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5.3 4l80e 240sx < 3000lbs College budget

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5.3 4l80e 240sx < 3000lbs College budget

Old 03-03-2018, 11:35 PM
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Kingtal0n
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Default 5.3 4l80e 240sx Turbo 500rwhp, < 3000lbs, College budget basic tools

Hi, my name is Jordan and I'm a performance enthusiast, and college student. That means mileage, reliability are #1. I will be performing all maint/mods with this in mind, this and all personal builds are intended as economical, reliable daily drivers, around 3000lbs

first, previous cars to 'beat'
400rwhp dynojet/2800lbs/33mpg


Dyno runs and sr20 turbo comparison (short build and comments are also in same directory)
www.freshalloy.com/showthread.php/140741-Dyno-Comparison-50trim-and-60-1-HKS-vs-Brian-Crower

I start to get bored with just driving and cleaning a car, so once they are mostly finished I acquire something new, taking what I've learned and re-applying it.
Most of the time just cleaning up and maintaining while driving is my method for the most part, only own 1 car at a time.
I return cars back to circulation in better condition than I acquire them in. I consider it good luck to put something back that is improved.
Part of the fun for me now that I have so much experience, once the drivetrain is 'settled in', is an artistic approach in the engine bay.


sr20det trans rebuild
http://www.freshalloy.com/showthread...ld-DIY-Thread-!
rebuild thread
http://www.freshalloy.com/showthread...ir-and-Restore

I put most of the tech details into the pictures. If you skip the words and just look at the pictures you will still get 70-80% of the technical aspects of the build. tried to provide useful pictures that explain all the details at once like combined alternator drill/install, torque specs unified table, ecu home testing, oil pump O-ring selection, torque angle for balancer, oil pan approach, and so forth, so there is less/fewer pictures thanks to combined units. trying not to flood with a ton of pics just the ones that give useful info. there is a fair bit of information here that was collected in advance and then utilized effectively to avoid hold-ups, which might be useful.
This thread is meant for educational purposes, I provide personal experienced approaches and a logging/journalist the fitness of car and caretaker process for ultimate reliability and economy.
This is a great hobby which promotes many traits such as hand strength and technical knowledge, and organizational skills, focus, results. Desired end product.

Forward
The 240sx with an stock bottom end (the term SBE is commonly thrown around) sr20det 2.0L will go 200,000+ miles reliably and 11's in the 1/4 with a 2.1 60' and 360dynojet rwhp, and achieve 30-33mpg for fresh engines. The red one above got 33mpg (around 420 miles to the 15 gallon tank with 1-3 gallons left in it iirc) thanks to higher than stock compression ratio and lighter than stock drivetrain parts, cruising 60-70mph. I feel the factory sr20 8.5:1 rwd engine is fairly reliable up to about 49lb/min with the right fuel.
It sounds like a great deal but here are the flaws with this plan in 2018:
1. sr20 engines (95-02) are getting hard to find in good shape. Probably would need to rebuild one for best results. This could get "expensive" and risky, also as a daily driver it would be a challenge to rely on something especially if at 49lb/min~ And kind of forget about 70lb/min from 2.0L as a daily without forged parts and lengthy machine work, and a thorough investigation of every minute details which are far too many to mention, Part of the allure of an sr20 is using the factory engine and doing the swap in a day, not getting all mucked down by constant internal engine issues from seemingly insignificant details. Having a fun car and doubling the output the next day is an amazing feeling.
2. Buying the SR/2J engine set to begin with can be difficult, expect to spend transportation money for one that already has serious mileage and probably legitimately does need a rebuild after 20+ years. Also I used to need to become a parts warehouse to maintain a healthy engine properly for daily driving, and some of these special nissan/toyota parts only come from over seas. Like if I wanted an sr20det starter or alternator, I would need to have one sitting around waiting to go on. I couldn't buy it locally new. With a chevy engine you can walk into any place and get a camshaft sensor, with sr20det no way. Although you could argue they don't actually go bad (never needed to replace one and never hear about them failing so...) but enough talk of dark magic (Japanese alternators, starters, and camshaft sensors that never seem to fail) I've already said too much

Since 2018, it feels like practically every normal car has 50lb/min now. I don't really keep up with what cars "have" ever, (not really interested in racing or motorsports, I don't watch or goto the track, I would go for scientific purpose (nice to have data) but never had the funds for such vacations) Since around 2012 I found out that every 5L mustang already does 45~lb/min minimum. It just feels like such a low number now and almost hurts to be stuck at 49 when everything seems to be catching up, meanwhile the sr20 is getting a little more difficult to maintain.

It might sound like what I am asking for is more than 51 lb/min capable engine (70lb/min is the new 'median' otherwise its just another regular car) that is local and affordable to replace, with 150,000 miles of reliability on the tableevery single time I roll the dice for engines that already have 120,000 - 180,000 miles (trying to match the reliability of sr20det at 45lb/min).
Luckily, In a 98% confidence interval for factory engines, both the Japanese AND American engines in general(any engine) that are made after year 2000 have that kind of reliability. So this is not really hard to find at all. You literally can choose almost any 6 or 8 cylinder engines in the world at 2.5L+ and use 65-70lb/min of airflow with reasonable success, some more than others and many are local.
So what I am really asking is which is the most affordable, guaranteed to do the job, easiest to install, inline6 or v8, 70lb/min capable engine available with reliable methods for successful hybrid of the two completely different species, that will also run on gasoline fuels acceptably. Everyone knows the RB series, 2J series, which are locally available and popular choices for successful hybrids, but they are not the most affordable. Everything else is there, reliability, workflow, easy, etc... they are just more expensive and you get less displacement, which hurts in the torque department at low rotating speeds where daily driving is common, say 1200-2500rpm the V8 that is cheaper will pull harder. No drag racing is done at those rpms, so it isn't a concern for people trying to drag race their RB or 2J engines. Its just a fact that less displacement means less piston area and less crankshaft lever arm length, so torque is reduced for identical cylinder pressures, the 5L 'barely working' could be almost like a 3L 'working hard' at 1500rpm for example. For me to give up that torque where I drive all the time, and pay more for the engine, would be self-defeating. That is why RB/2J is not an option, even if I had the extra budget for one. I know the 240sx will move better (more 'fun') with the V8. And its also a little more surprising. And It takes a little more skill, I am calling this one 'intermediate level' for sure. But certainly not very advanced. The LS, like the sr20 and 2jz has 'accumulated in technology' but is nothing compared to the modern 2018 versions of engines I have seen. I think 01-06 range is ideal for if you just want to run HPtuners style software but not wanting to get too involved into the complex intricacies of latest-cutting edge tuning methodology, where everything is secret and direct injection techniques are still evolving. I like to wait until everything sort of settles down, when the systems complexity has been reduced to being 'easy' and the electronics are cheap and well known, but not antique-like.

Lower rotating mass and better economy, sign me up all day. It is preferable for my situation to opt for economical. However the cost of those smaller engines is unrealistic for a legitimate college budget. I needed a factory engine that would do 70lb/min piece of cake that was also affordable and available, $1 for 1 horsepower or better. Many have paid a lot more than $1 per hp so this is what I consider the bread and butter of LS engine swaps for daily drivers (since 2002 but out of reach for me till they got old).


---> goal #1 of 2018: use a 'free' engine. The Heaviest 70lb/min 'LS' variant truck engines are 'free'. I have been given a free 5.3L truck engine since this was written and have been unable to get rid of that 5.3L engine or find a use for it. I have seen five, ten of these engines crammed untouched in the corners of random shops, collecting dust apparently there for years, the owners probably would give me one if I needed it. I claim the engine is the cheapest part in the car even though it obviously isn't (What is? a washer maybe). Fun things you can say when you own these truck engines, "tires cost more than my engine", "I have to decide if I want to replace my ________ or my engine this month" where ______ is something ridiculous like a tooth brush or socks and
my favorite "its from a Tahoe".

