LS3 into my 83? - Third Generation F-Body Message Boards

LTX and LSX Putting LT1s, LS1s, and their variants into Third Gens is becoming more popular. This board is for those who are doing and have done the swaps so they can discuss all of their technical aspects including repairs, swap info, and performance upgrades.

LS3 into my 83?

Old 11-16-2018, 12:13 PM
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LS3 into my 83?

I was originally planning a 6.0 swap into my car when I stumbled upon an LS3 engine block out of a 2015 Camaro. It comes with a scat crank and stock pistons/rods. However, guy says the block potentially needs resleeved. He wants $800. Would this be a good deal? I was planning on a stroker motor anyway and would essentially have to start from a bare block on a 6.0 anyway, so I figured this may be a better option? If it is, about how much would I need to invest from the block up to come out at a decent 500hp range? (Seems like a reasonable number? Never looked too much into the LS3ís)
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:38 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by Oreo View Post
I was originally planning a 6.0 swap into my car when I stumbled upon an LS3 engine block out of a 2015 Camaro. It comes with a scat crank and stock pistons/rods. However, guy says the block potentially needs resleeved. He wants $800. Would this be a good deal? I was planning on a stroker motor anyway and would essentially have to start from a bare block on a 6.0 anyway, so I figured this may be a better option? If it is, about how much would I need to invest from the block up to come out at a decent 500hp range? (Seems like a reasonable number? Never looked too much into the LS3ís)

500hp in an LS3 is only requires a cam swap and tune (assuming you have headers, etc).

Re-sleeving is not cheap and I would question why does the motor have a scat crank and stock pistons/rods? That's backwards. Does it come with heads? I would pass unless it came with more parts and you can verify the integrity of the sleeves.
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:00 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by ShiftyCapone View Post
500hp in an LS3 is only requires a cam swap and tune (assuming you have headers, etc).

Re-sleeving is not cheap and I would question why does the motor have a scat crank and stock pistons/rods? That's backwards. Does it come with heads? I would pass unless it came with more parts and you can verify the integrity of the sleeves.
There are pictures of the sleeves I can post when I get home to my computer. As for the scat crank and stock pistons I may have misunderstood and they may both be scat and neither stock. The pistons are just stock size, not oversize. Thatís where I was confused. It does not come with heads unfortunately, just the block, rods, pistons, and the crank.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:01 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Just guessing but it seems like the guy blew up an engine and kept the stuff that could be salvaged and is selling the stuff that can't.
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:23 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by QwkTrip View Post
Just guessing but it seems like the guy blew up an engine and kept the stuff that could be salvaged and is selling the stuff that can't.
So Iím guessing avoid this at all costs and continue my search then? Hereís a picture of the sleeves, I havenít been able to check it out in person and see how deep they really are but it doesnít look great.


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Old 11-16-2018, 08:25 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Scratches are one thing, delamination and cracks are another. I would pass.
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:38 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Vertical marks like that are common so long as you can't catch a fingernail on them. That will clean up with a hone. Your issue will be if the sleeve is cracked or peeling away from the block casting. You'd have to fully disassemble to accurately inspect.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:38 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by ShiftyCapone View Post
Vertical marks like that are common so long as you can't catch a fingernail on them. That will clean up with a hone. Your issue will be if the sleeve is cracked or peeling away from the block casting. You'd have to fully disassemble to accurately inspect.
So just judging by that picture, probably better to avoid?
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:44 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by Oreo View Post


So just judging by that picture, probably better to avoid?
Not necessarily. If your going stroker you will need new pistons and machine work anyways so small scratches are nothing. You really need to inspect every cylinder. A hone and resized piston is normal. A cracked sleeve and junk block is scrap. If you dont feel you have the experience or access to someone who can inspect the sleeves I would pass. However, use the "what if" as a negotiation tool.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:49 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by ShiftyCapone View Post
Not necessarily. If your going stroker you will need new pistons and machine work anyways so small scratches are nothing. You really need to inspect every cylinder. A hone and resized piston is normal. A cracked sleeve and junk block is scrap. If you dont feel you have the experience or access to someone who can inspect the sleeves I would pass. However, use the "what if" as a negotiation tool.
Well, letís say everything is good and it is just a few small scratches. Is $800 a good price on this or can I do better elsewhere? Iím trying to cut costs where I can, which is why I originally considered a junkyard 6.0 iron block. However, I do understand the concept of getting what you pay for.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:54 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by Oreo View Post


Well, letís say everything is good and it is just a few small scratches. Is $800 a good price on this or can I do better elsewhere? Iím trying to cut costs where I can, which is why I originally considered a junkyard 6.0 iron block. However, I do understand the concept of getting what you pay for.
Ask $500. If it ends up being junk you can salvage and sell the internals. The unknown factor is in your favor for negotiations. The seller should appreciate that. How risk adverse are you? Junk yard motors come with the same risk.
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:25 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by ShiftyCapone View Post
Ask $500. If it ends up being junk you can salvage and sell the internals. The unknown factor is in your favor for negotiations. The seller should appreciate that. How risk adverse are you? Junk yard motors come with the same risk.
He doesnít seem to be willing to come off the price anymore. I mentioned if it did need sleeves itís a pretty expensive process and his response was ďcheaper than buying a new blockĒ so I guess the search continues. Or Iíll just buy a new block
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:16 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Originally Posted by Oreo View Post


He doesnít seem to be willing to come off the price anymore. I mentioned if it did need sleeves itís a pretty expensive process and his response was ďcheaper than buying a new blockĒ so I guess the search continues. Or Iíll just buy a new block
Resleeving is 2X the cost of a new block, and there are very few shops that do it. A new block still requires machine work when you go with aftermarket parts, often to the sum of what the block cost new. Time to walk.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:19 AM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

You made the right choice. There is really no such thing as an inexpensive LS3 no matter how you cut it.
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:29 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

Resleeving an LS1/LS2/LS3 block for all 8 cylinders will easily cost $2,000 + when done by a qualified shop with the correct sleeves and machines. If it's not done by a top notch machinist that knows what to do, to use cutting fluid, temperature controlled room etc, there is an outstanding chance of sleeves moving, leaking head gaskets and other disasters in the making.

Run for your life from that $800 LS3, other than as a source parts for intake, injectors, fuel rails, coils, coil pack harness, covers, maybe the heads, oil pan and sensors. Fixing the short block will be more expensive than getting a good used LS3/L99 etc for ~$4000 to $5000 by the time it's done.

500 whp, cam & header LS3 is definitely doable.
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Old 11-17-2018, 05:26 PM
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Re: LS3 into my 83?

My 2 cents is to not start down the LS path until you have a good plan. I made the decision to do the LS swap, but I should have done more research. I found a 5.3 aluminum engine for a good deal. It was basically new, but there were surprises that I didnít prepare for. All accessories, the intake manifold, and the oil pan were removed. It had VVT, DoD, and a 58x reluctor. I had to install delete kits, and the 58x restricted me from the easier to program PCM. Those werenít deal breakers, but it took more time and money than I originally thought. Decide which engine you want and then go search for the good deal.
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