LS powered Duster, Abomination or Go For it!

Transmission and Drivetrain Tech

  1. missing linc

    missing linc Loose nut behind the wheel

    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    11018
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2019
    Location:
    Southern Alberta Canada
    Local Time:
    5:47 AM
    Check out the Red-headed stepchild build thread, twin turbo LS 75 Dart, and one bad ass car.
    Build it your way, it's a /6 car, nothing rare or special so, have fun with it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      85,409
      Likes Received:
      67242
      Joined:
      Jun 7, 2010
      Location:
      Georgia
      Local Time:
      7:47 AM
      I'd leave it Mopar. Why? Because everywhere you turn there's an LS in SOMETHING. You're not doing anything a thousand other guys haven't done already. We have a member with a mean ass turbo LS in a Dart. It's total badassary. I like it. I like his workmanship. But it's a sad fact that the LS engine is popping up everywhere in everything.

      I don't bash um. It's hard to argue against um. Everything's available for um. They're relatively cheap in comparison. They can make gobs of power.

      The decision is kinda like me stickin with a slant 6 in my Valiant, Vixen. She wouldda been any other V8 Valiant had I swapped a V8 in. But I didn't and I'm not. I even have a fresh 400 sittin on an engine dolly. Not gonna do it. I've had over 400 cars, most with at least warm V8s. A lot were way more than warm. But this car is the most FUN I've ever had with a car and I think it's because I didn't throw something different in the ditch.

      It's gettin to where people actually expect to see an LS in everything. I've never gone along with the crowd.
       
      • Like Like x 3
      • RustyRatRod

        RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        85,409
        Likes Received:
        67242
        Joined:
        Jun 7, 2010
        Location:
        Georgia
        Local Time:
        7:47 AM
        Right. THIS ^^^^^

        But remember, you ASKED me how I would do it and I told you. But in the end I'll also tell you build it like you want.
         
        • Like Like x 1
        • Professor Fate

          Professor Fate Push the button, Max...

          Messages:
          3,386
          Likes Received:
          4871
          Joined:
          Jan 13, 2020
          Location:
          Wisconsin
          Local Time:
          6:47 AM
          Like everyone says; your car, your choice.
          That "free" LS won't be so cheap once you figure in custom mounts, custom center sump oil pan and pickup, either a new 4 bbl. manifold or the supporting electronics for the factory EFI, custom built headers, transmission mount/ linkage/driveshaft fabbing, trans controllers, etc. etc. etc.
          Personally, sell the LS and get a LA/Magnum and have fun. You said you don't want to fix it all up, just want to drive it like you stole it- can't do that if it's sitting in your garage waiting for custom parts or while you try to fab everything up.
          Guys pop up here and elsewhere fairly regularly with this same proposal- 90% that actually attempt it shortly end up on Cracklist or Marketfarce; "just need finishing touches", "all the hard work done", "change of plans", "easy finish"... In other words, way harder and more expensive than they thought.
          Your car, your time, and your money.
           
          • Like Like x 2
          • SLOPAR72

            SLOPAR72 Well-Known Member

            Messages:
            3,293
            Likes Received:
            3098
            Joined:
            Jan 5, 2016
            Location:
            Richmond, VA.
            Local Time:
            7:47 AM
            I guess the question is what are you gaining an advantage on by doing this? The LS is extremely supported in the aftermarket world and nobody will deny that however anything in the hobby now is not cheap.

            Your car, your way..... Just expect a different group to applaud your efforts. But even today most still like the same branded power plant that goes with a particular brand. If you had the ability to do your own fab work that can help with doing a LS swap. But if you start farming that stuff out get ready.....

            JW
             
            • Like Like x 1
            • Dana67Dart

              Dana67Dart The parts you don't add don't cause you no trouble FABO Gold Member

              Messages:
              9,235
              Likes Received:
              6657
              Joined:
              Jul 16, 2017
              Location:
              Northern Colorado
              Local Time:
              5:47 AM
              A slightly warmed up 340 or 360 can produce as much fun as a 440 without the shoehorning.

