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Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
10/19/20 10:51 a.m.

Multiple coolers just sounds like twice the amount of potential leak-points.  If there's room, I'd personally try to fit one large one.

garaithon Reader
10/19/20 5:06 p.m.

In reply to Matt B (fs) :

Oh there is plenty of room! I'll add a big one to the list.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
10/20/20 8:48 a.m.

Figured - she's a big girl after all.  Sir Mix-a-Lot approved.

garaithon Reader
10/23/20 8:32 p.m.

Quick update! I replaced the sliders/rollers on the rear door window regulators and now I can roll the windows down for the kids! I also got some more goodies in! 

Wilwood D52 caliper upgrade! These replace the single piston front calipers with aluminum dual piston calipers and utilize the stock size rotor and spindle. I have about $550 in everything which I feel is a pretty reasonable amount for an all brand new caliper upgrade. My pads are almost metal on metal and the rotors are slightly warped so I figured a perfect time to upgrade. I also got the last two GM OE rotors Vintage Parts had! 

I attempted to install these bad boys, but my brake line nuts are m10x1.0 bubble flare and my new lines require 3/8x24 Inverted flare nuts and I didn't have any one hand. Maybe I'll get them on this weekend!

garaithon Reader
11/7/20 7:23 p.m.

Well what do we think? 


I had to change the brake line fittings to fit the new calipers as I had previously mentioned, which turned into making one new brake line, and flaring both sides like 3 times each before they quit leaking... I also made a new brake line to fix mine and Indys hacked together line. The brakes are much improved, It pulled to the left under braking prior to the upgrade horrendously. It's nice to be able to stop confidently! 

I also upgraded to an Impala SS gear box. It is 2.75 turns lock to lock, compared to the 3.5 turns of the stock box. We replaced both power steering lines as well as the center link, all the tie rods, and the idler arm. I kept the variable steering for now but I don't think I like it any better with this box. It's simple to disable so I'll try it without and see which I prefer. 

Up next should be a cam swap for the 6.0! 

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
11/7/20 8:35 p.m.

In reply to garaithon :

Looks GREAT with the new shoes!  I'm glad you've got the brakes and lines all sorted out now.   How's your wife like it now?


garaithon Reader
11/8/20 7:12 a.m.

In reply to Indy "Nub" Guy :

Her response was " Why is there pink on the wheels?" I told her it was red, but she likes to give me a hard time! 

I will probably remove both pin strips on the wheels, but I'm going to wait till I get the "wood" back on.

garaithon Reader
12/11/20 9:55 p.m.

I have started to make some head way on the actual "engine swap" part of the project. I ordered up these KDS swap brackets, after a lot o research. 

There are a surprising amount of swap brackets available for "B-body" cars, but these are specifically designed for 94-96 cars. They reuse the factory style offset mounts and keep the engine and transmission in the factory location. The plus side is you can reuse your transmission, driveshaft, and crossmember and the driveline angle is retained. Downside is you can't use the ls style ac compressor, but there is a plethora of top mount ac options that should work. 

Next I decided to bring the engine home to tackle the swap.

I thought about doing everything at work, but if I ran into issues I would be pushing it in and out of the building a lot and she is a biggin! I think I am going to try and keep the mechanical fan to add to the sleeper aspect. I have moved up my timeline on this swap a bit due to a "minor" oil leak. 

This was after about 30 seconds of run time once I got it towed home. Good thing I have Hagerty Roadside Assistance! It appears to be just the oil filter adapter gasket had literally blown out, which is a 5$ fix, but seems like a good excuse to get going on this! Stay tuned!

garaithon Reader
1/22/21 8:50 p.m.

Next I tore into the engine for the cam swap and a general checking over. 

Plugs all looked good and even for a junkyard engine!

Looks clean enough for who it's for!

Next I started working on the cam swap. The LY6 6.0 has VVT which I was doing away with. I had decided to go with the Holley EFI Terminator Max for engine and trans control and the VVT is not supported. You have to swap the cam gear and timing cover to remove the cam actuator and solenoid. 

Here you can see the cam gear actuator combo and the solenoid which doubles as the cam bolt. Also note the oil pump, good time change it as well!

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/23/21 7:43 a.m.

Following this build now and adding these to my normal search list. Those wheels just look perfect for this beast. 

garaithon Reader
1/24/21 8:37 p.m.

In reply to Somebeach (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks! I like steel wheels in general anyway, they are just really heavy once you get up in the bigger sizes. This thing should make enough torque to spin them though! :)

garaithon Reader
1/24/21 9:20 p.m.

Here are the specs on the cam I choose.

I picked this out after watching a bunch of Richard Holdener's videos. I think it should be a good median cam. I decided to leave the valve springs alone for now,  which I may regret later but I really don't plan to rev this thing much over 6k. Time will tell! 