The engine is easy to get, even if you don't know anybody with a free one. This is the easiest part where I am. I was in this position when I started, and called a first junkyard about a 5.3 and the helpful rep asked me something like "Yes I have an 02. 04, (I think he mentioned having 5 of them or something) with low miles, what do you want to pay?" and I took him seriously and had a number in mind after 100 hours of research I felt what a good deal would be. He accepted the first number I threw down without flinching, then delivered the engine free. It wasn't like I just made up some number and overpaid as I had spent hundred hours of research on ebay and car-part.com looking at prices and mileage, I had been around to several yards with vehicles that still had the engines in them. My true desire would be to pick the perfect car, pull the engine myself and take it home. However those options were more expensive and required a truck, for example I found an Escalade 5.3 with 80,000 miles hit in the front. I bet it had perfect compression and a service record and clean smelling oil. But the price was high for me, still is. I think 5.3L range is like 500 chocolate bars but I expect just like the sr20s that 02-0X 4.8/5.3L variants will dry up sooner than later and prices will sneak right past an affordable number again like the sr20 did for me. I am going to focus on just getting one really good one 4.8L and maintaining the crap out of it for 10-12 years, a 4.8L with 80-130k sounds nice, expect that coming soon. I found people I trust that have lots of engines since I started using one 5.3. I Wish I could get a low miles 02-05 sr20det that fast and easy. I just wanted to give you swap hope by illustrating how easy 4.8/5.3 motors are to find, and that their cost is basically negligible. I can replace my engine for less than a camshaft swap costs, and they deliver. (engine pizza?) It might not need to be said but obviously feel free to spend more on an engine if you have the budget for it and can attain acceptable swap progress with the more expensive parts, the bare minimum of factory components, even re-used gaskets and sensors, etc... it all adds up. The F-body starter 1999 is on the engine now, still working great. I show its possible to do so using factory procedures even if you never saw the engine before. I did make a couple mistakes(I remember changing the oil pump when it was probably fine, and something about exhaust studs) but luckily everything so far has been minor and not too expensive to correct, minimal impact on budget.
I decided to use the 4.8L engine instead of 5.3L at some point (2019?). I think it might save a tiny bit of gas, and would be happier around 7000rpm in a daily application (my limiter is 6200 in any daily but its nice to see what the engine can do on the dyno or at a track if you could ever afford to go to a track, or had interests in going to race tracks). And the idea of 'de-stroked' which is what the 4.8 really is, it has same bore as the 5.3L engine...


The ugly:
Coming from an 11 second 2.0 RWD 5-speed to lose 5mpg and add 350~lbs to the car. Or more! The trans is 250lbs vs the 70lb oem unit. I will never see 33mpg again lol

Other goals:
Besides the lb/min factory expectation, to weight ratio, I have a few other necessities.
2. Need spark plug access EASY. Almost any of the original, seemingly cast manifolds make checking/changing plugs easy. If this wasn't possible I wouldn't have used/done this. I can check/change all 8 plugs in around an hour without fuss. A 2jz or sr20 would have been easier, they are far superior engines in more ways than just this though.
2.5 Easy Bolt Access, good work flow. I need to reach everything without trouble. Bellhousing bolts, exhaust bolts, crossmember bolts, I can't have any bolts holding me up or difficult to reach that would make working on the vehicle un-fun. I've clearanced the trans tunnel such that removing every bellhousing bolt and the transmission can be done in 2hours (and I have done so already, twice). In the intercooler plumbing every hose is straight, brief, and every clamp is 'right there' nothing is near it to cut the coupler or get in the way. No tight 90's in the system either as it would inhibit performance.
3. Vehicle must appreciate. No sense building something that is losing value. As long as there are reliable LS engines and 240sx left, I think it will only become more difficult to get a good one.
4. Needs to be traffic friendly. most of the time I drive daily through rush hour.A/C and an automatic transmission are the two main keys here. Its why I went auto, mainly (not just because its faster.. certainly not that...)
5. No leaks, No noise. Can't be waking people up and can't leave a drip anywhere. The car will need a cutout for max power but for normal driving it needs to be silent because thats just what a respectable car is like. Noise can be advantageous and so can stealth, its a double fun way to play the car game and saves you a headache.
6. at least 25~mpg Economy is mostly about weight, but there are also little things we can do. I look forward to doing a section on how I squeeze max economy from a (this) vehicle. 25mpg is kind of a low bar, but for 70lb/min I think it is reasonable given the ultimately free power plant provided for us. If we set 50lb/min limit then 30mpg is the new target. These are just targets I made up from my own perception about how hard it is to put fuel in the tank as a college student with little/no income.

8-21-18 economy update. The highway economy 60-75mph at this point without cruise control is consistently above 20, even with some 'play' and is approx 22-23mpg. I am kind of close to 25mpg. I think with a little bit of weight reduction and some lighter wheels, some better brakes, a slightly different rear wheel camber and some aerodynamics improvements I should be able to pass 25mpg easily. Eventually (maybe a year) I should be ready to go either 4.8L or L33 thus setting the 25mpg standard (80lbs deadweight or de-stroked engine will give me .2-.3mpg I bet). From there maybe lightweight internal transmission parts, lightweight driveshaft, lighterweight exhaust sections, lightweight hood, take out the spare tire and do a little more scavenging. I'd like to see 26.7mpg highway one day but honestly even just 25 is great when you also have over 500 on tap, and no oil pressure gauge, just drivin around like its nothing. I find myself driving slower and slower, the faster a car gets, because lets face it fuel=power. Driving it extremely slow for max economy doesn't sound super fun but being able to have the car anywhere and everywhere I myself go while not having lots of money for fuel I feel like mad maxx road warrior chasing demons. Parked and I don't pop the hood. People will ask if I want to sell my stock 240sx. I start it and they still can't tell its been completely altered under the surface. It's almost incomprehensible, what we of the hobby do to our rides, ineptdly indepidly intricate items surprise

Once I chose a pathway I started researching the engine, planning where everything would likely wind up, and how it was going to be wired to best of my imagination, make a list of every part and every anticipated labor if possible. Before I purchase a single item I figure out every single other item and where I am going to get it and how many they have etc... make a book/log and constantly make lists. I will post some lists that evolved soon I think to show this process in action although I am not particularly good at it (I still make an attempt but surely there is an easier way than my methods, there usually is)
This sounds simple to write but it keeps me up most nights when I should be sleeping. I enjoy it a little too much and always thinking of how I'd like to solve each riddle. Car must be Puzzle of parts with torque sequences, deformation qualifications and cleanliness constraints.
<insert lists here eventually>



The car layout and spacing


There are minor transmission wiring differences (5.3L truck engines come with the weaker 4l60e which wasn't an option for me)





While I was ordering parts I grabbed the first S14 240sx chassis I could find with a blown engine and started prepping (cleaning mostly)
I looked in craigslist all over my area and there was only 1 240sx for sale at reasonable price, and it had everything wrong with it almost.
Couldn't even drive it because blown engine and two different size tires on front.
Luckily, 240sx don't rust easily and this one was still auto so it's frame was great, ready for fab work, clean slate.
It Takes me about an hour to yank the stock motor out of a 240sx now.

