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LT1-LT4 Modifications
1993-97 Gen II Small Block V8

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Old 09-16-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
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Default Time to rebuild the turbo LT1 . . .

Well I bought this 97 LT1 with the turbo already installed and all that great stuff, I had a ton of fun with it for a while. I had more money than brains and when I went for a ride I just “had to have it”. Sigh. . .

Well finally it happened, something in the transmission broke. Now it’s time to make it mine and I can proudly say “I built this”.

I was “Told” It’s a forged 355 2 bolt main. It has a custom ground cam from comp cams, and a few other goodies I know nothing about. It also recently developed some lifter tick that would not go away even after the valves where adjusted properly.

My budget is flexible for now, I want to build it over time and build it right. There is ALLOT of half assed stuff on this car. I want to buy parts used when I can to save me as much money as possible but we will see how that goes. I want to sell the current turbo piping (hot & cold) to get enough money to pay for the V-Band clamps and some material.


What I plan on doing.


I might take it to the track a few times but this will mainly be a street weekend warrior.

I plan to pull the motor/transmission and front suspension. I will go through the motor and see how it looks and replace any worn parts and/or seals. I was getting a bit of smoke when starting hot after sitting 20/30 minutes.

I would like to get a BMR LT1 K-member, with a new rack & pinion. I’m not too sure what rack I should get. Any suggestion would be appreciated. I want to ditch the power steering.

If I read the turbo right it looks like it’s a small 67mm turbo. . . My power goals are around 600RWP. I was told by the PO that he dyno’d at 597RWP @ 15PSI with the current setup on E85. I plan to keep the RPM no more than 6k in an attempt to make the motor last. From the looks of it the PO was spinning it up to 7k as that is when the shift light comes on.

This car was OBD II but has been converted to the OBD I computer. I plan to stick with that for now. I purchased an OBD 1 cable from OBD Diagnostics, Inc with the 16 pin connector. I never was able to get it to read anything. It sat at “reading PCM” and never loaded anything, I let it sit for an hour once and still nothing. Tried a few different programs and still nothing.

I’m still on the wall about removing the AC and heater. I could care less about a few tenths at the track, but the room it leaves under the hood would be nice. If I did remove it I would then pull the entire interior and strip as much weight out as possible, basically go all out or not at all. I would have carpet a hollowed out dash and 2 light weight seats that is all.


The work begins this weekend hopefully. I’m sure I’ll be asking a bunch of questions

Broke down.
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On the jack ready for work!
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The rain is keeping me from working on the damn car. The washes where running and my damn carport turned to mud. . .
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:45 PM   #2
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Nice find can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:22 AM   #3
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I managed to get my hands dirty yesterday. Pulled the driveshaft and messed around with the torque arm. . .

Iím going to redesign the entire system with a much better layout. Right now it has the stock radiator in the stock location the turbo is right in front of the driver side head and sucking the hot air that just passed through the radiator. Nothing is wrapped or coated to retain the heat, but it does have a turbo blanket. The headers are not flat and leaked allowing fumes to enter the cab when using the AC so it was never used.

Some of the exhaust parts passed by unprotected fuel lines as well as right by the oil pan. I changed the oil out every 1500/2000 miles.


I apologies for the crappy cell pics but itís all I have currently.

Looks like I have an aluminum driveshaft from AAM Three Rivers.
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Currently this is how the system is designed. . .
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:40 AM   #4
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I have the cable you need!!

PM me if your interested
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:41 AM   #5
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Looks like my car with the exception my turbo is butt mounted. Look forward to see this car done. Time is your fiend and taking it slow can reap its benfits in the long run.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96TransAmboosted View Post
Looks like my car with the exception my turbo is butt mounted. Look forward to see this car done. Time is your fiend and taking it slow can reap its benfits in the long run.



I plan to take it 1 step at a time and be fairly slow about it so I don’t overlook anything or get tempted to halfass anything. This will be my first big project and really looking forward to it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
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so the engine is fine, just the trans is the issue? why not just change the trans? I wouldn't tear into that motor if you don't have to...
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:13 PM   #8
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so the engine is fine, just the trans is the issue? why not just change the trans? I wouldn't tear into that motor if you don't have to...
Just a trans thing, I think I killed my second clutch fork. . .


