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Old 12-26-2008, 02:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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ls1 vs 5.3

I'm stuck and need some help sorting everything out.

I have a clean 1990 4runner with the 3.slow v6/ auto and of course a blown head gasket. I'm planing on putting 1 tons(60/14, 5.13's, Detroits f&R) under it with 5" all pro's up front and a 4link rear with foa coil overs running 39.5 irocs on 17" diy beadlocks. I want a genIII motor under the hood but I've only found 2 swaps. One was the wrong body style the other left alot to be desired on the fab side.

I have the opportunity to pickup a 2000 ls1(350hp) from an f body for 2k complete tb to pan with harness and pcm. I can get the harness reworked and pcm taken care from him as well for a very fair price. On the other hand I can get a 5.3 for around 1k complete but only 285hp and with the tall f-ugly truck intake and pan as well as the accessories being pushed further away from the block I could see it being harder to package a radiator/fan combo as well as ac condenser and tranny cooler. Yes it will have a/c its too damn hot down here not to.

So what do ya'll think is the ls1 worth the extra grand? Its only 75lbs or so lighter than an iron block. I don't want a 6.0. I have one in my dd and its a gas guzzler. Would the ls1 not have enough low end compared to 5.3 since the ls1 intake is comparable to a single plane intake on a gen I sbc

I'll be running a 4l60e/ 205 combo twin sticked It will be used as a dd when the weather is too crappy to ride my bike.

I already have:
60/14 geared and locked
iroc's / beadlocks
twinsticked 205 and adapter
all pro springs


Thanks Guys
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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2k for a 2k LS1 is a little steep these days. The 2k engines have the small injectors, plain LS1 intake, worth -20hp over the truck or LS6 intake, and weaker rod bolts (which only matters if you spin past 5500). Go for the 5.3 and change the cam to something around .550/220@050/114. Use the stock exhaust manifolds. Tune it yourself with a Wideband O2 sensor and software such as efilive. You'll get the power you need.
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txchevy18 View Post

I have the opportunity to pickup a 2000 ls1(350hp) from an f body for 2k complete tb to pan with harness and pcm. I can get the harness reworked and pcm taken care from him as well for a very fair price. On the other hand I can get a 5.3 for around 1k complete but only 285hp and with the tall f-ugly truck intake and pan as well as the accessories being pushed further away from the block I could see it being harder to package a radiator/fan combo as well as ac condenser and tranny cooler. Yes it will have a/c its too damn hot down here not to.

So what do ya'll think is the ls1 worth the extra grand? Its only 75lbs or so lighter than an iron block. I don't want a 6.0. I have one in my dd and its a gas guzzler. Would the ls1 not have enough low end compared to 5.3 since the ls1 intake is comparable to a single plane intake on a gen I sbc

NO the LS1 is not worth 1000 more. I would find a 05 up low mileage 5.3L. It will have returnless fuel rail and a DBW TB. LQK on E-bay has what you'll want for cheap. I wouldn't pay over 1000 for a 5.3L unless its low mileage.


You can swap to what ever pan will fit you application for cheap, F-body etc, as well as run an electric fans for clearance. The stock F-bodys exhaust manifolds are the best swap choices cause they are rear dump and tuck tight to the block, were as the truck flanges kick out at the rear.




As for the intake if the truck intake will fit your hood the Truck and LS1 intake flow basically the same. The LS6 flows better than those two. But you have to mod the truck accessories to get the intake to fit the truck motor, which isn't hard to do BTW.

The difference in HP can be made up with a cam and nice tune. You will have 300+ HP at the wheels easy. Now you could add 243 heads and LS6 intake and a cam and make 400+ HP.


Make sure the 4l60 is build up to the task cause it will be your week link.
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The simpleist swap would be the LS1. You could run the stock exhaust manifolds, pan and the stock program would work very well for wheeling. Just bolt it up and go.

Now if you had time to search out deals and run around picking up parts, the 5.3 might be a better investment. Depending on if you're going to use headers, trap door pan, etc. anyways.

I run my stock 2k LS1 with all the stock parts and a Firehawk program in it. I love it.
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The simpleist swap would be the LS1. You could run the stock exhaust manifolds, pan and the stock program would work very well for wheeling. Just bolt it up and go.
The 5.3L would be just as easy! And your wasting your money not tuning you LS1!

With the LS2/3 becoming popular I seen LS1 go complete for 1000 bucks.

