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Part 3 in this mod's rides. This car has been my daily driver since 1999.

It started as a 2.8 V6/TH200C '82 Berlinetta, which I picked up in May '99. It had a cracked block, so an '86 V8 donor car was located and gutted for the sake of "Bernie". In August it was running and became my DD. I also raced it the '00 season while the "namesake" was down with tranny problems, best ET was 16.85 at our 5800' elevation. In '01, the 305 got World heads, Crane cam, Hooker headers, and a restalled converter. Ran a whole bunch better, 15.8's, and was a lot more fun to drive. But, it was still a 305, and it wouldn't shift 2-3 under wide open throttle. So, in '05 a rebuilt ZZ3 shortblock was swapped in and the transmission rebuilt. That picked it up to 14.4's, and in the next years, with slightly better gears (3.23's from 2.93's) and minor tweaks, it got down to consistent 14.2's with a best of 14.04.

In December '09 I picked up a drop-out LS1/4L60E from a 2000 Camaro. As things worked out in the '10 summer racing season, I broke both the '57 and LS1/T56, so Bernie was promoted from 3rd string to the "A" team. This required a bunch of thrashing from mid-July to early September. I had already picked up an LQ4 for the '57 last year, which was getting L92 heads, so the 317's from it were shaved, L92 take-off springs installed, and the 317's put on in place of the stock 853's that were on the LS1. In swapping the heads, it was discovered the engine wasn't quite all it was advertised to be - the #5 cylinder intake push rod was bent, lifter in pieces, and the lifter guide broken. 3 pistons had been kissed by intake valves. An obvious over-rev condition, but no clue how it happened. I ended up taking the engine down to the shortblock to check it out. The cam lobe had been scuffed, but cleaned up with a diamond stone. A new lifter, and borrowed push rod and lifter guide from the LQ4, plus a new timing set (just for good measure) and Melling oil pump, and it was put back together with the 317's and Cometic head gaskets. A take-off LS6 intake, TB, and injectors had been purchased from eBay, and installed. Long tube 1-3/4" primary and 2-1/2" collector swap headers were purchased from Hawks. An air intake and filter system was fabricated similar to the LS1/T56 car. The transmission was treated to a 3000 stall 9.5" converter from Rev Max and Transgo shift improver kit. The PCM was reprogrammed by spareecm to eliminate VATS, emissions (rear O2 sensors, evap, tank pressure, etc.). A Walbro 255 pump was added to the fuel tank and a Vette filter/regulator grafted into the fuel lines. Minimal wiring from the donor chassis harness/fuse-relay boxes was grafted into the '82 chassis harness.

On September 3rd, at 7:48 p.m., it fired for the first time. It had open exhaust, so I had to trailer it out to the track the next morning for the final race of the summer racing season. I was in the chase in 3 classes, but only managed 2 round wins in two different classes - maintained my position in two of the classes, but slipped down out of end-of-season honors in the 3rd (ironically, one of the classes in which I actually won a round).

After the racing, the car was trailered to the exhaust shop to have the headers connected to the existing 3" cat-back & single-in/out 3" Magnaflow muffler for a muffler-required class the following Friday. My wife & I took off on a planned vacation the next day, returned on Friday, picked up the car, and took off for the track.

At this point, the tach wasn't working. I had heard the LS1 PCM doesn't always properly drive a stock 3rd gen tach, so I kind of expected it and figured I'd have to live with it until I could do something. Due to inconsistent shifting 1-2 (the computer did fine shifting 2-3), I lost first round on Friday. Saturday I tackled the aftermarket tach install, and found out it didn't work, either. In tracing down the wiring, I discovered the factory chassis harness had the tach signal wire mis-pinned - how that came to be, and how it could have worked in the donor car is beyond me. After re-pinning it, the factory tach now worked, but read low. So, I installed an aftermarket tach set on 4 cylinder, and it now works fine.

