LQ4 into a 3rd Gen/1972 Nova
Compliments of frojoe @ http://ls1tech.com
Well I’ve been putting off posting my conversion for a while now, but here goes…
It’s a 1972 Nova with a stock LQ4 swapped into it that took me about 5 months to do in my spare time, with the main reasons being increased fuel economy and way better starting reliability (stupid broken-choke, broken-vacuum advance Quadrajet ïŒ). I’m a 21 year-old mechanical engineering student, so I wanted to do this on the tightest budget I could manage within reason, and also it’s a great distraction from the studies/school. I bought the engine at the beginning of a summer job in June ‘07, but didn’t really get into it until this Jan, and finished around May-ish ‘08.
Grand total cost me approx. $5,400 for the engine and required parts to get it driving under the new engine’s power (lots more money went into the rest of the car but that’s a whole other several stories!). I’ve attached (link: List of parts with PN's & prices!!) a list of all the parts, part numbers, and prices that I used for just the engine swap, hopefully this could be a good guide for anyone looking into this swap (or into a 1st gen Camaro).
EDIT!!!... the car is now undergoing major deconstruction. I first posted this as a post-build thread, but now it's an on-going progress thread...
NOTE: from the pictures the size of the garage space I had to work on this thing…!!
Nasty before (well, after the initial engine swap, my standards have improved a bit since) engine bay pic...
I made my own motor mount adapter plates (identical to the (Carshop)/S&P adapter plates) and bolted short-and-wide SBC motor mount to them, which gave me enough crossmember-oilpan clearance when using a stock truck oil pan. These adapter plates DID however move the engine forward approx. 1inch.
Carshop adapter plates look like this...
I used this template...
I took a truck oil pan and had 2.5” lobbed off the bottom of it, and had ¼” 6061 plate welded up to it (apparently media-blasting the pan with a very fine sand is enough to clean it up decently). To make the truck oil pickup fit, I had to section it in a couple places to take out enough height so it would clear the bottom of the pan. In hindsight it saved me from having to buy a Camaro pickup, but even if my labour was “free” it was a bitch to do.
(modified truck pan: go to page 2 or click here)
(modified truck pickup: go to page 2 or click here)
I had Hooker Competition full-length headers from the SBC that was in the car previously, and I cut off the flanges as well as sectioned most of the primaries. This was pretty straight-forward on the passenger sidedue to all the room, but there was a lot of trial-fitting on the driver’s side. On the driver side I had to section out even more tubing because for some reason SBC headers always hang lower on the driver side (???) and re-arranged several of the tubes in order to get proper steering box wiggle room without BFH “clearancing”. I also welded in O2 bungs near the collector. NOTE: making my own swap headers this way didn’t cost me anything but was LABOR INTENSIVE!!!!! see below for some pics...
I used the truck intake manifold, and with the flipped motor mountplates the intake fit under the stock hood no problem. I did have to exclude the truck’s Vortec “beauty” cover and trim about ¾” off one of the cover’s mounting bosses. I got lazy towards the end of the build and rather than fabricate my own intake tube, I bought one off of a member LS1chevelle. However, apparently a Nova has less room in the engine bay than a Chevelle, so I still had to take a section out of it, but it nicely tucks the 7” cone filter almost entirely behind the driver side headlight.
I am pretty decent with wiring and soldering, but I simply didn’t want to deal with splicing the original harness. I called John at Speartech(http://speartech.com/) and he made one for me. I did have to extend the MAF plug wires by about 16”, but the main loom was plenty long enough to mount the PCM underneath the middle of the dash (above the ashtray). Regardless, his work was quality, enough said. Also, I picked up some gauges for the engine’s vitals. A water temp gauge is heavily recommended but an oil pressure gauge is ESSENTIAL. Had I not bought it I wouldn’t have known that I was having oil pressure problems (oil pump/pickup o-ring seal) and likely shot my engine.
Throttle Body/DBW Pedal
I used the stock 78mm fly-by-wire electronic throttle body, and found an FBW pedal and TAC module out of an Avalanche to use with it. I made a Franken-pedal by cutting off the stock original pedal, and did a little cut-and-paste onto the upper part of the FBW pedal assembly to retain the 70’s-looking pedal pad on the electronic pedal’s position-sensing servo (see below for a pic of it). As is noted later on, I used a TH350 which I needed to find a place to mount the kickdown cable to. Since this pedal is the only point in the acceleration-control system that actually rotates, I had to rig up the kickdown cable to the electronic pedal. I did this by measuring the pedal sweep in degrees, and through some nifty trigonometry I found out where on the pedal and the pedal’s base to weld on some bracketry to mount the cable, in order for the cable to be pulled 1inch through the pedal’s 20degrees of rotation.
DISCLAIMER: this one of the first things I attempted welding, please don't judge me!!...
I hooked the LQ4 power steering pump up to a 1st gen Camaro quick-ratio steering box by making my own high-pressure lines. I bought 3ft of high-pressure braided line from Russell, and using two stainless steel 90* hose ends which adapt to -6AN male thread. I then got an adapter going from the high-pressure -6 to an 11/16” inverted-flare fitting for the steering box. Connecting the high-P line to the pump is an adapter going from a -6AN to metric 16X1.5mm o-ring style fitting. The steeringreturn line is a 5/8” inverted flare from the box to a clamped hose fitting on the pump. Future plans are for a cooler, to tee the high-pressure line to run up to a hydroboost brake booster, and also to have the high-pressure line going to the box run through a pressure-regulating variable restrictor (either automotive-specific or not), because right now the steering is as easy as my friend’s Cadillac Fleetwood! There have been no leaks at all so far.
(EDIT: I have changed the PS setup, for a description & diagram of what the new setup will be, click here)
I used the stock tank and replaced it with a stock-style 3/8” fuel pickup/sender. I then connected a Walbro 255lph external pump to it, after which went a ’99 Corvette fuel pressure regulator, which oddly enough is listed in the GM catalog under “fuel filters”. The return goes to one of the stock tank ports originally used for the charcoal canisterbreather line (there’s two of these ports). And the 2nd port I hooked up a breather line which loops around and dumps any fumes underneath the rear bumper. I used hose barb fittings and hose clamps on all these, and used EFI-rated 3/8” line all the way up to the front, where a GM-style quick disconnect fitting from Russell sealed the deal to the stock fuel rail cross-over tube. So far there have been no leaks whatsoever.
(EDIT: I have changed the fuel setup, for a description & diagram of what new setup will be like, click here
I re-used the TH350 that came on the 305 which the car came with. Now I know I want a 5- or 6-speed in it, so I tried as hard as possible to spend little-to-no money on this stupid auto. It bolted up fine to the 6.0L flywheel (no spacers required, but unfortunately I ordered them before I found out I didn’t need them) BUT the mounting holes on the flywheel did need some love from a 7/16” drill bit to reduce the bolt circle diameter around ¼” overall. Also, I needed to use 1/8” washers between the torque converter and the flywheel to get it to bolt up. Because the engine was moved forward an inch, I needed to get the driveshaft lengthened, which even if it is a bit pricey is a good thing going from 2.75” x 0.050” to 3” x 0.063”. Additionally, I welded 3/8” plate onto the front of the original trans x-member and drilled slots, so that the 1-inch-further-forward trans mount would actually be supported by something!
(EDIT: after the one and only drive of this car with the new engine, it's now off the road until it has a T56 in it)
As you can probably tell my build centered mostly around more fabrication and less buying, which did help me save $$ I figure, especially for things like the exhaust headers, tranny cross-member, and various other custom mounting brackets, not to mention welding the entire exhaust piping myself. It was all a big job, but a helluva learning experience for my first LSx swap (of hopefully at least several). Next, 8 cyclinders into some silly formally-FWD import super-sleeper….
The mounting bosses can be trimmed flush, no holes will be made in the intake due to how the whole thingy is injection-molded when manufactured.
I do not know if the throttle body is the same as the ls1. I think ls1 injectors should work on the truck intake, but i've heard that you can't swap the truck fuel rail assembly over to the ls1 intake due to different sapcing between the injectors, so i think you'll need an ls1 rail but maybe still are able to re-use the truck injectors?
The alternator didn't need any clearancing around the hood structuce or anything, it is approx. same height as throttlebody and intake tube silicone coupler, which all clear fine on the Nova hood, but it's a pretty flat stock hood. A firebird hood might have a bit more front downslope so it might contact the alternator/throttlebody?
Yea for the electronic throttle body there really is no other way of connecting the TV cable <-- (wrong, actually a kickdown cable) that I could see because nothing external physically rotates anywhere on the throttlebody, so the pedal idea is really the only thing I could think up. I've tried taking pics but it seems camera's don't like being so close and in such little light, very few pics are even half-decent, but I'll try again sometime soon.
I wanted to dump as little money into the th350 as possible because I knew I'd eventually want a stick, but now I think I'm just gonna throw in a T56 ASAP and get rid of the auto.
As for the whole swap, I will eventually clean things up when I get a TIG welder/make my own stainless headers/possibly turbo?/have the time and garage space to rip the subframe out and redo everything ground-up with fresh paint. So far it's a temporary-ish setup to just get everything running so I can drive the damn thing!
The paint looks a bit better in photos than in life, it's got some scratches and dents that are noticable in person, and paint will be the very last thing I do to it. I kinda like it like that, build it up with speed parts but have it still a bit raggy like I'm "just another young kid in an old car with rims..."
Also, the oil problem... I'm thinking it's the oil tube itself. I cut and welded the stock truck oil pick-up so it'd fit in the modified pan, but the tube might've warped during welding and so when the pickup support strut bolts to the windage tray bolt, it torques it and doesn't let the pickup seal to the o-rin/pump properly, because I've already replaced the o-ring.
PS.. I've tried to be as helpful/descriptive as possible to share my experience and knowledge gained, because it seems that questions about an LS1 into a 3rd gen Nova are popping up more and more.. (even though 1st gen Camaro's and 3rd gen Nova's have damn similar underpinnings)
I just got back into the same town as my car tonight, so I'm gonna get crackin on pulling the engine and pan tomororw and report back with my findings hopefully sometime within the next couple days...
The engine was getting oil to the lifters, and would hold 35psi for 5 minutes at idle when I 1st/2nd/3rd started it again, but when I took it for a drive the oil pressureslowly dropped to around 10.
The very first times I started it before this, it was getting next to no pressure, so I figured o-ring. I was lazy and just wedged the engine up, pulled the pan, awkwardly inspected the oil pickup/pump with engine still in car, pulled the o-ring, and it was fine, not pinched or anything. I carefully put it back together and bolted down the tab to the oil pump, but then noticed that the pickup still slid in and out maybe 1/8" of an inch or so. I had also noticed that it did this the very first time I assembled everything way back when, so I decided this time around to throw in some high-temp silicone sealant to "safeguard" against any possible future leaks.
My thinking is 1) that was a horrible idea and I wish I wasn't so lazy and had pulled the engine in the first place. 2) I think that the sealant held pressure fine at idle but when I drove it and it heated up, the bond between sealant and metal pooped and it started slowly sucking air instead of oil.
It's also good to note that I had to chop up and weld the stock truck pickup to fit my modified pan, so I thought maybe during welding the pickup warped, so when I bolted the pickup support strut to the windage tray, it would twist the oil pickup and not let the pickup/o-ring to mate into the oilpump properly.
I'm tired so I only unhooked 90% of things, but I will tomorrow pull it, flip it, and really investigate how well the pickup seals like I really should have done in the first place. Of course I will report back with my findings!!
Oil pressure problem is still up in the air. I ran out of time and socket extensions to be able to unbolt the bellhousing from the engine, so I wasn't able to pull the engine and closely check the pickup o-ring/oil pump mating issues.
However, here are some pics I snapped
The headers I made. They're pretty rough, at this point I was still using innershield mig welding, put hey they work, and they cost me a total of.... $30 for the LS1 flanges
Here are some closeups of the oil pan mods to clear the cross-member and speedbumps. Again the welds are pretty rough, but it cost me a total of 18 beers and there are no leaks. I had 3" milled off the bottom of the pan and another inch milled off of the first 5 or so inches of the front of the pan, then got 1/4" 6061 welded on. The welder went ahead and put the drain plug in a HORRIBLE place if the pan were to hit the ground, so I'm going to have it filled up and re-tapped in the side of the pan.
And ghetto bucket seat improvments.. you could slide off the old buckets before you even turned in the car, so the new (free) ones should be a good improvement. They're from a Toyota Tercel (sacralige) but they're surprisingly firm and grabby.
It did. On my front subframe, there were an extra set of holes about an inch in front of the holes that the crossmember was originally bolted to, so I bolted the x-member to those holes and it worked out (because Carshop/S&P motor mount adapter plates I used moved the engine/tranny forward ~1 inch).
I'm back in town this weekend so hopefully I'll update some more pics and progress on the engine pull/investigation of oil pressure problem, and also on the seat install, steering wheel adjust, and pedal relocation (they're positioned awkwardly for my 6'2" height).
Arg stupid engine comes back out...
Oh man I forgot how narsty the engine bay looks, like things usually go, putting the engine back in might be delayed to make this situation look a little more decent..
A shot of my modified oil pickup tube..
So I pulled the oil pickup, and I first thought this nick in the tube might've been the pressure-loss culprit...
..but then from the side it doesn't gouge into the tube, it's only on the inside surface, so back to square 1..
...So I measured the depth of the oil pump outer face to the mating surface that's supposed to compress the o-ring...
..and after multiple measurements I came up with a .390" depth..
and that same depth compared to the pickup shows that the o-ring doesn't even come close to the surface it's supposed to be compressed against!..
The first time I took the pickup off I fashioned a setup for the 2nd (unused) tapped hole, to double-bolt the pickup flange to the oil pump. I didn't like the idea that with a normal bolt/washer, it would only be pressuring against the washer at one point of the bolt head, but with this setup (off of a mountain bike brake pad retainer!) it allows full bolt head pressure to engage the off-angle washer..
Another idea I've conjured up while bored in class is a way to guarantee fuel delivery.
Since I used the stock non-baffled, non-sumped tank, I didnt want to risk fuel starvation due to corners, acceleration, or hills (lots of them around here).
This is an idea which apparently euro/import autocrossers and racers have had for a while, so why not in an old american car?
A low-pressure carb pump will push fuel to the front of the car, into a skinny, tall canister from which the EFI pump will feed from the bottom. At 1G cornering, the gaslevel would be at 45*, and the only way there'll be no gas at the bottom of the canister is if the car is upside down or I hit a HUGE bump...
PS.. I've also done some calc's and with a 1qt canister, and 35lb injectors running WOT at 80% duty cycle (is this approx. correct??) the whole canister will drain in 28seconds if the pump at the back of the car fails.
Sure thing I'm going to go pick up two new o-rings. I really hope that an LS2 one does end up fitting, if not I'll test the two-stacked idea.
What's up with the prices of fittings? Aeroquip fittings in the range of $30-40? Seriously?? This is the cheapest one I could find, and it STILL came in anodized blue oh well, not for long..
Here's a shot of the interior, revamping it was the only time I slipped up on my vow to do only mechanical and nothing cosmetic..
Again, a flywheel spacer is NOT required for the flat truck 6.0L flywheel, but it should be needed for the wavy truck 5.3L flexplate.
Anyways, I didn't find that tidbit of info until this was already ordered and on it's way, but this is what the spacer looks like...
I spent a lot of time looking for a 10spoke-style modern rims but I was afraid that most the ones I was finding had spokes which were too thin and maybe not so "muscular" looking. I also was dead set on black centers with chrome lips, but these Axis Penta rims I found have pretty thick/beefy looking spokes and the grey center are almost a dead-nuts match for my grey rally stripes, I think they turned out quite well
Rims are Axis Penta 18" x 8" all round with 40mm backspacing and 1.25" spacer in front, and 35mm backspacing and 1" spacer in rear.
Tires are 235/45/18 in the front and 275/40/18 in the rear with zero mods needed to fit a pretty beefy looking tire in the rear...
An LH8 pan is the one that comes in the Hummers, I believe.
Which pan are you unsure of drag link clearance issues, the LH8 one? It should have plenty of room, because it's sump is 8.5" long as opposed to the truck one with is 9.75" long, and the truck one clears my steering even though my engine is moved forward approx. 1 inch.
ATS motor mounts are really nice billet peices (for $140)..
and S&P/Carshop ones are identical, but much more inexpensive!...
Header-wise, Kooks make the really pretty ceramic coated ones, as well as several other companies. Hooker makes some but recommend that you use their mount mount adapters in order to properly fit around the steering box; I've heard mixed stories of these headers fitting with non-Hooker motor mounts. $5-600 seems to be par for decent ceramic coated headers that fit this conversion, but that doesn't guarantee that they won't need some BFH "clearancing" around the steering box.
Yes, that's the simple explanation of what I did. The overall spacing between the front and rear exhaust ports was close, but not close enough to just bend the tubes. Also, the difference between siamesed middle ports and equally spaced ports was too big to heat and bend. I ended up cutting off all the primaries from both headers except for the rear tubes, and swapped some of the tubes around until they fit closer overall, then chopped and sectioned my way bit by bit until each tube fit and on the driver's side they all fit around the steering box.
It sucked. But I was stubborn and cheap, and the majority of it only took me all of one complete weekend.
OK, so after a long lull, mainly because of school, I have a couple updates!!
First thing is an update of the braking/steering system, I've decided manual 4-wheel drum brakes just aren't gonna cut it, so until I have enough money to do some disk swap, I'm just gonna throw a booster on there. Also, I can turn my car with the flick of a pink no matter what speed I'm going, talk about no road feel!!
I found a Hydroboost from an '06 Colorado for $100 at a local truck junker. I'm gonna combine that with a Heidt's power steering adjuster valve so that I can fine-tune the feel of the steering wheel.
I also had a new line made for the high-pressure side, it cost total under $20, which sure beats buying $18 3ft of Russell braided PS line, and $13 for each of the Russell PS fittings not to mention having to make it myself!!
This is a horribly-taken pic of the new steering line setup with the Hyrdoboost..
The Hydroboost unit itself...
Went to a local hydraulics place and had myself a new hi-pressure line made...
The line uses 37* JIC female fittings, which were $5 each, and $7 for 3.5ft of 4500psi 3/8" hose. Fittings look like...
And next was a revision of the fuel system. I've mentioned the general idea of it previously in this thread, but here is another description...
Fuel gets sucked out of stock tank with stock fuel sender, so that I don't have to modify the tank or shell out $$$ for a stainless one. However, this poses a problem 'cuz the fuel sloshes around a lot, and we don't want that beautiful LS engine to get starved.
So, I have a low-pressure (carb) electrical fuel pump suck gas out of the stock tank, and pumps it to the front of the car. This gas gets dumped into a skinny but tall fuel "surge" type tank with an outlet at the bottom of it. Now assuming the tank is not even half-full, in order to starve the outlet at the bottom, the car would have to be doing way over 1g laterally, or be upside down (), so this should be plenty fine. A Walbro 255 pump feeds off the bottom, and pumps into a Corvette FPR, which has a return going back to the fuel surge tank. The surge tank has another outlet, a fuel return going back to the stock car gas tank.
Crappy pic of setup...
Aforementioned fuel "surge" tank...
Walbro fuel pump & Corvette FPR from previous setup...
Pretty, pretty, fittings...
Resulting tank setup...
last but not least, this picture was too cute not to include..
I would have used an f-body pan but to be honest I was too cheap to find/buy/ship one!! Modifying the truck one only cost me an 18pack, how can I complain? Well I can, I wished it was just a bit shallower (providing more ground clearance).
To answer your question, if you look at the SBC short&wide engine mounts...
..the horizontal hole on them is closer to the top hole than it is the bottom two holes (at least they are on my autoparts store/OE replacement mounts, maybe they're just cheap) so in order to get the horizontal hole on the engine mount to line up with the horizontal hole on the frame-side mount, I had to flip the adapter plates and switch sides, so that the driver's side looks like this...
...as opposed to what the driver's side is supposed to look like, this...
Make sense? I think I might have some pics on my home computer, I'll check when I get home later tonight.
Got a better radiator to replace the 37 year old copper one, and includes an engine oil cooler! It's from a mid-90's S10, and it's brand new/never had fluids through it. It'll fit height-wise and will also fit the sub-frame rails with about 1/2" clearance.
Also, got a little something to start a new direction of the build... 24"x12"x4" core, 3" inlet/outlet. Oh jeez I think it's all downhill from here...
I decided on a manual, and am leaning towards a T56 because it would bolt up to an LS1 easily (of course).
I considered a 4speed, but would like at least 1 more gear. Considered a 5 speed, but the T5 sure as shat won't hold up, and I don't know much about the Richmond or other aftermarket 5spds. Also thought about the Richmond 6 speed if I were to just buy a new tranny outright, but still not sure about that due to money.
I'm between a rock and a hard place because used T56's are non-existant as far as I can see here in BC, Canada, so it'll likely have to be ship a used one or buy a new trans... both expensive options for a student like myself
Woohoo so I'm back at home for the summer and it's warm enough to open up the garage door and get some work done!!
A '95 S-10 radiator fits like a glove between the sub-frame rails, and should way outperform the original 37-year-old radiator..
I didn't realize exactly how little room there is to work with behind the grill on these short-nosed Nova's!
This is measured from the core support to the furthest point at the center of the filler trim piece below the grill.
This is the clearance distance at where the corner of my intercooler will be, and the IC is 3"!!
...Needless to say I'll want to open up the airflow hole in the core support and maybe section it back in order to allow flow thru to the rad and to "set back" the IC into a fabricated recess in the core support.
So on a nice sunny Saturday, what else would I do but go grinding & sanding surface rust and 37-year-old paint off of parts of my car?
After 2 hours angle sanding the driver's inner fender, I have a new appreciation for body(ish) work. Good thing I don't have to resort to paying someone to do this!!
Now, to keep at this for the passenger-side inner fender, core support, and subframe. Fun times!!!
Also, now that I'm earning a bit of money again, I decided I'm not going to screw around piecing together an inexpensive junkyard disk brake upgrade set, and just bite it and bought some Wilwood stuff. Will update with pics when the kit arrives
I went to Killer Customs/SpeedTech in Pitt Meadows up here in BC... WOW is all I can say. After seeing how silly-low their camaros are at "normal ride height", I got even more inspiration for my build. Looks like it's gonna be prolonged a bit more
Today I made a 1/4" Aluminum adapter plate to mate the Hydroboost to the existing firewall bolt holes of the manual master cylinder my car originally came with. The main hole is a little jagged I know, I couldn't holesaw it because of the tab for the keyway, so a good 'ol jigsaw and file got the job done reasonably well...
Mounted on the Hydroboost...
Painted the Hydroboost. I'm really excited to make the rest of the engine/bay these flat black/matte black/matte silver colors ...
Today I made an aluminum radiator shroud for the '95 S10 radiator I picked up a while ago. It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it considering I did the bends with a vice and a dead-blow hammer
It's not fully complete, I still need to sand it to a dull finish, and pick up some stainless buttonhead fasteners.
Although it doesn't look it, the shroud is spaced out about 3/8" from the radiator fins so that the fan can suck air from all parts of the rad...
Today I took off the cowl support to open it up for more airflow to the larger-than-stock radiator I'm putting in...
I originally thought that this would be the best way to mount the intercooler, so there'd be ample tubing clearance underneath/behind the bumper...
...not so much on the driver side...
Passenger side is the same.
Don't really want to cut up the subframe to get tubing clearance. Plus even if I did that the bends would have to be pretty tight and likely past 90*. So I tried mocking it up this way...
I'll have to make holes in the cowl support then to pass the tubing through... not a big deal. I'm a bit unsure it there's enough room to fit a tight-bend 3" tube or coupler in there though, but I think I can cut anywhere up until the bumper trim support at the 6" mark...
Same deal on passenger side...
I will also have to put slight notches in the top plate of the grill to get it to clear the edges of the intercooler...
I've only seen two other turbo build threads for a 3rd gen Nova. One didn't have very large pics, wasn't too descriptive, and also the guy used a massively custom intercooler. The other guy had a full race build with no inner fenders, etc... not such a driver-like car! So I hope maybe this will be the thread for people doing a simple single-turbo setup with easily-available eBay/used hot and cold side stuff. No customs intercoolers or stainless turbo headers here!
Went and met Marktainium yesterday. Thanks for letting me raid your STASH of "extras" haha. His build is coming along quite nicely too, I'm jealous of his progress!!
I want to retain the stock hood latch, or only have to slightly modify it. In order to do so, and with having the intercooler sitting in front of the rad support, it'd have to be positioned here..
NOT so ideal!!! As well, if it were to stay in front of the rad support, I'd have to notch the trim piece between the bumper & grill, as well as the top of the grill itself to clear the intercooler corners, like here...
Turns out in order to clear the stock hood latch, I would only have to move the intercooler back 1.25". This is nice since it would also buy me enough clearance for the grill & grill-bumper trim piece... no trimming needed yay!
Since I'm chopping the rad support anyways (I will later weld in supports so it retains rigidity) I thought why not cut the "outline" of the intercooler+inlet/outlet couplers into the support so the intercooler is essentially recesed halfway into the rad support. The radiator would also be moved back the same amount to make room for the IC. Pics to come of this within a day or two.
The s10 radiator I'm using is actually 0.5" thinner than the stock radiator, and the previous setup had room to spare with a 4" intake tube & the upper coolant hose...
...and since I'm going to make new engine mount adapter plates to try and move the engine back 1+ inches, there should be enough room, but might get a tad tight with the MAF stacked in front of the throttlebody, but we'll see about that when the motor is back in there mocked up...
There are two threaded holes in the upward-angled metal area just above/in front of the gas tank. This is where supports for the stock fuel line and charcoal line were bolted to. I aligned my Walbro external pump and Corvette FPR and then bolted them to a piece of 3/4"x1/8" flat stock about 18'"long, and then bolted that piece to the two threaded holes mentioned above. I may not have described it very well, but if you climb under there you should see them pretty quickly. The pump ended up being slightly above the top of the tank, but for the little while I drove the car I didn't experience any trouble having the tank "suck" the gas as opposed to having it gravity fed.
Today I finished cutting the outline of the intercooler...
And finally, the radiator only moved back 1.25" overall, so clearance behind the fan should still be fine...
Will have to clearance grind a tiny bit of the stock hood latch, but I'm glad that it won't have to be a huge amount...
PLENTY of clearance for grill & grill-bumper trim piece...
I'm going to "box" in the lower double-thickness parts of the rad support which were chopped up. This'll add rigidity as well as act like ducting for the part of the rad which doesn't have any IC in front of it...
I didn't go to bed last night, so I guess I'm not really gonna do any work on this glorious Saturday afternoon, but I did take a few snaps.
Rearranged garage to get more workable space on the front end.
My car misses the sun almost as much as I miss driving it!
For anyone who wants to know what 18's look like on a 3rd gen... Mind you I think I'll have to lower the rear another inch and a bit, to get the lip just barely tucked...
Goodies!!! I feel like a bit of an idiot just buying stuff to bolt on, it's so easy I don't know, is that breaking my build trend??
And... it's a big as my freaking head!!!!..
Ok so I should probably apologize to anyone following my thread, I have a tenancy to jump around a lot, maybe that's just my way of not becoming burned out just working on one thing till completion. I'll try to make things a little more streamlined in the future...
These are just some teaser shots because I liked them. PS... safety wiring sucks...
Everything fits real nicely...
This is with stock drum spindles, 1.25" spacer adapters, and 40mm offset 8" wide wheels (equivalent to 4.325" backspacing when using the spacers)...
The Wilwood brakes will move the mounting face out 0.38" on either side from the stock drum face.
To keep the wheels in the same place they are now, with the Wilwoods I would need 0.87" spacers, which is too thick of a spacer for the 2" studs supplied in Wilwood kit, so I'm going to get 3" studs & use 0.5" spacers to bring the wheel in just a bit closer to the tie rod end than in the picture above.
I decided to try as best I could to clean up the firewall. I'm not about to plug weld and bondo the thing, function over form. But I did give it a quick respray "while I'm at it"... and this'll likely be the only body-related paint I do to the car for a long time. It didn't make a huge difference, but enough to make the effort worth while.
Randomly decided to start working on the interior. Apart from a couple ACC splices and stereo wires, this's all the previous owner(s) handiwork, geez more stuff to clean up...
A while ago I picked up a tilt column from an '80 Camaro for dirt cheap, and figured if GM were smart they'd keep a good thing going and have as many parts interchangeable as possible.
Looks like I was right, the '80 Camaro column (top) is damn near identical to my stock '72 Nova column (bottom)...
Except for the output shaft attachments...
And firewall cover plates...
Thanks to Marktainium, picked up this 1 1/8" power brake aluminum master cylinder for cheap, looks nice on there...
Old manual brake rod is 5.25" long from firewall to pivot point...
New setup is 5.75" from firewall to pivot...
...I think I'm gonna make a custom brake/clutch pivot bracket moving them closer to the firewall for my long legs (I'm 6'2"), so I'll have to figure out whether to shorten the rod or not, more on that later.
LSfan70s... this thread was supposed to be my post-build thread!!! I tried detailing as much of the already-completed (or so I thought) conversion in text, because I didn't even own a digital camera at the time to take pics during all the work...
If you read through the text, it should give you the jist of what I did, although of course this has turned into a ridiculous project now, as stuff normally goes. Don't hesitate to ask me any questions you my have!!
The MC is a "MBM" GM-application power master cylinder. It is cast aluminum, not titanium (I wish!!!) but it is still much lighter than the boat-anchor iron MC that came stock... http://www.mbmbrakeboosters.com/Mast...-1/8-Bore.html
What happens when you're too lazy to move your car to get at the engine which you need to weight the front end when you don't have a spring compressor?? You have to use substitute weights! And by the way, separating ball joints sucks...
So I guess upgrading to aftermarket control arms is a good idea, if not for the improved camber/caster gain then certainly for the Delrin bushings....
So as far as I can see, there appears to be minimal welds length-wise on my subframe, mainly just folded-over steel...
Only welds I can find are where the two cross-members are welded to the "frame rails", quality looking stuff I'll say...
SO, the question is, should I go through the trouble of welding up the weld-less seams on the frame rails?
I was also thinking about maybe boxing in the bottom of the front cross-member...
And maybe box the connecting piece between the front & back crossmembers, maybe even weld in two more pieces, one on each side of the center connector...
Now I can't afford/don't want to buy an aftermarket subframe. I think the stock one should be able to do just fine, but I want to make it as stiff as possible. This will be a daily driver eventually, but I plan on flogging the crap out of it on the road track as well.
What are the opinions on said welding mods to the subframe? Straight up not worth it? From my engineering experience/schooling, a little bit of metal here and there connecting stuff and boxing C-channels, etc can go a long way in making stuff more rigid, and I would think the fab work/weight of extra metal could be worth it. What do you all think??
Got a bit more done this weekend. Took off all the suspension pieces. For some reason the top bolt (non-steering-arm bolt) for the drum brake backing plates SUCKED to get out. Penetrating lube and a 36" breaker bar still took 10min for each one to undo.. arg.
Got subframe off...
Guess it's a good thing I removed the subframe, and have solid body mounts!
Nooooo... well I guess it's good that only one mount went to **** over 37 years. One more thing on the subframe to fix/weld up...
Before shot... bare drum spindles, took so long to remove everything off them!
Small update today.
FULLY seam welded the subframe... phewf that was a lot of work, but feels great knowing that it should improve the stiffness/safety at least a little bit.
The driver's side front body mount was a little pitted, but still had good thickness so I decided not to replace it, but I did weld an 1/8" plate on the bottom side to help reinforce it, just in case...
Metalwork is fun!! OK the welds might not be perfect, but this will sure as hell be strong...
...especially when compared to what it looked like an hour earlier...
A little grinding and it's allllll good...
Went to mock up the SpeedTech controls arms before I went to reinforce the front cross-member.
Blast! They don't fit...
For this problem, SpeedTech recommends using all-thread and two nuts. But I was too lazy to cut some all-thread, not to mention constantly un-threading the nut(s) to check if I'd opened it enough...
...took literally 2 seconds to remove the spreading bolt to check bushing clearance, made this task waaaay less annoying. For those that have no idea what I'm doing, you un-screw the nut on the bolt to spread open the cross-member to make more room for the control arm bushing...
Here is the flimsy culprit. I could actually pinch this C-channel together a bit with two hands...
Boxing C-channels is always a good call for rigidity. Figure the extra 1-2lbs should definitely be worth it for any increase in stiffness...
I'll do the next side tomorrow, my stomach was too hungry to continue tonight...
Finished boxing the other side of the front subframe cross-member...
Primered black. Still not sure if to go with pure paint or to "rock guard" the bottom surfaces of the subframe to protect against chipping...
Also boxed in the top of the center channel connecting the front & rear cross-members, as well as fully weld where the bottom of the center channel wraps up in front of the front cross-member (top, center)...
Little more progress, slowly going back together...
More progress.... NOT. Neither SpeedTech upper control arm clears the upper mount subframe metal with the Guldstrand mod. Driver side...
It looks like I can get away with only trimming a bit (hopefully!!) but I'm slightly worried that the control arms will contact metal all the way till full droop, and that's a LOT of cutting to do, might have to cut out a lot of the upper mount bracing and re-weld in for more clearance. And I thought I was done with this stupid part.
Although now I can't find it anywhere, I thought I remember SpeedTech saying the arms will work with the Guldstrand mod. And I know that my mod is legit because I got a template in the mail straight from Guldtrand motorsports. Down 0.75" and back 0.25"...
A little more progress..
Moved on to brakes for now. I'm gonna mount my MC to the lower pair of studs on the 4pack of firewall brake pedal bracket studs. This is so I can retain the power brake pivot point on the pedal and not use an ugly angled firewall bracket to keep the MC rod straight.
This is the setup, with the MC spaced out 1/4" to simulate the bracket to hold the clutchmaster that will be sandwiched in there...
With the extra spacing of the clutch master bracket, the MC rod is almost perfectly lined up, the extra spacing of the firewall should make it fit nicely, will have to also adjust the brake pedal stop too..
With the pedal at the spot where it creates the most MC rod angle, it still isn't bad at all, this might all work out!!
I decided a while ago to go with spherical rod ends as tie-rod ends to gain some much-valuable clearance in that area, and upon looking around and seeing the Baer Trackers kit for $169 (for so little, yikes!!) I figured I'd just make my own kit, especially since I already had nice new hex-bar tire rod sleeves.
I've been waiting on the special tapered pins for the steering arms, and that came in today. For a $14 part(s), it cost me $23 in "import fees" because of the size of the F***ING box...
...that REALLY pissed me off, that should've cost me nothing to get across the border. Last time I order from Speedway Racing.
This is the mocked up assembly. I'm going to have B7 grade 5/8"-18 threaded rod connecting the female rod end & the sleeve, as well as drilling the tapered pin to accept castle nuts, and I will also turn down some nice spacers out of that chunk of SS rod to the left...
General idea of how it goes together...
This is a slightly deceiving picture, there's about 1/4" clearance between the rim & rod end and the closest location, but I'm still gonna space the steering arm 0.25"-0.5" depending on how I feel...
EDIT: don't know why I ever seconded-guessed possible clearance issues, there's plenty of room...
So I was really sick last week and didn't do much, and now that I'm better the weather is gross outside, so I messed around on the computer to figure out the clutch master bracket.
This is the DSE plate...
But it mounts the MC to the top pair of the four bolt holes...
...but I want to mount the MC to the bottom pair of the 4 bolt holes. This meant the bend in the plate would have to be moved down, to make some room for the MC's flange...
In order to keep the clutch master's rod axially the same as the DSE plate, the clutch master needs to be spaced out..
Comparo of DSE bracket (grey) vs. my bracket (brown)...
So after leaving this thread dormant for a long-*** time, here's a small update.
I put on some JBA tubular headers just to roughly see the fitment. Not sure if I'm gonna use these or not, they have lots of ugly emissions junk on them I'd have to smooth off, not to mention re-weld a V-band flange, as well as them going quite up and out from the block. Hot side tubing might be pretty tight on the pass. side since the turbo would be a "top mount" and the pass. side tube would have to bend down and then back up to merge into the turbine inlet, all right where the coolant lines and lower radiator are
PS... thanks MARK for the usage of your headers for "fitment".. I think I might end up keeping them... But, I might lean towards Vette iron manifolds or something if they tuck tighter to the block, plus they're stronger to avoid tubular cracking, and the collector is more towards the middle of the block than the front...
Finally, here's the beast...
Holset turbo from an '08 6.7L Cummins. It's called the HE351VGT or HE351VE-VNT, from what I can gather from the intranets (info is very scarce:
-free with minuscule shaft play
-.73 exhaust A/R
-oil-lubed journal bearing with water-cooled bearing housing
-variable geometry (duh), Bosch servo controls the turbine cross-sectional area (acts as an internal wastegate on the diesels, that's how they engine brake on the pickups), would need external WG for piece-of-mind
-good for ~600hp on a 6.7L engine @ 3500-4000rpm, I figure 500 for 6.0L @ 6000rpm should be reasonable. I have yet to find a compressor map for it but I have for the HE351VE which I'm hoping is just the dumber non-VNT version of it. Also lots of info for the HE351CW, which sounds similar but came on the 5.9L and I think is a pretty different turbo.
-for my hopes (500hp to the wheels), engine needs to flow about 35lbs/min of air at 10-12psi, and it looks like this is still within the efficient range for this turbo even though it's OEM-spec for 30+psi applications (some of those crazy diesel guys are piggyback-chipping those motors and getting 60+psi out of these turbos)
A slight amount of progress... picked up a set of Corvette manifolds, not sure if they're LS1 or LS2 but they should work out better than the tubular shorties I previously mocked up...
Those UGLY cookie-cutter parts-book street rod cheesy radiator hoses came into use!! The duct tape is approx. where I want them to merge. That merge point is currently pretty close to the valve cover & makes the passenger side pipe have a tight-radius bend, I'll likely move it out more sideways & over the inner fender allowing that bend to be larger/smoother. But they do show how I want the passenger side pipe to wrap tightly wrap around front of the manifold then scoop back and sideways.
The crossover pipe should be able to fit between the block & subframe cross-member/control arm cross-shaft, behind the waterpump outlets. Marktainiumsuggested plugging & tapping hose outlets below or above for more crossover pipe clearance...
I'm back for 4 months in the same town as my car so time to get back at 'er. I've been lazy recently & over xmas break, so I just started mocking things up (barely) to have something to look at. The pictures are deceiving... DAMN this turbo's exhausthousing is huge, gonna have to re-think how to route the passenger side exhaust, but I think I can still raise the thing up another 2-3".
