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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is the deal.

I am a DUMB ASS when it comes to motors, I generally let my buddies who are into that sort of thing deal with that. The thing is we have always done simple TBI swaps and the rig I am working on now is going to have some power eventually.

The choice is between an LS-1 out of a 2000 Firebird, the catch is that it was in a LIGHT fire. Coil packs toasted, intake and valve covers with some melted holes in it.

It is bascially a block and heads.


What will I need to put this engine in a buggy?
Will the ecu and wiring harness be easy to work with?
I know painless makes a harness PN#60506.

And a LT-1 out of a 1996 Impala SS. It is a whole motor w/ecu and partial harness.

:confused: What are the pro's and con's of each motor? I know the LS-1 is more powerful but, will it be more of a pain in the ass to run? Which one can I make more power with with simple bolt-on's?

ANd what is the deal with this optispark shit?

Any personal experience with either motor?


Sorry if this is in the wrong section, I wanted to get the most opinions.




Thanks Ross
 

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I've owned both motors, albeit in their stock applications (Camaros). My $.02:

1. Motor to motor, the LS-1 is the winner hands down. All aluminum, more power (especially vs. the Impala model you have), responds better to aftermarket adders.

2. I'd use a Painless or other aftermarket harness not matter which you use. Unless you are an electrical whiz and like to splice wires, an aftermarket harness will make your life much easier.

3. Optispark sucks. They tend to fail often on the street. I would hate to see what would happen when soaked / bounced around. I think they make an eliminator kit, but I am not sure???

I don't think anyone is going to tell you that the LT-1 is a better motor than the LS-1, but they are definately cheaper. I think the decision is all about how much you think -it will take to get each motor in the rig and running. If the LS-1 is reasonable, definately do it!

Jay
 

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Hey Ross:
I'd have to agree with Jay, except that what you explained is going to cost you alot more for the LS1. I think the LS1 will be around alot longer than the LT1 was (only 6 years). But, are you getting what you want here. How many miles are on these motors? Couldn't you just buy say a RamJet crate and be done with it, and have a new motor. The LS1 is really no deal with all the burnt up parts. It needs someone looking to replace a tired wore out one that already has these pieces. PCM $500.00 Intake $500.00, Coil packs $? Harness$400.00. It really all adds up so quick. I'd just consider the crate. How much power do we need to go wheeling? You can get the GM crate LS1 complete with computer and harness for a little over $5000.00 if you shop it.
 

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Go with the LS-1. I've got and LT-4 and if I was building today I would use LS-1.

Since your manifold is toast use the manifold off a 6.0 liter pickup. They provide the most torque and flow better than the stock LS-1.
 

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I see only 2 positives to an LT-1 over an LS-1.

One-Cost. That's easy.

Two-pre-95 LT1's are OBD-1 and much easier to hook up and deal with.

Depends on your budget. Got the budget? Do the LS1. If I had it to do over I would have a spanking new LS1 from Turnkeyengines.com in my Cruiser.
 

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stays away from the lt-1 / optispark. ls1 is very, very cool engine. do it if you can get the parts cheap. complete running motors with wiring /computer can be had for 2k if you shop. best years are the 01-02 cause they have the ls6 manifold and no egr. The worst is 97-98 because they use unique and expensive coilpacks also can not be rebored (honed only .005).
 

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I don't mean to high-jack the thread or anything, but would it be a dis-advantage to run an all-alluminum motor on the trail? Would this last all day wheelin'?

I know the LT-1 is an iron block and the LS-1 is an alluminum block, thats why im asking.

Thanks :D
 

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I have no ls1 experience but the limited lt1 experience I have it SUCKED, NO low end touque (now dont get me wrong if you could get it to 3000rpm it was a hoss). That ignition system is junk.

Dan
 

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Call Kolby at Turn Key Engine Supply in Oceanside, CA. http://www.turnkeyenginesupply.com/ He builds new 4.8, 5.3, 5.7 & 6.0's to customers specs all of the time. He'd probably be an excellent source for some of the parts you need as well as a new harness & ECU. Mine is the off road harness/ecu. It will not smog but makes more power than the stock setup.
 