I took it out for fall series racing on Saturday, and did a little better, making it to the quarterfinals in one class. Best run to date with 3.73 gears is 13.25 @ 104.9 MPH at our 5800' elevation. This coming weekend I'll be taking it to Topeka for the NHRA Division V Summit ET Finals race, so we'll see how it does at lower elevation. Per the NHRA altitude correction factors, it should run around 12.3's at 112+ MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Some pics:

Early in the process (the car is ugly, I know):




Engine/trans ready to stab:




Very poor picture of the engine sitting in the engine bay, ready for final attachment:




The rogue connector with the mis-pinned tach output (this is after I re-pinned it):



A couple of pics taken by the track photographer Sunday during time trials (~2.0 60' times):




 

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At this point, I've still got a few things to wrap up. The '82 speedometer is mechanical, so I need to get a digital-to-mechanical drive box (Cable X). I don't have the OBD II connector installed or the check engine light hooked up. The HVAC was converted to heater/vent only, and I don't have the vacuum system or electrical (fan) done yet. When I get these items addressed, it will return to duty as my daily driver. In the meantime, I'll continue driving the '95 2500HD 6.5TD Silverado tow truck.
 

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Well, a couple of updates:

At the track, it continued to impress. At the lower elevation of Topeka, it ran a best of 12.4 at 110 mph. However, my performance wasn't quite so good, and I went out first round. In fact, I had quite a drought, going 5 weeks between round wins, even though I was running at least twice every weekend (that was a tough span - winning is easier to get used to).

Back home in the somewhat better fall air, it clicked off a 12.88 @ 106 mph with a 16 mph head wind. I did manage to win a few rounds, but the final scheduled race was rained out and rescheduled when I was out of town, so I didn't do much in the fall racing series points.

I attempted to hook up the Cable X speedometer drive box, but it didn't cooperate (might not have had good power and ground sources). I haven't spent the time to try again, but have just kept the Garmin in the car for speed and mileage purposes. I'll get around to it some day.

One interesting (and frustrating/disappointing) characteristic is the idle is funky. If I start it up and let it idle, it'll be fine. But, if I give it some throttle, it'll come back down to idle, start stuttering, and eventually die. I found that a vacuum leak "cures" it, so I hooked a little breather filter to the now unused EVAP fitting. Still doesn't idle quite right, but at least it doesn't die. Not sure what's causing this, but one possibility is the LS6 injectors (slightly bigger than the LS1 injectors). I'll try swapping with the LS1/T56 car some day and see if the problem goes away.

I still don't have the heater fan hooked up, but I did get the HVAC vacuum connected, so at least what heat does come out comes out at the right spot. Should get around to that soon, but the weather has been pretty nice this fall so far. So, I've been driving it daily.

I took it on a bit of a road trip the last weekend of September to see my brothers in Nebraska. Over 793 miles, and including fighting a stiff head wind for the last couple of hours on the drive home, it averaged 24.8 mpg. I didn't exactly baby it, either. We'll see how it does commuting (where I don't exactly baby it...).
 

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that's very impressive, dude - that you pulled off an LS1 into 3rd gen swap (in your garage?). very impressive. honestly, with that particular car, i'd have to say it's a bit like an elevator in an outhouse. total respect - 3rd gens are great, but the 82-84's are just plain ugly and with virtually no inherent performance to build upon. all that work would have been so much easier to appreciate in say, an '89-ish Formula 350 or IROC.

i actually have TWO '89 Formula 350's, the Maui Blue Hard Top which you helped advise about a TPI combo, and i also have a black T-Top, that, if i cant sell it, i would one day like to swap an LS2 into it.

as visually unappealling as your '82 Camaro is, it's got "sucker's bet" (sleeper) written all over it.
 

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Eye of the beholder, I guess. To me, GFX shouts "wannabe" - might lower the drag coefficient, but raises the weight such that it's a performance penalty in 99% of real-world situation. I'm into function over form, and there isn't anything that an '89 can do that an '82 can't do with the same level of attention. I prefer "sleeper" as well (kind of follows, I'd say).

Admittedly this one is suffering from paint deterioration. However, when the paint was fresh and looking good, I didn't get any compliments. Now that it's faded and yucky, I get thumps-up fairly regularly.
 

