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  #41  
Old 11-11-2010, 03:48 PM
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I searched around and found the joke of a drain hole. It is maybe 3/8" diameter and positioned where part of the fender covers it when installed. I dug out about a gallon bucket full of leaves and dirt from just the driver's side - what a mess! In addition to opening up the drainage, I think I will add something to the cowl vents like a perforated metal or wire mesh to keep leaves from getting in at the source.

They do make replacement panels for this area, but because the geometry is simple and the area gets hidden by the fender, I think I'll attempt a repair myself.
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  #42  
Old 11-11-2010, 05:50 PM
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Squishee Squishee is offline
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Dont be afraid to notch the sub frame.We do it all the time on our oval track cars with zero issues..Just box it back in like he did.I can take a picture of one of ours if you would like.Even though we run camaro clips you would get the idea.We need the notch for the fuel pump..
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  #43  
Old 11-24-2010, 01:06 AM
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Life with an infant is a chaotic (and rewarding) experience. This project is not my priority, but here are a few odds and ends to give you a flavor of where I'm heading.

First I've decided to mount my truck "DR44" alternator in the lower "F-body" location. The DR44 is a large alternator and will present fitment difficulty, but I want to use it because it produces 160amps and plugs right into my ECM. I bought a 5th gen Camaro bracket only to find the hole spacing for the new alternators is different and will not work with older LSX alternators, so I will either have to make my own bracket or use a 4th gen Camaro bracket with spacers. The first step for putting one of these on an iron block is to tap the untapped hole for the upper mounting bolt. I determined position by attaching the alternator backwards using the lower mounting hole, then I used a large drillbit piloting in the upper alternator hole to start a dimple in the block. Then I removed the alternator and swapped to a smaller bit appropriate for an M10x1.5 tap. Here is a picture of the pilot drill operation for establishing the hole location. I don't have pictures showing the tapping process.



On the other side of the block, I've decided to mount a Trailblazer 5.3/6.0 AC compressor model TRSA12B (the "B" is important). This is a scroll compressor and it's smaller than the popular SD7H15 (508 equivalent) used in a lot of the high mount and aftermarket kits. The flow rate is almost exactly the same when you factor in the displacement and pulley sizes. The TRSA12B has PAD mount supply/discharge lines facing slightly upward and to the passenger side, which should be perfect for my Nova once the compressor is nestled into a notched subframe. I will likely have to use a PAD adapter to get to more standard hose fittings. The big advantage I see for this compressor is that it is just barely short enough that I can run it off the rear dedicated 4 rib belt and use a flipped SBC motor mount in the Autokraft position without interfering with the frame mount. I have never liked that the aftermarket and high mount kits put the AC as the last driven accessory on the 6 rib belt despite it requiring the most load to turn. That is bad for belts and bad for bearings on the other accessories. Another benefit of this compressor is that is has a built in pressure switch to disengage the clutch.



I got my unit from an eBay member for $70 plus $20 shipping. Then I bought a bracket from the stealership for $16, even though I think I will make a custom bracket to get the compressor a little higher. If you decide to do what I'm doing, just be careful not to get a TRSA12 instead of a TRSA12B - the non-B version is a passenger side mount for a 4.3 engine.



My plan is to use the original evaporator, expansion valve and POA valve with a new condensor, drier, TB compressor, and custom lines. The POA valve will need to be recalibrated for 134a. Sanden SD7H15s have been used with original/classic AC systems successfully by others and this compressor should perform equivalently.

For reference, here is a good thread showing LSX fitment with the factory AC evaporator "suitcase".
http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/conver...8-74-nova.html

Another good point of reference is this thread about frame notching for AC
http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/conver...8-74-nova.html

Here is a front view with things mounted, including the 5th gen Camaro waterpump and powersteering pump. Because of the large DR44 alternator and AC compressor, I will most certainly need to notch the subframe on both sides. I've taken careful measurements and I'm confident I can get this to work.





Here is how the engine lives most of the time - inside of a Summit Racing engine bag. I think I paid $10 for this when I ordered some other parts recently. It's very thick/durable and big enough to fit the big truck oil pan along with all the accessories shown above. A big garbage bag would work too.