Txchevy18 try this /forum/toyota-truck-4runner/571501-ls1-4runner-sas-project.html
Looks like a tight fit!
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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hptuners is a good tuner setuo aswell
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The 5.3L would be just as easy! And your wasting your money not tuning you LS1!

With the LS2/3 becoming popular I seen LS1 go complete for 1000 bucks.

Txchevy18 try this http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=571501
Looks like a tight fit!

What I was saying, was that the stock parts would make it an easy swap.

With a truck block, you'd likely need at least a new oil pan and new manifolds.

What's wrong with 335 HP? Just removing the torque limiter and some mild stuff does wake them up fairly nicely.

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Old 12-27-2008, 11:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd either find a cheaper LS1 or go with a 5.3 and tweak a couple things.

If you're looking for some cheaper than dirt power gains, track down a cam from an LS6 along with some LS6 valve springs. I just picked up some brand new springs and cam for $200. They are take offs from a crate engine. Combining it with some ported stock heads I'm having done, it'll be a generous 60-70 hp. On stock heads some guys have seen 20-25 hp alone....not a bad deal considering some people are just giving away the parts.
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Where are you guys finding LS1's for 2g's? I know a few people looking.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Question

Ok so it seems that the big swap for the 5.3's are a new cam, ls1 heads and the ls1/2/6 intake which requires a new front assembly, injectors, fuel rail, and Tb.

So If I list this out
$1000 for a low mileage junkyard pullout 5.3 04+
$100 for ls1 intake more for ls2 or ls6
$150 for injectors and fuel rail
$300 for heads
$400+ for an aftermarket cam or $200 for ls6 cam
$100 for ls1 exhaust manifolds for clearance
$150 for a f body oil pan
$350+ for new ls1 front assembly
$150 in misc bs and gaskets that needs swaped to fit the above
_________________________________
$2500
And i still need to either tune it myself which is another $750 for software licenses and equipment or $200 for a local tune to remove all the bs I don't need.
(prices were found on eBay and craigslist)
or

$2200 Used 2k Ls1 that is close to the same power or more after a tune and weights 100# less..... And its already pre tuned for power and all the bs is removed. I'd probably add a newer cam later but stock would suffice for now.

It just seems like id be money ahead to get the ls1. Did I miss something? Granted I love to build and tweak things. So building a 5.3 is definitely something I'm not opposed to but, it seems likes a waste of money when its put down on paper and id like to go much further than that if it wasn't going to be used on the street and require decent fuel mileage/ street manners

And as always the old adage... There's no replacement for DISPLACEMENT...

So am I totally wrong or does some of that makes sense?
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I am a newb granted. But if you are pissing around with a 5.3 and wanting to modify it to compete with a modified ls1, why not just buy a 6.0 and run with it? Or stroke an old 350, or build a 400?
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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why do you need to change the intake? clearance? a ls1 intake should cost no more than $50. ls6 runs $300. shop ls1tech.com. why you need to change injectors/fuel rails? can't you run the truck pan? and the truck exhaust? I think you're over tweaking. go with the ls6 cam it's cheap and powerful. leave everything else alone. what's this going in anyway?

EdIT: duhh, 4runner. yeah you might need to run a ls1 pan and the accessories... I wouldn't bother with the LS1 intake unless you need the clearance.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Don't bother with the LS1/6 intake. There a bunch of guys that did it on performancetrucks.com and gained nothing. They'll all tell you the only thing you'll gain is a cleaner look, but they all agree it's not worth the hassle. Unless you've got some stroked LS motor that absolutely needs the extra airflow, then it's just wasted money.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You can mod the truck accessories to clear the car intake BTW pretty easy.

Keep it simple! Your planning on parts you my not even need and you'll waste more time and money on things.

The LS6 cam and intake are a good start! But, check first to see if the truck intake and oil pan clear your application it will save you some cash! If it doesn't look for a used FAST 90 intake. Another option on the intake is the 90mm LS2 truck intake.


Get it swapped in! Then if you need more power you can install a LQ9 or even LS2 or a stroked 6.0L (408ci)!!!
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Last edited by Bo185; 12-29-2008 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think I'm gonna go with a 5.3 and a tune and then go from there. It should be a hell of an upgrade compared to the 150hp of the 3.slow. I was just looking to see if the power was worth the extra grand but it seems that it isn't and with all the take off parts coming off the f bodys and vettes it shouldn't be too hard to make those numbers if i get a wild hair. And like Bo185 mentioned once its setup for a genIII motor it only takes a pull out engine, some tuning and an afternoon to go bigger.

