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Old 11-29-2016, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default H/C/I build thread: AI/EPS/Mamo

Well I had a strange noise coming from the engine, had a few people listen to it and have a high confidence that it is lifter related. Since the heads have to come off to replace lifters I decided that it wouldn't be going back together stock and decided to make a winter project out of it. I spent quite a long time researching every part including where to get the best price on them so I figured I would make a build thread to document everything and hopefully help some others out.

Some background info: The car is a 2001 hardtop Formula Hardtop with a 6-speed, Bilstein level 2 suspension, factory LS6 block. I already had installed bolt-ons and dyno'd 351/365 SAE on a DYNOmite (remove the rear wheels and bolt dyno directly to axles). Here is a run down of the bolt-ons:
Edelbrock 1-3/4 - 1-7/8" stepped headers with 3.5" collectors
3" edelbrock catless Y-pipe
Hooker Aerochamber catback
SSRA
SLP lid w/ K&N
Ported TB
MSD wires
Street tune

Dyno graph and print out (lines are hard to see):




Video:

I then swapped the standard SLP lid for a Blackwing and added an ATI 10% UDP (also had a MWC long torque arm) and ran a 12.979 @ 111.57 with a best trap speed of 112 mph on my first and only time to the drag strip and on street tires (spare and jack were removed, 1/8th or less tank of gas). The biggest success was beating a buddies stock 6-speed 5.0 stang who was pretty confident he wouldn't be beaten by a 10+ year older car.


Video:

My goal for this build is to have good overall power for a 99% street car. I do not wan't to sacrifice low end power for top end pull and hope to lose almost no power around 2500 RPM.

Now for the new parts. I searched and searched for deals and waited for black friday to buy a lot of the items I couldn't find on the classifieds here. I'll list the price I paid just to give everyone an idea of what it costs to do a full build. I used some parts that aren't necessary but I decided that I was going to do it once and do it right. This got a little more expensive than I was expecting especially when deciding to go with the Mamo intake setup.
- Advanced Induction 232cc 317 casting heads with the chambers welded up to 62cc. Assembled with Comp Beehive spring: $1200 from the classifieds
- EPS 226/230 113+2 .604/.604 cam: $415 - BF sale from EPS
- Mamo ported FAST 102 with LS2 rails, FAST 36/39#? injectors (0280155868), and all gaskets: $1730 from the classifieds
- Nick Williams 102mm TB: $329 - BF sale at WS6 store
- FTP 104mm lid: $166 - BF sale from FTP
- Stock GM MLS head gakets (12498544): $36 from Jegs
- Johnson 2110 Lifters (were supposed to be the 2110R's but I'm still working that out): $380 from the classifieds
- LS2 lifter trays (12595365): $26 from BTR
- Struab trunnion upgraded rockers with upgraded bolts: $215 off ebay
- ARP head bolts (134-3609): $155 from the classifieds
- Cloyes Hex adjust timing set (9-3158A): $149 (jegs matching amazon price)
- Melling oil pump (10295): $120 from BTR
- LS6 valley cover: $82 from Jegs
- ARP cam bolts (134-1003): $7.24 at Jegs
- ARP cam retainer bolts (134-1002): $8.26 at BTR
- Timing cover gasket (12633904): $20 from Jegs
- Valley Cover gasket (12558178 $25), Water pump gaskets (2x 12630223 $3.56 each), GM MLS header gaskets (2x 12617944 $8.90 each), Cam retainer plate with seal (12556437 $13.15), Crank seal (12561244 $15.68) with shipping $88 from RockAuto
- Racetronix fuel pump with all options (RFPK-001): $218 - BF sale at WS6 store
- Holley valve covers (241-88): $140 - BF deal from Autozone
- Radiator hose W/O power steering cooler (E71981): $15 - BF deal from Autozone
- Heatshield products !-M shield thermal barrier for LSXR intake (HSP140023): $57 from Summit
- 3/8" fuel line removal tool: $5 from Oriley's

