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99 TA Build thread: ERL 416 LSA with LS3 heads (formerly cathedrals)

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Old 04-01-2017, 12:29 PM   #1
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Default 99 TA Build thread: ERL 416 LSA with LS3 heads (formerly cathedrals)

First to the moderators I'm not sure if this is Gen III or Gen IV topic. Please feel free to move to the correct forum. There will be some personal details included about the black TA cause I've had the car since new with 4 miles on the odometer.

This thread will detail up dating my 99'TA from the original 346 LS1 with TEA 5.3 heads, 224 XE-R cam, stock clutch & 10 bolt with 4.10's with 418 rwhp & 404 rwtq to a new ERL 416, better clutch and Hawk's Motorsports 8.8 rear end with 4.10's.

I hope members don't make too much fun of this build because all of the serious wrenching will be done by Adam's Garage in Terre Haute Indiana and Norris Motorsports in Plainfield Indiana instead of by me. I needed this done right the first time so I trust my to local favorite shops to do the work. If I was in Carolina, I would have Bruce at Hawk's Motorsports do the install work. Hawks did an excellent restoration on my old 400,000 mile 91 RS Camaro and a killer 383 LS1/T56 swap but that's another story.

My 99TA has been an outstandingly good car with very few issues. The only repairs needed over the last 18 years of ownership since the new car Warranty expired have been a driver side Power window Motor, pcv hose, two O2 sensors twice, couple of turn signal sockets and an AC compressor. For 18 years and 157,2xx miles on a modd'd car I think that's fantastic. $500 excluding AC compressor and $1400 including it.

This GM 4th Gen has had few issues and been far less expensive to drive than the following family vehicles I've owned.

90 Camry v6 - transmission failure, wheel bearings, exhaust and suspension issues over $3000 in repairs for ~ 189,000 miles of driving. Kept AAA on speed dial 3 roll back rides and one other call with breakdowns.

2006 Honda Accord I4 M5 - ~99,000 miles, PCM computer failure at 43,000 miles, Park brake cables, rear brake rotors and calipers due to Park brakes locking, water temp sensor, brake pedal sensor for cruise control. AAA best friend, two roll back rides.

2006 Toyota Tundra Limited - radiator failure, over drive switch failure, front brake caliper failure - it locked on rotor destroying rotor, leaking rear differential, water pump 154,000 miles and $1800 in repairs. Best of the sorry lot no AAA action to date.

While not my car, my parents 2000 Lexus ES300, valve cover, oil pan gaskets due to leaks, Motor mounts, factory security system failed wouldn't read laser cut key, PCM computer failed 113,xxx miles and $3500+ in repairs. Three AAA rides due to breakdown.

Import reliability is 100% pure worthless hype based on my actual experience with Honda & Toyota compared to my 4th Gen TA. However all of interiors in the imports held up much better than my TA and all of imports had better quality paint. The TA was the reliability champion but a cosmetic loser.

My wife in 1999 OK'd the purchase of the 99TA as a Valentine's Day present.
We divorce in 2008. She passed away in 2010 from viral pneumonia.
The TA was around for a lot of heartache and a wonderful rebound.

I really wanted to sell the car last year and had four prospective buyers. My current girlfriend wanted the TA gone but all of the quality buyers fell through. My options were dump the TA at Carmax or trade the TA. That's a pretty horrible fate for an exceptional TA in my opinion. I felt the car would end up in the junk yard after the budget buyer blew the 10 bolt or clutch and couldn't find the repairs.

So I decided to keep the TA and update the mods.

Four weeks ago Mike Norris Motorsports replaced the Valve springs and associated items. I plan to use the old 5.7 LS1 in my other 91 Camaro the black convertible
Three weeks ago a Racetronix fuel system was installed.
Two weeks ago I realized the 10 bolt was screaming like a banshee and got a quote on rebuilding the 10-bolt.

I realized the chickens are coming home to roost for my black 99 TA:
My 10 bolt is trash - too many hard runs even on the street eventually catch up.
That amazing stock clutch that's lived for 18 year and 15 of those years with 418 whp is dying
Norris Motorsports found a broken exhaust valve guide.

I thought long and hard on this, all financial logic says DUMP the 99TA ASAP.
Give it away and save yourself $20,000
My girlfriend says trade the TA & Tundra and use the $20k for a nice new cushy Lexus RX350.



Last week, I said to hell with what this going to cost and called up my mutual fund company.

This week I called Hawks, ERL and the WS6 Store.

More to follow..

Last edited by 99 Black Bird T/A; 05-03-2017 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:25 PM   #2
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What heads you plan on running ?
I also thought ERL wasn't doing LS stuff no more l.....
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:48 PM   #3
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The ERL 416 was on clearance going out of business sale.
Only reason I could really trying to do this project.

