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Thread: LQ4 Power

  1. #1

    LQ4 Power

    One of the most popular swaps we see is LS.... I guess its the norm now, LOL. I have been toying with grinding a cam to fit the LQ4, LQ9 and LM7. Something to push the stock heads to the limit. After some parts gathering and way to much math, I found the end of the heads but made some nice power out of a CHEAP engine.

    We started with a 125k mile LQ4 6.0. Checked it over and decided it was healthy enough to run. I have a stock dyno sheet shown for reference on what this engine should make stock. The other sheet has Pull 3 and Pull 5.


    Pull 3
    Stock LQ4
    TBSS intake
    36 lb injectors
    92mm TB
    LS2 yellow valve springs

    Pull 5
    Same as above
    My baby cam, springs, push rods.

    At the end of the day we ended up with an engine that was 460/460. Not bad for a 300 hp stock engine with no real major upgrades. The most awesome thing was the power this thing made in Pull 3 with little upgrades.

    I did grind a larger cam for a ported cathedral port head engine and we did test it with non ported heads..... It fell under pull 5 until 5k then it ran out of air and fell flat. All the heads we ran were 317s and 243/799s. Even the slight compression bump wasn't an improvement worth noting.






  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinny Pedal View Post
    One of the most popular swaps we see is LS.... I guess its the norm now, LOL. I have been toying with grinding a cam to fit the LQ4, LQ9 and LM7. Something to push the stock heads to the limit. After some parts gathering and way to much math, I found the end of the heads but made some nice power out of a CHEAP engine.

    We started with a 125k mile LQ4 6.0. Checked it over and decided it was healthy enough to run. I have a stock dyno sheet shown for reference on what this engine should make stock. The other sheet has Pull 3 and Pull 5.


    Pull 3
    Stock LQ4
    TBSS intake
    36 lb injectors
    92mm TB
    LS2 yellow valve springs

    Pull 5
    Same as above
    My baby cam, springs, push rods.

    At the end of the day we ended up with an engine that was 460/460. Not bad for a 300 hp stock engine with no real major upgrades. The most awesome thing was the power this thing made in Pull 3 with little upgrades.

    I did grind a larger cam for a ported cathedral port head engine and we did test it with non ported heads..... It fell under pull 5 until 5k then it ran out of air and fell flat. All the heads we ran were 317s and 243/799s. Even the slight compression bump wasn't an improvement worth noting.





    Definately reinforces why my cheap LQ9 build will end up in a car and when the 5.7 Vortec in my Express dies, will have a 383 in its place. Nice top-end HP, NO guts down low. Also CHEAP can't be understated enough. I picked up a LM7 longblock from an 02 Suburban for $100 and the engine itself is near immaculate after I stripped off a slightly charred intake manifold and coils.

  3. #3
    What do you mean no guts down low? Over 400 lb-ft under 3k..... If the graph would show it, it was over 350 at 1500 rpm. This is only 364 ci under 9.5 to 1. Shorter stroke than a stroker and stock heads.
    Last edited by Skinny Pedal; 06-30-2015 at 02:18 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinny Pedal View Post
    What do you mean no guts down low? Over 400 lb-ft under 3k..... If the graph would show it, it was over 350 at 1500 rpm. This is only 364 ci under 9.5 to 1. Shorter stroke than a stroker and stock heads.
    I was putting those torque numbers to the TIRES through a 700r4 and 8.5" 10-bolt with a TPI 383 with vortec heads and a small cam!!

    My VK56 put down 365 RWTQ on a Mustang dyno at just 2250 rpm.

    I like the Gen3 and 4 engines but the Gen 1, 1E and Gen2s definately hold their own under 5,000 rpm!! I can pickup a marine 6.2/6.3 aka 377 or 383 and even get them reman and destroy the 6.0 from off-idle through 5,000 rpm.
    Last edited by Fast355; 06-30-2015 at 06:03 PM.

  5. #5
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    Those are impressive numbers, especially the change just the intake and associated parts makes as bolt-on pieces.

    Last I checked, a Mercruiser 6.2L was something like 325hp so I find it hard to believe it's torque curve could beat the numbers you got for anything below 5000rpm. Might beat the stock LQ4 but I highly doubt it could outrun your modifications, even the before cam mods only. But then what do I know?

  6. #6
    Whats the cost in that? I'm less than 3k in this entire setup, including engine and dyno time.

