The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Tell us about your new PPV, show us some pictures, let us know how you did what you did!
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fuzzkill
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:07 pm

smwalker wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:35 pm

Would not recommend Dynamat for a vapor barrier serviceability would be compromised big time. I would recommend a secondary interior shell barrier to channel the water to the interior of the door. The way our vapor barriers attach with butyl it's asking for trouble. Went into it a bit here. https://www.newcaprice.com/forum/viewto ... 219#p23210

So I ended up with 3 layers for water and sound control:
1. Interior liner to direct water to bottom of door. Clear plastic 8 MIL
2. Outer vapor barrier - Factory plastic piece - new butyl rubber along the bottom
3. Layer or Sound Dampening Mass Loaded Vinyl hanging from velcro strips at the top of the door panel so can be removed for service
4. Door Panel
Thanks for the input! Another layer of plastic on the inside of the sheel metal is a solid idea. I ended up deciding against the dynamat as a barrier, I don't think it would do a good job unless you made some closeout panels to fill the voids - and then you would still have the nightmare of servicing it if you ever had to.

I ended up using some new butyl in a few places, and then rolling it with the metal roller I was using for the dynamat installation. So it is very strongly adhered to the door. Then I went and did waterproofing tape over the lower half of where the vapor barrier adheres to the door, as a backup seal if it gets past the butyl. I don't think I'll be having any problems (fingers crossed).

Got a few other small things done on the car, but been busy in the shop/house with other priorities the past few days. Hopefully get back into it shortly.

fuzzkill
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:06 am

Alright, finally some progress worthy of a post.

Shop cleanup took longer than expected, but got it finished this morning and changed the very overdue oil on my wife's car. I was supposed to do that before I blocked out the second bay. Oops.

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Now with some room to mess with, I rolled the motor over and began tearing it down. Pulled off the intake, accessories, timing cover, and oil pan.

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The LS3 is incredibly clean inside, possibly the best looking used motor I've come across. Practically no varnish anywhere. Everything is still bright colored aluminum inside. Also didn't come across any signs that anyone has opened this up or even changed a gasket on it, which is nice. Don't want surprises.

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I used my trusty lifter holder tool. It's the only LS engine part you can buy at Jo-Ann fabrics.

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Old cam out, new cam in, new timing set in. Valve springs were next on the list. Anyone fighting with a generic valve spring tool is doing themselves a disservice. These make it an absolute breeze, even with the stiff double valve springs. I tried installing a set on a motor with a traditional valve spring tool and had them fail, ended up never finding where the locks went, and it was lucky that I didn't get injured in the process. Nothing to worry about when using this tool.

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Got them all swapped out, along with new valve seals and titanium retainers. Engine is timed up and ready to be cleaned and reassembled.

s/c'd cav
Posts: 1047
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:12 am
Location: PHOENIX AZ

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by s/c'd cav » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:27 pm

i would have pulled the heads and atleast put new lifter trays in it , or possibly link bar lifters as well

lastcall190
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:17 am
Location: North Jersey

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by lastcall190 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:56 pm

Wooden dowel club for life. Thanks LS1howto.com for the suggestion 14 years ago!

Got a link for the valve spring tool?

-J
2012 Caprice
2008 CVPI

Both gone but not forgotten...

GammaFlat
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:26 pm
Location: NW Indiana

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by GammaFlat » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:11 am

This is the best thread ever. I can only compare it to one that I followed on Chevelles.com where the guy literally molded his interior panels to fit his huge interior upgrade needs (Of course he did everything else including massive suspension and drive-train upgrade). Your car will put your Caprice up to or near current day standards. That's a worthy endeavor. I say similar things about my kids - we all say we want our kids to be happy but I think wishing for "worthy endeavors" is wider and better. BTW, cute little kid there that is lucky enough to experience a parent that is setting an awesome example!

It sounds like you got your hands on a great engine. It is surprising (with the level of detail everywhere else), that you're not pulling the heads but I'm confident you're making good calls all along the way. I trust your judgement (as if it matters :) ).

