Installing a LS1 in my 1977 Camaro

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by jerhofer, May 14, 2011.

  1. jerhofer

    jerhofer Veteran Member

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    My SBC had a problem. Ever since I owned the car, I have said that if the SB came out, a LS motor was going back in. I found a '99 LS1 out of a Firebird with 32K miles about a month ago. I have been stripping down the old motor and selling off the parts. So far I have collected nearly $6k from old motor parts which goes a long way towards paying for the LS swap.

    I had a Billet Specialties front runner on the old motor and really liked it so I bought the LS front runner from them. It cost more that what I paid for the motor!!! However, I really like the way it looks and, if I am lucky, I may be able to use my existing AC and power steering lines. The compressor and the PS pump are placed in very similar positions.

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    I also have a set of Billet Coil Covers from Taylor Industries. They are for Gen IV Camaro's and Firebirds. They are beautifully made from billet and then polished. The only problem is that the passenger side is about 1 1/2" shorter than the driver's side which leaves the last coil exposed. There is evidently an obstruction on the Gen IV F bodies which is why they make them this way. I have talked to them about making a full length passenger side cover and they are considering it. I told them they should market a set for swap situations like mine where there are no obstructions. There are tons of us in this same situation.

    In doing some reading, I found that the LS6 intake and throttle body flows better than the LS1. In doing a search, I found the LS6 manifold below that had a Carbon Fiber look done to it. It should look good and work well on the motor.

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    At this point, I am planning on a twin snorkel air intake. I bought one designed for C5 Vettes. I feel pretty confident it will work but won't know for sure until the motor is in the engine bay. Speaking of which, I am having the guy who painted my car clean up the engine bay and plan on smoothing the firewall.

    I found some adjustable engine adapters by Dirty Dingo that will allow me to use my exising clamshell and engine mounts. I can move the engine 2 1/2" front to rear which should allow me to place my Richmond 6 speed in the same location and use my exising crossmember. Assuming all that works, I should be able to use the existing drive shaft.

    I have an aluminum bellhousing from Keisler coming which will allow me to mate the Richmond with the engine. I also have an adapter coming so I can hook up my Z bar for the clutch.

    I had the wiring harness modified and a tune put to the computer. It appears the computer will fit in my glove box. I cut a hole today in the glove box and test fitted it. It will be tight with the plugs installed but it looks like it will work.

    Lots to do but it should be nice when done.
     
  2. ErikNORCAL

    ErikNORCAL Veteran Member

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    Sweet! looking forward to following your progress
     
  3. sal70ss

    sal70ss Veteran Member

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    Good looking LS1 you have there!!congrats.
     
  4. troutman

    troutman Veteran Member

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    you should see his car! It's the best looking big bumper camaro i have ever seen!
     
  5. jerhofer

    jerhofer Veteran Member

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    Thanks. After I get the car back together, I will need to do one of your cruise's. Sounds like you have some good ones.
     
  6. joshp01

    joshp01 Veteran Member

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    That intake looks sweet man. I will def wanna see your progress here
     
  7. jerhofer

    jerhofer Veteran Member

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    The intake arrived yesterday and it looks every bit as good as in the photos the guy sent me. For packing, the guy used the foam peanuts and did not tape off any openings!!!! Took me awhile to get all of them out of the intake plenum.
     
  8. jerhofer

    jerhofer Veteran Member

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    Good News Today

    We hauled the car to the body shop this morning to have the engine bay cleaned up. I am also having him smooth out the firewall. Should look much better.

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    I have been talking with Kooks headers about using my car as a guinea pig to design a header/exhaust system for LS swaps. Earlier this week, I talked with the sales manager who said he would get back with me. I had not heard back from him. Today my buddy and I were planning a bike ride. We are always looking for a destination, so I told him let's drive the 30 miles to Statesville and visit Kooks. The salesman (owns a '72 Camaro) took us on a tour of their two year old building. I was not very familiar with Kooks, but they have been in business since 1962 in Long Island, NY and only moved to Statesville two years ago. I was impressed with the quality of their stainless headers and it was an interesting tour.

    Once we got back into the office, he hooked us up with the sales manager who drags a 2nd gen which does low 8's in the quarter at around 170!! He asked me why I thought there would be a market for this header and I asked him if he ever visited NastyZ28 or Pro-Touring.com. I told him if he went there and did a search about LS swaps, he would be surprised at how many threads there were. Plus, I told him, on Pro-Touring, he would see not only Camaros, but GTO's, Chevelles, Buicks, Olds, etc.

    He then started asking me questions about my car and I showed him my blog. He liked what he saw there and said he need to talk with his boss. About ten minutes later he came back and offered me a sweet deal if I would get both the headers and the full stainless exhaust. I immediately said yes and we are scheduled to take the car there towards the end of June.

    They have a digitizer so they will map the all the hard points on my car and feed that into the computer. Once they have done that, they can generate the entire system. Then they will actually make it to make sure the computer is accurate. Once they have all the dimensions nailed, they would make a jig for the production line. They said they would have my car for two or three weeks. Once they have everything done, the system will be available in their product line.

    I am really pleased as I have a guaranteed system that will fit, plus it will look so good. I have been considering a hydraulic clutch, but he said he would prefer I do that after they are finished with my car as they want as many obstructions as posssible, which would include the Z-bar for the clutch. Doing it this way will insure that their system will work for a majority of situations.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  9. joshp01

    joshp01 Veteran Member

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    I bought a fast 92 for mine a while back and same thing w the peanuts.


    Man thats awesome on the headers. I will be in line for some of those as well
     
  10. Toadman2230

    Toadman2230 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    That LS6 intake is AWESOME! :crazy: If summer wasn't coming so soon, I'd be taking mine off & having it coated like that! I've also seen valve covers done.
     

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