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i'm not a big fan of ground effects in general, but i do draw a distinction between factory ground effects and aftermarked GFX. i prefer Formula over TA and LX over GT for lighter weight and cleaner looks. aftermarket GFX is purely for ricers.

there isn't anything that an '89 can do that an '82 can't do with the same level of attention
as long as your dropping in a new motor, then yeah (other than look good) i agree. and the looks thing is only my opinion. i like to think of myself as one of the too few 3rd-gen fans, and i thought it was the popular opinion, even amongst us, that the pre-'85 models were turds.

to put it another way, i could be mistaken, but i am unaware of any 82-84 F-body that could have been bought with a posi rear end, or that made even close to 200 horsepower - so it's like the inherent performance is in the name alone. and i've always just thought that the 82-84's were ugly (in the same way that i find 4-eye Fox Body Mustangs to be ugly) like they just hadnt evolved yet. they just kinda look like beaters to me.

i hope you dont take my unfavorable opinion of 82-84's for trying to "rat-****" your ride. not at all. it's just that it must've took so much work, i actually consider it a feat - that's how impressed i am with somebody who can do an LS1 conversion in their garage. but yeah, to somebody with my unfavorable opinion of the 82-84 looks, it seems like a lot of work, but know this: i have an LT1 Camaro (a '96) that's pretty nice, has lots of bolt ons, nice paint, big brakes, low miles. if i wanted to submit it for like some Hot Rod magazine, it might make it into "readers rides" or something like that. with your '82, they could (and should) do an entire article. the article would/could be called, "1982 Berlinetta: Beater Fakeout."
 

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Update:
Dropped the engine/trans to fix an oil leak, investigate a lower end knock, and get the converter restalled. I picked up a 2001 Camaro long block just in case and upgraded it a little - ARP rod bolts, LS6 cam, and Melling oil pump along with new gaskets & seals. Since the 2000 LS1 had 3 pistons that had kissed intake valves, I was concerned the knock was damaged pistons or wrist pins.

The oil leak was crud between the pan gasket & block at the rear of the engine - not sure how I did that, but was while replacing the oil pump at 1 a.m., I'm sure.

The knocking was the torque converter ring bolts that mounted it to the converter lugs being loose. The outfit I got it from said the bolts didn't have any Loctite in the threads when they got it back. They cut it open, upped the stall, used Loctite in the ring bolts, and sent it back.

Also cut a half coil off the front springs because it was sitting a little high with the lighter weight of the LS1, and with AC taken out. Put my 317 heads and other stuff on the 2001 short block, put it back together, and got it running at 1:02 a.m. last Friday morning. The first points race of the year was Friday evening. I ran in two classes, went out first round in the class that I'm defending season champ, but it went a little better in the other class:




First race win in the Camaro. Did manage a runner-up 2 years ago when it still had the ZZ4/TH700 in it.
 

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For some reason the idle is much better now as well, without the air leak. Either some connector is working better now, one of the sensors that is part of the short block is working better now (cam sensor, crank sensor, knock sensor), or the tune works better with an LS6 cam than it does with an LS1 cam.

Oh, I did try the 26 lb injectors, and it didn't make a lick of difference. It has the 28 lb'ers back in it now.
 

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Here's a vid from this past weekend. Ugly Betty takes out the points leader with a 0.016 second package.

 

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Updated my sig for the new best ET & MPH at low altitude.

The "official" photographer requires you to buy prints of his shots on line, which I've ordered, so we'll see how long it takes to get them. If you want to try to search for them (impossible to post links - they set their web site up so you can't do that), go to Eagle Eye Photography, click on the eagle, click on "view & order" (which opens a new tab/window), then "ET Finals, 2011". At that point you need to enter an email address to continue (no spamming, that I've seen). After that, there is a pull-down menu in the upper left corner, choose "Sportsman". Check "Show image names", and you can look for ETF11-0344, ETF11-0345, ETF11-0577, ETF11-1245, & ETF11-1246. ETF11-0344 is my fav, that's a 1.65 sec 60' time.
 

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"You got like 3 feet of air that time."

 

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Haven't said much lately about this one. It's still ugly, but I have done one thing that has been overdue.

I made another try at installing the Cable X speedometer drive, making sure it had proper power and connections. In about 2 months of driving, it moved the odometer about 5 miles - fail. So, I pulled it out. That was in early 2011. I just kept using the Garmin as my speedometer/odometer (got a lot of grief at the track about having a "box" in "no box" classes - I told people I had the finish line coordinates programmed in so I knew where it was).

