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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started my build this past spring and will post a few times to get caught up where I am now so if this a bit long winded my apologies as I should of started this earlier.

My small block served me well for numerous years of spirited driving but it was time for a change.
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The Purists might want to move to the next thread or stick around and quite possibly learn a few things as I have from talking to a few members here on TC. Also PT.com has been helpful as well as LS1tech for engine info.
The engine started to leak and needed some attention so rather than remove and refurbish I decided a few years ago that a LS conversion plan was put in place. LT-1 style engine and M20 was sold this past year to help finance the build.

After educating myself on the various LS engine platforms I decided on a Gen III LQ4 as a base. They're plentiful from various GM pickups, vans, Escalades LQ9's. I didn't want to worry about sleeving an aluminum block and another reason was that they can only be bored over I believe to .005 safely.
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A deal was struck with a yard for the complete 2003 6.0L engine, wiring harness, ECU and even exhaust manifolds for 700.00 delivered to their closer yard. I sold off everything that I wasn't going to use which netted me 400.00 off my original purchase price. Iron short block, front and rear covers for 300.00. Someone bought the exhaust manifolds for $60.00!
Some might say I would've been better off buying a complete LS3.......maybe but this way I get to choose the quality internal parts I'll use plus here in the Toronto area there are numerous engine builders that have good reputations.

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Block dropped off at the machine shop for the build.

That's it for tonight more to come.
 

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Pretty much how I started, 2005 LQ4 short block that was pulled for no oil pressure (#3 cam bearing gone).
Everything looked perfect except the cam and bearing (100K mile motor). I dropped it off at the machine shop along with the LS3 heads, and all new gaskets, rings, etc.

Basically a new motor for half the price of a GM crate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, these seem to keep going for quite a few miles. I completely rebuilt it with a slight increase in the compression and Gen IV rods. hopefully last me a few years. Weighs a few more pounds compared to the aluminum longblock version but probably weighs less than a original long small block. Gm now offers this same setup as a longblock for around 4500.00 if you can find one.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Next phase was building the engine. Some on here talk about body shop jail, I was in engine jail from Dec./20- May/21, my engine guy was so busy with all kinds of engines, small blocks, big blocks, LS, LS7, even a motorcycle motor. Anyways it all turned out exactly the way I had envisioned it.
Here are some of the parts that were used. Its been a collection of 3 years worth to ease the financial burden of getting shock all at once.
From this:
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To this.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My engine builder has a few guys working for him that were supposed to install things but was he so busy I'd have to wait longer which didn't sit well for me. My brand new TKX warranty was being used up while the car sat idle. I had to resort to plan 'B'.
One of my buddies, Rick helped with the transporting the new engine to another acquaintance, Randy who has BMW race shop that took on the swap for me. Good thing is his main mechanic has a turbo LS pickup truck which solidified things for me.
Automotive tire Bumper Shipping box Motor vehicle Automotive design Late Christmas present in March.

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1969 Camaro ss, 396 big block, 4 speed munice
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Pretty much how I started, 2005 LQ4 short block that was pulled for no oil pressure (#3 cam bearing gone). Everything looked perfect except the cam and bearing (100K mile motor). I dropped it off at the machine shop along with the LS3 heads, and all new gaskets, rings, etc. Basically a new motor for half the price of a GM crate.
hi, what transmission did you use for your LQ4? how has it been performing ever since you installed it? i might consider going this route as well due to an LS3 being a little expensive for me atleast.
 

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1969 Camaro ss, 396 big block, 4 speed munice
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I started my build this past spring and will post a few times to get caught up where I am now so if this a bit long winded my apologies as I should of started this earlier.

My small block served me well for numerous years of spirited driving but it was time for a change.
View attachment 281220
The Purists might want to move to the next thread or stick around and quite possibly learn a few things as I have from talking to a few members here on TC. Also PT.com has been helpful as well as LS1tech for engine info.
The engine started to leak and needed some attention so rather than remove and refurbish I decided a few years ago that a LS conversion plan was put in place. LT-1 style engine and M20 was sold this past year to help finance the build.

