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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
Things are moving right along now. Parts are mostly all here. Longblock is togeather and in the truck, and the transmission and transfer case are painted and ready to go in tomorrow.


Anytime anyone asks me about doing an LS swap, one of the first recommendations I have is to get a plastic mock-up block. Here, I am making a couple of last-minute tweaks to the motor mounts and adapter plates, just to make sure everything will drop right in. It is nice to take it in and out, and set it on a cat litter bucket to work on it.









Final appearance of motor mount and adapter plate. Painted.







Pulling locating dowels (acutally, roll pins) out of cylinder heads. I use this upholstery tool that I have had for many years. Grabs them, and pulls them right out.






Locating pin with LS9 head gasket. Last look at LSA piston.






Motor in. Keeping with the silver and black theme.







Transmission painted. This will go in tomorrow, just need to buy some trans fluid. Check out the gleam from that Novak adapter. Too bad no one will see it.






And painted transfer case. Also going in tomorrow.



 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Transmission is in. Dropped back in without any issue at all. Starting with my kitchen cart/transmission cart, I have my son lower the Durango down while I sit on the floor. Not too bad. I don't want a transmission jack in my garage taking up space. This is a multi-tasker. I did have to modify the corner with a sawzall to clear the front differential housing.

I was able to reach all of the bell housing bolts with a long extension from the back. Nice that I didn't have to crawl on top of the motor for the top one. Once they are tightened, I jack the trans up and put in the crossmember and spacer. All the holes lined up again!

Trans ready to go on my cart





Quick mod to make it work.




Crossmember before painting. I flipped the original crossmember over, and welded a steel plate on it. Then I tapped for 3/8 x 16 bolts.






Looking up. The pan is black fleck with silver bolts. Too bad no one will see it.





Not sure why the lighting looks weird in these. I need to check my phone settings.





 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
I came back from my trip late, but did get a few things done. I used a threaded rod and cut it down to make a crank pulley installer. Fished the battery cable from the rear battery box to the front through the frame, with the help of my son, installed the transfer case (had to make a wrench to get to the top bolt), and pinned the crank (x2).


Long threaded rod cut down to use as installer. I have these for sale now, if anyone wants one.




Warm the crank pulley





Add a nut and washer, and a little grease






Pulley is on, time to fish the wire through the frame










Transfer case is in







Stop and make a tool to reach the top bolt on the transfer case. Wonder is Sears will warranty this.





Crank pin tool. Thanks chenrymotorsports.com






Two.





Getting there.














 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
So it's time to start buttoning up this project. Wiring harness and all supporting stuff (ECU, throttle body, pedal, and transmission controller) is being put together by Bill at BP Automotive. He is planning on setting this up as a ZL1/CTS-V, rather than an ls3 with boost. Not sure what that means, but it sure sounds good.

Driveshafts were also ordered. Since the transfer case moved back 1.5 inches, the rear shaft will be shortened and rebuilt. The front shaft will be re-tubed and rebuilt.

So this week, I routed the heater plumbing through the windshield wiper cowl, and pressure tested this system. It seemed like a good idea to pressure test this now, since using soft copper sometimes causes joint failure due to out-of-round ends. The last thing I want when I am trying to focus on the engine at start-up is having a stupid leak somewhere. A few minutes on this saves trouble down the road.

It tested fine at 20 psi.

And...the big news......Headers. I went with shortie Silverado headers. I know I am giving up a little power, but I knew they would drop right in. At this point, I am not ready to waste another week or two and a bunch of money guessing at long-tube headers and having them bump into something. Maybe later. And they did drop right in. Maybe 5 minutes per side. I am ok with that.

So, after cutting a hole in the windshield wiper cowl (or whatever you call this area) so I could have access to the rear bolts on the supercharger cover, I wanted to drill holes for the 1/2 inch copper. The step bit was too short, so I welded an old drill bit on it to lengthen it.










Then I ended up pulling the wiper assembly anyway. and ran the soft copper through the cowl, bending it to fit.




I use these fittings by Watts on the end of the tubing, and 5/8 or 3/4 heater hose fits right over. The hose clamp fits nicely and doesn't slip.











Pressure testing at 20 psi for about an hour, while I put the windshield wiper cowl cover back on.






Tank and soapy water in a spray bottle.





Capped one end, pressurized the other.




Checked out, so I put the hoses on to complete this. I need to find more attractive hose clamps. There is the passenger side header.





And the driver side header.


 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Time for an update. The driveshafts are done, and installed. No trouble at all. I can't get a picture, because I took the Durango off of the lift to fix the LSDAK driveshaft. I did take time to replace the isolator on the lsa supercharger. This has been discussed on many different threads. The GM engineers put a spring-loaded isolator to decrease damage to the input shaft on the supercharger during rapid RPM changes. However, it rattles, and eats into the input shaft. So I replaced it using a solid isolator from ebay.


