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LS6 Longblock Installation
My stock LS1 developed a knock in 9/03. I ordered a new Corvette Z06 LS6 longblock in 3/04 and the installation was finally complete in 7/04. The stock LS1 was rated at 305 HP and the new LS6 is rated at 405 HP. I'm happy with the upgrade :)

  LS6 Already Installed In The Cradle This was a scary, scary sight! We're almost ready to lower the body back down to bolt the cradle with the new LS6 back into the Z28.

  LS6 And T56 This is what the drivetrain looks like sitting on the floor below the body.

 

LS6 Installed: This is the finished product complete with ZO6 fuel rail covers and "Powered By ZO6 - 405 HP" badging.



Comments/Tips/Costs - LS6 (405 HP) Longblock install:

Parts Needed:

-LS6 with F-Body oil pan is GM Part #: 12498399 and Gene@FredBeans (ls1.com sponsor) will sell it to you for $ 5030.13 + shipping ($ 118 for me). There is no core charge or exchange; you're buying the longblock outright so you can sell your stock LS1 to save even more money.

-1998 F-Body will require coil brackets GM Part #: 12563288 and they should be about $ 16 for the pair. You will also need to order the bolts to hold the coils to the brackets as well as the bolts to attach the brackets to the valve covers. '99 and later F-Bodies used center bolt valve covers and already have the necessary brackets.

-You will need to use the F-Body LS1 pulley on the LS6, so you will also need to purchase a new bolt for that as well.

-The LS6 longblock comes with the F-Body oil pan, baffle, and oil dipstick in a box in the crate. You will need to uninstall the C5 oil pan and install the F-Body oil pan. (I actually sold the new C5 oil pan and C5 pulley for $ 350 on a corvette forum, so if you want to unload these unneeded parts, you can recover some of your money.)

The only thing that won't bolt directly up is the driver side PCV valve. The LS6 driver side PCV valve runs under the intake and comes out right below the throttle body on the passenger side. I spent $ 3 on some hose and an adapter to route the PCV valve in a loop to send it back into the intake.

That's pretty much it. The LS6 is a direct swap with all accessories, etc. bolting right up in the same spot as they did on the stock LS1.

Optional Parts:

-SLP LS6 intake with EGR provision. Recommended for 1998 - 2000 F-Body. SLP Part # 30039. Price $ 399. The stock 1998 - 2000 LS1 intake will bolt up to the LS6 if you want to save a few bucks. The 2001 - 2002 F-Body already has the LS6 intake.

-LS6 Clutch Kit GM Part #: 12570806 - $ 343.17 and Slave Cylinder GM Part #: 15046288 - $ 97.87. As long as the engine is out, you might was well replace the clutch unless your stock one is extremely low mileage. Please note, you DO NOT need to purchase a new pilot bearing, it's already installed in the LS6 longblock.

-Headers - I purchased Hooker Shorty un-coated headers for about . However, I HIGHLY recommend you purchase coated headers. I've been burning the #6 plug wire and I've had to purchase protective sleeves to protect the wires, but that's only slowing the burning down. I went with shorty headers to stay emissions legal. On the 1998 - 1999 models, I would recommend you at least go with some sort of header. On 2000 - 2002 models, the stock manifold is actually supposed to flow pretty well, so if you don't want to use the stock manifold, then long tube headers would be recommended for the later models.

-Cat-Back Exhaust: I went with the SLP 2 OTL 3" cat-back - $ 450.

-Dyno Tune: The 1998 F-Body LS1's actually have the same size injectors as the LS6. The LS6 is running just fine on the stock 1998 computer, however, I can't get everything out of the LS6 until I get it tuned. The rev limited needs to be raised from 6300 to 6600 RPM and I'm sure the fuel curves, etc. need to be modified to get the most out of my LS6. As soon as I hit 3K miles, I plan to have my Z28 dynotuned. Price: $ 475.

UPDATE:  I had the car dynotuned on 6/4/07 at Vengeance Racing in Cumming, GA.  BEFORE the dynotune, The LS6 put down 375.5 RWHP, however, it was running above 14:1 air/fuel ratio which is rather lean.  After tuning, it put down 377.9 RWHP, but at a safe air/fuel ratio across the board.  So the bottom line is that yes, the LS6 will run fine on the stock '98 tune until you approach high revs, then it goes incredibly lean, so IMO, a tune is necessary for high RPM driving, but will be fine for "everyday" driving until you can have a swap like mine dynotuned.

Tips:

-1998 F-Bodies are known to have an issue with false knock. They'll register up to 3.9 degrees of KR at WOT runs. 1998 models had 2 different possibilities for knock sensors. I ordered the ones that had a clip on them, only to find out that I needed the ones that have the "water bottle nipple" connectors. Don't bother ordering new knock sensors until you know which ones you have. I replaced my 2 sensors just to see if it solved the false knock problem my stock LS1.

UPDATE 6/4/07:  The 2 new knock sensors seems to have cured the false knock issue.

-Oil pressure sending unit (located behind the intake): The LS6 has a brand new one included in the crate. However, it was a one prong sensor and my stock F-Body LS1 sensor had 2 prongs, so I knew the one included in the crate wouldn't work. I ordered a new F-Body oil pressure sensor and installed it. However, I think I was sent a sensor from a different year. As soon as we started the motor, the oil pressure registered as normal, but as soon as I revved the engine, the oil pressure guage pegged. I swapped in my old 1998 LS1 sensor, and everything worked perfectly. My advice, unless you break your sensor or think it's malfunctioning, just use your old one out of the LS1.

-All of the other sensors will swap over from the LS1 to the LS6 as well.

Installation:

-I was quoted $ 1200 installation by my local Chevrolet dealer, and he couldn't sell me the LS6 longblock for what I could get it for, so I was going to have to have it shipped to the dealer. However, I have a friend who has a shop and he agreed to do the swap for 1/2 the price if I'd do 1/2 the work, so that's what I did. I paid $ 600 and actually ended up doing most of the work under the shop owner's watchful eye. It was a FANTASTIC learning experience.

-If you're going to attempt the install yourself, then you need to purchase this book: How To Build High-Performance Chevy LS1/LS6 V-8s: Modifying and Tuning Gen III Engines for GM Cars & Pickups. It has step by step instructions for the removal and installation of an F-Body motor.


Appearance:

Red ZO6 Corvette Fuel Rail Covers ($ 85 for the pair) and Chrome ZO6 rims. I figured as long as I was doing an LS6 swap, I'd make my 1998 Z28 the way I think GM would have made it if the Camaro had had a ZO6 option: I've got the ZO6 engine, ZO6 clutch, ZO6 intake, ZO6 Fuel Rail Covers, and ZO6 rims.

Including all the required parts, optional parts, and appearance parts, and labor, I'll have about $ 8500 tied up in everything, including dynotune. However, it can be done for a lot less if you just get the basics.