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VS LS Swap Build

Draimond

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I'm feeling stuck, not sure which way to go.
Did a big end bearing whilst doing some gravel drifting in my VS ecotec.

Looking at putting no more than about $11k in for parts and machining.
The goal is to have a strong street car that sounds p###ed off and obnoxious.
More specifically: low 5k rev limit optimized for maximum torque, drift mods like sump and oil cooler, plus as much tips and tricks I can gather to optimize the engine, oiling and reliability under load.

Got 2 VS bodies and ecotec engines, both in somewhat rough shape.
All I know is that I want to keep the VS body.

I've tried looking around for a while now for a body like my first VS, executive series 1, no airbags or abs, live axle. Can't find all those things in one anymore.

So I'm not thrilled with building on something that I can't even change the steering wheel in, but I'm willing to work with what I got. Curious about the VR platform but I've had no experience with them. I've heard that there are key incompatibilities that will bite you when you find out the hard way. The simple fact that they look the same and generally don't have air bags and abs makes me want to cut into my budget to get one.

As for the engine, call me crazy but I do like the ecotec motor. I've seen a great range and availability of performance parts that are reasonably priced.

When the engine started knocking the first thing I thought of was "time to do the LS swap".
I priced the conversion and came to the conclusion that for about $8k or so I'd have a stock second hand LS and auto from a wreckers running in my VS. I'd still need to get it mod plated.
It's stock. Second hand. Most of my budget gone. No optimizations. Just as likely to die first full send from oil starvation or because it was just ready to die the min I bought it. My rego goes up along with my minimum fuel cost (Assumption - gentle economic city or highway, I assume the min fuel consumption of the V8 will be higher than a V6 worked the way I'm thinking). Parts also become more expensive. I'm undecided if I can afford a V8 long term.

On that plus side.. hey it's an LS! With the right exhaust setup I'm sure it's real easy to get the particular note I'm chasing. Bigger range of parts. More power potential. I assume an
optimized LS can take more punishment than an optimized ecotec.

So if I don't do the LS swap, I'm rebuilding. It's something I've always wanted to do anyway.
I could go the stoker kit: I need new parts anyway, I want high torque and a low rev limit. Makes sense to stroke right?
Did up a parts list off the Mace site which came to about $5k. Looks like they've got everything covered there. The only thing I'd change is to get king bearings instead. Keep $1k aside for machining and lube.

At which point I wonder if I could twin turbo for $5k. $1250 per turbo, make all the flanges at work with the plasma cutter or laser, pay next to nothing for all the pipework.
Then I need? ECU, wide band, injectors, intercooler, oil cooler, catch can and hoses?

wreckers LS, ecotec stroker, ecotec stroker turbo, ecotec turbo..
thoughts?

I feel like writing this down helped me process some of it but I'm no closer to a direction.
 

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Deuce

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I would either L67 swap and then later increase boost etc.
Bog stock ecotec and turbo it (so if it dies it's a $500 fix back onto the road)
Or go the LS single turbo conversion.
 

Draimond

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LS turbo would be way out of my budget I'd imagine, unless it can be done for only $3k to $4k. I suppose there's some room there, I worked out about $8k for the LS swap, now take away the exhaust and computer from that figure and put it towards the turbo conversion.. It would have to be a cheap turbo. I was going to be lazy with the LS swap and buy the complete CRS LS swap kit for the VS which includes the headers, I could just get the mounts and starter instead. I'm not sure that I'd even need the turbo on an LS for what I'll be doing.

I never considered the L67 because the LS is roughly only $500 more at the same wreckers.
 

Draimond

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It's the body control module that handles the ABS isn't it? That wouldn't change with an LS swap would it?
 

losh1971

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[QUOTE="Draimond, post: 3088598, member:
Keep $1k aside for machining and lube.
[/QUOTE]
I can tell you, you will need to budget a $1000 or more alone just for the heads. Cam bearings may need dowling. Be at least $3k for machining but maybe closer to $5k.
You might be better of starting with a VS SC engine. Give it a freshen up with rings and bearings and cam bearings and a better cam. Run a smaller pulley. Spend $1000 or bit more on the heads and you might have enough power. At least you have a better base than an Eco, unless you chuck a ton of money at it. TBH I think your $11k budget will only scratch the surface on an Eco performance build. Last one I heard about had over $25k pumped into it.
 
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Draimond

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The $1000 for machining is just the essentials like check, clean and prep the block and heads. Also clearance the stroker in the block.
No porting or head work, just get everything ready to be built upon. Is $1k realistic for that?

Is it obvious whether this crank is work machining for a lightly boosted build?
If I don't do the LS swap I'll take the crank in with the block to the machinist for an opinion and quote.
Any opinions here?

20200410_133831.jpg


Mace are doing up a quote for me with their recommendations based on what I said I'm after.
 

losh1971

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The engine machine shop should be able to give you and estimate on the above. I could say how much my bloke charges but he is pretty cheap. Where as right next to work I could quote his prices which would be double or more what Merv Gray charge for the same standard of work. There can be huge varience in prices so best to shop around.
 

Pollushon

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If 11k is your budget you've got a couple options as I see it. Rebuilding an Eco with fruit is not going to yield you your dollars worth, lots of cash for SFA. Grabbing a running replacement ($500 on a bad day)and spending the dollars on boosting it will get you results and as above, blow it up, rinse and repeat. From personal experience I can tell you Eco's love boost, respond well to it and tuned right are actually pretty hard to break.

That said:

11k should cover an LS conversion - it'll be a weapon.

A lot comes down to how much DIY you intend on performing.
 

_R_J_K_

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I never considered the L67 because the LS is roughly only $500 more at the same wreckers.
Cost of engine is only one component. In addition to that you also need to source the gearbox, conversion mounts, conversion looms, the starter conversion (maybe?), wire it in properly, tail shaft, new exhaust, blah blah blah, whereas the L67 just bolts in (just stuff lie that to think about). The biggest thing that you have to worry about with a an LS is the engineering if you want to keep it legit, particularly if you go turbo which IMHO isn't super necessary for that engine in a 1300kg car and will probably make engineering difficult.

ECUs are fine and are totally tunable. You might struggle to find a dyno tuner with the Ecotec, but the factory LS ECUs are extremely well supported.

Do you have an actual goal in mind (pissed off and obnoxious can be achieved with an angle grinder and straight pipe on any car)? How much of it will you be doing yourself?

Also, if drifting is your game you'd be far better off investing in handling and seat time than power, power doesn't increase skill or make your car well setup.
 
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losh1971

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Where are you located Draimond? I know a memcal tuner in Adelaide south. He did some baselines on my ute and said he can tune mine if and when I need it.
 
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