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Old 11-07-2020, 01:41 AM   #1
Stanton27
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Default Stanton27's 244 LS swap.

Here we go!
Picked up this hacked 92 sedan with a blown up dodge 360 and 727 trans for 800 bucks on marketplace a few weeks ago. I figured im fully committed at this point, and decided to document my progress. Why not.
Here's the pile when I picked it up





First order of business was to remove the boat anchor of a motor that was installed

After that was done I removed everything from the interior. A few small rust spots but nothing unmanageable. Ordered some sheet metal. I posted the dodge combo on marketplace and sold it the next day for $300 an hour later found a running 02 lm7 and 04 4l80e for $400


Went to bed that evening with a million thoughts running through my head. Decided that anything worth doing is worth over-doing. Turbo time. After work the next day, I disassembled the 5.3. Cam bearings shot. Crank journals, pistons, heads all checked out. Cleaned all the parts, measured and checked crank journals, cylinders, heads, all good. Deburred and honed the block and heads and painted the block with some cummins engine paint I had laying around.

Ordered new parts for the motor. New king bearings, rings, trick flow track spec cam (585/585) pac1218 springs, 3/8" pushrods, ls7 lifters, holley pan, 88lb injectors, arp head studs and rod bolts, ls6 head gaskets etc etc. Gt45 Ebay special and grabbed some custom forward down manifolds that should fit. (Fingers crossed) intake is tbd, most likely a 102mm fabricated piece. Engine and transmission controlled by terminator x max. Cooling will likely be 940 rad, Ebay fmic, and transmission oil coolers with their own fans as well. Fuel system is still on the drawing board.



In the midst of all of this, I realized I probably should get my chassis prepped (duh) so I spent about 3 evenings after work cutting, grinding, swearing, and second guessing my life choices. Just in the engine bay. Stitch welded the sheet metal around the strut towers, and removed all the crap from the previous swap.
Before

During

And here's where we are now not quite done but getting close


Somewhere in there I picked up a 3.73 lsd 8.8, which I will shorten and throw into the rear.


For the suspension, I will be ordering some of Ben's coilover kits/mounts/quicksteer and putting that together myself, along with boxing in the front control arms and rear arms, ill be making a tower to firewall brace for the front, and some lower braces, my own motor mounts, welded in partial cage, mostly for bracing in the rear, bigger front sway etc. The car already has adjustable torque rods in the rear from previous owner. I'll be making an adjustable panhard, doing some boxing in of suspension attachment points. Still haven't decided on wheels. This is the biggest car project I've ever taken on. Im equally excited and mortified. I hope you guys enjoy the ride as much as I do. More to come!

Last edited by Stanton27; 11-07-2020 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 11-07-2020, 01:13 PM   #2
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Looks like a good start so far. I wish I had spent time cleaning my bay up like you did.

For ease of viewing, you can add a lowercase L to the end of your imgur links and it'll make the smaller. Little easier to see everything instead of having to scroll sideways. See below:



https:// i.imgur.com /TFgsAsZl .jpg
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Old 11-07-2020, 02:17 PM   #3
Stanton27
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Originally Posted by patrickstar View Post
Looks like a good start so far. I wish I had spent time cleaning my bay up like you did.

For ease of viewing, you can add a lowercase L to the end of your imgur links and it'll make the smaller. Little easier to see everything instead of having to scroll sideways. See below:



https:// i.imgur.com /TFgsAsZl .jpg
Thank you! I noticed it too and it bothered me. Now I know
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:16 PM   #4
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Looks like a great start!
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Old 11-07-2020, 11:36 PM   #5
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Looks like a great start!
Thanks! Just checked out your build, looks great. I've been starting at the low ram manifold for about a week on holley's site just haven't pulled the trigger. Seeing it in yours makes me feel like its probably the way to go. I have this crazy idea to shave the inboard sides of the strut towers in where they bump in an inch or two on each side. Replace with some thicker sheet metal and gussets for more header clearance And to strengthen things up further.. I'll be running coilovers so I dont need all that space in there anyway. Also has anyone moved the steering rack to the left and run a shorter/longer tie rod combo for more room? Or replaced with a different rack? I know its going to be a tight squeeze anyway, trying to make things a little more friendly. I plan on using the solid tube from sts.
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:11 AM   #6
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The rack isn't in the way of the headers, but I don't know about your setup. I had to clock the vent tube forward a bit. I got the Lo-ram because the hood wouldn't shut. The alternator was also an issue, thus the ICT brackets. Those might just be flat hood problems though. I have an extra set of ICT brackets for turbocharging an LS, but they don't work under my hood. If you can use them PM me. https://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=356986

