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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

Looking at some LS options for a build and wondered it there was any difference is the Cadillac vs Chevy 6.0?

I crossed referenced a few part numbers at rock auto and they all look the same. The project would be a square body 2500. I would be buying a complete vehicle as a donor. Any valuable do's and don'ts?

thanks,
Chris
 

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Always get the VIN of the donor vehicle, this will help later when buying parts. There have been reports of problems with the DoD and VVT but if you get one of those just delete it. Drive by wire or cable? Of course get the ECU, TAC and pedal for a wire drive. I like to use aftermarket harness because it will extend under the dash but you have room under the hood and could use the donor harness.
 

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Your probably thinking LQ4 vs LQ9.. The vin isn't where to check but rather the RPO code list which will be in the glove box..

LQ4 is dished pistons, and LQ9 ( Cadillac and some high level GMC's and Chevy's ) are flat top.

If your buying a donor vehicle it may not matter to you, but there is generally a 6.0L 'tax' on used engines, and the LQ9 is seen as gold, for it's 10 extra hp. A 5.3L can be had any day complete for $350, but a 6.0L you will be lucky to score for $800 unless you pull it out of the yard yourself. The 5.3L will do all of what you want once you swap a couple parts and eliminate the torque management
 

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I have read a few books, watched videos and talked with a few people about these engines. For all the information about them and it seems like just about every chassis platform you can think about has had a conversion done on it - these engines seem to continue to be confusing. Just as a question, if I wanted one of these engines why wouldn't I look for something out of a high-end Camaro or Corvette? Performance wise, would that not be a better base to start with? The other thing I don't understand is why on the LS engines is there some kind of plastic tray holding the lifters in place - it appears that a little bit of wear and the lifter/camshaft goes south on you? And last with the heads off, why does a LS engine look like a Ford Flathead? Did Ford actually have the right ideas back in '32?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
May i add another possible dumb question?

Is it the direct injection, head flow # or coil pack ignition that makes the power?

If I were to use a gen 1 block and AFR heads,, would i not be in the same range of flow and potential HP/Tq? The motor will not have power adders and never go over 5,000 rpm.

It is a truck, needs to be strong for towing a boat/camper occasionally not WOT racing and DD manners as well. If it were just the head flow #s, wouldn't an LS3 head be like sticking 220 AFRs on a motor and making it worse than 180s.
 

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Chris, you opened with a question regarding the LSX and now gen 1. I'll stick with the original and add a few things. Lets say you get an engine/trans combo for $1200 complete that has 100K on it. Harness will be $750, fuel system $300, motor mounts, etc $300 (stab). You now have a running LSX that will last over another 100K without even a plug change. Starts easy in any weather and delivers smooth drivability in any weather, any altitude. Now, add up the figures and see which one you want at what price.
 

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A doner 200k 5.3 with a harness and ecm can be had for $500.


A 5.3 will bolt right up to a sm465 or th400. The clutch and flywheel can be had for under $400 from O'Reilly.

Wiring can be done for under $100 to run the engine standalone in stock form once the ecm vats are removed for another $100. You need 6 wires.
You will need to splurge for a pump and tank as well as lines lets say $500.
And lets throw out $400 for other stuff like exhaust etc.

Even on the cheap you can expect $2000 with a "dumb" transmission. If you want performance or a smart transmissions then double or triple that number.
If that sounds high know that tbi fuel injection will run you around $1000 to run stand alone and is much more restricted. .

That being said the drivability is worth it.
 

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Harness will really cost $300 these days, and you can tune the VATS without HP Tuners now. If replacing a SBC, the mounts cost about $50. The radiator is special, but if you want EFI, the LS motor cannot be beat. You can have a running motor with a 'dumb' transmission or a manual for $1,500 and that motor will be making at least 300hp

As for spending the extra on a Camaro/ Corvette engine, that adds at least $2k to your total, and the engines are mechanically similar. The car engines are aluminum where the truck variants are usually iron.. Power differences is largely in the cylinder heads and cams which you can find good heads and something like a sloppy stage 2 cam to make a 5.3 run about 350hp
 

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I use Summits website. Gives you all the info you will need based on the 8th VIN character, you just need to decide which 6.0l suits your needs. You can swap intakes and all the accessories to suit your needs, but it gets expensive. Be aware that there are some 6.0l's that have Active Fuel Management and Variable Valve Timing. From what I've been reading, VVT is nice to have as long as you don't want a big cam. If yo buy a 6.0l with AFM, you will more than likely want to deactivate it.
I know my VIN. Which LS engine do I have?

Keith
 

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I bought a 01 2500HD this spring with a $3000 receipt for the 4l80 being rebiult and another $3000 one for the transfer case being rebuilt.