I think we all "like adventures". You kinda bring it to a new level which is both encouraging and discouraging at the same time. I can't see tackling something to this level until after retirement (which might not be too far off) but even then, your ability and confidence level to meet all challenges is quite admirable and intimidating.

Cheers and I look forward to updates with pop corn.
-John
Current: 2013 9C3, deeper trans pan, 12VoltSolutions Remote, Class III hitch, Android Auto capable radio

fuzzkill
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:20 am

GammaFlat wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:11 am
This is the best thread ever. I can only compare it to one that I followed on Chevelles.com where the guy literally molded his interior panels to fit his huge interior upgrade needs (Of course he did everything else including massive suspension and drive-train upgrade). Your car will put your Caprice up to or near current day standards. That's a worthy endeavor. I say similar things about my kids - we all say we want our kids to be happy but I think wishing for "worthy endeavors" is wider and better. BTW, cute little kid there that is lucky enough to experience a parent that is setting an awesome example!

It sounds like you got your hands on a great engine. It is surprising (with the level of detail everywhere else), that you're not pulling the heads but I'm confident you're making good calls all along the way. I trust your judgement (as if it matters :) ).

I think we all "like adventures". You kinda bring it to a new level which is both encouraging and discouraging at the same time. I can't see tackling something to this level until after retirement (which might not be too far off) but even then, your ability and confidence level to meet all challenges is quite admirable and intimidating.

Cheers and I look forward to updates with pop corn.
-John
Thanks for the feedback!

Regarding opening the motor up, a couple of things affected my decision. First, I've never had an issue with good stock LS3 lifters - and getting aftermarket can be hit or miss. Delphi isn't as good as the OE LS7 lifters, other aftermarkets vary in quality vs. OE and the actual OE LS7's are hard to find and may just be labelled as such. At least, that is my experience (I used to work in parts). Secondly, I'm not trying to set any records with the motor. Will be (relatively) low boost with a (again, relatively) mild cam. Stock head gaskets and hardware will be fine for the power levels I am chasing. Less variables without fixing what isn't broken.

That being said, they could fail. That is always a thing. If I were to have a motor failure, I would probably go overkill and go with forged/new everything. But I don't see the need for what's going to be a a stock boost level LSA setup. I don't like having to continually mess with things, which is why I'm trying to get everything out of the way at once. The goal being a very unique, very comfortable, but still very quick manual Caprice.

This is definitely an adventure.

edit:
lastcall190 wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:56 pm
Wooden dowel club for life. Thanks LS1howto.com for the suggestion 14 years ago!

Got a link for the valve spring tool?

-J
https://www.texas-speed.com/p-7648-texa ... l-kit.aspx

fuzzkill
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:43 am

Played around with the motor some more today.

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The supercharger parts I've been sitting on for a long time. My receipt for most of the parts are early 2018. I was originally going to boost my 13 Caprice that I did the manual swap on. I got an awesome deal on the blower, I got it complete for $900. At the time just the lower units were fetching over that price without rails/injectors. This one came complete with blower, lid, rails, injectors, and sensors. And they even marked it to tell me what it is!

As I'm sure most of you know, the Caprice/SS uses the same accessory spacing as the LSA, meaning you can basically just bolt on the pieces needed for the supercharger drive and leave everything else alone. I picked up the parts needed for the LSA drive shortly after I bought the blower.

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The LSA balancer is keyed, which is how all the LS motors should have come. But since they didn't, I will need to pin this crank. I've got the kit here from a few motors I've done but I think I need to get/make more pins.

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Seeing everything on the motor is exciting but also made me realize I still need a ton more little things to finish. Tonight I ordered the solid isolator, MAP extension, EVAP extension, O2 extensions, and Gates HD belts. I found a throttle body extension harness here, and it looks like I can make this front steam vent work.

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With how tight everything on the accessory drive is, and with how the harness routes in front of the cylinder head from the fuse box, I'm going to go ahead and lay out the harness on the motor since it needs to go under the SC tensioner. This will also let me check if there are any other length issues.

