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 Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s

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Steve Smith



Posts : 371
Join date : 2010-08-04
Age : 63
Location : Trevose, PA ( north of Northeast Philly)

PostSubject: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:59 pm

I would really like to do an LS2 swap in one of my wagons but when reviewing the logistics in my head (reliable used engine, custom drive shaft, different rear, labor costs, etc.) it's just not doable for me. However, if I can find some reliable, engine builder with plenty of LT1 experience I believe that would be the way to go. I've been burned in the past by so called "experts" when having three different motorcycle engines built, and every time I get shafted I swear NO MORE CUSTOM ENGINE builds.
I want someone to remove the engine , do a not too extreme bore job, a mild street cam, and other involved labors. Looking for RELIABLE, street driven performance with hopefully 350-400 hp at the crank. Hoping for high 13s in the 1/4 mile.

If anyone knows a tech I can contact, PLEASE let me know.

Steve
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:12 pm

you could just buy a motor from golen,.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I,m not sure why you want to bore it etc,. LT1 engines are renowned for their robust longevity,


If you are wanting some fun with the car,.i think you are starting at the wrong end,.

a 2800 converter and a set of 3:73's really wakes up a wagon,..
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MalibuSSwagon



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Join date : 2014-01-12
Location : NH

PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:37 pm

I would agree with Nick, a tow pack LT1 comes with 2.93 gears, still quite tall. A gear swap and a convertor will get you flying.

Golen are the go to experts for LT1's.
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:44 pm

I'm with Nick. Gears and a matched converter will wake up the Wagon. LT1's respond very well to cam/head/exhaust upgrades. A stock rebuild with a head/cam package from Llyod Elliot's port works or Advanced Induction combined with the gear/converter/exhaust change would get you to your stated power levels easily. Look up Nab on this forum (Blue Whale) I think. He knows his way around an LT1 and is a great chap to deal with.
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Steve Smith



Posts : 371
Join date : 2010-08-04
Age : 63
Location : Trevose, PA ( north of Northeast Philly)

PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:12 pm

Excellent all, thanks a bunch. With my Buick at just about 110K miles (still not bad for being a '96), and needing both an Opti ,two mufflers and water pump, might as well factor those items along with a refreshed engine, some long tube headers, couple of Flowmaster 40s(which I already have still in the boxes), 3:73 gears and any trans upgrades required into the equation.
I have the ability to remove the current engine in my small shop but being an auto body mech. limits my knowledge of possible issues that could pop up. I'd rather dive my car to the shop doing the work, hand them the keys and a check to get started and wait for updates as it's transformation takes place. This way it will be a finished ,properly performed turn key job. All I'd have to do is pick it up, pay the shop the balance and take her home (with a written guarantee).

All needed body and paint work would then take place which I can perform by myself.
As for the Caprice.......I'd still want to do all the needed body and paint work and decide if she stays or gets sold.
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PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:40 am

Sooo.... about those logistics for an LS swap.

What custom driveshaft? You use the same 4L60E and yours drops right in.
What custom rear? You're using the same driveshaft.
Labor costs? You're paying the same for an LT1 R&R.


Just my two cents USD three cents CAD.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:31 am

Steve Smith wrote:
along with a refreshed engine, some long tube headers, couple of Flowmaster 40s(which I already have still in the boxes), 3:73 gears and any trans upgrades required into the equation.

There are many written instances of people buying high mileage LT1 engines,. (110k is not considered high)
and then modding them for higher performance,.

I personally bought a 95 NJ state trooper car back in 1998,. it had 112k miles,. i modded that car completely from front to back, drove it like i stole it everyday, ran it around numerous autocross weekends, kept it till 2004k.then sold it to a friend,.he beat on it till 2008,. then it sat for a year, and he sold it back to me,.
It still pulls like a train,. doesn't use any oil,.and now has nearly 190k on it,

I,ve blown up a few LT1's along the way too,. but it really takes some serious abuse to do it,.

As has been said here,. start at the back,.gears, converter,. headers and a good tune,.

