Jump to content
HybridZ
Kuso

Estimated cost for a LS1 Swap

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone, 

 

I am new to the form and recently became a 1973 Datsun z owner.  I am the third owner of the 240z.  The second owner bought the z from the first owner due to financial hardship 3 years ago.  The car already has a 305 v8 install with automictic transmission.  I want to do many things to the 240z but my goal is to be able to drive the car on the weekend and cruise along the beach.  I want to limit myself on a 10k cost knowing that it might eventually go over 10k.  The car is from California with minimal rust.  I question is that can I be able to do a LS1 5.3L swap with a t56tranmission with new suspension, brake system, and body work under 10k? I plan to do most of the work if I can and seek out for experts when I need them.  If a V8 swap is gonna be over 10K, what other engine swap would u guys consider?  Thank you all in advice for any tips and answers that can help me get my project going.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you'll get it done for $10K. For that amount you could replace the 305 with a crate SBC that makes a lot more power and upgrade the trans and diff. Probably run out of money before you get to suspension and brakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums. Remember to take a moment and browse through the forum rules and quirks to make sure you have a trouble free time here!

 

Depends on how much you spend. There was a local who was selling hopped up LS motors for around 5k, throw in the T56 and some bits and that alone could take 10k. On the flip side if you find a used drive train and want to hang around the stock levels you used to be able to buy camaros and firebirds for 2k or so in rough body shape. 

 

Suspension and brakes you can sink a lot of money into. You could refresh the stock brakes, and add some modern springs and shocks for under 1k, or you can go wilwood brakes front and rear and full techno toy for 5k or so. 

 

Body work also can take quite a bit, a local was quoted 2k for just the sheet metal replacement of the floors so depending on the shop or area you can extrapolate from there.

 

Keep in mind you will most likely have to redo the fuel system if the current engine is carb'd.

 

An LS over a V8, I'm not sure is worth the extra effort at this current point in time. If it runs, refresh the suspension and enjoy it and find out what it needs and make your own decisions. Doing what someone else tells you is a good idea may not be the right fit for you in the end.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should JUST do the body and suspension work that you wanted to do and see how much of that 10K is left...if any.

 

You can also start looking how much all the parts you're going to need is going to cost, and try to include as much as you can.

 

You'd need an engine, flywheel, clutch, transmission, driveshaft, probably a new diff if that hasn't been upgraded. This then means new fuel lines, a new fuel tank (or you can heavily modify the current one you have), new fuel pump, filters, pressure regulators, etc.

 

Now that you're making way more power you may want to upgrade your axles and more then ideally your stub axles as they'll probably break first. You also might want to look into doing away with a stub axle all together as its antiquated and dangerous in high power situations. 

 

Wheels and tires alone can easily be 1500 by themselves. 

 

Good luck making your spreadsheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah man...

 

This is an eye opening i want to do it...but I can only spend X dollars.

 

Do some shopping and price out components, add 25% for bits/pieces and issues you won't realize up front.  

 

I did an engine swap first (cost nearly 10K to do correctly)  Then did body (8K) then did suspension, wheels and bushings (another 6K)

 

So pick your battles and priorities.... See what is a must have and a nice to have.

 

Presently your engine runs? Leave it for now..get the rest of the body operating properly. A fuel injected LS would be fantastic..but if you have saggy suspension and holes in your floor then it lowers the experience a bit....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's another really good reason to get the car ready for the upgrade first.  And that's by the time you get done with all that work and expense new engines or engine combos may have come onto the market and tempt you.  I don't know how many times I have done this backwards only to find by the time I finally can get the engine in there are far better options, which are often cheaper and more powerful.  Even if you don't change your mind as the LS platform ages better and better versions will be available.

 

Just something to think about,

Cary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the response. After speaking to some of my family members, I might be able to get a donor car so hopefully that will help me reduce my cost on the build.  As of right now, I plan to work on the fuel line, braking system, suspension and body work.  The 3 protentional donor car is a s2k, 270z or a 1jz. I seem s2k and 1jz swap but not 270z but I will be posting in the correct section once I make my decision.  

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An S2k would just be a better platform almost all around. Plenty light, double wishbone, LSD, CV axles, etc etc. Plenty of people have done the F20C or F22C, but putting a 4 cylinder in the car seems to be a bit backwards in that they usually have pretty low torque values without power adders. 