I paid $1500 for the truck and have around $400 into it.
The truck has the 6.0 with 300k on it. It is still in good condition. But I know it will eventually die.

Now if this had a 5.3 the engine would have been replaced by now. But because I am cheap and 6.0s are not due mostly to availability the 300k engine still sits under that hood until i find a cheap 6.0 longblock locally.
To swap in a junkyard 5.3 and run it with the current transmission I am looking at around $1500.
If your going to swap in a engine forget the 6.0 and run a 5.3. You can do something like run a bit of boost making more power then the NA 6.0 will and if you nuke some pistons you can find a $500 5.3 the next day.
Finding a $500 6.0 is going to take a while.
 

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Hello all,

Looking at some LS options for a build and wondered it there was any difference is the Cadillac vs Chevy 6.0?

I crossed referenced a few part numbers at rock auto and they all look the same. The project would be a square body 2500. I would be buying a complete vehicle as a donor. Any valuable do's and don'ts?

thanks,
Chris
Chris, any 6.0 will work for what you're doing. A truck cam and set of headers will add about 50hp over stock with a good tune. It would be easiest for you if you found an older LQ4 that has a drive by cable. Also, for the purpose of ease, avoid a VVT or DOD motor, basically '07 or older. A VVT motor will pose no problems if your cam choice is mild, but you will want to delete the AFM(DOD) setup.
Regarding a Cad, or Camaro engine or whatever, a standard truck engine will be fine and much more economical.

I have read a few books, watched videos and talked with a few people about these engines. For all the information about them and it seems like just about every chassis platform you can think about has had a conversion done on it - these engines seem to continue to be confusing. Just as a question, if I wanted one of these engines why wouldn't I look for something out of a high-end Camaro or Corvette? Performance wise, would that not be a better base to start with? The other thing I don't understand is why on the LS engines is there some kind of plastic tray holding the lifters in place - it appears that a little bit of wear and the lifter/camshaft goes south on you? And last with the heads off, why does a LS engine look like a Ford Flathead? Did Ford actually have the right ideas back in '32?
The 'best engine to start with' depends on your goals. The OP is looking for a low rpm truck motor - this implies that most anything will work. Would a stock supercharged LS9 be better? Sure would, but look at the price. For a max effort NA motor, then 6.0, 6.2, or 7.0 square port. The cathedral port though is what shines on the bottom end and with boost.

Regarding the plastic lifter trays, yeah, they are chincey, but they work forever at normal rpm ranges, and they are darn cheap, less than $25 to replace, when spinning a lot of rpms. I've found the silly valley cover odd as well - there is no real purpose to it. And the swap of cam sensor location, and change from 12v to 5v reference for the cam and crank sensor is more seemingly unnecessary upgrades. Have to assume that those changes had a real benefit for GM.
There is definitely some confusion about all of the minor changes, but they are not much more significant than the Gen1 2 piece vs 1 piece rear main, and roller vs non roller block, TBI vs. TPI vs. LT1 changes IMO. Having to learn all of the differences is worth the head and intake performance advantage of the LS.
 

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It works like this. Want an LS2 but don't care if it's iron, start with an LQ9 6.0L, add 243 heads, an LS2 camshaft and a car intake and you basically get an LS2. Do it up cheaper, with an LQ4 but you'll drop compression a little bit. The car intake is optional. The truck intakes make more low RPM torque
 

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Hello all,

Looking at some LS options for a build and wondered it there was any difference is the Cadillac vs Chevy 6.0?

I crossed referenced a few part numbers at rock auto and they all look the same. The project would be a square body 2500. I would be buying a complete vehicle as a donor. Any valuable do's and don'ts?

thanks,
Chris
The Cad and Chev engines are the same, apart from the plastic covers.
Excellent choice to look at a 6.0L. Yes, the 5.3 is cheaper, but if you buy a complete donor vehicle, it may not matter much.
It is by the way an excellent idea to buy a complete, running, donor vehicle, you can easily transfer parts at your own pace from one to the other. You hopefully will even be able to use things like fuel tank and fuel pump, radiator, fuse box, O2 sensors... Saves money and make the whole thing still run like in the original vehicle. Maybe even swap the seats!
A 4X4 truck will have a slightly different trans (tail-shaft housing) than a 2 wheel drive, easy to solve but you need to know.
To keep it simple, you can reuse the orignal harness, which will keep the computer under the hood (good thing, bad thing, depends on your preference). Many companies can re-program your computer (remove the anti-theft system, called VATS, remove 2 02 sensors out of 4...) and clean-up your harness (I have used Speartech, great place).
If it is your first swap (or first EFI swap), keep it simple, keep it all stock at first, to make sure it all works as it should.
Enjoy!
 
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