              On the other hand if you want something different.... Go electric!
               
              • Like Like x 1
              • KosmicKuda

                KosmicKuda FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                Messages:
                2,283
                Likes Received:
                1027
                Joined:
                Jan 15, 2011
                Location:
                N Ohio
                Local Time:
                7:47 AM
                A legitimate Mopar show won't allow you through the gate. Sell the LS and buy a 5.2 or 5.9 from a junkyard RAM if you "need" a V8.
                If you go GM, don't forget to paint the engine compartment black, the trunk blue-gray splatter paint, slapper bars of course, 3" chrome exhaust tip and every plastic chrome doodad from the glitter aisle at Autozone. Gotta go all the way or stay home.
                 
                • Like Like x 7
                • Agree Agree x 1
                • QuickDart360

                  QuickDart360 Well-Known Member

                  Messages:
                  1,553
                  Likes Received:
                  731
                  Joined:
                  Apr 5, 2014
                  Location:
                  San Antonio
                  Local Time:
                  6:47 AM
                  I personally won't even put other brand seats. Same goes for drivetrain parts. I stick to all mopar and also like within the offered engine. So I won't even consider a Gen 3 hemi or such. But to each his own.
                   
                  • Like Like x 4
                  • Agree Agree x 1
                  • Biff

                    Biff Cheep not easy

                    Messages:
                    8,831
                    Likes Received:
                    20858
                    Joined:
                    Jan 30, 2017
                    Location:
                    Canada
                    Local Time:
                    4:47 AM
                    Ok so I love mopars but you can’t beat an LS pull an intake on one , there one well designed motor . It’s free the car is nothing special. Go for it !
                     
                    • Disagree Disagree x 7
                    • Yunick13

                      Yunick13 Well-Known Member

                      Messages:
                      3,024
                      Likes Received:
                      6986
                      Joined:
                      Sep 7, 2019
                      Location:
                      No longer here.
                      Local Time:
                      6:47 AM
                      Why is the LS free?
                       
                      • Agree Agree x 3
                      • moparmandan

                        moparmandan FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                        Messages:
                        2,855
                        Likes Received:
                        2802
                        Joined:
                        Jun 28, 2017
                        Location:
                        Deland, FL
                        Local Time:
                        7:47 AM
                        What year is the 5.3?
                        The new LT designation L83 all aluminum 5.3's are very well thought out. But I still wouldn't put one in an old Mopar. Just me. However I did put one on an airboat......
                        It's in the non-mopar mechanic work thread.
                         
                        Last edited: May 14, 2022
                        • Like Like x 1
                        • Biff

                          Biff Cheep not easy

                          Messages:
                          8,831
                          Likes Received:
                          20858
                          Joined:
                          Jan 30, 2017
                          Location:
                          Canada
                          Local Time:
                          4:47 AM
                          If there a poor design why is everyone using them ?
                           
                        • DusterKrazy

                          DusterKrazy Well-Known Member

                          Messages:
                          1,272
                          Likes Received:
                          40
                          Joined:
                          Apr 4, 2010
                          Location:
                          East Tennessee
                          Local Time:
                          6:47 AM
                          Oh man, I wished I could like this post more than once!!

                          In my opinion. ...which is worth what I'm paid for it $0.00...is that it is their car and their $$ and I'm not going to tell anybody how to build what they want. It's hard for me to put down somebody's time and effort.

                          With that said, I also find LS swaps to be the most boring cookie cutter swap there ever was. There is just nothing interesting about them. You just expect to see one.

                          It's even overdone in Mopar stuff. They say they LS swapped one to be different, I'm like what?? There is nothing different about them. While they are robust engines, once something becomes too common, I lose interest in it.

