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     I finally got the 5.3 and 4l60E swapped in after about 2 1/2 years of collecting parts. I have obtained alot of useful information and parts from this website so I thought I would share my experience with the forum.  If you have any questions about the Z or ideas on how to do something better please post it. I hope you guys enjoy!

     This is how it started for me. About 4 years ago I was watching a video on Youtube of a LS swapped Z car and thought, that looks like fun. So here I am. I purchased the car from a gentleman in Colorado that had previously bought it from California. It was his "backup Z" incase his was wrecked or stolen. He decided to liquidate so that's when I swooped in and got it for a mere $2,000. It was a great deal. An all original Z car with very minimal rust and 85k miles. I trailered the car home and I immediately started in on the L28 engine and getting it running. I'm sure it sat for about 22 years from what I could tell because it still had a 1986 California liscense tag on it.  The goo in the gas tank was not easy to clean. Within 2 weeks it was running and I was driving everywhere. Then the parts collecting started for the swap.

     I'm more of a picture and video kind of person so I'll keep the story time short and start in on the specs and pics. All custom components were made and installed by myself except the exhaust,fan shroud and JCI swap parts.

 

Engine: 5.3 LM7 from a 2001 Avalanche

            Current Performance Fuse/Relay box

            Texas speed 224R camshaft  .581 .581 lift, 224 224 duration, 112 lobe sep

            F-body oil pan and front accesories.

            LS6 intake and injectors

            Heat sink ignition coils

            Bosch 044 fuel pump with Corvette fpr/filter

            Sanderson shorty headers

            exhaust  2, 2 1/2" pipe from headers going into a single 3" with magnaflow muffler. Electric cutout after the Y

            JCI swap kit

Trans:   4L60E

            Transgo shift kit

            3200 Vigilante stall converter

            B&M Prostick shifter

Diff:      R200 with stock axles, 3.54 ratio

            Phantom Grip limited slip unit

Weight: 2860lbs with 1/2 tank and all spare tire essentials

1/4       Best so far with stock 14" pizza cutter tires is: 12.32 at 112mph  Sept 6, 2013

                                                                                           12.28 at 112mph  Sept 27, 2013

                                                                                           11.90 at 115mph Oct 11, 2013

                                                                       M/T slicks    11.74 at 115mph Oct 25, 2013

 

The ride when it made it to it's new home

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Engine bay cleaning and paint

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Engine 

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ECM wiring and integrating the Current Performance fuse/relay box

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ECM brackets

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Maxi fuse setup I used to get rid of fusable links. mounted under ac/heater blower

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Transmission (4L60E) with 3200 stall

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1997 Honda Odyssey brake light switch (left) needed for the automatic lockup solenoid. The factory switch (right) only has a NC contact and I need both NC and NO contacts

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B&M Prostick

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Fuel pump setup. Mounted on stock rubber isolated mount and then relocated behind diff

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3/8 Aluminum Fuel line running in factory brackets all the way up to the drivers side of engine

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Installing Phantom Grip in diff

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Custom made coil brackets, 5.3 truck brackets set coils to high and interfered with fuel line

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Custom made battery bracket

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Aluminum sheet metal fan shroud and Zirgo cooling fan

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T I made to run the steam vent lines to

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External trans cooler in addition to radiator trans cooler and lines

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Air intake setup. Two 3.5" mandrel bent aluminum 90s and a few rubber couplers with 85mm MAF. K&N 4" filter

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Exhaust

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As she sets now. Sept. 16, 2013

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Track time!

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My Z sitting between two heavy weights. It looks like a go cart in comparison.

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Link to some videos;

Walk around http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYIVVa7ghPw   

Trans testing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRIn6NH2S5w

Dyno run https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0E18f-T0MQ

Sound clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDd6sj8DLdI

Edited by Slow78z
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Does the phantom grip work in a short nose r200?

I bet it probably would but it would be wise to do some research. I purchased this unit from the parts for sale section on this site so I didn't deal directly with Phantom Grip. I will say there customer support is non existant. I left several messages and e-mails and didn't get one reply. But there is someone working at that business because I got put on the Phantom Grip junk email list. lol

 

That looks great-really great. I wanna hear about racing with that tranny. What gear do you finish the 1/4 in? What about in the 1/8? What tire you running? Other than the stall and the cooler, any other tranny mods? I'm impressed.

Racing with the tranny is a breeze. I just point and shoot. I have it set up to shift at 6800 RPM so I just run it in drive. As I roll thru the 1/4 mile it's in 3rd grear running about 6100 RPM. The tires are just the stock size of 195/70R 14s on steel wheels for now. They don't hook at all from a dig so I have to pedal it a little at launch. After that it's on the floor till the end. You can tell my launches need work with a 60' of 1.9 to 2.2 but better tires would help. My 12.32 run said the 1/8 was at 7.93. As far as the tranny goes it's from a 2001 f-body with 110K miles. It's got the mods you mentioned above and a transgo shift kit. I have turned off all torque management that the factory puts in the tune to soften the shifts. It shifts nice and firm.

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I may have a chance to buy a 280z with a solid axle/ladder bar conversion. If I get it, I would make it my auto trans z-car specifically for bracket racing. I'm kind of mentally comparing powerglides, T350, and now I'm learning about the E-trannies. I like the idea of being able to control shift points.