Misc parts left to buy:
- Bellow for 102mm intake (going SD tune)
- LS3 style coils ~$100 off classifieds
- Pushrod measuring tool (Comp 7702-1)
- Pushrods (11/32")
- Timing Chain Damper (part dependent on if block is drilled or if trick flow adapter is needed)
- crank pulley removal tool (rent from Oriley's)
- Steam vent setup (to avoid blocking off the rear steam ports
- possibly new plugs currently have NGK TR55's i believe with just a few thousand miles on them
- Power Steering cooler, rail type
- PS fluid
- Coolant
- Oil
- MAP extension to run MAP on the front of the FAST
- IAT extension to relocate to the SSRA for more accurate SD tune
- Wideband

My tuner is going to give me a base tune so I can start it and drive it to him for the full street tune. I intend to get it dyno'd on the same dyno hopefully next spring/summer. The car is currently partially dissembled with the AIR system removed for good, Intake off, water pump off, radiator out, coil packs and plug wires off, headers unbolted. I'll grab some pictures of the progress and parts and update as I go.
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:32 AM   #2
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Very nice list of parts. Should make some good power.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:04 AM   #3
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Looks like a nice build list. I know you're budget is likely already stretched a bit, but if you can stomach it, think about getting a lighter clutch/flywheel combination in there as well. It's one of those things that doesn't always show up on the dyno, but really wakes up the responsiveness of the engine and makes it a blast to drive
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:27 PM   #4
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Very nice list of parts. Should make some good power.
That's the hope! I know I'm kinda small on the cam but it would be nice to see 450/420 at the wheels and somewhere around a 120 mph trap. At the end of the day if I come up short of those goals I won't be too disappointed as long as it is fun on the street since that's where I spend the vast majority of my time.


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Looks like a nice build list. I know you're budget is likely already stretched a bit, but if you can stomach it, think about getting a lighter clutch/flywheel combination in there as well. It's one of those things that doesn't always show up on the dyno, but really wakes up the responsiveness of the engine and makes it a blast to drive
Other upgrades like that will be handled as parts break. I do plan on a lighter clutch setup when the current one goes but will run what it's got as long as it holds. Gears have also been recommended to me. I would likely go with 3.90's but not sure I want to put any money in the 10 bolt (already have an LPW cover).
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:54 PM   #5
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That's the hope! I know I'm kinda small on the cam but it would be nice to see 450/420 at the wheels and somewhere around a 120 mph trap. At the end of the day if I come up short of those goals I won't be too disappointed as long as it is fun on the street since that's where I spend the vast majority of my time.



Other upgrades like that will be handled as parts break. I do plan on a lighter clutch setup when the current one goes but will run what it's got as long as it holds. Gears have also been recommended to me. I would likely go with 3.90's but not sure I want to put any money in the 10 bolt (already have an LPW cover).
Yeah, I seen your post in the gears forum. I tried to baby along a ten bolt, and as long as I kept shitty tires on it, it was fine. Once I got it to hook, I destroyed it. I would honestly save up for a fabbed nine inch rear. They can be made as light as the ten bolt, and you'll be good to go for a long time. I love mine
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:57 PM   #6
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Nice parts list! You did the right thing with taking your time researching. I bet you'll come close to your goals. Subscribed.
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:38 PM   #7
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I agree on the clutch, you probably won't even make 1 full WOT pull on the dyno if the stock clutch is in there.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Darth_V8r View Post
Yeah, I seen your post in the gears forum. I tried to baby along a ten bolt, and as long as I kept shitty tires on it, it was fine. Once I got it to hook, I destroyed it. I would honestly save up for a fabbed nine inch rear. They can be made as light as the ten bolt, and you'll be good to go for a long time. I love mine
What kind did you go with, Moser, MWC? When it's time I was thinking a MWC with a watts link setup.

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Nice parts list! You did the right thing with taking your time researching. I bet you'll come close to your goals. Subscribed.
Thanks. I'm hoping that the little things add up to get me there (johnson lifters, larger pushrods, etc. will help get me there.

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I agree on the clutch, you probably won't even make 1 full WOT pull on the dyno if the stock clutch is in there.
Do you think it would hold up for the street tune? What would you recommend for a replacement. Monster level 2 seems like it would be the minimum so I would probably want to go with the 3. Any other suggestions?


