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:-(
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Milled heads plus thin gaskets will result in a port misalignment. It's already somewhat present from the factory, but your head port will be sunk compared to your intake manifold (unless they shaved the intake port flange, which is practically never done unless requested and costs extra).

I advise to remove to top lip of the intake port. You can cut it at like a 45* angle and make it for about .045" or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #82
It is now May and the car is still in pieces.. too much travel for work and other dealings that have prevented any progress. I'm planning on setting aside 1 whole day here in the near future to assemble everything. Crossing my fingers I don't jack something up.
 

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Hot Rod A.D.D!
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I know the feeling , mine has been back together for two weeks and It's still not tuned. Take time to double check everything. I thought I did but still had a close call! Good luck
 

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Let's roll
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Any updates?
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Funny you ask, I actually took today off work to dedicate to the goat. It has been a long list of setbacks and additional circumstances. (Including buying a Baja with a 496 which has consumed what little free time I had) First time in months I've been able to work on anything let alone my car. I've essentially got the entire short block finished I just need to torque the heads and button up the remaining items. I'm really hoping I can get her fired up tomorrow. But true to nature I'm aiming for Sunday.
 

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I finally got started tonight on tearing everything down to do my ls3 top end swap. After working for awhile I decided to look over everything I have so far when I noticed that the brake booster hose port on the ls3 intake is broken off. Is there any way to replace that or am I royally screwed?

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I have read people using j&b weld and other epoxies to fix the nipples on the manifolds. No first hand experience.

I started my ls3 top end started. Costs so far:
Ported LS3 heads: 1235.98 shipped. Jegs
Ported LS3 intake manifold(new): $355 shipped. Lsx swap fb
Ported LS2 throttle body. $0 Already had
.660 brain tooley dual valve springs $229.99. Tick perfoance.
LS3 rockers with trunion upgrade: $478.19 shipped. Texas speed
Ls9 head gaskets:$64/ea Chevy dealer
Ls3 rocker stands/pedastals: $9.80/ea chevy dealer


Total: $2445.97

Will be going on a 403 ls2
 

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Let's roll
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I finally got started tonight on tearing everything down to do my ls3 top end swap. After working for awhile I decided to look over everything I have so far when I noticed that the brake booster hose port on the ls3 intake is broken off. Is there any way to replace that or am I royally screwed?

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Not sure how thick the plastic is, but if I were you I'd get a ribbed brass pipe fitting, sand the surface smooth so that it's got an even mating surface, attempt to tap the hole for the pipe fitting, and then install it with JB Weld as a sealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Made substantial progress over the weekend. Got the driver's side head completely torqued and rockers installed. Went to install the passenger side and dropped the alignment dowel pin. Clink, clink, clink.... she gone. Swallowed by the black abyss that consumers dropped parts to never return.

New dowel pin on order along with a new coolant temp sensor that I busted torquing the driver's side head down.
 

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This entire thread has made me decide to go with aftermarket heads and intake by far!! Lol

It seems to me the cost is about the same? TFS CNC'd heads are $2500, cam with all the accessories, lifters, push rods, oil pump, and double roller timing set is about $1200 or so, figure all the other gaskets, bolts and misc crap I'll need is another $1k then I'm at about 5k if I add another few hundred dollar buffer. Then your making more power anyways and have all the room you need for growth.

To me for the slight cost difference I would just go aftermarket. Much easier straight up install as well. But that's just me.. OP I wish you luck with your build and hope it works out great for you.


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The Entenmann's Shim-Sham
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You are out of your mind if you think a LS3 swap will cost anywhere remotely close to $5K.

But unless you have a 6.0 block in that 04 of yours, it is a moot point because the OEM LS3 heads won't work on anything under a 4" bore due to the larger valves.
 

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Cyclone Gray Moneypit
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You are out of your mind if you think a LS3 swap will cost anywhere remotely close to $5K.

But unless you have a 6.0 block in that 04 of yours, it is a moot point because the OEM LS3 heads won't work on anything under a 4" bore due to the larger valves.
i lol'd. Of course he won't go with LS3 heads on his 04 as if he thinks he has a choice...although I'd kind of want to see him try it :lol:

LS3 swap is nowhere near 5k unless you're doing it completely wrong. My buddy traded his LS2 heads/intake straight up for a ported LS3 heads/intake setup when a guy demodded. The whole point is that it is great on a budget and when you have the knowledge to take advantage of the different head design when it comes to the cam or pay someone who does :p

Also, how is the install of aftermarket heads more 'straight up'? The heads and intake are going to bolt on just the same...if anything, an aftermarket intake like the Fast will take some massaging of other components to fit

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:-(
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You are out of your mind if you think a LS3 swap will cost anywhere remotely close to $5K.

But unless you have a 6.0 block in that 04 of yours, it is a moot point because the OEM LS3 heads won't work on anything under a 4" bore due to the larger valves.
Right?

My God some of you guys have stupid money to burn.

ARP cam plate bolts? ARP Header studs? ARP Head studs on a NA street car that has ~11:1 compression? HV oil pumps for what reason now? Weren't gettin enogh oil pressure the first 60K miles of the cars life?

Save all that money for something that will help your car move faster or handle better
 

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Let's roll
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This entire thread has made me decide to go with aftermarket heads and intake by far!! Lol

It seems to me the cost is about the same? TFS CNC'd heads are $2500, cam with all the accessories, lifters, push rods, oil pump, and double roller timing set is about $1200 or so, figure all the other gaskets, bolts and misc crap I'll need is another $1k then I'm at about 5k if I add another few hundred dollar buffer. Then your making more power anyways and have all the room you need for growth.

To me for the slight cost difference I would just go aftermarket. Much easier straight up install as well. But that's just me.. OP I wish you luck with your build and hope it works out great for you.


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What are you talking about dude? I paid $400 for my heads. Sure, I had to buy a new intake, but if you put aftermarket heads on, you're not going to run a stock intake anyways.

$400 L92 heads +$400 intake /= $2500 TFS heads. I'm not saying the L92 heads are going to make the same power, but the price is apples to oranges.

So pretty much the only "LS3 swap related" item I can think of that I spent money on are the 8 intake rocker arms. Everything else can be applied to any heads/cam swap, and is completely dependent on your budget.

You don't have the option to run rect. port heads anyways.


Right?

My God some of you guys have stupid money to burn.

ARP cam plate bolts? ARP Header studs? ARP Head studs on a NA street car that has ~11:1 compression? HV oil pumps for what reason now? Weren't gettin enogh oil pressure the first 60K miles of the cars life?

Save all that money for something that will help your car move faster or handle better
Make sure you know the full story.

Cam plate bolts and header studs might be overkill, but I prefer to install manifolds on studs over bolts, and they're not that expensive anyways.

The head studs and high volume oil pump were because my next engine mod is going to be a turbocharger. And the difference in cost between the Melling 10295 and the Melling 10296 is only $30.

My biggest expense was all the ARP stuff. But I saw no reason to leave myself regretting not getting it later on. To each their own. There's plenty of guys running Chinese head bolts or studs and having plenty of luck with them.
 

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The Entenmann's Shim-Sham
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12,143 Posts
eBay studs here for the headers.

$20 and I'm getting more for my truck.

Seriously though, and I'm not saying that my experience is going to be the same for everyone since I got a good deal on a complete LS3 top end, but after selling off the LS2 stuff, I was out-of-pocket of ~$200 for the LS3 swap.
 

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:-(
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What are you talking about dude? I paid $400 for my heads. Sure, I had to buy a new intake, but if you put aftermarket heads on, you're not going to run a stock intake anyways.

$400 L92 heads +$400 intake /= $2500 TFS heads. I'm not saying the L92 heads are going to make the same power, but the price is apples to oranges.

So pretty much the only "LS3 swap related" item I can think of that I spent money on are the 8 intake rocker arms. Everything else can be applied to any heads/cam swap, and is completely dependent on your budget.

You don't have the option to run rect. port heads anyways.




Make sure you know the full story.

Cam plate bolts and header studs might be overkill, but I prefer to install manifolds on studs over bolts, and they're not that expensive anyways.

The head studs and high volume oil pump were because my next engine mod is going to be a turbocharger. And the difference in cost between the Melling 10295 and the Melling 10296 is only $30.

My biggest expense was all the ARP stuff. But I saw no reason to leave myself regretting not getting it later on. To each their own. There's plenty of guys running Chinese head bolts or studs and having plenty of luck with them.
Well thank you for telling the full story! Lol
 

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Let's roll
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eBay studs here for the headers.

$20 and I'm getting more for my truck.

Seriously though, and I'm not saying that my experience is going to be the same for everyone since I got a good deal on a complete LS3 top end, but after selling off the LS2 stuff, I was out-of-pocket of ~$200 for the LS3 swap.
My expense was mainly going from a bone stock engine to a hci setup. Had I alread had a cammed 243 engine, my experience would have been about the same. Bought the l92 heads for $400, sold the 243s for $350, bought the ls3 intake for $400 and sold the ls2 intake for $175. So $275, plus the cost of the intake rockers. Everything else I bought, you would already have if you have a modified car.

Of course, you wouldnt run the same cam. So theres another $400
 

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Slow N/A Gto owner
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I think I'm in my swap for around $ 2200 or so. That included just about new everything.
 

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Lol, no I know I can't run an LS3 head setup unless I get a new block or bore the shite out of mine and sleeve it. I was just trying to say if I had an LS2 I wouldn't have gone that route.

You guys were stating 3500/4k you were in to these builds. My estimate of 5k was the highest possible amount I could think of. Leaving tons of room. For me everything priced out for my heads, cam(and everything that goes with it) oil pump, timing set, gaskets, bolts, etc.. Is $3872 dollars. That's TF heads, comp springs, comp ground cam etc.. I could go cheaper on things like the springs etc..

I already have an aftermarket intake that barely cost me anything after selling the LS6 on here. So my H/C build is costing less then what the OP has already spent. And if he were doing the same to his LS2 he'd gain more power. By straight up I meant, there is no adaptors or anything like that needed like there is to make some of the LS3 sensors work. And I don't know about fast's but my BBK fit like a glove and made great power compared to the LS6. I choose the BBK because I am going to spray.


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