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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Yeah, as far as sixes go, I actually considered a 292 and really only because I like "different" stuff to what everyone is using. My experience, years ago, is that a 6 gets bad gas mileage, probably not much better than an 8 and of course there is always the power issue. Whatever I do with this truck, it will be more of an occasional cruiser than a daily driver/long trip vehicle. Also, I realize many guys are of the thought when power is concerned, that "too much is just enough". While I do like power, most any Chevy V8, small block, big block or W engine, with a few mods will do what I will be doing with this truck. In fact, if I decided to go with a 6, I would probably not even use the Camaro clip and build it back all stock, which I haven't completely ruled out. Decisions, decisions..... . Anyway, thanks again for your input. Whichever way I finally decide to go, all this will be considered. Foss
 

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Let me make a suggestion since its a truck and you like old school stuff. Look around for a decent 472/500 Cadillac. They are actually a pretty light engine for their displacement and basically about 50 lbs heavier than a smallblock Chevy. They are generally low compression with lots of torque and can get decent gas mileage with the right rear end. You can find running ones for $500/$700 often with a usable Turbo 400 trans. I'd buy an adapter and use a later overdrive, but even with a 3:00 rear gear they will cruise well. Buy an Edelbrock intake $400 . If you plan to rev it up above 4500 rpms you will need new springs and upgraded rocker arms. Stock rocker system is total junk for anything over 4500. If you have to hone it and rering it, its still cheap. Also want to upgrade ignition if you get an early one. Basically available 1969-1975. A lot of people have put them in all kinds of trucks and really like them. Lots of power and regular gas. A lot of guys build them for performance and keep low compression.
 

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I have a 68 472 that I have reluctantly put up for sale because despite being a great engine in a squarebody there are issues that have kept it on the shop floor collecting dust.

The thing is by the time I change the valves install a aluminum intake, install the recurved hei distributor, replace the timing chain, a special (heavy) flywheel, oil pan, weld up some custom headers, and squeeze the thing into a engine bay, I will have at least $1500 into the thing if not $2000.
It still would need to pull 93 through the 750 carb and it is still limited to 4000 rpm unless I play with oiling mods which really require a rebuild/refresh.

On paper that $1500 is not that bad. But my engines get ran hard. Often clutches last around 10k with the engine needing some work or replacment by the 2nd or third clutch.

The reason the 472 has sat on the floor is not because of the 472 is bad. It is because while I can still get a replacment running longblock for $500. I can trip over a dozen 5.3's before finding that one.

A 5.3 is a plug and play kind of thing. I can have a single digit turbocharged 5.3 with a stock bottom end and factory cam that I score the cylinders on.

No big deal. Swap the topend onto a $500 5.3 off marketplace. Turn the key and have minimal if any tuning easily doing it in a weekend.

A high compression 472 or low compression 500 is going to need some work/parts to reach the old engines power level as well as several hours/days of tuning.

The 472 has been a "someday" engine. But I have run out of things I would rather have that in instead of a mild boosted 5.3.

I know 472/500 vs 5.3 I can save both time and cost by the 2nd engine saving even more by the 3rd using a 5.3.

To be fair the 472's case is the same with several carburated engines even a SBC. There are just fewer out and the ones you do find are smog or have a ton of mods with lots of unknowns as fas as what those mods are. You may spend days playing detective if you need to replace parts(I been there). A "built" drop in 350 to 400hp sbc will cost me around $1000 and will take me 4 to 6 weeks to source. For half that I can find a 5.3 and have it running within a weekend.

The diffrence comes in driveablity. A 30 to 50 degree diffrence in temp as well as moisture is a daily thing in Michigan. A LS can adjust for that change better then a carburatior can.
You can have a general tune that runs good at the end of both the temps. But then your leaving power on the table not running a ideal mix. The guys who have ran a blow through carb in the morning may find they are making more power then they intend to make when the car is tuned to run in the afternoon.
 