I've realized I hop around too much between side-projects for this car. I need to choose a place to start and systematically finish ****, so I need to finalize the trans height before I can start mock-up assembling front sheetmetal for turbo plumbing fabrication. So I don't burn out, I'm doing stuff in small but steady amounts, a couple hours a night. Tonight was to start making room for the shifter...
This pic shows the idea better, chop out room for the shifter assembly (and make a cover-panel), but split/pry the tunnel apart forward of that until there is enough clearance, then just weld a filler strip in the middle...
After a couple weeks of chipping away at stuff, I plan to have the trans tunnel & trans cross-member complete, and start hanging front sheetmetal and get deep into the turbo hotside fabrication... then I'll order these gauges as a reward for my progress...
-ALL gauges are 1.1" deep
-come with wiring pigtail & 8ft of harness
-all are electric (stepper motor) and include sensors
-all are full sweep
-classy and simple/understated yet modern look
-you can customize the face color/daytime letter color/reverse-glow bulb color as well as the font, font size, needle spin direction (some models), needle daytime color, needle glow color, and the bezel style/color/finish!
-they're NOT run-of-the-mill Autometers
I've had to do more "clearancing" to make this huge trans fit. Apparently Nova's have pretty shallow trans tunnels. This pic is with the T56 at 2* which would be the highest I'd ever run it, and the height for which I'll make new tunnel patch panels accommodate. I plan on making the trans cross-member very adjustable, to lower the trans to 3.5* if I ever wished to do so...
The last couple nights I've been working the x-member, and I've got one side finished so far. A big pet peeve of mine is cars that have exhaust hanging way low... especially due to off-the-shelf headers with retardedly low collectors. So I've gone on a clearance mission... I plan on having the subframe rails the lowest part on the car (including exhaust/trans/oilpan). I plan on making both sides look like this incase I ever want to run dual exhaust again...
... like I said, a clearance mission...
...shitloads of it (that's measured off of bottom of subframe)...
X-member is FINALLY done!! I'm somewhat of a perfectionist but I finally had to call it and finish 'er up, not prefect but gets it done. Correction, I think I might want to lap-weld on a 3/16" piece of flatstock to reinforce the weld connecting the bottom flatstock to the left side...
Special thanks to Marktainium for confirming what I suspected but did not want to admit... making it a two-piece design...
...and how does it fit? Excellently Still have to make multiple adjustment spacers to slip under the trans mount...
Hmm what year is your truck motor? Some came with the FPR on the rail with a return (like yours if your reply was describing your own intake) or a returnless system, like mine. I'm not sure what pressure the truck FPR is set too, presumably something similar to the Corvette one, but if you're planning on boosting, I would HIGHLYsuggest ditching the truck FPR for something that can flow higher and/or have some adjustability. Depending on your planned power, the Corvette FPR might even be a bit restrictive with 3/8" in/out and a 5/16" return. If you decided to not use the on-the-rail truck FPR, I'd suggest locating a newer truck cross-over tube so you can safely just feed it one pressure line, as opposed to modifying/plugging the one you have.
How high are you planning on boosting? I'm not positive on this, but I think 3bar is aftermarket territory, and the Cobalt SS one is 2-bar... that's what I plan on doing.
Also, it's nice to have an adjustable one so you can nail the pressure you desire, or even have the pressure ramp up with boost... Some people like to get big injectors with no change in fuel pressure and just have all the fuel tables modified on the PCM for the boosted setup, but if you have large enough injectors to satisfy high rpm/boost, the injectors will have a (slightly) harder time at lower rpm & idlebecause of their decreased spray times (injector resolution). Lots of people swear that 60+lb/hr injectors can be tuned to have really good idle characteristics, but to me this seems like creating more work than necessary.
I'm planning to use an LS2 tune along with the LS2 42lb/hr injectors (got mine from an LS7) and a ramping adjustable FPR that increases fuel pressure 1:1 with the increase in boost. I'm planning a MAX of 12psi for now (hopefully I don't get greedy/need to crank it for a while), and so from idle -> full boost the fuel pressure will ramp 58psi -> 70psi... This was pretty well confirmed by multiple common fuel/boost formulae as well as (too much) time searching Google.
This seems like the easier way to me, starting with a stock(ish) setup and turning up the wick to pump out more HP, as opposed to just tuning larger injectors and having to start from scratch. This will be a good baseline to start driving the car a bit, but of course to squeeze more power out and make it most efficient, a unique tune on the dyno will be required pretty soon after.
Also, not sure what is going to go on with the MAF, think I'll keep it on there since I'm not planning on doing a speed-density tune yet, leave that for when the I want to squeeze more power out of the car. Hopefully the MAF doesn't get pegged with the 7-8psi I plan on starting out with.
OK, it's Saturday night, I need to go drinking... cheers!
Hmm... I believe that the LQ4 only started being used in teh Express van in 2003... 2002 would have had the 5.7L smallblock, is there any way you can confirm where it came from?
Regardless, I think LQ4's come stock with 28 or 30 lb/hr injectors... but not positive on that. Even if you ramp the hell out of the fuel pressure, I'm pretty sure you won't get near enough fuel to supply 15psi. 15psi would be 3bar territory I'm pretty sure, plus that would give you room to grow boost-wise ( !!). Siunce you plan on doing alchohol injection then, that'll help, but I would still recommend a larger injector.
When you get larger injectors, if you were to keep stock settings, you'd have to decrease the injector spray time to let less volume, but since you are now boosting and need more fuel anyways, the only way you can program the fuel tables to spray the proper amount is by tuning/dyno time.
The truck intake is so tall that most other injectors are short enough (in comparison to stock truck injectors) to need a spacer in order to mate with the stock fuel rails/crossover tube on a stock truck intake.
However, I'm really no expert on this so it's best to venture over to the Forced Induction or Fueling Injection sub-forums...
I haven't been working on the car too much recently, been out enjoying the whole Olympics atmosphere, I gotta say I'm really proud of our city, and the weather has been absolutely phenomenal; going downtown to see the different venues is such a trip, there are SO many people around it's unreal... good times!!!
Gotta love "progress"... car got chopped up even more :S
Some ignorant asswipe previous owner decided that instead of properly fixing some pinhole rust, they'd just slap on a bunch of fiberglass and call it a day. Sometimes the cure is worse than the problem, I'm glad I found this... look how thick it was laid on!!
Luckily it seems like most of the cancer was actually in the hunk of floor I chopped out, talk about getting lucky/killing two birds with one stone!!
...and this is what's going inside that hole...
The top half of the subframe connector will butt against this ridge in the floorpan. The rear framerails have formed endpieces that connect to this ridge..
The bottom half of the SFC will poke below the floor and end up having plate connecting it to the actual framerail...
I'm thinking I'll probably add an extra plate connector piece to reinforce the front end welded connection to the subframe.
They're 2 pieces mitered at a slight angle. There's a notch right around the joint so the front piece can be welded around the under-seat-floorpan-cross-brace-thingy...
And they'll end up being pretty stealth...
Ok here is a long-overdue mini update. I'm currently not in the same city as my car until August, but I returned this weekend to do a bit of work.
I had left the subframe connectors half-finished before I moved away a couple months ago, and I had tied the 2"x4" into the floorpan above the rear framerails on the inside of the car, but still had to tie the bottom bit of 2x4 end to the framerails...
This FINALLY wrapped up my subframe connector fab work which had a 3-month long intermission...
With the subframe connectors out of the way I of course had to create another problem to fix and cut a big hole...
Reason is due to tranny/driveshaft tunnel clearance, or lack thereof. For mockup I used a length of 2.5" pipe with a wood 2x4 to simulate clearance, and the trans spacered up to the max height I'd want it adjustable to...
Then also thought it'd be a good idea to throw in a driveshaft loop for safety, since I have the metal already anyways...
I got as far as mocking up the loop, but I'm optimistic about the end of all this under car metal fab, just need to weld the loop in and bend some new trans tunnel sheetmetal, and then I can foget about all that crap and start mocking up turbo hot side!!
Also, here's a teaser for what I've been working on when I'm not close to my car...
Haha all I can say is I owe this recent re-interest in the Nova to a stupid driveway at my house... since I couldn't lower the 240sx anymore I decided to stop tinkering with it until it doesn't need to be a daily driver anymore...
Hmm I was considering buying one of those but thought that, much like an AFRgauge, if something goes horribly wrong it'd happen almost too quickly to tell. I'm almost thinking of away to have the engine cut out if the fuel pressure dips below a certain pressure.
Anyways, I was going to save all these pics for when I completed the gauge panel, but school has been consuming my time, so I guess I'll call this update "Gauges Part I"...
The SpeedHut Revolution Series gauges...
Neat wiring, each gauge with its own mini harness...
Each gauge is super easy to dismantle partially or fully, depending on how you want to custom mount it. Also, although it doesn't look like the typical cosmetic weave, the buckets are all carbon fiber...
I love how each gauge has an awesome package of neat, simple wiring...
Pretty sweet OEM-style wiring/connector and OEM temperature sensor, at least I'm pretty sure it's the exact same as the LS temp sensor...
Pretty professional looking oil sensor too...
I love how these gauges look, they're modern & performance styling without being super ricey or euro, or Autometers haha.
I'm not a huge fan of the typical Covan's replacement panel and generic Autometer 3 3/8" gauges mounted flat, so just to be a bit different I'm reusing the stock panel but chopping it up a bit and plan on making an insert with a 3D staggered-effect setup for these gauges using tubes. To start, here is a basic 2D layout of the insert panel...
A little update, made some test gauge "pods" to see if the angle/stagger gave the 3D effect I was looking for, I think I'll go through with it for all the rest, I want the tach/speedo to stick out more than the rest...
Started gutting the dash panel to make room for the instrument cluster...
MINI update: for the last month and a bit I've been working on a couple little things, but mainly making a stupid welding cart which is taking forever with all the miters and stuff. I did make a tiny bit of progress elsewhere on the build, shown below. Full-fledged fabrication and REAL progress should resume within the next week or two...
Made this back in the summer, pretty hard when you only have a bench vice, some 4" tubing, and a big mallet...
Of course it fits perfectly...
Got a couple more gauges that will go in the way-less-custom hanging 3pack panel. The sure do look cool (IMO)...
Just for ***** I made a couple toggle switch separator do-hickies, they took a lot longer to machine than they'd look, but I think they add a tiny bit of modern class that'll go with the modern gauges & machined aluminum bezels...
Alright so I have a very mini update, this workterm has been crazy busy so when I do get a chance to go out to the garage, it's been working on this , which has taken far too long, but now it's done so I can start on the car again!! Unfortunately I lost just about all of the weld pics...
So work on the car resumes for a bit here.
Ordered a bunch of 2.5" x 0.063" mild steel tubing and bends, with some brand new 2010 LS3 manifolds as well as an LS3 water pump, to give me a bit more room to work with up front for the cold side.
I milled a turbo flange. I'm still on the fence about this diesel HE351VGT Holset turbo, but since I have it and it was free, might as well give it a shot. Also doesn't hurt that its turbine inlet is so damn close to a T4, so I just made a T4 flange will a dual bolt pattern, so upgrading to a bigger T4 later would be easy(ish).
Getting real close to finishing the gauge panel, liking what I see so far. Just need to make a bit of a plate "border" around the sides and bottom edges, and steeringcolumn arch, to give it a bit of a sunken look...
This was fun, felt like a big industrial etch & sketch...
Clearance notches to tack the bezel rings in from behind to hide them...
Mocked the gauges in for test fit and couldn't be happier.
Now to decide how to finish it, I want a rough matte black finish, thinking either:
1) bead blast and paint a semi-gloss black
2) anodize matte black and hope for a bit of a rough finish
I think I am going to go black ano... I was quoted $60 for just the dash and only a couple bucks more if I add more pieces, so I'll have to see if there's anything else I can include.
It sure is nice having access to the machines, but unfortunately they're not mine, I do all this stuff at work before my day officially starts.
Waiting on the manifolds shipment to arrive just south of the border before I go pick that up as well as whack load of piping I ordered. In the meantime I made something that'll be helpful haha! It's modeled after a Turbonetics T76 and dimensionally accurate to about 1/4"
I feel like an artist with a blank canvas...
Virgin manifold metal!! Also as I was about to pay for the manifold eBay auction and I saw the seller also had this virgin LS3 waterpump. On a random impulse with the foggy memory of it being lower profile than the truck one, I just had to try it...
My memory served me correct, there's a nifty little O2 bung in the collector, and since the manifolds will be flipped upside down it'll be hidden
To give myself more room I though of possibly pulling these ports and tapping them, I'll have to see how much room I have/need for hotside piping..
I essentially want to run this passenger side exhaust routing to get from the manifold to the turbo flange collector. The pipe looks like it'd come close to the waterpump return, so that was the main reason for trying the LS3 with its MUCH better return port location...
A comparison of the truck LQ4 waterpump (top) and LS3 waterpump (bottom)
Again goes the old adage of Research, Research, Research! Crap, I did not realize it tucked it in this much, I remembered the pulley itself being lower-profile on the LS3 vs. truck yet still being in the same plane as the truck accessory pullies, but turns out I was thinking of LY6 NOT LQ4...
Well here is the reason I wanted lower profile, not a lot of room in this stupid short Nova engine bay!
One reason I was thinking of moving the heater port from these hose barbs to an AN fitting at some angle, there's not a ton of room, the hoses would be tucking right against the upper control arm cross shaft and be right under the heat of the turbo...
Well at least there's a tone more clearance...
Except the LS3 water pump puts the heater hose ports even further outboard...
Easiest might be to make coolant-flow-thru spacers to space the waterpump forward the 1.5" offset difference, would let me keep the stock LQ4 accessory drive. Could have the heater hoses run across, up the inner fender, then tuck under the quarter panel. Also would allow more clearance for the passenger side exhaust pipe to tuck in behind the waterpump and merge to the turbo flange...
Just over 24hours after them becoming new to me, they're not new anymore...
After running a couple test beds on the flange hole tabs I cut off, it seemed like the cast "iron" was pretty accepting of being welded cold, hopefully, so I got it all set up and ready for a couple test tacks without preheat (just decided to try out of curiosity)...
Heat was pretty good, was putting in about 75 amps without burning thru the vband flange, took my time working the area with the arc at 1/2 pedal before going all in and making a puddle for the filler. It doesn't look it in this picture but the manifold material was definitely molten as I was adding filler so there was for sure enough heat going into the cast iron...
All of a sudden as I was taking a break I started hearing a ticking sound, and sure enough I inspect a tack weld on the opposite side of the flange to the two shown above...
Guess I do need pre & post heat?
The vband flange was HOT but the manifold not so much, only in the area immediately around the tack... is it possible that the cast iron was soaking up all of the heat from that tack and causing it to cool too quickly = brittle tack?
I'm also thinking maybe the thermal expansion rates of the cast iron & steel are different enough to cause stress in the vband flange and break that tack? Although I would've thought that they'd both have similar cooling rates...
I tried tacking again but this time with pre & post heating with a butane torch for a couple minutes pre & post tack, it took longer to happen but sure enough the ticking sound started and I got a tack to crack.
Maybe shitty filler rod too? I don't even know the alloy of the rod, it was just generic "mild steel" filler that I picked up in a hurry at the local tool shed.
Any help/advice/tips/critisism would be greatly appreciated!!
Did some baking this morning...
1) Put manifolds in oven and from cold heat up to 450*F, hold for an hour
2) Took one manifold out, welded half the vband, put back in oven, took other manifold out, did half bead too. Went back to first one, finished, put back in oven, finished second one, put back in oven.
3) Let both fully welded manifolds sit in oven for ~15minutes
4) Turned heat down to about 300, let sit for ~15min
5) Turned heat down to about 150 (lowest oven would go), let sit for ~15min
6) Turned oven off, let everything inside cool down until I could touch, took about an hour.
Used regular ER70S mild steel filler rod, didn't heat with a torch or anything during the breaks between beads, just tried to do as quick as possible... bead quality shows that Also it was awkward as hell trying to change angles for different parts while not resting either hand on the manifold:
Not once did I hear any pinging sounds, however I was putting in about 100 amps had post flow set to 10 seconds which I think cooled the beads down a bit too much because the end points of two beads had small cracks, but everything else looked fine. Will have to carefully pre & post torch those 2 areas and quickly puddle them to fill the cracks.
About 3 hours of "measure six times cut once" and I have the driver side tacked together...
There's oodles of clearance around everything, 2" from PS pump cap, 3/4" from PS pump pulley, 1" from crank pulley, and 2" from the radiator...
Tentative planning on how driver's side will come up to merge, as drawn in one of my previous post's pics...
I wanted to throw the LQ4 alternator/PS pump bracket back on to see what work would be needed to make it work with the L99 waterpump, and surprisingly not much was needed...
Skimmed a bit off the waterpump housing too...
Not the cleanest cuts but it'll all be pretty hidden...
Made a turbo brace. Even with using filler rod to test the bends, it got pretty confusing. I didn't just want a couple rods at random angles supporting the turbo, tried to make the supports look uniform & industrial, to just blend in...
Worked on the passenger side hot pipe, bending over the passenger side valve cover, forward in front of hte waterpump, down in front of the waterpump, under to back behind the pump, then up and sideways, behind the pump and into the merge for the turbo flange...
I never would've thought it but electrical tape is great for holding tubes together for mockup...
Resulting passenger side up to flange, without miters for the merge with the driver's side...
Good view of how wonky/wobbly it looks with all the bends...
I put the turbo there for two main reasons...
1) to make the turbine outlet clear the passenger side manifold as much as possible (but a couple bends will still be needed to maneuver around the manifold's vband)
2) to make more room for the two pipes to come up and merge behind the waterpump and beside the block. With the turbo any closer to the block the pipes would have massive interference with the front corner of the passenger side exhaustmanifold, so with the turbo a bit further outwards I can bend the pipes down & out to clear underneath the front of that pass. manifold.
Reqarding the strength of the brace, it's made out of 1/4" drill rod, and it doesn't even flinch when the turbo is placed on it. With turbo on there, I definitely whacked it and tried to move it around, but I ended up shifting the engine on its mounts (!!!) and rolling the car back/forth a bit without doing anything to the brace... I think it should be strong enough
Not too much progress to report. Back in school for my final term so away from the car, still whipped up some waterpump spacers in the school shop though...
This is the last stage that I left the hot side piping at, have to complete the merge and about an extra foot of pipe then it'll be done!
Hah as much as I'd LOVE to own a surface grinder, I simply wouldn't have the room in the garage to store it nor the money to have it shipped... sorry!
Took a weekend trip back to work on the car, got little done, but is still progress...
There is a minimum of a finger-width clearance next to the closest areas: block, a-arm cross shaft bolt, and waterpump heater outlets...
Mark! You're back!!
I definitely thought of giving as much room around the a-arm cross shaft bolts as possible, and I've prettymuch pushed it to the max. There is enough room to completely remove the nut (see finger-clearance pcis) as well as tons of room in front to slip a wrench in there... I actually thoguht ahead!
Definintely going to resurface the turbo flange. My turbo came with a stainless steel gasket, will probably include that too.
As for the manifolds, they came with new stamped stainless gaskets as well, so unsure of whether or not I'll need to surface those.
The entire hotside will come off for blasting and ceramic coating (funny I have a school project now on ceramic coatings inside engines) once they're fully welded and mocked up to triple-check clearance/placement of everything.
Coil pack relocation will happen. The LS3 manifolds when flipped upside down actually give tons of spark plug clearance, especially since the plugs angle down as they exit the heads. I plan on using the bolt holes that fasten the coilpacks to the valvecovers to bolt them longitudinally (front to back) in a compact manner, then bolted to some braces supporting them to the block. Get them as low and far from hot pipe heat as possible. Most likely will require custom length plug cables though. I've seen this done a few times already and it looks compact & hidden.
Might use those insulator covers for the spark plug wires, but defintely will use them for the heater hoses coming into the waterpump there. Also on the fence about a turbo blanket or a coating on the hotside...
Marktainium... No this is an aftermarket Turbonetics unit, I ditched the VGT Holset sadly because I realized it just wouldn't be close to effecient at the low boost I wanted on a 6.0L gas V8.
Turbonetics TC76 with F1 (68mm) wheel and 0.96 A/R hot side...
Much practice makes results that I kinda like!
Merge pipe all tacked together, SO MUCH time in this one...
Custom LQ4 Nova turbo hot side piping fully welded (sans wastegate flange). LOTS of time but I think the results speak for themselves, great clearance around everything and no mods to the engine bay required to fit the setup... I'm happy!
Thanks for the compliments!
Yes I did do a lot of my own research on the turbo stuff, including calculating the pressure ratio & mass flow of air and plotted that on the Turbonetics TC76 compressor map, and it looked like it'd work. I then asked the very open "what turbo should I use??" question to a handful of the turbo guys on this forum as well the Turbonetics tech line, and all said that for my power requirements and usage plan, a TC76 or T76 with a 0.81 or preferrably a .96 A/R ratio. It was nice to have my own research backed up with their expertise.
- 3200 lb street car
- 550 rwhp through stock T56, with 6-7psi and boost by 2500 rpm
- 100% driver car, not going to launch this thing hard off the line, only rolling "starts"
- good mid- to low-rpm boost response but without always being in it, don't want to burn through too much gas
Setup so far:
- Turbonetics TC76 with F1 wheel, 0.96 A/R, BNIB off this forum - $1000
- Tial 38mm wastegate - $220 off Craigslist
- GReddy 40mm blow off vale - $120 off Craigslist
- LS3 Camaro exhaust manifolds, new - $80 off eBay
- Columbia Mandrel Bends Ultimate Builder Kit (2.5" mild steel) - $114
- Columbia Mandrel Bends V-Bands (x4) - $120
- Columbia Mandrel Bends 2.5" stainless flex pipe - $20
- LS3 Corvette fuel injectors, 42lb-hr - $220 off this forum
- Adjustable boost-referenced FPR - ~$200, still haven't gotten yet
- generic 24"x12"x3" intercooler - $60 off Craigslist
- still need to get aluminum piping and mild steel downpipe and y-piping - ~$300
Total: ~$2600 so far (including stuff that I still need to get in near future)
When I was running stock GM stuff, I had 5x4.75" (hub side) to 5x4.5" (wheel side) spacers for the front and rear wheels.
Since the front Wilwood hubs have both patterns drilled in them, and they supposedly move the hub faces outboard 0.75", then I'm just going to use slip-on spacers on long studs in the 5x4.5" bolt pattern for the front, and then do the same in the rear (get some stronger aftermarket axles that either come with 5x4.5" pattern, or have them drilled for them).
It took me a long time to find wheels I liked for my price range, so I'm gonna try as hard as I can to keep these Axis Penta wheels on the car... plus the gunmetal grey centers match my racing stripes perfectly
240SX pedal assembly that I got for practically nothing. I like that each pedal is essentially a self-contained unit that bolts directly to the firewall/respective master cylinder...
Mocked stuff up. Would like to use a stock 240SX clutch master cylinder but have yet to do the research/math to see if it'll have the right pressure and volume...
And just some cool shots of mostly final tubing. Still have to weld in a wastegate flange...
Bored at school and procrastinating through my last 2 weeks of class ever... now it's time to think of fuel system.
I'm really on the fence between a sumped/baffled in-tank setup or a transfer pump/transfer tank setup...
a) 2 pumps, transfer tank setup:
-low-pressure, high-flow internal or external pump for gas tank
-modify current 3/8" gas tank fuel sender to except some 1/2" setup, possibly even more mods if in-tank pump used
-need to make transfer tank for engine bay
-need new high-flow, high-pressure pump for engine bay (Walbro 255 likely wont be enough)
-more fittings and lines for engine bay = $$$
b) 1 pump - in tank setup:
-new high-pressure, high-flow single in-tank pump
-new gas tank
-need to make baffle setup
-need to make or buy/modify fuel pump holder inside tank
Already have 1/2" supply and 3/8" return aluminum lines for under the car, both would be needed regardless of setup with an adjustable FPR in the engine bay.
A design I've been thinking of a long, long time since I first swapped in the LQ4...
I was originally toying with the idea of making my own stainless tank, but I'd be really unsure of the quality of my welds to feel safe about it on a gas tank.
When I say "two pumps", I mean a setup of a low-pressure transfer pump in the rear of the car transferring gas to a smaller transfer tank in the engine bay, where a secondary high-pressure pump would be used to supply to the fuel rails.
A "one pump" setup would just be a high-pressure pump/pumps in the rear of the car, either internal or external, pumping gas directly to the fuel rail.
By my calcs, using the legit Fuel Calculations on RCEng.com, for a slightly-higher-than-what-I-want crank hp...
- 650 crank hp
- 0.80 injector duty cycle
- 56psi fuel pressure (worst-case low pressure requiring highest flow from injectors)
- resulting injector flow = 58 lb/hr
Total injector flow = 58 * 8 = 464 lb/hr
(464 lb/hr) / 6 = 77.33 gph
(77.33 gph) * 3.7849 = 292.7 lph (from conversion site
Thinking about using the Aeromotive in-tank 340lph pump... quite reasonably priced I think at $169...
New Aeromotive 340in tank pump - LS1TECH
At 56psi that pump works right at 300lph at 13.5V, however I remmber my system running around 14.4V, so this should work out well for my slightly-lower-than-caluclated power goal of 550 hp at the crank.
So I'm leaning towards purchasing a new tank (~$125 CDN), welding in some baffling/sump for the pump, and using that Aeromotive pump and skipping the whole transfer pump and engine bay tank setup.
Procrastinating can really be productive sometimes, believe it or not.
I'm really leaning towards a single in-tank pump setup. Doing lots of reading, the Aeromotive Stealth 340 pump listed above does seem like the most economical choice for my power and driving goals.
Next choice, how crazy to get when modifying a a virgin-steel new gas tank? The holed baffles are quite unlikely due to wanting to keep the access hold in the tank fairly small, but might be possible if done before the patch is welded in for the initial cutout for the access hole recess. Still leaning heavily towards the trap-door setup shown and updated below...
Couple of updates:
First, got the wastegate welded on, so hot side is officially finished from manifolds to turbo (except for grinding/smoothing the inner perimeter of the turbo flange and the ceramic coating). The pics are deceiving, there is a good 1.5"+ clearance between the aluminum diaphragm cover and the passenger side hot pipe...
ROUGH mocking up cold side, just wanted to see overall what it'll look like. Need to finallize bends and order up some black silicon reducing sleeves and 90's...
Got some cheap Recaro knock-off seats locally. Seem to be decent enough quality and fit me really well, and the bolsters are actually solid and non-flexy, but with some cushion. Most importantly, they were half the price of the cheapest "real" buckets I could've gotten, even before shipping, which would've been Corbeau's.
And they are black with red stitching to match my steering wheel and gauges.. haha. Anyways, a little mockup just to tease myself with what the interior will look like...
I traded a guy my old modified DBW pedal with the kick-down cable attachment because he really wanted it, and so it was time to modify another one (his one in the trade), I think I did a bit of a classier job the 2nd time 'round...
I have no idea what truck pedal he used, but the only "cut" part on it I could find (aka where the stock pedal would have been previously) extended up from the top... I have no idea how that'd work. But I compared it a shitload to pics of my old pedal and other than the pedal arm seeming upsidedown, it seemed identical...
Mocked it up on the bench and climbed up there to test the pedal arm length AKA the pedal throw/travel, from zero to WOT, felt good...
As I mentioned previously, I didn't have a clutch pedal lying around, and happened to have 240sx cluthc/brake pedals lying around, plus I like the 2-way assisting cammed spring thingy on the clutch pedal, so decided to use it.
First as always, break out the cardboard to template it up...
From various 240sx/s13/LS1 swap threads, it seems for the stock 240sx clutch pedal, a 3/4" bore master cylinder works best. I had originally wanted to use a stock 240sx master cylinder too for ease of fitment, but it is a 5/8".
So I decided to modify the Ram '98-'02 Camaro master cylinder I had, this included chopping off the threaded rod & clevis from an old 240sx master cylinder I had lying around, and welding it onto the Ram MC at the appropriate length, to keep the same MC rod geometry as a stock 240sx MC, which the 240sx clutch pedal is designed for...
Once the proper 240sx rod length was replicated on the Ram MC, I then made a bracket to position it properly relative to the clutch pedal...
And the resulting overall "pedal plate" that just needs to be trimmed, then "cut & paste" into the Nova firewall...
And finally, there's NO way that the hydroboost unit and the brake MC are gonna clear the driver side manifold with it flipped upside down, so, gonna go with I think a 7/8" or 1" manual setup, and this whole unit is for sale... anybody interested??
So I'm moved back to Vancouver for good... finally some serious, consistent work can be done on this damn car.
Continued turbo plumbing mockup to see what I need to order.
Going to have to notch the inner sheetmetal on the passenger fender so I can rotate/clock the compressor housing a little bit more up, to clear the stock inner fenderwell....
Potential BOV location. Other orientations would work but this is the only one that would allow a recirculation tube back to the intake, if I so chose to make one (still on the fence)...
Nice direct pump outlet to rad, with a trimmer stock S10 45* lower rad hose to connect...
Good amount of clearance for upper rad hose too...
Possible recirculation pipe layout for BOV...
Now I need some input from you guys, I was getting worried because I really left consideration for the serpentine belt out of it when I removed the stock LQ4 idler pulley and put the passenger side hotpipe in its place, but feel relieved because looks like I have some good options.
I need some opinions on which layout is best. Most don't offer a huge amount of belt contact on the crank pulley... I don't like that. Most also place the belt fairly close to the waterpump return inlet.
Since I'm running no subframe bushings, I doubt my alternator will clear the stock hood now, so I will likely just make a new plate to mount the PS pump & alt to, keeping the pump in roughly the same place, but the alt could move down and/or outboard quite a bit and still clear the driver side hotpipe...
Option #1 (not good)...
Option #2 (also not good)...
Option #3 (slightly better)...
Option #4 (pretty good looking)...
Option #5 (too crazy of a belt wrap?)...
This sensor was the only thing getting in the way of the hood fully closing... anyone know what it's for??
And a bunch of the plastic bs on the intake is all that comes close, will trim off and make it look a bit better...
Started making the downpipe, got it to the point where I could finish the the wastegate dump pipe with the engine out of the car, just wanted to get it far enough to make sure it'd fit the inner fenderwell no problem.
Idea is to go from the TC76's 3" outlet to a 4" to eliminate backpressure. Wastegate dump pipe will merge with downpipe right at the cone section.
Like hell I'm paying $25-30 for a cone, just needs a bit of garage engineering...
Nothing exciting in this post, just though I'd share a tip, for how to lock up the flywheel/flexplate when trying to loosen/tighten those 6 crank bolts, check the black bolt...
Tightened the 1st nut down hard then put the 2nd nut on there to protect the threads/block, then rotated flexplate till the bolt/nut hit it...
Lonely looking, this is gonna be a lonnnng weekend of wire wheelin' and cleaning so I can paint it.
Painted the block VHT engine paint flat black, wasn't expecting it to be that flat, but whatever it won't be too visible...
Figure it's best not to leave it to just those 6 bolts to hold onto the engine, so welded the stands in...
TIG welder is by far the best investment I've made so far, and the rolling cart is by far the most useful thing I've fabricated yet, it's so easy to make accessible...
Not the cleanest welds but I had to change to at least 196 different straddle/crouch/hunch positions to get the angles...
And then I started playing with aluminum...
And started making a coil relocation bracket. Making (more like replicating) the bends was NOT fun but will be worth it, ran out of Al. plate today, but the first one turned out better that I was expecting.
Was originally going bolt to the side of the block below the manifolds but now I kinda want to show it (them) off either on the firewall or bolted to the back of the heads hovering over the aft end of the valvecovers...
Made a fuel evap purge solenoid blockoff plate, then thought maybe I could thread it and have it for a boost sensor, but it ended up stacking the boost sensor as high as the solenoid it was supposed to be replacing (entire point was to get rid of that height because it hit the hood). So made an "addition" for the sensor to thread into...
Today was not a good day in the garage, one of those days where it seems like everything is going against you... broken lights, broken tools, screwing up measurements, burns, and tripping all over the place. Well at least it seemed to be getting better as I made good headway using the MIG for the first time in over a year to weld in most of the trans tunnel, then I ran out of 75/25 mig gas
Moved on to the ebrake stuff since once I get more gas the driveshaft tunnel will be ready to go in.
Of course, this is another 240sx part, nice light piece that has simple mounting and even has a neat little bulkhead stop to go thru the driveshaft tunnel. Made a pedestal mount for it too...
My garage is wired so that when I turn on the main lightswitch next to the door when I first walk in, all lights turn on, including a clock radio which resets itself to 12 everytime I start up in the garage. After a long day of mildly chipping away at all the little things left, the clockradio read this (been making too many of these happen lately)...
Finished up the coil relocation stuff today. Only took me a couple minutes to mill them out to make em look a little fancier, made out of 1/8" aluminum plate, a little flimsy so on the fence whether to remake them in 3/16" or 1/4", but they'll do the job for now. Bolt to the back sides of the heads.
Modded the truck pan for the 2nd time. Originally done 3 years ago 100% by another guy for some beer, he didn't do the best job, and it still hung below the subframe cross-member about an inch, now it'll have good road clearance at 5.25" from the block to the bottom of the pan.
Powder coating & heat treating oven at work, figured might as well go all the way and pre-heat the **** out of the pan to minimize warpage as well as work some more of the oil out of the cast pan even though I already sand blasted & scotchbrited it...
Welder at work did it this time, my machine at home has nowhere near the capacity running on only 110V currently...
Still have to drill & tap for a drain plug & two oil return fittings (1 for turbo and 1 for oil breather/separator/catchcan).
Oil pan stuff. I was too lazy to find the oil level sensor to plug my pan, and Mark's pan has, well, cracks in it, so measuring/comparing capacity didn't happen, but here are some comparison pics of my modded truck pan to a stock fbody. The one thing that concerns me is the level/height of the oil filter receptacle (better word for it??).
Sharpied area is what would still have to be chopped and removed to clear short idler/pitman arm assembly on my Nova, making my draglink stick out the furthest back from the crossmember. Sharpied area extends about 2" into the pan, towards the back of the pan.
Flipped the driver side coil pack bracket to make all the coil packs "face in towards the engine" at the request of everyone under the sun haha. It doesn't look as bad as I thought it would with the coil packs' controller wiring on top.
Always liked the crinkle paint look on valvecovers, dunno why, makes the engine look a little more different than normal. Pics definitely don't do the finish justice, the end result far exceeded what I was expecting out of a spraybomb can.
I didn't want to spend $240+shipping on a Wilwood 7/8" brake master cylinder that would be more blingy-looking than I want anyways, so went OEM (which I prefer the look of, call me crazy). After much internet searching, found a 7/8" bore aluminum M/C from an '85-89 Isuzu Trooper. Thing is super light and simple, functional looking... I like.
Supporting plate to go on engine side of firewall, to space the M/C out from the firewall a bit to give clearance to unscrew the reservoir cap, as well as to add rigidity to the enginebay side of the firewall where the brake pedal bracket bolts to the firewall.
Also has a pocket milled into it so the bracket for the combination/proportioning valve can flushmount behind it.
I'm cheap and think I threw out my old cast iron manual M/C, so I just made my own pushrod/clevis for the 240SX brake pedal. Clevis pivot hole is drilled so the bolt is a tight hand press-fit into the clevis, but the brake arm hole has a loose clearance fit so things rotate freely. The nut on the bolt bottoms out on the shoulder of the bolt before pinching the clevis giving everything nice easy rotation, and I also drilled a cotter pin hole so none of this jiggles loose and I loose braking connection.
Clean, compact packaging with a non-descript raw aluminum look.
Good timing, I got something for ya... Haven't bothered updating because this entire week for about 3-4hours after work each night it's been the boring, bitchy, shitty, annoying work of making patch panels and welding up all the floorpan/firewall, but as of tonight it's all done! Just need to spend a couple minutes grinding the firewall a bit and then paint everything... about damn time in my opinion.
I couldn't resist mocking up the pedals even before I finished welding the backing plate into the firewall.
I've been wondering if all this effort will be worth it, and you all probably think this is extreme, but with my size 13 feet I've never found a car that I could heel-toe in because of the trans tunnel, not to mention the stock Nova pedals were way too far out from the firewall making my long legs feel cramped. Anyways it was totally worth it! all pedals are exactly where I want them, laterally, vertically, and depth-wise
Also when it gets too late out to make noise I've been re-working the wiring in the car, eliminating all those useless buzzers, sensors, and idiot warning lights, as well as making sure the wires are safe and also wiring in connectors for the new gauges.
Are all these really necessary??
The firewall doesn't look fantastic, but I think it looks slightly "less bad" than it did before, just seam sealed the welds for the new plate so it ends up looking "factoryish", and the flash really exaggerates the seam sealer making it look horrible in pics...
Just plumbed fronts for now...
Show must go on, even tho I'll probably need to take the engine out again for clutch mod/clutch hydro line lengthen.
While I have the engine in for final mockup, made lines for the Heidt's power steering pressure relief valve (to adjust "feel"). Knowing how this build goes, I'll probably end up not liking it and just get a TurnOne pump and fully re-worked box later down the road, but for now I just want to drive it...
Red&blue will be sanded off and bracket I made will get painted, just mockup...
Annnnnd need to make the downpipe ASAP while the engine is in the so I can send the hotside off to get ceramic coated soon...
Good clearance seeing as I didn't have the physical idler pulley when first fabbing up the piping...
Wastegate dump pipe merging into the 3"->4" downpipe transition...
Tight but it fits with about 3/4" all round in there...
I am NOT one of those guys!! I plan on "aggressively removing" those stickers via pavement slipping in the very near future....
I've decided I will keep the finger weights on... for now. Marktainium had the clutch before me and reported zero vibration or weirdness issues, so I will try my luck at it the way it is.
Plus I also don't have to pull the trans to lengthen the clutch hydraulic line... I conveniently completely forgot that there is the quirky quick-disconnect in there... engine is still in it seems for good!
Downpipe completed up until framerails/floorpan, going to hopefully bang out a new trans x-member and y-pipe this weekend so that all exhaust things turbo related are ready to go to the ceramic coating place on Monday...
Made some oil lines & location for the oil pressure sender.
...modified stock to all I need...
Location of pressure sender is AFTER the oil cooler, so that it reads the oil pressure that the engine block sees, and also would report pressure problems if oil cooler conks out somehow...
-8AN steel bungs welded onto lines, to have some flexy lines going to the oil cooler. Again, the TIG welder is so far the best tool I've bought by far.
So.... transmission cross-member version 2.0. Not that there was anything particularly bad with the first one, but since making it I've welded the floorpan completely flat (eliminating the ~0.5" humps to clear the stock trans x-member) as well as remove the subframe bushings, so old x-member would need modding anyways.