I acquired the car with blown engine around 2-15-17. I had seen my first LS engine in person in a junkyard on 1-23-17.
I had the car running, driving and 100 miles on it by 5-23-17
It went by quite fast, I started Feb and was driving a little by May, just 3 months by myself with no air and no lift, just hand tools working over grass and dirt outside day and night non stop lol, was made possible by plug-and-play parts + planning and I presume to have set the bar for one person doing it themselves = ~4-6months I would say is more than adequate if you have everything.
The build stretches the budget by design (I knew I would be able to get it driving but not finish it completely with the budget) so there is no funds leftover for dyno runs or track testing, but these are not necessary for me to measure performance or find out how much power I am making or if the car performs better. for ex. Because scanning is done in time domain it is easy to calculate acceleration over time and determine if performance is improving.
Hopefully by 2020~ I will have data at least but right now I am lucky to eat eggs and rice.
I can't even afford to put gas in it really, I'm using alot of 87 these days (3psi is fine), so far more concerned with steady state temperatures in hot climates (fluids staying cool when its hot outside) than all out performance just yet because those systems will interplay with the robustness and continuation of high output.
But I haven't had a single hiccup and it starts right up fast every single time and puts a smile on my face everywhere I go and keeps me up at night when I'm trying to fall asleep.


Lets start on 1-23-17
I went to the junkyard to scope out my first LSx engine (I had never seen one before in person as of 2016) and looked at a bunch of crashed trucks. Some ripped open well enough for me to poke around and get a mental picture of the sheer size involved.
After perhaps 15 years of fantasizing about the day I would finally own one, It was like meeting a life long friend for the first time. So familiar and yet so new.
https://ls1tech.com/forums/generation-iii-external-engine/1858105-went-junkyard-scope-out-my-first-lsx-details.html
Excited,

Then I wound up buying one 5.3L from ebay, I liked the idea of having one shipped to the door. I didn't want to bother anybody to have to go with me to get an engine somewhere even though I found some local deals that looked promising. I'm the type of person that, even if there is a lift right in front of me, even if my friend says "go use the lift!" I will still use a jack to avoid putting wear and tear on somebody elses equipment.


but it was poor compression on one cylinder, and very rusty. So they gave me 100% refund and I went to the next source: car-part.com
Within a day a local JY had delivered an engine to me


It had a little low compression also from sitting. Little did I know it was probably the best engine to use, but this was my first time so I made a mistake right here and kept looking for 'the right engine' even though this one was prolly fine, They brought another one and it too was just, not what I am used to getting from Japanese engine suppliers.

I decided to go to the JY myself in homestead to check out their other engines.

and wound up walking around in sun, compression tested about 10 engines looking for one with decent compression.
I did manage to find one, don't know what vehicle it came from though. Probably the only guy to ever wander their facility in noontime sunlight for hours with a battery, starter, compression tester, engine oil, plug socket, going from engine to engine removing 8 plugs, installing the starter, tester, check/add oil, spin the motor, test each cylinder. The surface of the metal containers I went into each are housing maybe 20 engines per was at least 135*F. At first they said they only had maybe 5 engines but I started wandering around 5 turned into 15. If you are willing to work for it, you can have it, I always believe that.

It's a lost art he said as I left. If I knew what I know now I would have just kept the first engine they delivered, it was probably absolutely fine and in fact I believe it had low known mileage and was two years newer. They had really tried to hook me up the first time around, I realize this now more fully. "What I know now" is that I never want to mess with broken exhaust studs again so the heads gota go the minute I pick up an engine if one breaks anyways, which means low compression due to valve sealing isn't an undesirable trait in used engines. Since the heads are coming off anyways you can inspect the pistons/cylinders and verify immediately by putting on the new heads that compression is good on all cylinders within the first couple days of having the engine (so that they will warranty it for you). This is all if you do not have a spare engine already prepped and ready to go, if you just buy one motor at a time it can still be done quickly but it adds days instead of just being done with engine swap in hours.

Please see a couple engine buying tips thread some that resulted from this experience:
ls1tech.com/forums/generation-iii-internal-engine/1872604-engine-buying-tips.html


The heart of this build, for performance enthusiasts attending college, is based in the nearly free engines that are available, and yards will even deliver to the door step. Once everything is in place, and easy to remove (no difficult bolts), easy engine swap is easy, core support and vbands fly out of the bay, motor will come out in around 2-5 hours depending upon the occasion, can be driving again in a day. It hasn't needed to come out since its been driving even once yet so I don't know how long it will take average to pull, in fact I still have some shielding and body messaging to do and I need the motor out to do it, so I literally can't wait for the opportunity, but at the same time really glad it seems like a good random engine I can rely for the first time driving. When I switch to 4.8 there will be the opportunity to measure.





I wasn't sure where to get a 4l80e for my first one, so Ebay again, I've been an Ebay seller for 15 years 1k feedback just messing around, so I know it inside and out.


This trans looks too good to be true. The mileage on the cluster of the vehicle it came from was under 100k.



Engine harness in hand, I started wiring, following mostly LT1swap.com's wiring diagrams
I had to improvise for the 240sx parts though. And 96-97 was such a weird year for 240sx, none of the FSM diagrams or online color coded ones match up with 96 year, and neither do 95. Its like its own special year for wiring, a cross between 95 and 97.
You can open the pictures in a new window for big picture.












I started looking at turbo options. A turbo needs to be reliable, so an OEM manufacturer like Borg Warner was an obvious choice. I had lengthy discussions with an engineer at Borg Warner (Thanks again Brinehardt) to determine how I was going to keep it alive, what sort of precautions I would need to take. Here is what I learned:
1. Oil drain should be positioned as vertical as possible, max angle is not much, around 10* iirc
2. Maximum inlet temperature to the turbine is about 1380*F. I will limit EGT to around 1250-1300*F using water injection to meet this specification. This will also protect the engine by reducing chances of knocking, and preventing excessive thermal expansion of parts like piston rings.
3. An oil accumulator would improve the lifespan of the turbocharger, as it can run with the engine off providing cooling on shut-down, besides the fact an accumulator will save the oil pressure and keep me from having to worry about logging it and watching it so much. So this is on my list.
4. Keep the center section and compressor nut lubricated as part of routine maintenance to prevent rust (he suggested WD40 but I will test a variety of lubricants and get back to you)
5. max length oil feed line is approx 40" if using -4AN, it was suggested I could increase diameter to -6AN and go longer with the oil line, however this would seem to increase the delay of oil reaching the turbo during a cold start, which was already my main concern. When I acquire an accumulator this will be the an option, as It will allow me to wrap the oil line around the back of the engine where it will be out of sight.


Compressor map above is charted many ways, I think this was one of the higher outcomes and is ideal for a street car using mostly OEM engine output capacity ranges (75-80lb/min).

The car will always have a paper element for max filtration designed for a diesel truck/turbo for maximum filtration which is [COLOR=&amp]essential on a reliable vehicle[/COLOR]. I would take much further steps if I were in a sandy environment as well. The exh is very straight 3" to the back through a very quiet 'turbo' muffler and 3" resonator. It will require a cutout for max performance driving but it remains to be seen how far a quiet exhaust will take it.


Some handy diagrams I condensed details into and FSM pages for this swap





I created this to sort of condense the info

I'm super annoyed when I have to search for sequences on one page, and turn 100 pages for specs on another page, when they could display everything in one picture like this instead.

