Project Firechicken. Lsx/turbo Swap/build.

Discussion in 'Projects' started by Bowtie Guy, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. Bowtie Guy

    Alrighty, I was asked buy a guy on another forum to post my a build thread here so here it is! Now that I'm finally getting ready to tear apart the car and have most of the big parts I figured it was time for me to start a build thread.
    The Car:

    ai1202.photobucket.com_albums_bb370_Dale_Follett_Firebird_20Build_IMG_20141031_180142.jpg #ad

    The engine in it currently:

    ai1202.photobucket.com_albums_bb370_Dale_Follett_Firebird_20Build_IMG_20141031_180936.jpg #ad

    A little history on the car. I got the car while I was in college for $900.00.. with around 162k miles on the clock. It was close to bone stock when I got it, carburated with a quadra-bog on a tired small block 305 that smokes on startup with a equally tired 700R4...While I was in college I converted it to TPI with MegaSquirt 2, fixed the bad bog it had but have been wanting to do another turbo build for a while so I have been collecting the parts to do so..

    The parts:

    Complete 4.8L in unknown shape I got for $215 and a 5.3L bottom end that makes noise for $30

    ai1202.photobucket.com_albums_bb370_Dale_Follett_Firebird_20Build_IMG_20141031_181633.jpg #ad

    $80.00 TP38 junkyard Powerstroke turbo, 1.0 A/R exhaust turbine and 1.1 A/R compressor, 60mm compressor inducer (yes smaller turbo, but I can hack up the already planned sloppy turbo kit to fit a better one in later if I need to).

    ai1202.photobucket.com_albums_bb370_Dale_Follett_Firebird_20Build_IMG_20141031_181510.jpg #ad

    This was a complete 5.3L that I tore the heads off to home brew port/polish and regap the rings, picked the motor up in good running shape, with computer, harness, etc for $400

    ai1202.photobucket.com_albums_bb370_Dale_Follett_Firebird_20Build_IMG_20141031_181349.jpg #ad

    The 4L80E that I got out of a junkyard core bin for a whopping $50.00.. already was rebuilt once (and not long before I got it). Got lucky and it already had a transmission-Go shift kit in it.. had a few stuck valves in the valve body and fried the direct clutch pack.. and the valves got stuck because the rebuilder left a pump bolt loose and dug into the forward clutch housing.. so just got the parts I needed to fix it, reused the new parts that I could that were in it, internally dual fed the direct clutch pack, and now have a transmission that should take 800hp ish for under $200.00..

    ai1202.photobucket.com_albums_bb370_Dale_Follett_Firebird_20Build_IMG_20141031_181113.jpg #ad

    So the plan:
    This is going to be a ultra budget friendly build. Please dont judge because I'm not going for looks, but performance. Any and all recommendations or help will be welcomed. I've done a few other turbo builds before and I got a idea what I'm going to do with this one, along with using the 4.8L as a experimental motor I dont care about :biglaugh:

    Going to use the 4.8L as is, absolutely NOTHING done to it except for the oil pan to fit in the car, which is going to be cut and re-welded for ground clearance with kickouts for the same or more oil volume.This motor will be used as a mock up/grenadable motor, and eventually I'll bump up to the 5.3L when I get the head port work done along with the piston ring regapping, etc. The plus side to this is I can test the LM7 fuel injectors I modified by removing the atomization cap, which I flow tested afterwards with my homemade fuel injector flow tester and they flowed around 42lb/hr. If I find out my ultra-budget cheapness doesnt work in reguards to the modified fuel injectors, I'm only out a crappy 4.8L anyhow and will at that point get new and correct fuel injectors along with installing the 5.3L I'm in the middle of building for it. Going to run a Ebay intercooler I've had for a while now (got for my twin turbo truck I used to own, just never completely installed it). Going to spray it also (for intercooling purposes hehe, and already have the kit so I might as well use it). Methanol injection, Install a 6 point cage, along with a Crown Vic 8.8" rear end, and running the engine with the MegaSquirt 2, and wiring the 4L80E for full manual control.

    Goals of the car? To have a blast somewhat cheaply.. and do it with a car that doesnt look the greatest currently.. It'll get a decent amount of track use but I want it to be a street legal car (go to work in it, etc). More interested in the performance side of it, and making it a all around good car, not just set it up for drag racing only.. Not looking to set the world on fire, just something fun on the drag strip Friday nights.. More on the FireChicken to come..
    rattlecanz28 likes this.
  2. rattlecanz28

    Now THIS is what I like to see :D let me know if you want to sell the TPI setup... Going to do that conversion on my 78 Z/28... those 4.8's... throw a set of ARP rod studs, and main cap studs and have it balanced... they LOVE the top end RPM's. MS2 is good for this build... If I remember correctly, the 4.8L had the smaller crank position sensor wheel... just be sure to match it in the MS...
  3. Bowtie Guy

