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Author Topic: XLR8's Dark Side Build: 416ci's of fun!  (Read 104424 times)

Offline XLR8

XLR8's Dark Side Build: 416ci's of fun!
« on: November 03, 2013, 11:52:42 PM »
The Decision

Hello everyone!  After much much debate, I have decided to go for an LS3 swap in my FD.  I recently completed a long single turbo rotary project and put down 540whp @24psi.  The rear rotor let go and I was once again faced with the decision of a LS swap.  I have thought about it in the past, but never really gave it serious thought.  After driving a friend's LS3 FD, and doing a little "soul searching", I think an LS3 swap will fit my needs the best for this time in my life.  I'm getting sick of always wrenching and not driving the car.  This will be the last build for this car, and it will be a good one....

As the car sits....




As you can see, my FD is very well put together.  My plan is of course to sell off ALL parts rotary related.  I easily have $10k even with a blown rear rotor.  In actuality, I think the rear apex seal is warped, which give way to no damage and a bit of money for my new rotor housings.  In any case, stripping the bay and drivetrain will take some time.

Power Plant

I have been really looking at two major options for this build.  The options must meet my overall criteria.  It must be relatively tame for the street, and it must be as quick as the rotary (within reason).  I will retain both PS, and A/C.  I will be using all Samberg swap parts for this project.  His radiator and intake as well.

1.  GMPP LS376/480 crate engine.  From what I can see, this LS3 with the "hot cam" would give me a mild manor street car, but give me a nice boost from the stock LS3.  I imagine it would dyno out at around 450-460whp with full headers, intake, and tune.

2.  GMPP LS376/525 crate engine.  I originally thought this would be best, but as I looked at the ASA cam used, I feel it may be a bit much for the street.  I have searched around and I do get mixed opinions on this setup.  I imagine it would dyno close to 480-490whp with proper support.

3.  Turnkey 427 LS3 Stroker.  Obviously the "cut throat" approach to what I want.  The only real reservation with this approach is the cost.  I have seen them put down 500-550whp with no issues and still be well mannered.  Ultimately, this is what I want, but I'm not sure if I am ready to bite off the price tag.  It may take some convincing to my wife on this one....  I do realize I could start with the 6.2, and if I were inclined, eventually pull the motor for a revision.  I am still debating on all of this though.


As I start to part out my setup, and do more research, I feel things will become more clear.  Any and ALL opinions are welcome!!

Thanks everyone.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2016, 02:56:17 PM by XLR8 »
94 MB Base...416 LS3 Stroker......Build Thread

Offline mefarri

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Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 12:06:44 AM »
Glad you made the smart choice.   8)  I've commented in your thread on the club.  The car is super nice.  As far as being as quick as the rotary.... Just get ready.   :cheers:   What you need to do first is get the car weighed in it's current form and then at the end so you can some undeniable evidence that you haven't "ruined" the car when the fan boys on the club give you shit like they already started to. 
"I'm not sure what your intent was because I don't speak "dumbshit", but next time, start your own thread. "

-Jimlab

"Otherwise it looks like something I can build over a weekend, if I spent the first day watching TV."

-Blake motherfucking McBride

Offline XLR8

Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 12:15:30 AM »
Glad you made the smart choice.   8)  I've commented in your thread on the club.  The car is super nice.  As far as being as quick as the rotary.... Just get ready.   :cheers:   What you need to do first is get the car weighed in it's current form and then at the end so you can some undeniable evidence that you haven't "ruined" the car when the fan boys on the club give you shit like they already started to.

Oh it's been getting deep over there...lol.  :secret:

I remember seeing your comments from time to time.  I didn't realize you were an LS guy.  Nonetheless, thanks for the warm welcome.  I really do feel like it's the best choice.  I really love rotaries.... but they just don't have the power and reliability that I am looking for right now.

It's funny, if I threw a NA 20B in it, they would be praising my 350whp masterpiece.... lol



94 MB Base...416 LS3 Stroker......Build Thread

Online digitalsolo

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Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 08:59:13 AM »
Sounds/looks like a nice build, and also, welcome!