Some parts I had gathered that month

don't give up but don't get in over your head either, plan every step I can't stress that enough, have the whole thing planned out first.
tool I used:
I only own part of a basic craftsman set of hand tools, I keep only the ones I need for the car handy. namely, 1/4" (some hose clamps), 7mm (GM fuse box and coils), 8mm (most smaller bolts and regular common hose clamps), 10mm (like every bolt on the car and engine), 12mm/14mm (just the nissan car), 13mm/15mm (just the GM engine), 17/19mm (mostly the car), 3/4" (2/4 of the strut bolts), 22/24mm (big bolts like balancer).
Plus a couple screw drivers, vice grips, random drill bits and allen keys, that about described my variety options for tools and what I've used every step of the way. No air tools but I do have a $9 harbor freight drill. I had a $12 electric cordless but someone plugged it into the wrong charger and burnt the battery so I didn't get to use it much. What I am trying to say is that, if there is a will, there is a way. You don't need fancy tools to swap a V8 into one of these cars anymore because nearly every necessary part has been 'mass marketed' is mostly easy to find. I really don't have any other tools than what I listed, if I need something special for a day or two, like the tin snips I used in the engine bay to cut aluminum, and the pickle fork I didn't need to barrow because I smacked the old ball joint out on an expansion joint in the ground, I do barrow it if necessary, clean it, and return it in better shape that it was given to me. The engine stand was a loaner from one of my friends, and then he even said just keep it I have plenty. But I still consider it his and do not intend to keep an engine on a stand. I will finish an engine ready for install, then wrap it up and set it on a shelf.



Most of the 'work' involves attention to detail, sitting down with the car in one place and pulling it apart, then putting it back together nice. It takes hours, days, months. Ex. I spent around 10 hours cutting and bending aluminum shields yesterday to make them look halfway decent in the engine bay for example. It didn't cost me anything; they came free from the junkyard (the woman behind the counter said it was fine, just take it). Wiring is also nearly free, I think there is $40 of wire in the car but the actual labor is intense and 'free' for us to sit down and do, and it makes all the difference when its done well. Putting an engine or trans in and out only takes a couple hours in comparison; it is by far the "easy" part, for me at least. This car is based on the idea of speedy engine removal; I can't drive anything that, at worst case scenario, needs more than 24 hours to repair fully from its absolute worst case catastrophe (engine+trans or diff+trans fail together). So there is a spare 5.3 and 4l80e sitting, waiting just in case, and there are also dozens of non rusted 4.8/5.3/6.0 engines and transmissions sitting around in multiple shops and yards within couple miles from nearly all south Florida areas where people actually roam.

Last edited by Kingtal0n; 11-29-2018 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:52 PM
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Engine prep part 1 - Feb. of 2017

Wash it

Scrub it

put oil in the cylinders

Wire Wheel it

At that point I realized I had better get those broke exhaust studs out of the engine....

...Yeah, right. After breaking a couple different kinds of bit extractors, I was at a loss. My plan was to just rock the stock untouched engine but that was out of the question now.

So I used the excuse to pull the heads (love those kinds of excuses)

and cleaned up the pistons


added a pointer which I didnt need


Were just checking for potential problems here


FSM recommends Acetone to clean the deck...


A set of refurbished/remanufactured MLS 862 heads with new guides and seals


Im always suspicious of gasket matching. Heard too many stories of blocked coolant passages and water flying out of radiators.


Pretty happy


Cant reuse head bolts (well, you shouldn't haha)


Follow FSM for rocker tightening


Use an actual impact socket on the balancer (sigh)


Got it nice and clean with some super fine paper


the FSM requires a specific angle of torque, after a pre-set number. I don't own an angle torque wrench (or whatever they are called) but I do have a camera and a plane of reference, so...

Last edited by Kingtal0n; 11-18-2018 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:58 PM
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there was a bunch of little stuff to take care of,

This is how I got the F-body alternator bracket to fit the 5.3L engine


This is how you get the $60 LS-swap PS hose kit they sell in ebay to work with the F-body pump (by hack-sawing and de-burring the fitting)


Booted the ECU at home with my harness to make sure it 'works'


Got the -10AN fitting welded into the oil pan


Had to cut the rear oil windage tray, I guess for oil return rate when using the sikky pan


This ones just cleaning

Since I had to pull the windage tray, I had a look around

Primed the oil pump the best I could


Setup the lifter valley cover and knock sensors


The pan chilling on the engine




Had to setup injector and coil lengths, the harness wound up backwards for some reason. I had all the cylinders reversed, and needed to extend half the harness to reach the other side. I guess because I ran my computer into the car cabin or changed sides.


Was told you need to cut the ears off the 4l80e to get it to fit into... anything. So I did this. However, looking at it now in the car, maybe because I was overzealous with hammering, it looks like they would have fit fine.

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Old 03-04-2018, 12:13 AM
  #4  
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So around march I was rdy to start putting it in, measuring, then taking it out to hammer or cut as needed.
Actually it seemed to fit on the first try! How is this possible? Everything I had read led me to believe I would need to do major surgery...


I was able to get everything in and had what seemed like plenty of clearance on all sides...

With the engine in, I started looking at the trans mount, because they don't make one. This was the one concern with the swap and it would make or break the entire car. I had some rusty, backyard materials to make something with.

Held them up loose, chalked it,

My father has an arc welder that runs on gas. It was his turn to play a role in this car's future!


It came out decent, yeah


too bad it wasn't going to work. It was the next day that I realized I had completely neglected pinion angle for the mounts.
OMFG

It was at wayyy too much of a downward angle. /facepalm...That explains why it seemed to fit so easy.
I thought about all kinds of work arounds, solid axle, torque arm, differential spacers/angle adjustments... but at the end of the day decided to do it right. I threw away the mounts I had spent 2 days working on and started over. This time, I jacked the trans wayyyy high as I could into the tunnel.

The 4l80e is monstrous. it weighs around 250lbs wet and barely fit to begin with. And now I needed to raise it like 3 inches!

So here is what you have to do to get this thing to fit properly in a 240sx S14 chassis:




I was in a rush to get the new mount made. You will see it a bit later. For now lets tackle the next problem:
I got the motor into the car, mounted up, then went to prime the oil system. You know, crank the engine with no plugs to get pressure.


After cranking for 30-45 seconds and seeing 0PSI on my oil pressure gauge, I was convinced the pump was bad. I pulled the motor, took the pan off and removed the oil pump:


It looks fine inside!
Just to be sure: I put a new pump on the engine anyways


In case you are wondering how I treat the pan during this removal and re-assembly


Dont forget to throw away that balancer bolt and use a new one!


Here is my engine drop-in setup, I chain the lift to the boat trailor because 5.3+4l80e wants to tip over very easily.


Also you might notice I removed my core support. This so I could get the engine in and out easily without raising it high.

So I put the motor back in

and still had the same issue: 30-45 seconds with no pressure. I chalked it up to the lengthy relocation lines and kept cranking, eventually seeing good oil pressure everywhere. I guess they take a while and residual oil on the bearing is all there is for a while. It makes me want an accumulator...
Ready to put the intake on


Gota pressure test that intake!


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Old 03-04-2018, 12:29 AM
  #5  
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Intermission

Car is about to start for the first time around 4-10-17



trans gear range selector, I learned all about this thing and how important it is if you want certain functions like reverse lights and complete engine tuning control.

Car needed a special sway bar to clear the special oil pan


In my dreams, one of the biggest motivators was imagining the stock camaro shifter in the car. Just imagining me pulling it back 1 click into overdrive and melting the tires gave me wet dreams and trouble sleeping.




I knew what I wanted: a stock looking interior with stock OEM reliable parts in it.
People can look in the car and will only see original stock auto car. Even now they ask if I want to sell my stock 240. I might even run a stock radio just for laughs.

Its as fun to pull back into D4 as it looks.


Around mid April it was ready to go to my friend's house where we would create the turbo plumbing for the car. He only had saturday and sunday to work on it, and it took 3 hours/day for approx 3 weeks, around 18 hours total to do the plumbing, downpipe ending at the flywheel.