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Cerial, he doesn't have to do all those things to put one in Chevy truck.

1. He doesn't need to change the flywheel as the stock flexplate will work. If he modifies the engine for more power, flexplates are cheap. In your situation you are talking about a flywheel and a manual transmission and both items will cost more whether its for any Chevy or Cadillac.

2. There is no need to change the valves in most of these engines as most of them only have 70K or so miles. Just a standard valve job and maybe clean up the ports. Buy a $400 intake and rebuild the stock carb or an aftermarket carb or even a stand alone injection.

If he gets an LS it will most likely have 175,000 miles on it. He will have to EITHER buy an aluminum intake and carb OR convert his truck to fuel injection. If carbureted, he will need to buy components to control the ignition. Just changing an LS to a carb and getting the necessary components for the ignition will cost the $1500 you mentioned. If injected he will need to add an electric fuel pump and new fuel plumbing.

3. He can use the stock exhaust manifolds or buy headers. That is true whether he runs an LS or a Cadillac. You can buy ceramic shortie headers for either engine for the same price. In fact I think I have seen Cads cheaper.


Someone who is very familiar with LS engines can swap around and come out with a reasonably low budget swap, but all the additional components and complexity will quickly drive the average builders costs way over $1500. Really, almost any decent swap is going to exceed $1500 for most people. Most people expect to spend some money to make a swap anyway. For most people its going to be far simpler to put a carbureted Cadillac into a truck cheaply than an LS. I'm doing both, so I know what the real world costs are.

He could bolt a running Cad into the truck without changing anything and have an enjoyable vehicle to drive. The costs just depend on how good an engine he finds and whether he wants to do any upgrades........which can be done after installation if he wants. Like I said, there are a lot of trucks out there running basiclly stock Cads.........and luvin it.
 

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Cerial, he doesn't have to do all those things to put one in Chevy truck.

1. He doesn't need to change the flywheel as the stock flexplate will work. If he modifies the engine for more power, flexplates are cheap. In your situation you are talking about a flywheel and a manual transmission and both items will cost more whether its for any Chevy or Cadillac.
On something with a tight tunnel my mind goes to a manual. But your correct a th400 will work just fine after a bit of massaging.

QUOTE="ekimneirbo, post: 4804292, member: 435705"]
2. There is no need to change the valves in most of these engines as most of them only have 70K or so miles. Just a standard valve job and maybe clean up the ports. Buy a $400 intake and rebuild the stock carb or an aftermarket carb or even a stand alone injection.

If he gets an LS it will most likely have 175,000 miles on it. He will have to EITHER buy an aluminum intake and carb OR convert his truck to fuel injection. If carbureted, he will need to buy components to control the ignition. Just changing an LS to a carb and getting the necessary components for the ignition will cost the $1500 you mentioned. If injected he will need to add an electric fuel pump and new fuel plumbing.

[/QUOTE]

The 68 I have will at the bate minimum need exhaust valves to run on todays fuels.

I bought a 76 500 after buying the 68 472 because it had unleaded valves, and hei. Lower compression engine of course but I saved money. That was a $350 engine with a th400 that I adapted to the transfer case in a $500 84 K5. I beat the snot out of it for a summer before that timing chain I knew was old and should have replaced jumped and I bent some valves. Sold that pile for $900 and moved on.

That $1500 is everything including a $500 motor, harness, pcm, removing the vats, egr, transmission, fuel tank modification, and a inline pump. From there your making mounts. Realistically $3000 is a perfered number for a LS swap. But like I said it is not about the first engine it is about the 2nd.
That 2nd will only cost you $500 and you have a ton of spare parts from the old engine you can still use.

A 472 or 500 will cost you $500. But your going to need to put another $500+ into that engine to make that shortblock something that will be reliable to drive out of state.
472/500 parts are not cheap.