    Well not putting anything in the bottom end of the 4.8 (except for the oil pan), That's what the 5.3L is for ;) I'm seriously going to just find the limit of the junkyard unknown mile 4.8L BONE STOCK (again budget build).. Plan is to rev limit at 6K.. keep the Rev's down to help hold stuff together as long as it will being its bone stock.. but If it blows a rod out the side, I really don't care with this engine.. lol. I'll have to look into the crank trigger wheel but I'm almost positive they are the same from previous work I've done, but I'll look into it and give ya'll a update on it. Hoping to have the motor this week or next to start mocking up the LSx engine/4L80E placement and to figure out what I have to do to the oil pan.
  4. Bowtie Guy

    ^^ I Meant to say I'm hoping to have the *OLD* motor *OUT* this week or next. Now how can I edit posts on here to correct spelling/grammar errors?
  5. Free Wheeling

    Cool project! I can't wait to see what it does under boost. I know I will be following this and asking questions! The best part of this is it's not a high dollar build and it looks like you're going the right way with this. Nothing against high dollar builds but I ain't made of money either.

    When you take the atomization caps off the injectors does this cause any problems with misfires, piston wash or anything else?
  6. Z28/Ken Staff Member Admin

    That was me! Really good to have you over here, it sounds like a great project and I can't wait to see it unfold. I'll take a look at the editing permissions, I'm not as familiar with this software as I am VBulletin, so it might take a little.
  7. Bowtie Guy

    I was wondering when someone was going to ask me this.. I have no idea yet.. History on this modification.. I was doing research on getting larger fuel injectors for this build and I ran across a business that resized stock LS1 injectors and it got me thinking on what they were doing to make the fuel injector flow more fuel.. so I had some spare Chrysler fuel injectors laying around from my job (Auto Technician) that I ground the atomizer cap off of to see A: what the spray pattern was and B: if it flowed more fuel. Well the answer was A: it sprays like a jet.. and not much different than a OEM fuel injector where a OEM 4 hole injector sprayed 4 smaller jets of fuel, now it sprays just 1 jet of fuel, and B: it does flow a ton more.. and if you grind JUST THE CAP OFF, they flow within 2 ish percent of each other.. So I did the same thing to LM7 fuel injectors, and got the same result.. so I'm giving it a whirl.. again figure with the 4.8L if it doesnt work I'm only out a junkyard small motor anyhow, but this would be a great budget way to get more fuel. **CAUTION** I AM NOT RECOMMENDING ANYONE TO DO THIS MODIFICATION TO YOUR FUEL INJECTORS!!! I may blow my engine up doing this, but there is only one way to find out.. and if they will flow the fuel I need to support 500-600 crank hp it'll save me around $400.00 in the build for injectors alone..

    Well thanks for having me over here! Take your time with figuring out how to edit the permissions.. Its just something I've noticed just trying to fix some spelling/grammar errors in my previous posts lol..

    Now update on the car.. I'm hoping to be yanking out the engine tomorrow evening.. or transmission.. somethings coming out of it...
  8. Bowtie Guy

    Update on Project FireChicken.. I finally pulled the trigger on yanking it apart.. been waiting for this day for a few years now, felt quite nice.. I got a lot more done tonight than I thought I was going to. Radiator, wiring, transmission cross-member, washer fluid/overflow bottles removed, hoses disconnected, etc. Tip from a Auto Technician on removing radiator hoses that you want to re-use.. use a larger diameter pick and free the hose up from the inside.
    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_IMG_20141104_200035.jpg #ad

    The last things I need to do to get the engine out is: cut the exhaust off (with the turbo kit I'm building for it I wont need the factory stuff anyhow), remove the hood (rather not do that myself so I'm waiting for help this Friday/this weekend), remove the engine mount bolts and lift the engine/transmission out of the car!

    Where I left the car tonight:

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_IMG_20141104_213841.jpg #ad

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_IMG_20141104_213939.jpg #ad

    Also never did mention what type of FireChicken this was.. I'm sure some people could shoot me for doing what I'm about to do to this car.. being I do have all the original paperwork for the car too lol.

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_IMG_20141104_213957.jpg #ad

    Oh! I ordered the 1" setback mount adapters from a guy on Ebay last Friday, to get what is supposed to be them today in the mail and find out he must have send me the wrong package because what I got looks like lift shackles.. go figure.. hopefully I'll get this worked out so I can get the 4.8L grenade in for test fitment..
    bluethunder likes this.
  9. ZQuick

    This is project is full of win. How do you do a home made flow test of injectors?
  10. rattlecanz28

    Fuel pump, single side of a fuel rail, 4 graduated cylinders, and a catch canister that the pump sits in :D
  11. Bowtie Guy

    Correct.. but thats not how I did it :p Used a old 2013 Ford Escape (I'm a certified Ford Tech, needed job security lol) coolant reservoir filled with a 50/50 mix of water and isopropol. One line hooked to a air compressor with a air pressure regulator inline and the other one to the fuel injector spraying into a cylindrical cup.. it works, not the hot setup but works with stuff I had laying around lol..

