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S13 Silvia LS1 swap in Australia - FIRST START ON PAGE 3!
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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: S13 Silvia LS1 swap in Australia - FIRST START ON PAGE 3! Reply with quote

Hi guys,

figured I'd better put up a build thread for all the questions I'm bound to have during the swap. I've done a ton of research but something always comes up.

I've just finished swapping a 2.5L V6 from an MX-6 into my MX-5 Miata which was a massive pain, but I learned a lot which I hope to put into this project.
(Build thread here: http://mx5cartalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=48193)

Here's what I'm starting with:





It's a jap import S13 Silvia "K's" (top of the line, electric folding mirrors and everything) I paid way too much for. I made new intercooler piping, converted the intercooler to return flow and generally tidied up the interior which was a mess.







After driving it around for a while and finishing my MX-5 I was planning on selling the Silvia, however nobody wanted to give me any reasonable money for it so I've decided to turn it into a properly fast car with an LS1 swap. The CA18DET was OK but it had so much lag that it wasn't funny, and I hate turbo lag.

So far I've got most of the bits needed for the swap from Summit racing including one of those mini starters, a dakota digital speedo convertor, 3/4" Wilwood clutch master, remote bleeder, etc.

Since I don't have an engine yet and I'm not sure just how much extra room I need for the clutch master I decided to convert the pedal box to reverse swing.









All that's left to do is paint it, reinforce the area around the pivot holes and make a longer pivot bolt.

Aaaand that's basically where it's at. The engine bay is stripped in preparation for the V8. I'll be modifying a commodore sump (basically the same as a GTO) for legal reasons. Modifying the crossmember as much as most builds do would not be allowed Sad I've stripped out the engine wiring harnesses and isolated the wires needed.
Not much will happen until I've bought my LS1 donor car, but from then it will be full steam ahead!



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Last edited by Beelzeboss on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wired my dakota digital speedo converter straight to the back of the cluster. I thought it would be easier and neater than running lines all the way from the fusebox to the passenger footwell when they eventually end up at the cluster anyway.


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walbro HP 255 pump installed. No pics because my camera's out of batteries, but we all know what the pump looks like, right?

Just as I'm ready to buy an LS1 all the wrecked LS1 cars appear to have dried up from the auctions. It's much cheaper here to buy the whole car and take the bits I need than to buy an LS1 T56 dropout with wiring and ECU.


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another boring mini-update until I can find a donor car. I missed out on one at auction today by a couple of hundred bucks, but it was a 2000 model with only 220kw, LS1 intake manifold and unknown km's. Not ideal but it was cheap, just not cheap enough.



I'm making the radiator support removeable to make it easier to make the engine mounts and generally give better access for the swap. It will also help if later on I decide to go to long tubes.


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject: DONOR CAR JUST BOUGHT! Reply with quote

Well, I finally have a donor car so this thread can get interesting. I paid $3,000 including all fees and trailer hire to bring it back to my place Smile not the best deal ever since there are hardly any parts I can sell from the shell, but it's a 2002 VY Commodore SS (basically a GTO Sedan for those of you in the USA) with a 235kw (315hp) LS1, LS6 intake manifold as standard and T56 gearbox Very Happy













Soo excited, going to pick it up tomorrow and start stripping it down ASAP. I have a uni exam on the 15th but after that I have virtually unlimited free time to get this swap done quickly (hopefully)


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BoostinIX
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like it'll be fun to tear apart



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neil_se
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good buy, that's what an engine and box would normally cost but at least you know you've got all the associated bits. All the bits you can sell off add up too.


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoostinIX wrote:
Looks like it'll be fun to tear apart

Haha, cheers mate. Yeah it's quite broken Very Happy

neil_se wrote:
Good buy, that's what an engine and box would normally cost but at least you know you've got all the associated bits. All the bits you can sell off add up too.

Thanks mate, yeah I'm fairly happy with it. I just discovered that the gauges alone are worth like $200 and the headlight that's intact is another $50. It all adds up, hopefully I can get some back.










The rattle in the video is WAY louder than in person, it seems to be coming from an idler pulley or accessory, I'm 90% sure it's not inside the engine.

The good news is it started, the bad news is the exhaust has come off the head and the clutch is kaput. WHO CARES, IT RUNS! A new clutch is probably a good idea anyway, lol.


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dcskinx
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will definitely be watching this thread! The SS may look pretty smashed up but you will be surprised how much money you will get out of it, just don't advertise the parts too cheap! I've been toying with the idea of a LSX swap in my S13 (I'm from Melbourne), and ended up getting a great deal on an engine last weekend so it looks like it's got the go ahead (LS3 80kms). Are you making your own mounts or using a kit? What about headers? Looking to get it on the road legally?


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dcskinx wrote:
Will definitely be watching this thread! The SS may look pretty smashed up but you will be surprised how much money you will get out of it, just don't advertise the parts too cheap! I've been toying with the idea of a LSX swap in my S13 (I'm from Melbourne), and ended up getting a great deal on an engine last weekend so it looks like it's got the go ahead (LS3 80kms). Are you making your own mounts or using a kit? What about headers? Looking to get it on the road legally?

Cheers mate, I'll be trying to sell as many parts as possible but it is REALLY smashed, and the interior isn't great as it has bloodstains on the roof :O and has been rained on a bit.
That's fantastic you got an LS3! I'd have preferred one of those but I have a comparatively low budget. I'll be making my own mounts and trying to modify the stock commodore manifolds to fit. I've heard you can mill down the flange at an angle to kick the outlet of the manifold to the right angle to clear everything, but we'll see how that goes. I'm definitely aiming to get it engineered and registered, not really interested in having a track only car.