I have a set of GMPP ported LS6 style 243's that have a massive intake port of like 250+ cc's.. I want to get Brett at Land Speed to work his magic on them and see what we can wring out of a set of 243's. If they fail pressure testing, head selection will be a wild card.

I would probably default to my set of Wegner NASCAR Spec 799's that can make 580+ rwhp and get Bret to tweak them. The titanium exhaust valves would have to be replaced etc for street duty most likely. I won't make 580+ whp with them because 8,000+ rpm and matched high rpm cam aren't my thing in a daily driver.

The Land Speed or TEA trick flows would be my next idea.

I want to stay with cathedral heads of some sort but would be open minded.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:40 PM   #4
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Mike Norris tuned my Camaro and did a GREAT job. He makes a coupla trips year to Florida and tunes cars while he is there, I was working down there
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:42 AM   #5
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243s can do 550... let her rip!
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeFusion View Post
243s can do 550... let her rip!
I hope to get in the ballpark with this build. Selecting new headers would probably help.
Car has 1 3/4 Booker Long Tunes with 3 inch collectors, I'm not sure if 1 7/8 or 2 inch would be best.
Car has stock k-member.

Today the Hawk's Motorsports 8.8 rear installed got started. New rear should be installed tomorrow. Discovered the front u - joint was bad, wouldn't rotate smoothly was notch like a ratchet. Both rear shocks are being replaced. One had damaged mount from a mishap and rattled.

Should have some pictures fairly soon.

4.10's
TA cover
Torsen Truetrac LSD
33 spline axles
Heavy duty yoke

Here are some stock photo.'s.


Mine will be black like this one.
No more worries about hard launches.

Last edited by 99 Black Bird T/A; 04-03-2017 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:09 PM   #7
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That 250cc runner will have good cross section area. Great for that 416. If they fall through I'd aim for a head in that range of runner size.

Don't undercam it!! 416 can absorb some camshaft and still be driveable
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:55 PM   #8
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MMS 235s have made 580 RWHP in Jeremy's M6 Firebird W/243/247 114+2 Cam.
Just Sayin.
LLSR W/MSD ? 600+?
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAVYBLUE210
MMS 235s have made 580 RWHP in Jeremy's M6 Firebird W/243/247 114+2 Cam.
Just Sayin.
LLSR W/MSD ? 600+?
If I was doing a 416 I'd do Tony's 250's. Only 11ci less than a 427.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
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If I was doing a 416 I'd do Tony's 250's. Only 11ci less than a 427.
Valve to Bore size is a consideration, potential shrouding.
Intake valve in 250 MAY be to large for 4.070" Bore.
Rational could be made either way depending on goals/useage,
Cam and intake.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:07 PM   #11
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I plan to get all the parts for completing the bottom end, oil pan, covers, valve covers and so on ordered tomorrow. After 8.8 rear installed is finished it will be time to entertain ideas for top end.

That's a good point about NOT under camming this engine. The 383 LS1 in my RS is a very mild mannered set up with a 229/229. My first thought was a 236/242 on a 114 LSA would be about right but I had an interesting conversation with the WS6 STORE and am leaning towards at least 240/250 for duration.

Ultimately I will listen too Brett at Land Speed since he will be tweaking the heads.

The intake for the short run probably going to be a budget Dorman LS2.

Hoping to get as close to 550 wheel hp as possible.

On fuel injectors would FAST 50# be a good choice or Ford 42# Green top SVO, or something else?
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99 Black Bird T/A View Post
I plan to get all the parts for completing the bottom end, oil pan, covers, valve covers and so on ordered tomorrow. After 8.8 rear installed is finished it will be time to entertain ideas for top end.

That's a good point about NOT under camming this engine. The 383 LS1 in my RS is a very mild mannered set up with a 229/229. My first thought was a 236/242 on a 114 LSA would be about right but I had an interesting conversation with the WS6 STORE and am leaning towards at least 240/250 for duration.

Ultimately I will listen too Brett at Land Speed since he will be tweaking the heads.


The intake for the short run probably going to be a budget Dorman LS2.

Hoping to get as close to 550 wheel hp as possible.

On fuel injectors would FAST 50# be a good choice or Ford 42# Green top SVO, or something else?
My gut instinct on your motor is something like 243/251-112+4. BUT the guy who does the heads truly is the best resource for that. Someone I really like for cam selection is Martin Smallwood.

I'm running FIC 42 lb injectors on my 346. Might be a little small for you. I'd consider the ID725 on your motor personally. They have the best tuning data, and they can do REALLY small pulsewidths so you can still get really good idle fueling. That's my best recommendation on injectors.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:51 AM   #13
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In my opinion I would go with with TFS 245 heads with the N20 exhaust port with hand finishing by Brian Tooley.

The TFS 235 heads made 587 rwhp with a Pat G 248/252 cam with a fast 102mm intake.

No need for a low lash solid roller and having to rev your motor to 8000 rpm as you mentioned. More rpm=more stress on parts.