Here is the stock cam removed. All the lobes looked good, so I left the lifters alone as well, which I also may regret! 

I rotated the engine upside down for the cam swap to prevent dropping a lifter. Works great and saves you from buying the lifter holding tools or "hoping" you don't lose one. 

You do have to remove the oil pan to get the oil pump off. You can "sneak" the pick up tube off by just loosening the pan but I was swapping the oil pan anyway. 

amerson New Reader
1/25/21 2:01 a.m.

Nice to see the progress of your project. I like wheels also.

garaithon Reader
1/25/21 3:45 p.m.

Next I installed the LS2 cam gear. 

You can see the GM part number here. I chose a earlier three bolt cam which requires the use of the LS2 cam gear to work with the later style front cam sensor. 

garaithon Reader
1/26/21 9:45 p.m.

I went ahead and replaced the oil pump, we have seen quite a few pump failures at work. 

Next I swapped the oil pan. The mounts I am using are designed to be used with a 98-02 F body oil pan. You can use the "GM Muscle Car" (also same pan as H3 Hummer V8) pan as well but it will hang 1 or 2 inches below the crossmember. The truck pan would probably drag the ground! The fbody pan uses a different windage tray than the truck as well. Truck:


You could also cut the truck one but the right one is like 20 or 30 bucks new. The pick up tube is also different. It is much shorter. Here is the new pan ready to go! Bonus! I think the oil level switch is the same as the stock Roadmaster one!


artur1808 HalfDork
1/27/21 7:45 a.m.

Heck yes! Looks so good on those wheels, is that still stock height?

bobzilla MegaDork
1/27/21 8:12 a.m.

this is my new favorite thread

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/27/21 8:22 a.m.

Did i miss it, or are you cutting the crossmember?  I had my engine set so far back that it was on the firewall insulation and still had to notch the crossmember for f body pan clearance.  I did one of the first B body swaps a loooong time ago

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/27/21 8:26 a.m.

Also i figured out the stock fuel lines plug right onto the corvette filter/regulator for no cut fuel line install

garaithon Reader
1/27/21 4:00 p.m.

In reply to artur1808 :

Stock height! The tires are about 1.5 inches shorter overall, so that drops it a bit. I was surprised it didn't have more gender gap in the front!

garaithon Reader
1/27/21 4:13 p.m.

In reply to Patrick (Forum Supporter) :

I'm getting ahead a bit, but I got the pan to fit with no cutting! It is tight and took a couple test fits. Only a 1/4" to 1/2" air gap on the crossmember, and I probably  only have a bit more than an inch between the engine and firewall. Which is not much less than stock honesty. 

I have the exact filter as well! How bad an idea is it snap it right into the rail? It looks like it will work, but the backyard engineer in me says it's a bad idea...

garaithon Reader
1/28/21 8:49 p.m.

I had a couple exhaust manifold bolts broken off. The first one had enough left to double nut it out. The other I had to get the welder out like Indy Guy! 

I took some more advice from Barely Functional Racing and used the wood stove to heat up the balancer for reinstallation! 

Here we see the whale looking upon its new heart. 

I also played around with the stock air inlet. I think it may work! Version 1.0 of this build I would like to make look as stock as possible and this will be a big help. 

The air box already has a drop in K&N filter. I don't think it will give up to much hp. Next I pumped the near full tank of gas out of the tank. 

You can see some the oil slick on the rear bumper... I pumped about 19 gallons out of the 21 gallon tank. 

Zachary New Reader
1/28/21 9:49 p.m.

This is friggen awesome!

garaithon Reader
2/1/21 8:46 a.m.

I tore into the old LT1 next. Everything came apart easily, a testament to starting with a clean car!

The LT1 is definitely a bit convoluted. Which makes them even more impressive as they honestly work really well. I just want about double the horsepower and it is so easy to do with the LS engines. 

And up and out!

Easy part is done!

garaithon Reader
2/6/21 7:37 p.m.

I decided to work on the wiring next since I had plenty of room to work now.

I mentioned earlier that I was using the Holley Terminator X for engine management and here it is!

I went with a drive by cable to utilize the stock cruise control. The only thing the stock cruise system needs is a 4K frequency speed input which the Holley can provide. I also got the Transmission control as I am using my existing 4L60E for now. Here is the main harness.

Everything is labeled well and appears to be on OE level in terms of quality. Pretty much everything I read and everyone I talked to loved every aspect of the system. I even thought the price was reasonable at $1400 for both engine and transmission harnesses, ECM, touchscreen, wideband O2, and free tuning software! It is easily configured for common engine setups and is "self tuning." I am excited to see how it works! 

I started removing everything from the harness I didn't need which was most of it! 

I actually enjoy this part of the project. It is very meticulous and methodical but straight forward. This is what all I removed:

I still have a lot to do on the harness but step one is complete!

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