LS or Vortec (1 Viewer)

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Hey FJ60 Brothers

I have an 83 and I’m thinking about possibly upgrading my engine and 4 speed manual.

I’m thinking of either an LS or vortec and an auto trans.

Would really appreciate any suggestions or input from any of you that have done it.

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NCFJ

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You really can not go wrong with either choice. The 5.3L Vortec is a work horse and can be found everywhere for the most part including places Like Tilden Motorsports who supply the motors already checked out and with the ECU flashed and harness ready to hook up and run. The Vortec can also be found in 6.0L variety as well, just not nearly as many out there as the 5.3L. The intake manifold on these motors is taller so more attention must be paid relative to engine placement regarding height.

LS3 platform can be found used but far more scarce than the Vortec. I have only installed LS3 crate motors, none used to date. Pretty much the same install procedure to the 5.3L only major difference in install being electric fans rather than a manual fan on the 5.3L. LS3 is a 6.2L and has roughly 90-100 more HP and torque than the 5.3L.

There is a huge amount of information here on the 60 section as well as on the 80 section as well. Make yourself a pot of coffee and start reading. The range of opinions on all the little details is as varied as the different type rigs you'll find them in. One thing that you will find in common, the 5.3L, 6.0L and 6.2L swap is a game changer. Do it right and it will serve you well, cheap out on the sub systems and you will spend your weekends in the garage rather than out using your truck. Good luck with your swap :)
 
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Interested in this as well for my '83. Will cost another $10k for the LS vs the Vortec with a bigger name shop (want to go this route for provenance, reliability and resale, although stupid expensive). Also unsure whether or not to keep a 5sp manual (leaning this way) vs changing to an automatic trans.
 

NCFJ

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Interested in this as well for my '83. Will cost another $10k for the LS vs the Vortec with a bigger name shop (want to go this route for provenance, reliability and resale, although stupid expensive). Also unsure whether or not to keep a 5sp manual (leaning this way) vs changing to an automatic trans.

If resale is part of the thought process, automatic is the way to go. Far bigger audience, no question.
 
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Another option is the big block 8.1 liter gm engine. Many people overlook it and it can be found used for a decent price. It will produce more off the line torque than the small block motors by a significant amount. Will likely require a raised hood of some sort due to its tall intake.
 
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Not sure what the OP means, but to me a Vortec is a 1995-2003 era motor, they came in a bunch of varieties, V6, V8 etc. I’m a fan of the late 5.7 350 with roller rockers. I’ve had a few and swapped a few into older vehicles. However, sourcing decent used examples now is pretty difficult as the vehicles they came in are all 20-25 years old and mostly miled out.

I think the LS based engines are the choice going forward there’s lots of options for used or new. If I was doing a V8 swap I’d buy a low mileage damaged pickup or van with a 6.0 and go.
 

NCFJ

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Really? I may be in the minority but I'd much rather have manual. Manuals are also a good anti theft device in this day and age.
Your own statement proves out the point. You are in the minority, a very small minority. I am getting ready to build a Pro Street 1984 Mercedes 380 SL and I would love nothing more than to put a 6 speed manual in it. But i will be putting a 6 speed automatic in it for just what I stated above. I want to sell this thing and there will be at least 10 times the audience. :)

I have been doing LC swaps for years and I just did my first manual trans swap in a LC. Customer's choice on all of them.
 

tmxmotorsports

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Really? I may be in the minority but I'd much rather have manual. Manuals are also a good anti theft device in this day and age.
Not everyone can drive stick then the is the wife I don't have one but if someone is looking to purchase a vehicle of any kind and the wife has to be able to drive it also it won't happen. Sorry @NeverGiveUpYota not saying all women can't drive or can't drive a vehicle with a manual transmission.:slap::flush:
 

The Phoenician

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Not everyone can drive stick then the is the wife I don't have one but if someone is looking to purchase a vehicle of any kind and the wife has to be able to drive it also it won't happen. Sorry @NeverGiveUpYota not saying all women can't drive or can't drive a vehicle with a manual transmission.:slap::flush:
Never marry a woman who can't drive a stick.
 

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