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chasing 375kw on my ls2

Fudgedmihuggies

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Good afternoon all.
So I'm currently in the process of getting quotes on getting my lazy ls2 with 265000kms on the clock rebuilt.
I'm no mechanic and this being my first build is rather noticeable when I walk into some of these mechanics workshops.
I have a budget of around 10k (which is not much I know) and not wanting to do anything with the bottom end except rebuild it/ freshen her up.
With so many options out there on what to do to get these types of numbers I'm overwhelmed by it all and was hoping you guys could help point me in the right direction.
I have not yet hit the drag strip nor do I believe I ever will as I'm fearful of being bitten by that expensive bug, so in saying this she needs to be "streetable" as once the build is complete she will only be a weekender/show pony.
From the research I've done thus far it seems just some minor head work and a half decent cam will get me there but was wanting to know what should be done to get these figures reliably and if it can be done with the budget I have.
I went into one shop yesterday and he was wanting to put forged pistons in her which in my non educated opinion is an expense not needed for the minor gains I'm chasing with a minor cam upgrade of 114 degrees, an x-force exhaust system and some minor upgrades with valve springs etc and dyno time/tuning which ate my budget like it was a snack.
I would love to be able to reverse anything I do as it is to my understanding the model car I have is becoming more and more desirable since Holden's sad announcement in the off chance I ever want to let her go ( I'd have to be on my death bed for that)
In saying this in the future when either the wallet or the wife allows me to I'd love to be able to bolt on a small supercharger as that whine has got me and pulled my heartstrings.
Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
Cheers.
 

gtrboyy

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Manual or auto? Any current mods like otr/extractors/tune/exhaust? These mods will put a dent in budget,with right parts even stock ls2 will rip well
Can you do the work or all paid labour?

Quite like the vz ls2/4l65(?) setups but need not to get caught up in dyno figures but moreso suitable combination of parts so car drives like you wanted.

CHE did fair bit of dyno testing & drag racing with good results for customers with modded ls2 cammed cars a few years ago...think they developed a similar cam with better results for ve-vf 6l with stock stally/diff gears,good power & drivability.

Do a google search dyno graphs,forum threads or yt clips may still pop up.
 

Fudgedmihuggies

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Manual or auto? Any current mods like otr/extractors/tune/exhaust? These mods will put a dent in budget,with right parts even stock ls2 will rip well
Can you do the work or all paid labour?

Quite like the vz ls2/4l65(?) setups but need not to get caught up in dyno figures but moreso suitable combination of parts so car drives like you wanted.

CHE did fair bit of dyno testing & drag racing with good results for customers with modded ls2 cammed cars a few years ago...think they developed a similar cam with better results for ve-vf 6l with stock stally/diff gears,good power & drivability.

Do a google search dyno graphs,forum threads or yt clips may still pop up.
yeah g'day mate.
soo as she sits she is bog stock with no mods what so ever (except for what ever hsv do from their factory)
She is an auto.
While I'm not too fussed on figures its just a ball park number im chasing of around the 375kws.. a little more would be sweet but know that every dyno is different.
I honestly don't know what I am doing so unless a mechanic is more than happy to have me in his shop in my spare time to help out all labour would be done in the shop due to lack of space, tools, time and experience.
I was looking at going to speak with either Sam's performance or castle hill exhaust to have a chat with them but rather hesitant as I previously stated in my original post its pretty obvious I really don't know what im on about.
The last bloke I spoke with was more than happy to go the most expensive options like forged pistons when from what I've read is not necessary.
Hence why I'm reaching out to you fine people for some education
 

keith reed

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Extractors, 2 1/2 exhaust, otrcai, tune. An earlier ve auto that I owned with those mods put out about 344 fwkw. The ls2 should get about 10 kw less due to the ve's better cylinder heads. Talk to a cam maker about what you are after. Alternatively have a look at the range that they offer. Don't go to big or you could wind up with something that's a pig to drive. Forged pistons for that setup are an overkill, don't waste your money.
Alternatively forget about the cam and go with the extractors, exhaust, otrcai and tune. The power increase is quite significant and will be smoother to drive with better economy. On the drag strip my ve did the 1/4 in 13.5 and that was taking off from idle.
 

Fudgedmihuggies

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Extractors, 2 1/2 exhaust, otrcai, tune. An earlier ve auto that I owned with those mods put out about 344 fwkw. The ls2 should get about 10 kw less due to the ve's better cylinder heads. Talk to a cam maker about what you are after. Alternatively have a look at the range that they offer. Don't go to big or you could wind up with something that's a pig to drive. Forged pistons for that setup are an overkill, don't waste your money.
Alternatively forget about the cam and go with the extractors, exhaust, otrcai and tune. The power increase is quite significant and will be smoother to drive with better economy. On the drag strip my ve did the 1/4 in 13.5 and that was taking off from idle.
Thanks heaps for the input Keith.
I was hesitant in putting a bigger cam in as (while I know very little about building cars) I be hearing from a lot of different people that they can be pigs to get up and go. In saying this could I put a cam in now for a future supercharger or would it be too much of a pig and not cope without it?
And if so who should I speak to that's reputable and point me in the right direction or would either of the two preferred engine builders be able to help there also (being either Sam's performance or castle hill performance)
 

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"Future supercharger"?
Forged pistons just came back in to the equation.
 

