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General chit chat for & about 4x4's.:

why is everyone going the LS engine route?



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Old 12-23-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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why is everyone going the LS engine route?

What really is the advantage with going to Gen III/IV engine these days? Is it just the fact it's new technology, and advanced ecm's? Is there really an advantage? I have a L98 TPI that I was in the process of building up, when I got deployed. Now I am wondering if I should just sale it and go with a LQ4 or LM7, or something like that. They seem to be fairly cheap these days.
I am planning building a KOH style rock crawler but can't make up my mind. I already have a bunch invested in my TPI, with the TPIS big mouth lower intake, ported plenum, and 58 TB, 42 lb injectors... I was going to stroke it, but with the cost of $1000 plus for a forged stroker kit, wondering if it's still worth it , I also have the Eprom burning software and data logging equipment.

Might be better to just buy a ls and swap in a LS6 cam, and rotate the intake and just go. I am going to admit, the whole LS thing is kind of overwhelming to me truthfully, but I can figure it out

I love the simplicity of older Chevy engines, simple to work on, and cheap parts for it. Plus it easy to get plenty of torque in a TPI stroker, but down side.... hard to make more HP on stock intake setup.

Keeping transmission options aside, would be better to scrape it all and spend the money on a used low mileage LS engine?
those of you that did the swap, was it worth it in the end, or just more waste of money in the end, and just a feeling of accomplishment instead?

Sorry for all the questions, I am just trying to convince myself I guess, but wanted some opinions before I jump on it.


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Old 12-23-2013, 10:07 AM   #2
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Because they are becoming so cheap, they're reliable, easy to build and interchange parts, and stupid cheap/easy to tune. The real question is why wouldn't you unless you already had a different engine in and running.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sleepsontoilet View Post
Because they are becoming so cheap, they're reliable, easy to build and interchange parts, and stupid cheap/easy to tune. The real question is why wouldn't you unless you already had a different engine in and running.
I have been following your build this past year, what engine did you go with?
did you ever sale your jeep? I don't have it running exactly, but the more I think about it, it makes sense to go that route.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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It's sold and is listed again for sale. Brian finished it and is looking for a 4 seater. I used an LQ4 from a 2004 silverado that I bought on here from Nooner. I can tell you it had no problem getting the jeep sideways. I used Wayne Hartwig of 150tunes and had a 3 wire hookup. Easy to diagnose with the 5.3 thread on pirate, as well as LS1tech etc. For the price to build big power and still run stock internals, the new 6.0s and 6.2s are the way to go. Make sure you get complete though, the little accessories add up quick.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:46 AM   #5
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Man if you shop around you can do a LS for $1000 or less running. Mite be high mileage. But drop a cam in it and ready to go ecm harness and turned up program. Run it into the ground and just go buy another short block.
Junkyard LS are cheap.
Shold be abel to sqeeze 300-350hp out of a stocker.

Big timers do the LS crate engines which equals $$$$.
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #6
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They are cheap to get, but far from cheap to build lol!!! By far the most expensive swap I have ever done. That being said, if I was doing another v8 swap, it would be an LS engine again for sure. The ease of install, and easy tuning make it an awesome engine IMO.


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Old 12-23-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sleepsontoilet View Post
It's sold and is listed again for sale. Brian finished it and is looking for a 4 seater. I used an LQ4 from a 2004 silverado that I bought on here from Nooner. I can tell you it had no problem getting the jeep sideways. I used Wayne Hartwig of 150tunes and had a 3 wire hookup. Easy to diagnose with the 5.3 thread on pirate, as well as LS1tech etc. For the price to build big power and still run stock internals, the new 6.0s and 6.2s are the way to go. Make sure you get complete though, the little accessories add up quick.
I was aware of Wayne, and planned on using him if i decide. I really want the L92, that would be my engine of choice.

