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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, just another noob here asking if I should settle for an ls1 goat, or wait for a nice ls2.

I've read no less than 50 thread about the matter, but can't decide for the life on me. Between the 50 hp difference and the cosmetic differences, I can't decide.

Mostly made this thread to clarify modding the ls1 to 400 hp. Sounds like a grumpy cam, good headers and intake will get the right up there with an ls2. Sound about right?

The price difference in the area is about 2-3k between the two. What would it run for say, Some good flowing heads, a good cam, and some decent budget headers? Looks like around 2k if I get used good heads, but would never buy a used cam. I would also need a tune. Can anyone recommend a good tuner in MN?

I have searched and read 20 page argument threads about the matter, but there is so many conflicting opinions and bias. I'm expecting to be flamed, but just want some solid info from non bias people.

Thanks in advance
 

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Buy what you can afford and enjoy. Headers, CAI, tune on an LS1 will get you right at LS2 power. What body style do you prefer? If you're planning heads/cam and you just want a fun car, then a heads/cam 04 will get you over 400 to the wheels, and 400 is plenty to have fun with. In fact, unless you spend some money and get some good tires, you won't even be able to use all that power.
 

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Never from concentrate
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I think it's more important to get a low mileage cleaner car myself. Most of the GTOs I've seen are pretty ragged out especially the 04s. I would rather have a clean mint 04 than a ragged out, seats popped, headlined falling down, faded paint ls2. You can always make more power.
 

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ricer phase
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It takes very little to get an ls1 to make stock ls2 power, much less then what you are thinking. Get what fits your budget and what you find in the best condition. You can always make an ls2 car look like the cleaner 04, and you can always make an 04 faster then an ls2 car. I'd buy the best condition gto you could find regardless of the year.
 

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Unless you get an insane deal on headers and do the labor yourself, putting the mods you need on an LS1 to make LS2 power won't save you much money if any at all over just getting an LS2. Plus you get better brakes.

If you've been waiting this long to buy a GTO, is it really gonna kill you to wait a couple more months and bu a care that will always have at least a 50hp advantage over an LS1 with similar mods? We all know you're not gonna want to stop at LS2 power, so why not give yourself a head start?
 

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Buckeye Goat
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Depending on the deal, id get an 06 if possible for the exterior appearance. Overall condition and mileage is more important though. I felt my 04 was a good deal and was in great shape so I bought it and just visually upgraded the hood, rear bumper and tails to the 06.

Performance wise, the LS2 is going to have 243 heads which are an improvement on the LS1 241's + the actual LS2. As others have said, you can make up the power difference, but in the long run, more cubes is more cubes if your trying to pinch as much out as you can. I personally love my LS1, its the visuals of the LS2 that I needed to upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Wow thanks for the replies. Didn't know it took so little to get the ls1 up to par with the ls2. There are very few ls2 goats up here. I see 5 04's on craigslist right now, to 1 over priced ls2. Have my eye on a high mileage 04. 134k bone stock, cosmetically great shape for $8k locally.

For an ls2, I would likely buy one on ebay, fly to it and drive it back. Actually I just lost an auction for a mint 1 owner 06 goat with 91k which sold for $10,500. I was very disappointed when I bid 10,400 and at the last minute was outbid at $10,500, but would have to factor in $500ish for flight and fuel back.

The looks of the 06 appeal much more to me. Raxus, What did it cost for the bumpers and tails on your 04? I'd imagine $700+ which combined with the mods to get to ls2 power, is in the ballpark of an 05-06

I would be happy with 400-420ish rwhp. Hoping for a 12.5 sec car, but decently reliable. I'm willing to spend a few grand. I assume it wouldn't take much to get an ls2 there, but a few more grand to get the ls1 there, which kinda screams just start with ls2 from the start. Guess what I'm really asking for is a list to get either to 420ish rwhp. My (uneducated) guess is:

LS1 - Heads, cam, Intake, Tune, headers

LS2 - Intake, tune, headers

Sound close or am I crazy?

I'm torn between the two. Partly because I have to factor in if the better looks is worth to me and if I could settle for the 04 looks, and save some franklins. Sorry for the long post, should have titled the thread "noob needs to vent and ramble"

edit- As for waiting a few months, Snow flies here in 3ish months and I'd like to have something to enjoy until then. Also something to tear up in the garage in the winter months lol.

