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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread covers my heads and cam swap, my battery relocation, fuel pump swap, appearance add-ons, SJM ABS Delete, suspension parts, and other stuff.

This is my first time REALLY working on a 4th gen. I take pride in my work.

My hands are sore and don't work sometimes, but I still keep going. Hey, I'm only 40!!

Also, below is a link to my ltxtech.com writeup on my Strano/Bilstein swap front and rear, along with Strano 35/22 hollow sway bars, all new bushings, Rack Doctor manual steering rack, relocated alternator, Founders LCA relocation brackets, new rear end, and motor mount inserts.

Hope someone enjoys this as much as I do :)

Install Info: Strano Springs/Bilstein SLP Shocks and Rear End Upgrades.

Here's my Spintech muffler that arrived today: polished stainless steel....it is one solid muffler, let me tell ya. And NO, Spintechs do not flow like crap. They are awesome.



 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Small but cool stuff.

I managed to forget to install a bushing on the driver's side lower control arm. It's the one that is at the front and cups over the sleeve.

I realized I forgot this bushing, after I had the whole driver's side together and after I did the passenger side and saw an extra bushing in the box :mad:

My engine is about ready to be pulled, and then I will do the heads and cam swap.

Pulling the balancer hub was a PITA, and the hub and pulley would not separate from each other, for some reason. Also, someone drilled a larger hole and tapped new threads in the crank snout, and the bolt goes in crooked. Don't think that will really matter, though.

Finally got my battery relocated to the rear and the terminals barely go onto the battery. I lucked out with the dimensions and where I mounted the tray. Finally, something worked out well.

Here's the battery tray, when it was almost finished. I bolted it to the side toward the middle, in the spare tire compartment. Battery fits perfectly but just need to address the terminals.



I also made a set of fuel rail covers that hold my coils. I think they turned out beautiful.


Also got some screamin' chickens engraved on my ignition wire looms, to match the TB plate I bought. I was worried about how the looms would turn out. They turned out PERFECT.


The looms will bolt on top of Billet Specialties polished valve covers. Got a bung welded in for my PCV on the passenger side, and I have some very nice billet oil caps that only one place sells. The guy who welded the bung in is a talented welder.


 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gotta remove my SLP exhaust because I sold it. I'll be driving to the exhaust shop making some noise, once I get the car up and running :lol:

Can't wait to hear that Spintech behind me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
FINALLY finished my entire suspension. I forgot a bushing on the driver's side front, so I had to do that side twice. Strano hollow sways, Strano springs, SLP Bilsteins. Also finally hooked my manual rack to the tie rod ends and hooked them up to the steering knuckles. AND I finally got my battery relocation mounting figured out. Just need to run the cables now.



Here's the rear.







Here's my battery relo:







And my engine is about ready to come out. Just have to get one more bellhousing bolt out and take the 3 TC bolts out and then have fun breaking the trans away from the engine.



LE2 heads and cam coming soon.

AAANNNNNNNNDDDDD I still have to swap out my fuel pump for a Walbro, then I am installing the Racetronix harness.

 

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Looks good man. The pump harness really works and is simple to install. What are your plans with the engine? J can't wait to see the final verdict. I wonder if admin will move this to the project section? Spintech is 30 minutes away from me so I'm thinking of cutouts and boom tube before the spintechs on mine. Should sound good. Keep us posted on your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'm sticking with Lloyd's 219/227 cam.

Yeah the Racetronix harness is probably easier to install than it appears.....there's a ****load of instructions with it.

I'll keep updating as I make progress.

I'm pulling the engine out on Saturday.

There are parts and stuff everywhere....driving me nuts!

So this thread is now in the projects section, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got her out





 

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Guess you got anxious cause Saturday is tomorrow. I did the same thing when I put my engine in. Feels good don't it? Can't wait to see more pics. I wish this sight had an app that you could upload pics to. It would make it a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Guess you got anxious cause Saturday is tomorrow. I did the same thing when I put my engine in. Feels good don't it? Can't wait to see more pics. I wish this sight had an app that you could upload pics to. It would make it a lot easier.
Yes, I got anxious. I wanted to get the darn thing out already. Been waiting 7 months. Had to wait until I got my suspension done so I could put the car on the ground and push it back, to give me room to put the engine hoist in front.
I have limited time and have worked here and there just getting the suspension done.

