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LS1 Question

  1. #1
    Junior Member SpectraPat's Avatar
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    Default LS1 Question

    I have an opportunity to pick up a complete LS1 motor and was wondering if I can bolt it up to my alpha 1 drive and run it. Would a car engine work in my boat? (Spectra 20) Do I need to change the cam? Thanks for the help

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    mo balls than $cents$ IMPATIENT 1's Avatar
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    Itll work fine but the pistons in a ls1 are much weaker than say a 4.8 5.3 6.0 truck motors.itll be fine tho as long as no power adders are used.ls1 already has a nice cam for a outdrive boat go for it!

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    mo balls than $cents$ IMPATIENT 1's Avatar
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    The rear mount otta bolt up but you will need a adapter to mate it to the outdrive.im sure you can by it from merc by now since they are making ls packages currently.may have to buy frt mounts tho.i made all my own mounts for a jetboat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPATIENT 1 View Post
    Itll work fine but the pistons in a ls1 are much weaker than say a 4.8 5.3 6.0 truck motors.
    Please provide your source for this statement. They all have hyperutectic pistons and powdered metal rods. The weak point in the stock LS engines is the rod bolts, not the pistons. Even the rods have a good track record. The OP will have no problem with the LS engine, especially if he changes the rod bolts out for ARP replacements, an easy thing to do with the pan off. There are many, many LS1 Vette's and Camaro's out there running large shots of NOS on the stock bottom end with no problem...

    A boat will not see the RPM that a street or drag car will see. A large pan and an oil cooler would be good insurance. I have a lot of experience with LS engines in road race cars and race boats to base my statements on.
    Shirl
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    Head Janitor FormulaZR's Avatar
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    Well, the strongest pistons are in the 4.8L - but I really think the piston differences in stock LS that will be run in a sane manner are negligible. I tend to prefer the aluminum engines, since even the F-body LS1 rated at 305 hp really made closer to 350...and removing the water pump, a/c compressor, and power steering pump will get you relatively close to 400 hp in box stock form. And LQ9 will do that, too...but I prefer the weight savings of the aluminum block. The advantage to the 5.3 and LQ4 is that they will happily run 87 octane, and the LQ9/aluminum LSx's will need 91.

    I ran a stock short block (but added ARP rod bolts) 5.7 LS1 in my first jet boat, the engine made 435 hp and I had no issues after 1.5 years of running. It spun 5200-5400 rpm. When I sold the boat, I kept the engine.

    Now I'm running a 550 hp 383 LS1 in a different boat, and routinely spin it to 6000 rpm. Knock on wood, but I'm in the middle of my 3rd season with no issues.


    I think the key to keeping a stock LSx alive in a boat is to limit the RPM to under 5500 rpm, and IF you add nitrous, keep it under a 175 shot (and a 125-150 shot would be better). I would also look at upgrading the rocker arm trunion, or going to aftermarket rockers. While a boat *may* not see the peak rpm of a drag motor...it does stay at a much higher rpm continuously than is typical in an automotive application. When I'm on the water, my engine is never under 3500 rpm, and is usually in the 4500-5000 rpm range. HOWEVER, since the OP is running an outdrive, I suspect he won't be turning it that fast.

    Others will tell you different things about what the LSx can/can't do (just like with every other engine on the planet); but back in the late 90's a group of us set out to make our LS1 powered Y/F-bodies quick. At the time the aftermarket was limited...so we did a lot of torture testing with nitrous, rpm, etc that didn't require parts changes (heads and rotating assemblies really weren't out yet). We left a trail of broken LS1's behind us in our quest. My Formula still ranks #51 in the nation ('11 when I quick checking) for quickest stock short block F-body...with a pass that I made MANY years ago (and was one of the first LS powered cars to break into the 10's - not a great feat now...but then it was somewhat impressive). That particular Formula was built with lessons learned from the groups testing, and was a perfectly driveable street car with A/C. It ran the same short block from 0 to 92k miles.

    I do have a question...will the Alpha 1 handle more than 400 hp reliably?

    I don't know what the goals for the boat are, but I'd think even a stock 5.3 or 6.0 would still be a nice increase over the stock 5.0/5.7 that I assume the boat came with.
    Last edited by FormulaZR; 07-12-2013 at 11:39 AM.


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    gn7
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    I have to hand it to you Formula. You're one of the few that will actually claim the engine(s) have a limitation.
    Normally its something more like:

    "If you take a wrecking yard 5.3 with twin turbos making 50 psi, and 50% load of nitro, strap it to the dyno run it up to 8500, and go to lunch, when you return if anything is broke, it more than likely the dyno."



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    mo balls than $cents$ IMPATIENT 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrEracer View Post
    Please provide your source for this statement. They all have hyperutectic pistons and powdered metal rods. The weak point in the stock LS engines is the rod bolts, not the pistons. Even the rods have a good track record. The OP will have no problem with the LS engine, especially if he changes the rod bolts out for ARP replacements, an easy thing to do with the pan off. There are many, many LS1 Vette's and Camaro's out there running large shots of NOS on the stock bottom end with no problem...