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Rounding up the rest of my dusty LSA parts, I have a Bosch IC pump, the Edelbrock FMHE, and a VCM intake. I would have bet money that I got the OTR intake, but apparently I am mistaken. It sits in the factory location and draws in air from behind/under the headlight just like the stock box/rotofab. It looks pretty neat, and it will tune easier with the MAF than the OTR. But it takes away room in the engine bay from a intercooler reservoir, and the new location for a washer fluid tank. I haven't explored those rabbit holes yet - might take a bit to find something I like.

Does anyone have pictures of what the VF GTS uses for a reservoir? Or does it just have that tiny little inline fill unit? The CTS-V has a nice unit that tucks behind that strut tower, which I was looking at. But I think when the cowl and wiper motor are reinstalled the room that I think I have will disappear there.

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At least the lid cleaned up decent. The core inside looks fine as well. May swap to the ZL1 lid later, if the cost/availability ever returns from the stratosphere. Not worth it currently.

s/c'd cav
Posts: 1047
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:12 am
Location: PHOENIX AZ

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by s/c'd cav » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:02 am

ive had friends do cam job in low mile motors , and figure not change anything only to have a lifter spin in the tray , and take the cam out

granted they number the fewer compared to those with no issuses , but 40-50 bucks for new trays is cheap ins , plus allows for swapping to lsa/9 head gaskets , and use arp head bolts or studs

and i make/buy a plate to weld to the heat exchanger core , on both ends , to limit higher boost from collapsing the end tanks

fuzzkill
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:40 am

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Got the steam vent line massaged a little bit, sneaks right under the snout now.

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Got out my pin kit, and set it up for 2 pins. I've done just one in other cars and have yet to have one fail, but those were all with smaller, lighter balancers with the SC running on the main drive belt instead of it's own drive. 2 drill bits gave their life so that I may boost.

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Got the harness laid out on the motor, really snug fit between the SC tensioner bracket and head, but it will work. Can still move the harness around from either side. Everything else laid out nicely on the motor, just waiting on the MAP/EVAP extensions.

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I went and cleaned up the blower, valve covers, and block. Then remembered I need different valve covers anyway. Oh well, now I have a nice clean set of spares. Going with the Holley covers, which like the LSA covers it gets rid of the coil brackets and the coils bolt directly to the cover. The LS3 covers and stock coil location would work, but it puts the electrical connection of one of the coils right on the fuel rail, to the point you have to bend the wires away. Not quite chaffing on the rail, but closer than I want. Plus with the wiring for the injectors in the way as well it would probably look like garbage. So new covers it is.

She cleans up decent

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Probably going to pull it off the stand tomorrow to replace the rear main seal/plate. Then I can throw on the flywheel and twin disk setup and mate it up to the trans. Still waiting on the coupler and a few parts but nothing that is hanging me up just yet. I should have my BCM and other components back in a week or so.

fuzzkill
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The no budget build - manual, LSA, SS

Post by fuzzkill » Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:05 am

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Got most the parts I ordered in, with the most pressing being the solid isolator. Installed it, and then was able to permanently mount the blower, and lid to the engine. My MAP and evap extensions came in as well, so I finalized the harness routing.



Before I installed the fuel rail and injectors, I got to test out my new toy, as well as my injectors. Since I'll be at stock boost levels, and E85 is scarce, I'm running stock LSA injectors that came with my blower. Best to flow test them before install to avoid any surprises.

After several tests, they all came out even. Whichever injector was closest to the feed pipe had slightly more volume, due to seeing the least pressure drop. I could move them around and the far right injector would always be slightly higher flow than the rest. I think I'll change the feed setup so that doesn't keep happening.

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Pulled the motor off the stand, and swapped out the rear main. Wasn't leaking but was starting to seep, plus every other gasket has been changed at this point.

I was going to install the clutch setup, but I realized I have overlooked the pilot bearing. I have one coming tomorrow and then I should be able to get them together.

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Also got to play with the shifter a little bit - hooked up the gear indicator to see how it looks/works before I install it.

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