PROBLEMS:

Bellhousing bolt was snapped off in the block. I was wondering why there were only 5 bolts to remove. I tried to remove the bolt but broke the easy out tip, then I couldn't get the tip out and ended up smoothing the bolt and tip to where I cannot see the easy out edges anymore. :(



The engine cannot bolt up to the four arms on the stand because the bellhousing bolt that broke was a hole I need for the arm.


QUESTIONS:

1. Is it sufficient to have only three bolts holding the engine on the stand?
2. How the frick do I get the broken bolt and easy out out? EDM is all I can think of, as I used drill bits made to drill hardened steel, and they did not work.

The GOOD:


-I pulled the pan and found that my block is, in fact, a 4-bolt main. :rockon: The previous owner didn't lie to me. That's good.
-The Happy Hooker worked very well.
 

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Iwo deer if a reverse drill bit would aid in the bolt extraction. If not drill it out and tap to previous thread size. The engine stand would likely hold it but if it were I, I would try to correct it first. Nice pics man keep them coming. What are you exact plans for your LT1?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Iwo deer if a reverse drill bit would aid in the bolt extraction. If not drill it out and tap to previous thread size. The engine stand would likely hold it but if it were I, I would try to correct it first. Nice pics man keep them coming. What are you exact plans for your LT1?
I'm swapping on LE2 heads, 219/227 cam, and LE intake.

Now I really want to get that broken bell housing bolt out. I don't trust it being bolted to the stand with only 3 bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Today I used a diamond tipped dremel bit and ground out the EZ Out and much of the old bolt. It took 1 1/2 hours. I still have to pick out leftover bolt chunks and then will tap new threads in there.

I actually see threads behind where I drilled through the bottom end of the bolt, after I picked out the last chunk of the EZ Out.

Very encouraging!

What I learned: DON'T BREAK EZ OUTS IN STUCK BOLTS!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Progress!!!

Hey guys: Here is a picture/description story for you, about what I did today.

Drilled through the bolt after getting the darn EZ out OUT. Got the old bolt out (what was left of it). Total time: 4.5 hours, including yesterday.
I was able to bolt the last stand arm to the engine block.





Got the intake off: You can see my dash in the background. Should be fun putting that back in...NOT.


Got all the lifters out. No pic of this.

Got one head off: pistons and cylinders look quite nice


Got the stock cam out:


Checked the dowel pin length...both were 15.89mm--amazing!


Put the new cam in:


I coated the cam with Castrol GTX first. I could not find my frickin' assembly lube.




Started soaking my lifters in oil. I bought the Johnson/Topline HD "anti-pump-up" lifters. A guy I know who has been building engines for 35 years says that these are the best lifters you can buy because they "actually work when under pressure." He owns an engine shop here, and he said, in his experience, the Comps, Crowers, etc. don't work like these do. They were also cheaper than any of the popular lifters out there. $169.00, to be exact.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Question

Question about the oil pump drive:

So, if the shaft and gear assembly go all the way down, so the bolt will fasten the thing down, does this mean that all is well?

I noticed a "center line" in the bottom of the driveshaft. I am assuming it lined up below and "caught the oil pump's drive hole" allowing the drive unit to bolt down to the block.

Is this correct?

I am guessing.....probably yes.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Put my Cloyes True Roller timing set on today.

Wondering if the crank gear has a bit more to go, before it's all the way on.

I assume the key becomes flush with the outside of the gear when it's all the way on.

I beat the heck out of it with a short piece of vacuum cleaner plastic tubing and a 2 X 4. Doesn't seem to want to go any further, but the teeth on the cam and crank gears don't look exactly "even" with each other, when looking from the side of the block.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
More Progress

1. Chased all the head bolt threads in the block-made my own chaser.
2. Cleaned the heck out of the new ARP bolts and washers-3 times
3. Rubbed down decks with alcohol on a clean rag-8 times
4. Installed bolts exactly how ARP's instructions laid it out, using ARP sealant and the Ultra Torque Lubricant under the bolt heads and under the washers.