Hot side is Stainless 2.25"~ and a 3" downpipe, stainless pipe from the local junkyard we got for around $40. The flange and turbo is from Full race motor sports and the hardware is inconel (major overkill I guess).










It has to be a reliable DEI blanket and Tial gate

I had fun putting the motor in but now it was time to get the engine running and trans shifting. And take care of some body stuff. I set it up with just the absolute necessary systems in order to drive it around town and test the drivetrain.


After couple days I got the compressor on the engine and saw some boost. With no spring in the gate it would give me 1-2psi.


I drove it to my friends shop and he helped me finished the exhaust to the trans mount area





While it was there he also let me use his cool tools to make some intercooler plumbing while he went out for errands.
Heres a mini band saw he uses all the time for this stuff.

A carbide bit for cleaning the pipes, this is what I use to clean them, he also has a special tool to do this as well, that doesn't require any air or electricity.


A belt sander also helps speed things up. Normally you would file or use the carbide bit but his shop was setup for speedy construction.

I love tig welding but I do not own a welder of any kind. One day I would love to have one though, the things I could make with time.
Several great friends and my father all helped with this car, I may not have attempted such an ambitious approach (turbo plumbing + trans mount) without their help. I did very little of the welding on my own car this time sadly, so far, but there is still some left to do so maybe I will get a chance. The sikky kit comes with a perfectly good 4l60e/T-56 mount I didn't use and still have. This swap would have been a low mileage 5.7 six speed swap with headers, or a 2jz-gte engine, which is just as viable at 500rwhp and just as heavy as an Iron V8, but it also has the luxury of affordable, reliable exhaust manifolds and even easier plug access. #@*^&[email protected] I love spark plug access lol. So many burnt fingers from gen1 sbc when I was 15 Im scarred mentally and have header fingers since 17.

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Old 03-04-2018, 12:38 AM
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Now that it was driving I could work out some bugs. The first thing I needed to do was get a very quiet muffler on the car so I could hear the engine and trans. I went to a local exhaust shop (random) and within 30 minutes I had a "turbo-muffler" basically a cheap, small muffler on the end.

With that installed I instantly became aware of a strange noise in neutral. The transmission area sounded like something was rattling around. Dave at Yank said it could be flexplate cracked. A couple searches yielded the same info.
So,

I checked the fluid color in sunlight

Verified my converter pullout was correct and that there was no thrust under some load


Went to another friend's shop and he let me the lift, where I pulled out the transmission to change the flexplate as a "last" resort. And also the rear main, since I started using synthetic it started leaking. So perfect timing on that.



Added some rivnuts because I figured I would insulate the tunnel while I was in there. Junkyard insulation was nearly free. I still have mad stax of the stuff...






To make a long story short, that didn't fix the noise.
My next consideration was the transmission front pump was bad. I figured even if it wasn't it would still be nice to have a new pump in there.
So I pulled the trans back out a couple weeks later, And replaced the pump with a Remanufactured unit.

That did the trick, now the loudest thing on the car is the belt tensioner. Which I will be changing soon and then finding the next loudest thing, and so on, until everything is quiet

Also relocated the fuel lines to the other side of the car, Steel fuel hose, run similar to factory with OEM brackets from random JY cars. I get alot of stuff from the junkyard cars because its usually OEM good stuff


I've since replaced this bracket and it looks a bit different now.

This was necessary to get the fuel lines away from the exhaust. I also had to relocate the battery, and fuse box, to get it away from the turbo. Basically everything over there needed to disappear. You might be wondering why I didn't just put the turbo on the driver side? I have one reason in particular that I will now share. I've seen it done this way in several applications and the only way to make it work is to snake a downpipe past the steering shaft. And there is no way, no how, I am going to risk a downpipe anywhere near my steering shaft, with any engine. It would require too much "what if" engineering, where other brackets, safety loops, accident prevention type equipment would need to be fitted to prevent it. Think of a driveshaft safety loop for the downpipe. I didn't want to have to waste too much time trying to figure out a way to do that. I need this engine to be able to fall apart, the manifold to blast apart into pieces and the turbine to fall down near the oil pan, downpipe wedged any which way, and I still want to be able to control the car when this happens so it made the most sense to put it all on the non-steering shaft side. Alternatively I could have just converted my car to RHD, which I am not against, but it would make the car stand out too much (I could never be 'stealthy').



last heres a view with the pan dropped so you can see down the rear
I love this picture for some reason. It just shows how easy we have it now, with V-bands and so much space under it a 240sx is a dream car to work on.

Note that those lines wrapped in foil have nothing in them. They are empty original fuel lines that I might use for something else, or simply remove.

Last edited by Kingtal0n; 11-17-2018 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:55 AM
  #7  
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Heres a thread I made when I wasn't sure about the trans front pump being bad. It has some diagnostic info, sound clips, etc.. so it might be useful to someone.

https://forum.hptuners.com/showthrea...s-coming-loose

I also attached some video clips of the car running, in various states (open downpipe vs full exhaust in some) try to read the title of the clip to get an idea of what it is for.
Attached Files
File Type: wmv
touchthegascrackles.wmv (2.66 MB, 3 views)
File Type: wmv
exhaustclip.wmv (1.28 MB, 6 views)
File Type: wmv
flywheelfixed1stdrive.wmv (2.52 MB, 4 views)
File Type: wmv
4l80ewhine.wmv (834.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: wmv
oilprimelowq.wmv (1.99 MB, 3 views)
File Type: wmv
randomwot2ndtry.wmv (2.28 MB, 6 views)

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Old 03-05-2018, 04:20 AM
  #8  
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Great build
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Old 03-05-2018, 02:03 PM
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Nice. My first car was a '96 240SX. Still have it. What's the market for these things like? Always loved the idea of actually decreasing weight and doubling HP in that car. Never got around to it. Do you plan on going to a LSD? I'd imagine traction could be a problem with the stock open diff.

P.S. Great work!
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:11 AM
  #10  
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The car is about 1/2 way point today. and I still have quite a bit of information to add and fill in. One of things I forgot to mention was the differential situation. The short version would be, I put a Q45 3.69:1 ratio using 5-bolt J-30 axles to the stock hubs. Mileage increased dramatically from the 4.10 factory ratio, it remains to be seen final economy, I feel confident it will 25+ combined. I think the car could use a 3.34 or 3.45:1 rear gear so I may eventually go 350z diff or whatever I find that is simple.

update: sometime in the beginning of 2018 I put a 3.5:1 Q45 differential with 32-spline axles, considered to be one of the strongest OEM differential combos that fits a 240sx in existence.

One of the great things about 240sx platform is they appreciate. RWD and 1000lbs lighter than most V8 cars also helps. Its a great "learning" car, easy to work on, parts and affordable. The best thing after OEM parts is the interest by large companies that build race cars and test parts like Sikky for example, they use their own 240sx platform parts to generate high quality racing-testing chassis mod parts that they sell. I think that really increases the value of the 240sx because now you can put all different kinds of engines into one using these high quality tested racing parts, like OEM but better, and they are actually affordable and old enough to be had second hand etc.... its just a great time to have a car in this category that also happens to appreciate.

I also noted you said 'still have it' and I wanted to mention one more thing. The original chassis untouched with good frame rails, good pinch weld, is worth what most builds are worth. Like a clean original 97 with 150k can fetch 10k all original, if everything is right. I wrote a how-to-value guide on zilvia.net and freshalloy.com if you want some examples,
here are the pictures from the guide:
https://postimg.cc/gallery/1x8wbmmeo/

That should explain a lot even without words I think.