Got the valve covers off tonight and might have found the source of my noise. The rocker/spring on the front valve on the drivers side is sitting higher than the rest. I am still struggling to get the power steering pump off to get a good angle for a picture. Would a collapsed lifter cause this?
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:56 PM   #9
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Bad *** parts list that thing is going to be a beast!


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Looks like a nice build list. I know you're budget is likely already stretched a bit, but if you can stomach it, think about getting a lighter clutch/flywheel combination in there as well. It's one of those things that doesn't always show up on the dyno, but really wakes up the responsiveness of the engine and makes it a blast to drive
Keep in mind it hurts your launch at the track though.

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Yeah, I seen your post in the gears forum. I tried to baby along a ten bolt, and as long as I kept shitty tires on it, it was fine. Once I got it to hook, I destroyed it. I would honestly save up for a fabbed nine inch rear. They can be made as light as the ten bolt, and you'll be good to go for a long time. I love mine
Your best bet is on slicks with light wheels. Anything else, even if you sneeze and accidentally give it gas in 6th, will break one lol.
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:31 AM   #10
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I actually went with burkhart chassis. You don't hear a lot about them, but the rear bolted right in quite nicely.
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by z-camaro View Post
Do you think it would hold up for the street tune? What would you recommend for a replacement. Monster level 2 seems like it would be the minimum so I would probably want to go with the 3. Any other suggestions?

Should be fine driving around normal, my LS6 let go at just 420rwhp. I have a Diamond stage 2 but wish I would have got the stage 3.
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:43 PM   #12
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Back in the day a lot of guys liked the ram clutch. Chad did 7k rpm clutch dumps on 28" slicks with his for years. And they are lower priced than a lot of others.

I put the ram clutch in Chad's car and put one in Mike's LS6 RX7. Both were heads cam cars. Mike liked the Ram better than the Spec.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:36 AM   #13
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Bad *** parts list that thing is going to be a beast!




Keep in mind it hurts your launch at the track though.



Your best bet is on slicks with light wheels. Anything else, even if you sneeze and accidentally give it gas in 6th, will break one lol.
Would the lighter setup be enjoyable on the street though? I will be sticking with the stock firehawk rims. If I end up going to the track more often I would get some 16" stockers and MT's.

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I actually went with burkhart chassis. You don't hear a lot about them, but the rear bolted right in quite nicely.
Good to hear I'll look into them.

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Originally Posted by BrntWS6 View Post
Should be fine driving around normal, my LS6 let go at just 420rwhp. I have a Diamond stage 2 but wish I would have got the stage 3.
What don't you like about the stage 2?

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Back in the day a lot of guys liked the ram clutch. Chad did 7k rpm clutch dumps on 28" slicks with his for years. And they are lower priced than a lot of others.

I put the ram clutch in Chad's car and put one in Mike's LS6 RX7. Both were heads cam cars. Mike liked the Ram better than the Spec.
Monster seems to be the go-to around here, nice to hear some alternatives.


Well The parts have mostly come in. Here are some pictures of them and the progress made on the car.



Mamo's port work



Intake, AIR system, and coil packs removed


Passanger head, power steering pump, and radiator out. Broke a socket on the drivers side head bolts and have just one left. Also broke a socket on the drivers side rocker studs. I am surprised on how much coolant continues to leak out.



Those bottom head bolts are a pain to get out with the headers in there but so far I've managed...
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:56 AM   #14
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Nice build you have going with some good parts. If those are link bar lifters you don't use the trays anymore tho. You can't go wrong with a MWC rear. Tons of options for them to fit what you need and be confident it'll hold what you throw at it
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:01 PM   #15
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Oh and one other thing, when you get around to the cam, you probably are going to need a new cam retainer plate. That gasket is probably going to be as flat as that plate when you remove it. But you have the arp bolts for the old style. Any new style plate will be countersunk for the new bolts. O'Reillys carries both kind the old flat style and the new countersunk ones. I just went thru this a few weeks back. Had already bought all the arp bolts and didn't want to not use them. I believe it was like $21.xx after tax or something. I'm pretty sure that gm part number is for the new style.


I also got the front gasket kit from advance had the timing cover, water pump gasket, crank seal, and pick up tube oring and was way than just that crank seal in your parts list alone. It's a fel pro kit.

