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To Build or Rebuild?


New member
Aug 9, 2023
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I purchased a 99 LS1 T56 TA for an excellent price earlier this year. 170k miles.

The car came with a fresh rear-end rebuild, trans rebuild, and a complete UMI suspension kit with braces for the suspension and torque arm.

I paid 4k for the car; it needed paint.

I did the bodywork myself and found a guy to scuff and shoot for $2500.

There's the background; now the questions:

1.) Would adding 50-75 crank HP jeopardize my engine?


2.) Should I save for a rebuild for a year or two and have them add some go-fast parts while they are in there?

I want to make more power (obviously), but I dont have bottomless pockets and dont want to compromise my engine.

I want to do a cam header, tune, and shoot for 400 crank-ish.

I don't know if my engine has been rebuilt at any point in its lifetime—no apparent symptoms of wear and tear on the engine from what i can tell.

Doesn't even ticks on startup.

3.) If i need to rebuild, can an enthusiast with basic mechanical knowledge rebuild an engine with some youtube videos by my side?

I have moderate mechanical experience.

I've never been a "real" mechanic, but I've done plugs, manifold gaskets, PCV systems, Valve cover gaskets, headers, struts, sway bar end links, 02 sensors, all of the simple things.

I understand an engine better than 99 percent of the population; I can tell you how compression works, timing, etc. Ive never physically messed with valves/rods/lifters or internals.

I want to make a 400-ish crank, not compromise my engine, and save whatever money I can.

Is this possible without a rebuild, and if not, is it something a guy like me could do on his own realistically?