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Old 03-06-2018, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kingtal0n View Post
The car is about 1/2 way point today. and I still have quite a bit of information to add and fill in. One of things I forgot to mention was the differential situation. The short version would be, I put a Q45 3.69:1 ratio using 5-bolt J-30 axles to the stock hubs. Mileage increased dramatically from the 4.10 factory ratio, it remains to be seen final economy, I feel confident it will 25+ combined. I think the car could use a 3.34 or 3.45:1 rear gear so I may eventually go 350z diff or whatever I find that is simple.


One of the great things about 240sx platform is they appreciate. RWD and 1000lbs lighter than most V8 cars also helps. Its a great "learning" car, easy to work on, parts and affordable. The best thing after OEM parts is the interest by large companies that build race cars and test parts like Sikky for example, they use their own 240sx platform parts to generate high quality racing-testing chassis mod parts that they sell. I think that really increases the value of the 240sx because now you can put all different kinds of engines into one using these high quality tested racing parts, like OEM but better, and they are actually affordable and old enough to be had second hand etc.... its just a great time to have a car in this category that also happens to appreciate.

I also noted you said 'still have it' and I wanted to mention one more thing. The original chassis untouched with good frame rails, good pinch weld, is worth what most builds are worth. Like a clean original 97 with 150k can fetch 10k all original, if everything is right. I wrote a how-to-value guide on zilvia.net and freshalloy.com if you want some examples,
here are the pictures from the guide:
https://postimg.org/gallery/1x8wbmmeo/

That should explain a lot even without words I think.
Great info! Thanks a lot and good luck!
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:04 PM
  #12  
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I started working on the body wiring and fuse box relocation, but I forgot my camera card. So no pictures from the 40+ hours I worked on it over the weekend and lost 5lbs from not eating. However you will still be able to appreciate the results!

But first, since the dash was out, I started fixing my turrible dash




Its pretty bad, I don't even know how they get this bad. Only 95-96 units do this, the 97-98 dash will crack but not like this.

I've done another dash in the past, using super glue and baking soda. But this dash needed epoxy to fill the large holes, and I cut some plastic pieces to smooth the surface.




Its better but still needs work. For now at least its better. Many small cracks still need to be dealt with, but I think I will just better off changing the whole dash. When I deal with the a/c vents and final resting place of the ECU (where the airbag currently is, I hope) I will also hopefully have a next dash to put in.

As to the wiring. When I get there the following weekend there was still some minor wiring to finish up for the body harness.

Believe me, this is nothing compared to last weekend's mess.

I don't trust a single factory relay to run a powerful single fan so I have the factory fan1 and fan2 relays actually running the same fan on LOW and HIGH to split the current in half. Because there are also +2 other fans (3 total) I ran extra power wires and more fuse from the battery cable through the body harness and under the dash. Also added extra power wires in the body I can use for something else.

This is showing how I ran the fuse box relocation bundle under the drivers seat. I am not super crazy about he lump it makes, so I may move it to the center console. For now it works fine and I don't notice it much.


Running the fuse box relocated to rear, it goes up into the quarter panel area.


By the driver headlight I have the trans cooler, and the sensor for temperature to kick on the trans-cooler fan is that little brass thing with 2 wires.

I am super picky about my wiring protection and function. I used cooler hose anywhere I could to pass the wires, under tube and tape and anything else I could wrap it with. Keeping every OEM plug available also just in case I want to re-attach stuff, like the horn (yeah) and fog light outputs to something (what do I want to activate with fog light switch hmm?) and other OEM wires in the harness, intact for re-purposing, like windshield washer sprayer is still there, ready to use.


I've got plenty more but for now, I noticed that the fuse box seems to fit really well in the quarter panel...

Note that I am able to open these pictures up large by opening them in a new window.

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Old 03-25-2018, 02:30 AM
  #13  
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I got a new camera so a couple of weeks went by where I simply forgot the memory card, or the charger (my old one took batts) and then one week I just didn't feel like taking many pics (camera was dead, didn't want to drop what I was doing to charge it. It was raining my shoes were muddy I was outside in the rain with the water pump on a bench trying to tap it with the wrong tap. Long story). So about three weeks now I've been steadily making progress anyways.

Lets see if I can remember everything now:
0. about 4 weeks ago the bay got a major re-wiring and the fuse box relocation, wiring under the dash routed for aux power to the engine bay. It should say somewhere above where fan power comes from etc..
1. Removed water pump for tap/plug heater core finally. I will have a heater eventually but first I would like A/C finished.
2. Put in a brand new gates water pump with new 160*F thermostat allows me to hold water around 180*F now instead of 190*F with the old one. I couldn't stand that not being able to go below 188*F lol
3. Did more restoration to the car, AGX struts, strut mounts, ball joints, control arm bushings. And I still have tie rods, upper control arms, wheel bearings to do and an alignment and some tires of course (hints for next month).
4. found what was causing awful clacking noise when I hit bumps (swap bar end link is broken)
5. ran the tank to hardline portions of the fuel lines with braided hose covered in convoluted tube, hose clamped to the hard line. We will discuss why I went this way at length shortly.
6. Got an air filter tube made for it finally and now have proper 4" paper filter and a PCV hose for the crankcase on the engine. I just finished doing this and the engine seems to run much better now. It might be my imagination (need to get scanner on it, I don't normally drive around with it anymore) but I feel like it needs less throttle position to cruise as well.

All in all this was some major progress and alot of things off my mind.
latest driving config


I have a bunch of temperature data from before and after the shielding but gota finish homework before I do more of that

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Old 04-05-2018, 02:33 AM
  #14  
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Finally finished my homework (1am lol) and I took a few minutes to make the video of shielding the engine bay that I've been wanting to make


Next couple of days will bring many changes, finalize fuel system situation for sure is one of them. Probably going to put some new tires on it soon also.
I can pretty up the pcv (ugly hoses). Mount the IAT. Add another shield to finish the valve cover protection. Remove the old ugly fuel lines finally. paint the hood support lol.
Going to try to find some vette covers, see how those look. Might find the time to mount the ECU where the airbag is to get the passenger floor clear. At some point, not soon, but eventually, power coat the plumbing and various articles, and paint parts of the bay that look ugly. intend to paint the coils if I can, and valve covers, brackets, and so forth. The ugly stuff haha. More concerned with how it looks atm because it drives so phenomenal.


Little stuff.

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Old 04-05-2018, 12:45 PM
  #15  
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Awesome build!
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:49 PM
  #16  
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Yesterday I connected the new fuel system. It took longer than expected (8~ hours) but overall success determined by no leaks, no fuel smell.

Clean it good and take the old pump out




Setting up. I made sure to have high quality breeze stainless hose clamps for the fuel system.


This silly ring is easy to lose, and I've had the stalk break as well on cheaper pumps.



Fuel sock direction faces the hanger. I used to always forget which way to position it, and it might not be obvious looking down in the tank which burns my nose.


I decided it couldn't hurt to keep the factory clip on the hose as well.



I'm not sure soldier and heat shrink is a good thing to have in the gas tank. I decided I still like the idea of a shrinkable/vulcanizing connection so I bought a pack of these high quality, shrinkable crimp connections.




Nuff said? Hose clamps on braided hose are track legal, in case you were wondering.






I am not leaving it like this, obviously. I wanted to test drive the car and this is all I had at the time. Its safe but its ugly so don't get used to seeing it. Looks like I am going to need a 90* to hide the filter on the side and snake the feed under the regulator.



New pump, new lines.... New injectors.


They flow test them and give a little paper. I put the highest flowing on the rear two cylinders from superstition, the highest of course on number 7!