And it was kindof flexy, but not in a dangerous way.
And it had a lot of 90 degree features that didn't look the fanciest.
And it was MIG'd so it wasn't the prettiest. Like everything on this build, the first time is a new part of the learning curve, and I wanted to redo, so I did.
First step was to make a reference point for the lowest that anything could hang, be it x-member or exhaust pipe, which is represented by the top of the 1"x2" clamped in there...
Benchtop vice & hacksaw mitering is very classy..
Decided to make a dedicated turbo x-member this time, but still have clearance for dual 3" pipes to not hang below the subframe rails (tall order without subframe bushings)...
More fancy smancy mitering & stuff..
If there's ONE thing I've learned from all this car welding and machining/jigging at work, it's clamp clamp CLAMP...
Results should be pretty self explanatory...
Turns out there's good ground clearance with dual 3" pipes, but a 4" single would slightly hang below the subframe rails at that location, so aim is to have the single 4" -> dual 2.5" split before the trans x-member.
It turns out when I was mocking up my panels and adjusting the cowl support, it has to be modified and that meant the hood would close at a lower height to close properly, and there ended up being interference between the alternator and the hood.
And I needed to find a way to bolt up an idler pulley between the alt & p/s pump to give them both more belt wrap, so why not kill two birds with one stone...
Two belt wrap options are possible with the alternator relocation bracket I came up with, but I will be going with option #2. The two circles at the top right are the alternator pulley before & after, ended up moving down 1.5" and over 1"
Wanted to reuse the stock bracket mainly to reduce the amount of stuff I had to make (extra fab'd bracket for p/s pump) and also to retain the location of the stock truck accessory idler pulley (top left).
The reason the main relocation bracket is two 1/4" thick pieces and not one 1/2" thick piece is that a) had 1/4" lying around but no half, and b) 1/4" is the exact depth difference between the bracket front bolt face and the inner face of where the alternator bolts to.
Alternator "back support" plat bolts to the head, and the two alternator bolts as well as the idler pulley all thread into this plate.
Alternator "front support" bolts thru the stock bracket into the head.
Turned a stepped standoff spacer for the stock LQ4 idler pulley.
Idler bolts thru the front plate, has a spacer between the two plates, and threads into the rear plate.
Had to make a tiny notch to get alternator to clear the valve cover.
Made a small-diameter pulley to lower the belt to clear the intake tube/throttle body. Has two stacked high-rpm bearings in it.
Not the final belt wrap path but did it like this so I could hang that steel rod in it to tension it... everything fits & lines up like a glove!
Christmas in July! HOPING this is the last big batch of parts I need to get before it's on the road. Whoever said that these swaps will nickel-and-dime you to death is a lying *******... more like 20'd and 50'd to death haha.
FAR too many hours into this, doesn't look like all that much hah... need about 6" more of weld then they're off to the ceramic coater, will get more argon tomorrow morn. Going to be a big weekend... holy crap.
Finished up the O2 bungs on the hotside piping and dropped that all off to be ceramic coated ($$$!!!), should hopefully get it back by Friday and re-assembly on the engine this weekend
Have a handful of things that I'm juggling at once but things are starting to really come together, and so I'll just update with this little guy I made:
I'm generally not a sucker for blingy/chromey/shiny things but this badboy looks f&#^$*% badass...
And somehow the stock LQ4 belt fits my custom accessory drive perfectly, even puts the idler in between the two "good tension zone" lines.
Should have a big update tomorrow, can't wait.
Took the wastegate to a Scotchbrite wheel to make it look a little less very-used:
Heavily modified core support painted and back in car for good:
Turned a radiator hose coupler for the upper rad hose:
Same story for lower rad hose, bit of heat wrap tape for where it's near the hotside piping:
Oil cooler line(s). Have I mentioned how much I love trying to re-use/re-purpose OEM stuff? Dirt cheap from the parts store and this 1 cooler line has 2 steel fittings and pre-flared ends, and still cost less than 1 stupid (blue and red!!!) Aeroquip fitting:
The tire stands are screwed together, but are two seperate "stacks" on top of each other, each stack being screwed together, the bottom stack being 6" tall overall and the top stack being 3" tall overall. The top stack has an additional single 2x4 tie screwed into the bottom of it to prevent it from sliding forward/back, but only side to side (check pic below):
There is a bit of wiggle room though with this setup as you pointed out, from having turned the tiresso many times when checking clearance and setting up my steering linkage.
And yes, things seem to finally be coming together at a decent pace!
Made some aluminum brackets to hold down the Summit LS1 fuel rails onto the stock truck intake.
LS1 rail mounts that came with the Summit rails:
Mockup. They almost worked, but not quite, and were also way too low:
Also made a MAP sensor tie-down bracket. In the truck intake the sensor is just a clip-in and is wobbly as f***... not sure I liked that for under boost.
Time to clean up this tab business on the truck manifold:
Looking a little better:
Why is "Semi-gloss black" only barely barely less glossy than gloss black?
Looks slightly less-bad than a pure stock one, but it's still no FAST LSx intake:
Brackets blacked out, of course:
I'll settle for this:
Finished up modding the intercooler and gave it a very quickie spray job. Barely dusted the fins with black, went and looked up close with flashlight and the paint didn't even make its way into the fins, only caught the front edges... I doubt it'll reduce heat-dissipation capacity, and backside of intercooleris still raw:
Remade the coil relocation brackets to make them less flexy and to also have the passenger side one have a clearance cut for the heater hose:
Warning, the rest of the post is completely useless, just has glory shots of the first time the car has seen outside in maybe 2 years. Had to turn it around to get easier access to gas tank/diff to work on those. Man seeing it low on the ground and rolling around got me so excited to drive it hopefully soon!
So I've been juggling a handful of misc stuff to get the car closer, like steering column, seat rails, steering wheel adapter, instrument gauge, will update pics of the gauge panel when I get it 100% finished.
For now have just started the two big projects left: gas tank modding and rear end rebuild:
Just got a new gas tank because old one was rusty and gassy, and there was a HUGE dent up into the bottom of the tank right where I want to put a sump/baffle.
Cleaning this and pulling all the old stuff out sucked a lot:
Here are the spark plug wires I made. I reeeeally wanted 90's on the coil packs, but regardless of the company I could only find 45's or straight ends, so I mixed and matched.
Below are the (going counter-clockwise from very bottom) Taylor universal SBC plug wire with 90* (HEI i think) distributor end, Taylor 90* LT1 distributor end (because I read that they have the same terminal as a coilpack, but the rubber boot didn't end up fitting over the coilpack plastic), stock-replacement MSD plug wire for truck coil packs, and MSD 45* end (which I thought I'd have to settle for in order to get a boot to fit over the coil pack):
Turns out the extra MSD LSx ends I got were unnecessary, I jammed the HEI boot over the wire and crimped the LS terminal on:
Have to say they fit quite well:
Not fully organized/routed, but great clearance all round from the manifolds:
Glad I could get 90's to work like I had orginally envisioned, just looks so much tidier:
Again not fully organized but shows the nice clearance possible:
Disassembling this rear end has been nothing but a pain in the ***, but finally got all the old stuff out of it tonight.
The carrier cross-bolt retaining bolt/pin is notorious for breaking, and it was broken in mine too, and rusted/stuck in there, so since the open carrier is as good as dead to me, a cutoff wheel made short work of freeing the carrier cross pin:
On the weekend sweated a bunch in the sun wirewheeling the outside, then painted it with some Tremclad rust paint, then decided to weld the axle tubes on, so wirewheeled again... oy:
All the other bearings were decent to pull except for these axle bearings, the typical hammer-from-backside maneuver didn't work at all, so had to rig up a puller somehow, glad it worked. Center push pin presses against the steel plate but still has enough clearance to pull the bearing out flush with the axle tube end:
Closer shot, can kindof see a bit of 1/8"x1" flat stock that I wedged between the two puller jaws to prevent them from coming together and slipping off the bearing ID:
Just as the bearing came flush with the axle tube, the puller would lock itself out against the 1/4" plate I put in there for the center pin to push on. Since it locked out it gave good leverage to just wiggle the bearing out the rest of the way:
Next task is setting the pinion depth, had to destroy the previous bearing to get the pinion shim, so can't use that bearing for mockup... not looking forward to that part of the rear end build. After that it's backlash and just throwing it back together, with the Wilwoods... excited for it to get to that part.
FINALLY wrapped up the gauge cluster... took long enough haha:
Just spraybombed it semi-gloss black, turned out ok:
...hole in the panel just below the boost gauge is for this, my secret customized OEM weapon, the stealth turn signals maneuver...
...for which I needed some ghetto lighting situation (getting to the point in the build where stuff is "good enough")...
Light bulb "shroud"...
Stepping it up a notch, have some vids of the gauges....
Here's the first part of the gas tank mod, didn't get as much done as I wanted today.
General concept is something that the OEM's have been doing for a long while in the single-tanked sports cars, and it involves a bit of a labyrinth, to try and trap gas during accelereation and left/right turning. In my research a while ago I found it's been in use on a handful of OEM cars for decades, but the two that I remember off the top of my head are the S2000...
And the last couple generations of M3, like this E36 one...
So had a crack at it...
Fuel pump holding bracket to be welded to underside of bolt-on access cover...
Hmm room for two, room to grow? Might as well think ahead while I'm starting from scratch...
Reusing fuel level sender, easiest since my fuel gauge is programmable and the sender is already set for proper high/low height for the tank...
Tacked bottom to the walls, and going to run small beads or just tacks on the baffle bottom's perimeter to bottom of gas tank, don't want to put too much heat into the tank's thin walls. Once all welding is done in the tank, going to use gas-friendly sealer adhesive on all external welds on tank as well as the tacked joints on the walls of the baffle...
Had to trim very end of fuel filler tube to get the baffle centered. That's all the cutting and grinding I could get away with today...
Thinking of rebuilding a rear end yourself? DON'T. Just don't. Such a pain in the ***. Had to stop at setting the crush sleeve pinion preload because I don't have the right adapter for my big 1-1/4" onto the dial torque wrench driver. Need LOTS of cheater leverage...
Hey guys sorry for letting this thread get stale, had to take a couple weeks off to finish up my last school course, but now that's officially done and I'm completely free to work on the car.
I graduate 2nd week of November, and I am GOING to be driving this thing to grad, which I figure would be fitting since I started the whole LS conversion about 2weeks after I started engineering school... 5 years holy ****!
Rear end is still being a bastard. It took me about a week and a half checking backlash, wipe pattern, pinion depth and taking pinion into work to press off bearing/adjust shims/press on bearing. Then I finally get the pinion depth and wipe right, and start tightening down the pinion nut at realize the bigger pinion bearing is complete junk. Koyo unit, as far as I remember I didn't drop the cone side or anything but it has a consistent tick when the cone side is spun in the race. Used aluminum bearing race driver and did every thing carefully, have no idea what happened. Long story short I got new Timken bearings, which spin SILENTLY, such nice feeling pieces, should've just gotten those right off the bat. Even the brand-spanking new smaller pinion bearing without any ticks or sounds is just plain loud when spun.
So gonna make better-sized smaller pinion race driver, install that tonight, hopefully wrap up the rear end within a couple days. Also have a 4-link setup in the mail. And also have been bandsawing some sheet metal at work for the gas tank. Pics will follow soon.
That an acceptable update? haha
True that about hobbies (car, biking, beer, friends) PLUS school... something has to give somewhere, hence the sporadic updates here hah.
I was stuck between 3.73's and 3.90's, but I have the Camaro T56 and I figured with the 3.73's it'd put my 4th, 5th, and 6th gears just slightly out of whack regarding cruising rpm's. Marktainium has 3.73's and likes them, but he also has the GTO T56 with slightly different gearing ratios. A couple guys on Lateral-G/Pro-Touring were saying either way T56 feels good with 18" rims and either 3.73 or 3.90... I chose the higher just cuz I'm not going for all-out top speed, and traction will be an issues regardless. To quote Mark: "1st is useless, 2nd is getting there, 3rd will still chirp or break loose".
Clint I think he might've been referring to reusing the crush sleeve when mock-assembling everything for the mesh pattern checking. Silly me threw out the original larger pinion gear so I didn't have it around to bore out and and make slip-fit... that woulda made the entire process much quicker. Then again I have to go into work everyday anyways so waiting for the press wasn't too terrible.
I went with the Chris Alston G-Link, has good adjustability and minimal work to get it in, although it does require welding to the framerails as well as some tabs on the axle tubes. Everyone and their dog was recommending the DSE Quadralink rear end, but the floor sheetmetal under the rear seats would need to be cut up and reinforced, the trunk between wheeltubs needs to be chopped out for the shock/panhard bar cradle, and the axle flanges need to be cut off to slip on 3 brackets per axle end which all need to be 360*-welded... simply too much work at this point. I figure for my purposes I wouldn't even notice the advantages of the DSE "Swivel-Link", so the Alston triangulating 4-link won.
I figured I might as well while I have the whole rear end out and a (new) gas tank not installed, I'll end up dog-earing the gas tank corners for tailpipe clearance. It made sense to do right now because I'd want to do it anyways eventually, and to get the stance I want I'd have to have lowering blocks, which just aren't cool. Better ride quality, great ride height adjustability independent from shock settings, stronger for high hp, adjust pinion angle for lower height as well as anti-squat... all made sense right now.
Oops went a bit crazy with the jigsaw. Corners notched for tailpipe clearance for the 4-link...
Recessed access panel plate. All studs are actually socket screws which heads are tacked to some 1/8"x3/4" flat stock on the backside, which was then tacked to the sheetmetal, to keep everything rigid and prevent the screws from rotating or pulling through...
Stock-replacement fuel level sender reused...
Fuel pump holder drop-in assembly..
The -8AN bulkhead fitting goes to a hose barb and FI hose to the pump, the -6AN bulkhead fitting goes to a J-shaped 3/8" tube that returns the fuel to the bottom of the sump chamber.
Bulkhead fitting for wires has this gas-friendly caulking/sealant stuff, hopefully that doesn't let anything leak out...
Welding this sheet sucked used 1/16" tungsten, 45A, and 0.035" MIG wire as filler, and had to go slow. Talk about having to develop steady hands and a sensitive pedal foot in a hurry!
20gauge is finicky **** so not the nicest looking weld but should do...
I'm a little weary of sealant breaking off, but I'm not ruling it out, just on the fence. Will have to call around locally to get some quotes.
I'm also on the fence for gasket on the bolt-on plate. the gas-friendly sealer stuff I have "cures" somewhat gummy, which is good for a bit of flex for wire movement coming out of the bulkhead fitting. It might work well also as a gasket for the bolt-on plate because it doesn't cure hard.
On a side note, need to change the harness plugs for the injectors from the stock truck mini-Delphi connector to the LS3 style EV6/USCAR. And thus arose some hilarity.. I always knew UPS was a ripoff but, seriously??......
Fuel return diffuser tube..
Welds progressively got smaller and tighter...
Conveniently my best welds on the tank were the last 4" I had left. To put this in perspective, the Sharpie lines are the regular fine-tip Sharpie marker, not a huge marker...
Done! Feels good. Now to get some serious progress done over the long weekend up here in Caaanaada
Couple small things to update on. Spent most of the afternoon fixing stuff on the daily driver, but got a bit of Nova work done...
Stripped, smoothed, and painted 2nd gen Camaro tilt column, just need a Nova rag joint before it's ready to bolt in (direct bolt in otherwise)...
Putting 3 point belts in, no way I'm gonna use the lap belts hah.. got a pair of 240sx front belts for $10, but the ones in my daily driver were in nicer/newer looking condition so swapped them out, here they are. The belt extends reeeeally far so it shouldn't be a problem to have the shoulder loop mount high and back where the stock shoulder strap for the lap belts is anchored...
Tank leak tested, seam sealed, and painted...
Still waiting on the damn 4 link, so mocked up the rear end to see exactly how low I could get away with. Here is a little measurement guide to show the room on stock Nova tubs with an 18" wheel and 275 series tire.
I'll end up running the rear at a ride height probably 1-1.5" higher than this, so this setup shows the rear end going slightly into bump. With the 4 link and coilovers there should be 2.5"-3" of bump travel. Funny there is still quite a bit of fenderwell room to go lower, just run out of space between the axle and frame...
Tucking the rim around 2.5" inch, would ideally like maybe 1" of rim tuck...
About a 1/2" of clearance between the sidewall and the flat, vertical part of the inner fender well..
Still about 1.25" clearance between sidewall and inside of inner fenderwell (ruler is about 1.25" wide).
Bad angle, but about 2" of bump travel left until axle bottoms out on framerail. The coilovers will have bumpstops and I will be running the axle about 1.5" lower (further away from framerails) than this.
A friend has been harassing me for updates so here goes, hope this is satisfying enough...
Got a Greddy Profec II B electronic boost controller so spent some time figuring all the vacuum/boost lines and careful/hidden routing...
Sneaky little guy is just hiding under there...
Finalized prettymuch ALL wiring 'cept the tail lights on this damn car, now time to put it all back together...
Looks scary at first. Took me a while to build up the ***** to drill these two 2" holes in the firewall...
Relocated the fusebox completely inside the cabin of the car so only the lights/start solenoid/BAT+ wires have to pass thru the firewall...
Stuff for the 3 O2 sensors...
Modified, extended (for some sensors) & cleaned up Speartech Harness...
The end result of all wires passing thru the firewall, still needs a bit of finishing organizational work..
Late night beery wiring...
TAC module stacked on ECM
I originally had the ECM mounted right were the glovebox should be (was lazy and made it easy to bolt in) spent some more time and tried to tuck it away as much as possible. Fits directly behind/above the ashtray...
Guess I'll suck up the labour and sand down & paint the metal dash, guess it's obvious what the original color was... and how lazy the previous owner was... and their lack of care (spotty black paint and lots of runs). Oh well here is the ECM tucked away...
All engine and body harness wiring is in and hooked up, going to sand and paint the metal dash tonight then the gauge panel, steering column, seats, etc can all go in for good.
I've been guaranteed that the 4link will be ready for me to pick up on Monday, so once that is installed I can run the fuel lines and put the gas tank in for good, and hopefully fire it up!
All that's left to do before the engine can be fired is a bracket to hold the oil cooler to the rad support, behind the driver-side headlight, and then run the oil lines. As well as finish bending the fuel hardline to the tank. And of course fill it with coolant and oil!
Turns out the original clutch master bracket I made was flexing a bit under full pedal depression, so I cut the backing plate off it, welded on a new 1/8"-thick backing plate, and then some sheetmetal supports. Shouldn't flex at all now. Like prettymuch everything I've made on this car, it just ends up getting modified or re-done better. Such is the process of learning!
On the last legs of finishing up the wiring for the car, last part is the battery and getting rid of all the sound system ****... popped the trunk for the first time since mid-2008!
Was too lazy to start ripping into that crap so decided to make a stealth boost controller thingy out of the ashtray...
Last but not least, big milestone for me in the project, interior is fully wired (just need to tuck excess) and dash is in!!
It has been a lonnnnng time since I've ripped into a shipment of parts as quickly or with as much excitement as I did these guys tonight... maybe it's because I can look forward to finally installing something on my car that doesn't take hours upon hours of fabrication on my end.
Lower links installed tonight without a hitch, tomorrow night will lower the diff and mock up the upper links and shock cradle to check ride height.
I hate to say it, but I know I can't leave well enough and if this setup simply sits way too high (been mentioned a couple times on pro-touring.com & lateral-g.net), I might (z'd?) the upper shock cradle into the trunk a bit to lower the rear of the car another 1-1.5", as well as space the lower axle pad pieces to keep lower link geometry similar (as horizontal as possible at ride height), while the slightly more angled upper links would decrease antisquat to some degree.
Bottom cutout is for Greddy boost controller, top cutout is where the OBDII connector will mount, all in the name of stealthy... or Clint...should I have mounted the controller on top of the dash in plain obvious sight for all to notice?? haha
The more I look at this rear suspension setup, the more I like it... not just regular wearable heim joints, or bind-inducing rubber or urethane mounts, but over-sized hardened stainless fully-rebuildable "Johnny Joints"...
Car body is supported about 18" above ground and tires are touching the ground... I could practically call this car a trophy truck now...
My ghetto-fabulous setup for making sure the rear didn't flop around fore/aft as I was lowering it by the center, since it was only connected to the lower links to start with..
Upper links and cradle are in for mockup, will post pics once shocks are in to check ride height, clearance, etc
No need for any such centering device since the 4 link is triangulated... Also no sway bar for now, want to see what the handling is like first before I dive into that.
I will however be putting in a brace from framerail-to-framerail for the upper link front perches, to tie them together and spread the load across both framerails.
Lowest possible combination, full compression, for anyone interested, 18" rim is tucked 2.0" above fender lip...
Recommended ride height of 13.5" eye-to-eye on the VariShocks = coilover right in the middle of the 5" travel with 2.5" of bump travel and 2.5" of rebound travel.... 18" rim is 0.5" below the fender lip. I have deep thinking to do about this.
Oh the good old days... buh-bye
So heavy, and in hindsight, so insanely loud...
Oops I dropped the angle grinder and look what happened..
Wow i'm getting really clumsy with this anglegrinder, i keep dropping it all over the place
I can't leave good enough alone, a couple mods to the G-Link happening, below is the new max-compression height, 1/2" framerail clearance to axletubes while tucking 3.75" of rim, so ride height will tuck ~1.25" rim
Turns out my Speartech harness didn't come pinned for the A/C high-pressure sensor wire, so everything came apart for me to fish out a non-used wire (brake pedal signal) and re-pin it in pin/slot #14, which was then hooked up to the wideband AFR signal for laptop datalogging of the AFR's..
And then things got even worse, I dropped the 4link shock cradle brackets and, well...
Luckily I had easy access to where they're supposed to go, now just to JB weld them back in place..
And finally things started to look up, got a glimpse of what "the office" will look like..
Thanks Clint... everything worked out perfectly, was nice to finally sit in it and feel the fitment of everything.
The shifter is in a perfectly natural place to the wheel.. nice and close!
Possibly one of the best mods I did was flattening the floorpan and pinching in the trans tunnel right around the gas pedal so that I can have my foot vertical, plus almost an entire shoe's width between the gas pedal and the tunnel so there's plenty of room for the foot from the brake pedal in lazy-driving mode. I moved the gas pedal towards the brake pedal 0.75" closer than the setup in the 240sx daily driver, and heel-toe (for my size 13 it's actually leftside-rightside of shoe haha) is more than natural.
Was gonna wait for other updates but I guess I'll add this pic now, getting close
Modification of G-Link shock cradle/cross-member. Tried to create notched "adapter" plates to raise the cradle cross bar ~2". Notches are so that the brackets "capture" the bottoms of the frame rails and "capture" the tops of the shock-mounting brackets, so that the load from the shocks isn't supported 100% by fillet welds in shear. Along with these notches, everything is 1/4" plate that has been chamfered at all welds and lots of filler rod used... these guys are beefy enough to make me feel content.
Driver side fender on for the first time in.... 2 years maybe? Need to notch the fender a little for room for the oil cooler which will sit behind the driver side headlight.
All it really needs until it can be fired are brackets to hold up the oil cooler, the oil cooler lines, the turbo feed line, then coolant and oil... almost starting to look sorta finished... exciting!
Work has been crazy but slowed down, this is what I've been trying to work on over the last couple weekends. Cross brace between the two upper control arm pockets to spread the load side-to-side under cornering as well as prevent the UCA's from wanting to 'pull' the framerails in together under hard acceleration. Frame rails are finally stripped clean (that was a shitty job) and bracket is clamped in place, ready to weld in after dinner.
Still have to complete some of weld bead on the upper control arm brackets on the rear axle, and install the tank, and pull an axle stud cuz the thread is screwed, but a friend is coming into town and I had to get it put together just a little bit to make it presentable.
It also appears to be stink-bugged a bit. I still have 1 hole left in the rear end's height adjustment, so after springs break in I might lower it a tad bit still.
Thanks for the comments.
I like the "built not bought" approach in general too.. was intimidating at first but there's no better way to learn, provided you can afford the tools to do the job moderately right. Now there are so few things that I would simply just buy, like the 4 link, but I couldn't even leave that alone.
I ended up ditching the Holset VGT turbo after hunting down a comparable Holset compressor map (for an HE35, supposedly a near identical non-variable vane version) and realizing that the compressor would simply be out of the acceptible efficiency range for my 6.0L displacement and the rpms it will end up running. I sold the Holset to a guy wanting to retrofit it on a diesel 5.9L and he was going to make his own vane controller for it. I ended up going for a Turbonetics TC76 with the F1 wheel, and 0.96 A/R hotside, talked to a handful of experts on this forum as well as directly to a couple turbo companies, and for my mild engine, medium-hp levels and medium boost, all recommended a T or TC 76mm turbo, with a 0.81 or 0.96 depending on how I wanted the "lag" to feel. To be honest, a bit of lag isn't such a bad thing for a streetcar that has hopes of even just a bit of decently good fuel mileage on the odd occasion.
The radiator I got for super cheap off craigslist, and it's for a 4.3. Not sure if it'll do the job, but I made sure the radiator/intercooler were jammed forward as much as possible to give a couple inches of extra room to the engine/accessories if I need to get a larger radiator. That's also the reason I didn't use an integrated oil cooler or put the oil cooler in front of the intercooler or rad. I'm using a Zirgo 14" 2750cfm fan, it's a generic speedparts store kinda fan, will see how well that works. I am crossing my fingers tho that the radiator does a good enough job, because the inlet/outlet are positioned perfectlyfor nice, clean, short rad hoses.
Despite having a cold, it was a good weekend. Trunk sheetmetal wrapped up. Rear end had brackets fully welded, painted, and filled with gear oil. 4link frame brackets fully welded in and painted. Fuel supply and return lines fully bent and connected (sans 1 return fitting I'll pick up tomorrow). Rear end in, final pinion angle set, brake lines hooked up. All it needs now is the brakes bled, and the exhaustwelded a bit and thrown up in there. Only things really left are to bolt the seats and seatbelts in, flash the PCM, and fill with coolant/oil. Pics:
Fabrication by any means necessary...
Well at the final stages. Got all connections hooked up and flashed the PCM with the initial tune. I literally only need to find a gas tank cap and put oil/coolant in it before I can start it... slightly exciting!
Made a new upper rad hose connector that tee's the heads' coolant crossover tube into it. Anybody want the old coupler??
Look close but actually decent clearance..
Going to add a battery disconnect on the negative side for "just in case", just need to finish the mounting bracket..
Convenient passage with hold-down tabs and everything in the passenger kickpanel area. Doesn't look it but there is a recess where the 2gauge power wire loops into the vent hole, so the wire isn't just protruding on the edge of the hole there.
If there's one thing I've learned from bikes, is that even if a cable or hose is mounted securely or doesn't even look close to touching something, with vibration it will, and over time even a nylon hose can wear right thru metal. Not good. So the turbo feed line in all its abrasive braided stainless glory is 100% secured and isolated from any nearby objects to minimize wear it might have on nearby stuff.
Due to all the turbo pipes and merge crap going on in front & on the passenger side of the engine, I didn't want the turbo feed line snaking through all of that, so took a more roundabout way to tee it off of the oil cooler outlet port.
Bad angle but there is about 1" of clearance below the line to both aluminum cold side pipes..
Down around the framerail and over to the driver's side of the car
Again because of the angle it looks tight, but the hose isn't actually stretched here. Tee'd off of the exit port of the oil cooler.
I only plan on trying to drag race it once.. when it's tuned and driving nicely, just to see what it can do. If they let me run down the strip, cool, if not then I guess I'll have to stick to abusing the crap out of it on the road course and having a bit on the street.
I rigged the fuel pump right up to the battery so I could start it sooner, so it is not being powered by the PCM-controlled fuel pump relay that came wired into my Speartech harness. I know the PCM was still on when the key was hot and in cranking, because the HPTuners scanner was showing rpm's when cranking as well as ambient temp and throttle position, however I don't recall if the injector bank gauges were flashing. I have a feeling the injectors weren't getting a pulse. I'll try cranking it tonight while scanning and first seeing if the fuel pump relay is outputting power. If it isn't then clearly the PCM doesn't want to give the engine gas, but if it is outputting power and the injector banks just aren't pulsing, I'll have to do some digging thru my tune. Arg.
VATS was disabled on the new speed density tune I wrote to the PCM, however I should read that tune back onto the laptop to make sure everything copied over right. Mark had a good idea that maybe in the process of the Write-Entire from the previous MAF setup to the new 3bar Speed Density tune, the VATS might've been re-enabled somehow, if that's even possible. Altho I would think that if VATS was re-enabled then the engine would at least try to stumble/catch/fire at least for a couple seconds.
I was out all weekend with food poisoning from friday night, which was really shitty because i wanted to dedicate all weekend to getting this ****** running. Like Mark said, gotta start at the basics. Will check spark, injector voltage, fuel pump relay output voltage during cranking (of computer controlled relay, right now the fuel pump is just rigged to the battery). The one thing that is suspect in my eyes is that when I re-flashed the ECM back to a MAF configuration and loaded the previous tune on it, it still cranked and all that but was still not giving the injectors a pulse.
Only things I have changed hardware-wise since the engine last ran are:
1) MAF wiring snipped all except IAT sensor, which I re-wired to a Typhoon sensor, which was reading 7 degrees celcius when I was cranking it, which makes sense because it felt that temp in the garage and the coolant temp was reading 6 degrees
2) injector plugs re-wired to USCAR plug from the stock truck plugs (EV1??)
3) different pedal. I wanted to redo my initial DBW frankenpedal but a guy wanted it and also had a stock truck pedal so we traded. I'm not getting any pedal DTC and the pedal reads 19% just sitting there and 100% when floored.. could it read properly but still let the TAC module give the computer a code. I remember reading Crosstraining's thread about his pedal making his ECM not want to fire.
I have ECM ground to the dash, harness ground to the head, and block ground to the subframe.
I am getting a P0622 DTC (only code being thrown) for bad alternator f-circuit, not sure what that could be but I'm thinking because I painted the alternator body (masked the coils) silver, could the alternator body not be completing ground to the head/block and this screwing with whatever this f-circuit reading is?
Also, this was a Speartech harness that ran great the last time I fired the engine. It has 4 fuses all tapped into one IGN wire, and the fuses were all good last time I checked but I will recheck.
No real advantage to the Typhoon IAT I don't think , other than it uses the right plug and the actual sensor is very low-profile so it shouldn't interupt airflow much.
Checked the injector plugs, I get 12V when switched on, so the injectors are getting power. Other wire didn't have ground, but would make sense since the injector pulse I'm lacking is a switched ground?
Checked the plugs, they aren't sparking when the body is grounded.
Heads are grounded to block, block is grounded to frame. Harness ground terminal has continuity to subframe ground location. PCM ground has continuity to subframe ground location.
Upon cranking still zero injector pulse according to HPTuners.
There is also zero output voltage from the fuel pump relay 12+ output wire that came pre-wired into the Speartech harness.
Just had a thought. I can't remember if I tapped the "IGN On" hookup wire on the Speartech harness to the Run wire or Accessory wire on the body harness. Maybe switching to the 2nd gen Camaro steering column I have now (was stock Nova one before) had a slight change in the wiring/connectivity of the ignition switch box in the column and allow an interruption when changing key positions? Would an Accessory output have power cut off to it during cranking? Might make sense since in every car I've owned the aftermarket deck would restart when going from Cranking -> Run. Funny though that on the HPtuners scanner it didn't seemed to indicate any interruption in power/sensor signals when going from ACC -> Run -> Crank -> Run -> ACC
Mark came over on Saturday. I thought it was gonna be something like poke at a couple sensors and look at a plug and then we just scratch our heads at the computer screen, but we actually got a good amount of stuff done. We got it to fire a good couple dozen times but it would never catch and stay on, would just putter out after 1 second. And no.. VATS is not on.
1st problem was the switchable power connection to the computer.. it was connected to a lead on the ignition switch that's only powered during Run. I had to do a bunch of poking around after Mark left and found out that the switch on the 2nd gen column I have doesn't have an ACC power out.. no combo's of switch leads at least. Then we found the lead that gets power during Run & Crank.. but there was a brief power interuption that the PCM didn't seem to like. Found a power combination of a switch lead that is hot only in Run and then another that is hot in Run & Crank, and now the computer gets uninterrupted power during cranking. And so injectors get pulse during cranking!
Also found that the MAP sensor I was thinking was 2bar was actually 2.5bar... shouldn't change too much but is another source of error. Going to pick up the proper 2bar sensor after work today.
Apparently my injector offset table is zero'd out, which I'll have to compare with some other tunes tonight and fix that. Will try and start it up again tonight, hopefully all goes well.
Obligatory picture. Texted this to a friend and got back the response "Holy wet pants"... I'd have to agree. Mark I want your effing car.
Well it runs... kindof.
As per internet reading I think I didn't do the proper Write sequence on the PCM, so I started from scratch and did:
1) Write Entire of speed density tune
2) Turn off ignition, turn back on
3) Write Calibrate only
3) Turn off ignition, turn back on and LEAVE it on in Run for 10 minutes
Came back and it fired, and put putted like a sack of ****, idling maybe 350 rpm..
So figuring I'd get rid of all the variables, I loaded the previous stock(ish) MAF tune back on just like the steps above, and started it up and it caught and ran, but idled around 500rpm, and sounded like ****, but it ran. The turbo pipes got hot FAST so I think it was running pretty lean, because I just halfed the fuel pressure (stock 26 lb/hr @ 58 psi vs. my 52 lb/hr @ 43.5psi) for this quickie MAF tune test. Not sure if it was running on all cylinders either because the turbo wasn't spinning all that well, but might be because of the low and inconsistent idle.
SO back to basics. Taking my previous MAF tune and straight up converting it over to speed density and then just changing injector flow values, then will see how that runs and take it from there!
Happy April Fools day...
Well the rough tune I had it "idling" too lean at yesterday was using Mark's old 52 lb/hr injectors, which according to the website he bought them off of are rated for 51.8lb/hr @ 43.5 psi, and I set my fuel pressure to 45 psi so entered into HPTuners the data for 50.1 lb/hr injectors (6.31 g/sec). While thinking about it at work today wondering why the hell it was still running so lean, I remembered that in Mark's tune he had the injector flowrate set at 4.91. I thought if I keep my fuel pressure the same then this lower injector value entered would open them more, run richer, possibly make my AFR better. Flashed my yesterday tune with the reduced injector flow values and started it up.. bam... idled right around 780-820rpm with 14.5-15:1 AFR and all. All I can figure is bad injector data on the website but I don't really care anymore.. it's idling good enough to make me happy enough to crack a cold frosty one and sit back for a bit
Haha yea I thought "how cruel could this possibly be if it runs today and then stops working later" but it ran even better after so... guess it wasn't an April Fools joke!
It will be quiet, that's the hope. Want it to be a sensible driver... possibly even something that could pass for having a 307 with restrictive mufflers??
I originally wanted it to look like "an old musclecar that some kid bought and threw rims on" and have all the performance hidden underneath and unsuspecting.. but I think the low stance will be the final straw that throws that out the window haha.
But it actually is pretty loud in the garage because there are no tips on the mufflers yet and it just bounces off the walls. I had the GoPro outside of the case to hopefully catch the sound better but I think it was too loud for the GoPro and it decided to record much less of it. It does have a bit of a mean rasp to it.. standard fair with Flowmaster mufflers I guess. I'll run this exhaust setup over the summer and then later on maybe do a full stainless 3" duals from the y-pipe and and Magnaflows and do over-axle tailpipes to dumps hidden behind/above the rear quarter panel bottoms... that'll guaranteed be a little bit louder :O
Listen to that idle... ohhh yess
Fun times.. my oil pressure sucks. 20psi cold idle 15 warm idle, spikes up to 25 when revved. New proper-size o-ring on the pickup. The problem can't be too much oil flowing thru the turbo because the compressor has a tough time spooling up at idle, simply isn't getting the oil pressure the journal bearing needs to let the shaft spin nice and easy at idle.
Just pulled the trigger on a Melling high volume oil pump. Do these roadblocks ever freaking stop?
I didn't look at the oiling system no. I replaced the o-ring with a new one and it was a nice snug fit. Oil pickup is about 5/8" off the bottom of the pan if I remember correctly, I wrote it down somewhere. I'll pull the plug above the oil filter tonight and see if I can see the barbell, although I can't imagine why it wouldn't be in there, but I guess you just never know. I've been reading up that if there isn't a barbell in there, engine would get zero pressure.. does that mean that if the barbell has a bad o-ring or seal somehow then it would bleed pressure past it?
I'm fairly confident that the sensor isn't the problem. Engine was reading around 20-30psi with the previous setup, on an Autometer electric gauge. I do have a mechanical gauge I can throw on there if space permits to be sure. Could it be possible that the main bearings are so worn that it's dropping the resistance and thus pressure down that much? I never tore the engine down but now I'm regretting it, probably should've just gone for full build when it was out. Arg.
Flashed engine with a new tune, idles nice at 675 rpm. Started the engine for about 10seconds to lube the turbo but not long enough for things to really warm up. Blocked off the turbo oil feed line and restarted engine... with the oil still cool and no supply to the turbo it was getting 15psi dropping down to 10psi. ****. Guess oilpan has to come off and investigate the pickup o-ring. Come to think of it I believe I put the brand new o-ring on the pickup tube first, but either way pan's gotta come off.. arg!!!
Did a compression test today, here are the numbers:
#1 - 190
#2 - 195
#3 - 200
#4 - 200
#5 - 195
#6 - 195
#7 - 205
#8 - 195
The compression tester I had only had a knurled 14mm fitting for the heads so it might've been hand-tightened a bit more in some of the cylinders than others, but overall I'm happy.
Here are the plugs, what do you guys think?
I love working on cars and I'm so lucky that I get to take everything apart again to upgrade the oil pump, and then put it all back together. This is possibly the funnest thing I could be doing to the car right now, I like practicing over and over again.
This piece of **** car won't hold a tune.
Went to start it with new oil pump, would only give the injectors 1 solid pulse and engine would catch and putter out (probably way too rich and flooded cylinders).
Reflashed it with the exact same tune it just had on it.
It stumbled but caught and fired up, was a bit rich at first but then idled nicely for about 10 minutes (injectors pulse about 2-3ms). Fired it up multiple times that day and each time fired immediately after cranking and held nice stable idle with decent oil pressure.
Started it the following day cold and it fired right up, idled perfectly for 10minutes, held good oil pressure.
Fired it up 3 days later and injectors give single HUGE pulse (~90ms) and engine kindof catches, but sounds muddy and putters out (seems too rich). Reflashed and it again fired up, rich at first but then idled out ok.
