What would you say if I told you that you could have a 500 HP LS engine for free? After staring at me for a few moments like I’m crazy you might ask if you heard me correctly. Free? Yes! Sounds to good to be true, you say. Okay, so there is a catch. Other then a small upfront sum to get the ball rolling and overlooking the value of your time, if you’re willing to do some good old fashioned hard work and some horse trading you can recoup the money you spent to get your new 500HP beast.
Bozi T over at Jalopnik’s Oppositelock has put together a story of how he did just that. He looked for a 2500 HD Chevy van due to them being equipped with the LQ4 6.0L V8, which is basically an iron block LS2 that makes 325 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque stock. One came up at an insurance auction near him, and although it was lightly wrecked it was still a runner. The initial investment was $1,725 which covered the cost of the van and auction and transportation fees.
After selling off most of the parts he could from the van via forums, Craigslist, and eBay, it was time to buy some high performance parts. The first upgrade was a set of used LS3 heads that were worked over, followed by a second hand cam.
Topping off the engine is a LS3 intake with an LS2 throttle body, and a swap to a car oil pan buttons up the bottom. After selling the rest of the usable parts and scrapping the body of the van, he managed a profit of $141. A person may even come out a little more ahead if they have an engine to sell after swapping in a 500 HP long block.