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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been researching and piecing together a build for the past year. Mostly reading and contradicting which direction to go so continually failing to ever purchase anything.

Finally one day I drew a line in the sand - and what a relief it was. I decided to pull the trigger on an LS3 head swap and of course accompanied with cam and supporting mods. In my opinion this is the greatest perceived reward dollar for dollar.

End Goal: 450rwhp with a healthy Lope. Personally a large draw of going the cam route was for the classic V8 sound that put American muscle on the map. If you don't like the sound of a kick in the sack cammed V8 then you can gitt outttt. :cartman:

I know the LS3 checklist has been ridden harder than the village bicycle, but I'm not sure that I've ever seen cost accompanied. Hopefully this will serve as a valuable resource to anyone considering this in the future as well as idiot proof it for me.


Purchased New

Custom Spec'd Cam from Ed Curtis @ FTI - $450 (Will update with general specs)
Custom 1-Piece 5/16 Pushrods from FTI - $140 (Will update with length)

#12569167 Offset Rockers - $8.35 x 8 = $67
#12600936 Rocker Pedestal - $5.56 x 2 = $12

Rollmaster Timing Set LSx CS1180 - $150

ARP Balancer Bolt Kit - $35
ARP Cam Plate Bolt Kit - $19
ARP Camshaft Bolts - $6
ARP 1343610 Head Bolt Kit (Edit* Credit to ShawShank) - $115

Melling 10296 High Volume Oil Pump - $125

Morel Standard Link Bar Lifters - $329

Fel-Pro TCS45993 Timing Cover Gasket - $39

Cometic 4.06" Bore x 0.040" Thick MLS Head Gasket - $85 x 2 = $170

Installation Lube - $9

SLP Underdrive Pulley - $175 (Brand new purchased from Forum member)

Purchased Used

Complete LS3 Intake/Rails/Injectors (<10k mileage) - $300

823 LS3 Heads, Milled .030, Lunati Dual .660 Springs (<4000 miles) - $750

Exploded Svede - $120 + $80 parts = $200

SLP Tuner with 490PAC (will be used as temp tune) - $150


Grand Total: $3241

Already Owned Supporting Mods:
Kooks 1"3/4 Coated Headers + Catted Mids with DMH Cutouts
Lovells Stock Height Eliminator Kit
275's Mounted on TSW Thruxtons
Billet Catch Can

Now that it's out there, someone smarter than me point out what I'm missing. I suppose I'm missing Oil and Fluids. But I wouldn't consider those hard costs.

Labor will be performed by me until I realize I'm in over my head and need help. Although I don't have the numbers I can't imagine a complete package deal putting down better power for less money.


Toying with the Idea of porting the Intake and Throttle Body while I'm there?
 

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Let's roll
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If you're ever thinking about boost, might as well do ls9 gaskets now

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Can the slp tuner adjust for different fuel injectors?
 

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Let's roll
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Discussion Starter #8

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Discussion Starter #10
Missed 2 items:

LS7 Crank Bolt (11570163) for Seating the Harmonic Balancer - $7

MAP Sensor Gasket (16194007) for doubling up on the LS2 map in the LS3 Intake - $4
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Forgot the 2 belts for the new underdrive pulley.

Goodyear Gatorback (4040405) - $9.20
Goodyear Gatorback (4060760) - $29.23
 

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The Entenmann's Shim-Sham
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Custom 1-Piece 5/16 Pushrods from FTI - $140 (Will update with length)

#12569167 Offset Rockers - $8.35 x 8 = $67
#12600936 Rocker Pedestal - $5.56 x 2 = $12

ARP 1343610 Head Stud Kit - $115

Cometic 4.06" Bore x 0.040" Thick MLS Head Gasket - $85 x 2 = $170

Complete LS3 Intake/Rails/Injectors (<10k mileage) - $300

823 LS3 Heads, Milled .030, Lunati Dual .660 Springs (<4000 miles) - $750
To do an actual LS3 top-end swap, these are the parts you need.
You can save money by getting replacement head bolts and head gaskets from GM. You don't always have to get Cometic this and ARP that.

Personally, I wouldn't get the thinner head gasket with the milled heads.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
To do an actual LS3 top-end swap, these are the parts you need.
You can save money by getting replacement head bolts and head gaskets from GM. You don't always have to get Cometic this and ARP that.

Personally, I wouldn't get the thinner head gasket with the milled heads.
Agreed. Money wasn't necessarily and issue, but I tend to buy things based upon perceived reward. (EG buying ls3 intake instead of a Fast) Fom everything I saw it recommended using the ARP bolts over GM TTY which is what lead me to my purchase.

What would you consider a thinner head gasket? Isn't the .40 standard?
 

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The Entenmann's Shim-Sham
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.040 is thinner than stock. OEM is .052
 

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Cyclone Gray Moneypit
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I've spent months thinking about different approaches to take, what I'd like to achieve, etc. The LS3 top-end is one of the most alluring approaches for me from a ROI standpoint. Take-offs are abundant and relatively cheap when you find the right deal!

I've subscribed to live vicariously through your 'line in the sand' with the LS3 top-end for a build. I think it's very helpful to see all the costs associated with the complete build, because we all know how the little things add up for any project! I appreciate the time and effort you've put towards this thread, and I'm sure your Goat will appreciate a well-planned build as well. Keep us posted! :thumbs:



OP: 134-3610 are head bolts not studs. The head studs are 234-4317.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OP: 134-3610 are head bolts not studs. The head studs are 234-4317.
Good Catch Edited Above - Thanks

The custom cam from EDC at Flowtech finally came in! Along with a bunch of other goodies. Now to find time for the install during the process of moving/building a deck/finishing my basement on top of traveling for work.



 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've been out of the country for work so it's been pure torture not being able to work on the car. Hopefully getting the top end taken off of the car this weekend. Pictures to follow.
 

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If that is a custom fti cam you MUST degree it to reach your intended results. When I degreed mine with the comp ls degree kit I bought... Running dot to dot was not matching cam card. To have everything match up I had to retard the cam 2 degrees. That's why he most likely recommended that single adjustable roller. I have the same one

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