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LS1 + T56 + C4 = Good times!

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Old 10-20-2009, 11:43 PM
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Default LS1 + T56 + C4 = Good times!

Now, it occurred to me a couple years ago that some of the modern performance cars (C4s, C5s, C6s, newer F-bodies etc) just don't scare you the way old muscle cars did or do. Largely because of sound deadener and better suspension, you just don't get that: "I'm gonna die" feeling anymore (adrenaline). This project is about going back to basics. No creature comforts. Deleted radio, sound deadening, HVAC, power windows/mirrors and almost anything else that doesn't help it go faster.

I've always liked Corvettes for there well designed chassis, light weight, brakes, etc.. etc.. So, when I realized early C4s were getting cheap, and old/worn enough that I wouldn't mind stripping one down I started seriously shopping.

I have High Speed Auto-crossed (one solo timed lap on an open road course) an 02 Z28. I love the LS1 and T56! But it has some inherent deficiencies, and I just didn't want to diminish its street car status. Time for a purpose built, lighter, better chassis to put an LS1 T56 in.

The car I ended up with was an 84 that already had an LS1 swapped in. I'm told this car was put together around 2001. When I got it though, someone had swapped out a built LS1 for a stock 98 LS1, backed it with a 4L60E, but it was a non running basket case.

The good news was it already had a stand alone harness, C5 accessories (except the balancer...), C5 seats, newer black interior, C5 Z06 rims, Konis, good springs/sway bars, and upgraded brakes.


Again, with my less is more, street legal race car build theme, some of the parts (4L60-E, C5 seats, Z06 wheels) went up for sale and the transformation began. Then it stalled for a while, life got in the way, but I'm back on it again.

I put 17x11s all around, and have mostly disassemble the HVAC, deleted most of the interior, power locks/mirrors, and cut out a lot of unused wiring. I picked up a nice aluminum, laser cut dash w Auto-meters gauges. It definitely works w the street legal race car theme, and allowed me to ditch alot of the interior plastics.

I'm not real proud of these photos, as it is a work in progress. Complete with messy garage and parts piled on the car (don't worry I have the carpets on the roof protecting it). But I thought some of you would get a kick out of it, and I wanted to prove I actually have this project I keep talking about.

I don't know why the previous owner painted the valve covers blue, but they will go gray or black soon.


I'm thinking carpet delete and fabricated door panels. Pretty much all business and flat black inside. I may black out the dash, but it is so pretty...



I also removed the Hooker shorty headers it came with as I intend to go with Melrose Header's long tube headers built for LS1 swapped C4s.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:47 PM
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Right now, I'm continuing disassembly. I plan to remove the LS1, inspect it, and clean up some engine bay issues (scary fuel and brake lines). I have an under-drive balancer to put on that will work with the C5 accessories. It currently sports an F-body balancer, and the accessories are spaced out from the block (w buts and washers...) to make everything line up.

It is hard to measure things now as it is pretty crowded. I also want to check the position of the engine to see if it offset (front to rear or side to side) appropriately. Because this was an early swap, simple adaptor engine mount brackets were not used. In stead some metal was welded in and C5 stands were used. I'll post op some pics of that when I get the engine out.

Here are some more engine pics:





Gratuitous (subtle) Z28 shot!
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:46 AM
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Who wants to see some scary stuff?

This had a complete drive line when I received it (though non-running). The ebay add said it just needs a battery and spark plugs to run... yeah right!
Anyway, I took the trans out a while back and left the drive-shaft hanging. Last night I went to take out the DS and saw this:

No strap on one side!! Had I got it running... I'm pretty sure the LS1 would have snapped this u-joint off and... big problems.

But that is not all. This I knew about, but last night I tore it out:


1st of all, why the external fuel pump when the car comes with an in tank FI pump?

Yes, that is hose clamped, spliced in braided line!
Yes, that is inner-tube wrapped around and hose clamped to the pump.