Those extra parts like the intake, carb, alternatior and distributor are all old tech that while they will work. If your running electric fans or such I would be running a cs130/144 then a 63/96amp s10 alternatior.

The LS shortblock is rather sound and you can save that $500 and time for other things.

It comes down to how much and how hard he plans on driving it. If he just wants 3000 miles a year taking the occasional 60 mile Sunday drive then the cad may be for him.

If he wants to go out of state then the LS may be a better choice.

What I like about the LS is they did a great job at the design.
If I have a bad injectior, throttle body, or such I can pull the entire intake and swap it for another one in a hour tops. Most of the things on a LS can be done in a fraction of the time it takes to do the same things on a older engine.

I was really hoping and expecting that with the C8 they would finally embrace the 4.2 (LTA) forced DOHV engine in the CT6. With this engine eventually working into the trucks and high end cars becoming a few million strong. But that fizzled and the whole engine production died. To late to the game and they are just going to continue the old ICE V8 tooling at this point.

OHV would have the potential to take a already simple to work on engine just a bit further. But at this point they are just eliminating stock and ramping up resources for electric. The LTA is just one of a long list of GM's potential great ideas that eventually failed to be optimized.
I do feel if that would have become widespread it had potential to be a street friendly 650hp 800ftlb engine.

As far as the best LS. The LTA is it in my book.


But for a swap a simple pre VVT 5.3 engine works rather well and is dumb enough to make decent power per dollar.
 

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You make some good points Cerial. I think either swap should be started with the idea that a reasonable amount of money is going to need to be invested. The one thing you mentioned that I didn't was the Cadillac Timing chain. Thats a definite replacement item before installing any Cad engine. They had some funky plastic that breaks after this much time. A top quality replacement is about $125 while a decent one is about $75. When they ultimately do break (and they will), then you have big problems with valves and pushrods. As for the exhaust valves, lot of guys on the "Cadillac 472/500" Facebook site are running stock exhaust valves with no problems. So we'll just have to respect one anothers opinions based on different experiences.:)

Anyone interested in swapping a 472/500 Cad should check out this site and order their $5 catalog which has a lot of information on what Cad engines were made/what years. Cheap source of info before wading in. The companies name is CadCo (Cad Company). Very legitimate site. There was a company named Cadillac High Performance that used to be reputable but a change in ownership resulted in a lot of disappointed customers. Lots of people never got their orders or a refund. I had problems with them on a $2700 order but since I used Paypal, I was able to recoup my money. The owner apparently started another company with a different name. Be sure you know something about who you are buying from, not just a fancy website. CadCo seems to be the best source for information and parts if you want to look into a Cad. Cad Company Cadillac 472 500 Parts Catalog



As far as the "best" LS engine version goes, there is no way to answer that question because different people want to accomplish different things. I would stay away from aluminum block versions simply because they have minimal ability to be overbored......in fact most can only be honed slightly (.010). So they give very little room for rebuilding . That said, I have two brand new and one used aluminum blocks.
Best bet IF you can find one reasonably is a 6.0 cast iron version. Most likely you will end up with a 5.3 cast iron. Either of those are excellent choices. You also can't believe what anyone says about the mileage on them, so buy with the idea that you are rolling the dice and probably need to rebuild.


Few years back, a friend recommended a nearby truck junkyard to me in my search for a 6.0/6.2 liter LS. The turd behind the counter told me he had one but didn't know the mileage. He printed the info out and summoned a yard worker. He had not heard the turd tell me he didn't know the mileage. As we were looking at the vehicle and engine I mentioned wishing I knew the mileage. He said, "Oh its right on this sheet, 150K "or something like that. The office guy had said the speedo was damaged in the wreck and that was why he didn't know the mileage. On the way back to the office I spied another (an Escalade) and looked at it. When I returned to the office I inquired about the other engine and was told the same lies. Don't know, speedo broke etc. I walked out.

