The H'ell Camino

glockman

I hate Jeeps
Location
Pleasant Grove
Thanks, Chad.... it's getting there! I've never built an LS, but have played with several old-school SBC's and it's funny how similar these are. I almost feel like I know what I'm doing. :rofl:
You look like you do :D
I'm following closely. The LJ is getting an LS/4L60 when the 42RLE finally dies. I'm not rebuilding a minivan trans.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
LS builds are cheap.... unless you're Greg.
It doesn't help that I started with a new, bare block! Had I bought a used takeout engine, I'd have all the little pieces that are nickle and dime'ing me to death! But I'm trying to do it right the first time, make the needed upgrades and not skimp on parts.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
So after looking at the intake, exhaust ports and the valves, I decided I wasn't interested in running used heads on what is essentially a new engine. The valves had some carbon buildup, I wasn't sure if the valve seals would be problematic, etc. I decided to have a machine shop tear them down, clean them up and replace seals. They also checked spring heights, etc. I dropped them off on a Friday, they said it would take 4-5 business days. It ended up taking 4-5 weeks, instead! I got the heads back late Friday night, finally.

Right after I dropped the heads off, I got my LS6 intake and valve covers back that I had hydro dipped.... and they came out AMAZING. The guy that did the work painstakingly painted around the intake tubes, where the carbon fiber-like material didn't lay down just right.

As soon as I got the heads back, I put all the pieces in place and it looks amazing. I need a different steam tube setup for the LS6 intake, but the next steps are to bolt down the heads, install the Brian Tooley Racing push rods and then place the upgraded rocker arms in place.








Since the engine is coming together quick, I decided it was time to work on the El Camino and get it ready for dropping the engine in. I pulled out the cheap gauges and a bundle of wiring from under the dash and firewall and most of it was very questionable. I removed the B&M TH350 shifter, too. Next up, I pulled out the TH350 and the driveshaft, spilling ATF all over of course! Next up, I removed the dual exhaust. Planning on new exhaust, so it had to go. After all that was done, I pushed the car out of the shop and went to town degreasing and pressure washing the firewall, inner fenders, frame, engine mounts, etc.











After it was dry, I cleaned up the frame and suspension bits then sprayed them with some gloss black. I ordered some black semi-gloss paint from Eastwood that will go on the firewall, inner fenders, etc. I noticed that the battery tray had seen better days, so I added one to my cart from Summit Racing.






I fitted up the new Sidewinder shifter for the 4l60E since the B&M TH350 shifter was removed.... it's tight with the bench seat!

 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
The Sidewinder is a great shifter. I recently installed one in my Grand Prix, and I absolutely love it.

I think it's a rebadged Winters/Art Carr, which I ran in my TJ years ago and loved it. It's solid, gated shifts make it feel like a drag car, but I'm OK with that. It's much more solid than the B&M that came out.
 

rholbrook

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Location
Kaysville, Ut
The nice thing is when you get tired with this a month or after you finish it, you will make some good money on. People go stupid crazy on anything with an LS in it. Can’t wait for you to finish it. Nice job
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
The nice thing is when you get tired with this a month or after you finish it, you will make some good money on. People go stupid crazy on anything with an LS in it. Can’t wait for you to finish it. Nice job
Thanks Russ! Yeah, with a beautiful new LS and new/rebuilt 4L60E it should run and drive amazing. I do want to upgrade the suspension and brakes down the road, it would be awesome to run it at the Wide Open Wednesdays at the track in Tooele.
 

Hickey

Rusty Girdle
Supporting Member
That motor is too pretty. I don't think you should start it. It will get dirty, and that would be a shame. I will let you park it in my garage to keep it clean.

BTW, there isn't a raceway in Tooele... It's in Grantsville, because annexation is how we roll in G-town.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Some updates, I really want to have the engine in NOW but still need all these little parts.... water pump, PS pump, alternator, accessory brackets, etc. I recently ordered quite a bit of those parts, but have a 4 day weekend so I'm working on other things!

