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Stock Car Mafia

Stock Car Mafia's '78 280z LS2 Build

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I also pulled the driver seat tonight and got 3/4 bolts on the passenger side.  The one damn bolt with the littlest room is the one that is the most seized.  I am getting rather frustrated with it as none of my sockets/wrenches/ or swivels work to get enough contact with the bolt to break it loose.  I even tried putting a socket in a vice grip to get more leverage...no go.  

 

I pulled the carpet up to really see underneath for the first time.  I am REALLY liking how little rust I am able to find on the floor boards!  I still don't regret getting this chassis!

 

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I did get Bruce's cell phone number and was able to call and talk to him for a good 15 minutes.  He is a pretty down to earth guy and really stands behind his products.  He did mention that the tranny mount is a little tricky.  The floor needs to be cut out where the mounts will be and wedged in.  He welded them to the frame solid and then stitch welded the frame to the floor.  Following that a healthy coat of seamsealter did the trick in his application.  He also said if you remove the foam padding from the x-member portion of the carpet, you will never notice the mounts sticking up.  I will be sure to post up pictures of this as I go.

 

That's it folks!  Until the next day I can find some time.  We have year end inventory at work, where I will be staying late to make sure everything gets accomplished.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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Well I couldn't find my printout from which sensors had been deleted from the stock harness so I had to reach out to the guy I bought the motor from.  He was nice enough to email me the list:

 

 - VATS Security 1 & 2

 - Fuel Tank Purge

 - Fuel Tank Evap

 - Torque management was reduced

 - Rear O2 sensors

       - Bank 2 sensor 2

       - Bank 1 sensor 2

 - Clutch pedal input switch

 - CAGS/Skip shift

 

With the skip shift eliminated, I did a little digging on the LS1Tech forums and figured out you could use a drain plug from a 1983-1986 Plymouth Horizon 1.6L 4 cylinder.  It's got the M20 x 1.5mm thread pattern (Dorman Part #090-040).  Most people take a dremel/carbide bit and shave off the steel collar on the plug so it can thread in farther. Since there is a larger O-ring in the tranny I didn't want to chance it leaking so I left it as is.  You can get a little more than a full turn on the threads, so I just threw a good chunk of blue loctite on the threads and Vasoline'd the O-ring.

 

20151204_224114_zpsrc12mlw5.jpg

 

I also removed the stock slave cylinder that was on the tranny and got it ready to be bolted up and transplanted in the car.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I ended up getting that one little pesky rear passenger seat bolt out as well.  I didn't have a 1/8" drive socket and ratchet set but I knew the sockets would be more shallow than what I have.  I had to use my large flashlight as a breaker bar too since I couldn't get anything else under the seat.  I have to thank my engineering buddy Mike for his in a pinch ingenuity!   :2thumbs:

 

I got the kick panel bolts and door jam pieces out so I could pull the carpet out.  The parking brake light was disconnected, and a couple snap buttons for the parking brake boot and out it came!

 

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The only rust I really could find was on the passenger side under the seat.  There is a quarter size spot that when you push on it from above and below, you can tell the cancer has gotten to it.  NOT WORRIED however, because down the road this will get rectified.

 

20151204_220731_zpshedoitxn.jpg

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I figured dropping in the tranny/engine combo would take more effort to slide the LT's in and get the motor mounts in.  I had to set my engine leveler pretty far forward to ge the tranny to dip in to the tunnel but once I had that set, I never touched it again.  I lowered it in to the engine bay and once the tranny got low enough, I put a jack underneath of it.  I used this to keep the tranny at a decent level and dropped the bad boy in!  

 

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It got to midnight last night, so I didn't get any measuring done for the x-member but I would have to say the tranny fits in there quite well!

 

20151204_233658_zpsnewibipd.jpg

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I also dicked around with alternator fitment on the car.  The alternator does have enough clearance from the steering rack.  Keep in mind this is the LS1 alt. and I have not wired the harness for the plug yet.  You have to cut down the exhaust port a good amount to clear the steering knuckle.  If you cut it off at a 45 deg. angle and flush with the inner semi-circle it fits perfect.  In the pic below, I hadn't cut enough off yet.

 

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20151204_204822_zpsv0q7hx7s.jpg

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disepyon    11

Looking good man.