I have fairly loud valve chatter I cannot eliminate and it just started eating coolant. If Iím going to have it disconnected and out of the car on a stand I might as well replace any and all seals I can get to easily as a preventative thing. I donít want to put it back in and down the road 10k miles have oil leaking all over the place because I didnít replace a few seals.

I also would like to know what parts where used and whether or not it has everything I was told it had(355 with all forged internals).
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #9
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Well allot has happened sense I last touched the Camaro. It sat on jack stands for about a month during the rainy season, and then I lost interest.

Well now I have moved, married, and bought a house. . . Sweet! Finally I’m motivated and getting back at it.


The coolant problem turned out to be a leaky hose.

Moving it into the garage, covered in bird poop and twigs.


I went with 2.25 exhaust tubing this time so new couplers where in order.


Testing my Harbor freight 90 flux welder, Lincoln wire and tips made a huge difference in how good this thing welds, even though its still an ugly *** weld.


My biggest problem with this project was trying to cut the exhaust tubing. I had a chop saw, but it was LOUD, dirty as hell, and produced ugly cuts. So I made a stand for my HF Porta Band. Again, cheap hand tool and quality blades. This thing made life so easy!


Building the passenger side manifold. It did not turn out anywhere close to what I wanted, but it should work. . .










Ran into some clearance issues.




The crossover pipe.


Then I built a plate to compress round tubing into oval tubing for better access.


Starting on the driver side header.




There was a rather large gap here so I flattened out some of the exhaust tubing scrap and wrapped it around to fill in the gap.




Starting to weld everything up. Boy has the HF special shown its ugly head here. I cant get a nice looking weld to save my life. Still need to plumb in the last exhaust port and then I should be ready to test fit for turbo placement.


That's all I have for now. I;m looking forward to finishing the plumbing and welding so I can hear it start up Saturday, I'm planning on getting this thing on the road by the end of the month.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:01 PM   #10
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Cool build, subscribed so I can watch your progress.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:24 PM   #11
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Looking good so far despite the HF welder. Unfortunately the saying 'you get what you pay for' comes into play. I had a very similar idea on a turbo setup for my car. But unfortunately i wont be able to afford that build. Goodluck with your goal of the end of the month.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:13 PM   #12
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Cool looking build, I look forward to seeing more
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:50 AM   #13
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Looking good man, you made the right choice to tear it down.

When buying used, unfortunately you rarely get exactly what you think you do.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:57 PM   #14
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Looking good man, you made the right choice to tear it down.

When buying used, unfortunately you rarely get exactly what you think you do.
Quote for life. That's why you have to get a great deal to make it worthwhile.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:03 AM   #15
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Well lets update an old thread!

A while back someone stole my Jeep so that motivated me to get the Camaro running asap! I didn't take to many pictures but here are the few I took.

I finished up the hotside with the Harbor freight welder. I spent a LONG time cleaning everything because of all the splatter and crap!


I finished off the manifolds and mounted the turbo. I moved it further forward and up a little higher so I would get better clearance and oil drain back. So I bought a 90į silicone coupler.




I had to move the fan to the front of the radiator and reverse the wiring so now its a pusher, it works good, but its winter and I havent charged the AC yet.




I needed as much clearance as possible so I made a 90 for the pressure side. Also a pic of the crossover.




Test fitting everything on the car.










I was happy with the fitment so I sand blasted everything cleaned them thoroughly and painted them.



While it was apart I was tired of looking at the grey worn out looking plastic that was supposed to be black. So i took it off scrubbed it with alcohol, a scotch bright and hit it with some paint, looks great now!





I managed to get it all back together and running. It ran great! For a while. . . Then it developed some exhaust leaks, then the fuel pump went out, and the power steering leaks all over the place. . . damn!!!

So now its sitting in the garage dead again.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:36 PM   #16
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Glad you are back working on it.

The difficult part is done, looks like you just have typical LT1 gremlins to work out now .
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2012 Metallic Spark Black ZX-14R Ninja: 2nd trip ever: 9.8 @ 152 w/ worlds slowest 1.98 60'. ONLY Mods=Rear sprocket,~1.5" drop, strapped, slip-ons...stock motor down to paper filter, Stock wheelbase, etc. Mid 9's in it as-is once I can get the 60' down...
*RIP Sikora, You will be missed!*
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:36 PM
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