Remember to put something on the Orings to keep them safe



I looooove soldiering near open fuel lines. yessirr I do...




Fuel lines, fittings, etc... info
If you read online about cheap AN fittings, you will see alot of "hit and miss" results. That the fittings don't match the hose and leak, or that two different fittings from the same place fit differently, inconsistency abound. If you risk a fitting like that in a hard to reach place, such as under the car or in the fuel hatch, well...

When it comes to fuel line, I can't afford to take any chances. The use of cheap fittings is not an option for me. There is only 1 Fuel AN fitting on my car and it is on the rail in plain sight (visual inspection is easy) and it is a RUSSEL with an O-ring which I am familiar with. It sealed up after only hand tight against 45psi of baseline fuel pressure.

The system is composed of 2 Steel Hard Lines, large enough to support approx 750 Horsepower, according to Aeromotive, which run the length of the vehicle, both I flared using a rental tool, and there are short-as-possible sections of braided hose with high quality stainless breeze host clamps, basically a slight upgrade from factory which uses 2 sections of rubber hose mated to steel hardline using clamps as well. The rear sections I added/coated in a tube designed to keep wiring from being cut, as it snakes behind the fuel tank to reach the hard line (exactly like the factory rubber hose used to do on the other side) as I've seen braided fray when being rubbed against... well anything. If I wanted to lean on methanol injection a little bit the system could support a gasoline output around or above 800 horsepower.

It needs a cleaning up but for now it will service reliably, and is very simple, easy to access, and inspect. The way I check for leaks is run the fuel system with the engine off, and smell every junction, check it visually and smell for gasoline.

Couldn't resist taking it for a spin with the new injectors even though it was 1am. Guessed some numbers for the initial settings that turns out to be dang close for a first try. HPtuners is easy because airmass calculations are done by the computer from 'obvious' VE table numbers, so it isn't hard if you know the injector size to guess a good startup tune, or at least a safe one like I was able to, because the computer looks at VE, injector size, and calculates how much pulse to put into the engine. As opposed to say, a real stand-alone that used a pulse-width based base map, which is far more difficult to 'guess'. I had no idea what size the old injectors were so my injector flow-rate table used to be a wild mess to get the behavior I wanted, so it was even easier now that I knew what I was working with.


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Old 04-08-2018, 09:52 PM
  #17  
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Cool build and absolutely awesome write up of the progress!!!!
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:13 PM
  #18  
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thanks everyone for kind words

Today is raining all day so good for posting progression,


bypass as close to the compressor as possible



Cutout installed. going to change the orientation a bit and add some shielding to protect it from the road.



Tie rods/bellows and Alignment complete, drives like Cadillac


Changed spark plugs, took 30 minutes and that was me taking my time. Not too bad if I can just keep from leaning on the exhaust wrap. These are the original plugs I started with, first ones I put in the engine and they survived all the tuning/two sets of injectors and me constantly changing conditions.
https://forum.hptuners.com/showthrea...-7k-miles-5-3L


I put another set of TR6 for now, but I bought some TR7 iridiums that I think will be the cats meow for my application. Those will go in after I tune the engine with new TR6's at higher boost. Right now I'm waiting to install a 3.5:1 Q45 32-spline differential before turning up the boost anymore as the existing ratio is just too short to hit 150mph in 3rd with any size tire I could fit.

I finished a final exam and had a day to play with colors before I went out of town. I am going to try a variety of colors to get a feel for what I like, so don't freak out just yet if you see a clashing scheme.



I am getting ahead of myself though. Theres still a bit of wiring, vacuum hose[color=&amp] changes[/color], bracket and cover making yet to be done before I can really color anything proper. Still need to add some sensors, tap some plumbing, am waiting on some hose, etc... I was just excited to see what it has in store. I really like the copper and blue. Red doesn't ever seem to work no matter where I put it though. Shame though red is my favorite color.

Last edited by Kingtal0n; 11-17-2018 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:50 AM
  #19  
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little 4 minute drive around before recent progress occurs, benchmark for driving character before the new differential, torque mngmnt, and locked converter engine braking.

Finally found the proper rear end setup , 1994 Q45 3.54:1 ratio, 32-spline axles, no driveshaft abs extension. Purrfect

My Q45 search thread: http://zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=658548
Oh, how will the car change dramatically with this differential.

Some other changes,
I added a couple switches. A lockup interrupt switch, and the brake switch to kick it out of lockup on decel when braking. The interrupt is to prevent lockup when I don't want it, such as on the highway right before a pull in 1:1 3rd gear.
Also added a momentary switch for transmission mode switching. Now I have 2 completely different trans-maps at the smack of a button. Right now I've got the 2nd one good for burnouts (no early shifting from 1-2 with the shifter in D) but I think ultimately the 2nd map will be a "traction map" with torque management turned up. I am still xperimenting with TM to generate the best feeling shifts, a little bit of wheelspin into the next gear feels faster.

Ah, which brings me to TM or torque management. Let me just say TM is the most amazing experience I've had with this computer system so far. It completely changes the driving character. The car is like a new car now. When it shifts each gear is strong, sudden, but doesn't spin the tire or lose control of the car. It just shifts firmly and moves on. Its my favorite part of this swap so far if you can't tell. I don't even lose traction in the rain from 1-2 gear. I know more than one car that was wrecked because of a powerful 1-2 shift. Hopefully with TM I can avoid that fate forever. The numerically lower gear 3.54:1 will also help with traction. I will be able to make quite a bit more engine torque without spinning the tires now thanks to reduced torque multiplication. Hopefully the next couple videos will be more "performancy".

updates:


Drilling new flange pattern

Look inside the diff


Rare chance to take a pic of my exhaust on the ground


Still 87 octane $2.56/gallon 156 miles on new 3.53:1 differential in 2 days is finished testing, to report are no leaks or issues. All I did was swap hubs, axles, diff on my friends lift, it took 6-8 hours. Then use automatic gear calculator, didn't touch a single shift point MPH. And it drives so close to perfect still. Comfortable now ~2500rpm around 72mph hopefully translates to more driving less stopping for gas. Range is something important to me, knowing I can get 330 miles one way without needing fuel is kind of important to me, more than any money savings. In fact the money saving going from 24 to 25mpg is not very much at all to even bother with. Furthermore, nobody actually drives a car like this always at absolutely a perfect cruise. Power output is directly related to fuel consumption, so if I demand more power from any engine, whether 2L or 6L, they will both consume similar quantities of fuel to make the same power. Remember also higher boost pressure on the 2L means more fuel pressure compensation which reduces fuel pump output. The same fuel pump flows more fuel on a 6L engine, supports more rwhp because of lower manifold pressure.

-rotating mass of the larger V8 could outweight the difference in Brake Specific Fuel Consumption if rpm wasn't compensated for with gearing. (take this out)

But who does that

Last edited by Kingtal0n; 07-13-2018 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:25 PM
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Kingtal0n
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Its been a couple weeks now at 5psi. I've been just driving and turning the controller up one click at a time from 3.5 to almost 5.5 now. One of the things that was important to me in this build is the re-use and service life of specific OEM parts. Since it was my first LS engine, some things you just have to try and see. One of those items was the re-use and analysis of factory exhaust manifold gaskets in a daily/abuse setting. The sr20det OEM multi-layer manifold gaskets are very high quality and prevent you from "searching" for a solution, for example.

