Tig, Mig... whatever. Some of the guys are saying that these manifolds act much more like 'cast steel' then cast iron when welded. They seemed to be very easy to weld with or without pre and post heat.
Well, another change in direction. This is becoming one of those things where if your going to do it, you might as well do it right.
I bought my new L33 aluminum block and LS1 241 cylinder heads back from @Noahfecks , I'll be building they new engine instead of using the 200k mile, iron block LM7. I plan to re-use the crankshaft out of the truck engine and have it checked out by a machine shop. Dunkin purchased a set of Gen4, 4.8l flat top pistons and rods, which I will also be buying back from him. The built engine will be getting all new bearings, gaskets, timing chain, oil pump, etc.
Combined with the flat top pistons, it'll have 10.5 to 1 compression. This combo should be good for 400-420 HP and should last a long time. The RPM operating range should make for a great driver with plenty of torque and horsepower.
From here it will just be a matter of getting any needed machine work done, coming up with the money to buy the needed parts and then building the engine. Again, this engine swap was completely and totally unplanned.... I'm doing my best to roll with the punches and do the work right the 1st time.
Parts for the LS swap are starting to come in, the Holley LS Swap oil Pan, TH350 to LS flexplate and spacer, cable throttle body, new front seal for the TH350 and a brand new stand alone wiring harness that came with a couple of other goodies, including a harness for electric fans and GM ECU that will need a tune eventually.
I also received my eBay-special cheap conversion stainless sterl headers that are meant for this car. They were recommended by a local buddy and were hard to pass up at $150!
Yeah, they're nice parts considering they're made in China.... BUT, the very nice Holley oil pan is also stamped with 'made in China', so I don't know how much difference it makes, really. The thing with these headers is that you're not paying for a name associated with a brand. Anyway.... I think they'll be better than using factory manifolds. We will see how they last with time, I hope the quality of the stainless is high.
You think? I've never been one for tradition, matter of fact I painted my old Camaro's 355 Ford Blue, just to piss off the guys that thought all Chevy engines should be Orange. I think I'll leave the block and heads bare, so you can tell it's aluminum. If I have time time, I'd like to polish the valve covers and make them all pretty.
Picked up dual 11" Spal fan with a shroud that perfectly fits the stock El Camino radiator from Craigslist today. It pulls 2,800 CFM! This is a $350-400 fan, plus the Derale dual fan controller that came with it. These parts were never used! Paid $50 for it all!
I should be able to wire up the fans to the harness and run them off the ECM.
So I am an old guy and like old school stuff. That having been said, for me it ain't a hot rod if it doesn't have 3 pedals.
These guys do an awesome job of retrofitting TREMEC overdrive transmissions for just about any application.
I have a 5 speed in my 59 Chevy pickup and it will roll down the freeway way faster than I have steering, brakes or suspension to keep it in a straight line, and it's low enough to burn plenty of doughnuts in the church parking lot to impress all the kiddies.