LQ4 in a 1971 Nova - LS1TECH



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LQ4 in a 1971 Nova

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Old 12-12-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default LQ4 in a 1971 Nova

UPDATE 1/27/14: She's finally running after the T56 swap to replace the 4L80e! See pages 20-21 for the goods.

UPDATE 12/14/10: Finally got her tuned and on a dyno. Best numbers (through a 4L80e, remember) were 414 whp and 373 wtq. And the thing actually drives like a car should! See post 148 for more info and a vid. Big ups to Nic D for the bang-up job he did.

UPDATE 9/20/10: I have uploaded a couple pics and videos of the 3" Pypes exhaust and rear suspension x-member with exhaust cutouts. See post 147.

UPDATE 3/15/10: I have made a notes file with various info I've compiled during the swap. Click the last link in my signature, or if that doesn't work, feel free to email me at tmwarren22@gmail.com and I can send it to you (it's too large to attach).

EDIT: You can access my photobucket album here. It's got sub-albums for everything I've done since graduation (May 07). Current build is in the 'LQx - Current Build' album.

I picked up an LQ4/4L80e setup from a wrecked 2001 Silverado 2500 last weekend with plans of tossing it into my '71 Nova. They've got a few miles on the clock, but the price was right and I got basically everything I need. I'll probably sell the 80e, but I'm on the fence on whether to go T56 or 4L60e. It's currently got a 350 and TH350 in it and runs high 12s on MT ET Street Radials, but that's not nearly quick enough. My goal is 11.500 at the track (don't want to 'cage it quite yet).

I'm tracking my expenses, and I'm trying to keep it around $5k, but I'm sure I'll go over that. The plan is to go with a stock bottom-end with either forged or stock-style flat-top .030 pistions, as-cast L92s, a healthy cam, and aftermarket intake with fuel injection. I plan on doing the wiring/ECM/tune myself, but we’ll see how I feel about that down the road.

Kudos to frojoe for laying out what he did on his '72..

Old 350 - good for 12s:


New LQ4 - good for mid-11s (fingers crossed):


And the car it’s going into:


After a few changes, not least of which includes some better wheels and tires (edited to better show the wheels):






What I got:




And here’s the wiring mess that I’ve got. Basically everything that was under the hood, including turn signals and the headlight harness. I’ll be spending plenty of time sorting things out:

Last edited by hookemdevils22; 01-27-2014 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:19 AM   #2
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cool! me likey! are you going to run it N/A or maybe a turbo or 2?
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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Why not use the 4l80e? They are stronger than the 4l60e.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
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Plan is N/A, although the stock -8cc pistons would allow me to run some boost later down the road...

And I'm not sure the 80e will fit w/o hacking the floorpan. I'll probably do a test fit if I sell my current setup soon to see where I'm at.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:34 AM   #5
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Hmm for some reason i thought the T56 was bigger than the 4l80e. To be honesty i dont really know anything about the automatic transmission though. You'll be more consistent with an auto and the auto would probably overall better for drag racing. So i've heard. First and only time ive been to the track i ran the 94 lt1/t56 5 times and every run was withinn .05 so i dunno. I think the 6 speeds are alot more fun to drive.

As for your goal, what rear end gears are you running? What size et street radials? how much does the car weigh? 11.5 is fast considering your car probably weighs around 3400lb right? An L92 heads and cam with should get you into the 10s but if you're going to keep it lower compression like 9.5:1 or so you're not going to make as much power. I think $5k is going to be a difficult budget unless you're not counting the engine and transmission.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:51 AM   #6
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Car weighs 3375 with me in it and 1/2 tank. It's got 3.90 gears with 255/60-15s (27" tall). The auto would be easier to do, since it's an auto car anyway. I've seen an LS2/T56 swap done on a '72 (same car basically), and there was a little fabbing done to accomodate the shifter. I've heard that the 80e takes some pounding/cutting of the floorboard and firewall to fit. Like I said, I'm going to mock it up before complete disassembly. I plan to do 11:1 flat-tops, but the stock 9.4:1 -8cc dished pistons would be good for boost down the road.

