1987 Chevette LS1 swap - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

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1987 Chevette LS1 swap

 
Old 02-28-2019, 12:53 PM
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Default 1987 Chevette LS1 swap

So I've decided to do another Chevette build on post my progress on here. I put a 355 sbc in a 80 Chevette a few years back and I regret selling that car. Not sure what it is about a nice Chevette, but I like them. LOL. Here's a few pics of my last one I built. It had a 355 with a TH350 trans, Ford 8.8 rear with ladder bars and a front brake conversion I came up with to convert to 5 X 4 3/4 bolt pattern.








A few weeks ago I went down to North Carolina to pick up this gem for cheap, a 1987 Chevette with only very minor surface rust. The plan for this car is a LS1 and 4L60E trans, Ford 8.8 and a 4 link. I also plan to minitub this car.



It's been awhile since it's been on the road.

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Old 02-28-2019, 01:00 PM
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My first order of business was to repair the sheet metal around the striker bolt. Car has bad door pins so this is the cause if trying to slam the door shut over the years I assume. I still need to change out the pins, but I got the quarter fixed anyways.













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Old 02-28-2019, 01:17 PM
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I split the floor along the pinch weld and welded in some 2X3 box tube frame connectors. I'm still waiting for my 4 link crossmember so I can weld that in and finish tying in the rear.







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Old 02-28-2019, 08:20 PM
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I love fast quirky cars
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:29 AM
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Nice. I’ll be following along.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:56 AM
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The plan for the rear is to split the inner wheeltubs and move them in about 3". Then I should be able to fit the tires I bought. 15X10 Weld Draglites with a M/T 275/50R15.





I also got my engine and trans last night so hopefully I can start test fitting this weekend and figure out what needs to be moved.

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Old 03-01-2019, 08:49 AM
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Awesome im subscribing! Would you happen to have any pictures of the underside during the frame rail install?

Also, what 4 link kit are you going to use, and do you plan to keep factory fuel tank?
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 01cherryreds10 View Post
Awesome im subscribing! Would you happen to have any pictures of the underside during the frame rail install?

Also, what 4 link kit are you going to use, and do you plan to keep factory fuel tank?
I can get some pictures tonight from the underside to show how the 2X3 connects to the front. I bought a Chris Alston's chassisworks crossmember mounted pro street 4 link. I want to keep it a low profile because I want to try to keep the back seat. We'll see how that goes I guess. I'm undecided on the tank. I want to buy a new tank and narrow it because I really don't want a fuel cell in the hatch.


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Old 03-01-2019, 07:12 PM
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My plan was to go ladder bars on my next setup but I’m curious what you didn’t like about them or why they ride poorly? I don’t have any experience with 4 link or ladder bars and you’ve got me contemplating going with that setup you’re using.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:01 PM
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4-links are a somewhat decent setup for the street, ladder bars are NOT.
Two ladder bars are welded to the rear axle and pivot at their front end, effectively making the axle and bars a large fixed assembly, hinged at the forward end to the chassis under the middle of the car. VERY inflexible, only good for straight-ahead traction and nothing else.
Four-link setups are a lot more flexible and allow for suspension compliance, while still allowing for good traction, depending on how the geometry is set up. Most 4-links are very adjustable for that

Last edited by G Atsma; 03-02-2019 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by sbauerz28 View Post
I can get some pictures tonight from the underside to show how the 2X3 connects to the front. I bought a Chris Alston's chassisworks crossmember mounted pro street 4 link. I want to keep it a low profile because I want to try to keep the back seat. We'll see how that goes I guess. I'm undecided on the tank. I want to buy a new tank and narrow it because I really don't want a fuel cell in the hatch.
sweet man thanks. Not going to lie the past couple of days I've been considering doing a 4 link also and selling off the Australia torque arm. The pic of the 275s in the wheel wells has inspired me lol
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Romulus22 View Post
My plan was to go ladder bars on my next setup but Iím curious what you didnít like about them or why they ride poorly? I donít have any experience with 4 link or ladder bars and youíve got me contemplating going with that setup youíre using.
what was said above about axle articulation is dead on. With the ladder bats you could almost jack up one rear tire and the other side would pick up. Not good for street driving. One day I went around a corner alittle fast and I could feel the inner rear tire come off the ground. For a dedicated drag car they would be fine but there no fun on the street.
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:10 PM
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Hereís a couple pictures of the frame connectors from the underside. Itís alittle dirty still. Iím not going to worry about paint until all the fab work is done. I also drilled holes in the pinch welds and plug welded the pinch weld to the frame connector.




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Old 03-02-2019, 07:18 PM
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I got the engine and trans fitted today. Iím moving the firewall back about 4Ē. The f body pan will work just fine with the engine set back. It actually helps with clearance around the rack because the front of the pan is so shallow.







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Old 03-02-2019, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by sbauerz28 View Post

what was said above about axle articulation is dead on. With the ladder bats you could almost jack up one rear tire and the other side would pick up. Not good for street driving. One day I went around a corner alittle fast and I could feel the inner rear tire come off the ground. For a dedicated drag car they would be fine but there no fun on the street.
thats almost how my car is now with the anti roll bar I have installed.
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:05 AM
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Picking up some metal today on my way home from work. Got to work on building some motor and trans mounts. I'm also getting some sheet metal. I have some work to do on the firewall. I'm not looking forward to building an exhaust.




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Old 03-04-2019, 10:44 AM
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Not wasting any time chopping into it. The exhaust is the only reason I’ll never swap another Chevette.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:29 AM
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I swear I've been going back and fourth over the past few days were I'm going to mount the engine. I move it forward an inch, back an inch, up, down. It's a tight fit and everything is a compromise from foot room, header clearance and rack clearance. I think I have it were I want it now and hope to have the mounts done by the end of this weekend.








I made some plates that bolt to the engine so I can build mounts off of these. I want to move the mounts as far forward on the block as I can.



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Old 03-08-2019, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Romulus22 View Post
Not wasting any time chopping into it. The exhaust is the only reason Iíll never swap another Chevette.
The guy I sold my last Chevette too took it to the next level. He had Auto Weld build him a complete new front clip and rear clip. It fixed the exhaust problem. LOL






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Old 03-08-2019, 09:44 AM
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Have you given a motor plate any consideration? I'm doing that on mine seems to be the easiest solution. If you have the firewall cut out makes mounting a mid plate easier too
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