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Old 03-25-2010, 09:30 PM   #1

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LS3 reliability

OK guys and gals, I figured I would post this, as I really haven't seen this discussed.

Stock wise I'm sure the LS3 engine will last a deal of time without any problems, that Im not concerned about since it has a 5/100k warranty, but I want to talk about modding now. Im sure the LS series engine are extremely well made and can stand up against mods, hell I had my LS2 modded since about 1,000 miles, never had problem, warranty was void of course, and Im sure the LS3 is better than the LS2.

Lets say simple mods to start -Tune, intake, headers, cam. I know with this combo, warranty is null and void, but once tacking on these mods, what's the chance of something breaking? Any drivetrain component related problems?

I dont beat on my car, But I do like to have fun with it, I will take it to the strip maybe 10 times in a season. Im tossing and turning on what to do, on one hand I say screw it mod it up! On the other hand I say, jeez I cant void that warranty!

My current mods are ADM Race Intake, and Cutouts, next on the list is Headers and Cam, thats why I started this topic..

Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:46 PM   #2
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:14 PM   #3

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Nobody has any comments?
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:17 PM   #4
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I do about what you do with your driving habits. Those mods are about what I have and are planing to do. With the research that I have done and have read about, it looks as if they are very reliable. As long as its not over reved you should be fine.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:21 PM   #5
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depends on how you take care of it. Depends on how it was broke in .
Any car that goes up and down a Track will have wear more than other cars that dont see a track. Sometimes you gotta PAY to PLAY.

IF you take it to a track then you are not worried so much about what may happen.

those look like good mods to do just keep in mind nothing is 100% bullet proof lets hope the car is strong from break in and can take the punches you throw at it.

Good luck
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:34 PM   #6

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For the most part, I think you will be safe, but the cam is the big question mark. How aggressive are you going to be with your cam choice, and do you planning on upgrading the rest of the valvetrain accordingly? That will determine your reliability much more than a CAI or headers. The LS3 is definitely a great platform, just make sure you modify appropriately. It sounds like you already know what you are getting into, and it seems unlikely that you WONT modify your car regardless of what anyone here says.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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My honest answer, take the question to a Corvette forum.

Those guys have been running, modding and punishing the LS3 for awhile now.

There a few minor setup differences between LS3-Corvette and LS3-Camaro, but if you want an idea of what you can do and what you can expect, they are the people to ask.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:01 PM   #8

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The LS3 is a rock, the drivetrain on the other hand could come into question. Alot of broken axles out there and clutches that have blown up.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:29 PM   #9

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The engine will last as long as it would stock...
That is assumming you upgrade the valvetrain with better springs and pushrods. I would also address the timing chain while you are in there. If you do that, I would say it should last as long as it would if it were stock, and taking into account your driving habits.

That being said... If you drive on the highway all day it will last longer than if you hit the track every weekend whether it is stock or slightly modded.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #10
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654 rwhp and loving it!

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Old 03-26-2010, 01:37 PM   #11
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Try reading Camaro Performers, Hot Rod, SuperChevy, Chevy High Performance, just to mention a few, these magazines should tell you everything you wish to know and more.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:56 PM   #12
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Here is my story!

Picked the car up on a Thursday with 16 miles on the clock. By Saturday night I had about 200miles and 5 dyno pulls on the car. On Sunday I took the car to the road course for a full day of track driving and testing to see what could be improved!

Fast forward about 2 weeks when I install heads, cam, long tube's, full exhaust, CAI and tune (497rwhp/435rwtq). Since then (November) my car has seen about 10 full track days, about 100 1/4 mile passes, 6 standing mile events and about 10k miles of daily driving. My car is driven HARD, not beat on or abused but again driven hard. I have had zero issues with the car besides burning up the stock clutch and slave assembly.

We have a done a leak down and compression test and the motor is still 100%. I have changed the oil more times then most do in 2 years but that's the name of the game when tracking the car.

Even if I did blow the motor or brake anything in the next 10k miles I wouldn't be angry or surprised, but so far so good
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:38 PM   #13
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With a cam, the only thing you'll eventually wear out is valvesprings... Maybe after like 5 years. Then you just throw another set on.

90% of the reliability will be in the tune.
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:43 PM   #14
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LSx engines are typically very stout and reliable. Left stock they last for many many miles. Even with mods if you have them done at a high quality level and stay within the limitations of the build then your not going to see much difference in durability providing you follow proper maintenance procedures.

Once you install a cam and valve springs keep in mind that high lift valve springs dont last NEARLY as long as stock OEM ones do and need to be replaced fairly often. At least every 30k miles or so for trouble free operation. Again follow recomended guidelines for the parts you use
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:39 PM   #15
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As someone else mentioned...the corvette forums have a wealth of information on modding the LS3.

Based on all my research on those forums...part of my upgrades included using an experienced LS shop (with proven LS3 experience) and also including an upgraded timing chain during the cam swap.

I've had mine upgraded last June...with only 800 miles on the car...and I have about 5.5k on the clock now without issues.
Car is for sale --->
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Engine:Phase One-(All work by Vengeance Racing): Custom Cam, AR Headers, ported throttle body, ported intake, custom tune, dual valve springs, hardened push rods, under drive pulley, thermostat, Vararam CAI, C5R timing chain, Melling oil pump catch can, breather, MagnaFlow Sport Axle Back
Suspension: Pfadt Sport Sway Bars, Pfadt drop springs
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my build journal ---->
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