LS 5.3 Swap on the dyno (1 Viewer)

Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
10,937
Location
Washington
And before anyone jumps on me and says I hate LS’s. I don’t hate LS’s. It just looks like the same reason I would skip a 2UZ swap in an 80, I would skip a stock power 5.3 LS. The return on investment just isn’t there.

if you’re going to do it. Do the 6.0 or better yet the 6.2. :smokin:
 

SNLC

OCD
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
6,910
Location
Boise - Idaho
To each their own.

Pretty cheap to upgrade a Chevy though with lots of options. Easily get 400-500hp out of an LS for a couple grand. The 6.2L is just about 410hp in stock form. Not to mention a 6spd auto option.

Cheers
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
763
Location
Golden, CO
I think people should also be aware an 'LS' engine comes in many forms. An lm7 gen 3 vortec has 270 hp at the crank. An lq4 makes over 300 hp, lq9 345 and ls3 makes 495 hp. All crank numbers, but they all shouldn't be painted with the same brush.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
10,937
Location
Washington
Yeah if you’re going to do it, that’s the way to go!

To each their own.

Pretty cheap to upgrade a Chevy though with lots of options. Easily get 400-500hp out of an LS for a couple grand. The 6.2L is just about 410hp in stock form. Not to mention a 6spd auto option.

Cheers
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
8,516
This is from the truck was stock and only had Ems Exhaust. I was testing the Landtank MAF housing. Blue is with the stock MAF, the others are with the Landtank MAF so please disregard. But peak torque looks like it’s right at 3000rpms.

View attachment 2427731
Peak torque around 3k is great. It looks it really comes on quick between 2500 and 3k.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
8,516
Some people just send off their LS ecu to have the vats (ecu vehicle security) deleted and that's it. It's only 70 bucks or so for that to be done. That keeps you at stock power levels. However good LS specialized tuning shops have performance dyno tuned files of which they have spent significant time on they can flash into the ecu while deleting the vats for additional cost, usually around 200 bucks. The oem tune is very conservative and quite a bit more power can be gained, you should get between 310 to 330hp on a 5.3. Keep in mind the 4.8, 5.3, and 6.0 that are usually swapped are truck engines, so they have cams focused more on torque and not hp like the 6.2 usually is. You can always go bigger LS later, they are all the same dimensions externally, the wiring all plugs in for the most part. The problem with a 6.0 or 6.2 sometimes is if you find a decent deal it will sell quickly. The minimum cost to have a shop do a nice LS swap is around 25k. Diy probably 7k for a emission compliant Ls swap that's well integrated in the cruiser and lots and lots of labor hours. If you've never done a swap b4, the 25k is worth it in my opinion. Another option with a LS swap is to get the engine physically mounted yourself which isn't too terribly hard. Then take it to a shop and have them do the rest. Might shave off a couple grand. This is all what I've only learned from research on my LS so I could be off on some of this.
For the turbo kit, I think wits end is asking 6k or so. What are shops charging in labor hours to install the turbo?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
2,552
Location
808
I think the $7,000 estimate is being very conservative for a LS swap, but I have never done one before. Did plenty research though. I was looking closer to $10k
 

NLXTACY

Wits' End
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
26,771
Location
West Hills, CA
Some people just send off their LS ecu to have the vats (ecu vehicle security) deleted and that's it. It's only 70 bucks or so for that to be done. That keeps you at stock power levels. However good LS specialized tuning shops have performance dyno tuned files of which they have spent significant time on they can flash into the ecu while deleting the vats for additional cost, usually around 200 bucks. The oem tune is very conservative and quite a bit more power can be gained, you should get between 310 to 330hp on a 5.3. Keep in mind the 4.8, 5.3, and 6.0 that are usually swapped are truck engines, so they have cams focused more on torque and not hp like the 6.2 usually is. You can always go bigger LS later, they are all the same dimensions externally, the wiring all plugs in for the most part. The problem with a 6.0 or 6.2 sometimes is if you find a decent deal it will sell quickly. The minimum cost to have a shop do a nice LS swap is around 25k. Diy probably 7k for a emission compliant Ls swap that's well integrated in the cruiser and lots and lots of labor hours. If you've never done a swap b4, the 25k is worth it in my opinion. Another option with a LS swap is to get the engine physically mounted yourself which isn't too terribly hard. Then take it to a shop and have them do the rest. Might shave off a couple grand. This is all what I've only learned from research on my LS so I could be off on some of this.
For the turbo kit, I think wits end is asking 6k or so. What are shops charging in labor hours to install the turbo?

as far as I know there has been no shop install that has been JUST a turbo install. My little brother and I have done it in under 8 hrs. But the issue is EVERYONE has a laundry list of “while I’m there” that should happen anyway. So now it’s leak abatement, it’s complete cooling refresh, it’s motor mounts, it’s fuel injectors, et al.
 

thatcabledude

SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
3,961
Location
Walton Co, FL
I think the $7,000 estimate is being very conservative for a LS swap, but I have never done one before. Did plenty research though. I was looking closer to $10k
7k is plenty for a clean 5.3 install done at home. I see a lot of money wasted (IMO) on super expensive radiators/fan setups, wiring harnesses/ECU, and stuff like aftermarket gauges on a lot of builds.
 

cruisermatt

Un-manufacturable
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
9,299
Location
Orlando Florida
7k is plenty for a clean 5.3 install done at home. I see a lot of money wasted (IMO) on super expensive radiators/fan setups, wiring harnesses/ECU, and stuff like aftermarket gauges on a lot of builds.