I probably wont have any updates for a while since I'll be busy with the holidays and I am working at a snail's pace, but I do want to say thanks to everyone who's responded to my thread or helped me with questions in other threads.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 11-24-2010 at 10:43 AM.
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  #44  
Old 12-12-2010, 11:12 PM
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Got started on some 1/4" forward offset LSx to SBC adapters. Here are the dimensions:



Here it one just about finished, currently at an unmachined 1/2" thickness:



Trial fit - the hole pattern lines up right. I took the two forward bolts out to check the SBC mount fitment.



Next I tapped the two 3/8-16 holes for mounting the SBC mounts and countersunk the one M10 that resides underneath. I didn't have a 90deg countersinking bit and couldn't find one (most are 82 at the hardware store and none of the machine tool suppliers are open on the weekend), so instead I used a 45 degree chamfering bit for a router (included angle is 90). That was cheap (already had one) and worked great on the aluminum. I also put a notch in the OEM AC compressor bracket to fit around the bottom of the mount. Here are things mocked up with my 10-year-old SBC mounts. I will slot the single hole on the replacements to work with my 1/4" offset.





Yes I know the SBC mount is upside-down. I really don't like doing this, but it gives me some more room for the compressor and has been done this way by many LSx swappers in the past without reports of failing mounts.

Next I wanted to get a flavor for what my compressor notch is going to look like, so I took measurements and marked two sides. This laser level tool works great for marking straight lines, especially when combined with a calibrated stack of Christmas light boxes.





The lines are 4" from the left of the motor frame stand hole (the compressor sticks out 3" from the mount hole, so 1" for clearance) and 3-3/4" back from the front face of the crossmember (designed for 1/4" of clearance with the compressor, partly why I am moving the engine 1/4" forward). I still need to figure out how low I need to cut before I mark the front face of the crossmember and the bottom.

I think the frame needs another round of washing because looking at these pictures it's obvious I missed a bunch of spots.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 12-12-2010 at 11:16 PM.
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  #45  
Old 12-14-2010, 11:06 AM
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So last night I did some more measuring and marking on the frame trying to determine how much needs to be cut out to make room for the AC compressor. I'm not very happy with the results. I determined that the bottom of the compressor was about 3-3/4" below the centerline of the motor frame stand bolt, so I marked my lowest line at 4-1/4" for 1/2" clearance. I also decided to extend the left (passenger) side line from 4" to 4-1/2" from frame stand bolt to give a little more wiggle room for my hand and a wrench (1-1/2" clearance to the side of the compressor. I'm considering adding more.). Here is what that looks like marked out on the frame.











So you can see this is not a small notch. It would take out a significant portion of the frame. You can also see the swaybar is above the lowest surface of where the compressor would be, so either I would need a bar with a bend further out or I would need to space the bar down from the frame hoping things would clear.

Here are a few ideas that have crossed my mind for dealing with this
- Make my own compressor bracket to move the compressor up. I think I can get 1/2" this way. I may be able to get more if the compressor also move out a little. I'll play around and see what I can come up with.
- Run less vertical clearance. I'm thinking 1/4" is the absolute minimum.
- Rely on engine tilt to give some more clearance. I'm not sure what it will be yet, but if the rear tilts down some that would help. I haven't checked driveline angles at this point.
- Find an aftermarket swaybar that curves differently.
- Raise the engine (not desirable due to ac box and brake booster clearance)
- Give up (unlikely)

I am open to suggestions!
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Last edited by TheBandit; 12-14-2010 at 12:58 PM.
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  #46  
Old 12-14-2010, 11:13 AM
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You forgot the easy option. . . AC Delete!:
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  #47  
Old 12-14-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
You forgot the easy option. . . AC Delete!:
That's covered under "give up"
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  #48  
Old 12-14-2010, 11:39 AM
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my stock f-body camaro the alternator is top left..

just make sure you leave yourself enough room to pull the alternator and ac compressor without having to disassemble half the car...


i myself wouldnt cut up the subframe , i would look at some accessory brackets to relocate so you dont have to.. i also wouldnt mount an alternator low, they mount them high on streetcars for a reason..
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  #49  
Old 12-14-2010, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
That's covered under "give up"
FINE! Be that way