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Originally Posted by RamRock View Post
Man if you shop around you can do a LS for $1000 or less running. Mite be high mileage. But drop a cam in it and ready to go ecm harness and turned up program. Run it into the ground and just go buy another short block.
Junkyard LS are cheap.
Shold be abel to sqeeze 300-350hp out of a stocker.

Big timers do the LS crate engines which equals $$$$.
the price is really appealing to me. I think I will start looking around.

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Originally Posted by Big4x4ride View Post
They are cheap to get, but far from cheap to build lol!!! By far the most expensive swap I have ever done. That being said, if I was doing another v8 swap, it would be an LS engine again for sure. The ease of install, and easy tuning make it an awesome engine IMO.


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Thanks for the replies guys, the more I think about it the more I want to do it. I wonder how much i can sale my current setup for?
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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Look at Pacfab. At first they seem high, until you add up the little stuff. Their brand new harness is super clean and well labeled, way better than a reworked one. I have seen a few at the shop, and they are worth it for a drop in motor.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:35 PM   #9
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sleepsontoilet hit the nail on the head. all the little stuff is pricey! Get one as complete as possible, or if you can get a complete donor to pull the powertrain from. I made the mistake of taking a free engine that had been sitting and using it, needless to say that was by far the dumbest most expensive route to go LoL!!!
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:30 AM   #10
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Here is my take on it as Im buying another one right now for my current project. Buy one missin some parts IF you can save a few bucks. I plan to move the alternator bracket and PS bracket so why do I need those parts. The PS pump will be replaced with a PSC one.....dont need that. Intake will probably be swapped....why do I need that? See where Im goin if it saves you some cash. These motors are so simple to make power from and hella easy to work on internally compared to a SBC or BBC. 6 bolt mains from the factory....whats not to like? You dont have to spend big money to get big power! Get the right head/cam and tune combo and your makin 400hp EASY! There was an article in Truckin where they took a stock 5.3L and stuffed a twin turbo on it and ran like 20 pounds of boost thru it and got 1300 hp out of it before a lifter or something let loose! All stock motor with 160k on the ticker. Thats a no brainer to me. Dont overlook the 5.3L OR 4.8L.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:49 AM   #11
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I can't add much worth while to what everyone else has said.

That said, I'd be interested in some of your TPI stuff, especially the burning software and datalogger. I'm in the beginning stages of building one for the wife's crawler.
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:02 AM   #12
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PAC fab looks like the ticket. I made up my mind, think I will try for a 6.0, LQ4.
I want to stay with a cable TB... seems much easier to deal with. I guess I need to start doing my research. I am thinking of going with a TH400 or 700R4, as I want a strand alone harness. Not sure if the 700R4 is a good choice, but really want the overdrive as well. So many decisions.

Bunker buster, I will not be able to sale anything in my current setup till I get home, but I will post it up here when I do in may.
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:07 AM   #13
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Thanks guys! Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:25 AM   #14
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I think PAC is WAY overpriced! There pullout engines.....$3450 + shipping for a junkyard pressure washed 5.3L, new harness and computer! Thats highway robbery! You can buy low mile 5.3L engines all day long for $4-600 bucks. Harness is $520 bucks and its NEW also and computer flash is $200....my math comes up to $1300 on the high side of it. Heck Ill do you one up and knock $1000 off there price! LOL! Granted the 6.0L engines are a little higher but Ive never paid more than $1200 for one and it had 36K miles on it.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #15
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PAC fab looks like the ticket. I made up my mind, think I will try for a 6.0, LQ4.
I want to stay with a cable TB... seems much easier to deal with. I guess I need to start doing my research. I am thinking of going with a TH400 or 700R4, as I want a strand alone harness. Not sure if the 700R4 is a good choice, but really want the overdrive as well. So many decisions.