​​​​​With Brian Tooley handing finishing the 245 heads and port matching the fast 102mm intake to those heads I see 600 horse plus at the tire threw my Tusky telescope with a hydraulic roller. No need for a low lash solid roller to crack the number with track e.t times to back it up.

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Old 04-04-2017, 05:12 AM   #14
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Darth, I will check out the IS725's thanks for the suggestion.

Tusky, if the current heads fail pressure test I will have to consider other options and the Trick Flows would be at the top of the list along with a set of Wegner's.

I'm not interested in a LLSR set up, I drive too much an am not impressed with 35,000 reliability. If someone show 100,000+ mile reliably I would reconsider. I know XER hydraulic roller can go 125,000 + plus miles because mine has and is still going.

The short block should arrive today at the shop.

Can't wait to pick up car with the new 8.8 and get some parts ordered for the short block later today.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:41 AM   #15
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The Gmpp heads are an interesting choice. People said they're trash for the longest time because of the runner volume but they make really good low and mid lift flow numbers. And 250cc isn't even close to to big for a 416. I got a set of those heads cheap and am going to put them on a 6.2 short block I have laying around.

Those heads, a good hydraulic cam and a well ported MSD and you'll be having a party
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big hammer View Post
The Gmpp heads are an interesting choice. People said they're trash for the longest time because of the runner volume but they make really good low and mid lift flow numbers. And 250cc isn't even close to to big for a 416. I got a set of those heads cheap and am going to put them on a 6.2 short block I have laying around.

Those heads, a good hydraulic cam and a well ported MSD and you'll be having a party
I think the GMPP's have potential too and should work pretty nice in your application.

I wouldn't want to run the 250+ runner on a 5.7 or smaller but on larger motors the runner should be pretty good. There are a few spots it could use a little hand porting love to touch up. The exhaust ports can also use some touch up. The only real issue is the chambers are basically stock with a little cosmetic touch up.

​​​​Brett @ Land Speed is going CNC the chambers and match them to the pistons because there is some improvements that can be made.

Assuming the GMPP's pass pressure test.

I'm thinking this motor might be suited to a Land Speed ported 102 LSXR - not sure if I will have funds to do that. May have to get motor up and running and do a new intake next year...
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:11 PM   #17
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Good call on Brett at Land Speed for doing the heads. Is he going to do the "dimple" porting on them?

I would let Brett spec out the cam as well. If I've learned one thing, it's 100% essential that the person specing out the cam understand the flow characteristics of the heads. Since Brett will be doing the heads, flowing the heads, etc., it only make sense for him to spec out the cam.

I may have missed it, but what intake are you planning to run? Fast 102 or MSD? Again, if you plan to have it ported, allow Brett to port match the runners to the heads. I'm sure he can take care of any further porting of the intake too.

Lastly, what did the 8.8 rear end cost you (just the rear itself)? I'm curious why you went the route of the 8.8, but I'm assuming it has to do with cost, which is why I'm interested.

Great looking build and I look forward to seeing how this all pans out for you.
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:05 PM   #18
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Lingenfelter ported the GMPP heads, right?

They may be large, but they perform. I think they flowed around 310cfm with stock valves. If they still have stock valves, throw some 2.08/1.60 in there for the larger bore. I know TEA can open up a set of LS6 heads for those and then CNC's the chambers and hand blends them to the port. So with the 250cc Lingenfelter port and something like the TEA Stage 3 VJ... that'd be an interesting motor.

But if you keep those heads as is... they flow 311/222 or 71% efficient. Which likes something around a 6 degree split.

So I'd do an EPS Lobed Cam Motion Ground 240/246 .629/.604 114+2 cam. Would drive incredibly nice in a 416.
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Old 04-04-2017, 05:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99 Black Bird T/A View Post
I think the GMPP's have potential too and should work pretty nice in your application.

I wouldn't want to run the 250+ runner on a 5.7 or smaller but on larger motors the runner should be pretty good. There are a few spots it could use a little hand porting love to touch up. The exhaust ports can also use some touch up. The only real issue is the chambers are basically stock with a little cosmetic touch up.

​​​​Brett @ Land Speed is going CNC the chambers and match them to the pistons because there is some improvements that can be made.

Assuming the GMPP's pass pressure test.

I'm thinking this motor might be suited to a Land Speed ported 102 LSXR - not sure if I will have funds to do that. May have to get motor up and running and do a new intake next year...
As fas as plastic intakes go, I'd be much more inclined to run a ported MSD on that setup
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Old 04-04-2017, 05:36 PM   #20
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I like the IVC and EVO of Jake's camshaft, but I would put 4 more degrees of overlap in the cam. This is without seeing the low lift #'s first, and the valve diameters.

So a good cam profile with that being said for this engine would be roughly 242/248 .629/.612 113+2.
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