What the flying shitfuckcockballs is happening? I'm about ready to to throw this ******* car in the trash.
About 35psi cold and 25psi warm with oil that I suspect has some gas in it due to the number of these stupid rich non-start putter out incidents. Re-hooked up the electric oil pressure gauge so I can see the pressure spike as I dab the throttle, which I'll do tonight. All I can figure is the tolerance on the bearings has really opened up due to high mileage. I can't remember what the mileage of the thing was when I got it maybe 5 years ago. Either way if I want better pressure it would likely mean full teardown, so I'm going to drive the ******* thing and throw caution to the wind. That is if I can ever get it to start reliably from one day to the next.
12+ from battery is hot all the time because with the HPtuners module plugged into only to the OBDII port, the green "connected" light is lit regardless of the position the key is in.
One thing that is curuious that I noticed last night is that the computer does not leave the fans on after shutoff. To test it I specifically set the fan on speed to 40*C and off to 35*C, and runtime to 15seconds, and once the key leaves Run and engine stops, fans shut off. Going to double check my fan relay wiring tonight, but I believe it was relay always hot for source power and 1 side of the switch, and then the relay is activated via switchable ground (from PCM). Only problem I could think is if the power for the switchable ground is also switched so only hot when key is in Run, but I'm pretty sure both relay suuply powers are straight from the battery.
And the MIL light isn't working, even when I test it thru HPtuners, and the wiring is stock Speartech harness, all I did was extend it and made SURE that I kept the polarity the same (I believe it's important for these diode-like LED's?). I'll snip and re-wire it tonight opposite.. maybe the LED was accidently wired in backwards from Speartech.
And I'm getting a VSS circuit voltage DTC, but that's not my biggest problem right now I don't think.
**** just won't end!
This is the BS i'm dealing with.
Long term fuel trims (LTFT's) are disabled.
Running in closed loop.
As the O2 sensors warm up and lean out the STFT's are correspondingly pulling a lot of fuel. This is with an injector flowrate value of 4.90 which I've previously described as being theoretically too small given the injector data from the injector website, however it appeared to work. I wonder if I change the injector flowrates back to the formula-correct 6.32 if the STFT's would lean out much less and there would be less flooding during this weird random initially-too-rich non-catch start. What I really need to do is find out for certain what these injectors actually flow at a given pressure.
Non-catch start (note high injector pulse time in red and orange lines in the 4th window down)...
I got the longer studs from a local performance store, they're just standard 1/2" ARP 3" screw-in studs..
I haven't been working on the car much, just fitting the fenders, hood, need to make some brackets for the hoodpins since the intercooler location doesn't allow a stock hood latch. Made a oil breather/catch can. A line comes from each valve cover and has a seperate "level" of the can, and each level has steel wool trapped in it to hopefully catch oil particles in the air better then let them drop into the bottom, where there's some volume for it to accumulate and a petcock to drain. Might be a bit overkill, or might not even do anything, but at least only took a couple hours to make...
Reducing the wall thickness to make it a bit nicer to weld..
Practicing alum which I hadn't done in months, crossed out bead isn't mine...
Good to meet you too Ryan, definitely a gorgeous '69 you have that sits fantastically.
Wrapping up the intercooler piping, also finished the oil breath catch can and need to make hoodpin mounting brackets for the rad support. Then just bleed the brakes and get it on the ground again. Will take more pics tonight.
Getting very close to driving it around, hopefully next weekend! I apologize for the exceptionally shitty quality pics, but oh well.
Got the cold-side piping wrapped up from the intercooler to the throttlebody.
IAT sensor is from a Typhoon, is nice and low-profile and has a 3/8" NPT thread on it...
IAT sensor bung is welded on the underside of the tube so it's nice and hidden. Also tacked on some aluminum cable guides from an aluminum mountain bike frame.. something to zip tie the BOV vacuum hose and the IAT sensor wiring so they aren't dangling about and also so I don't have to wrap a huge zip tie all the way around the 3" piping (would look ugly)...
Installed! Minus clamps..
Not much progress recently been tied down at work a lot. Got an ebrake in there and working on installing retracting 3pt seatbelts now but ran out of weld rod so have to wait until next week to get some more.
The ebrake is out of a 240sx, and has a neat mini-cable&housing with a bulkhead stop on it, I think it turned out pretty clean. The clevis and dual-cable stops are from a generic Lokar kit.
Safety stuff.. installed some 3pt seatbelts.. no way in hell I was going to drive this thing with lap belts. Belts are from a 240sx, and have a hidden, fixed retractor end..
Wanted to keep the hidden-retractor-ness of it all since the interior panels are all flat..
Anchor plate for the base bolt of the retractor. Has a 1/2"-13 threaded boss on the backside of it that I guseseted the **** out of for the retractor to bolt to. It was perimeter welded to the sheetmetal as well as the bottom edge welded to the floor/rocker area.
Made this 1/4" plate to locate the should pivot, with the belt installed I put all my body weight into it and it didn't flex or anything, so it should be ok. Template drawing for the plate can be seen here.
Mostly re-used the 240sx setup for the bolt setup. Has an inner spacer that bottoms out on the driveshaft tunnel when the bolt is torqued down, and has these spring washers so that there is enough preload resistance so that it doesn't fall/rotate, but is still easily movable by hand..
Threw the seat in there quickly and it is nice and snug.. feels confidence-inspiring already.. now just need to do it all over again for passenger side :S
When clicking the force-on MIL light button in HPTuners, I can't get it to light up the light.
- PCM is getting good ground as measured at the PCM plug pin
- brown #46 MIL light switchable ground wire is connected to PCM plug
- MIL light is getting +12V
- MIL light illuminates on a 12V bench test setup when wired both ways
I do have some DTC codes that I didn't get rid of and every time the engine has run the light hasn't gone on.. it appears that my PCM simply isn't outputting a ground signal to light the MIL light.
Also, with the proper tach signal wire connected, and even when rigged with the resistor hop-up wiring that is done with Autometer tachs, the tach doesn't register anything. Have yet to check the signal coming from the PCM tach wire while engine is running, but that's next on the list.
This BS along with the inconsistant starts.. could my PCM physically be screwed?
Are there settings in HPTuners to completely turn on or turn off the MIL light or the tach output?
Since the stock hood latch area is consumed by the intercooler, had to figure a hoodpin situation. Ended up using a mountain bike fork spring as a way to preload the hood a bit against the hoodpin to secure it without it rattling around..
Happens to fit the stock hood rubber bumper height stop perfectly
Trimmed and welded a washer to mount them..
Consensus from first drive:
- tires rub a bit near full lock, front has to come up a bit so that when springs sag, front & rear will be right height but level
- car must have some bad bump steer because ride height it has pretty significant toe out, but surprisingly not too darty
- car needs less negative camber and an alignment
- suspensions is firm but takes square-edge bumps very nicely, absorbs but isn't bouncy.. I really look forward to pushing it and seeing how it corners
- engine is a piece of ******* junk. fresh (heavy) oil and it gets 10psi or less oil pressure warm
- loud knocking (guessing rod knock)
- cockpit is perfect: shift location and throw is dead on for my comfort, clutch feels great, good engagement point, brake pedal @ medium-heavy braking is right where gas pedal is for nice rev-matching... all that labour paid off
- VSS signal from computer isn't working either although HPtuners registers the VSS input to it
- didn't push the motor much due to above mentioned **** but in part throttle from 2500-3000 motor pulls as expected but then falls flat on its face, no power.. excessively lean
- once I tried gassing it hard to just say **** it and at 3200 it totally lost all gusto and DBW pedal was unresponsive, AFR gauge spiked 18:1, had slightly high idle and had to shut off, re-flash tune, and restart to get good idle AFR and any throttle response from the pedal.
I think my motor/PCM is haunted.
I'm going forged rotating assembly, engine needs to be rebuilt anyways. I'm figuring I'll do it on an LS2 block while I'm at it.
I'm seriously considering a new PCM, I think this one is physically damaged somehow.
I'm surprisingly not ridiculously pissed about all this ****.. the car itself felt good to drive, just I'm seriously regretting not fully building this engine right from the get-go.
I'm getting depressingly good at this...
Plan is to keep the iron block (mainly because I have it and upgrading to aluminum is just too expensive and not worth the trouble realistically). Go K1 crank, K1 h-beam rods, Wiseco offset pin pistons. Patriot springs, possibly hardened pushrods, and main/head studs, along with some other gaskets, etc. Looking at a total rebuilt cost of ~$3,000 (reusing block, heads, valves, everything else new) and approx $600 in machining/balancing labour.
First step is to pull the heads off to inspect the cylinders, that'll tell me if I need a 4.005" overbore to clean up the walls or even a 4.010", then order the pistons, tear down the block in the meantime, and we're off to the races.
Forward progress? I think??
Not very much when you cram all the bits together...
I'm pleasantly surprised with the bores, I honestly can't see them needing more than a 0.005" bore and hone to clean em up.
Parts! Everything except pistons which were drop shipped from Wiseco so still waiting on those, and a couple little gaskets that I'll pick up from a local dealership.
I've attached my Excel master spreadsheet of all the research I've done for pricing on stock-displacement forged rotating assembly, in case anyone is interested.
I really lucked out and Summit had a limited sale on ARP head studs for $259 (down from $309) which is the cheapest I've found them, but appears the sale only lasted a couple days.. guess that was good timing!
Another helpful tip, for almost any GM replacement part, and a limited amount of aftermarket LS stuff, www.PacePerformance.com has the lowest GM parts by far, it's actually pretty crazy.. the cost of all the miscellaneous little plugs and sensors and gaskets can really add up.. so buy from Pace!
- Texas Speed rotating assembly ($300 savings over buying parts individually): Wiseco 4.005" -11cc pistons, Callies Compstar H-beam con rods, Eagle forged crank, Clevite main&rod bearings
- ARP main & head studs
- LS9 head gaskets
- Patriot Gold springs
- Comp Cams hardened pushrods
- some Comp Cams break-in oil
- engine rebuild lube kit
- assorted gaskets
Total cost in parts to rebuild engine re-using LQ4 block: $3363
Shipping was $12 for Summit & $90 for Texas speed, bringing total parts cost to ~$3465.
Connecting rods 3, 4 & 5 all had extreme play on the crank, I'd say upwards of 1/16" of rattling around. Upon removing the rods, every single bearing surface on the crank was fucked.
Here is the 1st (and worst) one I pulled, #4...
Well it's official, engine was effed with a capital F..
Bottom (bearing cap side) bearing, at hot spot from friction due to lack of oil..
Aaaand block in the back of a Sentra, didn't think it would fit haha..
Haha "Manly Mantainium".. that's a nickname that gonna stick around whether he likes it or not.
On a side note, observe the fuckage..
In my defense, the crank was really REALLY heavy.. could've used Man-hands McGee Marktainium to help lift it, oh well.
Dropped the block off at the machine shop this morning. Place is called Hi-Performance Engines, in Burnaby (for anyone reading local to Vancouver area). Owner of it Dave was super awesome to talk to, extremely knowledgeable, gave me a tour of the shop and explained how every single machine is used for different applications.. I have 100% confidence in these guys and they have a quick estimated turn-around too. If they're good enough for MarkyMantainium's standards then they'll be fine for me too.
Next size of displacement for stroker option would be 402 or 6.6L, so 10% more airflow, which would most definitely max out my single turbo, and there isn't much room for a bigger turbo relative to the hood, wastegate pipe, passenger-side hot pipe, etc. Plus it would certainly require bigger wastegate, needing modification to the pre-WG piping to allow the higher flow. And would definitely require freer-flowing exhaust after the downpipe which I'm not too enthusiastic about making just yet. Also would likely need bigger injectors altho could probably get away with just cranking the fuel pressure on the current 52 lb/hr injectors. Plus keeping it stock 6L will let me get "better fuel economy".. haha.
Block has been tanked and cleaned, bores have been checked and 4.005" will be no problem so my gamble of assuming 4.005" pistons would work ended up ok. Align bore with ARP main studs torque checked out A-ok. The deck however is not flat, not perpindicular to each other, and it appears the heads were removed at some point and the deck was "cleaned" with a 3M Sotchbrite and even that can apparently damage the deck and reduce sealing on these MLS gaskets (which are apparently very sensitive to having a perfect deck surface for good sealing). Machine shop estimates that in the neighborhood of 5-6 thou will need to be removed to make everything perfect, and with 0.051" MLS GM head gaskets, that will bump my compression ratio to somewhere around 9.3:1. A bit higher than I was hoping, but still reasonable for medium boost. Looks like I should be able to pick the block up on Tuesday if all goes well.
The mains checked out fine after torquing the studs. He didn't say how far out it was.. more like "won't be certain how much needs to be removed until we start at the lowest corner on the lowest side and work our way forward, but it should be 3-4 thou, max 5-6 thou".
And yea.. the crank was messed. Super messed. Guess it makes sense where all the oil pressure was disappearing off too
Hah thanks for the compliment quickkris, but I wouldn't go so far as to say mona lisa. Just a lot of fab work to make it function neatly, and look accordingly industrial.
In other news, it's ready to go back in, just awaiting the return of my engine hoist that i lent to a friend.
Drove it tonight. 40psi oil pressure cold idle, 30-35 warm idle. Tune is running crazy rich in part throttle especially under load around 1500-200rpm, like in the 11's or less. Engine also still freaks out if I approach 3,000rpm too quickly and accidentally build boost, shuts down into non-responsive safety mode, still have to hunt and find out why. But oh the glorious sounds as the turbo is spooling 2500-2800 and makes hissy sounds. If I held the pedal at a certain spot and the turbo was spooling just shy or just past 0psi, the acceleration was still pretty awesome.. can't imagine what 7-10psi will be like...
There was some screwup in the parameters table on my HPtuners so the driving I did last night didn't record the wideband AFR or the AFR error. I corrected that and have values now so can start tuning the driveability of part throttle.
I'm running about a 1.5* of camber, maybe closer to 2, but I will knock that back a bit once I raise the front another 1/2" or so. Consider the lowness of the front, and that I haven't trimmed the fender lips at all, the rubbing is very minimal being only at just under full lock. The front tire is a 235 which at full lock is about 1/2" clearance to the subframe rails, so when I eventually plan for wider wheels and a 265 up front, I'll definitely have to notch the rails. Also it has a bit of toe out, I think the car has bump steer although I haven't hit bumps while turning quick enough to notice it yet. I will adjust the toe out myself then once the springs settle a bit more and I adjust the ride height I will get it professionally aligned.
And she starts the daily driver routine..
Been driving it for a couple hours today. My problem with the tune was that no matter what, with or without STFT, it was running way too rich. Tried AFR error tuning it and wasn't getting too far. Then I remembered that Mark's data for these injectors was 6.35g/min or whatever the unit is, and I entered that for the first startup and stuff was way too rich, and then I went to calculate it to verify and for these 52lb/hr injectors at 44psi, I needed the value 5.25 lb/hr and used that to start up again. All this was 1st startup of stock engine way back when.
Anyways, today tried the car with the old 6.35 injector flowrate instead of the 5.25 that I was running rich with... started up and idled 13ish to 14 AFR with no STFT, so that got me close. Then drove for a couple hours AFR tuning and was getting in the 14's mostly for 1500-2500 of 2nd and 3rd gear mostly, trying to shift as little as possible. Then just driving home with ECT at 210ish and IAT at 36ish (slow stop and go traffic) engine went from having no STFT to compensating to up to +40ish % STFT and bogged down to 10ish AFR. STFT was turned off in the tune, and Closed Loop was also turned off in the scanner On/Off section.. why in the sweet **** did STFT suddenly decide to turn on??
In other news, I think I finally nailed the stance. Even considering lack of interior, rear shocks (200ln/in) are too stiff I think, are very rigid in the stiffer "**** settings" and too bouncy in the easier **** settings. Might try some 175in/lb springs and increase the **** damping. Front QA1 conversion coilovers are a bit soft with the iron block and turbo at 450in/lb, I would try 500in/lb and lower the coil ring on the shock body to get right ride height.
Hey Greg, the front bumper isn't on because I had to modify the bumper brackets to lower it relative to the subframe (because w/o subframe bushings the subframe went up relative to the front sheetmetal) and I've honestly been too lazy to mock it up to check that my cuts were the right amount. I cut the brackets to also tuck the bumper a bit closer to the car. Mod'd brackets are just tacked together as well. Gonna check it out tomorrow night so I can final mount it, put the running lights in, and have enough resistance in the system to actually have working turn signals.
Very happy with the stance now, and holy **** these Hawk HP pads make a LOT of brake dust, but damn they're stoppy, and with the same level of pedal force as boosted brakes, maybe even less!
Also did about 8hrs of driving and tuning on Saturday and it is running quite well, only very rarely does it blip super rich. It will get stuck in full rich if STFT is on since it appears one of my narrowband O2 sensors is reading way off, and so bank2 immediately goes full compensation rich (25% or upwards of 40%!!) and then bank1 leans out to try and compensate possibly, but only 10-15% lean. Even with STFT switched off in the PCM, it still turns on in the scanner. Maybe I have to do a write entire? Anyways at the beginning of each scan I have to force-Off the Closed Loop and Fuel Trim Learn in the HPTuners scanner On/Off window. *****, oh well at least it's some forward progress.
Oh and then I started getting into boost just for *****, recorded upwards of 6psi.. holy crap.. just keeps pulling...
Mark can attest to this better than anyone, but first satisfied smile on my face from this car! So much hard work seems to be finally paying off..
Well it's official, I've created a monster. Through studious "testing and tuning", it now gets good AFR under boost from 2500-5000rpm, and I'm relieved to know the wastegate isn't undersized as it's cutting that boost off at a steady ~6psi, with no fiddling around from my electronic boost controller yet. It just keeps pulling. It's crazy. The whooooosh is like a jet engine! Best sound ever? My BOV is over sprung a bit I believe. It doesn't open under normal vacuum (good thing) however it makes that annoying studdering compressor surge sound when it vents when I let off the throttle. Mark has a nice consistent "pshhhhhhh" sound, that's what I need to get going.
The crank video was the stock 6L setup that kept getting low oil pressure.. I wonder why?? Haha.. good thing I rebuilt the bottom end!
Here is a little clip of the "office space"...
Ordered Ridetech coilvers front+rear. Also ordered some A-body steering arms and am going to fabricate new inner tie-rod mounting points for the drag link.. a poor man's TruTurn so to speak. Going to order DSE mini tubs real soon, need 305 in the rear, maybe 315. Am also currently calculating material sizing for fabricating a 3-piece front sway bar so that I can run 275's.. which at the same time I am also figuring out the template to use for notching my subframe for 9.5" rim. Also need to think about ordering some mandrel bends to do a legit over-axle tailpipe setup. And so it continues.....
Both cars are wicked-awesome in their own right. Big Red for being the pioneering badass pro-touring car way back when, and beating up on all the exotics on the road courses. Red Devil essentially being the modern-day Big Red, with modern car creature comforts and driveability, with brute power and handling that probably nears that of Big Red. I'd happily own either
Goodies! Also got fronts but they got sent with the wrong springs, so can't mount them for good yet, which is ok because I need to cycle thru the front suspension to measure bumpsteer as well as establish the new droop travel at my desired rim height, since these have a shorter stroke than the QA1 coilovers I previously had. Also got some power steering A-body steering arms which are shorter and don't drop, so am going to cycle thru the suspension and measure bump, and relocate the inner tie rod mounting holes on the drag link to minimize bumpsteer. Will report back later.
With the extra weight of an iron block, and the turbo setup, the springs were under-sprung at 450 lb/in, and the rebound clicks were almost maxed-out ( 20ish out of 24 clicks i think?) so a stiffer spring would've been demanding a LOT from the rebound circuit to control. plus in the rear I was also oversprung at 200lb/in i think, so instead of already spending a couple hundy $$ on springs.. just upgrade the shocks w/ closer spring-rate springs at the same tiem. I got a ride in a Nova with single-adjust Ridetech coils front/rear and it was pretty impressive. Same springrates I've ordered and it was the perfect combo of firm for handling yet not overly-harsh for bumps..
For sway bar, I'm going to get 1.25" OD by 0.125" wall mild steel tube, weld 4-bolt flanges on the end, and heat/bend my own 3/8" end plates, making them hug the frame rails as much as possible. This is still up in the air regarding necessity.. first need to mount the tire and mock everything up, and the UCA's are for sure going to be the first & biggest clearance issue. Thinking of selling my standard UCA's and going hi-clearance ones. If I don't, then I have nowhere near the clearance needed, so can kiss turning radius goodbye, which would essentially axe this whole tire-widening project. In the end, I want this to be a no-compromise driver, so turning radius is part of the overall package.
Looking at the TruTurn for a very long time, the steering arms look damn near identical to the A-body steering arms, if not the exact same, altho Ridetech claims they're "made to spec". Also looking at the TruTurn spindles, they are the same variety as the iron 2" drop spindles that are everywhere on ebay, albeit with a 1.75" higher upper ball joint. from much eyeball-engineering, it really looks like the steering arm mount holes are the same between the TruTurn spindles and the other drop spindles, which means that the steering arm holes are kept in the same location relative to the wheel bearing, just moved up the 2" [drop] on the spindle. Since the steering arms also move the outer tie rod end up ~2", and the inner tie rod is moved up ~2" on the drag link, essentially the entire tie rod assembly is simply moved up 2", so it doesn't seem like there's any real crazy length change/angle change, rocketsurgery science behind it. That being said, I still intend on measuring every current link geometry and computing the theoretical camber gain/bump during full droop/bump, to double-check.
Haha I don't have a calibration block for my eyes, but I've been doing a lot of staring, so maybe things are starting to be seen wonky haha.
I already have those tapered studs, and also got a tapered reamer so that I can use nice Moog tie rods for the relocated upper holes. Plan is (pending what some linkage sketching and kinematics reveals) to move inner tie rods up the 2", and the outer tie rod up the difference between my current steeringarms and the new, no-drop A-body ones, which now looks to be about 3". I'll take advantage of this lob-sided height raise on the outboard end to have some up/down wiggle room with those tapered steering studs. The steering arms will also most likely be moved inboard from the wheel about 1/2" due to likely interference with the Wilwood caliper. Due to this, again pending computer stuff, if the bumpsteer is better or worse with the shortened tie rod assembly, then the inner tie rod location will be adjusted up/down/inboard/outboard on the draglink to optimize.
I downloaded the "Complete IGS" @ 179mb, but it was lacking the engine and I imagine a shitload of other stuff. Do you have Solidworks? The SW files would be much more complete (apparently so, since 68wagon's Solidworks Complete model had the LS3) but also obviously much large filesize, since it's a native Solidworks file type and not a compressed universal filetype. Give 68wagon a PM to see if his Dropbox is still working/available for downloading the LS3 IGES file he exported & uploaded for me (thanks again man!!).
Was bored today so figured I should pay some attention to my car for the first time in over a month.
Couple weeks ago I got in some A-body steering arms to raise the tie rod mounting point, so that I could have more clearance to the rim inner lip, as well as raise it enough so that I could custom-lower it with wiggle room both up and down, not just down, for experimental bump-steering improvement.
Current clearance of tie rod end to inner rim lip of 18" rim with 4.875" backspace. After looking at it a bit, it appears the tie rod might clear the inner diameter of the rim, but just barely... too close for my comfort plus I want to raise everything to improve bumpsteer.
Tons of drop in the stock steering arms..
A-body arms raise the tie rod about 3" and look to be a bit shorter too, to quicken the steering. Won't know by how much until I take the stock arms off and compare side-to-side..
If I choose to leave the stud uncut, it looks to be the same overall length as the stock arm w/ tie rod. I'll design the new tie rod points to be higher up so likely will cut 0.5-1" off the stud to give plenty of rim clearance for the 6" backspace I want to run.
I also won't know if the A-body steering arm will clear the Wilwood caliper until I mount it up. If I can get away with mounting the arm with less than 1/4" of spacers between it and the spindle in order to clear the caliper, then cool. If not, I'll consider heating/bending the steering arms. Will cross that bridge when I get there.
Generic assembly of components that will be cobbled together..
Picked up the DSE mini-tubs as well as the trunion cross-bar lower mounts for the Rdetech coiloversup front.. Time to measure my current setup's bumpsteer as well as start cutting into the wheeltubs and framerails (I get the next 2weeks off of work).. I predict a lot of beer being needed to work up the courage to make that first cut...
I am happy with the G-link so far. For me, out of all the 4-link systems out there, the top two (from a behind-the-computer-screen analysis) would be the DSE Quadralink and the CA G-link. Reasons being:
DSE: maintains the NVH ride compliance of rubber bushings without the torsional binding under roll due to DSE's patented Swivel-link (from talking at SEMA, "swivel link" is actually just a "top hat" bushing with the linear bushing part for link twist, and brim of the top hat for handling axial load in the link under brake/accel). Also, a fair bit of sheetmetal trimming and likely seat rear seat structure trimming is needed to install the upper link pockets on the floorpan.
Alston: The G-Link has spherical link pivots, but the nice thing is they're rebuildable and greasable. I believe they have nylon races which could likely be replaced if need be, and being rebuildable is nice as grease will over time attract road grime, etc. The G-link has a great degree of freedom for roll, which would make tuning a rear sway bar nicer, as well as better bump compliance under hard cornering/roll. Nice to have multiple link mountnig holes for tuning anti-squat, as well as length-adjustable links both upper & lower for adjusting wheel position and pinion angle. Major downside of this system is the upper link pockets aren't tied together to spread the loads between framerails, but I fixed that.
Other popular systems..
CA G-Bar/Ridetech 4-link: Simple, very cost-effective system for what you get. Adjustable ride height with adjustable upper links but non-adjustable lower links. Rubber bushings everywhere (at least on the cheapest setup, heim joints are an optional upgrade) so some bind will occur. Upper link pockets are reinforced side-to-side which is nice, as well as it being a true bolt-in system.
Speedtech torque arm: Good price, added weight of the torque arm (at least in the 1st generation of the Speedtech torque arm without milled windows in side plates on the arm), however they seem to have a bushing'd link setup called the ArticuLink, similar to the DSE's Swivel Link.
BMR torque arm: See above for Speedtech, minus the articulating link.
Total Cost Involved: Another torque arm, fairly inexpensive. Claims to be 100% bolt in but from looking at the pictures, the forward lower link pockets appear to be pretty bulky, not sure how they'd fit around the stock framerails as bolt-on only. I have no opinion on ride height or install as I didn't look into it much at all.
Heidt's 4-link: not sure how popular, but another bolt-in 4-link. Have no opinion on this one either as I never really considered it seriously.
Lateral Dynamics 3-link: Not sure if this is still produced, but was a very nice, well-engineered system, unfortunately (but unavoidably) the upper link's forward pocket took up a lot of area in the rear seat so you have to go either sans seat or make a custom 2-bucket setup.
Generic Art Morrison 3-link or 4-link: These are both real nice pieces, but only for those that are seriously chopping up their car and removing a ton of sheetmetal, and love the braindamage of doing so much fabrication. Also has the same style of link pivots as the G-link, but developed by Currie and named "Johnny Joint".. essentially a bigger version of the rebuildable spherical rod end from Alston.
One side comment.. I'm still wary of systems that use a rubber bushing in the link, but also that the link is adjustable and so is threaded with a jam nut. I fear over time the roll in the system and the relatively-not-super-forgiving rubber bushings will rotate the bushing housing end of the link and work the jam nut loose.
I should say that roll for all these applications should normally be 1-2degrees or less if the car is stiffly sprung and has good sway bars, maybe 3degrees max under extreme cornering. So my talk of roll bind might be a bit **** sounding, but then again if a rear susp system can be freer-moving in any respect, why not..
Geez.. all that and I didn't even fully answer Drednot's question... To add to the G-link comments.. all the effort was worth it to me to get that ride height I wanted without compromising bump travel by going to shorter & stiffer springs, or by a shorter shock, or by lowering the lower shock mounting brackets (and making them dangerously close to the ground and road obstacles IMO).
If I were to do it all over again, and if I had known the effort involved to get the ride height I wanted, I probably would've gone with the DSE for the rubber bushings, as well as the fact that I ended up cutting my trunk floorpan out between the framerails anyways.
That being said, I don't regret getting the G-link and modifying it at all.. it was one of those things that I just couldn't really know for sure until I had the thing purchased, unwrapped, mockup-installed, and slammed the wheels/axle in full compression.
Thought about starting the DSE minitub install today. Got as far as unwrapping the tubs, haha. They're very nice pieces. It goes to show you the level of quality of a company like DSE, when they'll go ahead and open the [large & expensive] steel stamping tooling that would allow their product to be that much closer to OEM-quality...
I didn't feel like cutting, so instead moved onto the front suspension. Before I start jigging together some new tie-rod/steering-arm bumpsteer setup, I need to measure what my bump steer is currently.
Before I can do that, I need to mockup the new Ridetech coilovers to figure where my max bump (bottom out) and ride height are, as they have 1.25" less stroke than the QA1's they replacing, however have a longer overall body (new 3.625" shock travel vs. QA's 4.875" shock travel, also FYI the leverage ratio of a stock arm is ~ 16:9 or 1.78" of wheel travel to 1" of shock travel).
Lower bearing eyelet as measured from where stud bushing would be contacting the shock support on the subframe..
The QA1's had a standard rubber bushing/stud arrangement like a stock shock or sway bar end, but the Ridetechs have this neat spherical plastic 2-piece setup..
Mocked in there..
At full compression, the control arm has about another 0.75" at the shock that it could compress before the LCA's bump stop is even contacted, as well as the rim lip is just barely tucked at current full compression.
The tall upper aluminum spacer (as seen in the disassembly pic) can be purchased in a lower height to reduce the stud-bushing-to-lower-bearing length, without reducing stroke, however since the supper coil perch would be raised relative to the shock mounting point on the subframe, I'd have to cut out the stock spring perch on the subframe to gain clearance for the Ridetech's coil to partially pass thru the subframe, and I think too much cutting would need to happen and it would compromise the upper perch's strength. Plus I just don't want to have to cut a lot on the frame, too awkward and messy.
What I plan to do is switch the trunion-style lower shock mount over to a double shear bolt setup, so I'll grind out some clearance on the LCA to allow the coil body to pass thru, and then weld on two L-tabs on the bottom side of the LCA's spring pocket, at a lower height to lower the front a bit.
Not a car update but thought I'd share a side project I've been tinkering with over the holidays. I like drinking beer. And shifting gears. Why not combine the two (legally)? Besides, prettymuch none of my friends know what the inside of a trans looks like.
I had no idea that they even crammed that S/C 5.4L into those Crown Vics.. even for a heavy fullframe car that thing must go well on the highway..
I'm not going to go full cafe racer on it, not sure I like that hipster style. I'm going to go for more of an upright scrambler/brat/bobber style. I have still yet to find a single build of any-make twin that captures what I have in my head, but elements of these are along the lines of what I'm going for...
Not much new to report here, garage concrete floor and tools have been cold and that puts a damper on the excitement of going out there. But I did get a new addition to the garage.. cleaning out the shop at work one of the guys gave me his old stereo setup..
Went from this..
Amazing how it only takes a little change/inspiration to get back at making stuff..
Have left hibernation and back to having the fabrication bug.. recently when I've been trying to fall asleep all I can think about are rowing thru the gears and hearing the turbo spool, so I think next weekend I'll buckle down and get thru the mini-tub.
The bike is more like a pet project.. nothing too serious. I was making pipes for it this weekend. Only put a couple hundred worth of parts into it so far and it's getting near what I want. Once the pipes are done, I'll figure out what to do for a smaller seat and then it'll prettymuch be done.
Not too much to report. Been real busy so haven't spent any time on the car in the last 2 or so months. But finally started on the mini-tub this past weekend. Scraping the old Dynamat off the areas to cut/strip sucked. I got the old tubs out and started trimming the trunk pan back into the framerails to clear room for the new DSE tubs. Don't have too many pics so far.
Vice grips on the leg of the torsion bar for more leverage..
Screwdriver between the top of the torsion bar and underneath the package tray, so push down on the screwdriver to unseat the bottom notch after the vicegrips have been rotated enough to unhook the bar off the top notch (in this case it's clockwise, sorry couldn't make a curvy arrow in MS Paint)..
Orientation of the bar un-preload-twisted..
Removing the sound deadening.. annoying...
Stripping the paint to find the spot welds to drill out, there were a lot of them on mine, and all over the place..
3/8" drill bit seemed the right size to knock out just about all of the spot welds..
Inner tubs cut out! Definitely no going back now. DSE says to trim the stock tub out of the car right at where the tub joins the floorpan, then scribe a line afterwards that's 2.5" inboard, however with the bulkiness of the only cutting tool I have for the job, my 4.5" angle grinder, I couldn't follow the tub/floorpan joint closely, so I used good masking tape to mark the 2.5" line, then cut the old tubs out however my angle grinder would fit in the tight spaces, then final cut along the 2.5" line once the tube was out and there was more room to work in.
Here's a teaser. Cutting has been slow, the DSE instructions are quite vague, and I'm finding most the templates need massaging for my use. Have tons of pics and going to scan & make PDF's of the templates I made up
Their instructions aren't terrible, just not great. It's a 1-page sheet and a DVD.. of which is shot in a small resolution and the shots of what needs to be trimmed and where are quick.. so it's hard trying to pause it and decipher lines on a grainy/pixelized freezeframe. I ended up just giving up and doing all the exploratory cutting myself. I appreciate the offer of assistance, and will take you up on it if I hit any snags, but so far things are lining up well, just taking forever to trim little bits at a time so I don't have to make any unnecessary patch panels.
At my (arguably lower than most) ride height (tucking 1.5" of 18" rim in the back), with a wheel spacer, my 305 sidewall has 1/2" clearance to the outer fenderwell, and there's a decent inch at least of room between the inner tire sidewall and the mocked-up DSE tub. From the looks of it, a 335 should fit, but might rub under hard body roll and bump. A 315 would be a breeze to fit and shouldn't rub under any conditions. I've cut into the framerails considerably, but am happy with how the bracing is turning out.
They provide templates via a PDF you have to print out, but I noticed several of the bits, particularly the sheetmetal closeup panel between the framerail and the over-axle-trunk-floor-hump didn't offer full metal coverage. I purchased the setup knowing that I was in it for the stamped tubs, and anything more than that would be extra. You have to cut out all the metal bits yourself, and so I'm ok with making my own templates anyways, as I didn't end up cutting the metal to DSE's spec, as well as the car-to-car variance can get pretty decent I bet.
And turns out there was some rust that was almost exclusive to the inner tubs, on both sides. So even if I were to go thru all the extra effort of precise initial cutting in an effort to keep the stock tubs reusable, I'd have to repair them, not to mention clean it all up, which would've been a pain. My patience is wearing thin the longer I work on these things, haha.
Haha Greg, I would've loved to join the cruise rain or shine, but I have an excuse, and at least I used the rainy weather to get some 'garage chores' done!
Made more progress. In one day, went from rough-cut-out of driver side stock wheel tub to a fully finish-trimmed area, just awaiting wire-wheel cleaning, framerail gusset welded in, and then final install and spot weld together.
That gap at the bottom is present with the flange flush as well as the arch of the fender tub flush (altho in that pic it's just rough mocked, not full flush). Have to make a closeup piece to cover that gap as well as cover about 6" below the bottom of the DSE fender, to close up the quarterpanel area behind the wheel. Kind of surprising DSE doesn't supply a template for this closeout piece.. maybe I just cut out more than I was supposed to behind the wheel and below the trunk pan.. will never know as DSE doesn't clarify that area at all in their instructions.
On another note, passenger side is fully welded in and awaiting seam sealer and paint tomorrow.
The sealant I'm using is a Permatex body sealant, supposed to be quite flexible when dry. For paint, going to use auto store wheel well underlining, don't know too much about it but the wheel tubs will get covered in rubber and dirt anyways.
After a lot of hammering and fitment it does look at home all welded in there. I've noticed that the rear half of the flange sits nice and flush with the existing factory [outer] tub flange, but the front half (essentially from the seat/trunk bulkhead forward) there was a consistent 1/4" to 3/8" gap that I had to hammer/stretch flush in order to spot weld the DSE flange. This was consistent on driver and passenger side DSE tubs, so not sure if I was cutting incorrectly or if the DSE tub is stamped slightly off.
After a total of probably 30 sweaty hours into it to get it to this point (passenger side done, driver side needs weld in of 1 closeout panel then wheel tub is good to go in).. I would never do this or any other sheetmetal work for another person (even if paid), and I'd be borderline on doing it again to a car I owned in the future. Looking forward to just driving it already, hah.
And Mark, you missed a good thighmaster session yesterday...
Tank doesn't need to be modified for the mini-tub setup, however it is recommended to dog-ear it for tailpipe clearance. The necessity of this mod is all subjective, depends on how wide the tires are that went on, how big diameter the tailpipes are, how well-fitting the tailpipes are (generic pre-bent or custom cut & welded), and also how low the car is.
Since my car is pretty slammed, and I don't like the idea of tailpipes heating up my gas tank, I already dog-eared my tank, although I think I snipped a bit more than necessary. Oh well. Here is the modified tank:
I finished the mini-tub yesterday, it's all welded, seam sealed, and ready for paint tonight, and hopefully will make good progress on tailpipes this week, next weekend. We need to emissions test up here, and they need exhaust to go to the perimeter of the car in order to test with their sniffers, so these tailpipes need to get made before I can lower the car on the ground for good and drive. I want to start off driving it with full insurance & plates... getting 1-day temporary permits in the fall to drive it got old real quick.
Mini-tubbing is done, wheel widening is done and mounted, the roadblock currently before lowering the car to rubber is the over-axle tailpipes, which need a gas tank put back in there before I can start cutting/mocking those up, and before the tank goes back up, I wanted to redo the fuel pump wiringpass-thru, which I'll show below..
Wanted to go a fully-sealed design, so used a steel bulkhead fitting, a Delrin insert, and #8 studs for positive and negative connections..
Bulkhead fitting before trimming/boring..
Bulkhead fitting after trimming height, boring the ID, and also the Delrin insert which will be epoxied into the steel bulkhead fitting, and the #8 studs will be epoxied into the insert. The heights are offset to increase the gap between positive/negative terminals. Once the wire terminals are tightened down, each terminal will be coated in a gas-friendly, non-conducting sealer to further eliminate the chance of sparking/arc'ing.
Also was welding some v-band flanges onto the mufflers so I can hit the ground running on Saturday morning regarding tailpipe making, and got to try out the new shop welder for the first time. This thing is a beast, it makes my home Dynasty look like a fluxcore mig welder...
Mini-tub is officially done. At full compression (on bumpstops) have 3/8" clearance between outer tiresidewall and outer inner fender well, and a good 1.25" of room for tire growth for inner tire sidewall.