Then you'll want bigger brakes,..What a Face
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Steve Smith



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Join date : 2010-08-04
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Location : Trevose, PA ( north of Northeast Philly)

PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:10 pm

[quote="Stingroo"]Sooo.... about those logistics for an LS swap.

What custom driveshaft? You use the same 4L60E and yours drops right in.
What custom rear? You're using the same driveshaft.
Labor costs? You're paying the same for an LT1 R&R.


Well, I assumed the stock drive shaft wouldn't work with a modern LS2 engine. If using the stock rear, even with new gears (3:73 perhaps), didn't think it would last long with another 140-190 extra hp.
As for labor, based on what some specialty shops charge per hour, it would be conceivable the bill "padding" could be substantial and almost impossible to refute.
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Steve Smith



Posts : 371
Join date : 2010-08-04
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Location : Trevose, PA ( north of Northeast Philly)

PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:27 pm

I pulled up the Golen engine web site last night. I immediately got a reality check (aka sticker shock Shocked ) when I saw a new , high power LT1 long block STARTS at $6K. That's not going to happen. If the kind of extra power I want is available with basically just bolt on/in parts, and under say, $2K then that's the way to go. If I still want the power a mild cam shaft adds I'd have to enlist the help of someone who knows that procedure.
I could remove and drop off my open 2:73 rear and have it transformed into a 3:73 posi. then bolt it back in place. Buy a new opti , water pump, good wires (Taylor), new plugs, long tube headers, install the Flowmasters, install an appropriate torque converter, have the "main brain" reprogrammed and see where that takes me. Sound about right? Except for the actual rear end removal and install, exhaust work, and (a one time experience) trans removal and install, and  new spark plugs, I'm in uncharted territory.
Learning by doing something twice SUCKS, plus mistakes like that can be quite expensive.


Last edited by Steve Smith on Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:18 pm

The 8.5 rear is plenty good for anything you can throw at it.

The mounts are in the same place on your frame so the dimensions don't change at all. If you get a 4L80E you'll need to do some massaging, but even that's within the realm of possibility.

You don't need an expensive aluminum LS2 to get anywhere near that level of power. You can buy a junkyard 5.3, paint it, slap a truck cam and heads on it for a grand, and you're there.

With room to grow.

Again just my 2 American/3 Canadian cents.
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Steve Smith



Posts : 371
Join date : 2010-08-04
Age : 63
Location : Trevose, PA ( north of Northeast Philly)

PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:02 pm

I had for a short time a 2007 Silverado with the 5.3. Made a mild 315 hp.
Can an open 2:73 rear be converted to 3:73 posi.? If yes, could this possibly be done for no more than $850 or so?
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MalibuSSwagon



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Join date : 2014-01-12
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PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:02 pm

Research it. Call around to shops that do that type of work. Usually they'll be able to do the rear swap with the rearend in the car. But as a reference,

Gears - $150
Install kit - $100
Posi - $400-550ish
Plus labor.

These are general numbers I am throwing out there. You may be able to find deals for gears and whatnot on CL. People change ratios or projects all the time. I have a set of 3.73s in my garage that I salvaged from a 2000 Silverado rear, axle housing was rotted and leaking oil so I stripped it. Putting the gears in my C10. and selling the working G80 locker. Win-win
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Need info on PROFESSSIONAL , established engine builder for LT1s   Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:10 pm

i,d start watching craigslist,..look for a set of 3:73's in a sedan rear,. then pirate the guts for yours,.

as was mentioned the 8.5 rear end is tough,. basically a 1/2 ton truck rear end,.

google up morrison engines and watch his full weight big block blown wagon leave the line 2 feet in the air,. with a stock rear end under it,...

My black caprice wagon, i bought a set of well used 3:73's with the pinion bearing and shim still on,.
I used a spare 2.93 carrier,and just added the ring gear with no posi,.all used mix and match stuff,.
it works like a champ, and with the 2800 converter it had, it would leave hard with both back tires spinning,.
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