I know you looked at it but just move the compressor out of there and get it up on top. Or flip it away from the engine, but that would reverse the rotation so prolly not... Put it down and drive it off the output of the Transmission...
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  #50  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:14 PM
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X2

pto
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  #51  
Old 12-14-2010, 09:31 PM
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where can i find some of the calibrated christmas light boxes?
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  #52  
Old 12-14-2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Put it down and drive it off the output of the Transmission...
At the LA auto show I saw a cutaway hybrid tranny behind a cutaway of this engine. It was pretty cool and really made me want to experiment, but I think I'll save that for a different project

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwmod39 View Post
where can i find some of the calibrated christmas light boxes?
You have to calibrate them yourself and if one goes out, the whole strand is out of calibration!
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  #53  
Old 12-15-2010, 08:20 AM
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Looking good, Clint!

I've been following along, but haven't commented yet.

On your AC compressor issue, I would try to make a new bracket to move it up, and take a smaller cut out of the crossmember. It looks like you're going to be taking a pretty huge notch if you do what's marked out now.

I would definitely add a piece of 1/8" or so sheet to the bottom surface of the crossmember to help restore some of the strength that's going away, plus fill in any holes.

You could break out the bender and Tube Bandit, and fab up a tube crossmember. Problem solved!

I've never messed with an LSx engine, but that is easily the biggest water pump I've ever seen! Good thing it's aluminum.
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  #54  
Old 12-20-2010, 01:58 PM
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Dang you are making me jealous.

I am looking for a LQ4/LQ9 for my Elcamino currently and have pondered another LSX swap for my daily driver.

Have you seen any numbers on weights of the various lsx engines, specifically the ls2 aluminum engine, or the other aluminum engines?
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  #55  
Old 12-28-2010, 03:39 PM
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Graham - Thanks for the ideas. My plan at the moment is to move the engine up about an inch to reduce the need for notching and give clearance for the swaybar. Based on the tranny & engine lengths, if I leave the tranny mount at the same height, the drivetrain will tilt about 1.5 degrees - enough to be concerned about, but not so much that I can't compensate.

CarterKraft - I wish I could give you a number for weight, but I've seen weights all over the board depending on how they're dressed and whether they are iron or aluminum blocks. Search the net and you'll find about a range of numbers.

I don't have much of an update, but Santa was very good to me this year. I have the Mrs to thank for giving him my wish list, on the top of which was an oil pan from Autokraft.





These pans are made by a JR Manufacturing in Wisconsin. They directly market their pans under the "Champ" name and have a wide variety of pans geared toward racing applications. According to a gentleman at JR Manfucturing, this particular pan design was a joint effort initiated by Kurt at Autokraft for swapping LS engines into early Camaros. While he does sell the pans direct, he recommended I buy from Kurt and I'm happy to do so since I believe he did a lot of the legwork in developing the dimensions.

I have to say I am very impressed with both the design and quality of fabrication of this pan. I have seen aftermarket pans for small blocks that didn't come close to the level of detail built into this thing.

The pan is constructed of a stamped section that formes the one-piece flange and front section of the pan and a welded/fabricated sump area that includes kickouts for capacity and active baffling for oil control. The efforts toward keeping oil around the pickup were my primary reason for selecting this pan over some of the others available. Here are some detailed pictures of the sump area





You can see the pan uses hinges as doors to keep oil around the pickup during cornering, braking, and acceleration. The hing travel is limited to opening about 45 degrees, which shold prevent the doors from sticking open.



Another detail to admire is the stitch-welded backup flange that adds thickness/stiffness around the perimeter of the pan to help keep things sealed.



The pan also includes a nicely machined spin-on oil filter adapter.



These o-rings seal the supply & return between the adapter and the oil pan. I was very happy to see the o-ring glands include room for the o-rings to compress, a detail that some (bad) engineers overlook. This should result in a good seal as long as the bolts clamping the adapter do their job.



I haven't looked up this filter yet, but here's what you're supposed to use for this pan.



