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I’m currently refreshing my little 350. Have decided not to go all out on building it into a nice 383. I do plan to hopefully one day build a 400+ ci aftermarket block or an LS 6.2+. I don’t know much about the LS, as far as the different blocks, heads, etc. I always hear, LS is cheap and makes tons of power. What little I have dug into it, it seems that an LS only makes a lot of power for little money if you spray it or throw a cheap turbo on it... am I wrong saying this? When I look at LS crate engines, they show to make a little less power for about the same money as a conventional SBC that makes more power. Seems to be the same for parts too but I could be wrong. I guess what I’m asking is, in order to have a 600-700 hp N/A LS, are you going to spend a ton of money like you would a SBC?
I’m a bracket racer and for me, I don’t need tons of power but just thinking what’s the best bang for the buck should I ever decide to build something better than what I currently have.
 

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Power per dollar they probably aren't that much different at that power level, If you were to look at dropping 10k on an engine I would look at the LS engines, It's not just about the power they make it's some of the other improvements over the old SBC that make it worth while.
My take on the LS
They are cheap if you boost a junkyard engine and make 600-700 crank hp, It should last a long time with a good fuel/tune at that power level or go NA and make 400-500 crank hp with a cam change but otherwise stock engine. Basically you can take a stock 6.0 with 100,000 to 200,000 miles on it and put a cam in it and make as much power as many 383 kits but for a lot less money. Some people like them because you can take a junkyard motor regap the rings for boost and make a 1,000+ hp and if you hurt it you just go get another and do it all over again.

Here is why I made the switch, Easier to work on...dry intake/reusable gaskets/ EFI that you can tune with a laptop instead of a carb and distributor/Make good power (mostly stock) for little cost. It's not cheap making the initial swap but after that I honestly think you can make more power cheaper than the old small block but it depends on the sum of the parts. To me it's just a much improved version of the SBC that responds better to mods and they are easily sourced. Look at it this way, With the old small block to make good power you pretty much started with a bare block and built it from there with all aftermarket parts so crank/rods/pistons/cam/lifters/rockers/ignition and so on.
With the LS the stock internal/external parts are pretty damn good top to bottom. 6 bolt mains / Stock crank is good for 1,000 hp, Rods and pistons are good but I would replace them if you want to make north of 700hp on boost and have it last. Stock roller lifters are really good as are the stock rockers with trunnion upgrade, Heads are aluminum from the factory and make decent power stock but respond well to porting. (They flow the equivalent to what used to be considered race heads for a SBC) Ignition wise the coil on plug system the LS uses needs nothing...it's great just as it came from the factory.
Hell the factory intakes blow away anything that you got from the factory on a sbc.
It's just a better design but as you pointed out not really any cheaper as in dollars per HP but I don't think you have to work an LS as hard to make the same power as the SBC.
 

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The better versions are def cheaper to use. Rec port 6.0/6.2l will pretty easily make 550hp with no more than a cam/spring upgrade. Even if you pay $2500 for one off eBay, what are you realistically into it for? All said and done, you can have a reliable, running, 550-600hp for $4-4500. Stock LS short blocks are making 8 second passes all over the place with boost. No reason an N/A piece with a moderate cam can’t live a long life with 2/3 of that power.
 

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The entire heads, cam, valve train, intake and throttle body setup on my new engine is 9000. It'll make in the neighborhood of 650 on pump gas with 403 cubes. Like mentioned dollar for dollar it's not much cheaper if at all than a SBC once you start wanting more HP especially. If you want in the 500-550hp range it's very doable, with factory castings which makes it cheap and easy, it's making the next step up that starts costing a lot NA in my opinion. I probably should have just kept my 243 heads and put a ported LSA blower on it and made more power but I prefer NA and didn't want the headaches.
 

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The entire heads, cam, valve train, intake and throttle body setup on my new engine is 9000. It'll make in the neighborhood of 650 on pump gas with 403 cubes. Like mentioned dollar for dollar it's not much cheaper if at all than a SBC once you start wanting more HP especially. If you want in the 500-550hp range it's very doable, with factory castings which makes it cheap and easy, it's making the next step up that starts costing a lot NA in my opinion.
You spent $9000 on a top end and camshaft to make only 650hp? You don't need spend 9k on a top end to make 650hp n/a on a 403ci LS if you chose the right combination of parts. Not even half that. You can do it with factory ported castings or something affordable like texas speed PRC's, use stock rocker arms (i spin stock ls1 rockers well over 7500rpm all the time never had one break yet), and a cheap intake like holley sniper with a china 102tb, or a good single plane intake.
 

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Banksters Paradise
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8,980 Posts

engine:2006 6.0 LQ4(stock shortblock)
heads:L92's unported, milled .030
cam: Rapid Motorsports Dominator 2X
intake:GMPP single plane
carb ProSystems 780

squirters:30/30
pump shot size fr/rr:
total timing:32
base timing:28
map timing:none
jetting pri/sec:74/84
power valve:6.5
air bleeds:
rear gear:4.10
shiftpoint:7000
stall:4500 (ATI Treemaster 8")
tire size:28X10
trap rpm:7000
car: make/model/etc "90 Mustang Hatch
raceweight:2900
ET---or scan a slip in your post.....
Best ET 9.871
Best MPH 137.33
Best '60ft 1.38
Naturally aspirated on pump gas!!
 

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Banksters Paradise
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8,980 Posts
Do you want a dyno number? Or do you want to go fast. Look at the car above. Stock 6.0 junkyard shortblock + the right combination of parts.

The LS can be NO joke, or be A joke.. it's all in the entire combination you choose.

9k on a top end to make 650hp is A joke.
 

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Banksters Paradise
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8,980 Posts
And then there's boost...