Made some tailpipes yesterday that I'll finish weld at work tomorrow night, and also have to shorten the front swaybar end links, and then it's ready to roll.
Not finished but I think they look kinda cool. First attempt at making over-axle tailpipes. Room was very tight but it clears everything with a good 1.5" clearance, and lots of heat wrap will be used for fuel lines.
Definitely want to take it on the road course once I'm comfortable with it and the kins are worked out, will crash some of the local import auto-x's, maybe dragstrip once just for *****, but mainly a fun street car...
On the ground, ready to drive. Except.. the ******* thing won't fire. Cranks forever, gets good fuel pressure, proper injector pulse, MAP sensor reads maxed out. I have a hard time believing the MAP sensor went screwy since the last time I drive it and it was working fine. Going to go hunting for grounds, but this goddamn thing is really starting to **** me off. Could also be a bad PCM since I'm not getting a MIL light, tach, or speedo outputs from the PCM.
Only happened once. Was driving, **** went super rich, turned it off. HPtuners scanner confirmed injectors were flowing high because MAP reading was 193kpa. Did a Reflash Write and it was fine after. Now, despite Quick Write or Write Entire, it still reads maxed MAP pressure. With the MAP sensor disconnected it reads 90kpa. Something has always been suspect with the setup because none of my gauges that are hooked up to the PCM pin outs read anything. MIL light test doesnt work, speedo doesn't work, tach doesn't work. In HPtuners tho, tach/speedo read and display accurately. I wonder if there's some circuit that at some point got fried and it's contributing to a spotty ground for the MAP sensor as well as not letting the gauge outputs work. *****.
I made all my own templates, was just easier than fiddling with DSE's templates AKA watching & re-watching the video to try and figure out exact placement. I like to trim to fit for my own application so it's 100% under my control.
I've been procrastinating making a how-to instruction on my mini-tub. I did take pics of everything.
I essentially cut all the way thru the framerail, leaving about 1/4" of thickness left, or about 1/8" gap between the inside of the inner frame rail vertical wall and the backside of where the reinforcement gusset plate wall would end up. I can't find the photos on my phone so will check my desktop when I get home tonight.
So close but so far, on the ground but just won't fire..
What a good buddy, Mark came by to help out..
The MAP sensor on the harness side wasn't getting a ground, so I checked all engine/body/PCM grounds and found this block-to-subframe ground that I had "soldered", at least so I thought..
After verifying all hard grounds were good, the MAP plug was still not getting a ground, giving the PCM (as read thru HPTuners) an inconsistent signal and more often than not a max-MAP reading regardless of all other conditions. This (I'm hoping) is the reason for why the injector pulse width was maxed out for cranking, and was flooding the cylinders so bad that the plugs were dripping wet and wouldn't even spark.I've always had a suspicion that my PCM has voodoo devils of fuckitude in it, and so cracked it open..
Found this guy. Again, supposed to be soldered but it obviously isn't. Conveniently, it's the ground reference pin for the MAP sensor plug..
Investigating the plug pins, found some more screwy stuff. All pins that are pushed out/charred are for PCM grounds. I think there was a weird back charge early on that fried the ground pin connections, so that during one of the several times that I unplugged/re-plugged the harness-PCM plugs, the pins wouldn't re-insert in the plugs and got pushed out..
Adding to this, when I check ground connectivity when HPTuners is linked up, and force-on the MIL light, the output pin does not get a ground, so I'm just going to junk this PCM and start over. Hopefully that allows it to start, as well as fixes my no-TACH-output, no-speedo-output, and no-MIL-light-ouput from the PCM.
I found a known-good PCM locally and am going to try to run it as-is, not flashed, this weekend, to see if it gives a correct injector pulse width during start-up cranking. Also going to check all the harness plug pins and re-pin the charred ground ones from the spare truck harness I have lying around. If HPtuners reads a correct (for stock truck tune) cranking injector pulse width, then I'll buy extra HPtuners credits, load my last known-good tune onto it, and hope for the best. Wish me luck.
Parts list for... engine swap? Or engine rebuild?
If you mean swap, here is the link to the pdf..
Here's my parts list for the CAR..
Wow looks like I forgot about this thread.
LOQ72NOVA.. the holed piece is the shock cross-member for my Glink rear suspension.
Small update, car still isn't running:
- got a 2nd "known good" (Mark heard it running in a van) PCM & plugged that in with zero tuning, car did identical wide-open injector pulse width no start
- measured continuity of all grounds on harness, all good
- inspected all grounding points, sanded fresh
- measured voltages/grounds for all harness wires @ PCM w/ harness connected to PCM (that sucked)
- cross-checked above w/ wiring diagram, appeared that all sensors needing 5V were getting it, ref grnd getting it, appropriate 12V all present.
- inspected HPtuners scans for PID inputs & behaviours when cranking, it appears that following sensors with scanner inputs were all good: MAP, IAT, ECT, RPM, O2's
- only sensor I couldn't check was VSS
- started unplugging each sensor one-by-one to see what, if anything, affected the scan
- got to TAC module, stupidly unplugged that, turns out that BRICKS the PCM if power is given to the PCM without TAC module connected.. oops
- when tried to start after reconnecting TAC, get a P0606 "internal PCM fault" DTC, as well as a P0207 (if my memory is correct) "TAC module error"
- remembered that at some point something physically fried the PCM (un-soldered connections, charred bits), so I'm thinking that charge could've back-traced its way into the TAC module as well, giving it some faulty reading that wasn't indicated by either a measured pin voltage or Throttle Positionon the scanner.
New "tested" TAC module & PCM on the way, hopefully that sheds some new progress... so I see this is why they invented beer!
New PCM works.. haven't bricked it yet. New TAC module (from '06 Sierra) hooks up but doesn't acknowledge my '05 DBW pedal signal and thus doesn't actuate the TB. Switched back to original TAC module with new PCM, TB responds normally. Stock tune on 3rd PCM does identical problem (rich commanded AFR).. so it's a sensor or wire issue. I believe I may have found the problem tho. TAC module/DBW pedal control the throttlebody properly, as in TB butterfly is barely cracked open at 0% pedal, and opens fully at WOT, however both Throttle Position Sensors on the TB read 1.17V/1.03V at closed, and 3.53V/3.50V at WOT.. so there's definitely something screwy with the position sensors. Kindof very strange for both to be bad. Wonder if something physical in the rotating sensor bit got screwed causing both sensor pickups to be offset/bad. Voltages were measured against both a known-good ground as well as the reference low voltage lines, and the 5V reference power lines measure a good 5V.
Getting real tired of this car's ****, it's getting costly with 2 new PCM's, 2 sets of HPTuner credits for the their VIN's, as well as a (apparently unnecessary) new TAC module, and now a new throttlebody. Everybody fingers crossed this does the trick.
Nothing new with the car. A while back I probed all the harness pins and recorded the voltages or grounds for all 160 harness-PCM pin connections. This past weekend I started labeling what each measured reading actually corresponds to on the wiring diagram, so I can see what voltage was meant for what sensor, etc, but then gave up. I've reached the limit of the minimal-teardown diagnosing I can do... time to pull the full harness and inspect each wire, inch-by-inch. There's something physically screwy, and all the sensors I confirmed work by reading them on the computer. This'll end up being a fall/winter project. I'm now focusing on getting my motorbike back on the road to enjoy what little nice weather we likely have left.
It would be great if I had an extra harness, that's actually a really good idea. Is yours a mod'd stock or aftermarket harness? I could bench test a different harness in the engine bay (does that make it hood-testing? haha) if it's just as simple as a constant 12V, switched 12V, and chassis ground, then I'd try that before I'd de-loom it and strip it all apart. At the same time, there's something screwy with my harness and to fix and re-use it, I still have to pull the whole thing to inspect it.
My old stock harness has been pillaged to bits, but maybe I'll wait for you to pull yours. This thing isn't going to be driven until this is fixed, and there's no longer a big rush because the weather will be **** for the next bunch of months. I'll look into the shipping cost both ways if you can PM me you location. If it's not too bad I might just do that. But we'll be in touch regarding it.
I haven't ripped anything out yet so I'll have to check if at cranking the TB is just barely cracked open AKA idle, or if it is opened a fair amount for increased airflow, I can't remember. If it's just idle or barely cracked, I could leave DBW TB in place or hold it slightly open. I'm just wondering what happens on the PCM side when it doesn't get a complete circuit from the servo, only gets a TPS signal. That's if the '02 LS plug even connects to my DBW TB.. which I highly doubt it would. Likely still have to connect an LS1 TB, maybe see if I can borrow an LS1 one from somewhere. I'll look into it.
Nope no progress. Needed to take a couple months off from it. Re-motivated now to get working on it but have been sick the last couple weekends so no go on garage time. Decided to pull the full harness and inspect every wire inch-by-inch to see what's up. Started a good chunk of it under the hood a couple weekends ago and hoping this coming weekend to crawl under the dash and fish it all thru the firewall.
Earlier in the fall when I needed the break, I got another thing to tinker with. W250 4x4 5spd no rust, intercooled 12V all mechanical... direct opposite of the Nova. Partly out of frustration of the wiringissues, but mainly because awesome.
Thanks for the encouraging words! I'm no longer discouraged, been long enough. I know I'll get it fixed eventually.. just that day can't come soon enough.
In lieu of dicking with electrically stuff, I've gone back to something I know I can do.. making stuff. I want to put the old rear 275's on the front, and the fact that the front fenders are about 1" skinnier than a 1st gen Camaro, and that widening rims costs good $$ (and I want to be exact), and also that I want to know exactly how much I'll need to notch my subframe.. I'm making a fake rim, AKA rim-mockup-tire-holding thingy. Gotta keep the audience entertained, so some pics from last night..
Hilariously oversized vernier calipers..
Mocking up the sidewall profile/stretch..
Getting a bit messy..
Thanks! Welded the main two plates last night, and scrounged together some screws, so hope to assemble it on the tire when it becomes beer time later this afternoon!
As for the frame, it's a prototype that a colleague designed and we just started making. Before that we just finished making the prototypes of the frame I'm currently working on.
Just for the hell of it, this is the last frame I worked on that is now for sale for the 2014 model year..
Thanks! I'm happy with how that frame turned out.
I didn't post more of the motorbike cuz there were a couple complaints that this is my "car build thread"
In other news, the tire holder.. holds.. let the fun begin!
Maybe just alcoholic. That's functional enough to do other things as well..
I was actually laying most of it out like that to organize things, and happened to have the laptop booting up, so though "eh, why not make a nice little pic here."
Installing boost control and rough wiring tonight. Gotta make a ECU mounting plate, as well as clean up my gauge sensor wiring and figure my user-programmable Dominator I/O's. Going to tidy things up under the dash with those metripack connectors, as well as run VSS, fuel press, oil press, and maybe oil temp into the ECU so I can do neat computer calculation doohickies. This Holley program is quite impressive, so much versatility....
Rifled thru the old "body harness" and gauge sensor wiring tonight.. what the hell was I thinking when I wired that **** 3 years ago. Funny how much work ethic & mental process paradigm can change in that amount of time. With the metripack connectors I'll be making a "ECU harness power connector" and "auxiliary I/O connectors" which will lead to a gauge-only sub harness for gauge sensors into ECU main harness, then a secondary plug for output from harness to gauges. Some wires will be a direct patchover from gauge sensor input to gauge output (coolant temp, boost, oil temp, fuel level), and some will input into the ECU for calculations, then be re-outputed to gauges (oil pressure, fuel pressure, speedo, wideband). This should create a clean point A-to-C [sensor to ECU), B-to-C (body power to ECU) and C-to-D (ECU to gauge panel) set of wiring. Damn age-old adage of "do it right the first time" is holding true.. if only I were this forward-thinking a couple years ago.
Sorry Mark, burnouts in front of your house will be delayed a bit longer, but at least that gives the snow time to melt..
Well it's rainy as hell up here, which means for the first Friday in a while, I stay in and keep it low-key... wiring.
Since I'm at it doing a whole new wiring setup, the old cobbled-together wiring from 2.5 years ago (knowingly didn't care as much as I should've because I just wanted to drive it already) just cannot be tolerated anymore. Starting with dash, which will then work back to body-side wiring (essentially bat +12V, switchable 12V, and lights/signal indicators), and also branches back to gauges in/out from ECUand gauge sub-harness bundle.
So far I'm happy with the little clean-up progress I made, as well as the overall plan I have for it in my head.
Also de-loomed the harness and started moving the sensor plugs to more appropriate loom-exit locations for nicer engine fit-up. Also moving the switchable/battery wires, ECU I/O, and fuseblocks further up the harness closer to the ECU, as they came exiting the loom practically in the engine bay.
What a mess, this has gotta be dealt with..
Ahhhh *sigh of relief*. This lower 3-pack of gauges has to be removable because the top lip of it covers two of the stock-plastic-dash install screws (3-pack bracket then screws into the plastic dash underside). A pleasant sign of things to come..
Holley wiring harness is re-organized including connections to body & gauges, and the sensor sub-harness and body power/lights are all re-wired/plugged. Just waiting on my passport to go pick up a Holley boost sensor and several other "goodies" from across the border. Hoping to do that early next week. Once I connect the Holley wastegate dome pressure sensor, all wiring is ready to be dropped into car..
Thanks. I'd say I probably have about 15 hours into all the wiring. The majority of work was splicing/soldering/heatshrinking along with figuring out all the proper lengths for multiple wires going to the same plug.. and testing. The actual plug pin crimping was super easy and quick after learning on a couple test wires. It wasn't necessary to spend as much time on the Holley-harness side as I did, but I wanted to make sure each plug had the proper amount of length going to it from where I marked my "firewall-pass-thru location" to be, without there being excess length needing bundling that cluttered behind/under the manifold, firewall, etc.
The Holley electronic boost control system uses a MAP sensor (pre-tuned sensor values are programmed in for either a Holley branded one or a GM-part-number-specific one, or user-defined) so I'm re-using my GM 2.5bar MAP, but it also needs a compressor pressure value from before the TB, and I'm unsure of my Speedhut boost gauge sensor enough that I don't want to fiddle with user-defined values/offsets in the Holley program, especially for finely-controlled boost. The Holley sensor will connect to the pressure-reference-signal side of the wastegate (wrote BOV before for some stupid reason, obviously that was wrong) aka the "dome".. which is just the top.
It's awesome how flexible the Holley system is. Any free ECU-side pin (AKA isn't dedicated to main harness function) is tunable. You just highlight the pin # on the computer program and select from the following:
- 'hi' +12V trigger signal (4.5V-24V range)
- 'lo' ground trigger input
- 0-20V sensor input
- 0-5V sensor input
- specific thermocouple input (select pre-tuned values from dropdown menu)
- frequency input (select pre-tuned values for usage, including VSS)
- 'high' power switchable +12V
- 'lo' power switchable ground
- PWM +12V
- PWM ground
Once you physically connect a pin, you look at the pinout map in the program, and you drag and drop "pre programmed" signal input/output functions (dome pressure sensor signal, VSS, etc) onto the pin # on, and it's programmed!
In the end it did add up to a bit more than I was hoping, but oh well. $1500 for Dominator ECU, $300 for the main harness, $100 for injector sub harness, $100 for DBW sub harness, $100 for Holley-specific WB sensor, $100 for boost solenoid, $100 for boost sensor. I could've fiddled and pinned in my existing Innovate standalone WB controller, and fiddled/coded my Speedhut boost sensor to work with the ECU to save some money, but in the end I decided I didn't want to introduce potential errors with custom settings for WB and boost control, and potentially compromise the precision of the system for the sake of saving $200, since the whole reason I shelled out all this cash for a new setup was for a pre-configured "happy" whole system.
Made it to Asia and back without pulling a 370, so wrapped up (literally) the harness tonight. If I have enough energy tomorrow night might go and install it so I can mock up Holley ECU holding bracket. Either way I'll be in the garage on Saturday doing the cam swap and rad install.
Happy to have all the plugs at their neat & proper minimum required lengths and branch locations. Other than running out of big-diameter loom, almost looks like it came this way..
Haha, funny guys. I'm definitely running out of projects, that's for sure.
Started the ECU bracket yesterday, going to mock it up in the car today to figure out how to orient the to-body support struts. It'll be mounted vertically, with plugs pointing down, between the heaterbox and the glovebox. This ECU is massive.. gotta be about 13" long and a good 7 or 8 lbs.
The supporting bracket isn't too crazy.. 3/4" rectangular alu tube with 0.065" wall.. very light. The overall size of the ECU is likely due to all the extra auxiliary plugs, and their required circuit board(s), which requires bigger alu case, which requires more filling, etc.. slippery slope. It's slim so it'll tuck nicely the way I want it to.. trick will be getting the angles of supporting struts right to re-use some existing holes under the dash.
I knew my current/old rad was on the small side, but forgot how much so.. quite surprising it was even able to keep this thing cool at all..
The Griffin rad has a higher top left outlet and lower bottom inlet, so if the old setup was in a "neutral position", I'm going to have to shift the new rad down so that the top left outlet still tucks under my intercooler ->throttlebody charge pipe, but not so low that the hose to the bottom left inlet is at a crazy angle, or that my large single (14" I think?) fan hits my turbo hot side cross-over pipe. Will be a lot of trial test fitting. Dual 10" fans might be the easiest way to go so I can slam the rad down low and not worry about the edge of a large single fan's shroud coming close to or hitting the heat shield on my turbo cross-over pipe. Also I'll have to angle cut/weld the top left outlet to better redirect it. Arg
Got the old radiator shroud bent up and re-purposed to fit on the new rad. Still have to weld close-out plates for the exposed upper corners of the shroud, and figure out where the new radiator-coresupport brackets will be before I weld tabs onto the radiator to mount the shroud to.
In other news, this is ridiculous cool...
Prettymuch all the crap had to come off for this cam swap, oh well, it'll be worth it.
Just about to pull out old cam..
Beautiful little piece of turned automotive jewelry. It's going to make such glorious sounds..
New cam all lubed up and going in. I got as far as cam gear cover loosely tightened on, but the new ATI damper has less of an initial counterbore step on the hub ID, as well as a claimed tighter pressfit, so I couldn't get it to initially slide on enough for the stock GM crank bolt to engage the crank threads. Going to cut the stock bolt and weld on some 3/4" rod to turn it into an installer stud, then a new bolt for final torque. Even though this northern wintery land of Canadia is all metric and stuff, I haven't the faintest idea where to look for 16mm threaded rod, so I'll just modify what I have to work.
Made the ATI damper installation tool made, just welded on some standard 3/4" threaded rod.. I think I used half a filler rod just for this one weld, haha. Now I just have to go to the friggin stealership to get a new crank bolt.
Also made a bit more progress on mounting this behemoth of an ECU. When I stalled out on the installation of the ATI damper I mocked up the ECU in its final tucked position under the dash. It's so heavy it's hard to take a pic just holding it there, but if these tack-welded brackets transferred over ok from my cardboard templates, then this should be final-welded and ECU bolted into the car this week.
Added a 3rd brace point (to the sheetmetal hidden underneath the dash pad) for the ECU and got it mounted.. it's in a similar location as old GM one, but more accessible (shifted more to passenger side) and there is still room to fab/install a glovebox.. at a later date.
Finished modifications to the old fan shroud, including a clean-up air powered Scotchbrite belting..
These next pics show the 3D contouring of the top corners, partially to look neat kindof like a molded plastic shroud, but mainly to turn the downward-angled top bend into a flat surface I could use to mount the shroud to the rad..
I cut/tapped/welded 4 strips of 3/8" aluminum to the top and bottom channels on the rad, so that the rear 4 sets of threaded holes mount the shroud, and the front set are what the frameside brackets secure to..
Cutting off the old rad brackets, grinding, sanding, and welding new brackets on. I HATE having to do this dirty metal work on the car, much prefer creating a mess in the shop on a bench. So I tried to make it as sanitary as possible. Kindof looks like a patient having heart surgery, haha..
Rad being mocked up. After these pics I welded in bolt-on strips to the rad support, but I still need to make some aluminum L-brackets to connect the rad and the rad support.
I really hate how short-nosed the Nova is. I thought the old rad/fan setup was tight to the hotside pipes, but shoe-horning this new setup definitely needed some bending & black magic.
This rad hose info might not be applicable to many of you, since I made a connecting tee for my upper hose to tee in the vent line, and that allowed me to only have to worry about each 90* end section individually, and I could fab the tee however I needed, but I'll still throw this up here with part numbers.
The LS waterpump upper outlet is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.25-1.375" OD I think, but my new Griffin rad needed a 1.5" upper hose and whatever size I had wouldn't stretch, so here's what I found.
This is a neat s-bend, both ends are 1.5" ID, one end is just under 90* natural bend, the other end is just over 90* natural bend. Dayco part number 72112..
I also picked up this hose, which is the one I ended up using. The two bends are in different planes, but both ends are 1.5" ID, and the nice thing is both ends have different radii of bends. I ended up using the right end with a gentler bend for nice flow, and because I could afford the space, but in a super-tight engine swap case, the left side with the super tight bend might be the ticket. Dayco part number 70469..
This lower rad hose is the money-maker easy button one that could probably help a lot of people, or at least short-nosed Nova people with a Griffin or other rad that has a larger-than-stock outlet diameter. Stock LS waterpump lower inlet is 1.5" OD I believe, and my Griffin has a 1.75" lower outlet. This hose was prettymuch a perfect fit. Dayco part number 72183..
Old 1.5"-1.5" hose vs new 1.75"-1.5" hose..
My rad shroud is ~ 1/2"-5/8" off the rad core, and shroud can't move back more due to turbo crossover piping, and rad can't move forward more due to intercooler, which can't move due to grill(already clearance trimmed) and bumper. Also, open area of rad has improved since previous rad setup, but half the area is still blocked by the intercooler, so I'll be relying on the fan 90% for cooling abilities.
Been struggling with throttle error codes on the Holley setup, but I discovered you can tap into and display every sensor input, so after swapping out a seemingly-bad old throttlebody (variable resistance on TPS #2 was ok, but the variable voltage was dead.. likely tha the input +5V connection to potentiometer got fried), and swapping some wires, I got the codes to go away.
In the Holley software there are neat drop-down selections for what throttlebody calibration to use (5 or 6 popular GM/Ford/Nissan throttlebodies), and so you'd think that as say the TB was changed from an LS2 to LS1 type (6pin vs 8 pin, same-direction-TPS-1-and-2-sweep vs inverted-sweep) then the ECU-internal wiring logic would recognize and compute accordingly.. nope. First I had to hardware splice an extra set of +5V/ref low wires from the 6pin LS2-TB-intended harness to a new 8pin plug for my old 8pin truck TB. Then I had to swap the "conventional" direction of the TPS #2 polarity because for the truck TB, the TPS#2 sweeps in the opposite direction of TPS#1. It was throwing codes with the plug previously wired "correctly" even when the tune was programmed for either type of TB and thus TPS-sweep-direction. Another thing, the error codes "error(5)", "error(8)", "error(9)" are assigned completely arbitrarily accoridng to a Holley electrical engineer, thru the Holley tech help guy.. and the codes have absolutely no meaning for reference/troubleshooting.. hmm.
Anyways. Got the codes fixed, all sensors check out, except for now the ECU is only recognizing the pedal travel up to 10%, then deadheads for the rest of the pedal travel, even tho the APP (AccelerationPedal Position) voltages increase accordingly to WOT. Another call to Holley tomorrow.. dammit...
So re-wired my brake pedal switch, and managed to get both APP sensors in the pedal to recognize full pedal sweep (0% pedal -> 100% pedal is: 0.96V -> 4.3V for APP#1, and 0.48V -> 2.14V for APP#2).
At the same time, now that the ECU doesn't think I'm trying to mash the pedal while brake is applied (anti-brakestand programming, much?), the TB position sensor reads 0% -> 100% with TPS#1 reading 1.2V -> 4.32V, and TPS#2 reading 3.88V -> 0.74V.
Time for another call to Holley.. so damn close!!
Pedal @ 0% (closed):
Holley ecu/harness/pedal/throttlebody are on their way back to Holley. My tune seems good, my pedal is good, my throttlebody tests good for variable resistance & variable voltage on both TPS's, but for some reason upon cranking the signal voltage on TPS#2 jumps higher than its fully-closed voltage, and Holley can't figure it out from my data logs. I've wired the TB plug in numerous test ways to create same-direction TPS voltage sweeps, inverse direction the proper way as well as swapped, and probed all grounds, 5V refs, signal voltages, and reference voltage drops, and everything seems to check out when the key is just in RUN, as well as checked cranking 12V continuity. Arg!
Warning: this post is NOT CAR RELATED.
Ok, while I've waiting for back-and-forth communications with Holley, got my bike back on the road. Since it was running last summer I replaced the broken shift-lever-return spring, cleaned/brushed the sidecovers, put a smaller headlight on it, and also a **** ton of modifications to fit a 2005 R1 4pot caliper on the front. The caliper backside hit the spokes, so.. spacer to move the rotor out from the spokes -> spacers to space the fork legs -> upper/lower crowns chopped/plated/welded wider for the widened fork leg spacing, and a custom bracket for the caliper too.
So the harness/ECU/pedal/throttlebody have all been sent back to Holley. From what we can figure, the problem has been singled down to TPS#2 in the throttlebody getting an "over-voltage" upon cranking. As in when the TB cycles from closed to open from the pedal input, it goes ~4.5V closed to ~0.75V WOT, but when the TB moves during cranking the TPS spikes to 4.8V, so the ECU thinks the TB is closed even further past 0% throttle.
Holley has been very good with communication, deciphering my tune/logs, and even exporting me the raw data files for whichever sensors I ask for, so I can plot various relationships in Excel. Hoping they can figure out the issue when they bench test it on their engine, as well as swapping out known-good parts that they have.
In other news, I went and bought an entire interior for the car, so that's something to do while Holley figures it out for me.
I've been talking back and forth with them, turns out that my truck TB operates differently than all the more modern TB's they have the system calibrated for, as well as my TB part number being erroneously included in the drop-down menu of "approved TB calibrations" even tho there isn't a specifically different calibration for the voltage and sweep directions.. so it was a number of factors adding up to it not passing internal safety checks and calculations. They said they got it running after changing a couple things but I haven't heard on when they plan to ship it back to me.. hopefully soon. I was emailing an electrical engineer directly for the better part of a week.. so it was cool to be getting legit technical answers since I'm also a more technical person.
Just in time for monsoon season to start.
Lowered the target idle speed to 850 and corrected the target AFR.. that lope!!
To put full plates on it it needs an emissions inspection.. a program which is disappearing come Jan 1, 2015.. so thinking save myself the hassle of day permit, then inspection (still have to pay for), then back to insurance office, just to have plates on it until Dec 31.. I'm on the fence whether I care enough. It kinda rains a lot up here in the PNW.
I drove the car hard for a handful of days and at some point the oil pressure dropped enough to cause a bit of damage, however I never noticed it dip below 25psi at idle (I knew that was uncomfortably low anyways).
I was wondering what was up with the rattling, occasional metallic banging, very brief poof of smoke, and lack of boost on the last day I drove it. I figure this may all have started with my extreme low oil pressure from the screwed mains way back before I rebuilt the engine, and under varying loads, boosts, temperature, and accel/decel spooling cycles it just destroyed the turbo journal bearing.
Couple updates.. regarding the "upgrade" to the 2.25"-thick-core Griffin rad, the single 2700cfm 16" fan simply didn't have the pulling power to pull air thru the 3" intercooler in front of it, then also thru the rad and have enough velocity thru the rad fins to cool the coolant (not cooling below 230*F on even on highway-speed pulls). Also, with where my hotside pipe from the passenger side exhaustmanifold looped forward and down in front of the waterpump, there wasn't enough room to locate a 2nd fan, as the fan motor would interfere with the hotside pipe.
I had to resort back to the previous thinner rad and run dual 1750cfm fans.. which seems to keep the engine running consistently cool at ~185-190*F after boosty pulls to quick stops on the street. Idling it was holding about 175*F.
To get maximum clearance of passenger side fan to the hotside pipe, I reverse mounted the fan from the inside of the shroud, and clearance cut out the plastic ring between the mounting tabs, to allow airflow between the mounting tabs. The pictures will make it make more sense..
Also picked up my new turbo on Dec 24.. merry xmas to me!! I also got a 800hp Mcleod twin plate RST clutch, a bigger 46mm Precision wastegate, and a turbo blanket. The turbo magically dropped right into the piping I had fabricated around the TC76, so no T4 flange or downpipe vband flange mods were needed. Since the outer diameter of the turbine housing is bigger and closer to the hood, I got the turbo blanket. Finally, the all-important turbo stats are: PTE 7675 CAE CHRA 0.96 A/R.. oi what a mouthful. Translation: billed compressor wheel, ceramic bb center section, and a ceramic coated turbine housing. This thing is gonna be silly.
Install is complete. Ended up being a direct bolt-in on the turbine side which was super awesome, but I did have to make a 3" u-pipe connecting the 3" compressor housing to the intercooler (ignore the temporary gross-looking blue silicone couplers!) where the previous Turbonectics TC76 had a 2.5" compressor outlet, 2.5" u-pipe, and step-up coupler to 3" intercooler inlet.
Started it up and with the BB turbo (with factory Precision oil restricor) the engine was giving 55psi cold oil pressure, 45psi warm, and almost 90psi when revving the engine.. hooray!
Well the car has full insurance and plates on it for the first time since.. 2006! I daily drove it for about a full week after putting plates on it.
It passed all the required tests:
- drivethru test
- grocery-getting test
- "four spare tires in the trunk" test
- idling and other car guys think "just got a tree-fitty in it" test
- 3rd and 4th gear "highway passing power" test
- "cops drive by it without a second glance or suspicion" test
But then.. the Aeromotive 340 fuel pump fails and leaves me stranded. Need to pull the tank and see if it's the in-tank pump ground or power wiring that's failed, or the pump itself that failed. Either way I have two Walbro 255's on the way so this doesn't happen again. At least the tow truck driver was a cool old timer with a ton of musclecar stories, and was respectful/careful with the car and good with the truck boom..
Not much to update. When I got the car off the ground to replace the fuel pump (with 2 more 300lph pumps) I decided to put on high-clearance control arms for the future-planned front rim widening and subframe notching. I decided to do this now because I wanted the front end to sit lower, and the only way to do that would've been to modify my previous standard-clearance control arms.. so decided to sell those and just work over the new arms which I knew I would be getting in the future anyways. The new arms are flat (no droop like old ones, for more rim inner lip clearance) so in order to get the car to sit where I want.. modify brand new arms for correct lower shock mounts.. yayyy!
Start of the L-bracketry for the lower mounts. Wanted at least one side to have mechanical purchase on the existing control arm plate, so that the brackets weren't relying 100% on fillet welds in tension (not that I don't trust my welding skills.. just a safety factor)...
Because of the new angle of the coilovers (lower mounts moved outboard to a 1.45:1 shock-wheel motion ratio from a stock control arm ratio of ~1.75:1), the upper edge of the coil spring would interfer with the stamped sheet metal of the stock subframe spring pocket, as well as the outer diameter of the coil massively interfering with the pass-thru hole in the subframe. So I cut!
This also involved making new upper spring perches for the coil on the shock body to drop that upper outer edge of the coil spring down ~1/2" to clear the spring pocket on the subframe..
Needs to be about 1/4"-3/8" higher in the front with trimmed fender lips, and about 1/4" lower in the back. It has a bloody 1.2* stinkbug rake.. it's gonna drive me nuts but I'll just have to deal with it for now and drive it. And have to move the diff forward to center the rear wheels in the wheel wells. oi...
The only two vehicles which I have insurance on are deliciously contrasting...
So I've been fiddling with the car for a while.. not really LS stuff but since all the work I've ever done to this thing is in this thread, I might as well update.
FINALLY got around to putting a carpet in after however many years of just Dynamat on the floor. I originally tried using a repro carpet with little hopes of it actually working, and of course it didn't fit because I raised the trans/driveshaft tunnel to 10"+ above the floorpan. Had to order some yardage of 40" wide 80/20 black look carpet, with a decently thin and flexible rubber backing to it..
I tried as hard as I could to get it to be 1 piece width-wise with just cut reliefs and heat it to conform around curves, but it just wasn't looking as good as I had hoped, so I decided to make it up from patch panels. I used sticky-backed Velcro to stick one side of the Velcro to the floor, and the other side used as a joining agent. I also used small patches of Velcro to keep the floor pinned down in various areas to prevent lifting or rippling..
Overall I'm pretty happy with how the joints ended up looking...
I did end up making a non-hidden seam separating the forward width-wise strip and the rearward width-wise strip, and covered the exposed edge with vinyl end trim to give it a bit of a 60's era look..
All done after 20+ hours!
Since the carpet was out of the way, I could finally put in panels and stuff, as I didn't want to install anything scratchable before the carpet was in as I knew I'd be going in and out of the car a shitload of times while doing the carpet.
Reminder of how I installed hidden retractors for the seatbelts..
Nothing like cutting right into brand new stuff..
Luckily it worked out well. The trim pieces are from the rear seatbelts on a 90's Isuzu Trooper (where the belt goes thru side paneling into hidden retractors)...
I also wanted to upgrade the power steering pump to a newer lower-flow GM Type II pump, as the stock truck pump felt like it was overpowering the box a bit giving a vague feeling, as well as being massively squeely and annoying despite my best bleeding efforts. And the ancient Saginaw P pump with its cast aluminum bracketry was massively heavy!
Did any of the info in this post help?..
LQ4 into a 3rd Gen/1972 Nova
The fans are this unit:
I've found real inconsistencies with "thickness" measurements on Summit, with prettymuch every fan being 2.1"+ thick. Some of the more expensive "slim" fans are even thicker than this one! The fans are reasonably loud, but once the hood is closed and I'm out on the road, even in traffic, I can hardly hear them. I idled in a bunch of traffic with ambient temperature being pretty hot and ECT never creeped above 200*F. Any movement whatsoever and it dropped quickly.
There is about 1/2" clearance between my [heat-protective taped] fan motor and the heat shield. I haven't experienced any fan issues or any plastic melting, so will see how long it lasts.
It is pretty thin.. just a single-row's thickness, so we'll see how it handles. I really don't have any room for a thicker rad unless I completely change the intercooler configuration and/or move it somewhere else in the engine bay.. these stupid Nova's have so little forward room!
In other news.. it finally happened! It was so fun to FINALLY line up next to Mark window-to-window after all these damn years haha..
Haha yeah it's working well now. Just been driving it around, to work, groceries, late night fun etc. I may auto-x it but no road course yet since it doesn't have a sway bar anymore. I'll be waiting until winter to fabricate a new narrower 3-piece sway bar at the same time that I widen the front wheels and [likely] notch the subframe. And also remake my exhaust from turbo-back in 3.5" stainless to replace the restrictive 2.5" temporary setup I'm running now. I can now hit 16psi of boost whenever I want, but the car starts pulling less and less after 4500.. I've really started to notice how much the exhaust is choking it up. Oh well at least I can drive it!
So the girlfriend was asking whatever happened to "that internet post about your car" and I realized, I haven't posted on here in a while. I guess no news is good news.. just been driving it tons the summer/fall. The Nova's name is Roxie and she likes adventures.
She likes hanging out with her friends..
She has a crush on this blue stunner. I won't tell Mark though..
She likes to show off her big booty...
She's okay with being used to go get tools and other cool errands...
..but she prefers to run beer errands instead...
Sometimes she gets caught in the rain, but she doesn't seem to mind getting wet...
Other times she gets abused on long hill climbs for the reward of nice views...
But mainly she just likes being used after so many years of being garaged!
Thanks! It took me a long *** time to get the static stance where I had always envisioned it with no rubbing during bump/articulation or cheating with airbags.
The only time I ever scrape is cresting up and over the hill at the top end of the alley behind my parents' house, but going over speedbumps or raised manholes it's never an issue. Ill measure it but I believe I have 4-4.5" ground clearance across the floor.
I don't recall the fender lip height measurements off the top of my head so can measure those for you too, but I don't have full turning lock.. maybe only 3/4 of the factory turning radius. To help with this I could:
- more negative camber (don't want to since it's a street car)
- higher front rim offset (don't want to since the track width looks spot on IMO)
- raise the front of the car (haha.. NOPE)
- trim the inner lip of the fenders (have been meaning to do this all year but just too lazy)
I just like DBW for sure! It's easier to do cable TB, but this way it's all wiring and no extra holes in the firewall or a mechanical pivot.. I have the DBW pedal bolted to an aluminum plate, which is then separately bolted to the firewall with standoff spacers so I can totally fine tune the location of the pedal in all directions relative to the brake pedal.. it only took 2 tries to get the pedal exactly where I want it!
Since I've received a bunch of positive comments on the ride height of the car, and with Kirk's ride height question, I thought I'd post here my suspension fiddlings from this afternoon.
I jacked the car up level and supported it on 2x4 "stands", but with the front wheels on swivel caster'd dollies, and cycled thru the steering to take clearance measurements and find steering angle for full lock both left and right. At the ride height I have been driving all of 2015 (front fender lip 22 5/8" and rear fender lip 21 7/8"), the steering angle was ~21* before the tire outer sidewall would rub on the fender inner lip.
I then jacked up the car the required amount (only 0.25" higher) to achieve full mechanical steeringlock at the same point that the tire outer sidewall touched the fender inner lip. This only improved the steering angle to ~25* both direction lock-to-lock limited by the steering box.
This is all with untrimmed fender inner lips, using a 12.7:1 power steering box with [EDITED: long 6.0" slow ratio manual steering arms and short 5.25" manual pitman/idler arms].
The wheels used for all of these measurements are 235/45/18 tires on 18x8" rims with equivalent backspacing of 4.75" ("equivalent backspace" value takes into account the 0.75" aluminum slip-on spacer I have on it).
Here are all the measurements I took for the "2015 driving ride height" and "raised" conditions. There's a bunch of info in here but it does include the tire clearances for the 235/45/18 tires to the subframe for the listed steering angles:
Good to talk to you again! How goes the Camaro?
What steering box do I have? Good question... I think it's a 1st gen Camaro 12:7:1 box, but that was ordered off of eBay probably a good 10 years ago so who knows if that's accurate.
What's next for the Nova is a whole shitload of things that I've needing to do for a while, like rewiring the speedo output from ECU to make it actually work, remake exhaust in 3" or 3.5" stainless oval from downpipe to rear quarters, finish my modifications of the front bumper brackets to make the bumper level, get a high-flow BOV, grease all suspension pivots, rewire oil cooler fan relay, and a whole bunch of other stuff that are small or that I'm forgetting.