The engine is out! It wasn't too difficult, however I've discovered that quite a few of the exhaust manifold bolts will need to be removed with easy-outs or something.


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:31 am    Post subject: Innovative RHD starter clearance solution Reply with quote

I had a very productive day today. I prepped the engine and gearbox for installation which involved:

Cutting the sump



Trimming the subframe (it will be seam welded where I've cut to keep the same strength)



And trimming a couple of unnecessary ears off the gearbox bellhousing area





It's great knowing pretty much everything that needs to be done in advance Very Happy

Then it was time to fit the engine and see just how bad this clearance issue with the starter and steering column is







With the radiator support removed it's a 5 minute 1 person job to get the engine to this stage Smile

So how bad is the interference with the steering column?



O dear...

I was just in the process of unbolting the steering rack to see if I could move the mounts over when I had an idea. If I could relocate the starter terminal then that would give me about 20mm extra clearance, which if I offset the engine slightly should be enough!

So under the solenoid cover a summit mini starter looks like this



Then if you pull out the plunger and most of the bits for the terminal you see this



Then I cut the little wire to remove the final part of the terminal



Then I carefully drilled a second 11.5mm hole a bit further round the solenoid



Refitted all the terminal bits and extended the little wire



You might notice the area of copper that the solenoid contacts has decreased a bit. I'm hoping this won't create any issues, otherwise I'll just have to make up another piece out of some copper sheet.

Stripped back the thick cable and crimped on an extension



The finished product with a grommet in the original hole



I tested it on a battery and it worked perfectly, so I installed it on the engine



Clearance issue solved! Well, mostly. Next time the engine comes out I'm going to flip the main starter around so the cable comes out of it 180 degrees from it's current position and route it round the other side of the motor to eliminate all clearance problems Smile





Next up is positioning the engine and making engine mounts. A friend of mine gave me some 60mm Nylon bar so I'll be making some engine mounts from that.


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK I just finished making the engine mounts, they're cooling off from welding as I type Smile

I started off by facing and drilling this nylon bar to create two 60mm diameter, 40mm long engine mounts with a 10.5mm through hole. No reason for those dimensions, they just seemed like they'd work. In hindsight a thinner engine mount would have made things a little bit easier, but no matter.



Then I drilled some 6mm plate I had for the engine plates. Thankfully the dimensions for the LS1 are available on the internet.



The chassis mount plates have the bolt welded to them. I decided to do it this way because now the engine mounts can be tightened with a single spanner, and I didn't have to leave access to the back side of the bolt.



After I had the plates made, I bolted them to the engine and took some measurements for the piece which joins the chassis side bracket and the engine side bracket.





This is what I came up with for each side, the pictures show it tacked into position.





And here's how they are at the moment, cooling off from some seriously high amperage MIG welding.



Unfortunately the pic shows two of the worst welds on the engine mounts, but who cares! They are solid as and shouldn't allow the engine to move much at all Very Happy

Next up, gearbox mount and then trying to combine the two driveshafts.


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gearbox mount. No progress pics unfortunately because I was working flat out and forgot Sad



It has crush tubes welded in where it attaches to the chassis, and another 2 of those nylon discs for (maybe) some vibration insulation.

I also finished modifying the shifter. You might know the commodore shifter is offset about 80mm toward the rear of the car, like the GTO. I disassembled it and modded it to what you see here.

Stock shifter



My modded one (might shorten the stick, might not, I'll see how it feels while driving)





Basically I cut the rear section of the shifter off and welded an extension onto the stub left over. I still have to make some sort of dust shield, but really this is just temporary until I decide I need a proper short shifter. The only problem is there's nothing to stop the shifter rotating, so this only works with a dead straight gear lever, if it was offset at all it would rotate and wouldn't work very well.


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neil_se
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work on all the custom bits, especially getting the starter to clear the steering column!


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Beelzeboss
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neil_se wrote:
Excellent work on all the custom bits, especially getting the starter to clear the steering column!

Thanks Neil! Trying to do this on a low budget means lots of DIY Very Happy

I didn't get any car work done on Thursday or Friday because I had an exam, but yesterday I got the fuel system reworked and plumbed, and took the engine out. I also looked at combining the Commodore and Silvia driveshafts. I thought I'd worked out a way to do it but then I accidentally cut it too short Surprised so rather than trying to bodge it together I've ordered all the parts to make a custom single piece 2.5" driveshaft.

Today was more productive, even though I only started at 1pm lol. I welded up the sump







I used Otto's dimensions for the modifications, though I cut about 5mm more off just to be safe. It seems to clear everything, except I had to add that extra little modified bit to clear the steering rack clamp. This is only because my engine is offset, I think if it was centered this wouldn't be necessary.

The welds are pretty contaminated, but that's what I get for trying to weld cast aluminium which has had oil soaking into it for 10 years. Anyway, I leak tested it and it's leak free!

While that was leak testing I set about my slight crossmember modification to give a bit more clearance for the commodore manifolds (which look like they'll fit absolutely perfectly with a tiny bit of machining Smile)

Here's the unmodified crossmember



The areas which were interfering with the exhaust are just above the engine mounts. I cut them down and welded some flat steel onto them.





You can see in this final pic where I've seam welded the bit of subframe I cut down. The thin piece I cut out had some spot welds on it, this seam welded option is much stronger and gives more clearance for the sump Very Happy



Tomorrow I plan to do a whole bunch of little things to get the engine ready to go back in. My goal is to have it at the stage where the exhaust finished by Friday... we'll see if that happens. Once the exhaust is done the only major hurdles are the driveshaft and wiring. Everything else looks dead simple!


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