Not to mention this is mounted just behind the rear end. It was held in with 3 sheet metal screws that were literally finger tight! And the atrocity that was the multi-spliced wiring...

Best part is they cut the factory hard line, so now I'm not sure what I will do. I wish it was in tact as it is nice, safe, and reliable. I may just run a push-lock line all the way up, but the factory stuff would have been my preference. Any idea where I could get a replacement factory line?

I have a Racetronix kit to put in tank. I hope the factory pump and assembly is still in place in the tank.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:11 AM
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Looks like a fun project.. Ah the joys of ebay finds eh? Those fuel lines are pretty scary.. I'm using C4 suspension parts for my build, you might want to go thru your bits that hold the top A-arms on, I think I see one of the spherical spacers in backwards..
Attached Thumbnails LS1 + T56 + C4 = Good times!-dscn4001.jpg  

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Old 10-25-2009, 04:09 PM
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Ha, yeah, I see what u r saying.
Good catch!
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:06 AM
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I would be curious what your final weight is. Are you running the Dana36 or Dana44?

Should be a fun car. The C4 can gobble up lots of tire.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:11 AM
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When I'm done I plan to corner scale it. I'll try to do the same with my dad's nice, stock 84 to see what the difference is.

And yes, the 315s fit pretty well up front. It is a big selling point for me.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:20 AM
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I'm doing a 87 right now, 6.0 / T56. Slow going as I don't have much time to put to it
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by subtlez28 View Post

It is hard to measure things now as it is pretty crowded. I also want to check the position of the engine to see if it offset (front to rear or side to side) appropriately. Because this was an early swap, simple adaptor engine mount brackets were not used. In stead some metal was welded in and C5 stands were used. I'll post op some pics of that when I get the engine out.
In relation to the stock placement, that engine is lower, further forward, and moved towards the driver side. I had my engine in and out quite a few times and anywhere you put it is a compromise. I think they probably put it in like that for heater clearance. You probably don't care about that so I think you have the right idea to move it.

Hopefully I will get my project off the back burner this winter. I have a half finished trans mount for the 4l60e, and I had the engine placement all figured out. But it has been so long, I am not sure if I remember what my plans were

Anyway, it is good to see you are still working on it.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:56 AM
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Thanks, it is hard to know how it is changed from stock as I got it modified.

I assumed it was lower. So the stock engine mounts offset to the passenger side? At 1st I actually thought the engine was offset to driver's side, but it appears to be centered. That is probably ideal.

How do you know it is moved forward? How far forward do you think it is?
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by subtlez28
Who wants to see some scary stuff?
Gee, thanks man, I didn't sleep at all the night you posted that!

OK, seriously, it's a sweet-looking car from the outside, & I'm sure that by the time you're done with it, it'll be kickin' butt & not even bothering with names... Cool project man, it's good to (finally ) see pics of it, I'm looking forward to watching it come together!

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by subtlez28 View Post
Thanks, it is hard to know how it is changed from stock as I got it modified.

I assumed it was lower. So the stock engine mounts offset to the passenger side? At 1st I actually thought the engine was offset to driver's side, but it appears to be centered. That is probably ideal.

How do you know it is moved forward? How far forward do you think it is?
Yeah, the stock mounts put the engine significantly further towards the passenger side. The trans mount that was on your car (the one you included with the pedal trade we did last winter) moves the output shaft over ~2 inches, so that might have had something to do with that placement choice as well. The LS1 has to be mounted further forward in the C4 because the head interferes with the firewall. I have some pictures of my engine resting on the stock mounts that I can send your way. I had it further back than yours because I was hoping to use the speedhound mounts, but the 4l60e trans was hitting the tunnel. I am going to mount mine a little closer to where yours is, but probably not quite that far forward.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jmarek78 View Post
Yeah, the stock mounts put the engine significantly further towards the passenger side. The trans mount that was on your car (the one you included with the pedal trade we did last winter) moves the output shaft over ~2 inches, so that might have had something to do with that placement choice as well. The LS1 has to be mounted further forward in the C4 because the head interferes with the firewall. I have some pictures of my engine resting on the stock mounts that I can send your way. I had it further back than yours because I was hoping to use the speedhound mounts, but the 4l60e trans was hitting the tunnel. I am going to mount mine a little closer to where yours is, but probably not quite that far forward.


