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By the way, SupeR6, sorry for threadjacking; I figured I'd just update with my experiences with the swap as I went along, and add in my own final total cost list, if you're alright with that.
 

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So my latest bullshit problem is that my ARP head studs don't thread into some of the holes. I tried the "cut a slot in the old head bolt" trick, and it threads all the way down into all the holes, but I guess some of the holes are just too far out of tolerance for the ARP stuff. It's not like they sent me the wrong thing... because the same exact stud threads probably 90% of the way down on one hole, and only three turns on another.

smurf. I should have just sucked it up and bought the $50 anal-rape thread chaser three weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
So my latest bullshit problem is that my ARP head studs don't thread into some of the holes. I tried the "cut a slot in the old head bolt" trick, and it threads all the way down into all the holes, but I guess some of the holes are just too far out of tolerance for the ARP stuff. It's not like they sent me the wrong thing... because the same exact stud threads probably 90% of the way down on one hole, and only three turns on another.

smurf. I should have just sucked it up and bought the $50 anal-rape thread chaser three weeks ago.
Ugh, Way to make me not want to bite the bullet and start ripping into the engine. Truth be told I'm just way too busy at the moment but I'm growing restless.

As far as threadjacking - jack away. Knowledge is power.
 

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Don't let me deter you... my dad has the shittiest luck with cars, and he passed it on to me. Anything that should take 10 minutes takes an hour. Anything that could possibly go wrong will.
 

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Finally got this thing started, after just about every single issue that you could imagine.

Vid is taken by my brother in law Rob, who is 0352Goat on here.

"Is it knocking???" Yeah, I'd say I was a little paranoid. This was the second attempt to start it, the first was thwarted by a loose injector, which sprayed fuel everywhere.

We tried to get it started last night, but as I added coolant, we found I was missing an O-ring on the front crossover; luckily scauffiel hooked me up with a couple spares he had this morning.

It was open headers in this vid because my existing exhaust won't bolt up to them. I got BigTex's old pacesetters off of him for a song, but they've got V-Bands welded on the ends.

 

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Just wanted to update this with a semi-complete cost list that I put together:

L92 Cylinder Heads- $400
Abacus Racing- $232.09
-Hot Tank
-Inspection
-Valve Work
-Reassembly
Brian Tooley Racing- $1030.80
-Cam
-Spring kit w/ Titanium retainers
-LS7 lifters & trays
-Crank Gasket
-Front Cover Gasket
-Hardened Push Rods
-LS9 Head Gaskets
-???
LS3 Intake/rails/injectors/MAP- $410
Hinson Motorsports- $602.79
-Trunion Upgrade
-ARP Head Studs
-ARP Balancer Bolt
-ARP Camshaft bolts
-ARP header studs
-ARP oil pump bolts
-ARP assembly lube
LS3 rocker arms- $66.80
LS3 rocker stands- $11.12
Valve Cover Gaskets- $26.62
Water Pump gaskets- $6.60
Valley Cover Gasket- $31.88
Radiator Hoses- $68
Radiator cap- $14.78
Thermostat & gasket- $17.18
Melling High Vol. oil pump- $100
Comp Adjustable Timing set- $186.56
Headers and Exhaust- $150
3 inch cats + welding- $389
HP Tuners + Credits- $350
 

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Semi-total: $4094.22. I might be forgetting a few things, but that's most of the parts that I bought for this build. Doesn't include any tools that are required... I probably spent at least another $500 in tools over the course of this build... also doesn't take into account some great deals I got (HP Tuners for $250) that you'd be unlikely to replicate, or sales that vendors had that may not be available later on.

Also doesn't include oil, rags, cleaning supplies, etc. I've easily burned through $300-$500 worth of that stuff as well.

I set out thinking this build was going to cost me about $3k. True to form, between the parts listed above, the tools I had to buy, and the consumables, I've got closer to double that in it. Just like everyone always says will happen.

And that doesn't include any labor, outside of me being lazy and paying Abacus to reassemble the heads (which I included only because I had them touch up the valve seats, so that's technically a performance expense). If you have to pay someone to do the work for you, it'll get done faster than it took me, but it'll be a pretty penny.
 

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There are places I could have saved, the most glaring one being the ARP hardware. However, although I didn't want to blow money, some things were purchased either for A) Peace of mind, or B) The superior quality just made it worth it in my eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
Thanks for the updates Slimbo. Let's get some more videos of that thing running!

I'm curious what you tools you needed to pick up that ended up costing you $500?