 

Any chance you can get clearance pic, perhaps a measurement included of the front pulley to cross member or better yet, how low does the pulley hang down from the top surface of the oil pan ( i have the exact same oil pan as you). Making my own mounts and i got stupid and took engine apart and junked my harmonic balancer cause it was no good with out thinking about what is need to make my engine mounts.

 

Tried looking around for measurements or a good pic on the web, but nothing gives me a good reading. As of now i have my motor setting higher than it probably needs to be on the safe side since i dont have that measurement.

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I can definitely get more pics of the clearance between it and the rack and also provide some measurements.  Right now the motor is out so I can find the time to cut up the floor and weld the tranny crossmember in.  When I throw it back in I'll put it on my list to take care of.

 

Thanks ladams!  I plan on keep adding to it each day I work on the car.  I just want to provide as much feedback as I can for other people looking to do the same.

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I was able to get an hour or so in the garage tonight.  I finally got my Roloc grade 50 bristle disc to clean off the old gasket material on the heads.  

 

I started cutting through the floor after I had marked where to cut for the transmission xmember.  The rear brake line had to be pulled out of the way so it didn't get cut.  I drilled a couple pilot holes to give me guidance for where to cut.  I used a 4 inch cut off wheel and then a sawzall.

 

This is the pass side.

 

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And the driver side.

 

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The floors have some thick spots of the sound deadener that I scraped away.  I haven't scraped the underneath but i got it close enough for tonight.  I'm probably going to work on widening these holes just enough so the mount can be pushed in and held.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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Santa also delivered another early xmas gift!  It is the Champion 3 row radiator (CC634) and the Ledfoot aluminum shroud and 2, 12" fans.  I still don't have an overflow tank planned out and I'll more than likely plug the tranny cooler lines.  

 

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I'm really hoping I quit procrastinating and get my fuel system ironed out so I can order those parts.  Once I get the xmember tacked in, I'll drop the motor in to test fit again and look at any issues.  It'll get pulled out again, fully welded up, dropped back in, and I'll measure for the driveshaft then as well.

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Looking good man.

 

Any chance you can get clearance pic, perhaps a measurement included of the front pulley to cross member or better yet, how low does the pulley hang down from the top surface of the oil pan ( i have the exact same oil pan as you). Making my own mounts and i got stupid and took engine apart and junked my harmonic balancer cause it was no good with out thinking about what is need to make my engine mounts.

 

Tried looking around for measurements or a good pic on the web, but nothing gives me a good reading. As of now i have my motor setting higher than it probably needs to be on the safe side since i dont have that measurement.

 

disepyon, here is your clearance picture!  These mounts are so low that the pan hits the steering mount brackets.  I still have to dremel more away.  But the pulley is about 15/16" to 1" away from the steering rack.  There is plenty of room there.

 

20151213_133245_zps36dm7a6i.jpg

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Stopping to get a nice carbide bit was definitely helpful for opening the tranny tunnel holes.  I just kept working away until it fit nice up against the frame and still fit snug.  

 

20151211_191824_zpsymlxf4nz.jpg

 

I was able to round up some help for this weekend too!  It was a mix bag of workers and beer drinkers.  It's just nice to have some other people around to keep your mind off of personal crap that goes on in your life that you think way too much about!  

 

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My brother wire brushed all the tunnel surfaces clean as I finish welding up the motor mounts.  

 

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After that we threw the motor and tranny in and test fitting the mount and it looks like it will all line up.  We took the motor out and started welding the mount in.  

 

 

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After that long process of welding, cooling, welding, etc. we put the motor and tranny back in to button it all up.  The shifter sits about an inch lower than where I was thinking it was going to end up.  The crossmember is about as high as it can go.  I don't know if it will be a problem but the motor/tranny do angle down a little in the back.  

 

I put my buddy Ben on the task of solving how to get the damn steering shaft back on.  This literally took several hours to figure out the damn order to get it back in.  What it came down to is unbolting the whole steering column to pull it back and give room for getthing the shaft in, then throwing on the 2 spacers, bushing, and bolts.  WHAT A NIGHTMARE!  It should go smoother next time though, but it does take an extra set of hands and a jack stand in the car....

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I was able to measure for a driveshaft (26" exact) and need to make a couple other measurements before I call it in.  I am starting to wonder if I should consider the Q45 swap and axles before I go any further...The damn R200 CLSD and axles are so incredibly hard to find that I don't know if it is worth the wait.  I'd really hate to spend months waiting for what may never come and not be able to rip on the car like I want to.