Of course I ignore all that as I have already been doing, and I'm gearing up to stuff 275's on the front. For my ride height I simply can't bump the wheels outboard any more, so I'll widen inwards 1.5" bringing the rim up to 9.5" total width. This will make the rim inner lip interfere with the outer tie rod end. I'm prettymuch mimicking the Ridetech TruTurn by using flipped G-body steering arms that raise the outer TRE's up 2". Of course this means the inner TRE's need to go up as well, but I also want to minimize the bumpsteer so I'm making a bumpsteer gauge to check. I'll tack-weld a plate onto the top of the drag link, and clamp the inner TRE in various new X & Y locations to test which yields the least bumpsteer at my low ride height, with the new G-body steering arms. Once a location is found, I'll weld 3/4" plate to the drag link, add a center reinforcement ridge to the top of the drag link and extra gusset plates etc to ensure strength, then drill & ream the inner TRE tapers.
Since the outer TRE goes up 2", of course this puts it exactly where the caliper is. My 13" rotors are getting worn, and I've wanted a bit of a step up in braking power especially since I'll have more front rubber, so I'll kill two birds with one stone.. make a new half caliper bracket for the Wilwoods to not only rotate up to clear the raised TRE, but also radially out for the bigger rotor. Phewf that's a lot of work!
Initial measuring of what was in my last post..
Front of tire clearance at full mechanical box lock..
Back of tire clearance at full mechanical box lock..
Back of tire clearance at full mechanical box lock..
Start of the bumpsteer gauge, still need to make a T-bar platform for the two dial indicators needed, as well as accurately scribe lines onto the aluminum guide plates...
But scrub radius! Also.. that means I'd have to touch the body for bodywork.. and I'm hastily avoiding that task.
I'll leave my aspirations of widebody awesomeness to a future project.. an e30 bimmer done up boxy 80's DTM style like this Lancia was...
I started plotting out points the other night.. will continue that tonight or on the weekend.
I'm curious what the scrub is too. David Pozzi posted that the SAI for this front suspension (1st gen F-body & X-body) is 8.75*. Apparently the convergence point for the lower control arms on our Nova's might be different than on the Camaro's.. someone was measuring the differences between a 1st gen Camaro subframe and a Nova subframe and noted that the angles and locations of the pivot holes for the LCA's were different.. David Pozzi thought that maybe this was because the convergence point was designed to be at the rear diff center, and since a Nova is longer this meant the LCA lower pivot axle is at a lower angle relative to the center plane of the car. If true this would be beneficial for us Nova guys since the "67-69 Camaro and 68-74 Nova" control arms are likely designed off a Camaro subframe, giving our Nova's more static caster and dynamic caster gain when the Camaro arms are used on our Nova subframes. Anyway who knows if this is actually true or even makes a difference..
Got the bumpsteer gauge dial indicator guide plates scribed and leveled. After the cutting and drilling of everything, and bolting the two 8mm aluminum plates to the 2"x1/4" angle iron support, one plate was only out of parallel by 0.05" from +3" to -3" of wheel travel as scribed, and the other plate was 0.010" difference which I bench vise flexed back to about 0.003" total out-of-flat.. this will be more than good enough.
For supporting the two dial indicators, I found drill rod at work that I'll mount both dial indicators to, then mount to a single magnetic dial indicator stand which is stuck on a big heavy steel block as the base.
Finished the bumpsteer gauge today and gave it a whirl.. it was pretty sturdy so I'm quite confident in the measurements +/-0.005". I measured a shitload of toe out (total, not just one side) under bump... 3/4" from ride height to full 2.5" shock compression!! Even at 1/2" compression from ride height it toe'd out 0.140"! Needless to say, this will need to be addressed. I also scraped the internets for as much camber/bumpsteer data as I could find for 1st gen Camaro's. Got some good stock 1st gen Camaro data form David Pozzi's site, but I found a slew of contradictory data on Ridetech's site.. every different setup they measured toe's IN under bump and not out like what I measured as well as David's measurements of his '67 and a '69. I'll just let the graphs below speak for themselves, and some pics at the very bottom showing my bumpsteer setup at full compression, ride height, and full droop [EDIT: this must be due to where the TruTurn bolt-on drag link plate vs knuckle steering arm relocate locations end up relative to each other.. I bet the outer TRE end is moved up less than the inner TRE, resulting in a toe-in conditon as wheel travel is bumped up].
No worries Jesse.. glad that the info/experience I've gained and shared can help others.
In other news, I found a video from September of a little fun...
Happy to oblige, hehe. It likes to be abused..
I realized that there was only so much vertical room I'd have for moving the inner tie rod end up as on the passenger side it would hit my turbo oil drain line into the oil pan, if I moved the inner TRE up the approx. 2" that the Ridetech TruTurn kit does. I also discovered that I had the manual steering slow ratio 6.0" long steering arms. Not only would using the Gbody steering arms (to copy TruTurn) require moving the inner TRE up too much, I measured the steering arms at around 5.5" long.. so I decided to search for quick ratio power steering Fbody arms. I found a set on eBay, they are 5.18" long so will give me the quickest turning, but still retain 3" drop in order to keep the amount the inner TRE has to go up to a reasonable amount. The short 5.18" length is also enough to tuck the outer TRE inside the rim hoop with about 3/8"" radial clearance
Starting fiddling with moving inner tie rod end upwards to see approx how much it would need to be raised to improve bumpsteer.. first guess was 5/8" (16mm) and it got close but overshot a bit and got toe in under compression. I then reduced the relocation to 9/16" (14mm) above stock location and got the total toe change to 0.078" total toe out under 2.5" compression.
Check the pics for how I was moving the inner TRE around. 5/8" bolt thru a heim (only for experiments) into an aluminum block, then smaller 5/16" bolt that goes thru the drag link. I intentionally used a smaller bolt thru the tapered hole in the drag link to give me a couple millimeters of adjustment room for fiddling. On the other end of the aluminum block I'm going to drill the 5/16" hole at 15mm vertical offset to split the difference of the above two experiments, but also drill the hole laterally offset in the block so I can flip the block and start testing the affect of changing the length of the steering link (moving inner TRE laterally inboard and outboard).
Bumpsteer investigation, round 2.. for testing purposes I pegged the inner TRE raise amount at 15mm, and shifted the inner TRE inboard & outboard offset distances at 20mm and 40mm relative to factory horizontal hole location on the drag link.
Interestingly, moving the inner TRE inboard 40mm makes the curve almost linear, meaning I've almost matched the sweeping arc of the steering link compared to the virtual pivot point of the UCA/LCA linkage, over the 5" travel range. Now that the path of the steering arm is more consistant due to a matched arc of the steering arm, in order to minimize the steering input that near-linear line needs to be brought as close to vertical as possible, so I'll try lowering the inner TRE from 15mm raised height and see what happens.
You're correct.. y-axis is suspension bump (positive) or droop (negative).. just because that's how my brain works. Toe (measured total, AKA the bumpsteer measurement doubled) is positive as the car toes out, and negative as car toes in. Camber is self explanatory for positive & negative.
Very true, traditionally the 1st gen suspension should camber positive in stock form under bump, however according to Ridetech's website, a stock suspension with only Ridetech arms will camber negatively (even though only slightly) under bump. However this could be with lowering springs to slam the front end enough such that at the starting ride height, the control arm geometry has already crested over the positive camber point and will start to negative camber under bump.
For Pozzi's measurements.. good catch. I went back and re-checked and looks like I copied the values reversed. I can't seem to find the actual text list of camber/travel numbers that I copy-pasted into Excel, however he clearly explains on his page that up/positive is droop and down/negative is bump... however he still lists negative camber gain under bump. The starting point (ride height) appears to be very important for camber gain, especially with taller spindles or Gulstrand mod as those affect the "sensitivity" of camber gain from said ride height starting point.
For mine, I have done the Gulstrand mod, as well as mine being super low, so my instant center is quite lower on the car making it negative camber pretty aggressively with not too much bump.
Did some more on the steering today. In my last update post I stated that I had found a new lateral location for the inner tie rod end, to make the bumpsteer curve pretty damn linear. So I continued on that today with finding a new height at the more-inboard location, to get a linear and vertical bumpersteer curve. I kinda lucked out and randomly moved the tie rod end down 1/8" and got it right the first try.
Below is the bumpsteer curve for rev10.. one line shows it at 0* steering angle, and another shows it at 10* steering angle. So when the car dives at 10* steering angle, the front tires toe in, and when the car lifts, the tires toe out. This required me to take bumpsteer measurements with reference wheel (passenger side for my measuring setup) turned 10* outboard, then again at 10* inboard, and use the addition of the two for calculating travel bumpsteer when the wheels are turned. This is assuming no body roll, which of course is not exactly accurate to real life even with the stiffest front sway bar..
Because the body rolls during cornering, I also calculated the toe-out curve for 10* steering angle, as the body rolls thru the wheel travel..
Using the toe-vs-travel, and toe-vs-roll, I could technically figure out what the bumpsteer/toe gain could be for a particular cornering situation of say 1.5* body roll and 0.5-1" dive from braking, blah blah blah, but that isn't necessary now and the beer is making me not care as much.
I also got the new caliper brackets made to fit the lug-mount Wilwood Superlite 6 piston calipers onto the larger 14" rotors. You may as "why the f*** would he make brackets and not buy them?".. well the 14" rotor version of my kit was only ever offered as a radial-mount setup for a 14" rotor, even tho the caliper looks otherwise identical to mine. So since I couldn't use the official Wilwood 14" brackets without getting new calipers as well, I made.
Some stats: Previous Wilwood 13" brackets were 3/8" thick, mine are 1/2" thick. Previous had significant profile cutting, mine have more beef and less weight-saving cutting. Previous were surprisingly made of 6061-T6 aluminum (don't believe the "aerospace spec technology".. this stuff is as standard as it gets and not the strongest around) at ~45,000psi ultimate strength. Mild steel is ~63,000psi ultimate tensile strength. I made my brackets out of 7075-T651 aluminum.. 83,000psi ultimate tensile strength! Enough blabbing...
Got around to modifying the center link for new optimized inner tie rod end positions. I 3D modelled several different designs but ultimately came up with turned location slugs partially recessed into a notched center link, with gusseting for over-building the strength.
Started with clearance cutting the center link..
Then used an adjustable boring bar to bring the notch diameter up to the OD of the slugs for the new inner tie rod end tapered holes…
Of course the proper way to do all of this for fitment checking as well as welding is to have a jig to hold it all together…
Did 3 passes of the slugs themselves (center link was heavily chamfered previous to welding, to ensure good penetration…
Then cut out and added gussets for even more strength…
First weld pass on gussets…
The final (4th or 5th pass, can’t remember) weld pass…
Ground the gussets down a bit to streamline them and painted. Still need to ream the tapers into the new locations and clean up the tapers on the existing holes for pitman and idler arms..
Got the car back together and insured!
Started with reaming out the holes in the slugs that I welded to the center link..
I ended up using longer inner tie rod ends from I believe a '73-'79 X-body application (GM obviously did a similar fix as I did by moving the inner TRE locations inboard after my model year!), and because I couldn't find a long enough length outer TRE in 11/16" thread, I ended up re-using my tight existing 5/8" outer TRE's. This meant I had to make some tie rod end connecting sleeves..
After the first test rip last night.. **** it real good. The steering is firmer but quicker since swapping to the fast ratio steering arms and pitman/idler arm. Turn in is super quick but doesn't have that crisp biting edge.. mainly because I still haven't made a front sway bar yet! That'll be a future update. Going around sharper corners with bumps at speed is super sweet now.. steering is completely neutral with no weirdness! I'm stoked.
Haha thanks, it was a lot of work but I feel it was totally worth it. Now that the steering feels much more responsive, I was going to double-check my toe, then lift it up and put on caster dollies at which point I could take some measurements.. I want to measure what the Ackerman is like since I've moved the middle of the inner tie rod end ball back about 3/4". I can measure the bumpsteer when I take the LCA's off to weld on sway bar tabs later in the summer, since it'll be easiest to remove the coilovers with the LCA's off.
Edit: since the UCA's, LCA's and spindles are all using stock locations which I am not into modifying/changing, the only way that this new optimized bumpsteer geometry (centerlink) becomes obsolete is if I really jack the front of the car up.. but since it looks so sweet at this low ride height, and now has good camber gain and steering.. why would I do that!?
I'm going to do some experiments with moving my wheels outboard with thicker slip-on spacers to increase scrub radius, as my return-to-center still isn't what I'd like it to be. The trail of the wheels should be good enough to make them return decently since I settled on 6.25" of caster. The SteeringAxis Inclination (SAI or Kingpin Angle) on these stock spindles is supposedly 8.75*, which should in theory be enough to create good return-to-center. I'm thinking the scrub radius got a lot smaller since widening the front rims entirely inboard 1.5", possibly counteracting some of the return-to-center action and steering wheel feel I gained by going to the correct quick ratio steering/pitman/idler arms. It is also possible the the T bar in my steering box is pretty weak allowing lots of power assist as it's very manageable to turn the 275's while stopped on pavement.. not pink-finger-turning like a Cadillac, but not as much resistance as I'd hoped. I don't think there's any way of confirming what assist level box I have since I can't find any stampings/markings beyond the fact that it is indeed a 12.7:1 quick ratio with metric o-ring fittings.
Going off on a tangent here but below is a good link I found for steering box information on these old cars...
I drive the car into work or elsewhere every 2nd or 3rd day.. I split commuting between the car, my silly Cummins 2nd gen and actually cycling a bike into work. After thrashing to get my car together on a Sunday a couple weeks back I daily drove it for 9 days in a row.. the most consecutive since I used to occasionally commute it to BCIT. The girlfriend really enjoys me scaring her friends in it though.. hehe.
As for speedo.. I need to take the dash out to rewire the signal wire from the Holley ECU since I found out too late it needs a specific plug on a separate I/O terminal other than what comes on the basic main power harness. Also need to figure out how to wire the wideband Speedhut gauge to some Holley output. And add in key-on wiring for a future transmission pump. And while I'm at it I think I'm gonna remove the heater core to save some weight and free up room in the engine bay for next winter's "refresh". Oh and need to figure out if my intermittent headlight power is from the dash switch, highbeam switch, or funky original wiring/fuseblock.
Long story short, I've memorized that 4th gear 1500rpm or 5th gear 1100rpm is 50km/hr, and 5th around 1400/1500rpm is something like 80km/h. I also just got in the mail a suction cup phone holder and I have a GPS app I like, so I might keep tabs on things like that for the time being..
There honestly hasn't been any work done to it other than fill it with gas, and [finally] clean it, and by that I mean I somehow swindled my girlfriend into washing it last night, hehe..
Other than that, I've been doing doing some mental and CAD planning of exhaust re-work. I'm going to do 3" oval tube from downpipe back to Magnaflow mufflers, then 3" over the axle. I've also been contemplating 3.5", however muffler selection is very limited, mandrel bends are way pricier, and there's no way I'll fit tailpipes over the axle.. I know it would be "room to grow" but realistically this car will never need/benefit/require that extra 0.5" step up from 3". I've assembled an excel sheet of bends and qty's I need, maybe I can get some help here for vendors tho. So far I've found:
- Mandrel Bends (used to be my go-to for tubing, but their SS selection has drastically decreased since I last checked)
- Vibrant (available locally likely at a decent discount)
- Online Metals (straight tube only.. best prices but no mandrel bends)
- Race Part Solutions (spotty selection and prices)
- Spintech (sweet stainless merges, transitions, and bends.. but holy $$$)
Does anyone have any other preferred places to source SS or other tubing online?
Put about 250km on it roadtripping it thru twisty rural farm roads on Vancouver Island since Friday evening.. it has been a blast!
Alright fellas, time for a bit of an update.. hopefully the subscribers to this thread haven't run off to bigger and more interesting things!
So after beating on this thing on the street for the better part of 3 springs summers and falls, it's time for an engine refresh. My oil pressure has always been 40psi cold and ~30psi hot at idle, spiking up to 80psi under rpm, but after a HOT day in early September with about an hour stuck in traffic, I noticed my idle oil pressure go down to 29psi, then 28, then 27, eventually settling around 26psi. I pulled over, waited about 30mins for the engine to cool down, then drove it home keeping out of boost. I parked it for a while, took it for a spin or two in the colder dense air, and it always idled at 30psi, but then dipped down to 27-28psi after one spirited drive. Parked the car and changed the oil soon after, and found some copper powder in the oil. I'm lead to believe this could be cam bearings, but either way then engine is coming out.. I need moar everything.
If the engine is coming apart, I might as well stroke it. As I've been doing research, I originally was going to go as big as 4.060" on the LQ4 block, depending on how it ultrasounded, but apparently that's good most of the time for N/A but is pushing it for even medium boost on an iron block that checks out thick. It seems 4.030" bore is good almost universally (of course I'd get the block checked first) and that would give 408cid. I would have a big range of piston choices between 15cc dish and up to 32cc dish giving 9.7:1 down to 8.4:1 compression ratios. The ones I'd be eyeing are Wiseco 25cc and 20cc dish which would give I believe 8.64:1 and 9.27:1 compression ratios (off the top of my head, I'll post my evaluation spreadsheet later). I already have this block, but would likely be into it for $500-750 CDN of machine shop time after checking, cleaning, bore & hone, and possible deck check as well (mains and cam bores were checked before last rebuild and were mint). There are few off-the-shelf deep dish piston options for 4.035" and 4.040" if I needed to rebuild again later on.
The other option is a new LS3 block. I'd be able to run it at 4.065" right from the start giving 415cid, and would have 4.070" and 4.075" to expand to in the future. Not to mention I'd be ahead in lighter weight, and the block would be reinforced so potentially same wall strength compared to a 0.030" bored LQ4. It would cost me probably $1800 CDN, but my brain could justify that for weight and newer engineering of the block etc reasons.
LSX block & 6-bolt heads is out of the question for both total cost as well as added weight.. this isn't a 25psi+ 1500whp drag racer, it's a street driver (eventually road track too) car that sees boost but also cruising and a bunch of idle.. I just don't see the need.
I'd keep my cathedral port 317 heads for now (71.06cc chambers), along with LS9 head gaskets (4.100" bore x 0.051" compressed) all of which dimensions I used for the above compression ratio calcs. I could potentially upgrade to LS3 or LSA/LS9 heads in the future for a stronger casting, but more importantly a likely better intake flow. Changing to a 70cc chamber LS3 head will increase the compression ratio of any combo I decide on by ~0.1:1.
I know that once you add boost you technically don't need to lose sleep over how free-flowing the intake/heads/piping/etc is, but me being an engineer I like the idea of eventually having all the individual components be as free flowing as they can.. I like to think they may all add up for non-boost low end or something, but if for no other reason than simply just on principle.
So.. who here has an opinion on: 1) keep what I have and make it a 408, or 2) buy new for ~$1000 more and have a lighter 416, all other details considered the same?
Looks like $2250 USD + core cost for ERL to do their sleeving magic for their smallest/most basic machined bare block setup.. adding up to $4000 USD for a sleeved 4.125" bore machined LS3 based off a used core that they source. For me, if I were to go the route of purchasing a block it'd have to be GM as the value for me just isn't there for aftermarket anything at several thousand dollars more expensive
No et goal as I'm not a drag racer, but hp goal is obviously just moar. I'm happy to fabricate and replace pretty much anything on the car down the line, but pulling engines to rebuild is about as low on my list of likable tasks as it can possibly get.
I figure I may as well go bigger now while I'm at it, to support futuremods. Turbo will be iffy but I can reevaluate that later.. at least spool will be quicker. I'm leaning towards keeping the LQ4 block and boring 0.030" as it's pretty much a sure thing, and that extra $1k will go a long way towards that stainless 3.5" oval dial exhast I still need to make. In the end, if I happen to end up with an engine bigger than Marktainium's.. even if just by 0.5cid, then that's a win.
Engine is currently a 365cid 4.005" x 3.622" rebuild with Wiseco -11cc pistons, Compstar H beam rods, Eagle forged crank, Patriot springs, Comp pushrods, LS9 head gasket, Tick custom grind medium turbo camshaft, and ARP 2000 everywhere. So I'm familiar with building it, and I'm not trying to do things on the cheap, more like just cost-effectively/realistically, while still building it a bit bigger for the future. I think I'm prettymuch sold on keeping the block, and stroking to 4" and boring it to between +0.010" and +0.030".. haven't decided that yet. I like the idea of more hp with the boost lowered a bit, and even more hp with same boost as now (16psi).
I'm in talks with my boss's previous employer, which builds turbos locally and can get wicked deals on Garrett direct or hybrid turbos. One regular direction GT3582 and one reverse direction GT3582 may be in my future.
Hah Jimbo.. we're good friend, but not THAT good of friends.
Did some screwing around looking at turbo stuff tonight, for a 408cid enginewith a pair of Garrett GT3582 turbos (66mm inducer compressor wheel), I drew a theoretically-perfect line thru the compressor map to reverse-calculate the required boost-per-rpm for those turbos on a 408. Purely looking at the cold side/compressor airflow, they seem to be a good match for the 408 efficiency-wise for realistic boost and pressure ratio (AKA boosted charge air temp)..
That boost-rpm graph is a reverse-engineered plot out of curiousity of what the compressor side wants the boost to be for a 408 in a most-efficient world.. it's not saying that the turbo won't spool quicker or reach full boostearlier, just that for that engine, for the turbo's to spool quicker would mean operating above/left of the efficiency islands.
Also you have PT6262's which are much closer to a Garrett GT3076 which has a similar compressor map but the island is shifted about 10lbs/min to the left, so for same boost pressure ratio, that boost is produced more efficiently at a lower rpm.
I'll update my turbo graphs on my home computer with a couple different scenarios and post those. I've been on Maui for a week.. which is perfect research time. I've gone thru multiple iterations of my engine rotating assembly, cold side, hotside, cooling, transmission, exhaust system, you name it. I've decided:
1) keep existing 6L iron block.. it's strong, everything bolts up.. money in the bank.
2) stroke engine to 4" but keep cylinder thickness reasonable. Maybe bore to 4.010" but try to just hone existing 4.005" if possible.. enlarge bore to 4.030" as last resort
3) keep single turbo setup for now, even tho PT7675 will be bit undersized for stroker.. more on that in a bit
4) rework one turbo hotpipe to allow thicker rad/fan stack in front of accessory drive.. this is a must address issue. Can't move intercooler forward so more clearance needs to be developed between current fans and passenger hot pipe. Also need to reroute waterpump inlet routing for more room.
5) new dual exhaust. Keep current 4" downpipe, rework the merge so instead of splitting into dual 2.5" it splits to dual 3.5" oval (2.5"x6" so it's equivalent to 3.5" round exhaust), routed up to transmission tailhousing area. Make new "3.5in oval" stainless exhaust from tailhousing back to dual 3.5" Dynomax mufflers under floor pan, then goes underneath the axle and straight back under the gas tank (heat tape and heat shields used) exiting straight back underneath rear bumper. Obnoxious, but easiest to route.
I've always liked the brashness of the layout of the 1970 Roadrunner "Hammer" exhaust (except for the refined nature of the rounded & polished oval tips) but with straight cut round stainless tubes instead, maybe painted flat black for more brutal/purposeful appearance..
After much thought, the future setup (which I'll be keeping a constant eye out from now on for discounted parts) is.. CTS-V manifolds welded to short schedule 80 elbows feeding 64/65 or 66/67 twins, Precision 46 wastegates and 3.5" downpipes that then meet up with the new oval 2.5"x6" pipes under the floorpan.
It's good to have a goal that I can constantly think on and tweak as I see deals and classified ads for things, and not make any impulse buys right now before I tackle other more urgent issues. The layout in my head should require zero "undoing" of work I plan to do this spring when the garage concrete heats up.. damn you Mark and your 2 post lift!
Clint, it's too true.. but you gotta pay to play and sometimes you just get bitten I guess.
Mark, the cam bearings were new and installed by High Performance at the time the block has bored and honed to 4.005", decked 0.004", the main and cam bearing bore alignment was confirmed good and block cleaned. However I ran the rebuilt engine with the stock truck camshaft for a summer before replacing with a Tick turbo grind Comp cam similar to yours. I plasti-gauge'd the bearings and I recall them being on the looser side of the spec range but still within range, however I never recorded the values so can't look back on it. I'm chalking it up to warm oil and maybe strangely worn cam bearings. I'd like to be the one to rebuild again, but I've also contemplated having High Performance throw together the short block just for piece of mind on my end.. although I'd really like to just do it myself again.
Why don't you like the under-axle routing, other than it hanging visibly low from the rear as well as heat? To the best of my memory, with my ride height the bottom of the axle is near or above the centerline of the muffleroutlet. The coilover upper shock mount crossbrace is right in the way, and the next tightest fit is between the upper control arm axle-side mounts and the OD of the coils.. it's effing tight in there even for 2.5" exhaust.. the shock mounts and cross brace would have to go up probably 2 more inches into the the trunk to be safe, and the shocks would need to move more vertical, but there's little room there until they hit the insides of the framerails.
For side exit exhaust, either under the rocker panels or thru rocker panels, there'd need to be some serious routing trickery to get around the front leaf spring perch as that's what my lower control arms mount to, and I need to put the mufflers in the stock floorpan recess location.. so some Z-shaped tailpipes for sure. Also don't like the same side in-out mufflers as that's not very straight-thru!
It'll be an other 3-4 months before I touch that, so plenty of time to discuss. The only option that's firmly off the table is turndowns after the mufflerbefore the axle, as it's just too annoying.
Kindof relevant to the exhaust tubing discussion, but more particular to the turbo hotside piping, I plan to keep the internal cross-sectional areas as consistent as possible, as every time the turbo exhaust is allowed to expand or contract via the internal area changing, then it has to slow down or speed up accordingly and that means losing exhaust energy. Also the plan is to make the distance between exhaust manifolds and turbine inlet as short as possible. This means a spreadsheet that tracks exhaust volume and cross-sectional areas to make sure it doesn't neck down between the head's exhaust port, manifold's collector, hotside piping, T3 turbo flange, then turbine inlet itself. So far using 2.0" schedule 40 piping (2.067" ID, 3.355 square inch area) matches exactly with a T3 turbo flange (3.356 square inch area). Once I acquire and measure CTS-V manifold primary and collector areas, I could adjust piping ID to gradually neck down to the T3 area. so that the exhaust velocity stays as consistent as possible, with a small increase in velocity only as it enters the turbine.
There's a very interesting (and long) discussion on turbo hotside piping ID vs flow and hp capabilities in this thread:
So same idea goes for the exhaust tubing.. no matter the turbos I end up going with for a twin setup, they'll have a 3" turbine outlet size which I'll smoothly but quickly expand to 3.5" downpipes, and would ideally keep that exact same equivalent 3.5" internal area for the entire length of the exhaust.. with as few bends as possible.
To give some perspective, crawled under the car after work to snap a pic. Forgive the mufflers being out of plane.. this setup has always been "temporary". The mufflers (Flowmaster 50 series, long case.. grossly restrictive) are 4" thick case, 2.5" in/out.. so the Dynomax mufflers I'm looking at are 4.5" thick 9.75"x14" case with 3.5" in/out, and Magnaflow's version is a 5" thick case with 8"x14" case. You can see how high up the rear axle is stuffed relative to the mufflers (as high up as they can go). The ride height is right at 2.5" compressed on 5" total stroke shocks.
I was actually thinking something along those lines a while back.. would be such a plumbing nightmare. Probably end up looking something like this...
Thanks for that link Clint.. interesting read, he seems very similar to how I operate.
With the air filter (single one now, but two in the future with twins), intercooler piping, headlight wiring, and the general shortness of the Nova's tiny front overhang, I don't really think there's room to jam it behind a headlight.
I'm thinking it could go where the heater blow motor is on the passenger side of the firewall under the front fender, kind of like where a lot of dry sump tanks are put on pro touring Camaro's, except due to the smaller size have in in front of the firewall and not in a sheetmetal'd recess.
Also, you can see where my fuel hardlines and FPR currently are.. stupid huge heater box needs to go bye-bye!
Also found this, it's a rollover vent with built in float to limit the amount of gas that passes thru the vent when the vent is in the upright position (ball check valve not engaged) but fuel is sloshing around.
I think for the surge tank the feed line from the gas tank should be fairly near the top where the return line to the gas tank would be, that way when the car is parked the whole volume of the surge tank (upwards of a gallon probably) doesn't gravity drain back to the gas tank, and potentially overfill the gas tank (if it's a full tank) and run up the vent tube. I bet the above vent would work decently for quick sloshing, but wouldn't seal well against constant pressure head from an overfilled gas tank. I'd put a drain fitting on the bottom of the surge tank to drain it in the case of maintenance.
Nice! I dig that. With my tank, the recess I put into the top of it for the access panel area is the minimum height needed to the 90* bulkhead fittings on the top of the panel, in order to maximize the height in the tank under the access panel. That being said, there's still only enough height to just barely fit in a pump with its intake sock below and the output hose on the barb on the top of the pump with the minimum bend radius on the hosebefore it kinks.
Then again, I could lay the twin hi-pressure pumps on their side thus raising the intake socks up from the very bottom to maybe 1" above since they'll be guaranteed to be submersed in fuel, and the transfer pump can be on its side as well because air intake isn't such a big deal. But in the end, I really don't want to modify the welded setup in the gas tank.
Since it would be a direct drop in, I could add a hi-pressure pump in the existing mounting bracket and used that as the transfer pump. Then move the existing TRE 300 pumps to the new surge tank. Not a single thing, including wiring, would need to change for the main gas tank. The kicker is I still have my original Aeromotive Stealth 340 pump which wasn't actually the problem when "my fuel pump died" the first time, it was the wiring and tank bulkhead that failed.. so that could literally just drop in and be good to go.
From my research, it seems a hi-pressure pump with the same body as the Walbro 255 will flow just fine in low pressure applications. I was worried that continual low pressure would mean continual high gear RPM and maybe premature wear, but then the load just be very minimal so maybe it'll all be okay in the end? Also the low load of a single pump would mean much less heat input into the main tank, so that tank would be cooler than the surge tank and possibly help keep the surge tank cooler.
Something along these lines. I'm thinking it's best to return the fuel from the rails/FPR to the surge tank so that the discrepancy in fuel flow rates between the low pressure and high pressure pumps doesn't drain the surge tank into the main gas tank under low load aka minimal injector duty cycle.
Clint.. haha gotcha. I'm a big culprit of over-thinking something to death from multiple angles, and then every once and a while Mark will slide in and point out yet another viewpoint that it pretty obvious but that I never considered somehow.
408GT.. you raise a good point, but you must not know me well.. I like making stuff haha. I'd want a cylindrical surge tank since it's the best for flow when combined with inlets & outlets that are tangent.. it's going to have a good amount of fuel flowing into and out of it thru multiple fittings, I'd rather make the flow as least turbulent as possible. I'd also want to maximize space, and with the design of dual pumps + brackets holding them + a nice sturdy bolt-on top lid for access with a good Viton seal.. all signs point to me just making one.
Picked up some casual reading material to get more knowledge into my noggin..
Did a quick screw around in Photoshop during a meeting and came up with this...
I've always liked the frenched look of tailpipes in a bumper like that super clean Nova you posted, in fact I've always been interested in trying that on mine since it had angle-cut chrome tailpipes way in the beginning. The thing that really bugs me is because of where the frame rails are, the tailpipes end up being very outboard, which the proportions of tailpipe-width to bumper-width just looks wrong to me. Not sure why.. it just bugs me..
I could also do the extended turndown tips, to exit as close to the rear as I can without having it really hanging below the bumper..
The raw/dirty/racey/purposeful/obnoxious look I'm kinda liking now is along these lines..
I'm definitely opposed to an in-trunk fuel cell.. I mean I know this car is going to become less and less practical but I just don't want to make and weld in a support frame, and have to open the trunk to fill up, and lose all that trunk space. I've thrown bags in the back for a weekend trip or put my mountain bike in there.
The tailpipe routing would be going over or under the axle (under more likely) and then spreading wider while staying high (if over-axle) or angling upwards (if under-axle), snaking between the coilovers and the front dog-eared corners of the gas tank, then rearwards on the sides of the gas tank (unsure if I'll route inboard, outboard, or underneath the framerails.. or trim the framerails upwards). Any tailpipe design/location aft of the back of the gas tank and other than straight back will be purely aesthetic choice and not driven by any physical constraints.
Maybe something closer to this? There's probably 12" of room between the rear of the gas tank and the bumper (think of how long the filler neck is).. enough room to make a bit of a Z shape in the tailpipes to narrow their spacing under the bumper in from the wide width of the frame rails..
To improve my engine cooling amongst some other areas of the car, I've been doing a ton of online reading, including ordering some knowledge slabs!
Plan is to vent the hood in an appropriate area, totally seal off the radiator support, make inner fenders that fit the 275's, make a chin spoiler/air dam, and possibly make a belly pan for under the engine, between the chin spoiler and subframe crossmember, potentially extending all the way back to the firewall. Plan is to keep the pressure in the engine bay as low as possibly, and have the high velocity air flowing over the hood suck out much hot air, as well as keep the pressure in front of the intercooler/radiator as high as possible.
Here's some really good/interesting reading I came across:
1st gen Camaro hood aero testing
2nd gen Trans Am aero testing and mods
General production car aero talk
Ron Sutton's encyclopedia of aero
I spent a bunch of time scouring the 'net looking for nice quality 3D models of Nova's, just because. I started with finding pretty rough models, like these..
Then another that was a bit better, but left a lot to be desired..
Then I found this one, which look surprisingly good, but the more I looked over the different angles, a couple things started looking strange, like the height and angle of the bumpers, and around the rear quarter window and decklid..
Then I found this model on Hum3D. By far had the best website, the most high-quality pics, and excellent customer service and information..
Downloaded an IGES 3D model of it and loaded it into my work program (PTC CREO, aka renamed ProEngineer)..
Hah! You got me, Jimbo.. guilty as charged. And this isn't going to help..
Not a real update, I guess, but finally spent some time cleaning up the 3D model I downloaded, and started making it look more realistic. Considering it's dark and rainy out right now and my car is nowhere near the garage to wrench in, this is the closest to "car work" that I'm gonna get for the next while.. but it's kindof awesome too..
Started adding surface colors and hiding all the surfaces I don't need. About ready to model the wheels and then start toying with air dam designs.
Does anyone have a suggestion for finding 321 stainless schedule 10 or 40 weld elbows?
I've tried (without success):
- Ace Race Parts
- Burns Stainless
- Columbia Mandrel Bends
- BMC Racing Products
- CX Racing
Everything I've found is 304/304L, or sometimes 316. Since I'm looking for thicker wall (0.157-0.203"), maybe the lower heat capacity (and thus more prone to cracking) 304 would be fine for exhaust-type area...
Thanks Clint. What's going on here is theorizing a thicker-wall hotside piping for a twins setup. I could in theory make everything out of fairly easily available 16ga ss321 tube (albeit expensive), but I would like to keep the wall thickness up there, at the minimum 0.100" for strength after welding and heat cycles. Which has lead me to Schedule 40 2.5" nominal weld elbows with a 2.469" ID, which would maintain ~constant exhaust velocity from the CTS-V manifold flange to a T3 turbo flange.. it's proving difficult to find SS321 2.5" elbows, however SS304 elbows are abundant and cheaper in 2.5" size. I could easily find SS321 2.0" elbows at either 2.245" ID (0.065" wall) or 2.157" ID (0.120" wall). The length of the welded piping brom manifold to turbo flange at whatever ID I choose should be under 12" total, hopefully under 10", so maybe a reduced ID wouldn't be bad for exhaust velocity vs restriction.
I read a thread on here discussing hotside "crossover pipe" sizing (however the theory is still valid for a twin turbo setup) that says 2.25" piping (so assuming 2.125" ID if 16ga used) is good to well over 1000hp without restriction, and keeps exhaust velocity up.
The parts collecting has started! Sprung for the new-design Holley oil pan for a couple reasons:
- has clearance for a 4.0" stroke
- has two turbo drain ports in a better location than the single port I currently have on my heavily modified truck pan (current port comes very close to my modified drag link at full lock)
- oil filter machining is higher up (closer to the block) than my truck pan, allowing me to run a bigger filter than the current shorty filter I have on my chopped truck pan
- my current pan has always seeped a bit of oil out of the front pan modifications (the original cut/weld mods I had done by a guy to get the pan to clear the subframe, terrible work.. porous welds, always wanted to remedy)
Also got some CTS-V manifolds to start fresh. For tire and thus inner fender clearance, the turbos are going to have to be fairly far forward.. so I like that the CTS-V manifolds have the flange all the way at the end, to minimize the length of the hotside piping needed between the manifold and turbo, and thus cantilevering forces etc. I also like how tight the collector is to the head, as in how the collector doesn't angle out much.. will help in keeping the hotside piping tighter inboard.
In the near future it'll be time for the turbo decision. I'm between the following turbo's from Turbonetics and Precision. Both are BB, with the Precision being about $150 more than the Turbonetics, but with the Turbonetics coming with the turbine housing already ceramic coated black. That being said, I'm heavily leaning towards the Precision just due to my previous experience as well as reputation:
1) Turbonetics GTK-700
- compressor: 64mm billet HPC wheel, 4" inlet, 2.5" outlet
- turbine: 65mm, 0.85 A/R, T3 flange inlet, 3" v-band outlet
- ball bearing CHRA, brushed compressor cover, black ceramic coated turbine housing
2) Precision PT6466 CEA
- compressor: Gen2 64mm billet, 4" inlet, 2.5" outlet
- turbine: 66mm, 0.82 A/R, T3 flange inlet, 3" v-band outlet
- ball bearing CHRA, natural/raw compressor cover
Also looking at various tube/pipe inner areas for exhaust flow. I originally was comparing just diameters but a small change in diameter can change the area a fair amount, so I started calculating exhaust velocity.. to try and keep it as uniform from exhaust port to manifold collector to hotside piping to turbo flange.
From a bunch of research in the Forced Induction section, it seems 2.25" inner diameter isn't a hindrance until decently past 1000hp, and 2.5" ID is just overkill until about 1500hp. So I'm aiming to keep it as close to 2.25" ID as possible.
I'm thinking schedule 5 pipe from Ace Race Parts.. short and long weld elbows are reasonably priced. I was originally wanting thick wall, but on Ace Race Parts the correct ID stuff is only available in SS304 2.5", and even in SS304 it's crazy expensive because of how thick the wall is. I'm thinking of trying 0.065" wall schedule 5 2.0" SS321.. I'm hoping that with 321's favorable high-temp characteristics as well as keeping the hotside piping under 12" long, that the turbo weight being supported by only 0.065" wall should be okay.
It's also super handy to still have the old too-small blown up TC-76 turbo for mock up purposes...