Using the lo-ram caused a couple other issues, such as needing a 4 bolt throttle body, which means you need the x-link 6 to 8 pin connector harness. That adds $250 or so, plus a throttle body. I see you have a 3 bolt TB. A member here hooked me up with a gold blade Hummer TB for cheap. You only get 2 vacuum ports on the lo ram, so a vacuum distribution block is handy to fix that, got one from McMaster Carr.
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:47 AM   #7
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I'll take the brackets. Ill send you a PM. Being an 02 lm7 truck motor, it was dbc. I decided to stay that route. I chose a terminator package set up for cable with iac and tps, which I was planning on using a with a 4 bolt 102 throttle body as well, though likely not holley's ($$) I've got a lokar cable on the way which should complete things nicely.
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:58 AM   #8
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This will be hilarious. Looking fwd to updates.
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Old 11-08-2020, 05:31 PM   #9
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Update. Took the afternoon to start on some body reassembly and prep. Re-attached the right fender, checked and adjusted panels, doors, truck to make sure body lines were where they should be. Removed rear bumper, tail lights, and one buttcheek (other side is gonna come out, just one side at a time.) Finished welding the trim holes, ground all that down and started sanding, currently filling in the low spots from welding with a little filler. Dont judge too hard I know it sucks lol. Im not a body guy but I'm determined to do this all myself. Had to quit for the night so more tomorrow


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Old 11-09-2020, 08:05 AM   #10
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HA! I saw that thing resting on marketplace forever thinking it was doomed for the crusher. What part of Indiana are you from? Looks like the start of a fun project.
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Old 11-09-2020, 10:30 AM   #11
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Those headers look pretty similar to what I'm using (CXRacing Fox-body LS turbo headers) - and it's not easy making spark plugs survive long with those. They get *really* hot (hotter than cast), and in some cases, the wire can't help but go in surrounded by header piping on all sides. The first 150 miles I drove was a laughable process of replacing wires, trying different kinds of wires, trying different routes for wires. Unfortunately there's no NASA type super high temp wire that will actually survive. Even those ceramic boot wires will burn up, well, the boot itself will remain, but the wire won't.

And then to remove spark plugs - I have to pull the headers.

In retrospect it would have been a bit better to just flip the truck headers forward and built from there. Ah well, it's been working fine for a 4 or 5 thousand miles since then, I finally managed to get them all in a position where they survive.
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Old 11-09-2020, 10:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by volvowagoon View Post
HA! I saw that thing resting on marketplace forever thinking it was doomed for the crusher. What part of Indiana are you from? Looks like the start of a fun project.
Hoping to give this one a second chance at the v8 life haha. Just east of Fort Wayne
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Old 11-09-2020, 10:41 AM   #13
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Those headers look pretty similar to what I'm using (CXRacing Fox-body LS turbo headers) - and it's not easy making spark plugs survive long with those. They get *really* hot (hotter than cast), and in some cases, the wire can't help but go in surrounded by header piping on all sides. The first 150 miles I drove was a laughable process of replacing wires, trying different kinds of wires, trying different routes for wires. Unfortunately there's no NASA type super high temp wire that will actually survive. Even those ceramic boot wires will burn up, well, the boot itself will remain, but the wire won't.

And then to remove spark plugs - I have to pull the headers.

In retrospect it would have been a bit better to just flip the truck headers forward and built from there. Ah well, it's been working fine for a 4 or 5 thousand miles since then, I finally managed to get them all in a position where they survive.
I figured as much. I did pick up some of summit's ceramic boot wires, which, from the reviews, seemed to fare well for most others running tube headers on a turbo ls platform. We will see. I also plan to wrap the headers and downpipe, hoping that helps keep under hood temps down enough . Guess I could just run no hood lmao.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:10 AM   #14
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I wrapped the headers as well. The ceramic boots can certainly handle the heat. It's the wires that are the problem.

If I'd known it was going to be such a PITA I'd have worked on it before I stuck the engine in the car. Wrap the wires around the end of the header and in to the plugs, with a good metal heat shield covering them up and holding them in to the block.

Too bad no-one makes NASA technology wires that can just casually lay on red hot headers and survive. That would be sweet.

