Ls1 conversion 97 75 series pros and cons

Benny75
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Ls1 conversion 97 75 series pros and cons

Unread post by Benny75 » December 7th, 2017, 3:44 pm

Good evening gents
Thinking about a power upgrade for my old Ute, just want some advice and pros and cons of an ls1 swap.

I’m more interested in hill climbing and rock crawling, no real interest in mud running and water crossings.

Or in your opinion would a rebuild ( the old girl has just over 600,000) and a turbo kit be more effective

Thanks guys
Benny

Peter Aawen
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Re: Ls1 conversion 97 75 series pros and cons

Unread post by Peter Aawen » December 7th, 2017, 5:19 pm

Hi Benny, & welcome to the Forum! :thumb:

As for an exchange vs rebuild & Turbo, it's almost a certainty that the easiest & cheapest way to go will be the rebuild & Turbo!!

While an engine exchange might sound like something sexy & easy enough to do for someone with reasonable mechanical skills, and there's no denying that the throaty rumble & 8cyl torque on tap is REALLY nice to have, the changes required to the electrics, dash instruments, & fuel tanks & delivery system etc can make for a LOT of fiddly work that really needs to be done well - and if you don't do that yourself, paying someone to get it done properly can be bloody expensive!! :eek:

Plus, you'll need to consider the local regs re engine swaps, & the costs/complexity of satisfying all those!! In many cases, people who start out on this sort of engine swap end up scrapping the whole thing at wreckers prices simply because it all became waaaayyyy too difficult &/or expensive to get it finished & rego-ed, and even if they DID get it finished & rego-ed, the vehicle was pretty much worthless to move on to any other owner because of the 'less than perfect' job done on the change-over that might be quite OK with you & easy enough for you to live with, but must potential buyers will only sees anthing not factory fresh as being a major issue & potential a significant cost!! I know of many vehicles that became extremely expensive lawn ornaments because of this sort of thing, mostly aborted V8 conversions! :(

Sooo, consider VERY carefully before committing to the LS1 or any V8 conversion, especially about how much time you have available for the job (it's almost certainly GOING to take longer than you think/expect/allow!) and the extra dollars it'll take to finish all the fiddly things properly (it's almost certainly GOING to cost more than you think/expect/allow!) as well as the extra costs associated with satisfying the rego authorities re the engine change over!! (That's almost certainly GOING to cost more than you think/expect/allow & also be harder to sort than you might initially think/expect/allow! Notice any trends yet??) For most conversions, if you include the cost of the motor you'll need to think tens of thousands of $$ all up, not usually just single digit thousands of $$'s!! And bear in mind that you can usually do one helluva 'whole of vehicle' refresh, inc an engine re-build, plus a turbo enhancement for the lower of those figures! But the LS1 change-over IS possible & they DO sound nice & go pretty damn well - altho probably not all that much better than the re-build & turbo option when you think about it!?! ;)
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Benny75
I'm new, be nice!
Posts: 2
Joined: December 7th, 2017, 11:12 am

Re: Ls1 conversion 97 75 series pros and cons

Unread post by Benny75 » December 9th, 2017, 10:17 am

Thank you peter for you quick and informative reply
I’m currently planning the build over the next 2 years and about $20k ( only payed $1000 for the road worthy/registered Ute )budget for all the work ie engine, lift, tube tray, bar work, Recaro bucket seats ect
I’ve read other threads on this forum about turbo rebuilds and they say to use different pistons and Conrods out of the factory turbo 6
Is there a different stock efi v8 that would be easier to work with or are they all in the same boat as the ls1?
I don’t currently need the Ute as a daily driver(5 minutes pushbike ride to work plus the mrs 80 series)
I will be caring out 98% of the work myself as I am a diesel fitter by trade but no expert by any means haha

Peter Aawen
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Re: Ls1 conversion 97 75 series pros and cons

Unread post by Peter Aawen » December 9th, 2017, 3:05 pm

Hi again Benny. I really don't want to be the downer here, but seriously, WHAT EXACTLY is it you are after from this project?? If it's JUST a power upgrade, then the easiest & cheapest way to achieve that IS GOING TO BE a turbo upgrade, especially considering the age of the vehicle. There's heaps of a/mkt soft-blow turbo upgrades on these vehicles out there that haven't got or even apparently needed the upgraded pistons &/or conrods, and yet they have significantly improved the vehicles driveability & lasted 100's of thousands of kms since the upgrade too - the owners just haven't pushed for the ultimate max upgrade that the original pistons & block etc can handle... but yeah, swapping in the factory turbo bits WILL certainly let you push the upgrade for a bit more power & torque! How much do you really want tho?? It doesn't really matter which way you go, if you are going to push for the max you will need to upgrade 'other bits' to handle it... ie, go the max with the V8 (any V8) then even if you don't need to similarly upgrade the internals (& you probably will need to) then you are very likely going to need to upgrade the cooling system & maybe the diffs/axles/drive flanges too.... maybe other stuff as well - but so will a big enough turbo upgrade!

Having scored a registered/roadworthy ute for as little as that; having a reasonable budget to start with (have you got any spare for contingencies??) & a reasonable time frame to start with (what happens when you go over??) is a good start, & being up for doing the work yourself will help even more, but you really need to sort out exactly what you want & need from the upgraded vehicle & do a check on which option is going to best achieve that. Most of the 'usual' V8 upgrades won't give you much more power & torque than a reasonable turbo upgrade will, and they generally have a whole bunch more in the way of complexities that you NEED to get right or it makes the upgrade pointless - so the turbo will generally be a cheaper & easier way to get more useful power, even if it is not quite so 'brag-worthy' or satisfying... Like I said earlier, I've seen a whole lot of V8 lawn ornaments end up as the only result of a long & expensive project that someone started with the best of intentions, only for them to end up realising that it wasn't really going to do what they REALLY wanted within a reasonable timeframe &/or cost.... So think VERY CAREFULLY before you start whichever way you go, and really be sure of what you are expecting, when you are expecting it, and how much you are expecting it all to cost - and don't be too shocked if you need more time, more effort, &/or more $$ to achieve that in the end!! But if you are clear on what you expect going in & how you plan to get there, you are far more likely to achieve what you want in the end. ;)

For my 2 bob, I did all those things I've mentioned above, & then took a relatively short time to actually do the upgrade, and today (or at least as far as my health allows these days) I am still driving my turbo enhanced & mainly rebuilt/upgraded 4.2 GQ Patrol while pretty much all of those I know who chose to go the V8 conversion route at about the same time now have very expensive lawn ornaments! :eek: And my 'enhanced 4.2 Turbo' got a 'whole car refurbishment' and does pretty much everything that the few successful V8 conversions do - but mine does it more reliably, more often, goes further & for longer, goes to far more remote places, & often drags dead V8's home behind it too.... but then I guess it IS a Nissan isn't it, so I should've always expected that!! :thumb:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

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