                          The whole purpose of building a Mopar was that they are not just another Chevy or Ford. Add in a generic engine ...loses appeal for me real quick.

                          I'm into engines as much as I am the car. I love nailheads, hemi's, 472/500 Cadillac, Pontiac, Oldsmobile. I also mess with a lot of slant 6 stuff. Raced a 225 for years!!

                          The biggest turn off for me is the rapid fanboyism for the things. If anybody asks a question about whatever engine you can name, it turns into an automatic LS swap thread...then there is these nuggets that I hear constantly...
                          "Ls is the best engine ever made". Nothing made by anybody was ever any good compared to the LS...".
                          "Ls engines have no flaws...everything else is junk...".
                          "Nothing can out run one..." (I guess thats why they are always hanging turbos on them??"...)

                          Also...in my area. LS Engines are not cheap. They never have been...you might get a 4.8 with a rod knock for a few hundred. A 5.3 here is 1500 to 1800. Which is also what a gen iii hemi costs.

                          I know which one I'd choose...not to mention I can add a flexplate that let's me bolt up to a 727 or 904 that I already own.

                          I know my opinion won't be popular due to how much people worship Ls engines...but I see things differently than most. I don't hate the Ls in any way but feel too much hype surrounds it.

                          A whole LS fest?? How interesting could that be?? People will be discussing whether they have a 4.8/5.3 or 6.0...maybe 6.2 ??
                           
                          • Agree Agree x 6
                          • Like Like x 2
                          • fishmens67

                            fishmens67 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                            Messages:
                            12,681
                            Likes Received:
                            13667
                            Joined:
                            Nov 10, 2012
                            Location:
                            idaho
                            Local Time:
                            6:47 AM
                            Why build a mutt? Drop a 500 CI Mopar wedge in it.
                             
                            • Like Like x 4
                            • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                            • Agree Agree x 1
                            • DusterKrazy

                              DusterKrazy Well-Known Member

                              Messages:
                              1,272
                              Likes Received:
                              40
                              Joined:
                              Apr 4, 2010
                              Location:
                              East Tennessee
                              Local Time:
                              6:47 AM
                              This!!

                              The only advantage I see to the LS is that it has a large aftermarket. I don't see what is so cheap about it. Ls engines in my area are very expensive. Simply not worth the effort or headache in my opinion. If you took away it's large aftermarket, what would be the appeal to the engine exactly??
                               
                              • Agree Agree x 2
                              • mopar head

                                mopar head Well-Known Member

                                Messages:
                                3,967
                                Likes Received:
                                2307
                                Joined:
                                Oct 21, 2008
                                Location:
                                Country Roads- clue to where .
                                Local Time:
                                7:47 AM
                                I don`t remember reading they`re a poor design.
                                Hell, I`m using one, right where it belongs, in my GMC truck:rolleyes:
                                 
                                • Like Like x 3
                                • 408 swinger

                                  408 swinger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                                  Messages:
                                  2,887
                                  Likes Received:
                                  3127
                                  Joined:
                                  Nov 12, 2010
                                  Location:
                                  Iowa
                                  Local Time:
                                  6:47 AM
                                  In the end, your car, your money, your decision. Myself, I would keep it Mopar. I'm that way with all makes. Pretty much the only engines that are ok to put in everything are early hemis, lol. Blown one's at that! Keep poncho with poncho, olds with olds, Ford with Ford, etc. The LS is literally the new SBC. Hard to argue with aftermarket support. But, I agree with the fanboy statement above. One build in particular was asked recently about how much money he had in his build. Mind you, this has been an ongoing build. Not started recently. Upgrades have been made aside from an "original" budget. He didn't give a straight answer. Fine, not all of us keep track. He throws in a link to the new DSR1150 gen 3 crate engine. Then says well, still have less than this in it. I fuckin hope so! That thing is a cool 37,950! Even a piece of fuck, pile of shit, slow ass, ugly gen 3 can be built to his LS power level for way less than that! That's today's dollars to yesterday's dollars. Anyhow, a cheap smallblock with good power can be had from the Magnum 5.2/5.9. I've done the gen 3 stuff on the cheap with good results and won't go back.
                                   