    Update on the car!
    Its starting
    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_enginepull1.jpg #ad

    Its comming
    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_enginepull2.jpg #ad

    Home Stretch
    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_enginepull3.jpg #ad

    Its outta here!!!
    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_enginepull4.jpg #ad

    Now I'm just waiting for my 1" setback engine mount adapters to show up in the mail, should be in what is now today (Friday) or tomorrow.. Going to go ahead and do some mockup with the LSx/4L80E/turbo/etc but before final installation I'm going to replace a few brake lines that I found are rusted and replace all the bushings, etc. Just general maintenance items on a car this old.. and trying to decide if I'm actually going to modify the 4.8L oil pan to make it fit or just go ahead and get the 4th gen camaro/firebird oil pan and pickup tube.. Not sure what one is going to be cheaper at the moment (being I'd have to get the aluminum plate, aluminum welding wire and straight argon gas to due so)... so going to do some figuring out this weekend/next week to see what would be cheaper.. but at least for now I can get the engine/transmission in the hole and start figuring out turbo kit and re-doing my mess of wiring from my college days of installing the tuned port injection and MS2 on the old engine in the backyard lol.
  12. Muffin Man

  13. rattlecanz28

    I need to go "Donate" some plasma so I can buy that TPI intake off of you... hehe... anyone need a set of aluminum roller rockers?
  14. Bowtie Guy

    What are the roller rockers for?
  15. rattlecanz28

    I was going to throw them into my SBC 350... they're mixed ratio of 1.5 and 1.6... but with the cam that I'm running, I can't use the 1.6 ones (PTV comes a LITTLE too close to comfort) They are made by EPWi (Scorpion look alikes)... Missing one 1.6 ratio rocker... can get them for about $20 from a local speed shop.
  16. Bowtie Guy

    Ahh I see.. Well hopefully after work tonight I'll be able to get out in the garage again and clean up some wiring, and get the motor/transmission temporarily mated together while I wait for my set back mounts... and repair the one engine mount I bent a little getting the old boat anchor out..
  17. rattlecanz28

    Wish I wasn't so far away... I'd give you a hand with the swaps
  18. Bowtie Guy

    Well not much to report today, had to get a snow blower running again for family.. BUT! My setback mount plates came in!!!


    Tomorrow evening I plan on getting at it.. might even have the 4.8L in the hole temporarily for turbo mockup and see how it looks with a LS/turbo in the empty hole lol..
  19. Bowtie Guy

    Update from Saturday nights progress!

    Ol' worn out SBC 305 and 700R4, with the powers invested in me I now pronounce you divorced.. go live happy (or not so happy) lives seperated LOL

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_Old_20enbe2f4d84b9688f64e32560e5efd307f5.jpg #ad

    Now that is done.. I moved on to getting the 4.8L into the same garage the FireChicken is in which took a little jockeying around with my father-in-laws truck and moving the engine hoist/engine from garage to garage..

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_4.8L_20complete_20before_20strip_20down.jpg #ad

    Then Stripped her down to the bare necessities.. started mocking up the engine mounts and found a few issues.. the 1" setback mount adapters, the way they came don't quite clear the accessory bolt bosses on the engine.. Nothing a grinder wont fix. I still bolted it together to get it in the hole so I could see what else needed modified.

    Setback mount adapter 1

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_Setback_20mount_20issue_201.jpg #ad

    Setback mount adapter 2

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_Setback_20Mount_20Issue_202.jpg #ad

    So with that in mind I got it bolted together the best I can for now just to see what it'll look like in the hole.. while bolting the engine side of the mounts to the adapter plates I found out the factory hardware from the 305 mounts (which I was going to replace anyway because they were rusted out) is too long. So just a FYI for anyone who plans on using the setback mount adapters to fit the LS in a 3rd gen engine bay, you'll have to get shorter hardware..

    Its in the hole!

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_LSx_20ine5ce28abd43e952468c327c726f82e70.jpg #ad

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_LSx_20inf9cee753f863650714aed63e9f9da7f2.jpg #ad

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_LSx_20infa5a3b15c8a360547eace3b8457d3dd3.jpg #ad

    Look at the clearance between the front of the harmonic balancer and the radiator support! I know the front accessory drive will take away from it a little bit but I should have more than enough room to fit my front mount intercooler and turbo plumbing in there somewhere LOL.

    awww.follettswebsitedesign.com_firechickenbuildphotos_LSx_20cl1ed9e2acdd655cda31599cc106149dbc.jpg #ad

    For right now, I can only get the Passenger side motor mount bolt in.. I believe the motor mount plates not being flush is causing my issue of why I can only get the one bolt in.

    So my game plan is next getting the motor back out and grinding the corners where they touch down to where they clear.. and see if I can get it actually in with BOTH motor mount bolts.. Get it to where I KNOW the engine mounts up, then mount the transmission to the engine so I can get to modifying the transmission tunnel to clear the big 4L80E.. and somewhere in there clean up my wiring..
  20. Bowtie Guy

    Well not much of a update but progress is progress.... got the engine back out tonight and marked the clamshells and the setback mount adapters for where I need to modify them.. so after work tomorrow I'll modify them and hopefully both bolt holes will line up this time..
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