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Toss the cathedral port heads for the later heads off a Holden 6lt L98, L76, L77 (the ones without DOD, I can’t remember now which they were)
 

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Honest freshen the bottom end inc all new cam bearings etc as above l98 heads with a small port and shave for better comp.

Being a auto smallish cam and small hi stall say 2500 and your done and your 10k is done.
 

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I think you need to sit back and ask yourself what you really want and why. If you do decide to go ahead with the modifications suggested had you given any thought to improved braking and handling? The vz r8 came out with 4 pot callipers, they would be a bolt on and far superior to your current set up especially with ceramic pads.
 

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... I went into one shop yesterday and he was wanting to put forged pistons in her... in the future when either the wallet or the wife allows me to I'd love to be able to bolt on a small supercharger as that whine has got me and pulled my heartstrings...
I think you need to sit back and ask yourself what you really want and why...
^ this ^

Not surprised you’re being quoted for forged pistons if you mention supercharging to an engine builder. They may simply be trying to help you to prepare the block for future supercharging and reduce having to pull the engine out and work on the block twice.
 

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there are different types of alloy used in forged pistons so if ur not going all out just stick with the 4032 alloy as they will seal better for cold starts and be better for daylie, if ur pushing 15+psi and decent rpm and want to give it hell u then go to the 2618 alloy, bottom end can easily be some forged pistons and keep stock crank and maby do rods then all machining and bearings and its good to go, im doing an all out LS2 boost build at the moment and didnt want to ever worry about strength and i can tell u its not cheap, if u go boost and u are going to build engine then u have to make clearances to suit which u dont need as much if ur staying n/a so u have to look at ur end goal and suit it to that, also keep stock heads for boost if ur not going all out they will be fine then u have to think fuel system to support power goal also
 

Fudgedmihuggies

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Many thanks for all your input thus far to you all.
After consulting the budget/missus lol I'm starting to feel while I want a supercharger (for the sexy whine they make) it may not be a viable option.
Given this being my first build and first v8 I'll be more then happy to achieve the 375kws naturally aspirated and if the whine is an absolute necessity perhaps put a gilmer drive on her.
In saying this if I were to take the option of putting a gilmer on it would I lose power or would it help get the power down more efficiently?
Once again I'm no mechanic and just thinking of the final product and trying to chase half decent power while also rebuilding the whole motor due to its age.
As for handling/braking I was considering upgrading to an r8 setup but was curious as to if it would be enough to pull her up? Also would I need to upgrade sway bars and suspension setup to cope with the extra power or would the stock setup be enough?
Please keep in mind I don't really plan on thrashing her and only drive like a grandpa but still want a pretty safe, reliable and mean weekender.
Again thank you all for taking the time in helping me/pointing me in the right direction and trying to keep it within budget.
 

07GTS

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gilmer drive on an LS is alot of coin just for a whine, u have to replace all pulleys to suit and there are no gains in power at all, depending on brands u could prob spend a couple thousand easy
 

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I think your biggest dilemma is putting a kw figure you want to achieve.
If you can forget about that you can build a fun and tidy car that you will enjoy.

For driveability a smaller cam, an exhaust, tune and the likes (so nothing too out there) would most likely make you happy.
Make it sound nice, make it have a bit of go and you're all set.
But add the tightening up for handling and better braking and it'll be an all round nice driver.

Personally, I do have a Supercharged LS2 (2.9L whipple). It has a big cam and a few other things to suit.
Its loud, its obnoxious and its not the nicest to drive unless you can properly cruise along (clutch leg can get a work out)
For as much as the power is nice to have, you will worry about breaking parts.
You will be hassled by morons who want to race you, or drag you from the lights.
While the whine is nice, it comes at a cost, one which if you haven't driven such before is not fun.
 

