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For Sale: 200 slightly-used HSV LS3 Drivetrains

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from carsales.com.au

For Sale: 200 slightly-used HSV LS3 Drivetrains (May 2008)

Words - Joe Kenwright

As part of the W427 program, HSV has to find homes for 200 LS3s.

HSV's first high performance model, where the whole drivetrain has to be 'scrapped', the W427, could be a boon for hotrodders.

Before HSV can install its hottest-ever drivetrain, the donor cars' LS3 V8 and gearbox must be removed. The problem has arisen after trial assemblies of fitting the 7.0-litre LS7 engine and matching gearbox on Holden's assembly line at Elizabeth succeeded, then had to be abandoned.

This has become one of the main challenges in setting a final price for the new W427, when the 'disposal' value of the latest LS3 engine and gearbox is yet to be determined

Because the LS7 has a complex dry sump oiling installation that could not be installed until each car arrived at HSV, HSV engineers had devised a temporary wet sump that allowed the LS7 engine to be installed on the Holden production line so each car could be started and driven as required by Holden during the manufacturing process.

Now, under the added pressure on the Elizabeth line, due to extra export orders for Pontiac, the whole process had to be scrapped.

According to Holden insiders, the prospect of up to six special-build W427 models per week bringing the whole assembly process to a halt due to any unexpected problem was something that Holden could no longer contemplate.

HSV was too far down the track to abandon the W427 project and has since been forced to establish a new specific build area staffed by experienced technicians. This in turn generated a recruitment drive to replace them as other areas of HSV are flat-out meeting a three-month order bank. Can hear the cash registers ringing?

Why couldn't Holden simply send HSV an empty shell for HSV to complete? It doesn't work like that.

HSV has to submit a special build sheet for its core vehicles just like for any other model that Holden builds. Once that is locked in, the manufacturing system is geared to meet HSV's special requirements. With Holden now catering for more export markets and body styles, there is a limit on how many variations can be processed. They say it wasn't cost effective for a new build specification for just four to six cars per week.

One of the big achievements of the Callaway engine program for HSV's VTII HSV GTS 300 (HSV's last special low-volume hero model) was that HSV, Holden and Callaway found a way of inserting the completed Callaway engines into the pipeline of LS1 powertrains on their way to Australia ready to be fitted on the Elizabeth production line.

In total contrast, every W427 will leave Holden as a GTS complete with LS3 engine and T56 manual gearbox that will have to be removed then sold as 'slightly' used parts without warranty. Negotiations are still underway as to how this will happen.

One of the issues still to be decided is whether to split the engine and transmission and sell each as separate units to different engine and transmission specialists.

While the prospect of re-powering another vehicle with a 317kW V8 sounds tantalising, it is no longer so easy. The wiring and electronics needed to support the new engine (including calibrations specific to its new home) can add a hefty premium to the cost of the engine itself.

Until this issue is resolved, HSV is still doing the sums before committing to a final W427 retail figure and production run.

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I could fit 200 LS3s in the barn...

Would you finance 3 or 4? :D

I'll stick a couple in the camaros and save one or two in case things get as bad for the V8 as I think they might.

Or maybe I'll need a 5th to do that Starlet conversion I've been talking about for so many years :scratchchin:

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM

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Some of these will more than likely go to Elfin i'd dare say, especially as LS1 stocks are pretty low. This will allow Elfin to launch upgraded models along with their projected 4 cyl car later this year.

Edited by cyclonic

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Of course, it's all Pontiac's fault...

Now, under the added pressure on the Elizabeth line, due to extra export orders for Pontiac, the whole process had to be scrapped.

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I consider myself a nice guy, so I will be happy to pick up the tab of packing and shipping on a motor and tranny if Holden/GM will put it on a truck...it is the least I can do. Really!

Just write me a note of acceptance of my offer and I will forward the address of where to ship the LS3 and trans. Just trying to help!

Hope these do find good homes though. Hate to see them scrapped. Ugh!

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