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Rant about wiring, please read

Old 07-26-2008, 03:56 PM
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yeah as far as gm making them with cooling fins is for exactly the reasons stated above and that is because the are sitting in a very hot engine bay with very little air circulation. If the cabin got anywhere near as hot as the engine bay, the glue on door panels would fail, the plastic would melt or warp and everything would discolor like carpet and vinyl. Like I said there is room all over the place to mount a pcm. Ive seen installs with the MEFI4 pcm mounted on the firewall and that computer is like 5" square so there is no reason to mount it out in the open. I can understand if youre a bit larger than average or you have a physical problem that makes it tough to get under a dash (like me right now) but once a pcm is in place there is almost never a need to get to the pcm on a regular basis, pcms dont have a service schedule so its not necessary to design it with instant accessibilty in mind. If you buy a prebuilt harness you can order them in custom lengths so the pcm can be installed anywhere. Case in point was a 49 chevy pickup we did with an LQ9 swap. Our customer wanted to just have a harness ordered instead of us modifying it due to our labor to modify a stock harness was almost dead even with buying a premade custom length harness. The customer did not want a single hole in the firewall at all, he had a frame mounted master cylinder hidden wiper motor ect. Well we figured if we couldnt punch a hole in the firewall we would have to come up with a solution since the engine was the only thing he wanted to be seen with the hood up. We had him get a harness long enough that we could route it over the top of the transmission and punch a hole in the floor under the seats. We ran the wiring through a grommet and mounted the fuel pump relay, start relay and the fuse panel under the seat and built a cover for all of it so you wouldnt even see it under the chair. It worked out awesome and you cant see the harness ANYWHERE except at the injectors. Even the wiring for the front lights was hidden, we ran the wiring for the headlights parks and fan along the inside of the wheelwells stapped up in place with clamps bolted to the fander bolts. This way you could not see wiring anywhere in the engine bay and Ill tell you that the finished product looked VERY clean and showed off the detail done to the engine without any ugly distractions anywhere else. Chip Foose said it best when he described the engine compartment like a ring in a box. When you open the box you want the jewelery to be the center of attention not everything around it. Wiring and computers and heater hoses that are 3 feet too long just take away from the engine which I think with a little detailing looks very pretty. A comment was made earlier that lengthening a harness is too much work, I say would you be ok with a driveshaft that was too short? No you would make sure that it was correct in length even if that means modifying it too fit. Electrical is no different, you should make sure it fits correctly and isnt hacked up. Problem is nobody thinks that being able to wire correctly is important normally its because if you do it right you dont see it. I joke alot about the fact that if I do my job right nobody can see the quality of the work but thats the point. Welding is another area where alot of people just deal with a shotty job instead of doing it correctly. Look in the DIY turbo sections and look at the qaulity of welds on most projects. They are all boogered up and I couldnt see the thing lasted more than a few hundred miles. Thats the thing that Im complaining about though and its the mindset that youre gonna do everything yourself even if the end result is ugly, non functional or unsafe or all three just to say you did it yourself. There is no pride in painting your car and it be orangepeeled and flawed just to say you did it yourself. Either practice more or have a pro do it before doing it on your favorite car. More or less I just wish that guys put a little more time into these aspects of a build instead of some of the more rediculous parts that do absolutely nothing for the safety or reliabilty of the car.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by matty b View Post