 

We also threw the radiator in last night and took a couple metal coat hangers and bent them for the rad hoses.  I need to get some rubber grommets to put on the bolts that secure the rad down to prevent any damage from vibration and twisting.  I am going to get some rubber caps as well for the heater core and water pump.  The tranny cooler lines need plugs as well.  I'll have to call them and see what size/thread pitch they are.  

 

The darn alternator still needs some trimming in order to clear the steering shaft knuckle and bolt.

 

I am probably going to send my harness in to Jim's performance and have him rework it all and delete what is not needed and reloom it all.  I just don't have to time to read for mind numbing hours on the topic.  I don't find it very entertaining and if I can get it back for $400 and just hook it up I am happy with that.

 

I also need to call a couple fuel cell companies tomorrow and see what is available for E85 compatability.  I really would like to have the option of going this route without spending more money down the road if I chose to.  Right now all I keep reading is aluminum tanks, foam, and most sending units don't hold up well against it when it sits for long periods, especially if it has been exposed to air/moisture.

 

And last but not least, I would like to find a good TIG welder to weld the V-bands on and start planning the intake tubing I will need.  I'll probably pick up an alunimized steel 3" builder kit from columbia river for the exhaust once the fuel system is figured out.  

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I made a few phone calls today.  I found a welding company in a town nearby that will TIG weld the v-band on my header collectors.  I've emailed back and forth about 30 times today to get a driveshaft lined up for the car.  A 3" aluminum shaft with 1310 spicer sealed u-joints and a billet slip yoke for $580 from Driveshaft Shop.  He fudged up the first email back several weeks and didn't include the $100 cost of the yoke.  

 

I also made a Jeg's purchase today.  

 

 - 15 gallon black powder-coated aluminum fuel cell (Jegs #555-15338)

 - Billet 100-micron pre-pump fuel filter (Jegs #555-150005)

 - Vibrant Performance 3" stainless steel V-bands x2 (Jegs #231-1491)

 

I am going to order the fuel lines, russell fittings, and so forth from Summit as they are cheaper on these items.  I just need the tank now to start fabbing my mounts.  I am hoping to make a fill neck and a flip down license plate so I can shave the gas cap off when I have the car painted.  Any advice on this would be great.  The v-bands are needed so I can have the shop take care of the headers so I can fab up the exhaust after the tank is mounted and driveshaft is in.  

 

I have plenty to do out in the garage but it seems I get out there and run out of things to do as I need parts!  I need to just sit, chill, and think out the project more...

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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disepyon    11

disepyon, here is your clearance picture!  These mounts are so low that the pan hits the steering mount brackets.  I still have to dremel more away.  But the pulley is about 15/16" to 1" away from the steering rack.  There is plenty of room there.

 

20151213_133245_zps36dm7a6i.jpg

 

Thanks a bunch, really appreciate it. Maybe now ill reconsider the placement of my engine. Sucks that you have to cut the bracket. Was gonna suggest adding washers to you mounts to raise the motor up a bit, but forgot your using a different style mount, which im sure you already thought about.

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disepyon    11

Interested to see how your driveshaft from the driveshaft shop turns out. Same place i want to get mine from. 

 

Yeah I'm with you on wiring, I absolutely hate it. When I bought my ls1 it didnt come with a harness and i didnt feel like buying a used one to hack up and figure it all out so i went with wiring specialties. Pricey but worth it, so far it looks nice but havent had a chance to test fit it and wont know if it actually works for when its time to fire up the engine.

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disepyon, I will let you know how the shaft turns out!  I think I talked to a Frank? (owner of DSS) and he's a busy guy but was able to take my order over the phone and said hopefully by the end of the month I should have it with the holidays coming up.  

 

I really was going to try my shot at the wiring but to be honest I run out of time at the end of each day and I was getting sick of pushing it back day by day.  Jim's Performance will be reworking my harness, deleting all the unnecessary wires, relooming it and labeling each wire.  I will still have to add my own relays for the fuel pump, fans, and main relay.  It doesn't sound too complicated.  Be sure to post up your harness work as you go!

 

I made a summit purchase today...I will post up my parts list at some point in time soon.  