                                  • Like Like x 2
                                  • go-fish

                                    go-fish Well-Known Member

                                    Messages:
                                    1,603
                                    Likes Received:
                                    2257
                                    Joined:
                                    May 20, 2010
                                    Location:
                                    San Diego, CA
                                    Local Time:
                                    6:47 AM
                                    I will preface what I am going to say with this: I had a 2003 GMC Yukon and I LOVED the 5.3 engine! I was actually thinking about scrapping the truck and keeping the engine and 4L60E for a 1984 Jeep Wagoneer project. The Jeep ended up having some serious rust so I sold the Yukon for $600.

                                    In my opinion, it is only satisfactory to put a Chevy engine in Cobra kit cars, Porsche 944's, RX7's, and full size Jeeps (FSJ). But I believe in America and you, Sir, have the right to do what makes you happy if it doesn't physically hurt your fellow American.

                                    As pointed out there will be headaches with mounts and crossmembers, elecronics, swap headers ... It will be one of those cases where you set out to save money but it costs more than going with what is proven.

                                    I hate it when a critic doesn't provide solutions so here you go. Sell the 5.3 and get some scratch to get a Mopar engine. If you have a hankering for a modern engine check out https://www.diyhemi.com/
                                    You can get a cheap Hemi if it is up to a 2008. After 2008 they got the Apache heads which is a big upgrade but they are more money. Hemi engines also bolt up to small Mopar transmissions so there are cost savings there too (trans mount). Every single swap part is available too like engine mounts, Jeep exh. manifolds or headers, electronics, ...

                                    LA or Magnum engines can be had for cheap too. I see these engines for sale all the time. A lot of times people have a low miles rebuilt small block that they are replacing with a big block, small block stroker, or a new Hemi.

                                    Think about your support network too. If you stay with Mopar and need perts or tech, we got you. There is plenty of Mopar engine savvy folks here as well as every part you would need in the For Sale section. Last time I checked there wasn't any LS swap sections on any Mopar forums and I never see LS swap parts in the For Sale sections.

                                    If it's a budget situation I could almost guarantee that an LS swap will be more expensive even if you can get a free engine. There are free small blocks out there too.

                                    If it's to be different, you wont be. Lots of LS swaps out there already.

                                    More power? Nope. Mopar engines rule!
                                     
                                    • Like Like x 2
                                    • Agree Agree x 1
                                    • RustyRatRod

                                      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

                                      Messages:
                                      85,409
                                      Likes Received:
                                      67242
                                      Joined:
                                      Jun 7, 2010
                                      Location:
                                      Georgia
                                      Local Time:
                                      7:47 AM
                                      I never have liked cross breeding engines. Although in the hot rod world, there are a few exceptions. The early Hemis can be cool in pretty much anything, like Flathead Ford V8s, Nailhead Buicks, Some of the 50s Cadillac engines and maybe a few more. Beyond that, I try to stick with whatever engine make the car is.

                                      Not saying you would do it but remember, anybody can build a characterless turd.
                                       
                                      • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
                                      • Agree Agree x 2
                                      • Like Like x 1
                                      • Kern Dog

