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Thread: LT engine swap questions

  1. #1
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    LT engine swap questions

    I have been doing research. I live at high elevation and lose 1/3rd of my HP. I have decided to do a gen V swap. I am running a fully built rig with PR60/80 and 40s. The 8L90 will help a bunch with the mountains. Right now it is dreadful. I am debating between three engines. LT4, L86, and L86 w/ Texas Speed cam swap. My budget is flexible, but not infinite. Is the LT4 HP overkill even at altitude? What is a good price for a low mileage LT4 and L86? Is the Atlas 4 worth the extra money over a 2?
    Last edited by M0J0; 04-17-2019 at 05:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Advertiser Exodus Jeeps's Avatar
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    Pointless to do LT and then cam swap it. You might as well do a Gen4 if you’re going to cam swap.


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    I just talked to Robbie @ Motec. I am all sorted.

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    Curious as to what you decided.

    I have been looking at the L86/8L90 setup.
    Byron Haner - Wickersham, Wa
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    LT4 or LT1/Atlas II/8L90e

    I am going to have Motec do the install in Jan/Feb of next year. That is prime snow for time and no place to be driving my rig. Robbie said they will have their LT4 kit ready around October. I will make the decision closer to then. The decision between LT4/1 will depend on how much money I make this year. What price I can locate a LT4 and the miles. If I want to do a used or new LT1. Once, I am at 30K an extra 5-6K for the LT4 is not making or breaking my life. This is for brand new. 650hp up here is only 425hp, so I am shooting for the LT4. The reasoning behind the LT1 is there is a lot of aftermarket support now if it is not enough power. I will decide next winter. BTW, we have the same setup. The stock engine can't cut at altitude. I get passed by semis on I70.
    Last edited by M0J0; 04-17-2019 at 07:50 PM.

  6. #6
    Been Around the Block bhaner's Avatar
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    From what I read the LT1 and L86 are the same engine outside of the accessories and intake.

    Motec told me at one point the L86 was easier to fit because of that.

    I did like the idea of the LT4 with dry sump.... But $$$$


    I haven't been over 3k ft since my build. I know it does well at 0-1000 ft. I am able to go over 80 on the freeway with a decent grade. I would bet it sucks at anything higher.
    Last edited by bhaner; 04-17-2019 at 08:20 PM.
    Byron Haner - Wickersham, Wa
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  7. #7
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    The LT4 comes with a dry and wet sump depending. It is overkill for you. Basically, a LT4 at my elevation is a LT1 for you. I would not bother with a swap if I lived at your elevation.

  8. #8
    Been Around the Block bhaner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M0J0 View Post
    The LT4 comes with a dry and wet sump depending. It is overkill for you. Basically, a LT4 at my elevation is a LT1 for you. I would not bother with a swap if I lived at your elevation.
    Yep. Overkill for here. But I do plan to drive at higher elevations on a few trips. Colorado being one of them.
    Byron Haner - Wickersham, Wa
    2016 JKUR HR
    Evo Offroad DTD w/Evo Lever
    Dynatrac Elite ProRock XD60/80
    40" Procomp MT, 17" B.A.D. Wheels

    My Build Thread

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    For a trip you can live with it fine. Once you are in low it does not matter. I would save the 20K.

  10. #10
    Knows a Thing or Two Irish JK's Avatar
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    Not to be a buzzkill, but you’re still running power through a transmission with a computer. I’m not an expert on the 8l90, but I believe it will “manage” power output like almost all other modern transmissions. Pretty hard to get all that power actually into the drivetrain.

    Additionally, the times that it will allow the full power, pulling hills and or at elevation, you are going to have massive cooling issues to deal with if you actually drive it the way you are thinking. The LT4 is known to prone to cooling issues to begin with, then shove it in a JK engine bay.

    From experience, I can tell you a stock LS3 with a 6l80 in a very heavy JK is plenty to get back comfortable drivability on climbs at elevations. So it reasons an Lt1/l86 with more tech and torque and an 8 speed would be even more than enough. From that same experience though, do be concerned with cooling. And a whole host of other issues if you plan to do any more than light wheeling.


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