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I personally like the LT1 ok. I know the LS1 is a better motor, but good condition LT1's are often times nearing the cost of a TBI motor now adays, and do make some good power. The optispark has a bad rap, but slap a late model vented optispark on an OBD1 motor and it's not a bad setup. Wiring is a snap, pretty much the same as a TBI. I built my own harness in 3 hours (and two martinis) from the OEM Camaro harness.

If cost is no object: Ram Jet all the way, or a nice new LS1. If you want a budget motor with good potential for a reliable 300-400hp with a good, flat torque curve, the LT1 is a good option.

Ed
 

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dont forget the weight issue. LS-1 all aluminum of course.

most LT-1's had aluminum heads but not the impala LT-1, they had iron heads so you have the weight or a regular ol' treefiddy.
 

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well i'm in the process of putting an LS-1 in my jeep right now, i can't wait to have it all done, but the one thing is that is does cost alot of money to get it running. I have spent 15,000 already, and still have to buy drivelines and exhaust. With that being said i think that it's is worth it to go ls-1 but i'm also using my as a dd.
 

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Dan Dibble said:
I have no ls1 experience but the limited lt1 experience I have it SUCKED, NO low end touque (now dont get me wrong if you could get it to 3000rpm it was a hoss). That ignition system is junk.

Dan
Who let you drive their ragged out LT-1?

I could not disagree more about the torque of an LT-1...the power delivery is increadibly low and even. That is my favorite thing about this engine.

Anyway, not to argue, but power is not a problem with my LT-1.

:D
 

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DanTheMan said:
I don't mean to high-jack the thread or anything, but would it be a dis-advantage to run an all-alluminum motor on the trail? Would this last all day wheelin'?
Well as long as you cover it with sheetmetal it will be ok... aluminum will melt in direct sunlight :flipoff2:











hehe.. couldnt helps dat but uh anyway, aluminum block = "save 100lbs in weight"
 

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My .02$ would be get a LQ9 or LQ4 both Vortec 6.0L's the LQ4 is the "standard" 2500 truck motor and the LQ9 is the HD, Denalli(sp?), Escalade with 330 hp and 380 ft/tq. only reason is because it still has goo upper rpm hp but bucket's of low end torque!!
 

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I run an LT-1 in my Scrambler. Great motor for running rocks. I've got mine hooked up to an SM465. Great power and torque down low. It will lug around in the rocks under 500 rpm all day. I would never had expected that when I decided to put it in. I often get this motor runniing off of the rev limiter, it does crank up fast.
The down side IS the optispark. I cringe any time I have to run through water. I lost one unit early on (about $300.00 to replace) but have had no problems since.
Knowing what I know now I would not use this motor again. I just can't trust the electronics enough for the harsh environments we put them in.
Mike
 

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Hey Grizz, I just put a LS1 in my buggy and got it running. I had Howell re-flash the ECU for $200 and bought their harness for $700. I also had to buy a crank spud and flex plate from Advance Adapters to hook the engine up to a TH400. In all it was really easy! The LT1 will not be around forever due to it limited production, were as the Gen III engines will be here fore a while due to it’s use from trucks to Vettes. My vote is for the LS1
 

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Instead of an LT1 you should consider the Tuned Port motors out of 85-92 Camaros. I think they are a much better for a trail rig than an LT1, and they look so bad ass under the hood!
 

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azmaverick said:
Hey Grizz, I just put a LS1 in my buggy and got it running. I had Howell re-flash the ECU for $200 and bought their harness for $700. I also had to buy a crank spud and flex plate from Advance Adapters to hook the engine up to a TH400. In all it was really easy! The LT1 will not be around forever due to it limited production, were as the Gen III engines will be here fore a while due to it’s use from trucks to Vettes. My vote is for the LS1
Grizz, I have been running an LT1 for about 4 years with no problems. Good engine good torque. I will have to agree with maverick (biting lips) that the LS1 mainly because of the light weight compared to the impala lt1, plus more power plus cool guy feature which is priceless is the way to go. The weight deal is big because it is all about hp to weight ratio in the end.
 
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