Finished installing the passenger side head today. Every bolt "slipped" when I did my final torque turns at the 70 ft. lb. mark. It felt strange, and I didn't like it, so I went around one last time and torqued each bolt just a tiny bit past 70 ft. lbs. and not a one of them "slipped" while doing this. It made me feel better.

I am wondering about any crud that may have fallen into the coolant passages. I guess it'll just get mixed in with the coolant and will probably be OK.

My right hand really started hurting, during and after chasing the threads on the drivers side.
My hands and arms and nerves take a lot of abuse, at my job, and my right hand is always tingling or numb or both, and it hurts like a SOB. But I LOVE working on my car!!


Made a thread cleaning tap from one of the old head bolts...just cut 4 trenches along the threads using angle grinder cutting wheel. Works very well! I was actually impressed with this picture...it's kind of a cool shot.


Got lots of crud out of the threads!


Nice and clean.


GM 374 Castings


"LE2"
I'll have to make the face of the heads look cleaner, somehow.



Lloyd's artwork


Bolts torqued to 70 ft. lbs




Starting to look like an engine again!


And I am confused about my lifters (see pic below). My original new set of 16 lifters had 4 lifters that did not have C clips on top. I called Hylift-Johnson, and they said they will ship me 4 lifters with the C clips right away. I got them the other day, and they are the ones WITHOUT the C clips. Perhaps, there is no reason to be frustrated. I wonder if they're the same lifters but just held together differently. All the boxes they came in have the same part number on them.

 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Heads are on and bolts are torqued.

I got the heads on, finally, and the bolts are torqued to 70 ft. lbs.

I used the ARP Ultra Torque that came with the bolts and ARP thread sealer.

I chased the holy heck out of all the head bolt threads, and I cleaned the heck out of the bolt threads, as well as the washers, three times.

This sucker aint leakin'.

I checked and rechecked then checked again all the torque specs on every bolt on the engine.

QUESTION: What is the bolt to the far left for? (the one that is broken off in the hole). I don't remember ever seeing anything bolted onto the head, in this location, on any small block Chevy I've worked on.



Coming along...busted out a rocker arm, so I can soon figure out the pushrod length.





 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm surprised nobody has commented on my ignition wire looms.

I had the engraved screamin' chicken emblem from my TB plate engraved onto the looms.

I think it looks awesome!

 

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Yeah man those wire looms look way cool. That had to cost! What are your plans with the engine and car when you get it back together? I have no special plans for mine except to daily drive it and maybe show off from time to time. Looking good man. Your project is coming along. I was stoked when I first fired mine up but I'm pretty bummed now. Looking fwd to hear from you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Yeah man those wire looms look way cool. That had to cost! What are your plans with the engine and car when you get it back together? I have no special plans for mine except to daily drive it and maybe show off from time to time. Looking good man. Your project is coming along. I was stoked when I first fired mine up but I'm pretty bummed now. Looking fwd to hear from you.
Thank you. Well the looms were only $65.00 from R & M Specialties. The engraving cost more than the looms at $70.00 total for both birds to be engraved.

It was worth the price, in my opinion. It'll look way nice in my new bay.

I'm just gonna cruise in my Bird in the evenings, for the most part, when the roads are dry. I'm going to get on and off all the ramps on I-25, here in town, and I'll stomp the gas when getting on the interstate. That's one of my favorite things to do...stomp the gas when getting on the interstate.

Admittedly, I will smack down some Challengers, Mustangs, Vettes, imports, whatever. I'll try to stay away from the 800 horsepower GTO that runs around town here, as well as the two Lingenfelter Vettes that push over 900 horsepower. I'd like to see how I do against this one guy with a supposedly 600 horsepower Supra. If I win, I will then know he is full of it.

It's just gonna be a fun street car. It should take off like a bullet, with the TC I'm getting and with the proper tune. My tranny is beautiful. It shifts like a beast and works perfectly.

When I took the tranny off the engine, I tried to lift it and holy $hit, it felt twice as heavy as the 4L60e I took out of a 97 Camaro a few years back. It said "4 x 4" on the inside of the bellhousing. Either 40 is too old, or that damn tranny weighed 150 pounds.

I swear I remember the 4L60e from that 97 Camaro parts car weighing in at 79 pounds, when I shipped it via FedEx. It had no TC in it, though. My current 60e felt like it weighed twice as much or more, even with the TC out of it.
 
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