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Old 09-18-2019, 12:38 AM   #1
Black_57
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Default Where to source a LS3 engine

Deeply considering going to a LS3...

Where are the best places to source a LS3 engine? (I am looking to go used and get all the the stuff with it (ECU, harness and all drive accessories))

Is eBay where most people get them? Local junk yard???
What are people usually paying for them? Should local junk yard be much cheaper than eBay?
I have been looking at craig's but nothing there.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:56 AM   #2
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they are in demand so your local junk yard won't be any cheaper than ebay. also be careful junk yards are selling L99's from camaro's as an ls3 and they are not. the L99 has vvt and afm. and a smaller camshaft.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_57 View Post
Deeply considering going to a LS3...

Where are the best places to source a LS3 engine? (I am looking to go used and get all the the stuff with it (ECU, harness and all drive accessories))

Is eBay where most people get them? Local junk yard???
What are people usually paying for them? Should local junk yard be much cheaper than eBay?
I have been looking at craig's but nothing there.
www.car-part.com search using using Vette 08-13 and Camaro 2010-15 SS models. This will list yards local to your zip code some list price and miles. Then call and see what the motor has you want a "change over" complete motor and accessories. Then go look at them. I wouldn't pay more than $6k for an complete LS3 with around 100k, also I wouldn't pay a "core" as some places do. Just tell them cash so no CC fees for them and no core (the core they just scrap the them and get more money) Also haggle with them they have price points they have to make and more you haggle they will move. If they won't walk away find another place.

Sometime these guys will have them as well https://www.lkqonline.com/

Also if your state allows public at an insurance auction you may can get a complete camaro for the same price as the ebay listings and part out the useable sheet metal and make some money back granted it takes time but if your fugal enough will same money.

I wouldn't avoid the L99 either. You can buy a AFM/VVT delete kit and toss in an LS3 cam and its the same motor at that point. TO ID an L99 the valley cover will have raised ribs on it vs LS3 which is smooth.

This is the L99 valley cover or any motor with AFM, Non AFM are smooth on top. And can see it under the intake too.


Also new LS3 are $7300 shipped to your door, which seems high but you get a zero mile motor with intake. Then just add what ever accessory drive you want and ECM harness to run it. You can gt the vette drive for $700 with out WP (another $100ish) Your looking at another $800-1000 for harness ECM. So for around $8900-$9k you get a new zero mile motor and new accessory drive with a new harness and tuned ECM ready to run. For a pull out say $6k you'll still need harness reworked or new harness for it so figure $1000-$1200 for it. So for not a lot new isn't that much more plus you get a warranty with the crate motor. (which has terms so read fine print).
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:49 AM   #4
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A couple of things to add:

Pontiac G8 from 08 (and maybe other years) also had LS3.

GM crate engines come with a Corvette water pump and crank pulley.

BO185's price on new GM crate engine controller/wire harness is a little bit low.

An alternative to GM engine controller/wire harness is the Holley Terminator X setup. Saves you a little money, especially since you can tune it yourself without having to by software/cable/license from HPTuners or EFILive or pay a tuner. And tuning is simpler with the Holley.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:24 AM   #5
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A couple of things to add:

Pontiac G8 from 08 (and maybe other years) also had LS3.

GM crate engines come with a Corvette water pump and crank pulley.

BO185's price on new GM crate engine controller/wire harness is a little bit low.

An alternative to GM engine controller/wire harness is the Holley Terminator X setup. Saves you a little money, especially since you can tune it yourself without having to by software/cable/license from HPTuners or EFILive or pay a tuner. And tuning is simpler with the Holley.
Yeah RickL I never posted anything about GM harnesses nor GM tuned ECM now did I. There are cheaper ways to go. HPT isn't cheap plus you still need a harness reworked or new one, not to mention time you waste learning, which most can't.

One for example
http://www.150tunes.com/new_harness.html $618 shipped for BRAND new harness. He sells used ECM, if you find a cheap ECM then he tunes for $150. So I actually overstated price to be conservative RickL. Oh and tune is for life of ECM so change cam or anything he retunes for free, Less S/H. Plus he supports what he tunes.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Yeah RickL I never posted anything about GM harnesses nor GM tuned ECM now did I. There are cheaper ways to go. HPT isn't cheap either plus time you waste learning, which most can't.

One for example
http://www.150tunes.com/new_harness.html $600 for BRAND new harness. He sells used ECM and tunes them for around $250-300. So I actually overstated price to be conservative RickL. Oh and tune is for life of ECM so change cam or anything he retunes for free, Less S/H. Plus he supports what he tunes.
I think the free tunes for life is over rated. without the actual installed package in front of him, he is only going to get it to a good enough to drive no matter, unless he gets lucky. EVERY package performs differently, nothing is better than a good dyno session followed up with an actual drive it and finish it tune. PERIOD. and to me if your paying for it, Then it should be a 100% done deal. not a close guess. from that standpoint then the holley at $1400 is the best deal out there.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:10 AM   #7
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I think the free tunes for life is over rated. without the actual installed package in front of him, he is only going to get it to a good enough to drive no matter, unless he gets lucky. EVERY package performs differently, nothing is better than a good dyno session followed up with an actual drive it and finish it tune. PERIOD. and to me if your paying for it
He can get them pretty close, this means his tunes run just fine. Having been tuning LS for 15yrs he has tuned most common cams and most common setups out there on an actual engine dyno, yes setups are different externally internally head combs and cams are known. Headers and intake won't effect things that much for what MOST people need, not to mention not alot of options for common intake tube size and common header/exhaust either. But give him the info he needs and he can tune it. So for most people here that the motor will never see a strip or even WOT, it works just fine.

If one wants MAX hp ideally, YES stick it on a dyno, anyone that tunes knows this, but even shops that have a dyno to tune with also know some people are pretty cheap, so they also offer cheaper ways to go, mail order or street log tune. Either way, OP can buy whats with in his budget. I am sure there are dyno tuners were OP lives, easy to call and see if its within his budget.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:10 AM   #8
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Use the Holley, run it in closed loop format after selecting your base tune from their files and be done with it.

I have built combos that were just over 1400rwhp with that method.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:00 PM   #9
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^^ What Darren said.
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