This. my next Cruiser will most likely be a LS swapped 80 and I'd budget about 6-7k for the entire truck

Also I never pay more then $160-250 for a LS engine. $150 valve springs, $250 cam and actual good gas would net about 100hp
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
2,552
Location
808
7k is plenty for a clean 5.3 install done at home. I see a lot of money wasted (IMO) on super expensive radiators/fan setups, wiring harnesses/ECU, and stuff like aftermarket gauges on a lot of builds.

True, basing it off a Tildon take out 6.0 a long with a refreshed 4L80E, and Marks T case adapter, oil pan and mounts should put you right around $7k. Without anything else.
 

cruisermatt

Un-manufacturable
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
9,299
Location
Orlando Florida
True, basing it off a Tildon take out 6.0 a long with a refreshed 4L80E, and Marks T case adapter, oil pan and mounts should put you right around $7k. Without anything else.

That TIlden package is a decent deal for a shop that would do everything and wouldn't touch a junkyard engine but is a complete waste of money for the regular backyard DIYer
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
763
Location
Golden, CO
7k is plenty for a clean 5.3 install done at home. I see a lot of money wasted (IMO) on super expensive radiators/fan setups, wiring harnesses/ECU, and stuff like aftermarket gauges on a lot of builds.

True this, i think this was my downfall. I still have problems which run through my gauge cluster 'black box' (crank position) i think are throwing codes for me. I think $7k is very close, i thibk the make or break is emissions and if you can weld exhaust.

I've thought about putting together a bare bones 'ls swap' to high end spreadsheet. My spreadsheet breaks out all the different components, so it should have a lot of what one would need to spend).
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
8,516
Another option is the 8.1 Chevy motor. It will bolt to a 4l60e or 4l80e with a LS ecu. They arent too expensive used (about the cost of a 6.0)and make huge amounts of torque off the line. Would probably need a cowl hood for clearance.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
73
Location
Key West, FL
That TIlden package is a decent deal for a shop that would do everything and wouldn't touch a junkyard engine but is a complete waste of money for the regular backyard DIYer

I was looking at Tilden for buying an LQ9 and 4L80e. Are you saying it's not a good deal to go for? I figured the premium I'd pay is for their expert opinion on if it's a solid engine/tranny plus all accessories ready to go vs having to rip apart a junkyard engine.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
10,937
Location
Washington
This wasn't to make a turbo vs LS arguement. This was to say LS/2UZ/etc be smart about your swap because the 1FZ isn't that weak it is the chassis that is hungry.

If you are going to do a swap do it with something that has enough power to be worth it.
 

nukegoat

Should have bought a Jeep
SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
6,135
Location
San Jose, CA
This wasn't to make a turbo vs LS arguement. This was to say LS/2UZ/etc be smart about your swap because the 1FZ isn't that weak it is the chassis that is hungry.

If you are going to do a swap do it with something that has enough power to be worth it.
Cough cough 4bt
 

cruisermatt

Un-manufacturable
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
9,299
Location
Orlando Florida
I was looking at Tilden for buying an LQ9 and 4L80e. Are you saying it's not a good deal to go for? I figured the premium I'd pay is for their expert opinion on if it's a solid engine/tranny plus all accessories ready to go vs having to rip apart a junkyard engine.

Hint, accessories are dirt cheap, the used harness from the junkayard can be made to run standalone in a day, and you generally don’t need to tear down the junkyard engine if it was running. Tilden aren’t anymore experts then anyone else they just have a nice looking website
 

LUVMY804EVR

SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
244
Location
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
Just for reference for those comparing numbers (200k engines)...

View attachment 2427591
The 5.3 seems to be a waste unless your going for a cheap easy way and able to pull it off yourself. The 6.2 is what you guys should be gunning for on your turbo. I think I saw Scott post RWHP is close to 265’ish in a 100 series. I have 1000’s of pages to read to catch up on your turbo so figured I would just ask. You see gains near this number on your turbo at any point? You have any numbers with the meth injection? Convince me to keep this brick and just rebuild it and slap on your turbo kit. Turns out Robbie relocated his shop just down the road if still around and there is always Slee if you have the patience to wait to get in.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom