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LS1 to LS3 Conversion


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#1 slick_joker

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Posted May 23 2011 11:41AM

My LS1 is slowly crapping out on me with "clanks" "ticks" and "clunks"; hopefully by Christmas I'll have enough money saved enough to then borrow enough money to actually get the swap done...

I'm thinking crate LS3 w/ Hotcam (480 hp).


So what all do I need for the conversion?
1.) Tune
2.) Conversion kit for newer style injectors
3.) Knock sensor extensions
4.) Drive-By-Wire throttle adapter for the LS3 intake
5.) Lingenfelter 58x to 24x Signal Converter for Camshaft and Crank sensors
6.) LS1 Style MAP Sensor with extension

Is there anything I'm missing?
I'm sure somebody here has done a similar swap?!

#2 ATX LSX

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Posted May 23 2011 1:53PM

That should be it. I don't think you need any type of DBW adapter, you can bolt up any 4 bolt TB to it. If you're using LS3 intake and MAP-you'll need Katech LS3 MAP adapter. If you use the taller EV1 Injectors (LS1 style) you'll need a spacer kit from Katech, if you use the LS7 style injectors (shorter) you'll need the injector harness adapters from Ford Racing, Caspers, or Racetronix.

Just a word of advice (or I guess, what I'd do) is to buy a low mile LS3 pullout instead, which would save you a couple of bucks, get a custom grind cam, and pull the heads off and send them to get ported. This would put you well over 500whp with good street manners. Don't cheap out on the tune, get Brian to tune it. Good luck.

Edited by ATX LSX, May 23 2011 1:56PM.

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#3 slick_joker

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Posted May 24 2011 6:56AM

I've never looked into the possibility of getting a used one...
If the price is low enough, it might be worth it!

Any recommendations on where to find one?

#4 kewl_blades

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Posted May 24 2011 7:01AM

If you get a used one, get it professionally rebuilt. "Low milage" means nothing.

#5 transman

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Posted May 24 2011 7:03AM

My buddy that works for HKE is going to be pulling the ls3 out of his 2010 ss and installing a 427.. His will be FS.. Its still driving today so thats a little bit of piece of mind.

#6 Shep

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Posted May 25 2011 8:49AM

slick...please keep us posted on this. If/when I need to do major engine work, this is what I would like to do as well....

#7 slick_joker

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Posted May 25 2011 11:14PM

I'll keep you guys posted...
Hopefully I'll have the cash by New Years and I'll send it over to Robby for the transplant...

Also, I'm opting towards a GMPP LS3 instead of a used pullout. If the difference is only 1-2k, I'd rather have the peace of mind and the 3 year warranty...

Thanks everyone!

#8 jhall73

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Posted May 26 2011 12:28AM

Yea I agree with the new motor idea. Why buy something that has probly had the hell beat out of it for that kind of money.

#9 Lee95TA

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Posted May 26 2011 8:15AM

I'll keep you guys posted...
Hopefully I'll have the cash by New Years and I'll send it over to Robby for the transplant...

Also, I'm opting towards a GMPP LS3 instead of a used pullout. If the difference is only 1-2k, I'd rather have the peace of mind and the 3 year warranty...

Thanks everyone!


I imagine the difference is much more than $1-2k.

LS3 crate engines are going for around $6k.

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#10 slick_joker

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Posted May 27 2011 2:03AM

I'm not sure how much a pullout LS3 will run you... Say 1/2 price, so 3k. Another 2k to rebuild it... You're not saving much...
And then the rest of the parts are going to be used: heads, intake, injectors, etc...

I might be exaggerating on the prices, anyone with better figures feel free to correct me...

And then the GMPP comes with, I think, a 3 year warranty...

#11 transman

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Posted May 27 2011 6:51AM

It usually is cheaper to buy a pullout and rebuild..

#12 Lee95TA

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Posted May 27 2011 9:01AM

LS3's are pretty recent. Do you really think you need to rebuild it right away ?

I'd try and find one that just came in from a wreck - you know it ran before it was totaled. ;-)

Other advantage from the junkyard is you can snag all the matching components you need - brackets, sensors, ecm, etc

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#13 kewl_blades

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Posted May 27 2011 10:07AM

It usually is cheaper to buy a pullout and rebuild..


That may be correct for older engines, but most people still sale the LS3 pullouts at a premium. And the market supports it at 3/4 the price as new. It's not like a Gen I or LT1 block where they can be had for a dime a dozen.
But back in the day, when the LT1's were fresh on the market, it was a hot item as well.

#14 slick_joker

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Posted June 11 2011 11:43PM

And it's DEAD! :(
Now to find funding!!!

...and see if/when Robby can do the swap.

#15 ATX LSX

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Posted June 12 2011 12:46AM

I'm not sure how much a pullout LS3 will run you... Say 1/2 price, so 3k. Another 2k to rebuild it... You're not saving much...

Lolz, what are you rebuilding on it that would cost so much???

My motor from pan to intake was $5800. That's with built everything (LS3 block, forged pistons/rods, arp head/main studs, doweled mains, block machining, head port work, assembled LSA heads, custom spec'd turbo cam, patriot extremes, melling 10296 blue printed oil pump, moroso oil pan, ATI damper, vic jr.... blah blah blah).

A pullout from a running car does not need a "rebuild". I have seen complete LS3/L92 pullouts go anywhere from 3K to 4K.

Just trying to save you a few bucks man... But it's your money, do whatever you wish with it.

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#16 slick_joker

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Posted June 12 2011 1:03PM

Did you rebuild the LS3 with the 24x relcutor ring and the 1x camshaft?
Where did you have your engine rebuilt? I'm not looking for anything that extreme, so mine would probably be slightly cheaper...