Originally wanted to get an ls1 bird or Camaro, and build the shat out of it, but the looks of the goat truly arouse me, along with the hideous interior of the bird and camaro, I ruled them out.
 

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oog
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I would be happy with 400-420ish rwhp. Hoping for a 12.5 sec car, but decently reliable. I'm willing to spend a few grand. I assume it wouldn't take much to get an ls2 there, but a few more grand to get the ls1 there, which kinda screams just start with ls2 from the start. Guess what I'm really asking for is a list to get either to 420ish rwhp. My (uneducated) guess is:

LS1 - Heads, cam, Intake, Tune, headers

You don't need 400+rwhp to run mid-12s.....my stock LS1 with a few bolt ons does that.

Just find yourself a nice low mile,any year,with an A4 if you plan on drag racing it.I'm not saying you can't drag race an M6,it just takes a lot more work to do it.
 

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SSgt @ USAF Hunger Games2K14
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Honestly I would also try and find the cleanest low mile car you can. I would love to find a stock, low mile, BBM 04. I would garage the hell out of it, and keep beating the piss out of my 06.
 
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....If power is what you want then the obvious decision would be buy an Ls2 Gto. ls1's are just as good but why save 3 grand just to spend it on mods to say you have an ls1 that's just as fast as an stock LS2, then spend more money changing the hood because you want an 05 look... and if I were you I would NOT be bidding on eBay for gtos not unless you get to do a once over and test drive the car and meet the seller face to face. There's about 20 threads like this one with people asking the same question about the same two cars about the same prices getting the same responses... The next question you'll ask which there is also 1000 threads on will be how much do I need to spend on a high mileage Gto to fix the suspension and is it worth buying it and how reliable is it going to be buying from an unknown guy.. If you're trying to pinch every penny trying to buy a cheap Gto, my assumption will be that you won't be happy seeing how much longtube headers and exhaust will cost you with a cat back exhaust and an intake and intake manifold and a cam and a tune not including fixing/upgrading the stock suspension. Just doing those upgrades you'll be in probably 5-6 grand with your eyes closed without even installing everything.

Your best bet would be to check this website in the for sale section and buy a used Gto already worked from people who've been on this site who know other members who know the seller.. Stay away from eBay, too many horror stories.

I hear mustangs are really nice nowadays You should check those out
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
....If power is what you want then the obvious decision would be buy an Ls2 Gto. ls1's are just as good but why save 3 grand just to spend it on mods to say you have an ls1 that's just as fast as an stock LS2, then spend more money changing the hood because you want an 05 look... and if I were you I would NOT be bidding on eBay for gtos not unless you get to do a once over and test drive the car and meet the seller face to face. There's about 20 threads like this one with people asking the same question about the same two cars about the same prices getting the same responses... The next question you'll ask which there is also 1000 threads on will be how much do I need to spend on a high mileage Gto to fix the suspension and is it worth buying it and how reliable is it going to be buying from an unknown guy.. If you're trying to pinch every penny trying to buy a cheap Gto, my assumption will be that you won't be happy seeing how much longtube headers and exhaust will cost you with a cat back exhaust and an intake and intake manifold and a cam and a tune not including fixing/upgrading the stock suspension. Just doing those upgrades you'll be in probably 5-6 grand with your eyes closed without even installing everything.

Your best bet would be to check this website in the for sale section and buy a used Gto already worked from people who've been on this site who know other members who know the seller.. Stay away from eBay, too many horror stories.

I hear mustangs are really nice nowadays You should check those out
Lol mustang. I've been leaning towards an s2 but wanted input from ls1 owners.

The "horror stories" you from buying on ebay is compiled mostly from people who do not do research. Find a reputable seller, who has positive feedback for selling cars, spend $15 on a history report, and do not pay the guy before putting it up on a lift, doing compression and leak down test, and assuring the car has a pile of maintenance records, which you will find with most legitimate sellers. I've purchased 3 cars on ebay, doing all of the above before purchasing, have not been screwed and made a good profit from all 3. Common sense is all that's required when purchasing on fleabay.

Anyhow, I don't want a 600HP demon, just a fun DD with some nuts. I'll now be comfortable buying either an ls1 or 2, knowing I can get near the same power for a close price range. Will mainly come down to what's the best deal I can find is. Appreciate all the input guys, Mods feel free to close thread now if you wish.