    A boat will not see the RPM that a street or drag car will see. A large pan and an oil cooler would be good insurance. I have a lot of experience with LS engines in road race cars and race boats to base my statements on.
    Shirl
    CJ60 (LSX powered Rogers)
    Its just a known the pistons are thin.putting 15lbs to a 4.8 5.3 6.0 is no biggie but most likely will break a lightweight ls1 piston.go on ls1tech.com and go to forced induction section then to the reliabilty thread amd youll see just what i mean.ls1 pistons are built much lighter in crown than truck pistons.most ls1 guys end up blowing up around 10lbs then switch to truck engines and gta really lay the boost or nitrous to it compared to ls1 stock stuff.if its a na deal deal i say go with whatevr ls ya wanna but if heavy nitrous or boost is involved then go truck engine.thats not a imo deal fellas its kinda a known by the heavy hitters runnin ls.

    not sure what u meant by boat wont see the rpms a car will.ive ran as hi as 20lbs of boost to 6800 without issue.only damage ive had was my fault, i let my meth tank get low and it bit me.again my fault not the 5.3's.wouldnt even attempt what i do with a ls1 but like it for you na guys.i have 40hrs on the engine now and it still alive and kickn.
    Last edited by IMPATIENT 1; 07-12-2013 at 11:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPATIENT 1 View Post
    thats not a imo deal fellas its kinda a known by the heavy hitters runnin ls.
    With all due respect, the HEAVY hitters are not running stock pistons or rods.





    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    I have to hand it to you Formula. You're one of the few that will actually claim the engine(s) have a limitation.
    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    Normally its something more like:

    "If you take a wrecking yard 5.3 with twin turbos making 50 psi, and 50% load of nitro, strap it to the dyno run it up to 8500, and go to lunch, when you return if anything is broke, it more than likely the dyno."


    Thanks Bob.

    You're description makes me laugh...because it's true. I've read or been told almost the same thing for years and years. I have seen enough carnage to know that they will make big power with stock rotating assemblies...for a little while. I prefer an engine that will last - at least more than 30 passes...and preferably much longer. I just hate to see guys looking for reliable combos get told some of the stuff I read.

    Not trying to start an internet battle...I just have a differing opinion of what is "safe". Especially considering that just because something works in a drag car doesn't mean it will last more than a year in a boat.
    Last edited by FormulaZR; 07-12-2013 at 11:51 AM.


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    mo balls than $cents$ IMPATIENT 1's Avatar
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    Agreed, u know what i meant tho when u see real world breakage and they post at what levels they broke at the gap in stock piston strength shows itself.i remember when ls1 first came out i was dropping them outta fbodies at least 1 a mnth due to piston breakage or something cuz owners took em to the tracks amd beat em badly.when we were shown the trucks engines at the training center prior to silverado release i jus knew id be changing alot of truck motors but never did unless convertors clogged etc..


    Btw im on my 2nd season and may go a 3rd with it, havent decided if i wanna go 6.0 with twins for my kid to race with next season.i have nuff trust in the motor to let my daughter race with it, 15lbs after torching a piston with the low meth tank im even more confident in the lil engine that could.sob's are tufffff
    Last edited by IMPATIENT 1; 07-12-2013 at 12:16 PM.

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    ^^^

    See...this is where we differ. If it were me, I'd do a 6.0 (the one time I like the iron block over aluminum is in an FI engine) with forged rod/piston combo. I just can't bring myself to be around another stock rod/piston engine set on kill. That's what makes horseraces, I guess.


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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPATIENT 1 View Post
    sob's are tufffff
    Everybody has a different definition of tough.
    Like running for 1 hour to Catalina and back in a ski race. Or the Bridge to Bridge ski race in Australia.

    wonder just how long a factor stock LS would take this, at any HP level before an exhaust valve left its mark on a piston top, or the piston pinched a ring, or seized a pin.

    there is tough, then there is marine tough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post

    wonder just how long a factor stock LS would take this, at any HP level before an exhaust valve left its mark on a piston top, or the piston pinched a ring, or seized a pin.

    there is tough, then there is marine tough.

    We both know the answer to this...but some people won't believe until they try it themselves. I had similar conversations with another gentleman who didn't believe me. He's on his 3rd engine. How many junkyard engines does it take to equal one truly built engine?

    There's also a reason I will not push my 383 past 700 hp. Could it handle it in a drag car? Yes! Could it handle it in a boat? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on how long you keep you foot in it. But, I'm also an aviation guy...and just like boats - it's all about reliable, sustained rpm under load.


    When/IF I ever go for a "big" power LS, it will be a tall deck RHS block 434 w/ 6 bolt heads.
    Last edited by FormulaZR; 07-12-2013 at 12:47 PM.


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    mo balls than $cents$ IMPATIENT 1's Avatar
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    Sure .im juggle'n wether to go tt6.0 or build this 5.3 with pistons/rods and see how far we can push the boost before heads lift.everyone has their level of what they are comfy with.more than likely ive changed more ls engines than most here albiet automotive so im alil more confident than the next guy on what i can and cant do with it.breakage wise it was generally fbodies on dry shots breaking crowns or cranks.if i knew em of course id warranty em give em this is the last time speech and if general calls it back its on their dime if it gets kicked back lol.regardless of what ls we run next season it wont be on kill more than likely to run 10 but i wanna be able to turn boost down to get her to the number.6.0 with some 70mm twins will be hardly working to do the number at least.

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    Head Janitor FormulaZR's Avatar
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    Other than the irritation of a crossover pipe...why wouldn't you go with a larger single?

    In a jet, I can't really see the benefits of twins over a single...


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