Actually I got my LS1 sitting further back than the original TPI motor by quite a bit with no space issues. I can now fit a turbo in front of the motor if I wanted (thinking about it). Yea, it sits more to the passenger side, weight offset so ok with me

I'm using the corvette oil pan and corvette access.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by black87c4 View Post
Actually I got my LS1 sitting further back than the original TPI motor by quite a bit with no space issues. I can now fit a turbo in front of the motor if I wanted (thinking about it). Yea, it sits more to the passenger side, weight offset so ok with me

I'm using the corvette oil pan and corvette access.
Weird. I had mine slammed against the firewall and the trans still had to come forward to meet the engine. Unless you're speaking in terms of the front of the engine? In any case, do you have pictures online anywhere?
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jmarek78 View Post
Weird. I had mine slammed against the firewall and the trans still had to come forward to meet the engine. Unless you're speaking in terms of the front of the engine? In any case, do you have pictures online anywhere?
I'll try and find some, i've actually moved it forward just a little again as of late. I think it's current position the shifter on the T56 lines up better. The motor is out again as I put the clutch on it, I was playing with the pedals, boy what I pain in the $#%@#. Mine was an auto before, after two back surgeries it's not easy getting under the dash
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gnx7 View Post
I would be curious what your final weight is. Are you running the Dana36 or Dana44?

Should be a fun car. The C4 can gobble up lots of tire.
What is your educated guess on what you think your final weight will be,I was thinking it may be in the 2900 lb range.Have you weighed the deleted items, that would give us a better idea what it going to weigh.It may be very well , much under that guess!Definitely lightweight road racer
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:08 PM
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I'm shooting for under 3000 pounds. I am guessing 2900 also.

The car was modded when I got it so I haven't weighed everything I've taken off. My plan is to corner scale it and my dad's clean, stock 84. Then I will have an accurate comparison.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:10 AM
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I got to work on the C4 last night and again today. One great thing about C4s... they are easy to pull an engine out of! I was worried about going after it without an extra set of hands, but, no problem.


Getting the LS1 out of the way will allow me to clean up the engine bay some, and more importantly, go through some questionable mods.

The front brake lines are kind of a mess, since I received the car modded, I don't know how they looked stock, but I'm not happy w how they sit.


It also let me get a good look at the sections welded in to run the C5 mounts. They are partially bolted together (along with a weak, and now broken weld). I'm open for input here. Start over? Fix this?


Oh, and lets not forget the fuel lines I am so fond of...



More troubling news on that front... The hot wire for the fuel pump relay (for the external pump covered earlier) was run along the fuel lines! Zip tied nearly 100 times, but still managed to be chafed to bare wire! Am I being nit-picky again, or does running a power wire physically attached to the fuel lines strike others as a bad idea? You can see it in the pic, its the one without the weather pack connections, kinda just dangling there. It ran (past tense, gone now) all the way from the firewall to the tank. Though it changes color and wire type at a crimp slice 1/2 way.

Today was a mix of good progress and heartache. I rolled it outside and pressure washed the grime from the engine compartment.

I noticed some fuel was dripping from the return line (the pressure line is disconnected over the diff-where the external pump was). So when I rolled it back in the garage I put a pan under it as I assumed it was just the fuel in the line (it had been sitting nose up for so long). I even used a big antifreeze pan to be safe... WRONG! Apparently a lot of fuel can siphon from the return line. I smelled gas in the house... ah oh.. Go into the garage to find gas all over the floor.