I can't wait either! Been tossing around the idea of twins for a couple years, but I started doing research January this year and sometime mid-summer made up my mind on the subject.
Around that same time I took some pics of the car which I realize I forgot to add here, before I tucked it away to focus on other projects before getting serious with it. Pics include the new 275/40/18 Nitto NT-05 tires on the front, which are HOLY-F*** grippy...
I'm on my my kinda-annual Maui vacation.. which awesomely enough is when I get my best car research done.. no distractions of work or friends back home, just reading and relaxing.
With removing the single turbo hotside crossover from the equation, I now have freed up a good 3+" of depth between the current radiator/fan setup and the next closest engine stuff, which will now be the waterpump pulley.
From looking back at my build thread and some measurement pics, looks like I can shoehorn a radiator of 31.5" overall width in between the frame horns. Assuming no subframe modifications (which I have no issue with doing, I'm just working with my baseline known constraints for now) a C&R dual-row radiator of overall size 31"x19" should fit, with a core size of 28"x18.6"x2.25". This core size would allow me to shoehorn in 16" and 14" fans as a dual fan setup, with the extra core height past the standard 15-16" high core. What I plan to do is place the rad closer to the hood, with ducting and paneling blocking off all areas of the core support to the hood. There's a good 1-2" high by maybe 48" long gap across the core support to the hoodthat I need to seal off so all that air turns into a high pressure zone in front of the core support. I'm going to completely hack up the core support to make this rad and a new intercooler fit.
For intercooler, I'm going to go with dual 2.5" (8.8 square inch x-sectional area) inlets on the bottom, feeding a vertical-flow intercooler, with a single 3.5" top outlet (8.9 square inch x-sectional area). I originally liked the idea of a single outlet in the center of the intercooler top, directly feeding the throttlebody, but I think the extra 3-4" of height in this area across the length of 30+" is too valuable as prime real-estate for the upsized radiator, to interrupt it and require a shorter radiator core by using a single top intercooler outlet.
The common intercooler options these days seems to be Treadstone or CXRacing (or Bell, but $$ and totally custom cores) both have the appearance of China quality. I'm not expecting there to be a massive flow difference between a mid-level and cheapy intercooler, but I think I'd rather reduce my initial costs and get an appropriately sized bare core if I can, and sculpt my own end tanks. That being said, the Treadstone TRTT (25"x6"x3.5" core, 1000hp claimed capability) or TRTT9 (25"x9"x3.5" core, 1300hp claimed capability) intercoolers could work.. but for ~$5-550 USD I'm just not convinced..
The other possibility is just a core from Vibrant, which there are multiple options. One example that is the closest to the Treadstone size is 27"x6"x4.5" core that is claimed capable of flowing/cooling only 900hp..
Based on my ghetto MS Paint measurements of my grill area, ideally I'd like an intercooler core of 26-28" wide, around 8" high (I think it's about 7.5" between my bumper trim piece and the leading edge of the hood). I'm undecided whether 3.5" thick would cut it or 4.5" would be needed to help with pressure loss. I' thinking if there are 26-28"-width worth of flow path options for the air, and the air is only being jammed thru 8" vertical length of intercooler, then 3.5" thickness shouldn't be a restriction. However I'll have the room for 4.5" thickness. Just thinking out loud here I guess.
Hey Clint.. great questions, I appreciate the fact checking as I've wondered the same questions for the last couple years until I finally decided after much thought that changing up my setup was the only viable solution, let me try to explain:
1) first and foremost is cooling, for a couple reasons:
- current turbo hotside pipes wrap around in front of the waterpump and have limited my radiator thickness.. I physically can't put in a thicker rad and fan stack without removing the grill and pushing the intercooler forwad above the bumper, or removing the hotside crossover piping
- to reduce underhood pressure as much as possible and make the radiator the most efficient, I need inner fenders.. with my low ride height I simply cannot fit an inner fender in the passenger side with the 275 tire at full left steering lock
- I'm at the physical limit of turbo that I can fit under the hood in the current location.. remember I don't have subframe bushings to my hood is now that 3/4" lower to the engine.. the max turbo size would be a Precision 78/75 but that's only a small step up from current
- for the single setup I tried to keep the hot piping similar lengths side to side, but there is still ~3ft of passenger side piping and probably 4+ft of driver side piping, at 2.5" OD pipe it's oversized and slowing exhaust velocity down, and likely what is introducing lag from what I've read
- I want to go from a horizontal flow intercooler to a vertical flow to spread the airflow path wider and shorter for less pressure drop..
- I need to remake the exhaust anyways, so I might as well start that project as dual 3.5" pipes from two turbine housings instead of a single 4" pipe from one turbo and possibly redo later
The upsides I can see from going single to twins:
- frees up several inches of room between the rad and the waterpump, allowing a thicker but also taller rad core that fits an upsized dual fan setup, to help pull air thru the thicker core
- significantly shorter turbo hotside (from ~4ft @ 2.375" ID per side to hopefully <1ft @ 2.25" ID)
- better airflow overall (for if I decide to go bigger cubes now or later on) by having dual 2.5" compressor outlets to single 3.5" feeding the throttlebody
- turbos moved forward allows more room for inner fenders, which are essential for lowering the underhood pressure and making the pressure drop across the rad larger
- I've always liked the idea of twins, even since before Mark started his project (I'll naturally be a tad larger than his 6265 Precisions, just because)
- Lastly.. why not? If I've done a single turbo setup to pretty good success (self admittedly, for a first ever attempt that I fabricated in my early 20's) there's only one direction to naturally progress to!
Well it finally happened, started tearing apart the car!
Here's an interesting comparison between LSA CTS-V (left) and LS3 Corvette(right) driver side manifolds..
I like that the CTS-V manifold angles the flange tighter and more perpendicular to the head, tucking it in closer to the edge, however the bends are a bit more gradual leaving the head so the manifolds runners are ~3/8" more outboard that the LS3. I'm beginning to see that it's going to be quite tight on the driver side, snaking the downpipe between the manifold, steering box, subframe, motormount, and UCA cross-shaft, hopefully this extra bulk on the CTV-S manifold doesn't hinder anything.
CTS-V manifold height off the head, in line with the mounting hole..
And same location on LS3 Vette manifold showing the the extra clearance..
Here you can see how how tight the manifold is to the head. I'm going to try moving the alternator inboard closer to the throttlebody, to move it away from heat. I was also thinking I may try to relocate the alternator to the lower passenger side (like an AC compressor) and notch the subframe. But that would make the belt routing pretty screwy.. I'll evaluate that fitment when I have the engine bay more apart.
Next I made a super-precision turbo stand for my old blown-up TC-76... definitely Roadkill-approved. It has a T4 housing, but the housing is tiny, so I'm using it as a rough approximation.
Check out how short the hotside piping will be! Wastegate likely be put in a direct path right off the only bend. Was using a cheap-n-easy 2.5" aluminum bend to mock up the sizing, before I order SS321 material...
And something I've been curious about for a while.. exactly how much more vertical room is there to grow the size of the radiator... well there's a lot! Used wood to mock up a 3" core, slammed forward to the rad support, and measured at the center as well as the ends of the rad. You can see this placement relative to the hood bracing. Looks like I have an extra 4.25" height on top of the current 16.5" high rad, so total height before it'll hit the underhood bracing is 20.75". And that's with no subframe bushings, so for anyone else it could be as much as 21.5" high. So I'll start thinking about using a 19-19.5" high by 28" wide core radiator, and totally seal the entire rad support to the hood underside with a "dam" on top of the rad support and then a rubber seal on top of that, maybe something similar to a universal door seal.
People laugh when I say that one of the driving reasons for twins is to gain room to make/install inner fenders, but when I break down the waterfall effect of engine bay pressure combined with more rad/fan/intercooler room, they get it.
The lag before was existent, but not unbearable. I would say if I started in 2nd gear at 2000rpm, it would go something like this:
2000-2800rpm = boost instantly spikes from pulling vacuum to 0 or even 1 psi boost
2800-3000rpm = 2-3psi
3000-3400rpm = 5-6psi
3400-3800rpm = 6-10psi
3800-4500rpm = 10-14psi
4500-5000rpm = 15-16psi
5000-6200rpm = steady 16psi, occasional 17psi, but the acceleration dies off due to backpressure from restrictive 2.5" dual exhaust, I'm sure
I know what you mean about the symmetry of twins and then a centered 3.5" charge pipe going right into the throttlebody. I'm still not counting it out, but from my above wooden measurements, it looks like I'd have to limit myself to a 16.5" high radiator core located in the same spot as current, in order to bend a 3.5" round pipe over it and have ~0.25" gap below the pipeand 0.5" gap above to the hood. I've also considered fabricating an aluminum charge pipe version of the cobra-looking Corvette cold air intaketubes (like below), but I'd have to squish it quite a bit just to gain room to increase the rad core 1-1.5" taller.
On Monday I put in an order for some weld elbows of several sizes, schedules, and bend radii, to test fit and see which ones will work for my envisioned turbo piping setup. I figured if I'm shipping some stuff to my PO box in the states, might as well ship some more, and I ordered a bunch of 2.5" and 3.5" intercooler couplers, elbows, and piping that I know I'll need anyways.
It was also very hard for me to not pull the trigger on a new rad+fans setup last night as I researched setups for hours, but I knew I needed to measure real life with as many items mocked up in place. I'll hopefully remove the current intercooler and rad this weekend, and mock up hotside piping as well as routes and clearances for charge piping, to figure out the thickest/tallest rad+fans combo I could get.
Unless proven/measured otherwise, my current thinking is a 2-row 2-pass C&R radiator (P/N 802-31191) and likely dual 14" fan, but maybe a single 18" fan. It's terrible trying to choose fans online based off all the sketchy CFM ratings (like Zirgo.. 3600cfm and 10amp draw? Yeah right!).
Possible fan options currently are:
1) dual Spal 1900cfm 21amp 14" fans (P/N 30102042). But Spal consistently has tech specs for all their fans, and although 2400cfm isn't the highest draw I found for a fan, it's from a company with good reviews (more specifically, a lack of reviews say their CFM's are full of ****) and is the highest amp draw I could find.
2) dual Derale 2200cfm 22amp fans (P/N 18214) as I've good success with that brand and that's the highest CFM 14" fan they make, and it's a good price.
3) for a single 18" fan, there's very limited options available.. I would likely be looking at an OEM SUV or truck fan, so it would be hard to get CFM/amperage data for one. A fan that comes to mind is the Cadillac SRXfan (I forget the exact details at the moment) but they're crazy expensive at I think $600, and require PWM management.. but apparently pull crazy amounts of air. I'll search my subscriptions and try to find the Mark Steilow build thread that has more specific info for it
EDIT: looks like the fan I was thinking of is from a Cadillac SRX, and is huge(fan shroud is 23"x24"). But here's some interesting info anyways...
Thanks for the compliments! This car has been a long, educational process.. it's just been so fun mentally designing and then learning to fabricate everything for the car.
I was never really tempted to start a parallel thread on Steve's Nova Site, mainly because I was using the LS1tech picture uploader and it would have been way too much effort at the time to additionally upload all the pics to a 3rd party site. I'm glad I started that route on this site and continued with it, after all the Photobucket fuckery that happened. I did start a trimmed down summary thread on Lateral-G, but it never really caught on as I guess my build didn't have enough $4000+ wheelset with 15" Baer 6pistons, and Anvil and Marquez Designs parts with a paintjob from a forum-known painter.
For the 275 tires.. I didn't notch the subframe. Turns out that the mechanical steering lock for the box I have (to be honest, I don't even know the specs for it other than ~12.7:1) happens to occur right as the inside sidewalls are kissing the subframe rails, which is also at the exact time that the outside tire corners are touching the trimmed fender inner lips. So technically there isn't really a need to notch the subframe now as the system is reaching several mechanical limits all at the same time. Hell if I crank the steeringwheel at full lock, then turn the engine off and the steering column locks the steering wheel, the wedging effect of the inside sidewalls on the subframe is enough to act as a parking brake.
That being said, I have thought about notching the subframe this winter when I take everything apart, for two reasons: 1) to future-proof front tireroom while access to the subframe is easiest for cutting, welding, and painting. And 2) at the very least to create inboard room between the full-lock tire and the subframe rail for the future-fabricated sway bar arms.
A thought I had while trying to fall asleep last night.. could there be room to move the alternator from high driver side, to low passenger side? I'm still going to be running the truck accessories, which place the belt alignment 1.5" forward of the car setup.. I'm going to test fit to see if the truckalternator fits down low and left. Even if there's some notching required, I think I'll do it to get it out of the way visually as well as away from driver side turbo piping heat.
Existing belt routing...
Possible new routing, to be confirmed...
Well today was another productive and fun day in the garage.. and it wasn't even that cold! There was some good news and some bad news, luckily bad news is inconsequential.
The good news is actually just new parts I picked up. A random assortment of 3.5" tube and couplers, 4.0" tube and elbow, a random 2.5" bend and an old but unused 4" filter from my truck for mockup..
So the carbon 3.5" tube is just an experiment for a couple reasons: 1) mainly because the bend radius is tighter than the current setup's 3.0" tube, it should easily be able to handle the pressure and help keep post-intercooler temps down, and 3) because it looks cool and why not? If I end up using it, I will bond (using this crazy carbon-friendly epoxy we use at work) the elbow and straight together using a thin inside sleeve, and bond in ribbed ends so that the couplers don't blow off under pressure..
Here's a comparison of the current 3.0" charge pipe to a new 3.5" aluminum pipe, for comparison. The bend radius (CLR) is about 0.5" bigger on the 3.5" bend..
Here's a comparison of the current 3.0" pipe to the test 3.5" carbon elbow.. the CLR on the carbon is about 1.5" tighter than the 3.0" alloy pipe! The inside of the carbon is very nice and smooth, and is about 0.085" wall thickness.
And some bad-but-whatever news.. I thought I had heard an exhaust leak a while ago, but just assumed I'd find a pinhole somewhere and easily plug weld it up. A little more than a pinhole! When I swapped from the Turbonetics TC-76 (which the piping was designed around) there wasn't any cracking. I remember the Precision 7675 being a bit tighter of a fit, and I was surprised I was even able to bolt it on without any downpipe mods. Well I guess it was preloading the wastegate via the downpipe when I tightened the downpipe to the turbo housing, as the crack started from that load direction. And look how gross those welds were! Such inferior work from 6+ years ago.... good riddance!
And more parts carnage.. here's some el cheapo Summit brand heat shielding.. the aluminum foil is just disintegrating off the insulation! I'll have to look into quality name brand stuff for the TT setup.
Next fun thing from today, confirmed that the alternator can definitely fit in the lower passenger side location.. even without notching the subframe.
However, with the alternator rotated so the output post on the backside rotated is decently far away from any surrounding metal, the 4-pin plug for the regulator is pointed right at the crossmember. So I may still notch the subframe for access room to that connected if I can't find a different orientation that works. Or maybe just find a 1-wire alternator and be done with it. But I'm happy that it physically fits with the truck accessory drive.
The final post from today is the most exciting, also picked up an assortment of stainless weld elbows, one of each, to see which ones fit best!
On the left side starting from the top are SS304 schedule 40 2.5" weld elbows, "long" and "short" bend radii at 2.5" and 3.75" CLR, respectively. These are 2.45" ID, 0.210" wall thickness, and about 2.89" OD.
On the right side starting from the top are: SS304 16ga 2.5" tube (2.369" ID, 0.065" wall), and long and short SS321 schedule 5 2.0" elbows, 3.0" and 2.0" bend radii, at 2.248" ID, 0.080" wall, 2.41" OD. After discovering the previous turbo pipe cracking, my hunch was confirmed that I simply won't be using any of this thin-wall stuff, but it was good to get just to inspect and decide in person.
Ideally everything would be thick wall SS321 to retain heat and material properties at high temp, but 321 is so hard to find in any stianless blend let alone schedule 40, and it would be crazy expensive for long radius 2.5" stuff... so SS304 it will be.
The cool thing about the schedule 40 2.5" stuff is the inside perimeter is almost identical to that of a T3 turbo flange. I think I will grind a taper into the T3 flanges (they're 1/2" thick) to transition from the round to rectangular a bit better, and fill in and smooth the corners where there are gaps. But overall I'm very surprised and happy to see how close the profile are as-is, because squishing the round 0.210"-thick elbow into a rectangular shape on the end would suck.
I think the winning combo will be a long radius elbow from the manifold, then a short section of straight pipe, into a short radius elbow going into the turbo. I looked the short radius elbow over long and hard and really don't think it'll be too sharp of a bend for entering the turbo.
The nice thing is that after I updated my exhaust flow calcs with actual measured flange and elbow dimensions, the exhaust velocity from the head exhaust ports all the way to the flange is almost dead-on consistent. The exhaust velocity would drop off quite a lot if I were to use a T4 inlet turbo(far right numbers).
And here's a mockup of the Precision 46mm wastegates I'll be using.. plenty of room to route things I think..
It was pretty easy to do some manual porting of the T3 flanges, took about 15 minutes a piece having the big shop compressor running flat out with the belt sander and a couple 40 grit belts.
Received another order of stainless which should round out the raw materials I need for plumbing to the turbos, then turbos down to firewall (including wastegates). Man the 16ga piping is nice stuff.. hope my welds end up being good enough to do the material justice.
Also grabbed some SS304 CTS-V exhaust flanges off a CNC exhaust flanges maker on eBay, they see good quality and fit well. I like the widespread bolt pattern for supporting the cantilevered weight of the turbos and piping, versus the added annoyance of welding v-band flanges onto the manifolds again.
Also grabbed this Spectre tight radius intake elbow to maybe gain a couple inches of room to the rad support. Not sure if I'll use it, but an interesting option to try that I'll have to confirm the need of when I start modifying the inner fenders.
Finally stripped the engine bay of everything old turbo setup, and all the wiring and everything essentially forward of the tires.
An idea I'm playing with is sealing off the area behind the headlights and corner lights from the engine bay heat, and having ducts from under the bumper direct air up into the air filter area located behind the headlight.
I've made it about as far as I can fabrication-wise without having the actual turbos here, which I'll be ordering probably next week. So I tackled the accessory drive setup. I went thru a couple iterations and am liking this setup.. sure is handy having a 3D model of an LS3 longblock. The alternatorbracket is a 3 piece design which I think I'll CNC at work. Top and bottom alternator bolt pieces are pretty rigid and double shear on the alternatormounting, with a vertical 3rd piece to link the two together as well as locate/mount a redirect pulley.
I'll make a new power steering pump bracket to lower the pump 2" lower to get it further away form downpipe and wastegate pipe heat, and to eliminate the old alternator mounting stuff. The last design of two plates with simple turned spacers was easy to make and worked well and seemed very rigid once mounted.
The likely belt routing that I'll try out, for low everything...
Because for absolutely no good reason, I made some mirrored aluminum turbo stands to hold the turbos in place while making the piping. The wood stand was wobbly and kinda of ghetto, and would get in the way of the tireat full lock, as well as likely being bulky and in the way for the wastegate routing back to the downpipe. Used bearings as height spacers so that I have the option to move the turbo down from its current height for mockup/fabrication if I need.
This stand is so lonely on the passenger side.. good thing I ordered turbos today!
While I wait for turbos.. I decided to get cracking on real-life alternatorbrackets to test fit this weekend. Took about 6 hours total, but should be worth it. Haven't yet made the 3rd piece which is the side plate that bridges the upper and lower brackets as well as provide a mounting point for a redirect pulley. I want to test fit these two brackets first to make sure their location and offsets are accurate to the LS3 3D model I have.
Made a mockup of the rad setup I was thinking of using.. a C&R 31" x 19" radiator, dual pass (inlet and outlet both on passenger side) which has the filler on the driver side. Along with dual 14" Derale fans that are ~2.75" deep.
I placed it on the old rad brackets just to see how high a 19" core would sit. Pretty up there, but the filler cap still clears the hood be 1/2". Think I'll lower it and see what the potential upper hose routing would look like.
Also test fit the upper and lower alternator brackets before I drill and tap them to make a 3rd bridge piece, which will support the idler pulley. Fit is very good.. looks like my 3D model of the LS3 is accurate. There's about 3/8" gap between the alternator and the subframe cross member.. good thing I have the 1.5" further forward truck accessory drive or else the alternator in this location would for sure need to chopping of the subframe. The 1/4" adjustment I built into the brackets via slots works well, it visibly aligns the belt in plane when set up right in the middle of the slots.
Some more progress today.. used an angle grinder on the Nova for the first time since probably 2013! Started mocking up OEM inner fenders to see how much needs to be cut and modified. I think I'd rather start with them and modify than make inner fenders from scratch. I don't have an English wheel or anything for sheetmetal work so inner fenders from scratch would guaranteed look super ghetto.
I immediately chopped the battery tray closeout areas as I know I won't need those (I'll be extending the fenders down vertically).
So with the spring removed but the shock in place, this is full compression. Stupid car is too low!
Marked up a section to cut. I'm no sheetmetal guy, but this seems to be the most straightforward way to move the inner fender up, and retain some of the mounting points.
And inner fender jammed in place. I'll need to definitely do some more snipping. With the fender more or less in its proper place but just moved up ~1", there's really good tire clearance on the inboard sidewall, but the out the outboard sidewall is binding on the fender, so I'll have to cut that up.
Also cut out recesses for the clutch master and turbine housing, and see how well that lets me shift the inner fender some more. Luckily it looks like there's loads of room between the turbine housing and the tire inner sidewall at full lock, so I think a healthy recess for the turbo will work well.
Lastly, did a major clean and reorganize of the garage.. got everything off the floor except the floor jack and the 4 dollies holding the car up, so that felt nice. Not sure if I've shown before, but this is all the room I've been working with since 2004, other than the mill/lathe stuff I do at my work's machine shop, and maybe half the welding...
Yeah I've actually already done that, I clipped the edge of the fender lip from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock, when viewed from the side. I trimmed the lip from maybe 3/4" wide down to 1/8" wide, so now the tire rubs on the formed bend just above the lip area. I'll look for some pics of what I've done. Andyeah, the buttonhead is a good idea.
I think I'm going to end up trimming the inner fender right where it starts to be covered by the outer fender on the engine bay side, and make everything that's hidden be just a big cylindrical barrel for tire clearance. Extend that barrel laterally all the way to the inside face of the outer fender, then extend it down to the fender lip making it hug the outer fender as tight as possible. I've seen this mod before, but I can't remember which forum/thread.
Alternator bracketry wrapped up and ready to install on car this weekend. I'll then pull the P/S pump bracket and trim it down since it no longer needs to support the alternator.
STILL waiting on the turbos.. I guess it's been less than 2 weeks but man are they hard to be patient for!
Test fit the alternator brackets.. they seem to fit well although I think the alternator redirect pulley might be spaced a tad too much forward, won't know for sure until there is a real belt on the drive under tension and the accessory drive has run for a couple revolutions.
Last step is to trim some of the fat off the previous P/S pump & alternator bracket. Eyeballed a new upper redirect pulley location, drilled and tapped the existing bracket, then quickly hacked off the unneeded remainder on the home bandsaw, and will finish mill the edges to look nicely in the shop at work.
Previously a banjo fitting on the P/S pump, wanted to move to a smoother-bend hose end. It's close but should fit, and open up some hose routing options around the pump.
I'll route it on the inboard side of the pump, and ziptie the hose to a standoff I'll add to a bracket to isolate the pressure hose and prevent it from rubbing on anything.
Quite stoked on the belt path.. in person it's very low slung and compact looking!...
So thanks to Clint, I just had to enginerd out and measure some stuff.
Wrench length to the pulley bolt = 9.25", spring tensioner pivot arm (pulley bolt to arm pivot) = 1.875", so total lever arm for pull tests on the tensioner torsional spring = 11.125".
First numbers are the measured forces at the 11.125" distance from the tensioner pivot, and the second numbers are the equivalent belt pull forces (at 1.875" for tensioner arm + ~1.0" radius of the pulley itself).
The four test measurements are:
1) force to unseat tensioner from static
2) force to move tensioner to 1st "replace belt" mark
3) force to move tensioner to 2nd "belt sweetspot" mark
4) force to move tensioner to 3rd "tightest new belt" mark
1) 8.0 lbs test pull = 30.9 lbs belt pull
2) 12.3 lbs test pull = 47.4 lbs belt pull
3) 16.5 lbs test pull = 63.9 lbs belt pull
4) 17.8 lbs test pull = 69.7 lbs belt pull
You have to factor in what side of the crank pulley the tensioner is on. Clint is right that everything on the driver side of the crank pulley is being spun by a belt that is being driven directly by the crank, so the tensioner is after the crank pulley (passenger side) to take up any slack or flapping around that might happen on the "loose" side if the belt stretches.
My routing (in hindsight, should've taken tensioner location into more consideration) now puts the tensioner between the P/S pump and the alternator. So if there is resistance in the belt "down the line" from the tensioner, which the tensioner has to overcome, the tensioner could comply instead of that belt force resulting in torque on the alternator. That could happen in two cases.. 1) parasitic drag of the alternator pulley (from current generation) is too high and belt force required to turn the alternator overcomes the belt force required to activate the tensioner. Or 2) the engine is revving up faster than the inertia of the alternator wants to react, and the acceleration of the belt translates into activating the tensioner instead of turning the alternator pulley faster.
I think 2) is less likely than 1), but from my force measurements last night I'm thinking 1) might not be as big of a deal in real life... hopefully.
Haha! You're also not wrong about that too, Clint.
Don't worry about clogging the thread.. this is a discussion forum. If I wanted to just post pics with no feedback I'd make a blog! I don't think we're that off.. I just think we're evaluating it from different directions. See below pic to show what I mean.
Your F1 force is totally correct, but F1 is also the equilibrium state of the belt tension. I'm isolating my evaluation to the case where there is an additional load on the tensioner (which it wouldn't otherwise see on a factory setup) on top of the F1 load, when the alternator is now introducing a load behind the tensioner. For evaluation, I'm viewing the belt as static, with the belt fixed on the driver side of the tensioner somewhere around the throttlebody, and as the new alternator load is introduced it's "pulling" the belt down and thus activating the tensioner beyond its equilibrium state, and thus the alternator load would roll the tensioner deeper into its travel and might make it bounce back and oscillate, causing belt flap. I'm considering the regular load F1 and its combined resultant vector F2 to be proven fine on my existing setup with no squeal, belt flap, rub, or hop as far as I could tell, so the specifics of the F2 vector in my mind don't really matter as they're a proven baseline.
Red line has the shortest arrow (force) and longest lever arm, and those were my fish scale test pulls. Green would be the equivalent belt tension force to create the movements I measured with the fish scale, note the shorter lever arm and thus longer force vector. The way my mind is seeing it (and how I described in previous paragraph) the orange arrow has the shortest lever arm from the smaller offset of the pulley OD to the tension arm pivot, which results in a higher belt pull force than the green line. Therefor my "equivalent" force-at-belt calcs in my previous post were actually generous, as the belt force from the alternator load would need to be even higher than these values to activate the tensioner, since it is such an acute angle of the belt entering the tensioner from the alternator, and thus a small lever arm and thus large force needed.
I've also attached a blank pic of the accessory drive so you can mark it up to your heart's content
Guess what I picked up today!
Also needed some 0.188" wall 2.0" SS304 for the wastegates to mount to, couldn't find it locally or on AceRaceParts.com, but did find it at OnlineMetals.com, which had a great selection of everything. Since I was already paying shipping for the SS304, I also got some 6" 0.100" wall 6061 aluminum that I'll turn into the surge tank for the trunk... eventually.
I'm not sure if it was on here or on Instagram, but someone asked me what fender lip trimming I had to do to clear the tire at full lock, so I took some pics and a video.
Because of the camber gain from the Gulstrand mod, at full steering lock the outside tire comes closest to the trimmed fender lip around ride height, and the gap is about 3/8". Any suspension compression past that and the camber gain tucks the rim in and that gap decreases a bit to 1/4" or a little under, but then remains at that until full bump.
Because of the greater steering angle due to Ackerman, the inside tire at full lock just barely starts to rub the fender lip at full lock at ride height, and then continues to rub worse as the tire compresses. So this is okay for parking lot full lock, or hard corners as the car rolls a bit.. but the inside tirewill rub the trimmed fender lip pretty bad with any compression from hard braking while at full lock. I guess I can't Gymkana this car.
The driver side, at full right steering lock...
Here is the driver side cycling thru the suspension, with a pause around half way thru at what ride height would be if there were a spring in and on the ground...
I had a solid afternoon in the garage today. Went from never having mocked up the actual twins to having one side more or less tack welded together in an orientation that looks good for tire (and later inner fender) clearance, taking in mind feasible symmetry between both sides.
But first, some Precision equipment in a not-so-high-precision shed of a garage! Haha
And here are some comparison pictures if this helps anyone else out there. In all my research it was really difficult to get any reliable outside dimensions from any turbo maker, so here is a sizing comparison of the 6466 to a Turbonetics TC-76.. they're practically identical in size. That Turbonetics is one small envelope for a 76mm turbo. No wonder it choked out and wasn't nearly the beast that the old PT7675 was.
I was surprised to find that the T3 inlet flange I sourced from Ace Race Partswas massively off of the T3 Precision housing inlet. Guess I'll have to order matching inlet flanges from Precision, just bummed because of the wasted porting work I preemptively did. The housing has 10mm holes where the flange has 7/16" holes, and the 6 turbine housing clamp bolts are M8 with a 12mm hex head whereas the compressor housing has 3/8" bolts with 1/2" hex head.. very strange.
I settled on turbo locations that I think will work well.. not finalized, but probably 95% good working location to start fabricating hotside piping as well as roughing out the inner fender.
And started tack welding schedule 40 2.5" SS304. I was a bit hesitant to start just randomly grinding and cutting it in case I screwed it up, as it's expensive and I only got the minimum amount I thought I'd need, but I ended up only having to cut a little bit of straight stuff, and then just massaged a couple elbows with a grinder.
And the last bit of work I got done this afternoon.. a rough cut of the wastegate routing. I put it in a place that should be easy to mirror onto the passenger side, and didn't cut a thru-hole in the pre-turbo piping, I just tacked the wastegate piping on for mockup purposes for now. I think the wastegate downpipe should wrap under and merge back into the turbodownpipe nicely.
The pre-wastegate hotpipe is 0.188" wall schedule 40, so it's also on the thick side, but I think I will add a gusset just because the crotch weld in the front will end up being pretty sharp.
There is about 3" of airgap between the pre-turbo hotside and the P/S reservoir cap, which should be far enough considering there will be relatively-cooler air blowing in that area from the rad fans. I may still make a heat shield or heat tape the top of the reservoir cap.
There is also 1.5" air gap between the wastegate downpipe and the mockup of the radiator fan. The rad+fans mockup is generous (3.5" thick radiator) but the fans are also placed pretty high up, I could move the fans down a bit in real life, as well as the option of moving the rad down ~1" as well.
There was no good way to take a pic of this, but there is a minimum 1/4" gap between the wastegate downpipe or bellow and the pre-turbo hotside.. I think with the bend welded to the turbo downpipe, even with head expansion and vibration, there's no way this bend would rub on the pre-turbo hotside.
And of course, I went thru the effort to make the Precision logo horizontal
Thanks guys, I'm very content with the progress so far.
Andrew, no.. the turbo's currently are just supported by the piping. I'm sure to some this may seem less than ideal, as it did to me when I first started thinking about trying a twins setup, but that was the main reason I opted for the CTS-V manifolds, to move the flange further forward in order to reduce the length of the hotside piping and thus the cantilever.
This is also the reason I retained the 2-bolt OEM flanges instead of cutting them off and welding on more aesthetically-pleasing v-bands.. for some extra strength at the joint from the turbo weight. I'll also be welding the manifold flanges on the outside and inside, potentially with some extra gusset plates in the locations under highest tension.
The piping is also schedule 40, which is something like 0.24" thick, so with a deep chamfer at each weld joint and multiple weld passes I'm confident that almost that entire thickness will end up being made up with weld bead, making the piping itself quite strong.
For turbo weight, it's actually not that bad. The entire assembly as shown on the benchtop is reasonably liftable by one hand. There's also the fact that practically everyone else has made twins setups (with apparent success) having them supported only by thick wall piping or thin wall headers and tubing.
Yesterday I tried a different routing of the wastegate downpipe, routing it above the turbo downpipe to get that heat away from the radiator+fans and the turbo oil drain. I originally lightly mocked it up this way but thought it didn't look so good, but Mark brought me back to my senses.
I've ordered some 2" stainless bends that have a tighter 2.0" centerline-radius bend... the 2" piping in the pics below is 3.0" CLR. Tighter bends might make the wastegate piping appear less visually prominent. I also like that the wastegate feed pipe is now a bit more acute to the turbo hotpiping. I can still get at the crotch of the weld with some TIG torch tungsten stickout, so it looks tighter than it actually is.
Also awaiting more 2.5" schedule 40 elbows and turbo discharge v-band flanges, as well as Precision T3 flanges that match the turbine housing inlet.. so at the moment I can't really make any more mockup progress on the wastegate piping and downpipe, or any of the passenger side for that matter.
I tweaked the turbo hotside a bit.. rotated the piping on the flange slightly to bring the turbo inboard and further away from the tire for more inner fender clearance. This ended up swinging the compressor housing and intake elbow closer to the radiator support, so cut 3/8" out of the straight tube part of the turbo hotside.
Naturally, this now cramped any room I had left for asymmetric charge piping between the intercooler and the throttlebody, so I'll have to do a bendy tapered merge pipe from 3.5" at throttlebody to 2.5" by 4.5" overall width oval on the top of the intercooler.
I made the hood pin brackets.. no issues thus far. The springs are somewhat firm but only require 1/8" compression to insert the hood pins, so they're preloading the pin but not by a ton. They have 3 bolts that spread the load onto the rad support well, and the 3/4" high plate around the perimeter makes them super stiff.. so I never really had any concerns with the spring and the pin not being over top of each other. The way I did it way back was to place the pins on the hood in a place that looked visually balanced, then drilled down and made the brackets to fit. A lot of guys just mount the pins to the rad support which angles them forward in a way that doesn't fit the hood well, and puts them really close to the leading edge of the hood which I visually never liked.
While searching my old pics for the hood pin brackets pics, I also found these old ones from when I first got the car when I was 17...
As I wait for some stainless piping and other bits to arrive, I thought I'd finally get around to starting to model an air dam aka mini-splitter idea I've had in my head for a while. I think the proportions are okay-ish enough to not look like a train cattle guard, but also not so minimal that it's pointless looking.
The "vertical" part (air dam) is about the same rake as the bumper, but much more peaked in the middle to help aid airflow getting around the car and not underneath it. On the ends of the air dam are two 1/2"-tall lips that help tumble the air so that there are vortices as the air leaves the air dam, goes around to the side and tumbles past the spinning front wheels (very turbulent air around the wheelwells). And it has a horizontal piece (splitter) that's 3-4" deep across the width, to aid a bit in downforce but also prevent the diverted air from just getting funneled underneath the car.
This design or a piece similar to it would help build up a high pressure zone in front of the car (in front of radiator) as well as reduce the pressure build up in the engine bay by reducing the air that flows under the car. Inner fenders will also go a long way in helping keep airflow (and thus air pressure) from entering the engine bay from the wheel wells. It also helps airflow thru the radiator by closing out underneath the bumper, so air entering the bumper cutouts has nowhere to go except thru the radiator.
I have no idea if this is remotely close to what I'll end up making, but it's the design I've had in my head and wanted to hash out in 3D to see. I'll cardboard it up at some point after the turbo stuff to see what it looks like in real life. I also need to keep ~4" ground clearance since I need it to still go over speedbumps!
I wanted something that is a bit more substantial/sophisticated than just bolting on a 1969 Camaro air dam, but not as extreme as what some are doing out there as shown on these examples..
This weekend I'll be taking some detailed Nova body reference measurements to see how close the car is. Purely size-wise I'm not sure how close the model is to real life, but as far as surface detail and overall curvature & muscle lines, I gotta say I think the model is pretty damn accurate.
Some more 3D model fiddling.. luckily I'm picking up a ton of stuff tomorrow so I can pry myself away from whacky ideas on the computer and actually get some real stuff done!
Idea for hood vents, I would make them and likely just cut holes in the hoodand paint match the vents and insert them into the hood, at least to start.. instead of trying to do a bunch of metal blending. I could always graft the vents into the hood at a later date when bodywork happens, or more realistically just transfer them over to a lighter hood (fiberglass.. aluminum... carbon.... who knows what the future holds). Think I'd weld studs on the underside of the vent flange to fasten them to the hood, instead of just sticky tape or epoxy'ing them on.
I'm liking the width/length overall size of the vents as well as the number of louvers.. I feel it looks kinda balanced visually on the hood, not too ricey or "gilly". Vents are located so that they more or less line up right over all of the pre-turbo hot piping. Sizing of the vents side-to-side is roughly from the valvecover over to the inner fender, and front-to-back from the turbo center section back to the center of the exhaust manifold.
Another idea is for the tailpipes. I'm a big fan of the quarterpanel 45* dumps half hidden/tucked up under the quarter panel, which is what I currently have. Mark's Camaro executed this well.. only a bit of the tip is showing to hint at what's underneath.
That being side, almost since I got the car I've been curious what integrated/frenched exhaust tips could look like. I think since I'm doing a full 3.5" dual exhaust, the tips could actually be big enough to visually look balanced on the rear.
The Nova has a HUGE rear bumper, so small tips (2.5", even 3") look a bit out of place and small, especially if they're hanging 100% under the bumper. Also don't like when the tips come straight back from beside the framerails.. spacing looks too wide and unbalanced in my eyes. Case-in-point is how I originally did my exhaust when I first got the car, 2.5" slash cut chrome tips hanging below the bumper and outboard of the framerails, they look like an obvious add-on and not really integrated at all.
Part of my order today was the new rad & fans. I've gotten far enough along with the cardboard cooling stack mockup to know that there will be good room to make it work, so was time to move to the next step of getting parts.
Radiator is a 31"x19" overall size.. actually measures 31.0" wide by 18.625" high, and the core is 28.0" wide.
Reason for getting this particular radiator are:
1) has the widest core (28.0" wide) out of any of the popular brands' 31" rads, most common core size being 25.5-26.0" wide
2) C&R is a known and trusted brand. For my build I felt the price was only slightly higher than more questionable brands (Summit, Griffin, Entropy, etc) but I also couldn't spring for a big brand like BeCool, Ron Davis, etc. Welds are very consistent and tight, serial number and date of manufacture are hand engraved into the end tank. Multiple QC stickers.. everything points to a well-produced product
3) inlet & outlet are both on the same side.. I wanted to try a dual pass radiator just to see how it goes. Quite a few on the Corvette forums swear by dual pass for cooling when limited airflow is available.