yeah as far as gm making them with cooling fins is for exactly the reasons stated above and that is because the are sitting in a very hot engine bay with very little air circulation. If the cabin got anywhere near as hot as the engine bay, the glue on door panels would fail, the plastic would melt or warp and everything would discolor like carpet and vinyl. Like I said there is room all over the place to mount a pcm. Ive seen installs with the MEFI4 pcm mounted on the firewall and that computer is like 5" square so there is no reason to mount it out in the open. I can understand if youre a bit larger than average or you have a physical problem that makes it tough to get under a dash (like me right now) but once a pcm is in place there is almost never a need to get to the pcm on a regular basis, pcms dont have a service schedule so its not necessary to design it with instant accessibilty in mind. If you buy a prebuilt harness you can order them in custom lengths so the pcm can be installed anywhere. Case in point was a 49 chevy pickup we did with an LQ9 swap. Our customer wanted to just have a harness ordered instead of us modifying it due to our labor to modify a stock harness was almost dead even with buying a premade custom length harness. The customer did not want a single hole in the firewall at all, he had a frame mounted master cylinder hidden wiper motor ect. Well we figured if we couldnt punch a hole in the firewall we would have to come up with a solution since the engine was the only thing he wanted to be seen with the hood up. We had him get a harness long enough that we could route it over the top of the transmission and punch a hole in the floor under the seats. We ran the wiring through a grommet and mounted the fuel pump relay, start relay and the fuse panel under the seat and built a cover for all of it so you wouldnt even see it under the chair. It worked out awesome and you cant see the harness ANYWHERE except at the injectors. Even the wiring for the front lights was hidden, we ran the wiring for the headlights parks and fan along the inside of the wheelwells stapped up in place with clamps bolted to the fander bolts. This way you could not see wiring anywhere in the engine bay and Ill tell you that the finished product looked VERY clean and showed off the detail done to the engine without any ugly distractions anywhere else. Chip Foose said it best when he described the engine compartment like a ring in a box. When you open the box you want the jewelery to be the center of attention not everything around it. Wiring and computers and heater hoses that are 3 feet too long just take away from the engine which I think with a little detailing looks very pretty. A comment was made earlier that lengthening a harness is too much work, I say would you be ok with a driveshaft that was too short? No you would make sure that it was correct in length even if that means modifying it too fit. Electrical is no different, you should make sure it fits correctly and isnt hacked up. Problem is nobody thinks that being able to wire correctly is important normally its because if you do it right you dont see it. I joke alot about the fact that if I do my job right nobody can see the quality of the work but thats the point. Welding is another area where alot of people just deal with a shotty job instead of doing it correctly. Look in the DIY turbo sections and look at the qaulity of welds on most projects. They are all boogered up and I couldnt see the thing lasted more than a few hundred miles. Thats the thing that Im complaining about though and its the mindset that youre gonna do everything yourself even if the end result is ugly, non functional or unsafe or all three just to say you did it yourself. There is no pride in painting your car and it be orangepeeled and flawed just to say you did it yourself. Either practice more or have a pro do it before doing it on your favorite car. More or less I just wish that guys put a little more time into these aspects of a build instead of some of the more rediculous parts that do absolutely nothing for the safety or reliabilty of the car.
So, in other words...