What advantages does the drive by wire setups have? I'd guess you will find them on the 04+ 5.3's? It seems a simple throttle cable would be much simpler with less to go wrong. Though I'm new to this stuff so I could be ( and probably am) totally wrong.

Besides Efi Live is there any other suggestions for DIY tuning? I like to tweak things so it seems like a logical choice but, a $750 setup isn't really in the budget at the moment. It does look kick ass though.

Thanks,
Cory

Btw this project is getting one step closer to a reality! I'm hopefully picking up a set of 2.5" fox internal bypass coil overs for the rear soon.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:56 AM   #16 (permalink)
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What advantages does the drive by wire setups have? I'd guess you will find them on the 04+ 5.3's? It seems a simple throttle cable would be much simpler with less to go wrong. Though I'm new to this stuff so I could be ( and probably am) totally wrong.
Do a search in this forum for drive by wire.

What I found after asking was that there was no REAL issue with the drive by wire short of dunking it in water. Most of the "issues" were mostly techno-phobes with the doom and gloom

The benefit of drive by wire was smoother running. Also, because drive by wire is newer, odds are you will find a lower mileage engine(mine had 30k miles on it)

I went drive by wire because that is what I had. In order for me to convert, it was going to be $200-$300 more on top of an already mounting swap budget overrun
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:30 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Ah ok so thats what it is. I have a 03 2500 hd gmc CC/lb and it seems to have almost what I would compare to a turbo lag. I can floor it at and speed and it takes a second or so for it to take off. It gets annoying at times when running in traffic and trying to pass. Is this something that is related to the DBW or is it just a inherit thing with the genIII's that could possibly tuned out? Almost seems like the ecm/pcm are communicating and possibly changing fuel maps/ gears and its just the lag from the electronics.

I think I will start looking at the newer motors now. I had been staying away from anything newer than 03 do to the dbw and DOD. Looks like its time for some more research.

Thanks,
Cory
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I run a 5.3 in my S-10 with 1 tons/42s...love it I put a LS6 cam/springs in it, EFI Live tune and thats it. I have no idea what kinda power it is making, but its prolly around 330-340? I left the truck intake, manifolds and accessories on it, so I know about the clearance issues. I also have a taurus fan on a Howe aluminum radiator....water pump pulley nose misses it by 1/2" or so. lol if you move the radiator forward a bit, its not an issue and can be done pretty clean if you have the tools.
The 5.3 was a no brainer for me....350 bux w/ harness and ECM. Had to buy a alt and starter, an intake (50 bux..cuz the one was broken), and a few misc. sensors. my buddy tuned it (100 bux for EFIlive licence) and I reworked the harness myself in the living room. Its really not that hard as long as you know what you need and where things are in your truck.
Are you going to try and get the stock gauges to work?

Brian
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have a 2006 5.3 L33 all aluminum motor thats going in the new racer. I had Jims Performance tune the computer pretty nicely and Jim stated that it should really wake the motor up into the 350-360 hp range. It was no brainer for me since in my neck of the woods LS motors were going for 3k and I picked the L33 up for 1700 complete and reaped the benefit of an all aluminum engine and the truck intake has a better tork curve. It should be running in the next 2 weeks so we'll see if I really like it or not. I'm coming from a 200 hp 4.3 motor.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:57 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have a 2006 5.3 L33 all aluminum motor thats going in the new racer.
I had heard about the aluminum 5.3's but have yet to find one that wasn't as much as a ls1 or more. I believe they are from a SS Trailblazer and maybe the Colorado's? Are there any other advantages to them besides being all aluminum? Maybe a better intake or better cam/ valve train? I can see the advantages in a racer but not so much in a DD weekend warrior.

Quote:
I'm coming from a 200 hp 4.3 motor.
Ive been told by alot of the guys in my area to run a 4.3 and be done with it, better clearance, lighter, easy to work on, blah , blah. I just can't justify doing all that work and settling for a v6. A v8 is only another 100lbs more I'd guess and with no distributor fitment should be much easier. Go Big Or Go Home!

Quote:
Are you going to try and get the stock gauges to work?
I was considering using the factory gauges but I'm unsure how much work it would require to make it look right in a 4runner. I stared at my gauges in the 03 2500 hd and then the 4 runner and it seems the 4runner gauge space is shorter and wider than my truck. It still could be an option though as long as i can make it look like it belonged there from the factory. I don't want a hack job. I may end up just using a set of auto meter ultralites or even adapt the factory sending units to the GenIII motor.