The fan setup I'm trying out is about the beefiest setup I could conjur up... the highest-amperage Derale 16" fan paired with the highest-amperage 12" fan I could find.
The 16" fan is rated at 1918cfm but at 25.4amps, which is the highest ampdraw I could find out of any fan of any size, according to Summit but also searching manufacturers' websites and forum posts.
The second fan in the pic is one of my old ones (as a placeholder) which is 13" and 1640cfm @ 21.4amps. However the second fan I actually ordered and plan to try out (hasn't arrived yet) is a Derale 12" rated at a higher 2000cfm @ 24.8amps.
So total possible airflow (if the ratings are to be remotely trusted) is ~3900cfm, but at a whopping 50A. Luckily I already had the wiring setup to handle 70A continuous with a Ron Francis rad fan relay+fuse combo module.
I suspected that Derale fans are just re-branded Spal fans but about 25% cheaper, based off internet picture comparison, but it turns out that the fansare literally Spal fans just in a renamed box.
Rad is mocked up with spacers to the rad support to approx simulate a 4.5" thick intercooler, still not sure if I'm going to go that big. I'd really like to use a new-gen Garrett 3.8" thick intercooler core if I can find any core size that will work for my sizing.
I was anticipating some misalignment in the outlet/inlet, but it actually lined up better than I expected. Because everything on this damn car is custom, I'll give it a little effort to find a rad hose that might fit, but I'm expecting having to just cut off most of the rad inlet tube and weld on a bend to realign it perfectly with the waterpump outlet, and just use a straight rubber rad hose or maybe a black silicone coupler.
And fans appear to fit the accessory drive with a good 2-3" of clearance.
Like for the radiator lower inlet, I'm probably going to have to cut/weld on a tight aluminum 1.5" bend to the radiator outlet, to get the upper hose to hug the fans closely.
And fans appear to fit the accessory drive with a good 2-3" of clearance.
Like for the radiator lower inlet, I'm probably going to have to cut/weld on a tight aluminum 1.5" bend to the radiator outlet, to get the upper hose to hug the fans closely.
I also got a double-hump silicone coupler for the throttlebody, here's the backstory:
1) I originally got a 3.75"-to-3.5" reducer coupler that slid onto the throttlebody perfectly "just snug", but it didn't really have much give at all (for flex from engine motion, vibration, etc)
2) I then tried a 3.5"-3.5" single hump coupler, and I was able to stretch the 3.5" over the throttlebody's 3.75" OD without much issue, but in stretching the coupler it stiffened it up and removed a fair amount of give inherent in the hump design
3) So.. I now have a 3.5" double hump that is stretched over the throttlebody but still flexes side to side really nicely. I'll also be trimming the overall length down when I get to actually making the intercooler-throttlebody charge pipe.
It also looks like I'll have loads of room to hide the BOV underneath the charge pipe for a clean look, or if I want to bias the BOV to one side and have it rotated 45degrees from fully underneath (imagine at 4:30 or 7:30 position when viewed from front) if I want.
And finally got around to starting on the passenger side pre-turbo hotpipe. Yes, that's some laser alignment going on! Figured it was easiest reference to have once I confirmed that the laser was perpendicular to the center plane of the car via left & right distance measurements from both the firewall and the rad support. I also got the turbo's to the exact same height... 259mm height from the top of the subframe to the oil drain flange surface. Nerd!
I did some cutting and tack welding but ran out of time to tack on my last couple cut bends, but looks like the hot piping appear close to mirrored up until the final 90* bend into the T3 flanges.
I think that with the wastegates up top, the wastegate dump pipes routed near the turbine housing and over the turbine inlet should help mask the remaining asymmetry in the turbine housing mounting area. I also like that both compressor housings will likely have the outlets pointing directly down, which could make them appear "lined up" side to side, in the absence of actual symmetry in the compressor housings
Ahhh.. here's a fun post to wrap up the weekend. I may cut the driver side wastegate hot pipe off and slacken the miter angle on it, to bring the driver side wastegate up a slight amount, currently it's just barely lower than the passenger side wastegate.
Had a little time off from the car, ended up going to Barrett-Jackson this past weekend as just a fun spectator thing to do.. holy crap, 1000's of cars all so nice, everything is so next-level big and grand and shiny.
I'm still waiting on Precision turbo exhaust flanges+clamps and Precision T3 inlet flanges, but I got other stuff in the meantime to occupy my energy...
I needed some proper hardware for the turbo piping, and thought stainless would be the right ticket. Naturally I wouldn't want just hardware store metric stuff, and opted for ARP just for added strength. I didn't realize that ARP 300 alloy stainless is 170,000psi yield strength which is actually higher than grade 8 bolts. Went with 6pt heads so I can access everything with an open-ended wrench in tight areas if need be.
Here are some M10x1.25 bolts for the turbo flanges...
M10x1.5 bolts for the flanges on the CTS-V exhaust manifolds...
Exhaust manifold studs for the heads...
Finally received the back-ordered 64mm Precision BOV... this thing is HUGE! Even the band clamp is black anodized aluminum.. nice!
And an EGT thermocouple to hardwire to the Dominator ecu, which also required a converter to create a 0-5V signal that the Dominator will accept.
I plan to fully log one side of the turbo setup, basically:
1) pre-turbo exhaust temp (stainless K-type thermocouple)
2) pre-turbo exhaust pressure (stainless 3bar sensor after copper pigtail)
3) post-turbo pre-intercooler air pressure (additional sensor needed)
4) post-turbo pre-intercooler air temp (additional sensor needed)
5) post-turbo post-intercooler air pressure (intake MAP sensor)
6) post-turbo post-intercooler air temp (existing IAT sensor)
The radiator P/N is 802-31191
And the upper outlet is a -20 o-ring port thread, I guess to make the rad more universal/flexible for more applications. I got a 1.5" inlet, P/N 78-00104
I'll let you know how much of the rad support needs to be cut away to allow airflow for the 28" wide core, possibly after this weekend if I'm productive.
Made some aluminum sleeves to better locate the 1/2" holes on the hotside flanges to the M10 bolts required by the CTS-V exhaust manifold flanges..
Also cut off the driver side wastegate feed tube and adjusted it to make the angle a bit larger, to raise the driver side wastegate to better mirror the passenger side.
Also mocked up the Precision 64mm BOV just to see where/how it would fit since it's so huge. I think on the passenger side looks actually okay, matches the look of the DBW throttlebody servo. With the BOV on the passenger side it also helps fill some of the void on the passenger side, since I've made everything symmetric but the symmetry plane isn't actually in the middle of the engine. Look at the pre-turbo piping relative to the heads. The turbo's themselves are perfectly symmetric to the engine and their respective piping ended up looking visually correct and not wonky, but it just happened to not be perfectly symmetric to the engine.. oh well.
Didn't get too far on disassembling the front end. Not at the point of being able to make a cardboard mockup intercooler, but did enough to start mulling over the piping etc in my head.
Might be hard to see the silver lines on the rad support, but that's how wide I'm going to start trimming the core support. It'll be 1/2" wider than the intercooler on both sides, which will let me jam the intercooler close to the radiator but not touching, and the rad support will be completely outside of the intercooler. I think I'll use some rubber insulation of some type to seal the backside of the intercooler to the front side of the radiator but not allow heat transfer from radiator to intercooler.
Up here in BC we have a 3-day long weekend coming up in a couple days, I have a full tank of Argon, and on Thursday I'll FINALLY be picking up the Precision T3 flanges and downpipe clamps/flanges.. so I could very well have the hotside and a decent amount of the donwpipes finalized this weekend.
Also, I'll just post this here for posterity:
Received the Precision turbine outlet flanges and the T3 inlet flanges. Inlet flanges fit the turbine housing profile much better, slight discrepancy but I'm not going to lose sleep over it.. much better fit than the generic Ace Race Parts T3 flanges which had almost a 3/16" step difference between the T3 flange and the T3 inlet profile on the turbine housing.
Ordered some extra misc M10 flange hex head for various accessory drive stuff, including some SS316 nuts to finish off the stainless turbo mounting hardware.
Turned down the flange OD on the ARP bolts (modified on left, untouched on right) just to have a bit more clearance to the radius on the turbine housing.
Started on the downpipe fabrication, started on the passenger side because the design is much more felxible and I was a bit too hungover to think hard haha.
Downpipes will be 3.0" from the turbo to the subframe rail, then 3.5" under the floorpan back to the rear bumper. This is because the downpipe routing is so tight on the driver side around the steering box that I just didn't want to push it with 3.5" OD and the required increase in centerline bend raidus of the 3.5" 90* bends I have.
I figure that if I am pushing the setup hard enough for the 3.5" dual exhaust to be a significant benefit over full 3.0", then surely having the majority of the exhaust be 3.5" should be enough. The turbo outlets are 3.0" vband but the actual ID of the turbine outlet was something like 2.7" I think when I measured it with calipers.. so 3.0" downpipes for first ~24" shouldn't be a huge deal.
Sure I could've made the passenger downpipe out of minimal bends and a long straight, but I added some style to it because it will be much more visible than the driver side. I tried to make the very front bend mimic the bend of the pre-turbo hot piping, and then make the rest of the downpipe parallel to the slant in the CTS-V manifold. Then have the bend going down to the framerail mimic the bend at the back of the exhaust manifold.. kindof making the downpipe look like a nested duplicate shape of the manifold+hotpiping.
Starting working over the Precision T3 flanges, luckily they are identical in outer profile to the generic ones I had used for mockup.
Here is the difference in rectangular profile between the old (generic) one on top of the Precision one. It was a big enough difference to make me want to swap out, plus the Precision flanges have nice 10mm holes like the turbine housing, the generic flanges had 7/16" holes creating a lot of mounting slop.
A carbide bit on a pneumatic die grinder makes very quick work of the SS304.
Because the new and old flanges are same in outer profile, I used the piping as-is to create a locating setup on the Bluco modular jig at work. We use this jig table for absolutely everything because it's just so easy and awesome. This setup will locate the Precision flanges in the same place as the mockup flanges, to remove any placement error when cut off the old ones.
New Precision flange in place on the driver side hotpipe, right were it's supposed to be.
Setup for the passenger side hotpiping. Using plenty of clamps, height blocks, and locating angle brackets allows the hotpiping to just "click" into place in only one orientation...
And new Precision flange properly located on the passenger flange..
Then I got started on hogging out the hotpiping where the wastegate branches are located.
First step was to use the Scotchbrite buffing wheel to remove all my previous marker lines and start fresh.. mark a nice tight profile line and then a couple locating lines for alignment, then buzz off the tack welds...
Then I marked off the inner area that needed to be removed, constantly checking for accuracy by test placing the wastegate branch in place.
Holesaw for bulk material removal! As a first attempt I realize the holesaw could have been a bit lower down to lessen the amount of rounding/grinding needed to achieve the finished profile, oh well...
Then using a belt sander, cutoff zip wheel, carbide grinding bit, and a file, we have a large smooth opening.
Close enough for my liking... so much flow!
Learned for round 2.. holesaw'd much closer to the finished profile...
Again this jigging table is immensely helpful for quickly holding a weirdly shaped piece on top of another weird shape, so it doesn't annoyingly move around while tack welding in place.
Broke out the air tools today to do some trimming on the subframe.. trimmed the corner of the frame-side motor mount to gain as much room as I can for the driver side downpipe...
And now things get serious. Not a lot of room in here. Because I had no idea what the shape would, instead of guess-cutting stainless I instead made up the downpipe from existing SS cutoffs and some easier-to-cut aluminum tube. The straight aluminum tube right next to motor mount will end up being some round straight that I'll squish oval for more clearance.
This is about a 3/4" air gap between the round aluminum 3" tube and the steering box, and the aluminum section will be squished-oval pipe that I'll then heat wrap and then add a heat shield on the backside between the downpipe and the steering box. I'll be routing the power steering lines over the downpipe, close the block, and covered in some legit DEI high-temperature heat protective sleeving.
Since Clint is so good at writing up how-to's, I thought I'd share some of my methodology too. This is how I route pipes in complex areas. Since I had a bunch of aluminum straights and bends I try to use those to test cut and hash out routing if I'm really not able to picture how it's going look in my head.
I use electrical tape to temporarily hold together the sections.. it's easy to stretch a bit and sticks well enough, and is reusable a handful of times if it doesn't get greasy on the sticky side.
Once I finalize a section, if there's an aluminum piece spliced in the middle I angle the section appropriately and use a large block as a height reference, and draw a line across the 3 members....
Remove the electrical tape and the lines are still present but not as well defined....
Mark a nice straight line on the stainless piece to get spliced in...
Extend the lines and throw the replacement piece in there...
Then start tack welding the sections together one pair at a time. Probably one of the most helpful things for welding is having a bunch of miscellaneous steel/aluminum medium and big blocks to adjust heights, support things, etc. Also especially helpful to have an assortment of thin gauge sheet/plate to slightly adjust/shim the heights of multiple pieces, etc...
Case-in-point, sometimes you have to get fancy and creative for supporting weird angles... at least when you're working at home and don't have the same awesome fixturing table that you have at work...
And sometimes something is just so awkward that you have to hold it by hand and hope that you can squeeze in a filler-less fusion spot weld. This is especially true when you tack weld on one side of a weirdly shaped tube and wait too long after, the tack cools and shrinks and then you have to put some body weight into closing the gap again and fusion tack weld on the opposite side of the first tack weld...
Left the bottom end of the downpipe as aluminum for now while I figure out what oval/bend shape I want snaking past the steering box...
Downpipe is close to the exhaust manifold, but it has about 1/4" clearance which is more than enough for heat expansion and installation misalignment...
Pretty decent air gap for cylinder #1 spark plug wire, but I'll still cover it in heat protective sleeve. I'll also be running this plug wire directly down and underneath the motor mount, close to the block, but naturally heat protected this whole length.
Like cylinder #1, I'll wrap cylinder #3 spark plug wire in heat protective sleeve and ziptie the wire to the cylinder #5 wire to keep it out of the way of the downpipe.
Haha thanks Clint... that's a funny link.
I'll definitely be covering the power steering lines and oil cooler lines with some high-temp sleeves of some sort, as well as exhaust-wrapping the driver side downpipe in the offending areas. I'll also weld on some bungs to mount comprehensive stainless sheet heat shielding on the motor mount and steering box sides of the downpipe.
I was leaving the UCA bolts long for the time being while I figured out the downpipe routing, then will swap to shorter bolts once I figured out my "worst case" clearances.
Anyone have any good experience with particular heat protection/sleeving? I previously had both name brand and Summit brand aluminum foil heat sleeving and after all the heat cycling the aluminum started flaking off as shown in a previous post.
I'm thinking something along these lines, but getting totally lost in all the different brands/options:
Haha... Clint, the several times I've mentioned "heat shielding" in the last couple posts, I've been meaning exactly like that. There will be formed (by me) heat shields between the downpipe and the steering box, downpipe and motor mount, and between the downpipe and the oil cooler and PS lines wherever they may end up being.
I plan to do heat sleeving in addition to shielding.. shielding is great for redirecting immediate high heat and creating that thru-flow air gap that you mentioned, but there's no question that the ambient temp under the hood is going to be high, and I'd like to insulate the power steering and cooling lines as much as possible from that high ambient heat.
I plan to do similar design as what I had on my previous setup, but maybe try the formed aluminum sheet that you posted a link to:
Found something neat today for the GM Type II power steering pump, thought it might be beneficial for others. But first, a little background...
The first time I redid my accessory drive, call it Version2, I went from a trimmed cast aluminum truck bracket for the alternator & old Saginaw pump to custom plate bracketry to hold a newer GM Type II PS pump. When I was researching this I originally wanted to use a straight adapter fitting to go from the pump M16 port threads on the outlet to -6AN male, and then a 90* hose end or adapter, to make sure the pump outlet flow is nice. I ended up not having the room to loop the height of an adapter fitting and 90* end, as well as the minimum hose bend radius under the bracket for the alternator. So instead I used the standard M16 banjo fitting, which I was never really a fan of, thinking that maybe the small banjo bolt holes and sharp geometry could introduce aeration and maybe cavitation and pump whine.
The benefits of a banjo style fitting are: 1) tighter fitting sizing, and 2) companies like DSE etc sell a banjo fitting brazed or welded to nice pump-hugging stainless tubing that wraps around the side of the reservoir for tight fitment. This is great and all for tight areas, but those pieces are expensive at $70-100+, and still have the banjo fitting which may or may not actually affect flow.
DSE power steering hard line and fitting option...
Danchuk hard line..
Holley hard line...
So this morning I was helping troubleshoot a coworker's 1988 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and noticed that its power steering pump has a very similar tight-bend steel tube wrapping above the reservoir, but the part that threads into the pump outlet is an awesome straight fitting! The pump appears to have a straight adapter fitting in it, and every year of power steering pressure hose that I looked up appeared to be the same o-ring fitting, with variations in the tube bend path.
Jeep Grand Cherokee, '84-'86, 4.0L engine, little hard to tell which end goes in which direction, also very hard to find any pictures or eBay ads for this model year range...
Jeep Grand Cherokee, '87-'90, 4.0L engine, wraps around the top and back of the reservoir, then straight down (hose end on right side of pic). ACDelco 36358690 or Gates 358690...
Jeep Grand Cherokee, '93-'98, 4.0L 5.2L 5.9L engines, points the hose horizontally to the driver's side...
Jeep Grand Cherokee, '99-'04, 4.0L engine, points the hose down behind the reservoir like the '87-'90 hose. Finding part numbers of Gates 353090 & Gates 365606...
Clint you're totally right, that was a mess up on my end... I've edited the post. They're an o-ring fitting for sure, I was just mis-remembering.
Another decent day in the garage today, ended up spending a bunch of time figuring where wiring, breather hoses, fuel FPR and hoses will go, etc. All this revolved around getting a new intake..
I've been kinda mediocrely pleased with the truck intake this whole time. I originally liked it because it's what I had, and with some trimming I thought it still looked kind of "OEM". But with time and all this attention spent on perfecting the aesthetic of the twin turbo setup, I've been intrigued with getting a nicer looking low-profile car intake.
In my research before deciding to go with twins, I decided that if I were to ever justify replacing the heads, I wouldn't go all the way with crazy CNC AFR heads but instead would go with stock GM LS9 heads due to the better/stronger A356 material they're made of and the casting method, the [slightly] thicker decks, and the all-cool [slightly] larger titanium intake and sodium-filled exhaust valves. Well I found a good deal on BNIB GM CNC LS9 assembled heads... why not! Their combustion chamber size is 66.5cc compared to my old 70.5cc 317 heads, so that will bump my compression up from 9.0:1 to 9.4:1.. I don't foresee this being an issue. Bonus for this is if I end up stroking the engine in the future, I won't have to settle for 8.0:1 to 8.5:1, I could get closer to 9.0:1 with a 4.0" stroke.
This allows me to run an LS3 intake which looks much nicer in my opinion (hey.. I have to pay attention to form sometimes!) and requires a 4-bolt 90mm throttle body which is close to the 3.5" charge piping I'm running. The rectangular ports look honestly almost twice as big as the cathedral ports.. I personally don't see a downside to the upgrade... if I can build the same power but at 0.5psi, 1psi, or even 2+psi less boost produced by the turbos, then that's a win in my books, not to mention the better heat properties of the head material.
I did some reading thinking I'd be smart, and preemptively purchased a 2008+ "gold blade" LS3 throttle body (GM p/n 12605109), reading that its blade is reverse-sweep compared to the previous 2005-2008 "silver blade" LS2 throttle body (GM p/n 12570790) but that Holley is compatible with it. Somehow in my hours of research beforehand I didn't come across the fact that apparently the later "gold blade" TB had much weaker servo motors than the "silver blade", and has a tendency to have the TB blade get forced/stuck open under "high boost" when the foot is taken off the pedal. So looks like I'll be returning the later LS3 TB and buying an earlier LS2 TB.
Checking the angularity of the silicone coupler and the 3.5" piping, with the intake now a bunch lower. It was actually quite easy to stretch the 3.5" 5ply silicone double hump coupler over the 100mm throttlebody OD, so it's nice I can reuse that coupler. With some ovalization of the charge pipe over the radiator I don't think the intake piping angles will look too whacky...
A decent shot to show how close I got the placement of the wastegates, the clocking angles of the wastegate domes, and the angles of the wastegate dump pipes (with flex joints).
Also got started on the passenger side wastegate dump pipe into the downpipe.. I'm pretty happy with it but will think about it a bit to see if I want to slacken out the angles of the bend going into the downpipe...
Returned the "gold blade" 2009+ LS3 throttlebody to Summit and ordered a "silver blade" 2005-2008 LS2 throttlebody from Rock Auto. Didn't think the size would be that different between the 90mm 4-bolt TB and the old 78mm 3-bolt truck TB. Pretty interesting to compare side-to-side.. I can't help but think that the increase in size will help even just slightly for transient response etc before "teh boosts" kick in....
Also ordered a new waterpump. I wanted a waterpump with a wider pulley, so I could set back the pump body itself (for several reasons I'll disclose later) yet maintain the truck belt alignment.
I originally tried an LS2 water pump with the huge dome-like pulley, but it was a repop ACDelco part number that was absolutely **** in build quality. "Made in China" (I try to not let that affect my evaluation) but the heater hose barbs were pressed in at whacky angles, the pulley wobbled, the block-mounting surfaces weren't parallel.. and the killer was that the thermostat housing part of the body was too bulky/low and interfered with my low-mount alternator bracket.
I also returned the **** ACDelco repro early LS2 waterpump and sought out a legit GM 2005-2008 Corvette LS2 waterpump, which has a short nose pump shaft but a wider width pulley to allow it to be used on the compact Corvette LS2 accessory drive alignment or the mid-compact GTO LS2 accessory alignment.
Here's the 1/2" extra length that the 2005-2008 LS2 waterpump pulley has on the 2009+ LS3 pump.
Naturally when you have a brand new part that you're *pretty sure* will fit, you hack it up. This was to shorten the outlet neck to make the rubber rad hose that I already have fit..
Pretty convenient that I found two pre-cut bits from my box of rad hoses that fit the dimensions perfectly...
And started arranging the 3.5" piping to where the intercooler will be. This pic is kinda funny, shows why I was worried the single middle charge pipe will look like an "elephant trunk" haha..
So one of the last big things to get was the intercooler core(s). I really wanted Garrett, because the best, but the range of Garrett cores available in the aftermarket is pretty limited. I originally wanted a vertical flow core matching the radiator core width of 28", and somewhere in the neighborhood of 12" high. I ended up deciding on a pair of 12"W x 14"H x 3.5"t cores, that I'll weld together as one vertical flow 24"W x 14"H unit.
The reason for me being fixed on using Garrett cores, is the reputation of excellent cooling on their high efficiency "GT cores". Garrett goes about this by having lots of these alternating/staggered/louvered "turbulator" fins, both on the outside vehicle flow and the internal charge air flow. Other brands claim to have this, but at what pressure drop or internal restriction.. I do not know. Would rather pay the price once in the beginning and do it right.
The flow thru the 3.5" width seems pretty impressive for the fin density.. I blew thru the core very lightly (think an 80 year old blowing out birthday cake candles) and the wind force was strong on my hand on the backside... I don't think this 3.5" core thickness will affect the radiator airflow much based on this super subjective test.
What the pair of cores will look like...
Of course, I didn't want to risk damaging the cores even with cardboard protection, so I made a cardboard mockup intercooler with the same dimensions..
Of course, time to hack out even more of the rad support.. the last thin piece linking the two rad support sides together. I'll make a custom frame linking it all back together once I finalize out the rad/intercooler placement.
I'm going to trim the front of the subframe horns, and notch the bumper brackets to make room for the 2.5" charge piping to pass thru, so the piping can then take a 90* bend up on the outside of the subframe rails, into the turbos...
I was experimenting with what the bumper would look like "sleeker" tucked about 1" rearward and up 1/2".. it's okay but a bit cramped... I think when I modify the bumper brackets I'll leave the bumper in the stock location.
****, that's my bad Andrew... I even knew that was your name but I was replying to your post as I read it, and saw Adam so typed Adam haha.
Started on a couple different intercooler things today, including trying to ovalize tubing to give the outlet charge pipe more clearance over the radiator. So I made some tooling!
Worked pretty well! This forms a 3.5" OD tube to 2.5"x4.1" oval.
I anticipated that this first attempt with no taper to the tooling might end up kinking the tubing somewhat, but wanted to try anyways. It's noticeable, but not too bad.. however I still massage the form and added some taper to it to prevent any kinks the next time around..
Next up was to start putting some shape into the 3.5" round pipe sections of the charge pipe. Included some pics of how I cut the U bend, can never have too secure of a fixture setup!
After staring at it for a while, I actually started liking my super basic first "mockup" oval elbow for the intercooler outlet that I made out of a split 2.5" slash cut bend and some cardboard filler. Decided to run with it and make it fully out of aluminum, to have as an option for the intercooler outlet..
Now to just make a 3.5" round -> 2.5"x4" oval transition to link the two parts. The gap where the transition goes is directly over the radiator. I'll wait until I've finalized the radiator and intercooler locations before finishing this piece off with that transition. I'll probably end up pinching the tip of the S bend a bit just to make the transition less abrupt.
And just as an extra point of interest.. after doing all the above, I was curious to see how well the 3.5" mandrel bend would deal with some ovalizing forming, with the residual stresses in the tube from the bending process. Turns out, it doesn't like to be formed again.
Did some manual smoothing/tapering of the wooden form to help the situation with less kinking...
Initial setup before any compression...
This is with about a 1/2" of compression, you can already see the outside wall of the bend wants to collapse seeing as it's already experienced a lot of tension/stretching from the mandrel bending process...
And this it after full compression AKA wood form bottoming out on itself, there's a good 1/4" of spring back and you can see how the corners of the form didn't want to get "filled out" by the tube, and there's more kinking and deformation on the outer side of the bend...
Got some pretty good progress done this weekend. Since I hacked up my radiator support and I'm free to put the radiator/intercooler wherever I can reasonably fit them, it's been a pretty interesting juggling act adjusting the radiator+intercooler stack up/down and front/back, to best accommodate fitting the grill and having non-weird looking top charge pipe.
I ended up pinching the end of the cut 3.5" mandrel bend, and it blended pretty well with the multi-piece 2.5" elbow that I made. The only area where the profile didn't match was the underside had a bit of a gap, but I think I will notch this underside part of the ovalized bend, to make it flush and give the radiator a bit more clearance..
Here you can see how the edges of the rad are resting on the underside of the charge pipe. I'm going to lower the rad maybe 1/2", which will allow the pipe to flatten a bit, then slide the pipe forward ~1/2" to clear the front edge of the rad, and notch the 3.5" ovalized bend so it has clearance to the back edge of the rad..
Then got started on making the intercooler bottom end tanks. These prettymuch have to be a specific size/location, so it's no issue just getting them done away from the car.
I used some paper just to get the rough tapered cut lines in order to have some taper to the shape, but everything after that was just winging it.
Don't have a press brake at work, but do have lots of rectangular and round pieces of metal. Oi did this suck, work hardening 0.100" 5052 around a 2.25" pipe to get a ~2.5" bend...
I needed to pinch the bend tighter as I was only able to hand/hammer bend it to about 4-4.5" wide once the length was cut down, so use an arbor press to pinch it down to 3.5" width..
Next I had to trim the subframe horns to make room for the 2.5" turbo->intercooler piping. I'll also be hacking up the bumper support brackets and reinforcing afterwards.
And here is about as much of the stock radiator support I will leave... time to start fabbing in new support structure to reinforce and hold the radiator and intercooler!
Finished the mock up routing of the wastegate recirculation pipes this weekend.
Here is how the driver side recirc pipe is routed.. it's pretty slammed to the exhaust manifold, and merges with the downpipe about 16" back from the turbo outlet. There's still decent room to get a wrench on the UCA cross shaft bolt, and room for camber shims. I'll be flipping the bolt around also for ease of full removal.
Here is the passenger side.. significantly more straightforward. The wastegate recirc pipe merges with the downpipe about 14" back from the turbo.
Crazy to think how much time and mental power it's taken just to produce this set of pipes here. Off the car en route to final welding. The passenger side downpipe and wastegate recirc pipe are two pieces (middle two) because I never bothered to tack weld the recirc pipe to the downpipe for fitment, like I did with the driver side.
Last step to do to the turbo piping before final weld was making the merge holes for the wastegate recirc piping into the downpipes.
Passenger side process for this is shown below:
1) I placed the wastegate recirc pipe on the downpipe, and traced the outline of the pipe as a guide. Then used a tiny 1" cutoff wheel to make a cut following this outline but offset about 1/8" inboard (tubing is 1/16")...
2) Then I use this carbide bit to smooth out the cutoff wheel marks and make it closer to finished shape...
3) then I used the nose of Dynabrade air belt sander to really final massage the curvature of the opening...
4) then I used a rounded file to remove any burrs on the inside edge of the hole that may have been created from the previous cutting/grinding...
5) then I buff all the mockup marker lines and other scratches/imperfections, and it's ready for final weld! I'll be fully welding the downpipes and the wastegate recirc pipes separately, and reassemble on the car one last time to tack weld the recirc pipe back onto the downpipe in the exact right location/orientation.
I got a little impatient and really wanted to see how the China SS304 would weld without backpurging.. it sugared bad, so definitely had to cobble together a backpurge setup. But it suuuuure does look pretty...
I was only able to do MOST of one pre-turbo hot pipe... using 12' of filler rod... before I ran out of filler... this thing was just EATING up filler material with the heavy 45* bevels on the joins.
The welder at work.. this thing welds as smooth as a dream, it's such a treat to use...
This was the first test pass, just kind of sat down and gave it a shot. I forgot how quiet and calming welding DC is vs AC...
Mmmmm.. pretty colors! This is why I spent time buffing and cleaning pre-weld, because I want to just leave them like this after weld...
Haha I appreciate the support... I REALLY should make full 3.5" oval exhaust... only have the downpipes fab'd up until the firewall.
Then in no particular order I need to (off the top of my head):
- finish and weld bottom tanks on IC
- finish and weld top tank on IC
- tack weld support structure to core support, then remove core support to fully bench weld & paint
- swap the heads (buy new LS9 head gaskets)
- install new valvesprings
- swap oil pan
- make oil cooler lines to an oil cooler I've yet to buy or make brackets for
- measure and order turbo oil feed/drain lines
- make a nice-flowing Y block for turbo oil feed lines off of oil cooler return hose
- reroute FPR to be after fuel rail, not before
- install FIC 1000cc injectors
- make brackets to adapt fuel rails to new 42mm short injectors
- make boost distribution block for 2 x boost sensors (1 Holley, 1 Speedhut) and BOV feed
- relocate the breather can from driver fender to firewall, remake lines
- make charge pipes from turbos to IC
- weld stainless bung to downpipe for Holley WBO2
- weld stainless bungs on hot piping for EGT, EGP
- weld alu bungs on charge piping for pre-IC pressure, and IAT
- wire EGT/EGP, pre-IC pressure into Holley Dominator
- get 2 x 4" air filters and make connector tubes to the 4" 90* elbows on the turbo inlets
- CNC P/S pump bracketry (actually doing that this week) and finished accessory drive install
- make P/S pressure/return lines
- plumb push-lock Nylon lines to BOV from boost distribution block
- make boost lines from Holley solenoid to wastegates.. not sure if I'm doing stainless tube or just run push-lock air lines
- make new radiator shroud with cutouts for new fans
- pin the new fan wires to connect to existing fan relay on car side
On the to-do list but not required before first drive:
- MODIFY AND INSTALL INNER FENDERS
- remove heater box and make cover panel for firewall
- redo fuel system with swirlpot in trunk
- rear firewall behind rear seat back
- wire Holley Dominator for correct output to Speedhut speedo, to finally make speedo work
- figure out weird back-voltage issue in oil temp Speedhut gauge that makes Holley go into limp mode when gauge is connected
- fab tray-like sealing structure that mounts to hood, and closes out gap between core support and underside of hood
- make some type of scoop for the bottom 2" of rad to ram air it fresh air
- install a '69 Camaro chin spoiler I got for cheap of Craigslist
Thanks Clint.. I'll push hard but not sure if I'll make it! I aim to have ALL turbo hotpiping welded up until the firewall by this coming weekend, as well as the cut P/S pump brackets to install this weekend as well.
Tonight I'm going to pick up the injectors, and going to "borrow back" the engine hoist from a friend who's had it for years. The plan this weekend is to strip down the engine to a short block, lift it up a bit to remove trans, lift it up a bit more to swap the oil pan, then reinstall for good and start hanging things back on!
Spent 1hr on Sunday starting the schedule 40 welding, and another 4hrs last night. I was expecting it to take a while, but took a lot longer than I had anticipated, with all the backpurge setup and breaks. Aim to fusion weld the thinner 16ga downpipe/wastegate pipe stuff later this week.
The welds aren't quite as good as I was hoping, but I fed probably 12+ sticks of 36" filler rod into these, so there's plenty of weld material. They appear a bit more undercut in the pictures than they are in real life, maybe because of poor camera lighting. I was so hot.. 150-180 amps for probably 2.5hrs of seat time.. oi!
I spent about 10mins going over the schedule 40 hot piping, upon re-evaluation there were only a few welds that were mildly undercut/underfilled.. so I smoothed those out, and then added a couple beauty passes to the most visible welds just to make them nice.
Last night I started fiddling with the thin gauge stuff (16ga). Started with the passenger side downpipe. I had nailed the miters pretty square and flat.. enough that I thought I'd try fusion welding instead of using filler wire. Also tried out the pulse function on the Dynasty 350... wow is this thing cool.. never thought I'd be welding with one hand again!
The settings I landed on for the pulse feature were 2.0 pulses per second, 95% peak amperage (AKA when pulse is "on", it is 95% of whatever pedal position I'm at), 55% background amperage, main amperage set to 80A, and was at about 3/4 pedal for most of it. No filler, and I was moving the torch at maybe 5-6 seconds to travel one inch. I used a 1/16" thoriated tungsten with about 3/8" stick out, and a #12 ceramic cup with about 25cfm. The heat control was mind-bogglingly sweet...
Sometimes you have to pick your battles, and with such a long list of stuff to still do, I farmed out the P/S pump bracket making to the CNC machine in the shop at work.
Here is "version 4.3" of accessory drive.. about as much wrap as the pulleys can possibly have. The idler pulleys are all OEM GM ones so quality shouldn't be a concern. The goal of this design revision from the last one several months ago was to move the P/S pump down 1-3" to get the pump reservoir away from turbo heat, and the current/past P/S pump pulley location is the blue sketched line. Also necessary was leaving room below/beside the pump for oil cooler lines to snake around, and maximizing belt wrap with the LS3 intake and '05-'08 Corvette LS3 waterpump.
The smooth idler pulley below the tensioner assembly is the biggest one I have (70mm OD).. I wanted to see if the design could theoretically hold a pulley that big, to reduce bearing speed. If in real life assembly the pulley is too close to the belt (to the right) after the tensioner settles, then I have a 60mm and 54mm OD pulleys that I can swap, to improve belt and thermostat clearance at the sacrifice of some pulley bearing life.
Got some good progress done on the car. I'm at the point of needing to remove or at the very least lift up the engine to swap oil pan.. so I thought I would remove the trans to get to make that job easier. The trans needs to come out anyways because I've had a McLeod Twin Street RXT clutch collecting dust for years just waiting to be install (from I think 2014!). As well, I got an F-body converted T56 Magnum that I'll be adding an oil sprayer pump setup too.
Got the rusty gross 2.5" years-old 'temporary' dual exhaust out from under the car and removed the driveshaft and the trans x-member. I have no idea why I was expecting the driveshaft to be a bit beat up.. I've put a lot of hurt on it.. but no scratches or chips or rust or anything.. it's 3.0" 0.80" wall (if memory serves correct) chromoly made locally. I should *hopefully* just need to swap out the slip yoke on the shaft from old 1350 26 spline unit to a new chromoly 31 spline 1350 unit.
While the trans was out, I needed to add an exhaust clearance notch on the driver side since when I made this trans x-member years ago I didn't think I'd end up twin turbo'ing it... oops!
Before I started any trans x-member work, I wanted to finish the stainless welding while the machine was all setup for small tungsten and pulsing..
Next was to modify the existing trans x-member, which is obviously for single passenger side exhaust. The notch is made of 1/4" thick 4" pipe, and the dimensions would allow up to a 8" wide single oval pipe, or dual 4" wide oval pipes. The high clearance nature of this setup meant I could run 2.5" tall exhaust completely tucked above the underside of the subframe rails.. so I wanted to just duplicate these dimensions onto the driver side.
The green tape shows the center line of the trans drain plug (bottom line) and the "outside profile" of where a pickup fitting would be when installed into the drain port, so this is an area that I'll need to notch and gain room for an oil feed adapter fitting and hose end from the trans drain port to the oil pump..
Utilizing the jigging table at work YET AGAIN.. this thing is so amazing. My current x-member fits the subframe/floor like a glove, so wanted to maintain the mounting points.. so drilled a couple brackets to locate all the holes, use some blocks to set the heights, and before/after modification should end up damn near identical!
Then cut it the hell up...
Gotta get creative when you want to bisect a 1/4" wall 4" pipe.. luckily we have a big honking bandsaw at work. If the fixturing setup works, it can't be ghetto, right?
These pics are just various states of building the trans x-member back up. The passenger side (right side of pic) I ended up narrowing the notch cutout down to 6" inner width (still super wide, a 4" pipe in oval size is 2.5"x4.875"). Narrowing the passenger side gains room for the passenger side trans drain port fitting (roughly mocked up by the machined aluminum block held by the yellow clamp). I just then copied this new notch width onto the driver side (left of pic).
Mostly-welded x-member placed back on jig to check alignment...
Driver side alignment is pretty good..
Some welding on the driver side notch (was previously the passenger side notch), but not a ton..
Trans mount alignment is pretty good
Passenger side has more linear butt welds...
And there's the shrinkage. Very interesting that the passenger side doesn't have too many more welds but all the shrinkage occurred on the one side. To make my life easier I'll probably just slot the holes laterally instead of make a new side plate or space the side plate out and add a filler plate or just filler weld...
Oil pan swap is for a couple reasons:
1) bottom of the Holley 302-3 oil pan is same height as my modified truck pan, however the sealing face for the oil filter is about an inch closer to the block (like an f-body pan). Because my pan is a truck pan, the filter feature on the pan is quite a bit lower and I was forced to run a super stubby oil filter in order to get the filter to not hang below the modified bottom of the pan, so the Holley pan will let me run