The factory tach also didn't work, because the guy who did my original programming (emissions delete, reset gears & tire size, etc.) didn't reset the tach output like I asked him to, so I used an Autometer tach mounted under the center dash AC output. I never got around to hooking up the OBDII connector or check engine light, and for some reason the oil pressure gauge maxed out (I disconnected the wire from the sender, it stayed maxed out). Overall, it was pretty red neck (which is fitting, I suppose).

Last month I ordered one of these: 1982-89 Chevy Camaro VHX Instruments I got it with the silver alloy & red options. Several months ago I noticed Summit had the basic p/n listed (for a little less than DD did on their site), but they didn't have the options listed. I called up their customer service, and they created the proper listings for me (it still ships directly from DD).

It took me awhile to get to getting it installed, and although it is well done, it still takes time going through the process. Here's the bags unpacked from the box:




Basically you run inputs to a control module, then a Cat 5 cable goes from the module to the cluster. That means you can pretty much mount the module anywhere you want that the cable will reach. I figured I might as well keep it simple:




It comes with senders for oil pressure and engine coolant temp. Also had a speedo cable drive transducer, but I didn't need that since I could tap off the PCM output. It even had the correct adapter for the engine coolant sender for the LS1 head (impressive).

Almost complete with the install, I did a functional check. This is with a drop light on behind me and the camera flash (pretty close to what it looks like in daylight).




With the drop light off and no flash:




I had to do a speedometer calibration, which can be done in a couple different ways. I tried the measured mile first, using roadside mile markers, but for some reason that made the speedometer read slow (I suspect the markers are more than a mile apart). It can also be calibrated using a known speed like on a dyno. I redid it using the Garmin and it now seems to be working well.

The fuel gauge can be preset to various typical senders, or you can custom calibrate it at a fill-up. I haven't driven it enough yet to see how it's going to work - the factory cluster didn't like the used in-tank pump sender I installed as part of the LS1 swap, not going to full and dropping off to E with about 6 gallons left in the tank. I may have to custom calibrate it to match what my sender is doing, or replace the sender to get it to work properly (not the cluster's fault).

It has some interesting functions, such as 0-60 time, 1/4 mile ET and MPH, service reminder (counts down from the miles you set, like set it to 3000 miles after an oil change). The turn signals, high beam indicator, park brake, and check engine functions are all included. The dimmer function of the head light switch isn't compatible with it, though - you can buy a dimmer switch from them, or use preset day and night lighting levels. So far I've just got it set up for daylight, may hook up the night dimming function if it seems too bright at night.
 

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Haven't said anything about this one for awhile, a little update.

"Ugly Betty" had the racing duties in the 2013 season, the first season in a long time that I took every pass down the track in one vehicle. I managed to pull off a season championship in one class, same class I won in 2006 in the '57.

At the Super Chevy Show here in August, they had a special locally-sponsored "LS" class on Saturday, which I had won in 2012, and managed a repeat - this time it had a prize of a dyno tune at the race sponsor's shop. In the Sunday racing, I also managed a win in the DOT class (facing the same racer in the quarter final round that I took out in the final of the LS class). In the magazine coverage of the event, they acknowledged my DOT class win, but not the double-up in the LS class - bummer.

Over the winter, I decided not to drive it in the snow, as it's starting to have body cancer issues. Then, the tranny went out in my son's Blazer (again), so he drove it until the tranny was rebuilt. Then, in his first time trial of the first race of the season, his posi grenaded, so he has run the Camaro instead (I've been running the '57, which I got going this spring), and has done very well to date (ahead of me in points in the classes we both run). He's got the Blazer running again, so we'll see if he decides to keep running the Camaro, or go back to the Blazer.

In January, I pushed the button on a new toy - http://www.ls1lt1.com/forum/corvette-y-body/84434-reason-i-asked.html . It's been my daily since the weather cleared up.

Not sure what I'll do with the Camaro - at the very least it'll be the backup car for the '57 & Blazer for now. I've toyed with the idea of going "full nasty" with it, keeping it streetable enough to drive to the track, but basically a race car. We'll see.
 
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