1250rwhp SBE 6.0
Stock untouched bottom end Lq4 out of a 04 express van
has a set of cathedral hooper heads out of Houston TX
th400
14 bolt 9.5" rear
Holley term x
twin vsracing 75s
hi ram
Cheapy intercooler
stock oil pump
ptc 9.5" 15-0
On 33# it made 1250
So far on 29# its been 5.3 @ 129



Again, the right combination of parts. No need to spend ridiculous on the top end. Or even the bottom end.
 

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6,141 Posts
I’m currently refreshing my little 350. Have decided not to go all out on building it into a nice 383. I do plan to hopefully one day build a 400+ ci aftermarket block or an LS 6.2+. I don’t know much about the LS, as far as the different blocks, heads, etc. I always hear, LS is cheap and makes tons of power. What little I have dug into it, it seems that an LS only makes a lot of power for little money if you spray it or throw a cheap turbo on it... am I wrong saying this? When I look at LS crate engines, they show to make a little less power for about the same money as a conventional SBC that makes more power. Seems to be the same for parts too but I could be wrong. I guess what I’m asking is, in order to have a 600-700 hp N/A LS, are you going to spend a ton of money like you would a SBC?
I’m a bracket racer and for me, I don’t need tons of power but just thinking what’s the best bang for the buck should I ever decide to build something better than what I currently have.
LS is the better platform. Stock LS3 heads flow something around 320 CFM, have a 15 degree valve angle and come with 2.165, 1.59 valves. All LS motors also have hypereutectic pistons. I just bought a L96 from the junkyard for $2800 with 13,000 miles on it. Factor in a Terminator X for another grand and that's not a bad deal.
 

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6,141 Posts

engine:2006 6.0 LQ4(stock shortblock)
heads:L92's unported, milled .030
cam: Rapid Motorsports Dominator 2X
intake:GMPP single plane
carb ProSystems 780

squirters:30/30
pump shot size fr/rr:
total timing:32
base timing:28
map timing:none
jetting pri/sec:74/84
power valve:6.5
air bleeds:
rear gear:4.10
shiftpoint:7000
stall:4500 (ATI Treemaster 8")
tire size:28X10
trap rpm:7000
car: make/model/etc "90 Mustang Hatch
raceweight:2900
ET---or scan a slip in your post.....
Best ET 9.871
Best MPH 137.33
Best '60ft 1.38
Naturally aspirated on pump gas!!
Nice.
 

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698 Posts
Hands down put a 6.0 or 6.2 in. MUCH MUCH EASIER to make good power than old school sbc. People say not reliable, but I have pretty much 0 issues with mine and I usually run the piss out of it.
 
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Hands down put a 6.0 or 6.2 in. MUCH MUCH EASIER to make good power than old school sbc. People say not reliable, but I have pretty much 0 issues with mine and I usually run the piss out of it.
I agree. I make 500 with a very mild and worn out junkyard LQ9 6.0 LS3 head combo. ~10.5:1, 220/224 .575/.575" cam, stock intake and 1-7/8" tubes. I have seen a few 6.0 setups make ~600 with milled/ported heads and bigger cams. 6.2s are even easier to make the power.

The guy I bought my car from said he spent more money on the TKO 600 trans setup than he had in the motor.
 

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ls1 s/s notch on 28s
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Bills combo makes like 620hp,stock l92 heads,basic intake,ed curtis cam an thats it..hes milled heads an fly cuts so hes low 12-1.. mines same combo as his really just im milled .100 on heads an have .150 fly cuts on lq9 pistons an a larger cam.
 

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IMO the big sweet spot for LS engines is when you can use stock heads. They flow pretty great from the factory particularly the rectangular port. So 550 and a little more HP? Junkyard motor with valvetrain updated and you are on the cheap! Now 700 na hp? Well now it's hard to support with the stock head and factory cubes IMO. Starting to eat away at the advantage.
 

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You spent $9000 on a top end and camshaft to make only 650hp? You don't need spend 9k on a top end to make 650hp n/a on a 403ci LS if you chose the right combination of parts. Not even half that. You can do it with factory ported castings or something affordable like texas speed PRC's, use stock rocker arms (i spin stock ls1 rockers well over 7500rpm all the time never had one break yet), and a cheap intake like holley sniper with a china 102tb, or a good single plane intake.
I completely agree I went overkill, 9000 was the heads completely assembled with light weight valves, Manley Nextek springs etc. New manton pushrods, johnson ST2126 lifters, camshaft, Yella Terra rockers, fast LSXrt plus porting, Cloyes timing chain setup, ported oil pump and a new ATI balancer plus all the gaskets etc. Quite a bit more than just a heads & cam setup, pretty much everything needed after a shortblock is completed. I honestly COULD make more power if I wanted to spin it higher or bump the compression a bit but on pump gas with peak power at 6500, I'll take it. My vehicle is also like 4400+lbs so weight was a concern.
 

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ls1 s/s notch on 28s
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IMO the big sweet spot for LS engines is when you can use stock heads. They flow pretty great from the factory particularly the rectangular port. So 550 and a little more HP? Junkyard motor with valvetrain updated and you are on the cheap! Now 700 na hp? Well now it's hard to support with the stock head and factory cubes IMO. Starting to eat away at the advantage.
A pocket port,basically going 91% on the throat an valve job will do 340s..heads are big enough to turn a 6.0 8200rpms stock😉 ,add good fuel an compression an one will run some numbers.most are low 10s on stock comp..most gains from compression bump are highest usually in the lower comp levels like 10 to 12 vs 12 to 14 say.

Ls3 intake becomes the limiting factor.i got 15hp an 800 more rpms with one but its still not enough an it was a one off deal but down 10 from a super at peak an 15ish with a holley split
 
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