Thanks again
 

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May I quote you on that?
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LS1: Slow AF
LS2: Burns oil like a MF

Get a Kia
 

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Buckeye Goat
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Wow thanks for the replies. Didn't know it took so little to get the ls1 up to par with the ls2. There are very few ls2 goats up here. I see 5 04's on craigslist right now, to 1 over priced ls2. Have my eye on a high mileage 04. 134k bone stock, cosmetically great shape for $8k locally.

For an ls2, I would likely buy one on ebay, fly to it and drive it back. Actually I just lost an auction for a mint 1 owner 06 goat with 91k which sold for $10,500. I was very disappointed when I bid 10,400 and at the last minute was outbid at $10,500, but would have to factor in $500ish for flight and fuel back.

The looks of the 06 appeal much more to me. Raxus, What did it cost for the bumpers and tails on your 04? I'd imagine $700+ which combined with the mods to get to ls2 power, is in the ballpark of an 05-06

I would be happy with 400-420ish rwhp. Hoping for a 12.5 sec car, but decently reliable. I'm willing to spend a few grand. I assume it wouldn't take much to get an ls2 there, but a few more grand to get the ls1 there, which kinda screams just start with ls2 from the start. Guess what I'm really asking for is a list to get either to 420ish rwhp. My (uneducated) guess is:

LS1 - Heads, cam, Intake, Tune, headers

LS2 - Intake, tune, headers

Sound close or am I crazy?

I'm torn between the two. Partly because I have to factor in if the better looks is worth to me and if I could settle for the 04 looks, and save some franklins. Sorry for the long post, should have titled the thread "noob needs to vent and ramble"

edit- As for waiting a few months, Snow flies here in 3ish months and I'd like to have something to enjoy until then. Also something to tear up in the garage in the winter months lol.

Originally wanted to get an ls1 bird or Camaro, and build the shat out of it, but the looks of the goat truly arouse me, along with the hideous interior of the bird and camaro, I ruled them out.
The 06 tails were $300, the hood was $500 and the rear bumper was $300. You could find them for less obviously. The hood and bumper were both already red and were relatively close in location so I jumped at the price.

Also one thing I didnt say earlier, if you can find an LS2 goat with the 18 inch wheels, those are a big visual plus over the stock 17's. Then again, if your planning to get new rims, this wont really matter other than the fact that you could get alot more money out of the 18's vs the 17's in resale.
 

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Check the classifieds here. I happen to know of a certain 04 that makes as much power as I do, has 05/06 brakes, suspensions and wheels for thousands less than I bought mine for.

You can easily buy a modded 04 for as much as, or less than, an 05/06.
 

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Keeping Mustangs in check
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I would wait for an LS2 if possible. It's a better starting point, comes with more stuff and generally more liked. Pick a color combo you like and wait till you can find that one younreay want. The little while you wait for the right one will be worth not dealing with buyers remorse.
 

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If I were to do it all over and go six-seven years back in time, I wouldn't have a manual '05 CGM. I'd have an '04 auto BBM with a forged lq4, 4l80e, 9", twins, big brakes, and a stock looking exterior other than widened factory 18s.

But as multiple people have said, just find the cleanest car that you can regardless of what year.
 

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for the price you can pick up a 04 for nowadays you can easily put the money into one to put it on the power level of the ls2 plus itll sound so much better. i was in the same situation as you i waited for a ls2 but if you find a nice ls1 i wouldnt wait for a ls2
 

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Too cool for school
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With ls2 you can swap over ls3 heads and intake. Read up on how they flow. Then sell your 243 heads to an ls1 owner and make some cash back.
If you stick with an Ls1 you'll have to spend more money on heads and intake that can flow as well as ls3 heads and intake.
 

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I would have to agree with the same that most have written. Find your self the cleanest GTO you can find. When bought mines I had a choice of 3 GTOS to pick. I drove and 06 with 86k miles which had stickers on the back that said K&N and the seats were already bad. I told my self some young kid probably had this one. I found another GTO think it was 05 and it has mods done also and It was not clean. I ended up buying my 04 Torrid Red with mint interior conditions and just had a few bug marks on front bumper and the car had only 38k miles so it was perfect. I constructed my own exhaust system which everyone has complemented and I put it on the car my self. changed the cam at the house. I changed my clutch and drive shaft or I would say everything done tot he car. The difference of the 04 to the 06 in money that I did not spend was more than what I spent on Mods and my car makes really good power for what it has done. got my self a nitrous kit from a friend for 150$ and bought other accessories and the hood I traded it to someone who liked my 04 style more so it was an even trade.
 
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