"If you can't do it perfect, don't bother. Pay someone else"

Get real. This is a hobby for the vast majority of people here. I hate shop builds, THAT right there shows no talent, and no pride in a build. If some guy gets orange peel? So what. Sand the damn thing out. If he learned something about air pressure, distance and volume, FANTASTIC! If the guy drives the car on a regular basis because its not so perfect hes afraid of messing up his perfect paintjob, he'll get another chance to spray it again. And its a TON of work to lengthen every single pin in the wiring harness. Theres gotta be 150 itty bitty little wires there. All for what? To engineer in possible failure points to later track down? To show off with the hood up at your local show? Maybe thats just not my type of thing, I prefer driving over polishing and trailering. Besides, I despise cars with hoods open at shows, it ruins the body lines of the car. LoL Anyway, that leaves what, buying a harness? Its no wonder people spend 10-15K on getting an LSX in and running. If people just used what they had and made it work, ala the true art of hotrodding, the costs are marginal.

And this comes down to your point anyway... "More or less I just wish that guys put a little more time into these aspects of a build instead of some of the more ridiculous parts that do absolutely nothing for the safety or reliabilty of the car."

Think extending a harness comes down to the does nothing for safety or reliability.

FWIW, I don't like super sloppy garbage *** cars either. I hate rat rods. But there is a point of practicality between a driver and a show car.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by OldSchoolFormula View Post
So, in other words...

"If you can't do it perfect, don't bother. Pay someone else"

Get real. This is a hobby for the vast majority of people here. I hate shop builds, THAT right there shows no talent, and no pride in a build. If some guy gets orange peel? So what. Sand the damn thing out. If he learned something about air pressure, distance and volume, FANTASTIC! If the guy drives the car on a regular basis because its not so perfect hes afraid of messing up his perfect paintjob, he'll get another chance to spray it again. And its a TON of work to lengthen every single pin in the wiring harness. Theres gotta be 150 itty bitty little wires there. All for what? To engineer in possible failure points to later track down? To show off with the hood up at your local show? Maybe thats just not my type of thing, I prefer driving over polishing and trailering. Besides, I despise cars with hoods open at shows, it ruins the body lines of the car. LoL Anyway, that leaves what, buying a harness? Its no wonder people spend 10-15K on getting an LSX in and running. If people just used what they had and made it work, ala the true art of hotrodding, the costs are marginal.

And this comes down to your point anyway... "More or less I just wish that guys put a little more time into these aspects of a build instead of some of the more ridiculous parts that do absolutely nothing for the safety or reliabilty of the car."

Think extending a harness comes down to the does nothing for safety or reliability.

FWIW, I don't like super sloppy garbage *** cars either. I hate rat rods. But there is a point of practicality between a driver and a show car.


Excellent post. Would read again.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:03 PM
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If you strip out the unecessary wiring and pair down the fused wires into bundles (such as inectors bank 1 and 2 ect) you can get it down to about 70 wires total. I can lengthen a harness in about 5 hours and I guess it would probably take a guy for his first time about 8. So then yes it is engineered correctly and fits the car instead of being pasted all over. Im all for DIY but whats the point if its looks or works like ****? I really dont understand why you would spend all kinds of money on the car though and not take the time to make it look nice. The difference between a pro build and an amateur one NORMALLY comes down to detail. People that pay for work expect that the finished product look presentable with the hood open or if someone looks under the dash that it doesnt look like a rats nest. The point of DIY is to save the money on labor doing it yourself, however its also the point to maintain that level of quality when you can. Cosidering that wiring is probably one of the cheapest aspects of a build parts wise, the labor and attention to detail is what really shows through. I also think its pretty elitist to think that a guy that doesnt know how to do something is anything less of a car guy cause he had to pay a shop to do something. Gotta wonder if you built every last part of your car from scratch?? Wiring is a safety issue first and an aesthetic one second. A properly routed harness is gonna be much more reliable and safe than a harness haphazardly routed. Cant tell you how many times Ive seen simple things like battery cables melted to headers. That can light your car on fire as fast as you can call the fire dept. Routing the harness into a place where it is not subject to movement or heat is a huge step ahead of a harness routed near headers and moving parts under the hood. Like I said before its your car do what you want but Id like to be able to show off the detail in the engine bay. Im a guy that drives his cars and I dont own a trailer so believe me Im not part of the trailer brigade but really that doesnt mean you have to have a car thats just thrown together. These swaps that cost 10k+ include handbuilt race motors or special crate engines like an ls7 (which costs about 14g's by itself). I am doing a twin turbo LM7 in my 64 malibu and its definitley gonna be budget but believe me when its all done I can gauruntee that itll look like it costed 20 grand. So to sum it up its your car so do what makes you happy, dont however make excuses for not giving that little extra effort to make it a clean and sanitary install. If its too much work then just admit you are too lazy to build it to the standard of high end vehicles. If you cant do it because its not in your skill set you should either practice and learn or farm it out to a shop or guy that knows how to do it right. If you have any other skills you can normally trade work and you end up building a network of people that can help you put together an impressive well built vehicle. Ill be the first to admit Im not a good painter or welder but my brother can tig anything and my old roomate is a painter at a custom body shop. I wired my roomates 54 desoto and in trade I will get a paint job and I helped my brother move so he agreed to weld my back half in and help with the rollcage. If you drop the egotistical macho pride thing about having to do everything yourself and own up to the fact that maybe a pro can do certain things better then why not have them do it? Same goes for a cool motor, you and Katech can buy or make the same parts and bolt them together but I can assure you that Katech has the expierence to build that motor to last through a 24 hr endurance race. Pros spend their days learning little secrets and tricks to make the end product better, something that amateurs dont have the time or money to research and develop. In the end I suppose we can agree to disagree and you can hate shop built cars for one reason or another but what my original post regarded is what Im still getting at and its that I cant stand when guys say the "cant" do something and thats why it looks like crap when they definitely can. If you choose to actually put the effort in to do it is another subject of conversation
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:15 AM
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Less time wiring, more on paragraphs. My eyes are bleeding.