The pan also includes this fabricated pickup assembly. I suspect (but dont' know for sure) this started life as an OEM assembly and was simply modified to accept the pickup in a new location. My only complaint here is some surface rust around the MIG welds that could have been prevented by oiling it down before storage. We'll see how well it lines up when I install the pan. I do plan to check the distance between the pickup and bottom of the pan.



Lastly, Santa got me a set of solid body mounts from Global West. I was happy to find they were anodized black instead of the advertised blue I've seen just about everywhere. These bushings interlock (a nice feature) and sort of remind me of dimple dies. They included all the necessary hardware. I hope I don't regret going this route over polyurethane mounts.



That's all for now. I hope everyone had a great holiday. Time to wrap up 2010.
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  #56  
Old 12-28-2010, 10:35 PM
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I decided to spend a little more time on this tonight and get the bushings installed. Everything went about as well as could be expected. The only complaint I have for Global West was one of the cone-headed 5/8" bolts had the leading threads boogered up and I had to clean it up with a die, but otherwise I'm very happy with the fit.







My subframe was way out of alignment with the body - about 1/2" shifted back. I used the old body bolts and 5/8" alignment holes near the firewall body mounts to line it back up - the same holes I used when I put the subframe on ten years ago. I have no explanation for how or why it moved back so far, but it does explain the lack of firewall clearance I had before with my HEI distributor. If you have to do this, don't forget to release the parking brake - that made it a little tough to get the subframe pulled forward until I realized it was engaged.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 12-28-2010 at 10:38 PM.
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  #57  
Old 01-01-2011, 12:27 AM
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Decided to go ahead and put the oil pan on. First the pickup tube. I harvested the gasket from the original truck pan, but I think I will get a new one as insurance.



The orignal truck bolts seemed to work fine. Most of the holes in the block are through, holes, so the only place to really be concerned about thread length is at the timing cover.





I also made progress on the 1" lift engine adapters. Actually they are closer to 15/16" lift, the product of going 1/2" thicker on the plate and adding the SBC backing plate (0.166in as measured by caliper). 0.666 inch additional thickness times square root of 2 (since the mount is on a 45 for a 90 degree V8) is 1.414*0.666=0.942in of lift compared with my previous adapters.









I still need to pick up some socket head cap screws, but you get the idea









Whether this works out or not, it gave me an excuse to do some milling. Life is good. Happy New Year!
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  #58  
Old 01-01-2011, 07:04 PM
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Looking good, Clint!

I know the feeling of just needing an excuse to do some milling...or welding...or whatever.

Where is the oil pump in one of these engines? The pickup appears to be a much nicer setup than the typical SBC pickup that is a press fit into the oil pump...which just hangs off the rear main cap.

That pan looks like a really nice piece. Good wet sump pans make building a dry sump pan look really simple by comparison.
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  #59  
Old 01-01-2011, 09:35 PM
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Thanks Graham! The LS engines have the oil pump mounted at the front directly driven off the crank. The rotor of the oilpump is concentric with the crank. The pump draws from that pickup tube and pushes it through a galley in the block going back to the filter. It's a nice system compared to the old small blocks. The only thing I'm not thrilled with is all the tubing that needs to be primed. You can't simply drive a gutted distributor with a drill like you can with a smallblock. The LS does have a port near the timing cover on the block for priming things, but you need to use an external pump.

The pan is definitely a nice piece. I am also considering adding an Accusump.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 01-01-2011 at 09:44 PM.
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  #60  
Old 01-03-2011, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
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I know the feeling of just needing an excuse to do some milling...or welding...or whatever.
No kidding! This whole machining adapters thing is a little silly considering I could just hang the engine there and fabricate/weld a set of mounts using bushings. There's just something good about making chips. I'll be making sparks for other parts of this project.

My machining quality kinda sucks on these. Can someone help me identify what I'm doing wrong? See the far left surface in this picture? That is a 1" thick piece of aluminum. I took 0.050in deep passes with a 1/2" diameter 2 flute endmill spinning 960rpm (cutting speed 480fpm), manually feeding about one crank turn per sec which is close to 14.5ipm. I did not run a finish pass of any kind. I'm not sure if the waviness & roughness is the result of incorrect feed/speed, machine setup or endmill sharpness/quality. Any ideas or tips?

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