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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Opinions of LS6 Swap

Hey guys, over the weekend I found a guy who was selling a rebuilt driveline for a 1968 GTO with a TH400....jut what I needed. While there I got to see his car....a magnificent '68 GTO hardtop restomod.....this car was simply gorgeous.....maybe even the most beautiful 1968 GTO I have ever seen.

Anyways, the guy was selling the driveline becaus ewhen he did a LS6 swap with a new 6 sped tranny, the kit included a new driveshaft.

When he was showing me his car, he mentioned that he has built several cars over the years and is a big believer in the LS6 swap. He mentioned things like:
1) getting over 400 HP straight from factory.
2) with a tune, a new cam, valve springs, and headers, can bring it up to over 500 HP.
3) fuel mileage at over 25 MPG.
4) the ease of the swap.
5) the ability to take it to any GM shop for repairs.

In any case, what are your opinions on doing a LS6 swap on an older GTO? What are your feelings on resto-mods in general?

I am not building my car to be a trailer queen or a concourse numbers matching show car; nor am I building the meanest racer this side of the Mississippi.....I am looking to build a very respectable boulavard cruiser that looks good when I show up for local hot car shows. So I am looking into what all is involved in a LS6 swap...including pros and cons.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 02:21 PM
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Not to my taste at all. But then, I've been driving the original GTO's as daily drivers for over 3 decades now. I like 'em. To me, changing out the powertrain to new technology is like putting a Ninja engine in a '47 Indian Chief. That said, Crustysack has one of the nicest rides out there, and it's updated and upgraded in every way. It's a beauty. Eric has an IAII powered beast, and it too is a work of art, and IMO, is still "Pontiac" powered. I would say do what you want...it's your car. My question is, how many miles have you actually driven an original type GTO? If not many, you are missing something special. A lot of folks get a car, do extensive modifications and "upgrades" and have no idea how well a big old Pontiac can run and drive with its old school mechanicals. There's just something visceral and spiritual that you feel driving one that separates an old Pontiac from the sea of cookie cutter powered cars out there...Just saying....
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:07 PM
 
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Mrvandermey are you dead set on a ls6 or just a LS engine in general?
I have done a ls6 swap into my 77 vette, an ls1 that is board and stroked to 408 cu into my 85 mustang, and I am now working on a 4.8 with a cam, then some sort of FI into my 67 Lemans. I have also helped many friend put ls engines in their cars.

The person talking about the advantages is 100% correct, however you need to define what you really want out of the engine, and what you want to spend. Getting a ls6 is going to cost you more because it is a ls6 than getting a ls1 and squeezing 50 more HP out of it.
Now if you just want 300-350 hp you can save yourself all sorts of money by getting a 4.8 or 5.3 and adding a cam, cause remember you will need headers going into a swap car.
Finally if you want the 400-500+ the iron 6.0 are cheapest to pull out, and mod.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Groundczero View Post
Mrvandermey are you dead set on a ls6 or just a LS engine in general?
I have done a ls6 swap into my 77 vette, an ls1 that is board and stroked to 408 cu into my 85 mustang, and I am now working on a 4.8 with a cam, then some sort of FI into my 67 Lemans. I have also helped many friend put ls engines in their cars.

The person talking about the advantages is 100% correct, however you need to define what you really want out of the engine, and what you want to spend. Getting a ls6 is going to cost you more because it is a ls6 than getting a ls1 and squeezing 50 more HP out of it.
Now if you just want 300-350 hp you can save yourself all sorts of money by getting a 4.8 or 5.3 and adding a cam, cause remember you will need headers going into a swap car.
Finally if you want the 400-500+ the iron 6.0 are cheapest to pull out, and mod.
Geetee....I have only driven a Pontiac 350 before, and just from that, I agree with you in many ways, that there is definitley something spiritual about being behind the wheel of a true old school muscle car. I noticed a similar feeling on my Chevelles and El Camino that I have had in the past.

As for what I am looking for, I would love an honest 400-450 HP to be respectable, and a fun driving ride. Other than a few friendly bouts of competition, the chances of me racing this ride is slim to none. It wont be a concourse numbers matching show car either. I want a fun car to drive on weekends, but I want it to be civil enough that I can drive it all day long (like on a cruise or a fun casual road trip).

I honestly do not know enough about mechanics to say I have my heart set on a a LS6 or LS1. I am not overly particular on gas mileage for it is not my daily driver. I was impressed with this one car I saw and the guy seemed to know what he was talking about so I am currious. In reality, with my limited mechanical skills, it may likely be in my best interest to stick with an original '60's era engine just because they tend to be easier to work on (and cheaper too).
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 07:38 PM
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It's hard not to appreciate 400+ hp and 20+ mpg when it's done right. Crusty's car is one of the nicest ones out there for sure.

The LS swaps just don't appeal to me personally though.

But, like the man done said --- your cash, your choice. Do what makes you feel good and make no apologies.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 10:13 PM
 
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I have had several people ask "why dont you put in a LS1/6". My personal feeling is that if I wanted a new drive train, I would be dumping my cash into a new camero or challenger, not a 66 GTO! In the long run, it would be cheaper to own a slightly used camero!

Although it is all about personal taste, I like the brash rumbling of old technology and a little secondary bog from a qjet slightly out of tune. Oh yeah, and it needs to idle a little rich so that your eyes water while setting the timing in your garage...

However, for my daily driver, Hell NO! Give me the newest, most reliable ride that GM has to offer and I will be a happy camper driving to the office or making client visits. In addition, a nice set of Michelin Artic Alpine snow tires do wonders when we have 12+ inches of snow followed by ice and below zero temps that we have right now!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 06:50 AM
 
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I've done a lot of updating to my 1967 GTO, but it still has a 400 in it. Geeteeohguy is right, there is something cool about the rumble of an old big block with headers. My two cents....

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 07:15 AM
 
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I like driving my cars daily, so putting a LS engine in an old car fixes that. There is something amazing knowing you have the style of the old, with the performance of new, in addition if you just want a particular sound it is only a cam or exhaust away. LS also produce gobs of torque my 408 in the mustang is a solid 550 HP and torque. It Dyno-ed in the middle of summer in FL at 425 hp and 430 torque through a TH400 and a mustang 8.8 rear. the graph was basically flat from 1000 to 7000 rpm. This car gets 20 mpg around town, the vette since it has a TKO-600 and has overdrive gets 23 city 26 hwy and it is carbed ls6.

Personally if you are not racing I would loose the idea of 400 hp, get a 4.8 or 5.3 throw a nice cam in it and have a solid 320 - 350 hp (remember even the iron blocks are lighter than the old ones) for under $2k this would include a new OD tranny computer and wiring harness.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:35 AM
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People never seem to remember that a bone stock 389 or 400 in a '65--'67 GTO has OVER 430 foot pounds of torque. Torque is what pulls the front end up and moves the car. I know I'm not the norm, but the newest car I've ever owned is my 1967 GTO. I do have a "modern" 19 year old truck, though. And I do drive the newest stuff regularly for work. That said, I have found that aside from high compression ratio issues, my Pontiac powered GTO's are reliable, economical, and fun to drive....even across the country, as I have done and continue to do. My only real complaint (and an LS conversion won't help this a bit) is they have more wind noise than the new rides because the glass isn't flush. A long legged rear end or an overdrive tranny conversion can also go a long way towards making a 45 year old car feasible for daily duty. Again, your choice, but I highly recommend the easier, traditional road of a healthy Strato-Streak V8.
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO General Discussion

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