Problem #1 ,getting the snout off. There are two pry points on the snout, but it is held on by a large amount of grey RTV. After prying with 3 different pry bars, we managed to break it lose.

Short pry bar used for home-wrecking. Didn't work.




Longer pry bar used for motorcyle tires. Didn't work.





And finally, 2 ft pry bar from motorcyle tire changer.





Out with the old, in with the new. For sale. Stock LSA isolator with 0 miles. You pay shipping (HA!).






Clean up that gasket maker. The factory uses grey RTV.





I clean it off with xylene. Best thing I have found for this.











And seat the snout back on with Ultra Grey.








Done.









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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
TTT.

I haven't posted anything on this build in a while. Wiring finally came in, so it is time to get back to work. In the meantime, I repaired a wrecked GTO, saving it from the scrapper. Now it is done, and I can move on with the Durango.

Now I just need a hood and bumper cover. Freaking expensive parts on this car. The whole front clip cost $350, but I can't find a hood for less than $700 or a bumper cover for less than $500.









 

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Right on with the GTO. Not very many of them left around.
Now crack out the Durango! Where can a guy get a plastic mock up block?
Will be pretty sweet to rock something like that to whoop people in
 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Right on with the GTO. Not very many of them left around.
Now crack out the Durango! Where can a guy get a plastic mock up block?
Will be pretty sweet to rock something like that to whoop people in
Thanks. Durango should be done in a month or less. Too bad it is starting to get hot and muggy here.

The plastic block came from Van Pelt Sales a few years ago, but you can get them at Summit. Not cheap, but I certainly got my money out of it. What time saver.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pyp-2046/overview/
 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
OK, back to the Durango.

It was finally time to move the Durango back in to the shop. A pile of parts were waiting, so today was a pretty productive day. I had to remove the supercharger to replace the isolator, so it went back on, along with the cover, fuel injectors, fuel rail, and working on relocating the coil packs. I like the way the engine looks with just the valve covers. I am thinking about relocating the coil packs down on the firewall or inner fenders. Not sure yet.

Coil packs on. For some reason I couldn't rotate the picture.







Cover, fuel rail and injectors on.














 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
Wiring. F$%^#g! wiring. Ok, so the wiring harness is on. It laid down really nice around the supercharger, and all of the connectors are high quality and placed in the right place. I had to oblong the holes on the coil packs to move them out about 3/4 inch. Also had to cut off a stupid grounding stud that was on the firewall, and wouldn't let the wiring harness slide past. Otherwise, pretty uneventful.


TR6 spark plugs installed





Stupid stud right against the passenger cylinder head. The wiring harness had to lay behind the cylinder head so the lead to the transmission would reach. Wasn't a great location to try to use an angle grinder, but I got it done.








Wiring, coil packs, headers, fuel rail. All is on now. 3 views of the finished top end.













 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
Problem.

The front axle is supported by a heavy cast iron bracket that attached to the Dodge 46re transmission bell housing. When the transmission went away, so did the bracket. This left the front axle with nothing to stop it from rotating under load. Here are more close-up pictures of how I fixed this. It's really hard to get good shots under there, but anyone who has worked on one of these will know what they are looking at.


Original cast iron bracket on the bottom of the old 46re transmission






3/8 steel plate attached with 10 mm bolts to the top of the front axle.








1.5 X 0.120 wall DOM tubing welded to plate. My 120v MIG welder really goobered thsi up. It just doesn't have enough oomph, even with 3 passes. Looks like crap, but it is solid.






Other end of tubing welded to frame. Again, the MIG just wasn't up to the task. So I ground it down and found the weld so-so.





My welder. It's small, and does most of the jobs I need, but just didn't work for this one.





So out comes the stick welder. This is a 220v DC stick welder, which has bailed me out numerous times. Stick welding has a ton of benefits that I often forget about. Ability to reach way into somewhere a MIG gun can't get to, clean welds through not so clean steel, ease of use. This little Everlast was about $330 (?) at the depot a couple of years ago.







Ground down the weld and started over with the stick welder. Much better.





 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Not a lot of updates as far as the way the project appears, but all of the little things are coming right along. I added the wiring harness and mounted the ECU in the passenger fender, just behind the headlight. I left the space for the original Dodge ECU open, because I plan on using it for gauges in the beginning. So unfortunately, the ugly Dodge harness will have to lay on my new harness. I am going to trim it down as much as I can, and wrap it in new loom.

Also, I found a belt for my custom accessory drive. I used a nylon tie down to estimate the length I needed and came up with 102 inches more or less. Using the gates belt chart, I bought about 6 belts in each direction from K061020 (which is 102 5/8), and found that the K061030 was perfect at 103 inches. (Dayco also has a really nice lookup tool on the internet for belt sizes).

I mounted the power steering reservoir, and used the original Dodge power steering lines with a little tweaking to get around the serpentine belt. Filled the system with Dexron III, and hand-primed it. Then I mounted the LS3 gold-blade throttle body, and took some time carefully laying the harness wires and securing them on the engine with cushion clamps. I have been though having torn wires before, and I don't want it to happen again.