I did finish painting the engine compartment and used Eastwood Black Low Gloss finish on the wheel wells, firewall, radiator support, etc. I think it looks great with the gloss on the frame and low gloss everywhere else.






One of the big, engine-related projects is the fuel pump to supply the LS engine. I decided I didn't want a frame mounted pump and figured the gas tank was probably due for a replacement, so I ordered a kit from Tanks Inc. It comes with a Walbro 67 gph 100 psi pump, Corvette fuel filter/regulator, new sending unit, ceramic coated gas tank, -AN 6 fittings, Russell fuel hose and a wiring kit with relay. You have to assemble the sending unit and trim it to fit, as well as the fuel pump, pickup and filter. Once the fittings were on, I went to removing the tank. Of course bolts broke, gas tank straps were junk, etc. I was hoping to get the new tank in, but decided to order new tank straps and hardware. I'm going to run the fuel line down the drivers side of the car, rather than the pass. side like it was. Reason being, the fuel inlet at the intake is on the drivers side of the LS engine, so it just makes sense.








Next up was addressing the suspension, the springs look to be original, the shocks are blown out and it had old-school air shocks in the rear. I want this thing to handle pretty well, so choose parts with that in mind. The shocks are Bilsteins and have great reviews. The springs are from BMR Suspension, rears are 1" lower than factory and fronts are 2" lower. I emailed them about the weight difference of my aluminum block and head LS versus a cast iron bock and head and they said the 2" springs should sit about 1-1.5" with the LS engine. The front springs have a 500# spring weight, compared to 250# stock. This increased weight will help keep the front end from 'tucking' under in a hard turn, but shouldn't affect the ride too much.




I started on the rear suspension first, since it's easier.... plenty of rust and dirt falling on me as I cut out the air lines for the shocks, the hardware was a b!tch, with bolts breaking or not spinning off, etc. The old springs has helper's added to them after they started sagging. The new parts went in much easier as did all the new hardware. Once done, I set the weight on the rear axle and the top of the rear tire is almost level with the top of the wheelwell. I think it'll have a mean, lean stance.... it'll be interesting to see where the front ends up sitting.










I started on the Front, but didn't get very far... going to try again tomorrow. Eventually I'll upgrade to a larger front anti-sway bar and add one on the rear, so this thing will corner like it's on rails!
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Very cool. I can’t wait for this to get done. My father always said that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. All this new hardware like tank straps, it’s worth doing right
Totally agree, Russ! My approach with this car is that if something I touch isn't going to last another 20-30 years, then I'd better upgrade!
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Oh, I missed an update that happened a few weeks ago. I did get the heads bolted down, using ARP head bolts. I could have done studs, but they're not needed as I'm not running boost or nitrous. Plus, the ARP head bolts are about 1/3 the cost of studs, so why spend more than needed? I applied the ARP lube and followed the correct torque sequence and spec for the LS and ARP bolts. Next up, I placed the rocker arms and went thru the sequence of rotating and adjusting to get the correct valve lash. It's not difficult, but you need to turn the rotating assembly over, watch the cam movement and torque down the corresponding bolt.







Lastly, I put the top end together, valley pan cover, intake and valve covers.... which all got new gaskets. You probably can't see them, but there are new vent tubes on the heads front and back.

 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
I did get the front suspension swapped out, new springs and shocks like the back. I also swapped in a new power steering box that is a quick ratio, should make driving quite a bit more sporty feeling. I've continued to work on installing the new gas tank, with pump and sending unit.







Had to replace both anti-sway bar end links, as both bolts broke when I tried to remove them... they were wore super thin and would have eventually broken on the road!



Also made some big strides in getting the LS ready to drop in, installed the coil packs, spark plugs, Taylor 10.4 MM plug wires, the accessory brackets, with new alternator, power steering pump, starter, flexplate, a new serpentine belt, etc. I also installed new urethane motor mounts. I'm getting antsy to get the engine in and running, I have some minor details to button up before firing the engine, like engine oil pressure and temp sensors, etc.



 
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