I plan on using a sending unit on the spedo-cable to pick a vss signal so that may become an issue as well. I'm not quite sure yet as I'm still gathering parts and doing research.

I figure I'll do my own harness. A friend talked to my old high school shop teacher a few days ago. He moved school and now has a brand new shop that includes the lastest version of all data and a chassis dyno. So I should be able to figure out the wiring and having a true measure of power would be pretty cool as baseline if/when i decide to do any mods.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:54 AM   #21 (permalink)
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as for stock gauges, I was talkin about in your rig....not the chevy ones.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:56 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Ahh.. Duh. lol Ya thats what will probaly end up happening and maybe a pillar pod for something extra if I find the need.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:40 AM   #23 (permalink)
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It gets annoying at times when running in traffic and trying to pass. Is this something that is related to the DBW or is it just a inherit thing with the genIII's that could possibly tuned out? Almost seems like the ecm/pcm are communicating and possibly changing fuel maps/ gears and its just the lag from the electronics.
This is more than likly torque managment. If you remove all of it it will help. But to be the cable seems more "real" feeling. The DBW feels very synthetic. But it works well. And adding cruse control is really easy as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Txchevy18 View Post
I think I will start looking at the newer motors now. I had been staying away from anything newer than 03 do to the dbw and DOD. Looks like its time for some more research.

Thanks,
Cory
The DOD doesn't really start till the 07 save for the 05 up Trailblazers. I would stay away from the Gen IV's as well. Most 03 ups are DBW but some didn't have it by then. Also most 05 and ups had the returnless fuel rails like the vettes. So you won't need a return at the rail.

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Originally Posted by Txchevy18 View Post
I had heard about the aluminum 5.3's but have yet to find one that wasn't as much as a ls1 or more. I believe they are from a SS Trailblazer and maybe the Colorado's? Are there any other advantages to them besides being all aluminum? Maybe a better intake or better cam/ valve train? I can see the advantages in a racer but not so much in a DD weekend warrior.
The LH6 from hte Trailblazers had DOD, BTW. And the New LH8 from the colorados will be hard to find as they are so new. The most the alumium 5.3l's are expensive because they a Alum. Aother than the block, they most com with LS6 heads 243's, flat top pistions and little different cam.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Txchevy18 View Post
I was considering using the factory gauges but I'm unsure how much work it would require to make it look right in a 4runner. I stared at my gauges in the 03 2500 hd and then the 4 runner and it seems the 4runner gauge space is shorter and wider than my truck. It still could be an option though as long as i can make it look like it belonged there from the factory. I don't want a hack job. I may end up just using a set of auto meter ultralites or even adapt the factory sending units to the GenIII motor.
You could just adapt the factor gauges to the Gen III motor. Your better off using aftermarket they will be easier and better. The stock gauges won't be a accurate as the aftemarket ones and it's good ins.

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I plan on using a sending unit on the spedo-cable to pick a vss signal so that may become an issue as well. I'm not quite sure yet as I'm still gathering parts and doing research.
These are expensive just use an electric speedo.

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Originally Posted by Txchevy18 View Post
I figure I'll do my own harness. A friend talked to my old high school shop teacher a few days ago. He moved school and now has a brand new shop that includes the lastest version of all data and a chassis dyno. So I should be able to figure out the wiring and having a true measure of power would be pretty cool as baseline if/when i decide to do any mods.
The harnesses are easy if you have the diagrams. And you can remove alot of the BS.
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TECH: Gen III/IV "LS motor" to Early GM Auto Trans

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Old 01-04-2009, 11:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Ah ok so thats what it is. I have a 03 2500 hd gmc CC/lb and it seems to have almost what I would compare to a turbo lag. I can floor it at and speed and it takes a second or so for it to take off. It gets annoying at times when running in traffic and trying to pass. Is this something that is related to the DBW or is it just a inherit thing with the genIII's that could possibly tuned out? Almost seems like the ecm/pcm are communicating and possibly changing fuel maps/ gears and its just the lag from the electronics.

I think I will start looking at the newer motors now. I had been staying away from anything newer than 03 do to the dbw and DOD. Looks like its time for some more research.

Thanks,
Cory

Sounds like the power enrichment delay to me. It can be tuned out, yes.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:33 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rkjplt1 View Post
Sounds like the power enrichment delay to me. It can be tuned out, yes.
The truck tunes don't have it, just the cars. Its TQ Mangment.
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