't remember exactly).

Now I'll give it that buying a used engine is always a gamble, but many of the auto recyclers give a decent warranty if your dealing with a reputable company.

One other thing to consider regarding the LS series engines is that many companies are now mass manufacturing parts to convert them to carb'd setups if you don't want to deal with the fuel injection.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:19 PM
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Along with what DaSouth said, the parts are available to convert a LS engine to use a distributor, eliminating the need for any engine computer.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:50 AM
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let me clarify....

1986 K-10 w/ fresh H.O. 305//fresh 700r4// 203 transfer case.
1999 Grand Am GT/ wifes daily driver
2004 Mustang GT/ 4.6/ 5 speed? . not a Motorcraft guy yet... still learning sbc's
1983 Elcamino/ 3.8-231 Buick/

I have the 305 that came out of my 4x4 in the garage on a stand. after pulling a head, i barely felt any wear at the top of the cylinders.

I want to put a lt1 in the elky or a ls1.. both are at the junk yard of a reputable dealer.

My ol'lady has been frowning at the thought of spending a ton of money on this build. with that said, i can get the LT1 for $1500 or the LS1 for $3500. both have harness/ecu.

I just want to end up with a daily driver that has power and is economical to drive.

I installed the motor in my truck last week, and it went off with only a few glitches. and i think i am capable, with the right information, of installing one of the fuel injected models.... i hope.

am i asking too much with a $2000 budget, post motor purchase?
we get scared because we saw the exact vehicle we want to end up costing 10k
Thanks 4 responding
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol'wood75
I just want to end up with a daily driver that has power and is economical to drive.
I think the LT1 and LS1 would both give you what you're looking for. But if it were up to me I think the LS1 would be a much cooler project. If the LT1 was taken care of it should give you plenty of life in the Camino. It's not uncommon to see an L98 or LT1 with 200k+ miles that run as smooth as the day it left the factory. The roller cam engines seem to last forever compared to the old flat tappets. One thing I would find out, especially with the LT1, is what it came out of. The police interceptor Caprice came with an LT1. If that is the original source of this engine I would probably consider looking elsewhere due to the fact that the coppers beat the pants off of these cars and the idled for long periods of time routinely. The LS1 block is built like Fort Knox and is a great foundation, even in stock form, to build into an awsome street motor that would run circles around the LT1. The LT1 has the optispark distributor which can be an expensive repair should yours get wet or go bad. They are notoriously delicate, and even on a good day your looking at a $500 repair. Another thing to consider is any car before 96 had OBD-I diagnostics, except for possibly the Corvette. I'm going off a foggy memory, but I seem to remember the Corvette going to OBD-II either a year early or a year late. Regardless, the OBD-II gives you a much better handle on programming and diagnostics. Kinda like puttin in an Apple IIc when you could put in 4ghz quad-core processor.

In the end, if your doing the labor yourself, your looking at basically the same amount of work to put either one in. Don't know what your budget is like but I would probably try to talk the salvage yard down on the LS1 and see what you can come up with. You'll be much happier in the long run with the power your able to squeeze out, be up to snuff in the tech dept, and have a much more unique ride.

I took a look to see if I could find where "powerblock tv" on spike came up with the LQ4 for $1200 and found their source:

Certified Auto Recycling
Web: Certified Auto Recycling
Phone: 800-632-2091
-6.0 Liter LQ4 recycled from 2005 GMC Sierra.

I know nothing of this company other than what I saw on the show, but it may be beneficial to your wallet to give them a call and see if they can in fact offer what was shown on the episode "Boneyard Bowtie". lol

Last edited by DaSouthWon; 02-03-2009 at 10:43 AM. Reason: add'l info
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:50 AM
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I installed an LS-1 in my 1935 sedan over six years ago, I'll never regret it. The car is fast, gets over 20 mpg and is DIFFERENT.

Now I'm building an LQ9 (6.0L) stroker engine for it.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:22 PM
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strock the 305 and call it quits.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:16 PM
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I think the LS1 will make more sense in the future but, for now its probably not going to fit into your budget as easily as others.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:02 PM
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The LT1s came in Corvettes from 1992-1996, as well as F Bodies and Impala SS.

The issue is the Optispark on the LT1 is a PIA. The heads are different, it's reverse flow cooling. Honestly, I'd take the LT1 off the table and look at an LSX or a Gen 1. Parts are cheaper and easier to come by.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:04 AM
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thanks guys/gals. i talked to a local salvage and they quoted me 2000.00 for the 5.3 ls and tranny out of a 2002 tahoe. he also shot the lt motor down for the ignition problems.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:15 AM
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I bought a '96 Vette LT1 a few years ago for my Hudson Coupe project, but its been sidelined for awhile due to a recent disability situation. But, since I already have it, I'm going to stick it in my son's '56 Dodge CRL. Wish I would have waited 'til the LS1 came out cheaper than they were at the time, but didn't think I was going to have to wait on the Hud project so long. I know the LT1 can have expensive ignition issues, but the cash was already spent. I still think its a great motor and have no problem running it. I would take the LS1 if I had the chance though, they are much cheaper these days than a few years ago.
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