                                        Kern Dog I like girls that wiggle FABO Gold Member

                                        Messages:
                                        7,046
                                        Likes Received:
                                        19054
                                        Joined:
                                        May 23, 2010
                                        Location:
                                        Granite Bay CA
                                        Local Time:
                                        4:47 AM
                                        This is such a safe and neutered way to respond.
                                        That just isn't my style.
                                        The OP asked for opinions. Here is mine. Get ready.
                                        GM engine swaps are bullshit. If Ma Mopar built shitty engines, I'd understand. If this were Cuba and no viable Mopar engines were available, I'd understand.
                                        Neither of those apply here.
                                        Yeah, it is HIS car and we have no right to expect him to abide by our suggestions but.....He asked for it.
                                        The LA and Magnum series engines fit with ease. They can make great power and are quite reliable. No need for aftermarket wiring harnesses, fuel system overhauls or calling in experts to tune the thing.
                                        Simple facts.....I don't like Chevy engines in Mopars. I don't like the aftermarket coil over suspension stuff either. I am fine with off brand transmissions and aftermarket brakes though.
                                         
                                        • Like Like x 7
                                        • Agree Agree x 3
                                        • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                                        • CudaFactHackJob

                                          CudaFactHackJob Well-Known Member

                                          Messages:
                                          2,200
                                          Likes Received:
                                          828
                                          Joined:
                                          Mar 17, 2016
                                          Location:
                                          Hemet, Ca.
                                          Local Time:
                                          6:47 AM
                                          Do you have a history of anti-social behavior? Remember the eighties?, "Drop a 350 in it!"... Now, if you have a 350 in an old car, it's like, "Why didn't you drop an LS into it??"... Now all those bastardized Fords, Mopars, etc with 350's are parts car prices....as soon the LS conversions shall be. Now, it's, "OH, it has an LS in it!"...soon it will be..."oh it has an LS in it...". Getting excited about an LS swap is a sign that you are out of touch with present-day reality. There are lots of swappers making a ton of money off car owners who are all excited about LS swapping their car....plug and play... When I hear some newb getting all excited about an LS swap...well....I know they're a newb.
                                           
                                          • Like Like x 1
                                          • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                                          • pauly

                                            pauly MOPAR or no car! FABO Gold Member

                                            Messages:
                                            2,935
                                            Likes Received:
                                            2016
                                            Joined:
                                            Nov 1, 2012
                                            Location:
                                            Holton, Michigan
                                            Local Time:
                                            6:47 AM
                                            Are you planning on keeping it for a long time or will grow bored of it quickly? I know I would not offer much for a MOPAR with a “foreign” motor in it, especially if was a hacked up installation job. Just not my cup of tea, I guess-I want to see a MOPAR engine when I pop the hood.

                                            In the end, the decision is yours. Don’t be offended or surprised if you do the swap and get lots of negative comments. You’ll hafta grow some thick skin if you don’t already have some! Just my humble opinion.
                                             
                                            Last edited: May 15, 2022
                                            • Agree Agree x 3
                                            • Like Like x 1
                                            • abodyjoe

                                              abodyjoe Well-Known Member

                                              Messages:
                                              22,563
                                              Likes Received:
                                              9723
                                              Joined:
                                              May 22, 2004
                                              Location:
                                              Berlin,N.J. 08009
                                              Local Time:
                                              7:47 AM
                                              go for it. bang for the buck will be in your favor for sure.
                                               
                                              • Agree Agree x 1
                                              • Disagree Disagree x 1
                                              • RustyRatRod

                                                RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

                                                Messages:
                                                85,409
                                                Likes Received:
                                                67242
                                                Joined:
                                                Jun 7, 2010
                                                Location:
                                                Georgia
                                                Local Time:
                                                7:47 AM
                                                It's unfortunate that I cannot disagree with that.
                                                 
                                                • Like Like x 1
                                                • Agree Agree x 1
                                                • abodyjoe

                                                  abodyjoe Well-Known Member

                                                  Messages:
                                                  22,563
                                                  Likes Received:
                                                  9723
                                                  Joined:
                                                  May 22, 2004
                                                  Location:
                                                  Berlin,N.J. 08009
                                                  Local Time:
                                                  7:47 AM
                                                  yea it sucks but the facts are the facts..lol
                                                   
                                                  • Agree Agree x 1
                                                  1. This site uses cookies to help personalize content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
                                                    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.