I never said anything about unsafe wiring. I never said to route wires next to headers or haphazardly around moving parts. Yea, I've seen some pretty hokey wiring jobs before, but using the factor engine harness; its going to be about impossible to do. So what if the PCM goes to the wheel well? Thats the same place GM put it, and I wouldn't consider that dangerous.

Yep, I must be lazy. Learned to do paint and body, fabricated every part to install an LS1, modified headers, installed an HVAC box that doesn't belong there, wired it all up, do suspension work, made my own fuel system, rebuilt my T56, blah blah blah. Built the car from basically nothing but a wrecked stripped shell. Yea, sure, it's not perfect, but I can spot flaws in the best of the best paintjobs, and I know every little detail in the whole car. If something goes wring, I can fix it. I don't cry when I get door dings or paintchips. I can go the West Coat National GoodGuys show and count on one hand the number of LSX swaps on big dollar cars, and have the pride in knowing I did that too. Besides, the car CONSTANTLY gets looks, thumbs ups, and compliments wherever it goes even with all its flaws. The jaw drops on the average person when they find out whats under the hood. Good enough for me.

And back to the harness, sweet, only 70 wires to lengthen! So only 140 soldered and shrink wrapped joints, which all better be color coded to the factory colors. Yea, that should be a ton of fun.

Noone is being elitist here ex[et possibly yourself who is knocking everyone who uses the GM approach, and doesn't have an infinite amount of funds to play with. Being one of the guys who built his car, I will no doubt give the guy who built his car as well an infinite higher level of respect than some guy who laid out a blank check. That said, I really respect the guys who can put up absolutely top notch work themselves, but to think they didn't go through the trials of learning and getting better themselves is pretty closed minded.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:06 AM
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I am also the kind that likes it clean, in my swap I used the original LS1 harness and the Camaro PCM. Cut a hole next to the right cyl.head and put the harness through the hole. The PCM is mounted on the inside of the firewall on the vertical part above where the floorpanel meets the firewall. The PCM is sandwiched between the Vintage Air GenIII unit and the friewall.

No cables are visible inside the car and in the engine bay you can see minimal of cables. Nothing is lenghtened just used common sense.

Myself I am allergic to loose cables hanging everywhere.



Jan
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by OldSchoolFormula View Post
All for what? To engineer in possible failure points to later track down?
That's on the money.

By the way, janes Z28, beautiful work.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jannes_z-28 View Post
I am also the kind that likes it clean, in my swap I used the original LS1 harness and the Camaro PCM. Cut a hole next to the right cyl.head and put the harness through the hole. The PCM is mounted on the inside of the firewall on the vertical part above where the floorpanel meets the firewall. The PCM is sandwiched between the Vintage Air GenIII unit and the friewall.

No cables are visible inside the car and in the engine bay you can see minimal of cables. Nothing is lenghtened just used common sense.