The Fox body headers weren't a bad fit on my 240, but I did scoot the engine forward 1.25 inches, just to avoid hammering on the tunnel as much for the Camaro T56 bellhousing, and to make the CD009 trans fit in a little better. Just needed to make a few dings here and there, rotate one of the WG's around for better positioning.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:25 AM   #15
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Good call. My tunnel is already hammered from the previous swap. 80e is a massive trans so hoping it'll squeeze in there without too much more work. Time will tell. I was gonna go the standard route, the car is a factory 3 pedal, and everything is there, but I couldn't pass on this transmission for 100 bucks. Shooting for ~800whp, and I know that trans will reliably take it with a few simple mods.
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Old 11-09-2020, 09:56 PM   #16
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I hate header wrap. Besides the pita of actually wrapping the manifolds, it turns into dust in a few years. Actually it turns into dust and fiberglass splinters. Ceramic coating the manifolds might be a better idea if it is in the budget.

Edit: I have a couple rolls you can have for the price of shipping if that is what you decided to do.
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Old 11-09-2020, 10:52 PM   #17
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Is that with daily driving? I don't plan on dailying this car, just a fun weekend car. May have to look into ceramic.

Small update. Found 4 geminis's. Need to find caps for em (yeah right) got home and pulled the rear axle out and started to weld in some sheet metal in the trunk.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:19 PM   #18
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I did DD the car, but it happens over time no matter what.
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:53 PM   #19
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HA! I saw that thing resting on marketplace forever thinking it was doomed for the crusher. What part of Indiana are you from? Looks like the start of a fun project.
We all met at the meet down by new castle years ago!
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:36 PM   #20
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11/11:
Anticipated finishing the right buttcheek and cutting out the other side along with the small hole in my floorboard, when I noticed a weird bulge in the frame near the upper spring perch. Started chipping away and sure enough...



Great. I scanned the entire car for any more hidden rust. None. Weird. So I grabbed the cutoff and sectioned out that whole area, made a few cardboard templates and cut out some replacement steel, and welded it in.



Hit it with some self etch and rustoleum textured black.



Not perfect, but I'm pretty stoked with how it turned out.
Also ordered some Kaplhenke spherical bearings, adjustable panhard, and adjustable endlinks. Grabbed some delrin bushings for the control arms, and a few other bits from STS machining.
This thing is testing my patience, but I would rather fix all this stuff while im in here and do it right. Im itching to build my motor though lol.
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:41 PM   #21
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Good find, and nice work. I might suggest checking out Eastwood rust encapsulator for those deep corners of the car, we use that when repairing frames. Also they make an internal frame coating which is handy for painting the inside of repairs like that.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:37 PM   #22
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Thanks! This kind of stuff is not my forte. Anything mechanical, electrical, etc I'm on top of (I work full time as a foreman/shop manager at a heavy truck shop) fab/welding is fairly easy to me, but I've never done real bodywork before in my life. I'm reading a lot, taking my time, and gonna give it my best. I think it will turn out okay. Always open to criticism. How else are you supposed to improve?? Thanks for the tip on Eastwood stuff. I wanted to shoot something into the frame sections/rockers etc, and their stuff seems pretty legit. Im gonna need to get a bigger welder. My harbor freight unit is barely cutting it haha.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:57 PM   #23
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I wasn't trying to be critical in any way, I just had a car with a frame repair that rotted out from the inside. I learned a lot at my current job about frame repairs because we do Jeeps, which are notorious for rotten frames. I can't do any kind of bodywork, if the customer cares what it looks like lol. I can slap something over a rust hole if needed for inspection, that is about it.

I dread those kind of rust issues because I can't fix them by myself. Once again, nice job.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanton27 View Post
Thanks! This kind of stuff is not my forte. Anything mechanical, electrical, etc I'm on top of (I work full time as a foreman/shop manager at a heavy truck shop) fab/welding is fairly easy to me, but I've never done real bodywork before in my life. I'm reading a lot, taking my time, and gonna give it my best. I think it will turn out okay. Always open to criticism. How else are you supposed to improve?? Thanks for the tip on Eastwood stuff. I wanted to shoot something into the frame sections/rockers etc, and their stuff seems pretty legit. Im gonna need to get a bigger welder. My harbor freight unit is barely cutting it haha.
I can't say I did better! That looks like a very solid repair. +1 for Eastwood rust encapsulator. That stuff is really good and pretty cheap.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:58 AM   #25
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We all met at the meet down by new castle years ago!
I almost forgot about that! I didn't know OP was there. There were a couple people from that meet who I used to talk to on and off, but don't seem to come to the site anymore. It would be cool to meet up again some time.
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