Contrary to what I was finding on the internet, the LS3 throttle body clears the LSA pulley without being flipped. It has about 1/4 inch of clearance, which I tried to show in a picture below. But, when I go to a smaller pulley at some point (yep), I will gain more room.

Gates belt chart.



Belt




Belt. Less blue tape means things are moving right along!





LS3 thottle body clears power steering reservoir and pulley on supercharger.




I know it looks close in this picture, but it is clear. No rubbing.I do have to pull the throttle body to change the belt, but hopefully that won't be for a long time.




ECU mounted in passenger fender





 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
The build is winding down. I have been spending time on wiring, and tidying up all of the loose, hanging stuff. Here are some pictures in no particular order.

Remote battery terminals mounted on driver's side fender. Rather than use bolts that would eventually rust, I used upholstery push-clips. I had to open up the hole a little, and clip half of the head off. Worked nice.




















LS harness fuse box. I welded a small shelf on the corner brace. Underneath are the heater hoses with Gates Powergrip heat-shrink clamps. I like those. Still had some wiring left to do in this picture.





And the final belt arrangement.





ECU is mounted under the body directly under the passenger seat. The lead for this was so long, this seemed to be the best place. There was a nice flat spot there for it.





I don't like drilling holes in the frame because it takes too much time. So I weld 1/4 inch bolts (sold by the pound at Tractor Supply). These are good for ground or cushion clamps.


 

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casias
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
Here was my weekend. It's about 105 in my garage, but accuweather tells us it feels like 109 outside. Not sure what it felt like in the garage, but it was hot.

First project of the weekend. I am running all of this wiring, but the smaller wires don't necessarily need a cushion clamp. Also, they are bulky. I remember Dodge used these really neat clips on the original harnesses. I had a few, but needed more. My wife sat down at her 3D printer and made a pile of them. The reason I like them, besides being very neat and flat, is the wire loom (corrugated or expandable) slips over. So if you have to get to the wires, you can peel the loom back and do what you need to do, then push it back over.










I know these look a little rough, but that's how 3D printing is. She could have increased the resolution, but it would have taken much longer. A pile of these clips took something like 15 minutes. Beats mail-order or driving somewhere (I wouldn't even know where to buy them). The other advantage is that she made them in different sizes by scaling up or down.









Attached to the wires with 3M electrical tape.







Loom slipped over. Now I just need to weld a 1/4 inch bolt on.






Next I primed the power steering with a 3/8 hex bit and drill. I like to test all of the systems before first start up. My son turned the wheel lock-to-lock. (Ignore the belt, I had removed it, but forgot to get a picture. So this is after I was done).




Next I hooked up the vacuum pump to bleed the brakes and test for leaks, while my son pumped the pedal.




And I tried to pull a vacuum on the cooling system using a silicone coupler and test plug with a nippled drilled through it. Couldn't get a vacuum, but I ran out of time. Have to revisit this one.




\\


And finally, tested the fuel system and set the pressure. With the pump energized, The AN6 feed and AN4 return allowed me to dial down to 40 psi. That gives me plenty of headroom. So I set it for 60 psi.






 

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casias
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Discussion Starter #35
I also started mocking up the transmission cooler lines. I used the original tubing on the radiator, and attached new hose so I could make the corner onto the frame. I use a PEX crimper to hold the hose on. I have done this for years. Never had a problem.








Want proof? I did these when I bypassed a leaking transmission cooler about 5 years ago.





And some final pictures for the weekend. Intake is in place, beginning of the upper radiator hose is seen here. You can see the breather hose attached to the intake in my usual fashion. Brass elbow drilled through. I had to order a couple more elbows to finish the upper radiator hose. They are in the mail.





And here is a little bracket I made to keep the breather hose off of the supercharger pulley.








 

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Those clips are neat. 3d printers certainly do make short work of little plastic do dads like that. I've thought about printing new clips for interior trim panels but haven't gotten around to that yet.
 

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casias
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Discussion Starter #37
Ok. Engine bay is fully assembled. Now I just have to move into the cab for wiring, and accelerator pedal. It has to come off of the lift for that. I am too fat to squeeze under the dash with the door only half way open. HA!

 

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casias
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Discussion Starter #39
Since I am stuck in 3rd gear until next week, I figure it's a good time to do a little off-roading. I was able to go from AWD to 4-loc and 4-lo loc without any trouble at all. The drivetrain has no jossles, vibrations or noise. But man, does this thing dig in! I'm going to have to make some splash shields for the headers.









 

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casias
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Discussion Starter #40
Ok. Time for an update. After sorting out some wiring harness issues, and tuning both transmission and engine, I have been driving this a lot. Next week, it will get some more tuning, but I am mostly going to focus on the transmission shifting. Here is a short start and drive video.

 
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