Myself I am allergic to loose cables hanging everywhere.



Jan
now thats what im talking about!!! thank god someone popped in and decided to show off a properly done engine compartment. And doesnt look like he had to extend anything either. Two thumbs up for a clean DIY wiring job
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:00 PM
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[QUOTE=matty b;9800483] MAke a small hole in the firewall and pull the engine harness from the inside out!! Every connector and the harness will fit through a hole less than 1.75" in diameter if its done this way and you dont have all that ugliness cluttering the engine compartment.

I did the same thing put it all in the center console turned out really nice. dont know what is wrong with people but wires and computers are not pretty.
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:51 PM
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thats what I was so frustrated about. Im sorry but with a little ingenuity anyone can clean up the engine compartment. The guys that say otherwise are too lazy and full of way to many excuses. Its a huge pet peeve of mine and the intention of the original post is to point out that guys say they CANNOT do it when in all reality it has been done on the same type of car. If they can do it, you can do it. So take a little pride in how it looks, it only progresses the hobby.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by OldSchoolFormula View Post
So, in other words...

"If you can't do it perfect, don't bother. Pay someone else"

Get real. This is a hobby for the vast majority of people here. I hate shop builds, THAT right there shows no talent, and no pride in a build.
Couldn't agree more. I think the guys who have to pay a shop to build their cars are tools. If you can't do it, figure it out or gtfo. You ask them about the car and they rattle off exactly what they have memorized from the giant cardboard poster they trailer to cars shows along with the car.

To the original poster-If you don't like the way other people build there cars-DON'T LOOK! Do you think anyone cares if you don't agree with it? I really doubt it.

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Old 07-28-2008, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SMAX View Post
Couldn't agree more. I think the guys who have to pay a shop to build their cars are tools. If you can't do it, figure it out or gtfo. You ask them about the car and they rattle off exactly what they have memorized from the giant cardboard poster they trailer to cars shows along with the car.

To the original poster-If you don't like the way other people build there cars-DON'T LOOK! Do you think anyone cares if you don't agree with it? I really doubt it.

to each their own but dont make excuses as to why you cant do something when its completely possible to do. That was the intent of the original post. And as far as guys having to pay shops to do work being tools... well I think you need to get your head out of your ***. Hell take a motor rebuild. You gonna tell me a guy is a tool if he takes his parts to the machine shop to be balanced or bored and honed ect? NO it doesnt. Also alot of cars nowdays have alot of electronics in them and it can get pretty tricky to wire everthing up and also have it look nice. I have customers that pay me to do something they dont know how to do but they know how to build a chassis or interior on and on. good for you that you did everything yourself, its very gratifying
to be able to say you did all the work yourself. What I think is a bit *** backwards is a shitty DIY job is all of a sudden better than a well excuted pro job. There is absolutely nothing wrong with farming out work you dont know how to do. In the end you end up with a reliable and presentable car and IMO thats all that counts. If you want a car worth less than the price of parts have at it but a well executed build is an investment and will pay you off in the end. If you are happy having some amatuerish car then good for you. When I go to the local cruises or car shows I tend to be impressed by the quality of the car not whose name is under "built by". I just happen to think that there is a group of people that understand the importance of clean and sanitary work and then the opposite group that is happy just having it run but are too embarrased to open the hood. That or an excuse like "oh its temporary just to get it going and Ill fix it later".
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:15 PM
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I never said anything about having an engine balanced or anything of the nature. I said I don't like CARS built by shops. They all end up looking the same. I don't like big one off wheels, or custom interiors, or body lines so smoothed out that the flawless $10k paint job hides the entire shape of the car. Not my cup of tea.