 

The VQ swap have been done on a few occasions, they have kits for the swap available.

 

JZ swaps have also been done and kits are available as well.

 

They are all very different motors, high revving NA 4 cylinder, mid bore NA V6, turbo inline 6, all this from someone who was looking at swapping their current V8 to another V8.

Makes me think you aren't really decided or are willing to take whatever is handed to you? That is not a really good recipe for loving the project, swaps can be fairly involved so it best be something you can justify down the road as you dig into it, like the all mighty JZ has its own set of faults, some potentially catastrophic, will learning of that make you wish you never got started?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having done this pretty much as well but inexpensive as possible.  Spent 1,000 on the car, spent 2,200 on the donor ls1 with T56 (net 3300-1100 sold off), CXRacing kit 1,500, tanks inc fuel system installed 500, DSS stubs and 930 CV witch custom axles 1,000.  That is pushing 7k and all I hit was a few things.  Under 10K will be tough, very tough.  I'm afraid to add it all up really, I think I am just past 10k and have not painted the car.  Partial list: new stainless lines throughout the car, struts, springs, rear control arms, rear discs, radiator, hoses, fuel regulator, drive shaft, diff mount.  That is just the top 10 or so.  It is a lot of fun.  I have some stuff detailed on the build thread on page 2.  HTH, Richard.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As tube80z pointed out, technology incessantly advances.  Parts that were formerly experimental and custom become mainstream, and eventually available for sharp discount on the used-market.  Donor-cars that were formerly prized and expensive, become junkyard finds.  When some of us first dabbled in this whole V8 Datsun thing, the LS-series was brand new, and the aftermarket was first getting around to supply aluminum heads for the first-generation Chevy V8.

 

The first decision to make, is whether the car is even worth keeping.  Rust?  General condition?  Does it drive well?  Imagine the same car, but with tighter suspension and maybe twice the horsepower.  Would that make a huge difference?  If so, proceed.  If not, not.  What sort of bodywork is required?  Is it only cosmetic, or is structural remediation necessary?

 

Assuming that the body is in good shape, I'd proceed with suspension and brakes.  Avoid the temptation for ambitious upgrades... keep things mild.  The FAQ on this Forum is invaluable!  Make small, incremental changes... and keep driving the car.  Minimize time spent on jackstands!  That way, if anything goes awry, or not to your liking, it could be reversed... or the car could be sold, at minimal loss.

 

Oh, and please post photographs.  We want to see what this thing looks like!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been driving an LS1/T56 S30 for 16 years now.  Just the drivetrain conversion (LS1, T56, 3.70:1 LSD R200) cost me about $14k  If I'd done all the work myself (and the kit that was developed on my car had been available) I probably could have done it for around$8,500.

Brake Upgrade was around $1,000 and the TTT suspension upgrade was around another $1,000.

If you are super patient and shop donor cars - both Z's and F-bodies you could probably pull it off for $10K.  That wouldn't include any body work, paint, new window seals, interior work, bushing replacements in your suspension, lighting improvements, sound system, etc.

BEFORE you buy your first part develop a plan on what you want to do and what the correct order would be to get it done with minimal down time and cost.  Get things in the wrong order and yu'll end up redoing things at additional costs in dollars and time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought $10K would be easy also.  The extra drivers of cost for me were:  the in tank pump and all the stuff for it, re line tank, weld in sump, buy pump etc., all new stainless brake and fuel lines, HVAC from compressor and mount ($450) to new unit in car etc., 8.8 rear with all the supporting stuff to make it work.  But it is what it is and I am happy.  I think $8,500 is a bit of a pipe dream,  I guess if you craigslist everything and go el cheapo and can fabricate almost everything else sure it may work out that cheap but it would be tough.   JMHO, and you get what you paid for it.....  Richard. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just pulled up my receipts on the computer from my LS1/T56 swap.  So far I have spent $18,937.36.  Now, I did everything to this car myself minus the paint work.   Interior, exterior, five lug conversion, coil overs, Disc brakes,  Etc, Etc, Etc.  The car has been on the road since October 5, 2015.  She has about 6,000 miles on her at present and runs fantastic.  During this time I have had the brake booster rebuilt, and replaced the in-tank 2002 Camaro  fuel pump.  Now I am in the process of upgrading to the R200/CV Axle set up.  Once this is accomplished, I will complete the Vintage Air System I have installed.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...