    So the point of this is for me to provide TRUE and HONEST numbers for MY cams. I'm not here to start a pissing match, which I'm sorry if I did by posting a stock LS setup....
    Last edited by Skinny Pedal; 06-30-2015 at 08:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lionelhutz View Post
    Those are impressive numbers, especially the change just the intake and associated parts makes as bolt-on pieces.
    Thanks! I have always wanted to push these engines in stock form. I am glad I have to opportunity to. I am very excited to see the L92 cam I have designed in a 408 stroker.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinny Pedal View Post
    Whats the cost in that? I'm less than 3k in this entire setup, including engine and dyno time.

    So the point of this is for me to provide TRUE and HONEST numbers for MY cams. I'm not here to start a pissing match, which I'm sorry if I did by posting a stock LS setup....
    Not trying to get into a pissing match. I think you have a great build with great HP per $$$.

    I am just mentioning the old Gen1s still have a place in my eyes in a heavy truck/SUV or Van that is going to tow or haul. I think it is interesting to watch someone pull a solid 350 or even 454 out of their ride and slap in a junkard LS and spend a ton of money on the conversion. I also know good LS deals are out there. I got my ready to assemble LQ9 short block for $550 and bought a good 2002 LM7 5.3 for $100. Its going to cost at a minimum $800-1000 to put a LS engine in place of a 350 or 454 and get it running. You can realistically say your 6.0L installed in say a 1998 K1500 and running would be $4,000.

    The Marine 6.3 and HT 383 are the same thing with the 3.8" stroke and the Marine 6.2 is the same engine with a 3.75" stroke. All 3 are using a 4.00" bore, vortec heads and the tiny' 395 marine cam that is 196/206 @.050.

    I have built a Gen1 TPI 383 with ported vortec heads for under $3,000 as well.

    I saw this testing done on a HT383 and it is a monster.

    http://www.hotrod.com/how-to/engine/...block-tune-up/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionelhutz View Post
    Those are impressive numbers, especially the change just the intake and associated parts makes as bolt-on pieces.

    Last I checked, a Mercruiser 6.2L was something like 325hp so I find it hard to believe it's torque curve could beat the numbers you got for anything below 5000rpm. Might beat the stock LQ4 but I highly doubt it could outrun your modifications, even the before cam mods only. But then what do I know?
    That is the Marine NET rating, with a 4bbl car, headers and minimal accessories it put down 338 hp @ 4,400 and 444 tq @ 3,400. With roller rockers, an intake and carb change it put down 379 hp @ 4,600 and 474 tq @ 3,700. At only 2,500 rpm it made as much as 450 ft/lbs of torque. Like I said Gen1 Vortec, especially a 383 has the handle on low-midrange power and the LS is the top-end dyno queen. In my Express van the only time I am able to make use of power beyond 5,000 rpm is in 1st gear or breaking the speed limit and law in 2nd gear beyond 80 mph. Thanks to 4L80E and 3.73s. My normal driving is between 1,000 and 3,500 rpm with brief sprints to 5,500 in 1st gear getting on the highway.
    Last edited by Fast355; 07-01-2015 at 05:52 AM.

  10. #10
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    I became an LS fan after purchasing our 2006 Yukon with a 5.3. Very smooth power delivery and excellent unloaded fuel economy. I was surprised though that when towing the economy isn't any different than my TBI truck, my dads old carbureted 350 truck, or the 454 powered 1-ton '79 GMC we just acquired.

    I'm in the process of a complete resto on my '66 Nova. It had a fresh drivetrain, TBI 383 and a 4 speed, before I tore it down for paint and body work. Last year I found a great deal on a complete 5.3 with harness and computer so I bought it thinking this would be a good time for an LS conversion. Then I added up install costs - oil pan, radiator, motor mounts, headers, bell housing, flywheel, clutch, etc., etc., and decided the 383 will be just fine. The nova will see an LS someday, probably with a turbo or two...

  11. #11
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    I guess everyone who is swapping an LS engine into their rides to go faster is doing it wrong...

    The torque curve tells you how fast you accelerate when you have the drivetrain but the HP curve tells you how fast you could accelerate when you are picking the drivetrain. I guess if you insist on running a LS engine with a drivetrain optimized for a low HP low rpm small-block then you wouldn't see the gains the LS engine can give you.

    I've really only seen curves where an older small-block had more torque below about 2500rpm but really fell off above 5k rpm where a similar LS engine held the torque until well over 6k rpm. Around 2.5-5k the torque curves are similar. I would attribute the difference to shorter intake and/or exhaust runners used on the LS engines. The LS engine is simply built to produce it's power at a higher rpm. If you insist on running <2.5k towing then the small-block could have an advantage. But, gear the LS vehicle to hold another 1000rpm or so at the same road speed and it would kill the small-block. You could also put a long runner intake and headers on the LS and it would likely match the small block power curve.