I don't believe the ASA cam is really all that big;  a good tune should make it very streetable.   Any and all of the listed options will do you well though.  :)
Blake MF'ing McBride
1988 Mazda RX7 - Turbo LS1/T56/ProEFI/8.8/Not Slow...   sold.
1965 Mustang Coupe - TT Coyote, TR6060, modern brakes/suspension...  project car
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Offline mefarri

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Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 09:44:28 AM »
Glad you made the smart choice.   8)  I've commented in your thread on the club.  The car is super nice.  As far as being as quick as the rotary.... Just get ready.   :cheers:   What you need to do first is get the car weighed in it's current form and then at the end so you can some undeniable evidence that you haven't "ruined" the car when the fan boys on the club give you shit like they already started to.

Oh it's been getting deep over there...lol.  :secret:

I remember seeing your comments from time to time.  I didn't realize you were an LS guy.  Nonetheless, thanks for the warm welcome.  I really do feel like it's the best choice.  I really love rotaries.... but they just don't have the power and reliability that I am looking for right now.

It's funny, if I threw a NA 20B in it, they would be praising my 350whp masterpiece.... lol




Lol.  You'll also find this forum is bar none the best on the internet.  With your attitude towards building you'll fit right in.  Blake (digitalsolo) is the owner/grandmaster daddy moderator, but can be bought off with sexual favors involving Tabasco sauce.
"I'm not sure what your intent was because I don't speak "dumbshit", but next time, start your own thread. "

-Jimlab

"Otherwise it looks like something I can build over a weekend, if I spent the first day watching TV."

-Blake motherfucking McBride

Offline bikedad

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Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 09:52:13 AM »
Glad you made the smart choice.   8)  I've commented in your thread on the club.  The car is super nice.  As far as being as quick as the rotary.... Just get ready.   :cheers:   What you need to do first is get the car weighed in it's current form and then at the end so you can some undeniable evidence that you haven't "ruined" the car when the fan boys on the club give you shit like they already started to.

Oh it's been getting deep over there...lol.  :secret:

I remember seeing your comments from time to time.  I didn't realize you were an LS guy.  Nonetheless, thanks for the warm welcome.  I really do feel like it's the best choice.  I really love rotaries.... but they just don't have the power and reliability that I am looking for right now.

It's funny, if I threw a NA 20B in it, they would be praising my 350whp masterpiece.... lol




Lol.  You'll also find this forum is bar none the best on the internet.  With your attitude towards building you'll fit right in.  Blake (digitalsolo) is the owner/grandmaster daddy moderator, but can be bought off with sexual favors involving Tabasco sauce.

And Sprecher Rootbeer   :chug:
Don Teifke  :drive:
[smg id=8489]
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Offline largeorangefont

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Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 10:18:29 AM »
I think you'll be fine with the 376/525. I have the ASA cam in a 346 cube LS1 and it has pretty good manners and sounds awesome. It will be even more tame with another 30 cubes.
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Sell it to spacevomit.  He'll finish it.

Offline Mik3ymomo

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Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 12:43:53 PM »
Its my car that Josh drove. We will meet up tomorrow so he can evaluate it a bit better. He was focused on the seats I had in it and not the swap at the time.

Having spent my share of money on rotary rebuilds myself its the logical approach. More and more folks realize this and once able to experience a swapped car goes a long way in  convincing previous rotorheads.

- Mike
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 01:52:02 PM by Mik3ymomo »
93 CYM Base Single Turbo
94 Chaste White Base 22k Original miles Stock
94 Chaste White PEP 29k Miles (sold)
94 Chaste White PEP LS3 T56 Swap (Sold)
93 BB Touring 20B Swap (Sold)
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Offline CharmCity7

Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 01:08:17 PM »
muhahaha, yes!!!!!!  This is great, I love this car.  Sorry to hear about the motor, but glad you are coming to the darkside.  Go big and do the Ls7.  Honestly, I think ls3 are pointless for the money.  They don't make much more power than an ls1/6, and are more expensive.

-Austin

Offline XLR8

Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 09:20:18 PM »
Thanks for the welcomes and input everyone!! 