Bunker buster, I will not be able to sale anything in my current setup till I get home, but I will post it up here when I do in may.
Look for one from a van....they are all cable TB. You have to be I believe sub 2004 to get a cable on a truck. BUT you can buy whatever year you want as long as below 2007 and swap to cable TB. You need a computer from a cable TB truck though that end in 0411 or 4896. Just let your harness guy know what you got and what you wana end up with. PSI gets rave reviews on Ls1Tech.com for $520 bucks and they are NEW. Dont pay $3500 for something you can piece together for WAY cheaper if your just half way diligent.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #16
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Look for one from a van....they are all cable TB. You have to be I believe sub 2004 to get a cable on a truck. BUT you can buy whatever year you want as long as below 2007 and swap to cable TB. You need a computer from a cable TB truck though that end in 0411 or 4896. Just let your harness guy know what you got and what you wana end up with. PSI gets rave reviews on Ls1Tech.com for $520 bucks and they are NEW. Dont pay $3500 for something you can piece together for WAY cheaper if your just half way diligent.
I can see what you are saying on being expensive. I guess I will start checking wrecking yards online. Thanks for the help on this. I am getting excited.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:42 PM   #17
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Rocknjeep if you have any specific questions shoot me a PM. Online wreckin yards are still gona be decently expensive....7-1000 for a 5.3L and 8-1200 ona 6.0. Dont be scared of higher mileage on these motors. 100k is NOTHING! The last 6.0 I was into had 120k on it and looked brand new on the inside. How much power are you wanting to make?
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:47 PM   #18
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Rocknjeep if you have any specific questions shoot me a PM. Online wreckin yards are still gona be decently expensive....7-1000 for a 5.3L and 8-1200 ona 6.0. Dont be scared of higher mileage on these motors. 100k is NOTHING! The last 6.0 I was into had 120k on it and looked brand new on the inside. How much power are you wanting to make?
I want at least decent HP, high 300 HP maybe low 400. You got a line on used engines?
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:25 AM   #19
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I'd also look for wrecked vehicles on craigslist. F-body's (98-02 Camaro/firebirds) came with drive by wire TB's. All ls corvettes are drive by wire. A lot of f-body guys go to iron block 5.3s or 6.0s when there LS's go bad. So jeep an eye out for those also.
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:06 PM   #20
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I'd also look for wrecked vehicles on craigslist. F-body's (98-02 Camaro/firebirds) came with drive by wire TB's. All ls corvettes are drive by wire. A lot of f-body guys go to iron block 5.3s or 6.0s when there LS's go bad. So jeep an eye out for those also.
I think the LS1 is way over priced, people are very proud of that engine, but none the less could find that desperate person.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:21 AM   #21
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Id stay away from the ls1...there aluminum and of course if you tear a cylinder up your lookin at a sleeve.

If your wanting 400hp then id go for the 6.0L. As far as used engines go Craigslist is your friend.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:29 AM   #22
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Id stay away from the ls1...there aluminum and of course if you tear a cylinder up your lookin at a sleeve.

If your wanting 400hp then id go for the 6.0L. As far as used engines go Craigslist is your friend.
That kind of was my thinking as well, I know the iron blocks are stronger, especially if going to some kind of power adder. I will start looking
on craigslist
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:48 AM   #23
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If you have some time and a hair more money here is what id do. Buy a high mile shortblock 6.0 LQ4 for cheap. Hone and re ring and bearing it. Get a set of L92 heads and put on it with a SPEC'D cam for what your doin....not a cam for racing as this will shift your powerband way off. Intake from a LS3 camaro would top it off great.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:01 AM   #24
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If you have some time and a hair more money here is what id do. Buy a high mile shortblock 6.0 LQ4 for cheap. Hone and re ring and bearing it. Get a set of L92 heads and put on it with a SPEC'D cam for what your doin....not a cam for racing as this will shift your powerband way off. Intake from a LS3 camaro would top it off great.
Man, my wife would really hate you, you are giving me some awesome ideas, do it in stages kind of thing. I am set to find a good used 6.0.
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