LS powered Duster, Abomination or Go For it!

missing linc

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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.
 

RustyRatRod

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What would you do, stay mopar or go dark side and LS?
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.
 

RustyRatRod

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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.
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.
 

Professor Fate

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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.
 

SLOPAR72

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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
 

Dana67Dart

The parts you don't add don't cause you no trouble
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Seen alot of 440's out there selling for cheap, maybe i should shoehorn one of those bad boys in it
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!
 

KosmicKuda

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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.
 

QuickDart360

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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.
 

Biff

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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 !
 

moparmandan

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Hello fellow A-Body enthusiasts!
Im sure this has been asked, but here we go anyways.. As the title states, stay mopar or go LS? I have access to a free LS. 5.3, out of a low mileage GM (27k miles) Would any of you consider that, or would it be an abomination. I have a 71 duster that i recently dragged home, and needs alot of work as you all can imagine. I'm not restoring to trailer queen finish, in fact im going to drive it like i stole it! Restomod, sure but nothing near stock, I just want a street ready, bat out of hell muscle car that can handle the occasional trip to the strip or VIR type road course. Any input or advice would be awesome. Thanks for your reply's, looking forward to the upcoming conversations.

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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.
 
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Biff

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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 !
If there a poor design why is everyone using them ?
 

DusterKrazy

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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.

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 ??
 

DusterKrazy

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Custom exhaust, mounts, headers, computer and wiring, etc stuff adds up quick. Sell the 5.3, buy a small block mopar, and save some money and a lot of aggravation. Just my two cents.

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??
 

408 swinger

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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.
 

go-fish

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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!
 

RustyRatRod

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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.
 

Kern Dog

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Your car, do it your way! :thumbsup:
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.
 

CudaFactHackJob

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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.
 

pauly

MOPAR or no car!
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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.
 
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