 

The Jeg's tank is sitting at my door step at home, and I bought 24 ft. of 1" x 1" 12 gauge steel tubing from Discount Steel in Minneapolis.  They wanted to charge me over $50 for 3, 7 foot sections (cutting cost. etc.).  I figure I will whip my sawzall in the car tomorrow and cut it down when I pick it up tomorrow  :D

 

More updates to come.  This weekend should be a long one!

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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Stopped to get the headers tonight and the welds turned out pretty good!

 

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The welds had a little bit of drip through so I took my carbide bit to it to clean them up.  I also cleaned the primary tubes up more.  I am going up to Forest Lake to drop them off to get ceramic coated!  They are going to throw the 1800 deg. flat black coating on them.  I didn't want the ugly chromish looking coating and I'll have them back for $240 :)

 

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20151217_184721_zpsw1v6hcl4.jpg

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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Yesterday I was able to make a stop at Napa and see if I could find some rad hoses that would work.  I wanted to get the fans mounted and test fit them.  I bought some nice stainless flange bolts and nylon nuts for the fans.  Centered them by eye and drilled away.

 

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And of course the top radiator hose may work but the bottom is proving to be a pain in the ass.  I am going to need to trim and add a reducer to the top hose.  I might have to pick up a hose splicer from Jagsthatrun and make my own hose....

 

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I am also wanting to flip the throttle body as the ear sticks out and I'd like to hide it.  Once flipped you can't get the bolts started as it hits the steam vent line.

 

I also spent about 30 minutes just starting at this plastic panel.  I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the damn thing out without breaking it!  Turns out there is a little plastic center plug that allows access to the bolt for the hatch shock.  Once my neighbor pointed that out I was golden!  

 

 20151220_000735_zpsjtumablt.jpg

 

The liquid/vaper tank and all the hoses were easy to get at then.  You have to weasel the hoses out from the bottom and then around the side.  The gas cap filler neck has a security bolt that prevents you from getting the neck out.  I took the carbide bit to it and out she came!  I intend on getting a steel fill neck for the Jeg's tank and try to use the stock fill neck to route it behind the license plate.  I want to shave the gas tank flap, sidemarkers, and maybe some other stuff down the road. 

 

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My buddy had to take his engine hoist back yesterday so I made a run to Harbor Freight to pick myself up a nicer 2 ton lift.  I cut away more plastic on the exhaust tube on the alt. and I believe I am good to go with it now. 

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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Here are a few things I am still brainstorming on:

 

 - Trim Clips and Pins - I need to find a bulk pack of the pins!  Everytime you push them through to remove some interior they get lost or stuck in a spot you can't reach.  These have to be sold somewhere.

 

- Clutch MC - I've read that most have used the 7/8" MC but I do believe that Zzeal used a 3/4" with his LS2 and it was plenty.

 

 - Fender Flares - Who makes a good set of plastic molded ones?  I got the fiber glass ones from TheZStore and ended up returning them because the fitment was pretty bad.

 

- Exhaust brackets - Will the rear stock exhaust bracket (and an similar mounted one on the passenger side for duals) be adequate for holding the exhaust up with the only other support being the V-Band at the header collector?  I may add another set of V-Bands around the front of the diff so I can drop the center section for driveshaft removal/tranny service.  

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RebekahsZ    106

For better or worse, I supported the long section of tubing from the stock muffler hanger, the hanger toward the front of the diff and from the tranny crossmember. The long pipes have a flex section to allow for some misalignment. I have unsupported mid-pipes, then my headers. I wanted to put v-bands in to allow me to remove just the section under the diff, and I may still. But that would cost me some ground clearance (a v-band's worth). I also hope to support my mid-pipes, it just keeps getting pushed farther down the list by new business. Electric cutouts are on my list and I've even c-notched the frame rail and cut holes in the fender for them, but something else always screams for attention louder.

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RebekahsZ    106

My car probably has 50# of pins in the closed cavities! I cut a moon-shaped section out of that plastic panel cause I'm always dropping my fuel tank for something and that strut prop is a PITA.

 

Most common size master is 7/8. 3/4 has been used a few times but your adjustment must be perfect. I use a 1" and the pedal is noticeably more firm, but I have lots of adjustment range in my adjuster. If you wanna do it once and be done-go 7/8".

 

Nobody's flares fit well. The Japanese versions are supposedly best. We all have to stretch them, twist them, sand them, etc. I looked into injection molding, and evidently the tooling is cost prohibitive. So fiberglass/carbon. Fiber is all we got.

Edited by RebekahsZ

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