Found one at a yard about 200 miles away. Newer, low mileage and quite a bit more expensive and with a 6L90 transmission. Drove up there and it was the most immaculate junkyard I ever saw. The office area and shop were clean and neat and they were very professional. Decided to "roll the dice". The engine and trans appeared very clean (not pressure washed clean), but just clean enough for me to believe them. So if you buy an LS, look for the telltale signs of dirt and grease buildup in the corners and crevices when anyone tells you its a low mileage engine..........
 

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For sure........here's a "126 K" example.....



Light Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior
 
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The odometer and trip led's love to dim to where you can not read them on early LS.

The mileage should be stored on the ecm and can be checked when you remove the vats.

Some ecm's you may able to see the mileage with a scan tool some odometers even be "corrected" after a engine rebuild/swap.

My 01 2500HD has around 315k currently. It was used as a plow truck, then transported cars, then played in the mud(both diffs welded), before I finally made it into a backup driver/tow pig.

Not a easy life of highway miles.

I believe the 6.0 engine is orgional(everything else has been rebuilt) and the engine does burn half a quart every 3k.
I change the oil every 3k. I use walmart "super tech" synthic oil(cheap) with a "big" ac delco filter. I change the oil at 3k because last time I checked the actual oil filter design/filtering has not changed since the 70's. Bobs backwoods special lube may say it last 12,000 but I will still change the oil every 3k just to be safe and keep that engine clean. It is only a hour and $20 to do a change and I see no reason why I wont get 350k out of that thing before it burns a valve, head gasket, the 80e dies, or I put it into some trees/roll.

The 89 c30(r30) (eventually getting a 5.3) is the 01's replacment as I dont need for 4wd with a towpig. That 01's front diff makes it a pain to work on. Once the 89 is up and running I may turn the 01 into a big snow blower/crane for around the yard where 4wd will be more useful.
 

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I was under the impression mileage was only in the odometer on the dash. I have HP Tuners and have not come across mileage anywhere.
 

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It is in the cluster on a Lm7. My mistake I was thinking of imports.

I was thinking vin. Thats stored on the pcm so you can (potentially) see exactly what engine you have if you bought a engine/harness/pcm on a shop floor.

On a LS mileage is just stored in the cluster. Pull a higher mileage cluster out of a truck and plug it into your truck and it will show the higher mileage.

One of those things you expect it would store the lets say 2kb of odometer data when you shut off the truck(overwriting previous) so you could retrieve it. Oh well tap on the cluster sometimes they light up for a second so you can get the mileage.
 

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It allows shyster's to swap clusters when selling vehicles.

My PCM was swapped for one from a 4.8L so I had to change engine specs.
 

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When I was very young and people actually hung around gas stations, there was a guy who changed his oil religiously every thousand miles. Had the stickers lined up under the hood. The car was a 56 Chevy and he had put a 327 engine in it. He was selling the short block. Don't remember the actual mileage but reasonably low 25k/50k or something. He told me that when he pulled it out, if I could get a teaspoon of sludge out of the pan he would give it to me..............I paid him.

Today oil is much better and lasts longer, but some people never change oil............especially contractors. You never know how long an engine will last if you install a higher mileage engine. Personally I don't like to rely on something that has 150k plus miles unless I know that engine. I'd rather buy one and freshen it before install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Okay guys, as I expected, a wealth of info here, which I do appreciate. As I said earlier, I now have the 5.3 that came out of my '02 Silverado sitting in my shop and am trying to decide what to do with it. When it locked up, it never over heated or made any kind of noise. It just seized, which surely was the crank/bottom end, since the oil pressure had dropped out. When the mechanic swapped the motors, he said he put a breaker bar on it and it broke loose fairly easily, which surprised me. So, now I plan to pull the pan and see just what the damage is. I am thinking I might be lucky and get by with a crank kit. The truck had 140k on it when this happened. Has anyone here ever done this in this situation?
 
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