I just got back from a ride in Mikes LS3 FD and I am impressed.  Definitely a different feel and sound but I was instantly confirmed that I will be doing the swap.  I was 99% sure, but I wanted to ride in one again to make sure.  In any case, let the rotary parts sellathon begin!! 8)

As far as my options go, I am really torn.  I have been researching the 525hp as much as possible to see how it will deal with PS, A/C, and vacuum brakes.  It's a mixed bag really.  Most of the positive responses I got on it are from you all.  I see that they are pretty widely used in muscle car swaps and other street car applications, so I assume the drive-ability isn't that bad.  Just as Mike said, if I don't like the cam, I can always swap it out.

As far as an LS7 goes, I have looked at them.  I would really like to go in guns blazing but I just don't think it will happen.  My wife and I just recently bought a house in MS where we will be living for the next 5 years.  I also just spent a small fortune on the epic rotary build that I am now selling off.  An LS7 crate engine is almost twice that of a LS3.  Obviously more capable, but I just don't think it's in the cards this time around.  However, down the road, a stroker motor may be doable.

I'm planning on a very clean and simple LS3 swap.  In my usual fashion, the attention will be in the details. 

94 MB Base...416 LS3 Stroker......Build Thread

Offline zbrown

Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 10:18:21 PM »
dont do anything rash

research alot before you pull the trigger on anything

the point of the ls3 vs the ls6/ls1 is the bore for head choices

you can put together a stout and strong combo for less and better than the crate engines offered if you research and take your time
8.50/165



Offline XLR8

Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 10:29:40 PM »
dont do anything rash

research alot before you pull the trigger on anything

the point of the ls3 vs the ls6/ls1 is the bore for head choices

you can put together a stout and strong combo for less and better than the crate engines offered if you research and take your time

Thanks for the advice.  Yes, I have definitely been looking at that option as well.  But as you mentioned, it will be awhile before I pull the trigger on anything.  I have a ton of parts to sell at the best possible price, a house to move in to, and a lot of research to do. 

Thanks!
94 MB Base...416 LS3 Stroker......Build Thread

Offline karsty

Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 11:29:17 AM »
Subscribed.  Beautiful car and great attention to detail.

Offline halfspec

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Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 02:37:34 PM »
Welcome!

I followed your build thread on the club and also enjoyed your review of the Ronin Mazdaspeed hood. You do very good work and I'm sure a lot of us will enjoy your future build thread. Don't worry about the internet jabs from the rotary guys. I've never gotten anything but complements from rotary guys in person. It's a whole different ball game when they witness what's going on in person ;)

I saw in your thread that you're heading down here in January. What part of MS are you moving to?
Feel free to PM me if you think I can help you with anything. I do a lot with AC for LS FDs which I saw is something you definitely want (trust me, you'll need it in MS) so if you need help or a kit just hit me up.

Lane

Offline XLR8

Re: XLR8's Darkside build.... LS3, T56, and some NA reliability
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2013, 03:50:27 PM »
Welcome!

I followed your build thread on the club and also enjoyed your review of the Ronin Mazdaspeed hood. You do very good work and I'm sure a lot of us will enjoy your future build thread. Don't worry about the internet jabs from the rotary guys. I've never gotten anything but complements from rotary guys in person. It's a whole different ball game when they witness what's going on in person ;)

I saw in your thread that you're heading down here in January. What part of MS are you moving to?
Feel free to PM me if you think I can help you with anything. I do a lot with AC for LS FDs which I saw is something you definitely want (trust me, you'll need it in MS) so if you need help or a kit just hit me up.

Lane


Hey buddy!  Glad you liked the Mazdaspeed hood review. :).  Now let's see if it fits with the LS swap...lol

Thanks for the offers and info.  I will be hitting you up for sure!  Still lots of learning and research to do.  Definitely want to get this swap just right, since it will likely be the last one for awhile.

I am moving to Biloxi, MS.  My wife and I are active duty Air Force and we have orders to Keesler AFB.  We will be moving into our new house in January.  8)
94 MB Base...416 LS3 Stroker......Build Thread