In order to appreciate the ability of a part it needs to be tested in more than one way. Everytime somebody re-uses a head gasket and Torque to yield head bolts they are 'testing a part a certain way that isn't identical to the way it was originally created and used'. In this case, I not only wanted to test the OEM manifold gaskets, I wanted to re-use some, and in a way that they were not originally created for. Furthermore, if I had installed a pair and immediately turned the engine up to 20psi and blew the gaskets, I wouldn't have any long-term data regarding them (or other parts for that matter) at lower, more 'normal' daily driver power levels. The whole point of turbocharging for a 'false atmosphere' is the electronic boost control of being able to turn it down when you don't need every last scrap of juice, and all the way up when you do without moving from the driver seat. Dial-an-atmosphere I call it (not really lol).

By driving the car for 15,000 miles with factory exhaust gaskets (and intake gaskets, valve cover gaskets) re-used and no incidents I have confirmed at least one thing. If I turn the boost up now and have an incident with a gasket I will now know that it is much more likely to do with the increased exhaust gas pressure than simply wear or installation related of the gasket. In other words, if I had put the gasket on and turned engine power up right away, and the gasket blew, how would i know it wasn't due to my gasket installation? The same thing goes for a wide variety of parts (coils, wires, plugs, pumps, gaskets/seals, etc...) now which have survived, if not flourished under the daily driving conditions which can be brutal to some high output installations.

Some classic examples of systems which tend to fail in high output installations are:
brake master cylinder (melts in some installs and causes a fire)
oil control / baffle systems (results with oil leaks and oil mists)
axles/differential/clutch/shafts can fail
cooling/radiator/fans system can become inadequate
exhaust and intake gaskets are often untested and leak
oil pickup / oil volume flow can become inadequate and starve the engine
transmission internals and fluid temperature can get out of hand
engine exhaust gas temperature can escalate to the point of damaging components such as starters and pistons, or start a fire, or melt parts
belt systems/accessories can fly apart at high speed (the plastic PS pump pulley is known for this) and the belt can throw
...add ur favorites

In building a car I give each system careful consideration and decide what would be the easiest. Essentially the most trouble free solution. If no such solution exists I come up with one or I don't do the swap.
For the most part, before I even started buying parts for this build, I already knew what would work right out of the box. For example, I knew the OEM Q45 differential and axles would take the abuse, and there are no affordable custom solutions for handling torque of this nature, so without this OEM part to run to for reliability I would never have attempted this swap.
The same goes for the transmission. A reliable OEM unit that won't mind insane torque values. After all, it was designed for some kinda 6500lbs diesel truck or whatever.
And the list goes on. The oil pan I used has special trapdoors to prevent oil starvation (oil cant leave the center but it can flow into the center). The pulley and belt system is reliable at high rpm. The pcv system seems adequate so far at controlling oil. What I presume are the original, used, 1998 intake gaskets that came to me in the LS intake manifold are still in there and don't leak (yet haha). In fact even the starter is a 1998-1999 unit with unknown (probably 150-200k) mileage and seems to still have some life left. Yes I have a spare starter, new intake gaskets, new exh gaskets, I even have spare rear main seal, plug wires, plugs, fuel pumps, and balancer bolts. Of course it is good to prepared. The key here however is to see how long and how far you can go with the OLDEST parts, the longest lasting parts, get the most mileage from them. I want 35-50k from my plug wires for example. Keeping maintenance costs low is a key to budget daily drivers that you actually want to drive for long distance, many many miles. Also being able to put cheap gas (87 octane) helps. These engines run fine on 87, they have a low octane map which isn't even used in my tune since I am so conservative. One of the things I learned a long time ago about forced induction engines is to let the boost do the work, not the timing. So when I put 87 in the tank I just keep the boost all the way down (3.5psi) and it basically runs like a stock engine would (plus maybe 20-35 horses). You have to reflect upon the fact that the stock truck engine has a stock truck camshaft, which will generate an incredible VE (peak torque), perhaps higher and sooner than it would with a real camshaft. That means its actually less safe on 87 octane than it would be with a cam upgrade. If you consider that the Original engineers KNOW about the super-high-ve spot when they designed these engines, you have to also consider that their allowance for safety factor of high temperatures (IAT & CT which typically pulls fuel and timing) puts that super high stock-cam VE situation at enormous risk when using poor fuels as 87. also consider that they knew that some of these engines would be run at sea level which has the full 1atmosphere of density. And finally the fact that this engine was intended for a TRUCK which could be pulling a heavy load, lowering the rate of change of RPM and creating higher peak pressures in the combustion chamber. Put it all together and you get the compression ratio of the stock engine: low enough to be safe on 87 in extremely hot, poor conditions at sea level while towing something. Some variance is included, lets say +/- 10% in cylinder pressure is to be anticipated (especially if you started putting N/A mods on the engine such as headers, valve changes, cam swap, intake mani) which can additionally raise VE at sea level. Thus the compression ratio was chosen appropriately to provide this truck with enough safety factor that it will still run great due to all these variances, a couple psi of boost is just another small unnoticed change to such an engine with such a conservative tune.

Whats happened so far:
In the last 15k miles I've had no real issues to relate. I love failures because they teach us what works and what doesn't. Nothing major so far, but, something at least
First thing that happened was, couple weeks ago at school the OEM oil pressure sender exploded, lol
l

This was really funny because I was wondering why it never worked from the beginning (I guess it was full of oil), and I actually had the fitting with me to fix this issue on the spot, as I had intended to put an actual oil pressure gauge there eventually anyways.


Next the window was going slow so I decided it was time to clean the drivers door out and re-grease the regulator and deal with the door lock (it was sticking)


bit by bit I wash the car everywhere, all the dust and dirt out.


Next I had a battery die on me (left headlights on, sigh), and then it wouldn't recharge! I Started looking through my HPtuner logs and it looks like the alternator is working however when I put my actual meter on the battery I would only get 12.6-12.8v
I could tell the alternator was "working some" because it was putting out more voltage than the battery did with the car off. So that was something at least.
Anyways, the short story is that it turns out the alternator was at it's limit, for being 25 years old I guess, plus having to deal with my increased current draw (lights/fans/pump).
I installed a new alternator (AC Delco) and it seems like it charges better than the original unit did. I also got a new battery for a 'clean slate' and I've been monitoring voltage- its been perfectly charged everytime (12.6-12.7 volts with engine off).
Here is the full details of alternator discussions:
https://forum.hptuners.com/showthread.php?72777-Strange-alternator-behavior-5-3L-swap


I've been too busy driving it like crazy to worry about fuel economy, so far my conservative estimates put city mileage around 18-20mpg and highway 23-25mpg. I think 26-27mpg is not out of the question.

Again don't get hung up on colors, its hue changed just for fun, and a little testing as the paint I used has a low warming/melting temperature and will start to run/smear if the temperature goes too high. This is one way to check and see if the temperature in those places (valve cover area especially) ever gets out of hand while I can't see it. I still have at least four shields to make to separate the turbine from the compressor and intake areas, and also some under the car to protect areas where I don't want debris or water splashing up. It also needs a couple panels and some brackets still, some finishing and edge protection (just a little rubber seam). I've yet to hide the wires at the back (its nice to have access to the CPS and starter solenoid wires atm). The wastegate route could also be cleaner. I'm going to run coolant to the gate soon as well.

Am driving it far more than working on it these days though. When summer courses almost finished hopefully I will have a couple weeks to get some of the major things done (A/C system especially is on my mind).
I've also been thinking about going to a 4.8L engine. I think if I can find a low mileage 4.8 I will put a cam/springs in that and keep it as a backup instead of a 5.3. the 4.8 should enjoy spinning to higher rpms easier and get a little tiny bit better economy as well. it won't be as good for towing though (shorter stroke and hopefully less rotating mass) luckily I don't have tow hitch so I won't notice


short of 1-2-3 cutout closed

Last edited by Kingtal0n; 11-18-2018 at 03:22 PM.
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