Author Topic: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM  (Read 219 times)

boeing9999

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LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« on: November 09, 2017, 11:36:27 AM »
Hello! I have a 1979 Trans AM
Those who have swapped LS1 or LS3, could you pls leave your comments -
1) Are you happy with the ammount of power your engine produces (currently, stock mode, or minimum add-ons)
2) Do you think LS1 power is good enough for daily street use, or after you get used to it, do you begin to wish for more?
3) How costly is it converting L92 into LS3?

I'm soon starting a LS swap. It will be a street car, no drag racing planned. Just aggressive street driving style sometimes)
Have two options at hand - one is a LS1/T56 kit from a 2001 Trans AM one guy wrecked (hit in the back). Has a LS6 intake. Everything else is stock in this kit. The set is available already and can be swapped the cheapest and the quickest.
Second is a cheap L92 engine from a 2007 Escalade to be changed into LS3 and swapped with some trans. I see T56 as the easiest way. 4l60e is harder (if I understand correctly?), because would require additional parts and work to mate it with a LS3. Also the offered L92 engine is more bare, than the LS1 from a wrecked car, only has an oil pump on it, so would have to buy additional stuff to make the swap complete.

So, are the LS3's more modern make and higher HPs worth the hustle and money for a street car swap vs LS1? My idea was, that in the future, if I have the bucks, I could install a supercharger from ZL1 or LSA and further increase the car's performance.

In terms of budget, 1st stage of upgrading for both LS1 and LS3 would cost around the same, right? - headers, cam, heads. But I could skip on that for some time with the LS3 (made from L92), because I already get 409HP vs the 325 of LS1. And LS3 upgrades would bring more HPs because of bigger displacement and newer architecture, correct?
Or maybe all this extra power isn't used in the street driving? Would very much appreciate if you share your thoughts, thank you in advance!

jonathonar89

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Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 11:54:27 AM »
LS1 makes plenty power stock. I drive my ‘98 Trans Am everyday. 

Personally I would just build up whatever you already have in the car.  Most old engines can make 500-600hp with a set of aluminum heads...and they can be converted to port fuel injection. Fuel mileage most comes from gearing...overdrive transmission is where your fuel mileage picks up and they’re easy to install.
1979 Trans Am 400 T-top - Platinum Silver, Carmine Interior
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61460.0

scarebird

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Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 12:08:59 PM »
I installed a LS3 in my 79, coupled with a TKO-600.  If you have a LS1 with T56  and are not afraid to cut the tunnel if needed I would go that route.

Most of the changes between the generations are pretty minor, some are not: ie. drive by wire.

Bobby G

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Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 08:53:53 PM »
I have a new LS3 in my 80 Trans am with a 4L80 E, 3600 converter, headers and a CAI. It made 385 RWHP and 367 RWTQ.....stock motor.....I was going to put a LS1 in my other 73 until I saw those numbers.....bought another LS3....its a beast....just saying

Bobby G

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Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 08:55:44 PM »
BTW, I took it to work 3 times 60 miles one way and it only used a quarter tank of gas.

Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 08:55:44 PM »

FormTA

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Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 10:39:06 PM »
The more complete the better. I too thought the LS in stock form had plenty of power when I was driving my donor car around. The F Body LS one basically dropped right in like is was supposed to be there. If you swap your steering box out for a later quick ratio one with the metric fittings then the f body line bolt in too. The radiator, hoses and fans fit right in too. It is a really easy swap. My project runs but it's not on the road as I'm onto the bodywork now..
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

skisix38off

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Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 07:28:00 AM »
I installed a LS3 in my 79, coupled with a TKO-600.  If you have a LS1 with T56  and are not afraid to cut the tunnel if needed I would go that route.

Most of the changes between the generations are pretty minor, some are not: ie. drive by wire.


I'm currently swapping a T56 in my '78 TA, I will be mating it to my Pontiac 400 but, I will not need to cut the tunnel to get it to fit where I want it.  I am far enough along that I am ready to start fabricating the crossmember and I am mounting it as high as I can to provide ground clearance.  I posted some pics in the Projects forum here about the T56.

scarebird

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Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 05:08:25 PM »
I installed a LS3 in my 79, coupled with a TKO-600.  If you have a LS1 with T56  and are not afraid to cut the tunnel if needed I would go that route.

Most of the changes between the generations are pretty minor, some are not: ie. drive by wire.


I'm currently swapping a T56 in my '78 TA, I will be mating it to my Pontiac 400 but, I will not need to cut the tunnel to get it to fit where I want it.  I am far enough along that I am ready to start fabricating the crossmember and I am mounting it as high as I can to provide ground clearance.  I posted some pics in the Projects forum here about the T56.

Make sure the driveline angle is the same as the motor you pulled...

Old Chicken

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Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 07:27:38 PM »
I wanted the LS3 but got a good deal on LS1/4l60e combo so going that route.  Planning on a Maggie down the road, should be good enough when done.  I'm using a C5 Corvette front drive and putting the AC on top left, there are companies that sell the brackets to do that.  IDK if the LSA would fit, might need a cowl, haven't seen that done with a shaker hood.  Guess it all comes down to what you want, I like the durability and lower cost of the LS1 but can't go wrong either way.   

Re: LS1 or LS3? looking for advice, 1979 Trans AM
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 07:27:38 PM »
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