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Discussion Starter #41
Well, the 396 spun the #8 rod bearing, and the TH400 bell housing is cracked.

So, we're done for the 2010 racing season. The LQ4/4L80E will be prepped for installation, but it probably won't be ready to go before next spring at the earliest.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Well, having been down for over 2 years, we're starting to get back on track to getting it back together.

The bare block & heads were sent to a speed shop that has built some mighty wicked stuff. I told him to get a 4" stroker kit, pick a cam, and build up the heads (no porting, just valves/springs/retainers/keepers/seals/buckets).

The stroker kit is forged crank, forged 6.125" H-beams, forged flat top pistons with valve reliefs, all from Manley. The cylinders only needed a .005" hone, so the end displacement will be 403 CI. Rings are file fit, which I've never done before, but the instructions are pretty clear (and I'll be getting a bench filer from Summit). I won't be spraying it, so I'll go with a tighter gap. Rod & main bearings included in the kit, the shop did a balance on it all before boxing it back up.

Heads got Manley valves, springs, and titanium retainers. They just did a quick touch to the seats to insure a good seal. Springs are polished duals, don't know the specs on them, though. I had them assemble the heads so the spring installed height would be right.

The block was tanked and new cam bearings installed. Main bearing bores checked out fine. All of the covers were also tanked (the oil surfaces were pretty gunked up).

He talked to Erson and Bullet about an appropriate cam. I probably should have gone with the Bullet, but we went with the Erson. I'll be talking softly and carrying a big stick - adv dur 294/302, dur @ .050" 234/242, lift at valve w/1.7 0.621", 114 LSA. That's a good bit more cam than I had in the 396. Powerband is supposed to be 2500-7000, recommended stall 3000-3500. Should be interesting...

Depending on how far down in the hole the piston are, and what the chamber volume really is (the shop said they cc'd at 65, everything I've seen on these heads says 68-70cc's), pistons with 4cc valve reliefs, head gaskets .051" thick, produces somewhere around 11.0 to 11.4:1 CR. Pretty stout for pump gas. Will verify how far down in the hole the pistons really are when I degree the cam. He assumed more like 10.75:1, but also assumed the pistons would be .010" down in the hole (and I think he had some other value wrong, like piston volume).

Other details: L76 intake & fuel rails, GM "Muscle Car" oil pan kit, Melling oil pump, LS7 lifters, ATI damper (both the crank and damper hub are keyed - nice). Still need to get injectors and throttle body. Plus a lot of little things like air inlet hoses, throttle cable, etc. Getting a 9" rear end housing kit made for '55-'57 that has 31 spline axles and drum brakes, I'll have the 3rd member put together locally. Probably go with 4.30 gears.

Hope to have it all together and tuned in time for the start of the 2013 season in April. Seeing various magazine builds with similar combos in the 600 crank HP range, should put the 3900 lb car in the mid- to low-12's at our altitude on hot summer days.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Haven't been able to get out to the garage regularly, but have made some progress. A few processes I've never done before: Degreeing in the cam, file fitting the rings, rod bolt stretch.

.050" lift occurred at 7 degrees BTDC, just what the cam card ordered:




The Manley rods came with ARP rod bolts. They insisted on use of 30W oil, rather than ARP's thread lube. Not sure why. Torquing to 90 ft-lbs brought stretch to the .0050"-.0057" spec. Sorry, no pics of that process.


The baffle and pickup that came with the GM "Muscle car" pan kit. I used ARP main cap studs, these are the baffle nuts that came with them. I used Loctite on them as well, just for a little extra insurance:




The baffle wasn't made for 4" stroke, so I had to shim it up a bit:




The Melling oil pump and Cloyes timing set didn't play nicely together out of the box, even with the spacers Cloyes provided. So, I had to take the die grinder to the back of the pump. Plenty of meat on the pump body, but little things like that are a little frustrating.

The front cover was pretty nasty, corrosion-wise (salty Florida air, I presume), even after running through the shop's cleaner. Sorry, didn't take a before pic. I took fine steel wool to it, then aluminum paint.




Ready for lifters & heads:

 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
 

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Discussion Starter #48
More progress, but still more to go. The engine is basically together.




We've been concentrating on getting my son's Blazer running, which we accomplished last week. So it's out of the garage and out of the way so I can spread out a little to get the car ready for the engine/tranny. The 4L80E tranny will be getting a Transgo shift kit, the 4000 stall converter arrived from Rev Max last week. I'll mate engine and tranny after the TCI SFI flexplate arrives and the car is ready for them.

Getting the car ready means getting the carb nitrous and ignition systems out (complete), old exhaust cut out, and tranny crossmember out. The crossmember will have to move, but I'll wait to do that until the engine/trans are in. After they are in and the crossmember mounted, the rear end and fuel tank will come out to make room for a 9" and aftermarket EFI tank with in-tank pump and separate gauge sender. Fuel pressure regulation will be via Vette filter.

Then comes the real fun - wiring the LQ4 harness up to the 1957 chassis harness.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Okay, a bunch of updates due.

Installing shift kit in the 4L80E:




Mated again (got carried away with the aluminum spray paint):




Harness as removed:




What'll be used (most of it, anyway). Discovered there isn't any tach output, hopefully I can use the "normal" pin and it'll work.




Ready to hoist in:

 

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Discussion Starter #50
Ready for the engine/trans:




Going in. Had to abandon the load leveler, ended up using a chain front & back to get it part way in, then put a jack under the tranny and used the front chain only the rest of the way.




Sitting in place.




The pan hangs down a bit, but so do the headers.




Went with a new tank with in-tank pump with enough umph the handle the power capability.




Went with an Aeromotive reg. The filter will be up in the engine compartment.




I'll get pics of the 9" soon. Have a lot of work left with that PCM harness, and other detail items.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
The 9" (before I put any lug nuts on the rim - that's why it looks canted):




A view that hasn't been seen for awhile. Suspension unloaded, of course.

 

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DANG! that looks great
 

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Discussion Starter #53
I basically stopped working on it back in early July. The intent was to have it ready for the racing season - that didn't happen. By July, half of the season was over, didn't make sense to switch horses mid-stream, so I concentrated on other things.

I finally got back to it again last night, doing more sorting out of the harness routing, mounted the PCM in the passenger compartment, replaced the broken PRND switch on the tranny (stepped on the switch when the engine/tranny were in the storage unit), mounted the starter, put on collector extensions with O2 bungs, etc. Still a bunch to do, but at least I'm back on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Hope so. First race is April 25.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
A few more update shots:







 

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That's a lot of spaghetti in the first pic.:lol:
Looks like good progress. How long till it's flying down the track?
 

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Discussion Starter #58
That spaghetti was all reduced to that bundle in the next pic. Shortened almost every wire in the PCM connectors, repinned almost all of those.

Probably another month before it hits the track. A lot of work left, and need to schedule a dyno tune.
 

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So much knowledge and history. Love the idea for the ls1, but that 427 would be hard for me to walk away from for me. It looks great though brother. Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #60
I've managed to get it running since I last posted. I've driven it around the block a few times. It really needs a tune, hope to get in next week. I'll be out of town for the first race this Friday, so I'll have to shoot for the following weekend.

Biggest issue right now besides the tune is the brakes just aren't cutting it. I've ordered a new master cylinder and proportioning valve, apparently sitting around for almost 4 years didn't suit them.
 
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