    My parents take a trailer to Florida every year and their '06 5.3L LS truck used about a 1/3 less fuel than their old '90 TBI truck and pulls better too.

    I'd put this LQ4 into my car over any small-block I've managed to build.
    Last edited by lionelhutz; 07-01-2015 at 08:28 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionelhutz View Post
    I guess everyone who is swapping an LS engine into their rides to go faster is doing it wrong...

    The torque curve tells you how fast you accelerate when you have the drivetrain but the HP curve tells you how fast you could accelerate when you are picking the drivetrain.

    I've really only seen curves where an older small-block had more torque below 2500rpm but really fell off above 5k rpm where a similar LS engine held the torque until well over 6k rpm. Around 2.5-5k the torque curves are similar if not having the LS engine ahead a bit. I would attribute the difference to shorter intake and/or exhaust runners used on the LS engines. If you insist on running <2.5k towing then the small-block could have an advantage. But, gear the LS vehicle to hold another 1000rpm at the same speed and it would kill the small-block at all speeds. You could also put a long runner intake and headers on the LS and it would likely match the small block power curve.

    My parents take a trailer to Florida every year and their '06 5.3L LS truck used about a 1/3 less fuel than their old '90 TBI truck and pulls better too.

    I'd put this LQ4 into my car over any small-block I've managed to build.
    The crossover point is higher up around 4,500 rpm. The reason for the elevated peak is port size and velocity. The LS head ports are HUGE compared to the older stuff. I have older Car Craft magazines with the 5.3 and the 330 hp 350 crate engine dyno's as well as a LS1 5.7 dyno. The stock crate engine cammed 350 made 377 hp and the LS1 made 400. With the hotcam the L31 + Hotcam made more power EVERYWHERE than the stock LS1 + Headers.

  13. #13
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    My 350 outguns this 6.0L everywhere under 5,000 rpm and if you count the fact it is just a stock vortec 5.7 shortblock with a cam, a good pair of aluminum heads, a relatively cheap marine intake, and a pair of thorley headers and a quiet exhaust it would be under $3000 to put the parts on a solid 5.7 shortblock.

    I tow up to 8,500# behind my 6,200# Express van with a 4L80E and 3.73s. I run about 2,800 @ 65 mph in 3rd and knock on 12-14 mpg with that weight. Cruising empty I am 2,250 @ 70 and 2,800 @ 85 and get 17-19 mpg. If I had a 6.0L turning another 1,000 rpm, I would have the power but my MPG would be atrocious! Under WOT acceleration with Tow/Haul on, I shift at 4,900-5,000 rpm and lock the converter at 60-65 mph. The engine pulls strong, is pretty quiet and moves the weight just fine. I looked down one day with nearly 7,500# behind me and was running 80 mph with traffic uphill with ease.
    Last edited by Fast355; 07-01-2015 at 09:22 AM.

  14. #14
    Fuel Injected! brian617's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinny Pedal View Post
    One of the most popular swaps we see is LS.... I guess its the norm now, LOL. I have been toying with grinding a cam to fit the LQ4, LQ9 and LM7. Something to push the stock heads to the limit. After some parts gathering and way to much math, I found the end of the heads but made some nice power out of a CHEAP engine.

    We started with a 125k mile LQ4 6.0. Checked it over and decided it was healthy enough to run. I have a stock dyno sheet shown for reference on what this engine should make stock. The other sheet has Pull 3 and Pull 5.


    Pull 3
    Stock LQ4
    TBSS intake
    36 lb injectors
    92mm TB
    LS2 yellow valve springs

    Pull 5
    Same as above
    My baby cam, springs, push rods.

    At the end of the day we ended up with an engine that was 460/460. Not bad for a 300 hp stock engine with no real major upgrades. The most awesome thing was the power this thing made in Pull 3 with little upgrades.

    I did grind a larger cam for a ported cathedral port head engine and we did test it with non ported heads..... It fell under pull 5 until 5k then it ran out of air and fell flat. All the heads we ran were 317s and 243/799s. Even the slight compression bump wasn't an improvement worth noting.

    "My Baby Cam" Specs? Top Secret?
    89 K1500 Scottsdale 5.7L 5spd 3:42

    Build specs: 97 4 bolt main block 350ci, Eagle rotating assembly with flat tops and 4 valve reliefs, Dart 165cc/67cc Iron Eagle heads, Manely SS valves and springs 110lbs seat @1.7, GM Ram Jet cam 196/206 @.50 .431/.451, stock intake and throttle body, heads and intake gasket matched, Delco EP377 fuel pump @ 22 psi, 427 PCM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by brian617 View Post
    "My Baby Cam" Specs? Top Secret?
    Until all testing is done and total development is over yes.

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