 

What system are you using to tune the tranny? HPtuners? Also, what would you say you have spent on the tranny (shifter, stall, etc) beyond the initial purchase? I think I would try to get my LS motor/trans as a complete pullout. I already have a T56-equipped LS in my current Z. Can one get a trans brake for that tranny in order to launch off a button? As you know, for bracket, I don't need to be super fast, just reliable and consistent and cut a good light. Thanks.

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 I may have a chance to buy a 280z with a solid axle/ladder bar conversion. If I get it, I would make it my auto trans z-car specifically for bracket racing. I'm kind of mentally comparing powerglides, T350, and now I'm learning about the E-trannies. I like the idea of being able to control shift points.

 

What system are you using to tune the tranny? HPtuners? Also, what would you say you have spent on the tranny (shifter, stall, etc) beyond the initial purchase? I think I would try to get my LS motor/trans as a complete pullout. I already have a T56-equipped LS in my current Z. Can one get a trans brake for that tranny in order to launch off a button? As you know, for bracket, I don't need to be super fast, just reliable and consistent and cut a good light. Thanks.

I use HP Tuners for tuning. I'm a novice tuner at the moment but its getting easier. Here's a little list of what I've spent transmission wise:

Used 4L60E $400

Used vigilante Stall $500

Used B&M Prostick $100

Shift kit $75

New A and B shift solenoids $40

A friend of mine put a trans brake on his 4L60E and it works great, with street tires anyways. He hasn't launched on stickies yet because of no trans blanket. It's recommended to use a trans blanket or shield to catch potential tranny carnage if using slicks. I cannot remember the company that sells the brake but I can find out if you'd like.

If you get that Z I'd love to see pics of the rear setup. I'm contemplating a different stronger setup. IRS or Solid? Decisions decisions.

 

 

Edited by Slow78z
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I did some searching last night on the trans brake. Seems only one company makes one. I went to the site and read all their warnings and staging procedures-a bit more complicated than I had envisioned. On the second z, I just have to decide how much more I want to push this addiction. You did well with used parts.

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It's a tough decision. Alot of people seem to like the TH400 with trans brake. That could be another alternative. I think those setups use a reverse shift pattern and manual valve body so you have to do all the shifting.

 Your right about it being an addiction. I usually have to buy atleast a few parts a month or I go into withdraws. It's not pretty, just ask my wife. lol 

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I like the option that the 4L60E/4L80E gives for being able to manual shift or automatic shift, and the ability to make setup changes electronically. Plus, the ability to get the engine/trans as a package. Can't wait for you to get some slicks on that thing. I am giving a very used set of mine to a friend this weekend for his LS1/280z. Wish I had another set to share with you. If you get to that point, the easiest way to get slicks on the car will be with a set of 7" Weld draglites with a 4.5" back spacing. MT ET drags will fit inside stock fenders in a 26X8.5X15 size. You have to run a super high ride height to run 10" slicks-they hang out the side, so you will have trouble with them rubbing when the rear squats unless the car is jacked up pretty high. The 8.5s should hook up fine if they prep the track and you get them smoking hot. Stay away from drag radials unless you want to replace a lot of axles. The soft stock spring rate hooks up great, but squats like crazy.

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Good luck with that. Beyond the aluminum Weld Draglite, the only place I know of that has 15" steel wheels in our bolt pattern is Diamond Racing. But, I think Mickey Thompson makes one drag slick in the 14" wheel size, so that is an option too. Another option is a 4-lug, 4.5" (that's the Datsun lug spacing) to 4.25" (that is 4-lug Ford Mustang lug spacing) 1" wheel spacers. Then you would get a 5.5" back spaced wheel to bolt up to that. Sometimes you can find those spacers on the internet to allow you to use Ford wheels. I am going to be looking for some spacers like that in order to space over my new brake kit (the weld is dual-pattern). Getting big tires on the back of these cars with stock fenders (even rolled) is a real chore. Sorry to wear you out-I'm just happy to have another LS equipped drag racer in the group.

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I run coilovers in the rear (250lb 10" springs) with a 7" rim, 255/60-15 Mickey Thompson drag radials and the combo works great for me. I did slightly roll the fenders though. I am now running a 4L80E transmission, used to run a 700R4 with my old sbc combo. Looking forward to the final tune and getting some track numbers!

Edited by Zfan1
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Nice set up, can't wait to see how your numbers improve with better tires.

Thanks alainburon. Hopefully I'll be able to make it back to the track this season before they close for the winter. I work second shift so I have to burn a day of vacation to run. It is worth it though. I think I'll make it back one more time but I just need to source some stickies first.  I think I might also see if I can get a little dyno tuning done also. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Z and I had a pretty eventful day on Friday, 09-27-13.  We did a little dyno tuning and was able to muster 328 rwhp and 312 rwtq. I was very short on time that day so we only got about 5 pulls in. It did gain about 10 rwhp from the baseline run with a little tweaking. It even surprisingly gained 3 whole hp with the cutout open! Next up was some more track time. My first run netted a 12.28 at 112 mph and it hooked realy good. Even with my skinny radials. They had ALOT of sticky sprayed down on the starting area. I didn't feel any wheel spin so I decided to give it all on the next run. Run 2 was not good. It pulled the best it's pulled yet for about 3 feet and then violently wheel hopped for another 10 feet and broke. ;(  My drivers side inner u-joint kicked the bucket. Proof that the Phantom Grip works I guess. lol

 

Here are a few pics even though most of you know what a broken U-joint looks like.

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Strapped down to the Dyno

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A little photo op with Heartland Park Topeka tower in the backgroud.

Our rig with my broken junk on the trailer.

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