I've got a set of assembled L92 heads, so that's why I'm going that route. You're right, $5k is pretty iffy, but I'm building the engine myself, only leaving the machine work and balancing to the pros. I haven't factored in the trans either.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:03 AM   #7
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I'm not sure if you can use the stock oil pan on the nova but i know i ended up spending about $600 on my oil pan, and various gaskets for the install. Alot of things add up quickly

ATS plates - $125
energy suspension mounts - $60
Hooker ceramic long tubes - $650
camshaft - $400
pushrods - $100
moroso pan with deep sump pick up - $310
remote filter with various fittings - $130
new oil pump - $100
autozone pan gasket - $50
timing and front main gasket - $33
intake gasket - $30
head gaskets - $80 or so
arp bolts - $60 or so

Thats about $2200 not including the engine or any machine work or bottom end parts. Atleast what i used for my setup.


If you go with the Auto the 3.90s will work pretty good with 27" tires even the mt56 would work well with them. The car is pretty light as it is. You'll drop another 80bs with the ls1 engine (it looks like you have iron heads).
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:10 PM   #8
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We have many style of plates in stock.......
http://www.carshopinc.com/index.php/cPath/28_115

I also suggest the champ pan as a great option along with the moroso unit....
http://carshop.carshopinc.com/produc...d/81168/LS1PAN

i would sell the 80 but use your trans and but a little juice on her.... 10's easy....
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:22 PM   #9
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pm'ing
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:42 PM   #10
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Cool! I will be watching this thread closely so hopefull lots of pics???

Thanks
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:45 PM   #11
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haha I completely forgot about my thread since school has gotten all crazy.
just finished exams this week and am going back to vancouver in a couple days, so I'm gonna have lots of pics and work updates to do over the next 3 weeks!
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:07 PM   #12
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I'll be updating as I go:
http://s105.photobucket.com/albums/m...rrent%20Build/

hey, anyone have any idea why the driver's side bank would have a copper tint to the valvetrain and not the other?





vs.

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Old 12-12-2008, 06:12 PM   #13
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Hmm.. I said the oil and the heat would do that.. it is a know problem that #7 can run hot... so.. that may have caused the discoloration.. But it is normal for a alum block to get discolored like that.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #14
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that's what i was thinking. pulled everything but the short block, and there's no abnormal wear that i can see.

time to sell some things. unfortunately, the heads are iron (pre-2001), so i won't get much $$ from them. but i've got the truck pan, intake, tb, injectors, and maaaaaybe accessories to sell. they're dirty as hell, so i'm going to take them to my wor -- ahem, machine shop -- and clean them up.

i bought an f-body oil pan off a guy on here (thanks Tony), and I'm going to notch it accordingly. i'm also going to fab up a lift plate to bolt to the valley. i can't believe they're selling for $50+ -- it's two f'ing 3/16" plates welded together with holes drilled in them.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:13 PM   #15
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Well, the 350/TH350 have been a hard sell, but the trans is gone this weekend. I'm pulling them now, and will swap my front suspension to QA1 coilovers so I can put on the new 215/60-15 tires and rims. The oil pan is being notched by a fabricator buddy of mine, and I got the lift plate done (total cost: about $15 for the metal). Not much else to report, on account of the holiday season and all.

I used this schematic to notch the f-body pan (thank you 67RSCamaroVette). One thing that I must add is that you can torch the pickup tube to straighten it to clear the notch (as opposed to S&P's method, which adds material to lengthen it). EDIT: I ended up lengthening the tube about 1 1/4".

Lift plate:

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Old 01-07-2009, 11:23 PM   #16
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wish i had a nice lift pate instead of a chain
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:26 PM   #17
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Looking great, I really like that car
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:29 PM   #18
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x2 on the lift plate, I need to learn how to weld!!
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:08 PM   #19
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i'm not so privvy to welding, but it helps to know the right people! and having access to a giant machine shop doesn't hurt.

Update: F-body oil pan is out being notched. I pulled the motor and trans, and removed the front shocks/springs for a QA1 coilover setup. I'm going to press out the front wheel studs now and install longer ones due to my new centerlines.

The plan is to use the 80e as-is (100k miles, eh), install a higher-stall converter, and rebuild the engine. I'll pull the rotating assembly and converter, then install the f-body pan, motor mounts, and tranny and drop the assembly in to see how everything will fit before taking the engine to B&B in Mesa to be machined. 68Nova told me he didn't have any problems with the '80e in his 68 ChevyII, so I'm optimistic. I've just gotta move my front driveshaft safety loop back to accomidate the longer trans. I'll update with pics as I go.
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:43 AM   #20
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The 4L80 should fit as it is based on the TH-400 design. Have you tried it yet?
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1971, 1971nova, 2000ls1, 72, cams, chevelle, ecm, front, lift, longer, lq4, minitub, nova, power, schematic, snout, suspension, swap, wiring

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