I like clean builds just as much as the next guy, but you make it sound like if someone doesn't have a professionally built car they have junk. I prefer a clean install too, but what you don't seem to understand is that not everyone cares to have a show car.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:27 PM
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The biggest issue I have is that Matt B comes on and tries to belittle the DIY guy for atleast trying to do the job themselves. Matt, I am sure you in fact do quality, show winning work, but, were the first few cars you did perfect, first place, worldclass class jobs, I doubt it. Everyone needs to start someplace. Some never get better and that's all they can do, others may end up like you and turn this into a profession. Coming on a forum and slamming every person who wants to try to build their car because they take pride in doing themselves, don't have the money to pay you $2-3000 for a harness is not right.
I for one would at the very least like to see some of your work so you can lead by example, that way us little people can learn from your experience.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:38 PM
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I agree that the clean engine installs look good. Can some of you guys who have done this, take some pictures and give additional guidance on how you did the wiring mods?

For example, if you need to shorten the length of the wire, do you cut it at the pin, and add a new pin at the connector, or are you cutting a section out and soldering the wires back together?


Originally Posted by jannes_z-28 View Post



Jan
Where did these engine covers come from?
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:10 PM
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Sorry about the glare, all I had was a camera phone handy. Its not perfect but I get a lot of good comments from people. I just put this powertrain in and it fit pretty good. I had an LT1 before this setup. The harness is a reworked 6.0L truck harness.

I am currently working on a cover for the radiator and panels for the corners where the diagonal support bars are located. The PCM/fuse relay center is in the left front in corner. One panel will cover the PCM, the right side will just for symmetry.

I have done all of the work on the car, except the front end alignment, I don;t have an alignment rack . Body, paint, interior, engine, trans, rear end, HP Tuners programming and everything in between.
Attached Thumbnails Rant about wiring, please read-engine-front.jpg   Rant about wiring, please read-engine-rt.jpg  
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:55 AM
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Awesome!! Very Clean!! I like the fuel rail covers too. Matt B would probably tell you to light your car on fire and push it into a pool of gasoline because that's not a 100% perfect engine bay.

It's easy to criticize on the internet when nobody knows who you are, or your work. If you walked up to me or probably many other members on here at a cruise spouting off like you have the "bestest amazings most perfect engine wiring evAr" AND "why didnts you pay to have it done???, you suck, your worthless and lazy!!" Especially if they have a couple years into their build like mine, and who have done everything to their car out of their pocket. I have a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into my swap, and your going to tell me its not right? hahaha You might end up leaving with busted face or worse even.

Just my opinion.


Originally Posted by 69LT1Bird View Post
Sorry about the glare, all I had was a camera phone handy. Its not perfect but I get a lot of good comments from people. I just put this powertrain in and it fit pretty good. I had an LT1 before this setup. The harness is a reworked 6.0L truck harness.

I am currently working on a cover for the radiator and panels for the corners where the diagonal support bars are located. The PCM/fuse relay center is in the left front in corner. One panel will cover the PCM, the right side will just for symmetry.

I have done all of the work on the car, except the front end alignment, I don;t have an alignment rack . Body, paint, interior, engine, trans, rear end, HP Tuners programming and everything in between.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jmauld View Post
Where did these engine covers come from?
I got mine on eBay, they are from Holden, they look a lot like the ones on the LS1 GTO's but these are from other Holden cars like the LS1 Commodores.


Jan
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:19 AM
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GM is one of the few manufactuers who put the ECM under the hood, most are inside the car and do not have cooling fins, the ECM will be fine inside the car.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:14 AM
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Matty I agree with you - its a matter of thinking about where it should go to make a clean simple install. the truck owner you mentioned was a bit on the far side but you came up with a suggestion that was good out of the box thinking. Wish you were closer to help me out when I get my 69 firebird back from the body man. In the end I want a clean looking install - like Jans - that looks SWEET! There are alot of Bubba's installs out there- ive seen alot and it makes me walk away shaking my head it usually dosent take a whole lot to think it out to do a clean install then you can be prould of the "I did it myself"
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