And I agree with you on the peace of mind. I have always been a firm believer that if you are going to do something do it right the first time. If I couldn't afford the money to do it right then I shouldn't be doing the modifications in the first place.
 

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Vids will come, but not in the immediate future. Didn't have time to install the wideband this weekend, so I'm still stuck with babying it; haven't had a chance to wash the car either, and it looks shameful right now.

Some of the tools you might already have, or may be optional. Off the top of my head, the stuff I bought for this project:
Cam degree kit $50
Crank socket and matching degree wheel $60
dial indicator extensions $23
LS3 spring compressor tool $100
Head bolt thread chaser $56
tap kit (for the smaller head bolt size tap to chase threads) $10

There's $300... so $500 might have been an overestimate, but I'm probably leaving out a thing or two. I'm also excluding other nice-to-have stuff that I bought, but isn't 100% necessary, like the pneumatic ratchet I splurged on. :D Although once you use one to get those long ass bolts out, you won't want to go back.

Your mileage may vary. As you can see the bulk of the cost was to degree the cam. The initial cam degree kit was about half off (normally $80-$100), but the 11" degree wheel that came with it didn't fit in the car without pulling all the accessories off, and then the 9" degree wheel I bought didn't fit the bearings that came with the degree kit, so I had to buy the matching crank socket as well. Which ended up being a blessing in disguise, because degreeing a cam without a crank socket sucks balls, the first time you have to rotate the engine backwards.

If you don't degree your cam, you don't have to spend that money. However, I was glad I did, because it turned out my cam was ground incorrectly, so I was then able to correct for it.

I also already have a ton of tools, so someone attempting this at home that doesn't have a lot of stuff will run into a lot more tool expense than I did. I already had a balancer install tool, and rented the three jaw pulley. Then there's the dumb shit like if you install the ARP crank bolt, you need the special 12-point socket. That bad boy was about $10, if I recall correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Finally started work on the tear down the other weekend. I have been plugging away at it on the weekends in hour bursts to keep from getting frustrated. So far it has been a pleasurable experience and I have learned a lot about the inner workings of motors. You can only get so much out of reading something, you really need to see and do it hands on.

Cam and Top End is completely out. Only thing left to remove is Oil Pump and Timing Chain. Definitely going to take my time with the oil pump as I don't feel like fishing for the pickup tube bolt in the pan.

Are there any good threads on proper deck cleaning to remove the old head gasket material? Also, DIY head bolt thread chaser or buy one of the fancy ARP ones?

 

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Lots of people have luck with the DIY route, but I tried it, and it didn't work for me on some of the holes, despite my best efforts. I ended up spending the money for the ARP chaser, and the difference was astounding. Even in the holes that I could get my new ARP studs to thread into, once I ran the chaser through them, it still took out a lot more crap.

For the oil pump, go to Walmart and buy some floral wire (as in the wire used to hold together floral arrangements). It's very, very thin, yet fairly stiff. Unscrew the pickup tube bolt a thread or two, then make a loop with the wire, loop it around the bolt, and twist until you've got a fairly strong grip on the bolt. It should still be able to spin in the wire to finish removing it, but if you drop it the wire will hold it long enough that you can grab it.

To remove the oil pump itself, don't wrestle with flexing the pickup tube while trying to get it off the crank gear. Unbolt the front plate of the pump, pull the gears out of it, which will eliminate the crank snout restriction, and you should be able to easily get it off the pickup tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #74
Sound advice Slimbo.

So I assume for the thread chase you purchased ARP 912-0011. what did you use for the smaller M8 bolts?
 

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Getting ready to start this project myself. I'm really excited about it and this thread has a lot of good info that will be helpful.
Subscribed to see how yours turns out SupeR6.

Also for those of you that have had yours ported, where did you send yours for the work?
 

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Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see how it turns out
 

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Sound advice Slimbo.

So I assume for the thread chase you purchased ARP 912-0011. what did you use for the smaller M8 bolts?
Yep... used a tap for the smaller ones out of a HF tap set, but ARP sells a chase for the smaller ones as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Got the Oil pan dropped and the SPAWN OF SATAN oil pickup tube bolt out last night. The string of obscenities I let out trying to get that bastard out is still hovering over the east coast somewhere. 2.5 hours of the bolt spinning in place. Somehow the threads must have been slightly goofed because it would not do anything but spin in place. Finally I grabbed a needle nose and applied as much downward force as I could. 30 minutes of that finally got it to release and backed the rest out by hand - surprisingly managing not to drop it.

I could have lit the car on fire and been happy about it last night.
 

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Congrats... what pump are u going with?
 
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