I did a lot of cleaning up with the hose, but the smell lingers. Luckily most of the area effected was clear, but some boxes and wood blocks got tossed. I wonder how long the smell will last.

Back to good news, Classic Tube sells a complete fuel line. Though I imagine I will have to drop the tank and rear suspension to install it. They also offer brake lines.

HELP WANTED:
Does anyone have pics of a stock 84 engine compartment without an engine? I'm wondering how the factory fuel and brake lines route, and terminate. I'm also curious how the old SBC mounts, and how my cross member has been modded.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by subtlez28 View Post
I got to work on the C4 last night and again today. One great thing about C4s... they are easy to pull an engine out of! I was worried about going after it without an extra set of hands, but, no problem.


Getting the LS1 out of the way will allow me to clean up the engine bay some, and more importantly, go through some questionable mods.

The front brake lines are kind of a mess, since I received the car modded, I don't know how they looked stock, but I'm not happy w how they sit.


It also let me get a good look at the sections welded in to run the C5 mounts. They are partially bolted together (along with a weak, and now broken weld). I'm open for input here. Start over? Fix this?


Oh, and lets not forget the fuel lines I am so fond of...



More troubling news on that front... The hot wire for the fuel pump relay (for the external pump covered earlier) was run along the fuel lines! Zip tied nearly 100 times, but still managed to be chafed to bare wire! Am I being nit-picky again, or does running a power wire physically attached to the fuel lines strike others as a bad idea? You can see it in the pic, its the one without the weather pack connections, kinda just dangling there. It ran (past tense, gone now) all the way from the firewall to the tank. Though it changes color and wire type at a crimp slice 1/2 way.

Today was a mix of good progress and heartache. I rolled it outside and pressure washed the grime from the engine compartment.

I noticed some fuel was dripping from the return line (the pressure line is disconnected over the diff-where the external pump was). So when I rolled it back in the garage I put a pan under it as I assumed it was just the fuel in the line (it had been sitting nose up for so long). I even used a big antifreeze pan to be safe... WRONG! Apparently a lot of fuel can siphon from the return line. I smelled gas in the house... ah oh.. Go into the garage to find gas all over the floor.

I did a lot of cleaning up with the hose, but the smell lingers. Luckily most of the area effected was clear, but some boxes and wood blocks got tossed. I wonder how long the smell will last.

Back to good news, Classic Tube sells a complete fuel line. Though I imagine I will have to drop the tank and rear suspension to install it. They also offer brake lines.

HELP WANTED:
Does anyone have pics of a stock 84 engine compartment without an engine? I'm wondering how the factory fuel and brake lines route, and terminate. I'm also curious how the old SBC mounts, and how my cross member has been modded.
Whoa, am I seeing the engine mount was on the small cross braces?? That will never hold up. Do you need to see an unmodified engine bay? I can snap a couple pics of my 87 as my engine is also out now, it's just sitting hanging on the cherry picker. For clearance you'll likely have to cut the front crossmember just a tad to clear the crank pully.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by black87c4 View Post
Whoa, am I seeing the engine mount was on the small cross braces?? That will never hold up. Do you need to see an unmodified engine bay? I can snap a couple pics of my 87 as my engine is also out now, it's just sitting hanging on the cherry picker. For clearance you'll likely have to cut the front crossmember just a tad to clear the crank pully.
Yes, the mounts do attach to the cross braces. And, yes, they are coming apart. They do have some gussets though. If you look close, it is the gussets that are coming apart.

I would really appreciate some pics of the engine bay!

As far as clearance for the crank pulley... This was a running swap at one time. It was running with a different LS1. When the last owner stripped out the built engine, he replaced it w a stock 98 F-body LS1. The crank pulley does touch now. He ran the stock f-body pulley and spaced out the C5 accessories. Anyway, I have an under-drive C5 pulley that I hope will eliminate that issue.
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