Last edited by Firebirdmuscle; 12-03-2016 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:02 PM   #16
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Should be fine driving around normal, my LS6 let go at just 420rwhp. I have a Diamond stage 2 but wish I would have got the stage 3.
I agree. My stock LS1 clutch lived at 418rwhp but after a couple of dyno pulls slipped and you could smell it from slipping. After cooling off it would hold to 418 again but smell.

My RS has the Ram HD, but wish i had went twin disc for stock driveability.

The Ram HD is a pretty decent clutch for the money and holds well. Pedal effort is higher or stiffer and its a little grabby but very streetable. I've beat on it for several months and its still holding tight.

Friends have had their Ram HD's hold at 600rwhp and brutal launches.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:00 PM   #17
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The diamond stage 2 clutch is great...drives like stock with the lightweight flywheel. I just wish i bought the stage 3 because im thinking about FI on top on my HC now.

I have a MWC 9" and its a nice piece. I was going to spend over 1k installing gears, torque arm, trans brace etc. I was like screw that and just bought a 9" and be done with it. It was expensive (more than my HC build) but i know i did it right. I got the iron center section and its only 15lbs more than my stock 10 bolt.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:14 PM   #18
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Keep the photos and info coming. great list you have there. I'm considering tackling head/cam in the future and find this info most helpful to give me a realistic idea of what to expect.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:52 PM   #19
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Nice build you have going with some good parts. If those are link bar lifters you don't use the trays anymore tho. You can't go wrong with a MWC rear. Tons of options for them to fit what you need and be confident it'll hold what you throw at it
The lifters I got are drop in's so I went with new LS2 trays. I'm undecided if I should drill the holes in them or not.

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Oh and one other thing, when you get around to the cam, you probably are going to need a new cam retainer plate. That gasket is probably going to be as flat as that plate when you remove it. But you have the arp bolts for the old style. Any new style plate will be countersunk for the new bolts. O'Reillys carries both kind the old flat style and the new countersunk ones. I just went thru this a few weeks back. Had already bought all the arp bolts and didn't want to not use them. I believe it was like $21.xx after tax or something. I'm pretty sure that gm part number is for the new style.


I also got the front gasket kit from advance had the timing cover, water pump gasket, crank seal, and pick up tube oring and was way than just that crank seal in your parts list alone. It's a fel pro kit.
Thanks for the heads up. I just looked at the retainer plate that I got and the holes are not countersunk so I should be good.


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Originally Posted by 99 Black Bird T/A View Post
I agree. My stock LS1 clutch lived at 418rwhp but after a couple of dyno pulls slipped and you could smell it from slipping. After cooling off it would hold to 418 again but smell.

My RS has the Ram HD, but wish i had went twin disc for stock driveability.

The Ram HD is a pretty decent clutch for the money and holds well. Pedal effort is higher or stiffer and its a little grabby but very streetable. I've beat on it for several months and its still holding tight.

Friends have had their Ram HD's hold at 600rwhp and brutal launches.
Thanks for the info.

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Originally Posted by BrntWS6 View Post
The diamond stage 2 clutch is great...drives like stock with the lightweight flywheel. I just wish i bought the stage 3 because im thinking about FI on top on my HC now.

I have a MWC 9" and its a nice piece. I was going to spend over 1k installing gears, torque arm, trans brace etc. I was like screw that and just bought a 9" and be done with it. It was expensive (more than my HC build) but i know i did it right. I got the iron center section and its only 15lbs more than my stock 10 bolt.
I already have the MWC torque arm and trans crossmember so I'm part of the way there already.

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Keep the photos and info coming. great list you have there. I'm considering tackling head/cam in the future and find this info most helpful to give me a realistic idea of what to expect.
Will do. I've been taking my time just working it for an hour or two at a time. I can't drive it till spring anyways so there's no rush.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:11 PM   #20
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Solid parts selection goes a long way and should pay off well. Cam seems like it will be just about perfect for this set-up. And I would invest in true dual exhaust before ever changing to a bigger cam.

If you aren't going to be boosting this... you did say street car, right?... then your 10-bolt can be built to last for everything a naturally aspirated LS1 will throw at it. If you find a drop-in built 12-bolt or 9", go for it, but the 10-bolt can be made to work with minimal effort.
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