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Many thanks for all your input thus far to you all.
After consulting the budget/missus lol I'm starting to feel while I want a supercharger (for the sexy whine they make) it may not be a viable option.
Given this being my first build and first v8 I'll be more then happy to achieve the 375kws naturally aspirated and if the whine is an absolute necessity perhaps put a gilmer drive on her.
In saying this if I were to take the option of putting a gilmer on it would I lose power or would it help get the power down more efficiently?
Once again I'm no mechanic and just thinking of the final product and trying to chase half decent power while also rebuilding the whole motor due to its age.
As for handling/braking I was considering upgrading to an r8 setup but was curious as to if it would be enough to pull her up? Also would I need to upgrade sway bars and suspension setup to cope with the extra power or would the stock setup be enough?
Please keep in mind I don't really plan on thrashing her and only drive like a grandpa but still want a pretty safe, reliable and mean weekender.
Again thank you all for taking the time in helping me/pointing me in the right direction and trying to keep it within budget.
I have had 4 pot callipers on the front and rear of a vt clubsport that are now on my vh. I put brembos on the front and back of a ve ss ute I once owned. They came standard on a previously owned vz r8. The ve redline I now own has them standard on the front however I have brembos yet to be fitted on the rear. Putting ceramic pads on does make a difference. At no stage ever were these brakes not good enough. 4 pot callipers will be plenty good enough for you until you go serious racing on the track and even then you have the option of racing pads. Have a look at what someone like Whiteline put out suspension wise, they should have you pretty much covered.
However it is what you plan to do with the car should be the deciding factor on what you do with the brakes and suspension. You might find an upgrade to ceramic pads might be enough, they certainly make a difference. The vz's handle reasonably well standard as long as all the suspension parts are in good order.
 

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Going from stocker to otr/extractors/cats/exhaust/tune/diff gears would a big jump up performance if it's your first v8....you'll want to drive it everyday.

cam/heads/stally/gears will be more than enough for a weekender & do 11's (both kinds)

If serious with coin go visit CHE or Russo's for proper chat but you'll need to be clear on budget & expectations.
 

Fudgedmihuggies

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Going from stocker to otr/extractors/cats/exhaust/tune/diff gears would a big jump up performance if it's your first v8....you'll want to drive it everyday.

cam/heads/stally/gears will be more than enough for a weekender & do 11's (both kinds)

If serious with coin go visit CHE or Russo's for proper chat but you'll need to be clear on budget & expectations.
Thanks heaps.
I was putting this out there for when I have more education on what I was wanting to do so to not look so foolish when walking into see either che or sams performance.
I've owned this beast for going on 3 years now and have put 110000kms on her with both highway and around town driving her everyday.
While I enjoy driving her I really hate other road users and their lack of respect for other peoples **** (been involved in a hit and run... not my fault) hence why it will only be a weekender.
I'm kind of getting over the power or the lack of response to what power she has hence why I was looking at beefing her up to around the 375kw mark.
To be honest the more I speak with you guys the more I realise how far my budget wont be going towards getting what I originally wanted but then I was less educated then as well.
So my question now is can I get the 375kws on a budget of 10k with a complete engine rebuild at the same time with it needing to be reliable and safe?
Or am I dreaming and should hold off a while longer?
I mean with a complete engine rebuild even to slightly stronger specs then original would simple add ons like exhaust and a tune get me at least close to the figures im chasing? Even if I get close i'd be happy but with her currently at 297kws she really don't feel all that powerful 3 years on from purchase.
Once again guys I truly appreciate you all taking the time talking to me about all of this.
I totally understand that everyone has different views on what should or shouldn't be done.
Ultimately id love more power with a lot more response, so long as its reliable.... If I can get a whine in the process bonus but I have let that go as my budget wont allow it nor will my tolerance for other road users ;)
 

07GTS

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if u just want to rebuild it go a 383~ stroker it will give u better torque and stay reliable (cubes getting towards 400+ with 4" bore will shorten longevity but builders usually dont tell u that) or if its just a weekender go 402ci and get more torque, then just a good street cam to suit and should be right to go, would be in the 10k+ area tho depending on parts u want to use and all the machining/fitting/tuning ect
 

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Vz is good starting point with ls2 & yeah it's possible to make that power although end result may not drive all that nice on 10k budget.

vcm otr $450-$550 (mace seem to cheapest)
pacemakers $680 for tri-y $895 for 1/34 or 1 7/8 (bestmufflers.com)
100-200 cell cats $400-$500 easy
x-force or redback 2.5" $500 3" stainless x-forcs $650-$900 with varex
n/a stocker tune $900'ish from decent workshop
diff gears $1k

4-5k up there if you chase up new parts then add labour

cam/springs/lifters + other stuff car may need could eat up the rest of the money...guess that's anywhere from 270-290rwkw.It may not seem much on a dyno graph or fb post but when done right & usable it'll more than enough for grandpa street driving.


Blower kit like whipple be $10-12k for kit then add ons + labour


Most are content to stay n/a with otr/tune/full exhaust & diff gears after they tall it all up lol
 

mpower

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i took my VF in for full exhaust, OTR and tune. the transformation was more than enough for me and I had plenty of change out of $10k.

I vote for this route OP, i think you'll be surprised.
 
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