After educating myself on the various LS engine platforms I decided on a Gen III LQ4 as a base. They're plentiful from various GM pickups, vans, Escalades LQ9's. I didn't want to worry about sleeving an aluminum block and another reason was that they can only be bored over I believe to .005 safely.
View attachment 281221
A deal was struck with a yard for the complete 2003 6.0L engine, wiring harness, ECU and even exhaust manifolds for 700.00 delivered to their closer yard. I sold off everything that I wasn't going to use which netted me 400.00 off my original purchase price. Iron short block, front and rear covers for 300.00. Someone bought the exhaust manifolds for $60.00!
Some might say I would've been better off buying a complete LS3.......maybe but this way I get to choose the quality internal parts I'll use plus here in the Toronto area there are numerous engine builders that have good reputations.

View attachment 281222
Block dropped off at the machine shop for the build.

That's it for tonight more to come.
Great to hear about your build. Im really excited for you. Hope everything works out well. Im might consider doing the same thing as well. BTW, what kind of wheels do you have?
 

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hi, what transmission did you use for your LQ4? how has it been performing ever since you installed it? i might consider going this route as well due to an LS3 being a little expensive for me atleast.
TH350 and 10.9's so far NA ....Not as radical as my old 406" SBC solid roller motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great to hear about your build. Im really excited for you. Hope everything works out well. Im might consider doing the same thing as well. BTW, what kind of wheels do you have?
Thanks, they are from company called US mags. One piece cast not terribly expensive but provided the look I was looking for the time being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As the build progresses it came time to put the engine in. Before it went in a few things had to be done like notching the frame because I'm using the LS1 2002 Camaro accessory spacing. I personally don't like the alternator up high in the engine bay. So the frame had to be notched just in case the alternator posed a problem of hitting the frame.
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I wanted to help with dialing in the bellhousing as this has to accurate in order to avoid input shaft problems as well as any warranty claims.......hopefully not. This part took quite a bit of time to get to acceptable results, its better to spend the time now rather than having to take things out again while in the car.
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I had previously purchased different offset dowel pins just case they were needed but the ones that were used came from GM dealership. The new 621 LS bellhousing came into spec but the parallel had to be shimmed as best as we could to achieve .002" runout.
Next up was the shimming of the hydraulic bearing clearance, lines were sealed with teflon tape. Mcleaod billet flywheel was attached to a new Centerforce clutch I had from a previous claim. One thing about the new clutch is the ring that holds the weights on the diaphragm was increased quite a bit, this was part of the original problem.
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I'm jumping ahead but when I got the car home I had noticed that the bellhousing had gaps which could be problematic so I went ahead and put in some fillers pieces in to act as a barrier of keeping the elements out just in case.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It was time to mate up the engine and transmission together. My time in the shop had expired and I had to vacate and allow them to continue on with the install. The trans mount had to be adjusted to allow for the proper driveline angle. From a quick reference check I still need to tweak the trans up a bit to get into the 3 degree max range, I have some aluminum flat stock to create some shims like this:

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Nice thing about the shop that did the conversion for me was that they were able to hook up the headers to my 2.5" existing setup.
I used Hooker Blackjack mid length's, I was considering the Ebay China ones but decided to spent the extra dough and get the ones that wouldn't give me any problems.
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They tig welded up the o2 stainless bungs some V band clamps to mate up with my system so that I can take things apart if need be.
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Once that was done it was time to pay the man and get the car home to continue a s#*tload of things that still needed to be done but I was up to the challenge especially since this is my first go around at this conversion. This is how it left the shop.
Before I called the tow truck the owner made a good point regarding the tow drivers, he said that I should slip the driver a few bucks beforehand and this would make a difference on how he handles the car. I have CAA equivalent to AAA so slipped the driver a 20 before he started not after and told him to take care of the car.........boy did that help! That was July 15th now the quest continued at home. It's looking like a nice day today, time to get busy in the garage.
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